Gender Issues… Again

Most people have no issues with gender roles and misogyny.

Or do they?

I like to think they don’t, but…

The latest (of countless) disgusting attacks against our PM is yet again causing me to experience utter disgust.  There are jokes and then there is bad taste.  If your joke is based on the personal appearance of another where you disrespectfully disparage and demean them, you are pathetic.  That’s not a joke, you’re just being a *$&%.  Get a better joke.

Still not sure what I’m talking about?

Here is the dinner menu from a recent Liberal party fundraiser run by Mal Brough.

menu-1

What the hell is going on here?!  Who on earth thought this was a good joke?!  Not only did some moron have the gaul to print this, but it clearly passed through many others who let it go, thinking it was simply a harmless joke.

A joke?

No, it’s not a joke, you’re being a jackass.  You are ridiculing a woman’s body.  That is not ok.  If you think I’m over reacting then look at your own sense of humour and get some perspective.  There are a billion funny things in this world, being genuinely mean about other people is not one of them.  I don’t care how much you dislike a person, treating them as a subject of physical ridicule is unacceptable on every level.

If you disagree with someone, then do that.  Disagree with them.  Talk about why you do, discuss the issues, don’t discuss their breasts, thighs and box.  That makes you awful.  ESPECIALLY if you’re meant to be involved in running our country!

I fervently disagree with Tony Abbott on a lot of things, but I’m not bringing up his body as a way to bring him down and make fun of him.  People who do that are doing political discourse a disservice.  Not that anyone  I can see is doing that.  Ok, people pick on his budgie smugglers, but that’s more about his choice of outfit rather than his personal appearance.

Notice that the ridicule of Rudd is not about his physical appearance.  It rarely is when it comes to men.  This seems to be something reserved for women.  And not just Labor women.  Sophie Mirabella gets the same treatment occasionally.  As does Julie Bishop (rarely).  I can’t come up with other examples of public ridicule because the Libs have hardly any women in their ranks.

I have a strong sense of humour (ask anyone who knows me!), I’m not some sort of humourless crazy person.  I actually think there ought to be more humour in politics, but this is not funny.  This is mean.  This is belittling.  This is beneath us.

If you think this menu is funny; grow up and get a better sense of humour.  If someone said this about your wife/sister/daughter you wouldn’t be laughing.  You’d be very angry, as is appropriate.  Just because you don’t know the woman, doesn’t make the joke ok.  People are people, whether you know them or not.

Back to my original statement:

Most people have no issues with gender roles and misogyny.

Or do they?

I like to think they don’t, but…

The reality is that there will be no real fallout from this ‘joke’.  People don’t really care.  And the ones who do care probably won’t be voting Liberal anyway.  They’ll just make excuses for the ‘joke’ or ignore it.

The ones who do care and are still voting Liberal, WHY?!!!  Seriously, WHY?!!!

This is not an isolated incident.  This is not a one off stupid slip that I could hate and overlook.  This sort of stuff happens on such a regular basis that it can’t possible be  a ‘slip’.  It’s not an ‘oversight’, it’s a pattern, and it’s indicative of the party attitude.

I am not for a second suggesting that the Liberal party are misogynists.  Not at all.  There are many good people in the party who despise this sort of attitude.  The problem is that there are also many people within the party who have an attitude that women are somehow less than men, whether they articulate that or not.  There are too many slips of this variety for it not to be the actual attitude of some people.

And even if it is just a marginal few, no one is being disciplined for this crap!  There are never any repercussions for people who use this sort of language and belittle women.  There is distancing by colleagues in the media, but no consequences.  No one is fired or demoted, it’s excuse after excuse and the attitudes continue.  It’s pathetic.

If you’re going to vote for the Liberals, you are endorsing this sort of attitude.  You may agree with other things about the Libs, but I’d like you to articulate it to yourself, and justify why those things are so important that these attitudes ought to go unpunished.  If you’re a Lib voter and this disgusts you, write to your local member, write to Tony Abbott and tell him!  They don’t punish people for behaving this way because there are no political repercussions.  Stand up against it!  If you don’t speak up and you vote for them, you are condoning it.

Rant over.

Here is another article about this issue.

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8 Replies to “Gender Issues… Again”

  1. I don’t this is funny at all, just as Julia Gillard’s attacks on Joe Hockey for his weight aren’t either, or back in the day, Kim Beasley’s, or Paul Keating’s mockery of John Howard for his bushy eyebrows and glasses. To me it all seems so immature and petty, and if this is what passes for political debate in this country then help us.

  2. I think that it’s almost a foregone conclusion that these people are going to be in government in September. However, when someone doesn’t show even simple respect for a person who holds public office, what sort of respect can we suggest that they will pay to the people of the nation?

    I work in Mosman which is in the electorate of Warringah (Tony’s seat) and I have already written to him and told him that this is unacceptable; furthermore if disciplinary action wasn’t taken within the week, I would mount a publicity campaign urging the people of the electorate to vote for someone else. Mr Howard found it very difficult to be leader of the party without actually retaining his seat in parliament and the same goes for Mr Abbott.

    The closer we get to September, the more I am convinced that neither party is fit to run this country.

    1. I partly agree with that, however there is definitely sexism in some of the journalism floating around. Certainly not all of it, or even most of it, but some of it yes.

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