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A time for change

I wrote this piece when I was more involved in volunteering for an environmental group in local politics. And though the references are of a local nature, they are surely relevant to the broader community.

The saying goes; “Behind every successful man, there is a woman”. I don’t believe there can be anyone in this day and age who will not look upon that adage and see it as patronising. Patronising in the presumption that it must be the man who makes the “success”, for in all walks of employment, women equal, if not in positions of authority, the capacity of men in employment … in capacity of management and in capacity of strength of character and endurance … in endurance perhaps even more so!

When it comes to micro-management; of household budgets, timetabling, children as babes, toddlers and school … there is no equal. When it comes to people motivators, partner consolers and networking specialists … again; there is no equal. Yet … yet … in my local government, we have but two women on council! Two women amongst a known patriarchy of a somewhat anachronistic “boy’s club”.  Why is this so? Must it remain so?

A close study of the district sees many areas in grave need of extended attention. In dire need of  restructuring from agriculture to something else … close attention is needed to address many social and environmental structures further out than the immediate centres of governance. The more marginal parts of the district require a more attentative “eye”, the “machinery of governance” needs a “mechanic” more than just the cursory glance of the salesman. Too many years have been lost in trying to hold on to or to reconstruct a lost past that can no longer be justified. I can remember a time when the district, in its “youth” was a thriving “agricultural machine” … I have seen the pictures of multiple teams of horse-drawn harvesters cutting through bumper crop after bumper crop … it looked good! It WAS good! Now it is gone for those parts of the district where a good season is perhaps one in five, rather than one in three. It must be time to consider moving on.

This may be the problem with a patriarchal mindset; the male is a constructor … a physical builder … he works best when there is a clear job at hand to do … give him a pragmatic problem and he will tackle it! … as long as there are not too many insurmountable obstacles to overcome … as long as there is a reasonably clear path so he can “get stuck into it” … the task will be tackled with enthusiasm and determination. BUT … once the job seems futile, too hard or complicated … he will sit down and even sometimes stay down! And this is where the adage at the start of this article comes in: “Behind every successful man, … ”

From where I stand, I can see the district has become one of those “sit down and stay down” problems. I won’t go into them here, either you know, or you don’t want to know … regardless, there are some things that need to be done.

One of those things – perhaps the primary thing / is that there needs to be more women brought into the management side of  governance. The district needs to shift from a “construction mindset” to a “re-creation mindset” … not recreation as in fun, fun, fun! … but re-creation as in re-building the social base from the existing foundations up.

This requires a more discerning eye that that of the speculator/entrepreneur, looking for the quick-buck solution … a fast “turnaround time”. The skill required for such long-term vision and planning needs that gender schooled in patient endurance … the patient endurance of “taking the back seat” in decision making … of bearing, raising and schooling children even while maintaining a career … Of having to “turn the other cheek” to taunts of ANY sexist aggression … and to turn it with enduring dignity and pride. Sure, there are many who fail these accolades, but I suggest it is a failure more often born of overbearing pressure, rather than lack of character … a situation witnessed by many in minority groups. It is changing, it must change.

Where men once had sense of morality and the physical drive and opportunity to take the nation on a positive and productive course, those days have passed and we are now become weaker in spirit and corrupt in morals so that we no longer lead with good or decent intention, but rather with too much pride of gender and false virility so we have become the bully we once suppressed and we have sought an answer in more aggression rather than arbitration and or conciliation. It is time for men to step away from the controls of this runaway train, take a break from our now clumsy leadership and allow women to turn down the pressure on a society that cannot sustain such hunger for brutal power.

This district is in grave need of a re-birth … it is in grave need of a more discerning and sophisticated judgement of priorities of investment and management. After one hundred and fifty years of male dominated construction and slow dissolution, I, for one … and I hope for many, believe it is time to “give the women a place on the driver’s seat” to take this old bus down a new road …

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(By Robert Frost).


52 comments

  1. Joseph Carli

    While there would be those here who would think..: “Oh..that’s that bastard just being condescending to the women”…because I may take the mick out on some of you…and some of you deserve it!…sanctimonious little… But after these seemingly endless vulgarities by male leadership and celebrity and whatever toward those who are subordinate to the masculine power base, I have to concede that we as a gender have lost the plot..utterly and completely lost the plot.

    Sure and I feel the loss for it..I rather like the idea of the psychological upper hand that allows me loose rein to chiak and flirt with loose vocabulary on twitter and blog site with women of all ages and class..My anonymity and isolation allows the male in me to use that gender imbalance to even become somewhat overbearing and perhaps..I say ; “PERHAPS” be a bit of a bastard…ah!..and there!..do you hear the excuse just there..: “Perhaps be a bit…” is that not the eternal male cop-out..and I have used it now myself…just to demonstrate that we men have taken our position of dominance for granted so much that we cannot now see when we have become tiresome boors..

    So I voluntarily withdraw from further mockery and salacious witticisms to take a position in the penalty box as suitable act of contrition for my presumption…I sincerely mean it..

    Ladies…you have the floor…

  2. babyjewels10

    As a woman, I can’t brush off the vague feeling of being put back in my box. As the grandmother of three granddaughters, I worry for a fair, just and equal future for them. How long will it take for women to finally take their rightful place as equals, especially when there are religious and political powers that seem to be trying to turn the clock backwards. To be properly equal to men is complicated because there isn’t a level playing field. We are the baby makers and this takes time and energy and the result tends to make us want our motherhood role to take over from our other roles at least for a few years. How do we make this equal? My eldest daughter told me in her teens she knew that having a baby would hold her back in life and at 37, hasn’t had children, her husband has a vasectomy and she’s got a great career, with loads of international travel. My younger daughter, with three daughters of her own, is struggling with various issues including poverty, a bad relationship she’s stuck in because she hasn’t enough money to put a roof over her and the kids’ heads and feed them and pay the bills on her own – it takes 2 incomes to raise a family today, and even then, it’s a struggle. Life…

  3. auntyuta

    Thank you. I think what women appreciate most is that they are treated with love and respect and not put down just because they have different opinions on some issues.

  4. etnorb

    You have just nailed it (again!) Joseph! ALL women should be “rewarded” for ALL the “things” that they do–& usually without complaint!–ALL the time! Sadly, far to many males seem to think the world revolves around them, & women should be “seen but not heard”–even in today’s so-called “enlightened” society. It is PAST time that ALL women were recognised & valued for their (usually) selfless tasks & family upbringing & indeed in business too! Far too often males seem to to think that females do not matter or do not care! When usually, they “matter” & “care” far more often than the male species.

  5. Joseph Carli

    entorb…sadly, I have to concede that the males have pushed the barriers too far and have poisoned the waterhole of our society and we need to step aside completly to let those now more morally fitting and now more capable of running a socially complex society. There is no going back and for the males, the only way forward is to become more violent in their search for dominance of a fragmenting social order and environment..better we recognise our losing of the grip and before even more damage is done, we give the keys to those more sober.

    I do have concern that the middle class will use such opportunity to gain complete control of the direction of governance, but there is now no other realistic solution for a sensible administration.

  6. jimhaz

    The more males are put down the more resentful we will get. Stop sucking up to women like adult babies.

  7. diannaart

    Not wholly convinced, Joseph, that you really understand, but you are trying… very, very trying. 😛

    One who never gets it and doesn’t want to is the static Jimhaz – not worth debating anyone who is so completely stuck. I did try with another equally rigid male and got beaten up for my temerity.

  8. Joseph Carli

    jimhaz…your petulant reply demonstrates so much more than I could ever do the inadequacies now dominant in the male psyche..I have no fear of what women in leadership would do..indeed, I can see only good to come of it..what I do fear with this current direction of alpha male brutality is the possibility of either nuclear war (accidental or otherwise), continued destruction of the environment via capitalist domination (which , BTW has to be recognised as an alpha male play-thing) or the continued rotting away from the inside of the cohesive core of humanity…

    I can recognise in the collective female society a more reasonable attitude to social conditions and the change needed to implement such..To the most qualified goes the delegation of authority, I say…what!..jimhaz ..are you scared of women?

  9. Joseph Carli

    Dear diannaart..I couldn’t give a rat’s “…. ” what you personally think …you are no concern of mine ..go your way wherever you like..and good luck to you..I write the article as I see it for me..you go ahead and write it as you see it for you..

  10. diannaart

    “Dear” Joseph, I commend everyone to write as they see fit – have I ever suggested otherwise?

    I find your homilies from the past enjoyable reading and am pleased to see you striving towards the present. However, I do not trust people, I do not know, who play games… “spinner”.

  11. Joseph Carli

    My dearest diannaart…thank you for your informative and direct correspondence..If I could assuage your doubt for but a minute so you may place a degree of trust in my good intentions, I would crawl over an acre of broken glass to deliver such to you personally… 🙂

  12. diannaart

    Grand gestures do not make for trust.

  13. Freethinker

    Jospeh, thank you for your article and I share or views.
    Ignore the bitter and negative people that are trying to put barriers on the way to a change, they will be left behind or simple drown in they own bitterness.

  14. jimhaz

    @ Joey
    [I have no fear of what women in leadership would do..]

    They would succumb to every demand of business. Do not for a second think that they will be any less materialistic and this will drive them to be the same sort of arseholes to people outside their cohort, as is the case now with many males.

    This gradual taking over of the male role is one of the reasons society has fallen so fast, though this may be less significant than other reasons such as technology. Tracing causality is ever so difficult in such complex matters.

    One of the clearest signs of our feminised future is what you see happening at universities in the US. Women are creating deeper conflict by being so very anti-conflict – to the point of an outright refusal to allow discussions on anything they judge to be controversial. Women play the game of competition in a sort of covert manner, whereas men tend to do it overtly. I have no idea what they’ll get up once they have finished their victimhood playbook – I suppose we’ll get to the Queen Bee point (such as Reinhart portrays and Thatcher once did and Clinton thought she was) where everyone serves her as some sort of acrogenous drone. Ants evolved this system as it is the apex of organisational efficiency and that is what we are heading to – we call it productivity.

    With any progression there is a loss of something else. That is what we are seeing with men now – a loss of moral drive to be a hero for others – as women are certainly in the ascendency. The rich love women executives as it makes it easier for them to control the masses.

  15. diannaart

    Having a different point of view does not make me “bitter” or likely to be left behind in a pool of bitterness. Nor do I put barriers in front of anyone – evidence?

    But, thanks, at least I understand you a little better.

  16. Joseph Carli

    jimhaz…what you are proposing is the thesis of the patriarchal church’s opposition to the cult of “Maryism” ie; the worship of “Mary” against the worship of “Jesus”…or to put it in a more secular vein..the fear of the woman as creator becoming the matriarch of power. Of course, it cannot be denied even by the heads of the Christian churches that women ARE the creators of humanity as we know it…after all…every-single-human-both past and present on this planet was and is born of a woman…and being the bearers of such responsibility, it has to also be admitted that there is a better chance that same gender has the capacity to hold strength and courage in the face of a declining society so much more than the now debased “warrior caste”…

    Jimhaz..it has to be admitted whether we males like it or not, that we have grown too proud and vainglorious to be left in charge of such a dangerous political situation. A calm mind is needed and while I share a fear that the plundering middle class will try to take control of even the feminine conversation and steer it toward more masculine politics…I do not think we have any other option than to give command of our governance to the other half of humanity to try and bring some semblance of order to the chaos.

  17. Freethinker

    Why you assume that my post was directed to you?

  18. Andreas

    Female proportion of society = 50%, female wages 50%?, Female participation in decision making, be it the family, the school scene, local government, state government, and worst of all the federal government is out of proportion by miles. As a male I am over the empty hulks in suit and tie, stifling the application of common sense and still demanding adherence to their bullshit talk!

  19. Kaye Lee

    “That is what we are seeing with men now – a loss of moral drive to be a hero for others – as women are certainly in the ascendency.”

    What absolute tosh. I don’t need a hero. I need people I can work with to make things better. What is it with this dominance attitude? Can’t we be equal partners?

  20. @RosemaryJ36

    My father was hopeless at managing money so my mother took over the reins. We lived in the UK at a time when free education was available to all. My brother, sister and I all went to university. My brother won a State Scholarship to Cambridge and went on to design aero engines for Rolls Royce, my sister studied medicine and went on to specialise in surgery. I passed the entrance exam for Imperial College, completed a maths degree and went on to teach, while, much later, finally studying law and being admitted at age 72. My three children have also successfully completed tertiary studies, as have the older two of my four grandchildren. I regard my mother with tremendous admiration and cannot imagine her ever putting up with being treated badly. She was strong and helped her daughters to follow in her footsteps.

  21. diannaart

    @Freethinker

    I wondered about that… it could’ve been towards Jimhaz or myself.

    Perhaps you could’ve have been a little clearer. Well, now you have the opportunity.

  22. Freethinker

    diannaart, I would live it up to your judgment and I guess that you will take into consideration that for longer than a year we have changed opinions with courtesy and respect.
    Have a nice evening.

  23. diannaart

    Freethinker

    What you say is true – we have had a most equable exchange of ideas.

    I should have kept to my personal rule and not even posted here at all.

    You see, I have difficulties with people who claim to be about equality, but attach conditions. For example, they adhere to a binary view of human beings.

    women are soooo good at the nurturing, networking, consoling… blah, blah

    men are pragmatic and problem solving… blah

    because men have made such a fantastic cock-up, let’s permit the little ladies a chance in the driver’s seat blah, blah

    …and I am making a complete cock-up right here and right now.

    Kaye Lee said it best earlier:

    I need people I can work with to make things better. What is it with this dominance attitude? Can’t we be equal partners?

    Au revoir.

  24. Freethinker

    diannaart, it there is one person who should refrain to post here will be me. My English it is very bad, without “reading faces” I am always in doubt if I have managed to put my views across in a clear manner and on the top of that I am becoming and old grumpy old man with low level of tolerance to ignorance and stupidity by our politicians and part of the electorate.
    As an example of how bad it is this medium of communication my interpretation of what Joe have written is complete different that yours.
    I guess that when we are in doubt of what the other person I trying to say I should refrain to post until I can read some replies with clarification or just give the authors of posters the allowance based on what we know about them.
    It is nice and constructive to exchange views with you diannaart, that you for your reply.

  25. Joseph Carli

    Fortunately, it must be comforting to know that neither diannaart nor Kaye Lee will – with their aggressive prioritising of a kind of selective ” I agree with you so I will grace you with my commentary” nepotism – be on the front-line policy making for the kind of female led government we could all envision…..thankfully, as seen above, they seem to be too aggressive for calm conciliation.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Huh?

  27. Kaye Lee

    It’s rather like the people who, having decided to “allow” gays to marry, then want protection from them. “Giving” women token equality has harmed men in some way apparently?

    “So I voluntarily withdraw from further mockery and salacious witticisms to take a position in the penalty box as suitable act of contrition for my presumption…I sincerely mean it..

    Ladies…you have the floor…”

    Yeah….right….just don’t speak up will you, there’s a pet.

  28. Joseph Carli

    But you and diannaart only “spoke up ” to carp and complain….I step back to end up getting buns and rock-cakes thrown at me from back-stage!!

  29. Kaye Lee

    Oh for heaven’s sake. Am I suppose to bemoan the loss of men’s self-appointed hero status? I’ll match your hurt feelings with a lifetime of sexual harassment and discrimination. But far be it from me to “carp and complain”.

  30. Joseph Carli

    (a teethy intake of breath) ; tseeeeee!…now this could be one of the issues of your self-imposed aggression toward men…that “lifetime of sexual harassment and discrimination”…I don’t deny that distinct possibility…indeed I acknowledge the fault of many men who have subjected you and yours to such discrimination and cowardly shame…I am of that gender and I call out my “mea culpa”…and I “step back”..as I admit..But the charge and the declamation of a lack of either empathy or conciliation with men on this universal problem that..as jimhaz railed about earlier in his response to me..could be leveled at biased members of either gender, does question some people’s honest intention of correcting this most egregious of behaviour toward ANY vulnerable members of our society..

    Perhaps I can take this opportunity to remind the readers that while men act in the most GROSS AND VULGAR MANNER of abuse and harassment, there is a certain more subtly methodology of bullying that can be carried on between those of the same “gentler sex”…I know diannaart enjoys my little “homilies” so I put this up for her too…

    Proverb: A bitter heart will sour the sweetest soul.

    Parable: Milan’s first wife left him and her baby very early in their marriage. She became ill with a rather common debilitating mental illness, and as the medical treatment in those days in Australia was hopelessly inadequate, she was left to carry on by her own . She couldn’t cope and simply left home, left the baby girl, left her husband and finally left the country and went back to Europe where she disappeared from Milan’s life.

    In due course after several years, Milan met another woman, a single woman who helped him raise the child. She lived with him for ten years and then they married and she had a baby also, a son. The girl had grown up and was cared for (if maybe a bit too sternly) as the new wife’s own daughter.

    Now, every birthday from seven years on, the girl would receive a letter and a parcel from France, from her estranged mother. Sometimes there would be a few notes of currency enclosed. Janice, Milan’s second wife was at first not perturbed at these little gifts. But over the years, and particularly when the girl reached teenage years, she seemed to become a little offended at the daughter’s glee upon receiving these gifts.

    “Oh”, the girl would exclaim in happiness, “My mother has sent me something!” and she would take the parcel off to her room to open it.

    Janice would look scornful and sorrowful at the same time and would complain to Milan.

    “See, see, off to her room with the precious gift, ha! and it wasn’t that woman who raised her, no … it was me who worried when she was sick! So what does she care for me? … no … (and here she would sometimes have tears come to her eyes) not for me the respect she saves for her mother that deserted her” Milan would drop the corners of his mouth and sigh.

    One day a letter arrived saying that Milan’s first wife was coming out to Australia for a visit, to see her daughter. Janice was caught between her love of the daughter and the bitter-ness of a feeling of betrayal of the girl’s love for her mother.

    Not long after the visit by the mother, one evening, they were visiting a friend, and as they sat in the darkened lounge lit only by the open fire, Janice talked off-handedly of the mother’s recent visit.

    “Oh yes, she came over one night last week … humph! the way she talked, humph! as if I was an interloper, as if I was the one who broke up her family … I soon put her in her place!”

    “Well, she didn’t really infer that you …” Milan spoke up.

    “Oh no! not to you, no you wouldn’t see, you’re not a woman … but I know that tone of voice … you men are blind … and … and she brought over a dress for Corina (the daughter) .. ha! what a dress … it was terrible eh Corina? eh? … the colour ugh! the cut, the style … what a laugh … har har” and she laughed a forced bitter laugh without looking at the daughter sitting there alone in the shadow of the evening light, slump shouldered in the corner, her tear-filled eyes shining sadly and looking to the floor. “Obviously she doesn’t know her own daughter” Janice finished huffily.

  31. diannaart

    Joseph has Spoken (in parables)
    .

    Only ‘ladies’ who know their place well enough not to question nor criticise the benevolent ‘men’ who are bestowing the great gift of (conditional) equality are acceptable.

    Now, back to the kitchen lest we continue to upset the sensitive JC.

  32. Kaye Lee

    “a lack of either empathy or conciliation with men”

    Empathy for what? Conciliation about what? I have amazing men in my life for whom I have a great deal of respect. They also respect me for who I am, not what bits I’ve got.

    I could give you a thousand anecdotes of what I have endured purely because of my gender, as could any woman.

    Bad behaviour is not just the province of men but sexual harassment overwhelmingly is. I have no idea what relevance your homily has to the discussion.

  33. Joseph Carli

    No…diannaart..I am saying that while I accept the unforgivable behaviour of many of my gender (and I do not omit myself from some self-criticism in this respect) , I am also of an age where life-experience allows me to temper my judgement with exampled observation.

    While I am unaware of either your or Kaye’s age, I can detect a youthful enthusiasm that an elderly gentleman like myself can dips-his-lid to in admiration…and encourage your continued assault on those male barriers of your personal advancement…..whatever or wherever they may be.

  34. diannaart

    Joseph, Oh Wise One.

    I am humbled. I realise the error of my ways, and should seek to follow your example… which kind of means saying whatever YOU want, but not accepting anything from others who might not see the world exactly as you. Others who have their own experience and wisdom to draw from, others who have equal right to be heard.

  35. Joseph Carli

    Ladies..I would love to continue this most educative of discussions, but I have to chauffeur my partner to the shopping…I am the trolley-pusher…you see those males “one out and two back” in the shopping aisles..I will report back on my experiences later …watch this space..cheerio!

    Ps…it is heartening to see that despite the epistomological differences, we are both on the same page…”Onward Excelsior!”

  36. diannaart

    “chauffeur”, “Trolley pusher”

    How demeaning to be a part of shopping for the family’s needs. Keep a stiff upper lip, you’ll get through it, maybe, to ‘help’ the little woman with the dishes…

  37. Freethinker

    I hope that all the above posts are tongue in cheek because in this medium I cannot read faces.

  38. Rob

    Australia is in the midst of a political madness. Us men are also caught up in this. I feel very intimidated in this current climate. Is it now un-pc of me to make comment about my last work contracts that were slowly crushed and squeezed out of life by my managers, team leaders who openly said ‘HA men, had their chance, blew it and now i / we are in charge’ I say this at risk of being pilloried for it. it is not hate it is not fake news (Donald) The reality is a large number of men in the workplace and those of not have been and still are on the receiving end of discrimination in the workplace lead by ‘some’ embittered ladies. I have and always will adhere to the merit basis for promotion. Prhaps this is naïve of me. Thank you Tracey Spicer for standing up and being counted. I saw you on CH 10 melb with the weather report and run off in tears. No one, NO ONE should be belittled intimidated, made to feel inferior or sexually harassed in their workplaces. I have read finished Traceys book. it makes for a gutsy person with a renewed self determination. A lot of males are feeling the pain. We have no part in victimising or harassing, we condone it. yet we feel we are the problem and can not say anything. I write this wondering if it will be read then I too will be pilloried for speaking out about the vast majority of guys who feel like we are slow moving targets. No we are not all responsible for what has and still is happening but. Don’t put the “mark of Cain” on all of us. So many of my team leaders and managers are and were women who crushed and humiliated us. They said it was a rite of passage all males needed to go through. Does that mean then its ok to do so, knowing full well its just as bad.

  39. Kaye Lee

    Fewer large Australian companies are run by women than are run by men named John. Or Peter. Or David.

    There are only nine women CEOs and 10 women chairing boards in the ASX 200.

    About three quarters of the health care and education workforces are female, but only a third of the leaders in those fields are women.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-08/fewer-women-ceos-than-men-named-john/8327938

    If promotion was actually based on merit then we women must really suck.

  40. Rob

    Merit based promotion was last century thinking in recruitment. I worked in the sector for 12yrs. Worked in Apprenticeships and private sector recruitment. its not about who is good or bad or who sucks . Its more so than at anytime before not what you know but whom. Its face fit. Recruiters actually go as far as to say to themselves. IS this person a good for ME to have working for my fee paying client and their all important repeat business. i did a recruitment for a large company 2005. The brief was yep the best person. BUT must fit the group dynamics..how long is a piece of string? long story short the employer/ client. Was recruiting for an all women team. We sweated on a lot of v good candidates. All final candidates had the required skills and experience. I sat in on the panel and it was my last one. I resigned as you did back then, a week later. The questions were slanted in one direction for both female and male candidates. The guys were livid, It wasn’t a CEO job it wasn’t a high flying exec job it was a garden variety admin based job. This post may well get some offside. Ok I have broad shoulders. I saw this first hand. Since then have worked contract in both public and private sectors. (In IT and Records Mgt) .I now clean 10hrs a week, a kindergarten. The stress of not getting jobs i was qualified and applied for, got to me. This isn’t a sob story. My breakdown 5yrs ago from employment related or lack of a job made me suicidal. It is disappointing that we are now in the middle of a gender based discussion and why women are feeling left out. We are all feeling ignored and left out. Fewer jobs and work longer hrs etc etc exacerbate this. Am sorry for the length of the post. This is one of many experiences from both sides of the equation.i have been through.

  41. Kaye Lee

    I do understand how soul-destroying insecure employment can be. My grandmother and mother were both forced to resign from teaching when they got married. They then progressed to giving married women temporary appointments so at the end of every year, my mother was always out of a job. That had changed by the time I started teaching but when I went for my first mortgage the bank refused to consider my wage because I was “married and of child-bearing age” and knocked us back even though we both had full-time permanent jobs. When I did have children there was no such thing as paid maternity leave. I did casual work which was kind of hard, getting rung up at 6am to work that day and then frantically trying to find someone to mind my two babies.

    But yes. Some men have it tough too I guess.

  42. Rob

    What the quarterly ABS stats don’t say, The unemployed and under employed are a increasingly, better educated and skilled than at any other time in our history. That employers are too selective and have not and probably will never admit they too have a part in our unemployment issues, afflicting young and older workers alike. I agree Kaye paid mat leave is a key part in all of this. As are so many other issues which are variously ignored or demonised to suit the political agenda of the day. Easier to blame than to act of late. Then we all suffer inaction. less disposable income etc etc I’d say a lot of men and women are doing it tough. Easier to blame than to act. Our UE rate isn’t 5.6% its actually 15% and higher across Australia and higher again by age. A small fact our pollies esp on the right don’t want us to realise There will be those who say what would i know, What do they know, is the response. i lived it i see it now, They are in a nice job, well paid and make snap judgements to satisfy their ego and seek approval on social media. It really should not be like this at all !! but it suits a higher goal of being in government and being in power.

  43. diannaart

    Rob

    Some people want to make it gender wars when they tell the opposite sex how to behave/write and NEVER disagree with the wise ones.

    The only real change, thus far, has been a small number of alpha-type females (Michaela Cash, Julie Bishop) joining their male cronies at the top of the pyramid. This is a blight on the rest of us – male, female, cats, dogs whatever.

    Unregulated capitalism keeps dividing lower income and (more recently) middle class from the overly rewarded top.

    Kaye Lee

    Back atcha. When application for first housing loan (we were both working full-time and long-term) was refused – I was of “child bearing age and just how did my husband keep his hands off me?” I heard this refrain from bank managers, prospective employers and the usual idiots.

  44. Freethinker

    Interesting comments from diannaart and kaye that I assume born in Australia.
    Just think about my wife or both of us for that matter, come to Australia with $80 in the pocket with twin babies 10 weeks old. I was 23 and my wife 21.
    She was treated with contempt because her age and I as a wog that was unable to communicate.
    We never complained because gender or country of origin, we just ignored the ignorant and enjoyed the company of the educated ones.

  45. DrakeN

    diannaart@4:26 “I was of “child bearing age and just how did my husband keep his hands off me?”
    Like Insurance policies, much of financial banking is conducted on the basis of statistics – like those of younger joint borrowers getting themselves in to default for exactly those reasons.
    It’s biological that husbands will have strong desire to engage in sexual activity with their wives and those wives will, in general, have strong inclinations toward motherhood.
    Even when the procreation imperitive is well subjugated, accidents will happen.
    You and your partner may not fit into this profile, but it is one on which lending decisions were determined and the statistics confirm its correctness.
    DIsparage the Manager all you like for that statement, but it was more realistic than sexist or improper.

  46. Joseph Carli

    To whom it may concern…I cut that last comment myself..but I could not erase the gravatar or name…I did not cut it because I thought it may offend or anything else, I just cut it because I thought the thread had worked itself to a dead end and I didn’t want to revive it…I’ll leave it to another…thanking you for your interest..Joe Carli.

    I just worked out how to move it to trash..I’m a bit slow with the techy stuff!

  47. Kaye Lee

    DrakeN,

    I completely disagree. For starters, having a child does not stop you from working. Secondly, contraception and abortions have given people the choice as to when they have children. Thirdly, I was looking to borrow less than a quarter of the value of the property so the bank had very good security. It was absolutely sexist and improper.

  48. paul walter

    But what if he’s right?

  49. DrakeN

    Kaye, that puts a different slant on it altogether.
    I had a wife complain to a friend that the Bank manager was more interested in her tits than in the business we were transacting – having said to me beforehand that she would wear a low cut top in order to currry favour with him.
    Pure hypocrisy which is unfortunately not uncommon.

  50. Kaye Lee

    DrakeN,

    I agree that we can be hypocritical in using our looks to try to befuddle men. It wouldn’t work if men weren’t so fixated on looking at our tits.

  51. diannaart

    I am not claiming women are all sweet innocence, or perfect, simply that we are equal – our faults are not a reason for the sexism that continues on and on.

    My point about sexist comments was not just about the bank manager – it was not a singular event, as I stated above. Today it is illegal to question women about their sex lives. Why aren’t men asked if they are planning a family (which is fair more polite question than the ones I was asked)?

    I also feel that I and Kaye Lee have not been treated with respect nor were our comments given any gravitas – why else attack as if we were personally insulting people?. We are entitled to express our opinions – they are not complaints nor abuse. If Jimhaz can make his extremely offensive comments with impunity… I’ll stop there.

    I agree with Joe that this thread has reached its end. Perhaps Joe could use his skills to write about real, contemporary events rather than resorting to homilies and parables – I feel like I have been arguing with the uncle no one wants to speak to at Christmas 🙂

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