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Office For Men? Well, Why Not?

If women are the fairer sex, does that mean that men are the unfairer sex?

Lately, we’ve been hearing about how hard it is to be a man. Why, Donald Trump was expressing the view that it’s a very ‘scary time for young men in America’. His reasoning? ‘You can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of’. While he his way of putting it may have create a paradox, it’s easy to see where he’s coming from after the whole Kavanaugh thing. Personally, I’ll be telling young men that in order to be safe, they should never talk to strangers or go out alone, make sure that they don’t drink, and dress in ways that don’t encourage women to make false accusations against them. Of course, there is the problem that most false accusations will come from women they know but why should I let that fact alter my right to imply that men falsely accused may have brought it on themselves…

Perhaps, David Leyonhjelm was thinking along these lines when he recently  began suggesting that if there’s an Office for Women, in the interests of equality, we should have an Office for Men.

Now it’s hard to argue with David at the best of times… mainly because he has trouble following when people say things that he disagrees with. It makes him stop and go: “Hang on, you have a different point of view. This is amazing. Before you go on, I need to consider all the reasons why you can’t possibly be right… Oh, of course. It’s because you’re someone who doesn’t agree with me. Thanks, but if I allow you to continue to speak to me it may inhibit my freedom to say what I like without having to consider that I may be wrong, so shut up and stop oppressing me!”

Anyway, an Office for Men. What a great idea!

Imagine: “We won’t stop until we have at least fifty percent representation in Parliament! Hey, done! Mission accomplished… Let’s go to the bar!”

Or: “We won’t stop till we have closed the gender gap on pay. So how do we do this? Is it easier to raise women’s salaries, or would cutting the salaries of company directors go some way towards balance?”

Yes, it’s certainly an idea worth floating. I’m surprised Scott Morrison hasn’t told us tthat every day he wears a tie near his Australia pin to remind him whose side he’s on. He could adopt a slogan something along the lines of: “We support merit, but that doesn’t stop women from having a go. Bless their little hearts.”

Sooner of later though, I guess Scottie has to stop floating ideas..

Mm, interesting phrase!

I guess one could argue that – given how quickly they sink – Morrison hasn’t actually “floated” anything. It would be like arguing that one had the power to fly because one fell out of a tree.

I particularly liked the idea of reassigning funds from the NDIS for drought relief. If he wants to help the farmers, fine. I don’t think too many people would have a problem with making money available for people struggling with the drought. It’s just that the choice to take it from the NDIS has a nasty edge to it. I mean, if somebody had fifty thousand set aside for future expenses, even if one is able to replace the money later, it sounds worse to take it from the money set aside for your child’s operation than it does to take it from your new car fund, even though you plan to return it in the coming months, and even if, it something went wrong, you’d drive last year’s model and make sure your child still had his health needs met.

Now I could draw the inference that Morrison is taking it from the NDIS because he basically believes that unlike farmers, people receiving money from the fund aren’t “having a go.” Of course, nobody would openly argue that. It’s not like anyone would say, “We believe that it’s every Australian’s duty to make a contribution, not take a contribution.”

Still I can’t imagine, Scottie telling farmers that the best form of welfare is a job, so why don’t they walk of their farms and get one?

Ah well, even the conservative writers are shaking their heads at the current Coaltion mess. The IPA was aghast at the Liberals suggestions of government intervention in the energy market. I’m not sure whether this because they took Rupert’s suggestion that three years of Labor might be a price that needs to be paid in order for the Liberals to get their act together, or whether the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison/Bishop/Dutton government is so bad that to defend them would mean that any claim you had to be taken seriously would be gone forever.

I suspect the latter, but it’s a line ball.

 


23 comments

  1. OldWomBat

    Brilliant as usual! Taking money from the NDIS is totally consistent with the lnp approach to withdrawing social services and programs, and demonising those less fortunate in society. I guess it hasn’t dawned on the lnp that you don’t fix problems by creating divisions and stiring up hatred.

  2. Diannaart

    Office For Rossleigh

    “We support merit, but that doesn’t stop women from having a go. Bless their little hearts.”

    Priceless.

  3. Kaye Lee

    I think it would only be fair to make Michaelia Cash Minister for Men.

    I am reminded of a story about my father, a very intelligent funny man who was also a smart-arse.

    As a paid-up member of the teachers’ federation, he insisted he should be allowed to attend the lesbian teachers’ tea party (yes, that was a real thing). Instead of the outraged indignation he expected, the women welcomed him and gave him a cup of tea in a fine china teacup. I think he lasted about ten minutes before he escaped in search of a “safe space” with the boys at the bar. Still brings a smile to my face decades later. Ya gotta love women!

  4. Ill fares the land

    And all the while, many adhere to the flawed and unprovable notion that the LNP are clever money managers and Labor inept. At the front door of Parliament, we are being told that the LNP have achieved a massive improvement in the economy and all the while, money is going out the “back door” as fast as they can find some nonsense cause to support and slash funding to some necessary social programme that they never supported in the first place.

  5. SteveFitz

    Yeah thanks Rossleigh, this is a fairly sensitive topic. Reading from a larger than life poster on a bus shelter: “She was asking for it – For just wearing a new dress.” I think most men would rather put up with male vilification than the nightmare scenario of being told what to do by Michaelia Cash.

    I think there is something fundamental human going on here and it’s not about being a man or woman. After a couple of failed relationships my beautiful gay daughter cried on my shoulder and said she should have married a footballer? I said sweetheart, you just need to be with the right person for the right reasons although, footballers do make good money.

    The fact that we look different is telling us something, we are different. The way we view the world, the way we think, the way we process information and the way we do things. And, we have that right to be different. In any relationship there will always be a battle for the middle ground. You just need to be aware of it and forgive each other quickly. It’s part of developing a healthy relationship.

  6. Kaye Lee

    SteveFitz,

    How do you think Indigenous women felt having Tony Abbott as the Minister for Women, the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs, and now their appointed Special Envoy. That’s enough to make anyone wonder why they are being punished.

    I truly wonder if the people railing against the Safe Schools program, marriage equality, and now fighting for the right to discriminate against gay people, understand the message they are sending. I also question the “slippery slope” of allowing people to override the laws of the land on religious grounds. The mere suggestion of Sharia Law horrified the very people who now want their own religious laws.

    Society evolves. Cro-Magnons replaced Neanderthals (though some co-existence appears to continue to this day).

  7. New England Cocky

    “I particularly liked the idea of reassigning funds from the NDIS for drought relief.”

    Perhaps a better solution would be to take the necessary funding for farmers, those paid up members of the National$ for a 19th century future including the broad acre farmers “stealing” MDB environmental flows from downstream agricultural enterprises and communities, from either the petroleum exploration industry rebates for fuel excise, or the private school government grants for third rate child minding service, or the funding for the military mess in Afghanistan.

    @Kaye Lee: I think Michaelia Cash does a wonderful masquerade as a brothel madam.

  8. SteveFitz

    Warmth, compassion, understanding, empathy and women in politics have never been a strong point with LNP government. It’s all about authority and commanding respect for them. If all goes to plan we will see some justice in May 2019.

    I have the capacity to put myself in someone else’s position and understand how they feel and, I think it’s a trait that you find more on the left side of politics than the right. So, better times ahead.

    Kaye Lee – I am opposed to social injustice and will stand up and fight for the rights of all people. Sometimes that includes men. If you have something to say, please get it off your chest, then we can get over it and move on. Part of building a wonderful and lasting relationship. And, I’ve got broad shoulders, I can take it – So let it rip…

  9. Diannaart

    New England Cocky

    Do you have a particular brothel “madam” (in today’s parlance it’s, manager) in mind? Ones I have known are the epitome of charm and business savvy, which cannot be said of Cash.

    Beginning to think you have some issues with the world’s oldest profession.

  10. paul walter

    The “screeching sulphur-crest” pic has immortalised Cash.

    If they want some money, cut defence, Nauru and surveillance.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Steve,

    I don’t understand. Let what rip? I absolutely agree having Michaelia Cash representing anyone is unbearable. The Abbott comment was in bemusement at his appointment, not competition about anything. The Neanderthal comment was Abbott related, not male (or you?) related. I am sorry if it sounded that way. I am in hearty agreement of everything you said.

    Would it sound pitiful to say some of my best friends are men? 🙂

  12. paul walter

    It was magnanimous of you to admit it.

  13. SteveFitz

    Oh – Kaye Lee, your no fun – But clearly a dear person. My daughters reference to “should have married a footballer” was her beautiful sense of humour in a moment of despair. Suggesting that footballers are way less complex than gay women.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Lol. I hate to generalise. My father, husband and son all played representative football. If football is all you’ve got, then you are in the same boat as women who pin their entire lives on their looks. Gay relationships are subject to a lot more pressure from so many directions than what society accepts as “normal” relationships – it can sometimes cause doubt for the wrong reasons.

  15. SteveFitz

    We all experience doubt in ourselves – It’s easy to say, “have faith in yourself” and follow your dreams and expectations. It’s easy to say, there is one true freedom in life and, that’s “how we choose to feel”. It doesn’t make it easier – It just reinforces how complex and fragile we all are and, how important it is to make the most of what we have while we have it.

  16. SteveFitz

    Rossleigh – It’s a good article. You have very cleverly argued in support of good men and just as cleverly pointed out that those in the LNP leadership aren’t really men. They have missed something somewhere along the way. They are somewhere between a tormented school boy and a schoolboy’s vision of what a tough man should be.

    I’m not making excuses but there could be a reason for that. Here I go… Before the industrial revolution a boy spent all his time with his father and brothers and uncles and grandfather, hunting or working the fields together. That boy learnt the steps to manhood and became a man.

    That was lost when men went off to work for 14 to 18 hour a day, in the mines or the factories of the new industrial age. That boy was no longer brought up by men. Estranged fathers no longer know how to teach a boy the steps to manhood nor their grandfather before that, going back 10 generations. Being taught how to be a man was lost in time.

    Now we learn the hard way, by trial and error and learning from mistakes. I think becoming a man comes from experience, knowledge and wisdom. I know, becoming a man comes from adversity, being able to pick yourself up and then, being able to pick others up. Then there are the real qualities you would expect to find in real men – He would need to balance his drive, ambition and testosterone with respect, warmth, love, empathy, honesty and a sense of fairness and justice.

    We don’t see much of that in the boys club in our parliament – Time to sweep out the little boys and usher in some good men and some good women to get this country back on track.

  17. Kaye Lee

    SteveFitz,

    We all learn through our experiences, It is no different for women. There is no one formula that can ever suit us all and we are slowly coming to realise that. The qualities you expect from real men are no different to those I would hope we all aspire to. Life wasn’t better when men spent all their time hunting or out in the fields. It wasn’t better when a woman’s job was to breed so many children she died a premature death. Life is better now that we can allow people to develop their own skills and interests and where we all can have the opportunity to achieve our potential. This crop of politicians are just duds.

  18. Stephengb

    Rossliegh, thank you, you do have that knack of highlighting the absurd, I titter at your comments not because they are not funny but because they resemble the truth.

    S G B

  19. SteveFitz

    When it boils down to it, I think it is all about give and take and finding that middle ground. That applies in personal relationships, nationally and globally. If you can’t be mature enough to embrace that, there is going to be conflict. The LNP don’t seem to get the fundamentals, or consider what the majority want.

    They have the hand in fist mentality you would expect from budding dictators. This suggests they don’t see Australia as a democracy but rather something to be exploited and, that’s what the LNP appear to be encouraging.

  20. helvityni

    SteveFitz, reading your posts here, I have to conclude that you are pretty ‘grown-up’ man, you must have had a very good father as a role model…

    Rossleigh, I’m happy to have an Office for Women, but not willing to share it with Michaelia, Kelly or Melissa…

    Labor already has a Shared Office, many good women and men there to work with…. ( not perfect, but so much more grown-up than the Other Side…

  21. SteveFitz

    Thanks Helvityni – My father, grand father and great grand father were morally sound men. They were nation builders and each in turn put their life on the line fighting for freedom, democracy and a fair go for everyone. So it’s inherited and in the blood. They would turn in their graves at the behaviour of this current LNP government. Our forefathers can’t do anything about it but, we can.

  22. Kronomex

    I think this bit from Monty Python sums up the LNP and women in parliament and in any high powered postion for that matter –

    “So Miss Johnson returned to her typing and dreamed her little dreamy dreams, unaware as she was of the cruel trick fate had in store for her.”

  23. SteveFitz

    Yes, it brings back memories of a more innocent time – Thanks Kronomex. I like the closing line in that scene: “Just as they are ready to do anytime free men anywhere waver in their defence of democracy”.

    It takes a long time to build a free and democratic society and make life as easy as we possibly can, with a fair go for everyone. 40,000 years, of hard slog, to drag ourselves out of the cave and get this far and we are still battling for that elusive dream. It’s there at our fingertips except for the men who waver in their defence of democracy.

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