Jacqueline Maley writes:
Prime Minister-elect, we’ve been through this! We’ve talked about it time and time again and we thought it was resolved. After you made the quip about the ironing and the housewives of Australia, remember? And those tricky historical abortion comments that kept cropping up and you couldn’t quite explain away? And the time you seemed to imply our unmarried female prime minister was somehow living in sin?
With due respect Jacqueline, and while realising that your topic is intended to be ironic, the attitude which espouses all of Prime Minister-elect Abbott’s attitude come from this from the heart remark:
‘I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons’.
Again from Ms Maley:
You pointed out that you are surrounded by powerful women. You brandished your confident, intelligent wife and daughters. You promised us a paid parental leave scheme that – granted – made business blanch with horror, but seemed to show that you did indeed, “get it” when it came to women.
Yet all of these “confident, intelligent” women were given the rider of attractive, hot . . . sex appeal. Which brings us back to Abbott’s original statement that women, in general, do not have the aptitude, ability or interest “to even approach equal representation”.
I should imagine that those who somehow miraculously overcome their burden of the double X chromosome factor, and do have the aptitude and ability are those “door knockers” which Abbott currently is looking forward to – as long as they have ample sex appeal, I should imagine.
Bronwyn Bishop (BB) is, of course, the anomaly being endowed amply with what might be described as matronly dominatrix qualities, plus has the blessing of seniority and a certain upper-class quality; she should do well as Speaker.
BB comes under Abbott’s category of one of those rarest of the species, a woman with both aptitude and ability (although the latter is to be proven – in Opposition she did her best dealing with the lads out the back of the boys’ toilets attitude).
BB we are now told does not believe in Affirmative Action, on a philosophical basis. Or might it be to protect one’s own backside as needed, being one of the only women? BB’s pooh-poohing of Affirmative Action certain decreases the chances of other women entering the field as competition.
Julie Bishop (JB) on the other hand being the serial token woman for no less than three Liberal leaders, and renown for commenting on not very much pertaining to her portfolios, and then when she did made an utter mess of it. JB must then come under Tony Abbott’s category of “sex appeal”. At least it would seem that Abbott thinks so . . .
Apart from The Death Stare, the cat’s claws movement and a penchant for wearing extremely tight fitting and expensive Armani suits, I really do not know what JB’s field of expertise is, remembering that in ’09 she was forced to resign due to perceived incompetence, this coming from her own ranks – in the role of Shadow Treasurer – Hockey took over.
A few months later, Abbott became LOTO and in spite of numerous indications of incompetence such as being hauled up for not less than two reported “please explains” by the Indonesian Ambassador for spouting some Women’s Weekly style nonsense about Abbott’s-turn-back-the-boats, she obviously retained the pleasure of Abbott.
Not once did Abbott do-a-Howard and at least make an apology for this particular Shadow Minister.
As stated by Ms Maley:
To have such a women-poor cabinet is to either say that you deliberately overlook competent women because you are sexist, or to say there are no competent women in your ranks to promote in the first place. If the latter is the case, whose fault is that?
Or as also precisely stated by Annabel Crabb:
(“That’s just how it panned out” is the traditionalists’ defence of organisations that proudly appoint “only on merit” and find, time after time, that an astonishingly high proportion of the really excellent people also have willies).
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