Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Q & A + 24 June 2013 + A DISGRACE!

Barbara Kruger ©

Q & A last night was yet another opportunity for Tony Jones and panel members to speculate on the rift between Labor party members and yet another excuse for them to attack the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Like Pit Bull terrors with their jaws locked against a vulnerable leg, they won't relinquish the idea that Julia Gillard should be somehow punished for becoming leader of our country, and for doing such an amazing job amidst such great turmoil. Resentments against strong, intelligent, powerful women run deep in our community!
I am absolutely disgusted with the media and commentators, males and females who openly exhibit misogynist attitudes, indeed Ann Summers was probably the only person last night to come out in defense of Gilliard’s recent attempt to put gender issues, including the rampant discrimination that has been rife in our community against pregnant women, parents and those returning to work from parental leave back on the agenda before the election in September. Gillard is strong and she suffered the 'slings and arrows' for far too long and then finally, on behalf of the women of Australia, brought gender discrimination into discussion - this is long overdue and must not be allowed to recede again into the silent spaces where resentments fester and nothing changes.
I was watching a documentary last night on ABC2 called How to Survive a plague, a short overview of the activities of ACTUP, which was instrumental in putting the AIDS epidemic and gay politics on the agenda in America and was responsible in part for placing pressure on governments and pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs to fight the virus; it was much better viewing than Q & A. But it was the placard with the words SILENCE = DEATH that the ACUP protesters held, that made me think that if we (women & some men) remain silent about discrimination then we are no better than dead!
I loathe the rhetoric associated with all things ‘Julia’, such as the media’s insistence on using the term ‘knifed in the back’ when discussing the Gillard/Labor caucus decision way back to remove Kevin Rudd as leader, because his leadership was ‘chaotic and deeply offensive’  No one was outraged in 2006 when Kevin Rudd challenged Kim Beazley for leadership of the Labor Party, no one said that he had been knifed in the back. Do the producers of Q &A sit around thinking about how they can continue to use the knife as a metaphor and must they constantly infer that Labor politics has something to do with Shakespeare’s Macbeth? I found it insulting and disturbing that Tony Jones kept interrupting Anne Summers when she was speaking and I found it equally annoying that he gave so much air time to George Brandis, Liberal party member, who, by the way became very defensive when Terese Corkish (a young audience member) said:

These last two weeks haven't been great ones for women in Australia and under an Abbott government they're set to become much worse. We've seen a proud prime minister completely demonised by a relentless media and general public. I once wanted to be Australia's first female prime minister. Anne, can you give me, and other young women who want to create change any reason why we should be willing to subject ourselves to that kind of treatment instead of doing practically anything else?
Brandis replied by repeating that Abbott is surrounded by ‘strong women’ but that cannot and will not cancel out what Abbot has said in the past about women, indigenous Australians and asylum seekers. Brandis also, like most of the media of late, had to hone in one aspect of Julia Gilliard’s speech to the Women for Gillard launch – the blue tie comment – what? the media can comment for years about Gillard’s choice of clothing and she can’t say one thing about men’s apparel? Anyway, they all missed the point, for she was saying that misogyny is endemic and the blue tie is purely a metaphor for men in power. Further, Brandis totally overlooked the fact that Gillard placed abortion back into discussion because under Abbott there is a danger that abortions may not be covered under Medicare. (http://theconversation.com/lets-be-clear-on-tony-abbotts-attacks-on-abortion-10263). But what put the icing on this poisoned cake for me was when Brandis told the young woman that if she wanted a female role model then she should look instead to Margaret Thatcher! I can totally understand why Terese screwed up her face in response.

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