10 days in bed
3 visits to the doctor
a course of Tamiflu
a course of antibiotics
a bottle of cough syrup
a bottle of eye drops
a bottle of ear drops
a puffer for the cough
2 packets of Panadol
2 large boxes of tissues
2 packets of couch lozenges
…. what price health?
In recent weeks I have been watching something take place in the public forum that has been causing me increasing concern. Yesterday, it was brought to a head in a rally outside Parliament House in Canberra, which was fronted by the leader of the opposition, Tong Abbott.
There appeared to be a growing culture of bullying and a lack of respect for the office of Prime Minister in Australia. There seems to be a growing number of radio shock-jocks, such as Allan Jones, who think it is fair game to speak over the Prime Minister when they are interviewing her, to address her by her Christian name, and to generally display a total lack of respect for the office of Prime Minister.
Yesterday, Tony Abbott, the wanna be, thought it was good political mileage to stand in front of signs that degraded the Prime Minister. No woman should be called “a bitch”, and certainly not if that woman is the Prime Minister of our country. Tony Abbott is taking his game strategy from the pages of America’s Tea Party, and that is in no way the Australian way.
My opinion is that none of this would be happening, and certainly was not with either of the two previous prime ministers, if the present Prime Minister was a male. My perception is that these right-winged males think it is fair game to bully a woman, and to generally disrespect the position of Prime Minister because the current incumbent is female.
I believe that there needs to be a certain inherent respect for the position of Prime Minister, irrespective of the political party of the incumbent, if our political system is to be considered worthwhile maintaining.
Since the last election in Australia my perception is that Tony Abbott and his posse of right wing extremists have made it part of their game tactics to erode the position of Prime Minister, through their ever growing vitriolic attacks upon Julia Gillard. I don’t remember anyone every addressing John Howard as John when he was Prime Minister, but everyone appears to think “Julia” is fair game.
Sexism is alive and well in Australian politics. I am sure that Julia Gillard has experienced such behaviour every step of the way to assuming the position of Prime Minister and is probably not surprised by any of this behaviour. I, as a female voter, however, am angry that in the 21st century, so many men, predominantly middle aged, white Australians, still think it is their right to treat women in this manner. Disagree with someone, by all means, but why resort to sexist language, bullying and patriarchal behaviours that have no place in modern Australia?
Tony, when you disrespect one woman, you disrespect all women, and as males like to remind us all too frequently, we don’t easily forgive and forget! This is not something we women should forget come the next polling day, either. The female vote counts Tony, and there are a damn lot of us in this country, so maybe a bit of respect might a better tactic – unless you want game over!