December 4th, 2009


Abbott and the women

Great blog article here by Kerryn Goldsworthy on Tony Abbott and women voters.

I've been wondering what the fuck, or why the fuck, I have seen Tony Abbott shirtless in more snaps and vid grabs since his election to party leader and more references to budgies and smugglers and him in speedoes than I have in total before this week. I'm a younger lass. I don't actually find any stirrings in my loins when I see a middle-aged-to-getting-a-bit-old-there-chap in his undies and I'm of the New Age - that much chest hair? Yuch. Dude, in this century, men tidy themselves up.

Now I understand that I am supposed to be attracted to some kind of indicators of some sort of virility? And that that, this stirring in my loins, will change the way I vote, miraculously! As though my voting hand is seduced by some kind of sexual prowess. Or some such.

See Tony Abbott's response on 7,30 Report to the question, "One voting demographic where the Liberal Party suffers badly is women, particularly younger women. Coming back to that hardline image of yours, you're not exactly a pin-up boy, are you, as a political leader?" which was "That might be the case," grinned the Liberal leader. "Notwithstanding the photos of last weekend... Speedos are compulsory if you're in the club swim at Queenscliff."
Quotes taken from:

To which my response is - mental image from the news of big old hairy man and trying not to look at the speedoes! YUCH! (not as Tony would have me ... oooh sexy man I can haz votes for him)

But Kerry Goldsworth says it better:

Most Australian women are too young to remember what life was like when abortion was illegal, divorce was a protracted and vicious nightmare of compulsory demonisation, you couldn't get a prescription for the Pill unless you were married, and keeping your own surname after marriage was rendered bureaucratically impossible...

What Australian women need to understand about the ascent of Abbott is that all this other stuff about Speedos and personalities and icky feminists is, compared to the real thing, smoke. The real thing, the thing that must be recognised and fought every inch of the way, is nothing less than an assault by stealth on your own body. It is not about annoyance or startlement. It is not about the ten-ferret pelt and the displays thereof. It is not about behaving like a bully-boy and standover merchant, which is the main thing that women disliked and distrusted about Mark Latham. It is not about a willingness to do anything that will disrupt or demean any woman standing up to him ... or even any woman standing up with him, as Julie Bishop discovered immediately after he became her new leader when he gave her a cuddle and a pat for the cameras and called her a 'loyal girl'.

No, the real, crucial, immediately dangerous area for Australian women is the place where biology meets the budget or the law. No matter what fluff or snark you read in the Op Ed pages, what coy, snide, smarmy or foam-flecked references to the skittishness of easily-startled women or the hatefulness of not-easily-startled women, it's not about the mysteries of the female vote; it's not about Abbott's personality; it's not about anyone's behaviour; it's not, for the moment, about whether something is or is not perceived to be a 'women's issue'; it's not even -- again for the moment -- about the way this brand of conservatism seeks to diminish and control the place of women in society.

Here and now, in the immediate future, it's about that stick you pee on and what colour it turns. It's about the red dot on the calendar and how worried you are about it. It's about the condoms that have passed their use-by date unnoticed, or the contraceptive drugs that are not quite 100% effective. It's about stuff that every girl and woman of childbearing age has to think about, today and tomorrow and next week and the week and month and year after that...

It's about bodies, medical procedures, drugs, laws and money: Gardasil, RU486, abortion, IVF, stem cell research, no-fault divorce, access to health services without being nagged by fundies, and whether you, as a woman, want to choose between living a life of celibacy and taking the chance (and if you think this is unlikely, look around you) of various worst-case scenarios: living below the poverty line; looking after at least one unintentionally conceived child by yourself until the kid is 18 and probably much longer than that; forgoing any proper career in work that you love, any decent income, any role in public life, any power at all. It's about your own daily life-in-the-body: its dignity and its freedom.

(emphasis mine)

I'm actually, believe it or not, a swing voter. I vote on issues. I sit in a Federal seat that is a swinging seat and traditionally how we vote in our seat is seen as an indicator of how the whole thing will go down. And I will quite clearly and categorically state that I will never ever vote for a party that has Tony Abbott leading it. No matter what he might say or how he might smooth things over and try to start anew and no matter what issues come up between now and then. My memory is long. And I remember RU486. No man, woman, religion or government has the right to make decisions over my body. And I will never ever vote in any way that may diminish the control I have over my body in the future.


Just checking in with myself

Today, December 4th 2009, was the very first day since I adopted Benji on Anzac Day (April 25) that he went outside by himself because I told him to. I am stunned. No Benny Hill chase round the house, no needing to distract and grab him. Just opened the door, put the water bowl outside and out he wandered. Shock and awe.

And this a quick update of my to do list to be completed by Dec 20:

1. Aurealis judging
2. LSS 2009
(carryover Shadow Unit)
3. Swancon Meeting prep (couple of pieces to draft up)
4. TPP Finances (reconciliation meeting, final bank accounts, con sales and invoices to balance)
5. Personal budget (track spending for 2008 and 2009 to underpin decisions)
6. Write 2 reviews/ wk for ASif
7. Start LSS 2010 (read 4 shorts/day)
8. Write 900 words commissioned article
9. Sort payments TPP (in progress for one contract, two more to follow)
10. Finish webpage at SPUNC and TPP website updates
11. Read RWE draft and send feedback
12. Read Cold Cases draft and send feedback
13. Read novelette

14. Set up promotion and marketing spreadsheets
15. Put together info for 2 paid ads