Friday, June 28, 2013

Beware of dinosaurs

Life in Australia is not all sun, surf and jollyhockeysticks.  This week saw the shameful culmination of something that for the past three years has made me wonder exactly what century we are living in. 

The sexist abuse hurled at Julia Gillard by not just the opposition but also by sections of the media and much of the general public while she was Prime Minister was way beyond disrespectful.  Robust political debate is fine and to be expected but this was not that.  Repeated personal attacks on a person because of their physical appearance, family situation or voice are not OK - ever.  Throwing sandwiches at someone is not OK - ever! In fact according to a flyer brought home from school recently that sort of behaviour is called bullying.  For the past three years much of Australia has participated in The Big Bully, much like a scary psychology experiment on a very grand scale. It was shocking.  Big sections of Australian society need to have a long hard look at their behaviour, their frighteningly outdated attitudes and their plain lack of manners if they think that this is an OK way to treat anyone, regardless of whether you agree with their views or think they are any good at their job.

As one commenter on an online news site wrote "In its disgracefully sexist treatment of its first female Prime Minister, Australia has proven yet again that it isn't quite ready yet for this thingy we in other parts of the world call life in the 21st century".  Sadly I agree. As my teenage daughter put it "Do we really want to live in a country thinks it is OK to treat women this way?"  I'll have to think about that one.

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