It’s been quite a tumultuous week politically in this part of the world, and I have watched with both awe and horror as it has played out. Our Prime Minister made the most personally inspiring speech I’ve seen in parliament, beside the apology to the stolen generation given by her predecessor, as she called the Opposition Leader out on his relentless sexist attacks on her personally and his silent support for those speaking the most horrendously disrespectful, sexist and misogynistic things against the leader of our country. And in the aftermath, instead of shouting ‘hooray’ and ‘about time’ and ‘good for her’, our mainstream media (those mostly ‘white-haired’ men sitting in the press gallery in Canberra) condemned her speech and classed her as a hypocrite. In my opinion and those of countless blogs, international press and non-mainstream media, they got it wrong. Ms Gillard’s speech hit a chord with women everywhere, because we’ve all worked with or had dealings with men like Mr Abbott, men that undermine our authority, demean us for the sake of their own egos and patronise us and treat us like children instead of equals.
What has bothered me so much in all of this is the response from both the opposition and the media after Gillard’s wonderful speech (which if you haven’t seen it you must). Neither the opposition or the media has been able to defend or deny any of the actual accusations made against Mr Abbott – how could they, each and every one was captured on TV, in a interview or in the Hansard records of parliament. Instead they accused the Prime Minister of ‘playing the gender card’, ‘playing the victim’ or of using the wrong language. In the latter I refer to her use of the word misogyny against Mr Abbott. The opposition jumped on this word, claiming that Abbott couldn’t possibly be a misogynist because he loves his wife and daughters and the misogyny only refers to the hatred of women. My understanding of the word is somewhat broader than that (and the few dictionaries I referred to support my definition) and includes the hatred, dislike OR mistrust of women. There are enough examples of Abbott’s mistrust of women (especially those in positions of leadership or power), not least his statement that women were ‘physiologically and by temperament’ not suited to leadership, for me to accept that the term misogyny is warranted. But the simple fact that those who don’t support the Prime Minister could only find fault with ONE word of her speech rather than the bulk of the content is more telling than anything else. When you can’t refute the facts you challenge the language.
Okay, I’ve said more than I planned, and not nearly as eloquently as others. There are so many great pieces being written (here, here, here and here – the last one is decidedly R Rated so don’t go there if you don’t want to see) that I think really need to be shared. And hopefully the fact that so many women reacted so strongly in favour of the PMs words, our other politicians might take notice. Mind you I’ve also had something of a Facebook argument with a female (friend of a friend) who was clearly in Abbott’s camp, so it’s not all women who feel as I do.
That wasn’t the only thing tumultuous about this week, I also had a rather traumatic trip to the farmer’s market with Miss Three. It was our favourite market and with no swimming on Saturday’s for Miss Thee and I anymore, I was looking forward to getting there early and enjoying the food, animals and atmosphere in relaxed way. That DID NOT eventuate.
Firstly we were running REALLY late and it was chockers by the time we finally arrived. Of course it was also the first sunny, warm Saturday in weeks so everyone was there. We drove around and around looking for a car park and then ended up waiting in an impossibly long and slow line to get into the paid carparking area (granted it was only two dollars). Eventually we got in and found a spot. Next up we had to go next door to the ATM for much needed cash, only the ATM was out of order. The only option (besides going home which I probably should have done) was to drag Miss Three up three blocks to the nearest ATM and back. By the time we got back we only had an hour before the market closed and Miss Three was beyond grumpy, starving hungry and not in the least bit interested in traipsing around a market while I madly threw things in the basket. The compromise was her getting an juice icy pole and sitting on one of the haybales in the middle while I got the last few things. BAD IDEA. She didn’t stay there and in the three minutes it took me to get the eggs she disappeared. Did I mention it was CRAZY busy, and she is small. I stood and scanned the crowd, no sign; I walked around the circular market area, nothing; I headed up the the animal enclosures, but still couldn’t find her. In the end I had to go to the office at the front gate and get the staff on the hunt as well, eventually (after about 15-20 minutes) I found her, distraught and very, very lost. And what do you think her first complaint to me was…. not that she couldn’t find me, but that her icy pole had fallen off the stick and landed in the grass! At that we left.
Before the final disaster struck though I had managed to get some great produce including a spring leg of lamb from a new stallholder based in south Gippsland. We enjoyed it tonight with lots of roast vegetables. The vegetable selection at the market was great, baby leeks, perfect cauliflowers, asparagus, hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers. I’ve got lots of vegetarian meals lined up for this week. Sadly, fruit was thin on the ground, apples and oranges were about it besides dried fruit. I’m looking forward to a bit more variety on that front in the coming months.
That’s it from me this weekend, hope yours was kind to you.