Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, Same Old Shtick

A LADY golfer, obviously much distressed, walked into the pro shop and cried, “I’ve been stung by a bee.”
“Where?” responded the pro.
“Between the first hole and the second,” she replied.
“Well then,” said the pro, “your stance is too wide.”

A dreadful bit of sexism to start the year, admittedly, but needed this morning to match dreadful bits of silliness in The Age, where the New Year resolution of all who produce Melbourne’s for-the-moment daily embarrassment must surely be to sustain the inanity until the bitter end. It is all over those broadsheet pages today, smug and thick as the writers under whose bylines it appears. There is Damien Murphy, for example, turning the blind eye to fact and history in his appraisal of the year 1984, which appears on the newspaper’s website apropos of nothing the casual reader can discern. Perhaps it makes more sense in the context of the printed page, but regardless of medium, this line would be foul in any display:

Ronald Reagan won a second term to complete his defeat of the so-called ''evil empire'' of the USSR.

So called?

Moral equivalence has long been the mother’s milk of the rudderless left, but is Murphy really of the opinion that 80 years of murder, mass starvation, oppression, corruption and debasement of human dignity are no more than examples of bad press? Apparently so.

Flick, flick, flick … the morning’s offerings continue apace, the Fairfax chapter of the Bitter Women’s League doing itself proud. Here’s Jacqueline Maley, for instance, providing a burlesque case study in attribution:

Tony Abbott has been a terrible Opposition Leader, if you believe the government.

A wrecker. A thug. A misogynist and would-be destroyer of Whyalla. He frightens pensioners and horrifies infants. He exercises too much and doesn't read enough. No one can prove he doesn't kick puppies.

There is no denying Abbott's personal brand is what you might politely style ''robust''. But this narrative rather ignores the polls. Yes, Abbott's personal approval ratings are disastrous (voter disapproval of Abbott sits at 63 per cent, according to the last Nielsen poll of 2012), but the attitude of most Coalition MPs is a resounding ''So what?''

See, it is the “if you believe the government” that lets Maley off the hook. They are not her opinions, perish the thought! After cataloguing Abbott’s many deficiencies of character, she opines that he is merely “robust” in his executiuon of an Opposition leader's duties. Like Comrade Colleague Murphy, the sketch artist’s invitations to echo fashionable views with fashionable friends at fashionable dinner parties are in no danger of being withdrawn.

Daniel Flitton might not be so lucky. No doubt his heart is in the right place – somewhere between Northcote and Fitzroy, most likely – but in expressing the view that gender barriers should be rolled up like the covers and Australia’s First Eleven opened to participation by female players he has gone a gender bridge too far. No doubt he thinks the idea of absolute equality will meet with approval, but that only demonstrates how difficult it can be to stay on top of the latest memes.

A couple of years ago, he would have been just fine in suggesting that the nation has an adequate supply of block-shoulder bowlerettes and winsome willow wielders. But not now, not when the parameters of inclusion have been redrawn along lines that look very much like separatism. Ever hear of the Stella Prize? It is a new literary award reserved for the women who have not been featuring with sufficient prominence in the Miles Franklin short lists, at least by the reckoning of the HarpieCollins set. The fact that the statistics have been cherry-picked to make the case for a Shiela Prize need not enter into it.
Dan had better revise his opinions and quick, especially with regard to Fairfax’s very own and looming gender issue. By his reckoning, women have a right to compete on equal footing (albeit with legs somewhat closer than that bee-buzzed lady golfer who began this post), competence, rather than chromosomes, being his only yardstick.

So expect him, after due reflection, to be waiting with a posey at the front entrance of Media House, eager and bright-eyed to welcome Gina Rinehart as his new boss. If we are to go by reports that she is about to take charge, how could he object to a woman who has competed with, and beaten, the blokes?  


  1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.January 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    And a very Happy New Year to you, Prof. I am gloriously up from abed at last on New Year's Day, at only 2.15pm. Bacon and eggs! Coffee.

    Thank you for reading Fairfax for us and distilling its essence to spare us that tedious and unrewarding task. Their thoughts are much in need of being ably filtered through your expert wordskills, which assist and amuse in equal measure.

    Miss Jacqueline Maley might reflect in this New Year that it has been shown to be unwise in so many ways to 'believe' this government about anything much. Least of all about Mr. Abbott.

    Prof, I will quickly write "My Life in Misogyny" and it will be hands up for the Shiela Prize for Lizzie. A coupla days should see it done, using Julia's helpful template. On the other hand, "Lizzie's Letters to Whinging Wymin" might also be an unexpected smash hit. Waddya think?

    I spend some of last night avoiding the 'fashionables' at a 'fashionable' party, seeking out the sane ones scattered around here and there.

    As an avoidance measure, I found it useful to listen out for the bitter-faced ones going on about problems with their children's nannies: these were the socialist deep green ones deserving of being challenged, but on New Years simply avoided by all sensible people.

    Da Hairy Irish Ape said, Lizzie, we have to start tarkin' sense to dese people. So once well oiled, he started tarkin' it. Trees were his topic. They couldn't believe their little urban ears. They thought he was joking.

    You were a bit disgraceful, I told him as I rolled him home. Not sorry, darlin', he said as he pee'd in the bushes along their driveway. lol

  2. By Dan's logic we should not be segregating toilets either, or have women's only gyms or for that matter women's only anything.

    When people go to the musuem do they go to see Ms T-rex or her smaller, weaker male mate.

    Poor Dan should take off his dunce cap and realize that humans (all humans) discriminate against one another. While the media fixates only on white men discriminating against all others, it conveniently ignores the other groups. IN LIFE WE SEGREGATE TO ACCOMADATE THIS BEHAVIOUR!!!

  3. As a woman I am so frustrated with this ongoing bleating about equality of the sexes. The hairy-armpit brigade don't want equality they believe in the superiority of the female of the species.

    Equality would mean they would have to prove their abilities matched those of any male. They do not want the contest because they know they would not win. Easier for them to plead sexism, misogyny or downright male chauvinism.

    Any female who feels the need to play the victim card is probably not up to the task.

    Anyone who attempts to bolster their own image by denigrating others is obviously a deficient character.

    The current crop of bleaters could learn a lot from Gina Rinehart. Her achievements are legend - and self-achieved - not the result of bullying some man into giving her an easy ride.

  4. I too believe in complete equality. Let's have open competitions in all spheres where women compete with men. I particularly look forward to to male entries to Emily's List

  5. "...See, it is the “if you believe the government” that lets Maley off the hook....

    One could always ask her, rhetorically: "and you do believe them?!" At least, like 'her' government she seems to believe in Lenin's (or was it Goebbel's?) dictum that to repeat a lie often enough ....etc. I spare you the rest since I dont remember it.

    And ohhhh, do I hope that the marvellous Gina Rinehart goes to work with Dettol and Wirebrush, once she arrives. A little day dream of mine is that the Tony Abbott privatises the ABC (AbottBashingCentral) and that Gina Rinehart buys it. Jayyyyyyyyyyy....

  6. I actually support Daniel Flitton in his quest to make selection of females at top level sports a reality.


    Because it will eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of second rate female athletes (second rate compared to their male competitors, that is) who currently receive a lot more in prize money than they should.

    Example: tennis. Make tennis gender neutral - may the best tennis players of whatever gender take the prizes - and women will disappear almost completely. Seeya ladies! Don't let the door slap you on the backside on the way out!

    Golf? Same thing! You'll never see a broad-assed, waddling sheila raking in huge licks of prize money ever again! The best female golfer will be, maybe, about 100 on the list of top golfers.

    Even a sport as sacrosanct to females as Netball – the men will wipe the floor with the ladies, who will rarely be seen playing that game again.

    The Army has already cottoned on to this one-test-for-all reality. Dipstick Smith, the alleged Minister for Defence, thought he had scored a real coup, an absolute hammer blow for the sisterhood by decreeing that women be allowed to serve in every Army position there is (except Special Forces - special rules apply to the chicken stranglers because they are, well ... special).

    Huzzah!! cried the feminazis. Julia's grin was akin to that borne by the Cheshire cat at his (her?) manic best. The last bastion besides the Melbourne Club had come crashing down! The battlefield of the near-future would be filled with rugged Aussie sheilas gallantly charging uphill and aggressively taking to the enemy with more than just swinging handbags! What a Brave New World - indeed a Revolutionary New Order - had been created by the enlightened progressive social engineers within the ALP!

    Emily's List would be so proud when the first combat VC awarded to a female platoon commander was authorised by a female Chief of Army, approved by a female PM and bestowed by a female Governor General!

    Ahhh ... not so fast, ladies - including you, Mister Smithster.

    The new rules demanded by Smith allowed the Chief of Army to introduce something that has been long overdue - a single set of tests to determine fitness and eligibility for Corps and course entry.

    You want to go to Infantry? No worries - pass the Infantry combat fitness test and you're in (that specific test involves carrying your own body weight, more-or-less, in pack, body armour, weapons and webbing for a thousand kilometres in 30 minutes - OK, I exaggerate, but you get the picture).

    Artillery, anyone? No worries - in addition to all the running, jumping, crawling etc - prove you can lift large numbers of large weights from the ground up on to a ledge the same height as the back of a truck (i.e. replicate handling artillery ammunition) and you're in!

    Etc etc for all the other Corps.

    You want women Mr Smith? Your wish is the brass's command!

    All the ladies have to do is pass the single test that applies to all, and they're home and hosed!

    NEWSFLASH: according to family sources, one of the classes of cadets at ADFA recently was put through the new combat fitness tests (the general test - not the much harder tests applicable for Infantry, Armour, Artillery etc).

    Only ONE out of the 30 or so female cadets who attempted the test actually passed.

    I don't think our Combat Arms battalions and regiments are about to be flooded with women. The only "women" I suspect will be seen in those units are the formerly-male soldiers who have decided to become female via operation / medication, paid for by you, the taxpayer.

    But that's another story.

    So, Daniel Flitton - you really want a level playing-field for men and women in sport and elsewhere?

    I say - by all means! Bring it on!

    Game on indeed – be very careful, old matey, what you wish for!

    Gobsmacked of Gippsland