How do I hate thee, Tonee? Let me count the ways…

I don’t know much about politics. Don’t know much about history. In fact, the first time I even understood the difference between Liberal and Labor was when a friend explained it to me a few weeks before the election, and basically I still didn’t really get it, so I didn’t know much of what I was doing on election day, but I remember people smiling and being given a sticker. To me, the right choice just seemed to be the answer to asking myself whom I hated less. I concerned myself with what I knew of the people and what they advocated, and whomever I associated with more got my vote. Or rather, disassociate myself from one in particular: Tony Abbott. He just makes me so angry I prefer not to think or talk about it. But now he’s appointed himself as woman’s minister. What the actual fuck. Where did he get such a sense of arrogant self-entitlement?

From the first time he graced our screens in a series of bobble-head, and plastic bike race videos I just remember thinking what a competitive tool he seemed. Apart from the fact that he reminded me of the intimidating jocks at school who wouldn’t talk to me because I wasn’t a popular girl putting out in a big way, or a fellow sports-mad-fan, this politician has made me scared and frustrated from the start. Let me complete my feminist outfit and put on my stomping boots to say that Tony is to be deaf to anyone with internal sexual reproductive organs or a contemporary sense of equality.

He’s like a shitty dad teasing you with biscuits that he’s reached from the top shelf, or the mean playground boy who used to tell me that you couldn’t play chasey with the boys because I wouldn’t be able to keep up. He’s the loud guy at the bar happy to flex biceps and burp loudly but not to wipe his piss off the toilet seat. Here is the problem (aside from the fact that I’m embarrassed having him represent me on the international stage): he can’t relate to females outside the confines of having a role co-dependent on the male. Sure, he’s got a wife, daughters, and a sister (who is openly gay, and he openly opposes it), but he is defining them in terms of their relation to himself. Tony does not understand or accept that females are females and not a ‘secondary sex’. I’m not going to list off all the things he’s said that show just how insignificant women’s issues are to him, because I may just explode into an insignificant, invisible flame.

As a representative of this country and its people, we must seem like the most backwards and idiotic bigots, which isolates us more (as if being a huge island in the southern hemisphere didn’t isolate us enough), and how could a man, especially him, connect with a nation of women who cannot possibly relate or agree with him, let alone follow his policies as women’s minister (who knows what tricks he’ll pull out of his hat next? Another rabbit from Mr. Rabbit, perhaps?). Already he’s experiencing backlash from the singular woman in the cabinet – does that not trigger any warnings? And unfortunately, the women who do make into government cannot possibly dream of having both a career and a family? Oh, the horror! A woman multitasking and succeeding? How utterly disgusting! Instead, let’s replay the footage of Tony’s lycra-clad arse riding into Australia’s now-monochromatic-political-landscape sunset the day after the election.

Obviously he’s just another shitty politician that’s slipped through the cracks of common sense and a 21st century sense of ethics (there never is much in politics anyway), but the people chose him. We’re a fully-developed, young country; how can it be that we have a majority of first-class citizens smiling and getting a sticker for willingly choosing power imbalance? I wish I were lying when I say that, unfortunately, we still live in a patriarchy. It baffles/angers/saddens me to headaches. We live in a monarchy, so where’s our girl: the queen bee? Where’s single-lady Elizabeth when we need her? Where’s our Medea-esque rebellion to alleviate this shit?

Don’t be ignorant and choose just what your parents choose, because if you are a young Australian girl and Tony takes away or limits your right to the cervical cancer vaccination (see: Tony Abbott forbidding his own daughters from receiving vaccinations), your parents can’t hold your hand and placard and march to Parliament house demanding rights for women when it’s too late. Don’t even get me started on what he’s said about abortion.

I refuse to accept his self-appointed and -indulgent place as ‘women’s minister’, let alone his position in this ‘democracy’ at all. I cannot accept a person who reduces women to an archaic, Aristotelian way of thinking of us as passive and moulded by men. There’s no women’s lib under Liberals.

 

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