New Favourite (from so many not favourites)

A week in which sexism was showcased to be alive and well in Australia there was a shining light on the hill.

The week that was will go down as YET ANOTHER shocker in revealing just how far we have to go to eradicate deeply entrenched unacceptable levels of sexism in this country. A few weeks back it was racism’s turn. Quite frankly I’m getting tired of it and it’s getting as boring as it is demoralising. Can everyone just grow up?

It started earlier in the week when a grossly sexist, offensive  menu from a Liberal party fundraiser surfaced which had a dish titled “Julia Gillard Kentucky roasted quail” with “small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box”. Later in the week she endured a radio interview in which she was asked if her husband was gay because he was a hairdresser.

Are we done yet? Now? NOW? 

It does not matter what your political persuasion. This is the Prime Minister of our country. Pull your head in and put your manners back on.

Just for a moment imagine such a thing happening to a male Prime Minister or even a male politician? Tony Abbott gets about in his red budgie smugglers enough for many a shot across the bow but one has never, that I can find, been fired about the size of his penis or the colour of his pubic hair.

A friend posted a comment on Facebook about it all that had a ‘get over it’ feel about it and I stopped. And said ‘no’. Too often we excuse away sexist comments or actions with a slight of hand, or “it was a joke”. But you know what happens when you do that? You end up with someone thinking it’s OK to put on a party fundraiser menu references not only to the Prime Minister’s body and genitalia but their size and colour.

You end up with a radio presenter thinking it is OK to ask the Prime Minister if her husband is gay.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a big fat lie . 

Felix asked me about it and asked how someone would think either example up there was OK. We had a long chat about how things that are demeaning, sexist (or racist) and offensive are often excused away as a joke.

I explained to him that people in positions of power and authority are held to a higher standard because they set the benchmark for what is OK and what is unacceptable. If a politician does something morally repugnant – like hold a dinner in which a dish refers to the PM’s genitalia or asks the PM about the sexual orientation of her husband – there are huge repercussions not only because they should know better, but because it gives a tacit approval to others in the community that to think like that is OK. “It was just a joke” is not an acceptable excuse anymore.

That could not have been better proven by the revelation on Thursday that ANOTHER scandal about systemic sexism in our armed forces was revealed.

But a week peppered with such a remarkable number of brain-snapping incidents of sexism was kicked to the curb when this came along. It was as if the week was a slow crescendo to it. Incident upon incident building upon each other until it all came crashing down in a voice saying ‘not on my watch’.

From 1:13 is particularly good. As is from around 1:40. Hell, the whole thing is awesome. What else is awesome is that it is coming from a man, and indeed a man in power who clearly has integrity. It feels like there are so few of them around. Oh yes, women can quite easily stand up and defend themselves, say enough is enough. But that stance can, by those who most need to hear it, be denounced as shrill and uptight. “Chill out lady”, “it was just a joke”, “calm down”. So yes, men need to stand up, they too need to say enough is enough. Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison says it for all of us.


(Update: Annabel Crabb says it even better. As is always the case.)

Points of order

I started back at CrossFit last week. This week I did back squats and reverse lunges with 30kg weight-lifting bar thingy on my back. I’m feeling empowered and it has done MIRACLES to my energy levels. Let’s not talk about the STILL aching pain running the entire outer length of my right leg.

I taught my first Blogging for Beginners class at Sydney Writers Centre last week. I was hellaciously nervous and there are some things I’ll change in terms of format but I was happy (ie relieved) with the content.

Jasper and Felix VOLUNTARILY and SPONTANEOUSLY played a game together last night which did NOT end in tears or fighting. Mark that in your diaries will you?

We seem to be gripped by some sort of ginger obsession here at the moment and in perhaps not unrelated news the cold that had been hanging around most of us has dissipated.



Mum’s just back from a cruise with one of her sisters, Aunty C. Another sister, Aunty J, and her husband were also meant to go but Aunty J ended up in hospital just days before they were set to go. She is still there and today they have put her on life support. This is one of those times your world gets sucked up into a bizarre vortex where life keeps going but you’re somehow not moving at all. Thoughts, prayers, virginal sacrifices, sacrificial goats, whatever takes your fancy, you know what to do.




Points of order

I am so so sick of being the only one to pick crap up off the floors in our house. So very very sick of it.

I had a dream last night that involved Mrs Woog (& one of her boys) and me (& Oscar) being at hospital on the same day. It was such that when we booked in there was a note hanging beside the desk saying

Want to try juice that will send you to heaven? Meet me at the cafe. 

Mrs Woog.

So stoked was I that she was also at the hospital I took Oscar off to the cafe armed with our beeper (like one you get when you order takeaway at the chicken shop or meals at the pub – you know, the ones that flash and buzz when your meal is ready. This buzzed when they were ready for your kid in theatres. I KNOW.) So we walked to the cafe which was an AGE and a HILL away but it was all social and fun with our kids in hospital tags and gowns and us all gorging on juice and pastries. Then I got all panicky and tried to get back to the hospital only to find us locked out due to there being a big chain and padlock through the front doors. The police arrived but failed to bring bolt-cutters so I somehow managed to manipulate the lock I remember my hands THROBBING from the effort. Anyway, I was convinced we were going to be in big big trouble but as we rushed back in they were all as calm as could be. Typical.

Yup, recalling dreams is as tedious as it must be boring for you all to read.

We have too much furniture in our living space. It is truly shitting me BUT the amount of furniture is necessary for the number of people housed here.

Mum is very stiff and sore but is mobile. Bad backs require time. Lots and lots of time.

Oscar’s casts come off in two weeks. TWO! Can you believe it. In the blink of an eye I tell you.

Felix hasn’t been playing sport for the last two (or is it three?) weeks due to wet weather. You can tell – in behaviour and in girth.

Grover is three in a month. THREE. How and when did that happen.

I’m organising our school reunion. Yes I know, I am an idiot. I’m working on a venue for the gathering this week. But I want ideas on things you’d like to see at your 20 year reunion.
– Photo montages from your school days?
– A ‘where are we now’ type booklet where people have answered maybe 5? 10? questions about their life since leaving school?
Bride slides? (updated: bad idea) (it was an all-girl school – thinking a photo projection of those who have got hitched in their wedding regalia) (updated: grammar/sentence structure corrected)

Your thoughts and experiences would be appreciated.

Chef has had three interviews. One was promising but the guy was in no rush, one was a dud and one has him doing a trial shift on Thursday.

Have you noticed the whole trend for blogs to do giveaways? Apparently it does wonders for your traffic and whatnot but you know what? The ones where you have to ‘follow’ the person as a point of entering? They shit me. I mean, it’s just so superficial. ‘oooo look at me, I have eleventy gagillion followers. ooo eer.’  I mean, get Google Analytics or if that makes your eyes bleed and makes no sense as as much as it does for me use something like Statcounter and get a room. It’s just so Sydney otherwise. Apart from that I just don’t see the need to follow people. I’ve got you all in my Google Reader, it tells me when you’ve updated. Enough already.