Tool of the week… and it’s only Tuesday

We interrupt the programming plan of updating you on Oscar learning to walk again due to an article of astounding small-minded, cheap-shot, playing-dirty, shoddy journalism. I’m stealing Mrs Woog’s regular Friday column on tools of the week for this early entry.

Take a moment to go and read the article by Bettina Arndt in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Go on. Click here. Go and read.

Then get really angry. Maybe rest your head in your hands at the incredulity such a piece was viewed as having any merit whatsoever.

Here are some tasty morsels from it:

Cohabitation produces two groups of losers among women and children. Most women want to have children – Gillard is an exception – and some miss out after wasting their primary reproductive years in a succession of live-in relationships which look hopeful but go nowhere, leaving them childless and partnerless as they hit 40.

You know, if a male leader or politician chose not to have children I hazard a guess it would barely raise an eyebrow. I’ve heard Julia talk about her choice – as if it is anyone’s business – and she pointed out that she is an incredibly focused, single-minded person and that if she had had children she would have only wanted to focus on being a mother and not the other things in her life she was passionate about.

So she made a choice to focus on the other things she felt passionately about.

And according to Bettina, cohabitation produces two groups of losers. No winners. Apparently.  

How about this:

It is often assumed these children will provide the glue to keep de facto relationships together, but sadly this is not so.

Yeah, because that never happens with married couples.

or this:

People often drift into living together – someone’s lease runs out or they get sick of running home for fresh shirts and underwear. They slide rather than decide, and frequently fail to discuss their mutual expectations for the relationship.

It’s the women who end up stranded when they spend years in a succession of de facto relationships waiting for Mr Not Ready or Mr Maybe to make up his mind.

Women’s tiny reproductive window means they pay a high price for wasting precious breeding time in such uncertain relationships.

 Or this (my bolding):

If Gillard chooses to play house with Tim Mathieson in the Lodge, this choice sends a strong message to the huge numbers of women who rightly admire her and seek to follow her example. A lifestyle suited to her particular needs may be riskier for many women and their children.

‘Chooses to play house’? I’m sure if Bettina had tried a little harder she could have been more patronising.  

How about this:

At the heart of this conversation was role models. People in the public eye, our influential leaders, need to think through whether others who don’t share their circumstances will follow their example and get into trouble.

Really Bettina? That’s what is at the heart of this conversation? Really? I think what’s at the heart of your grubby little piece of highly selective if not poorly researched writing is that having Julia Gillard as our Prime Minister –  barren and living in sin – is not to your liking.

Somehow it would have been so much palatable if you had not tried to truss up your sow’s ear of an article into a silk purse of journalism on social trends. Apparently your new book What Men Want is out this August.  Oh GOODY. I can hardly wait to repeatedly walk past it in bookshops.