Tony Abbott has found himself the focus of various false accusations regarding his purported views on women. Much of this was simply an easy assault undertaken because his opponent was a woman (Julia Gillard) and in desperation, she began to play the gender card.
As expected, Julia Gillard’s lack of voter support led to her political assassination and Tony Abbott, no longer faced a woman, but Kevin Rudd, again. With this change, much of the, “Tony is a misogynist”, came to and end, but in typical fashion, so evident is the hypocrisy embedded in politics, there was no outcry about how the lead sister (Julia), had been done in by a bloke.
With the election out of the way, and Kevin and Julia with it, onwards with the job of fixing Australia until the matter of who’s in the cabinet – mmmm, not enough women! “More evidence”, they shouted, “Abbott doesn’t like women and thinks blokes are better”. Well sometimes blokes are better, just as sometimes women are better – a fact seemingly lost on the plethora of feminists with minimal talent who use the notion of, ‘gender oppression’, to get ahead.
So how has Tony Abbott finished up with only 1 woman in a cabinet? Well, it’s a question of who was available under the guidelines of how these decisions are made. Cabinet, indeed Ministerial positions, are not specifically dealt out in accordance with available talent.
That for a start might explain why some Ministers, women included, are a disaster. It’s because Talent hasn’t been a part of the reason for their selection. Strangely, and one might point to the Labor Party on this one, some women are elevated more because they’re women than any other reason. For all the problems in the system, there are never any, ‘Token’, men.
Here’s a sample of selection criteria for Cabinet/Ministers, not necessarily in order of priority as such will vary with whoever is doing the choosing, and will depend on what they’re attempting to achieve, including appearances.
Faction: Left, right, centre, other.
Geography: Have all the states covered?
Gender: male, female, other? Yes, in some political parties, ‘Other’, could be helpful for advancement.
Ethnicity: For some people, minority status will help them up the ladder.
House: Mostly lower house, but must have some Senators as well.
Reward: Along the way, loyalty and support played a part, now it’s payoff time. In this case there are often not enough spots to cover those who are owed, but somewhere down the line it’s worked out.
So, was there an effort by Tony Abbott to exclude women from the Ministry? Absolutely not. Apart from the aforementioned matters, there is also the issue of there being less women in the Parliament from whom to choose.
Ah, I can hear it now, ‘That’s because they (Men) keep them out!’ Except that isn’t the case.
Quite the contrary, the Liberal Party in particular has made a huge effort to encourage women into politics, but it takes a certain kind to be in politics and it seems a lot of women don’t see themselves like that.
Of course the Labor Party has a quota, so there must be a certain number of women, no choice about it, regardless of how poor they may be as candidates. The quota is actually offensive to many women and they have privately, and often publicly, rejected this advantage forced by gender. Labor’s quota means they get stuck with a lot of duds not good enough to be MPs let alone Ministers. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of males just as bad, and that needs addressing, but it’s also another story.
The Liberal Party have always had a Women’s Council and many strong very intelligent women have come through that group. Decades ago the Liberals pursued several means including mentoring groups to encourage women to be interested in political candidature.
Admittedly, the reasoning, just as Labor’s, was self-serving – it was more about being seen to be broad, inclusive, modern. Akin to finding a candidate of ethnic background in an electorate with a large population of same. It’s terribly insincere and simply for appearances. Also, it’s often quite un-necessary, but there it is – one only need open one’s eyes.
I have attended many candidate selections and what has always been evident is the ratio of male to female candidates. There are many more men who stand and so there are many more men selected – it’s as simple as that, but most of the numbnuts who comment on these things either don’t take this into account, don’t know, or don’t mention it as it doesn’t suit their agenda!
One particular selection I attended always stands out for me. It was some years ago, so things have changed to a degree, but such changes take a long time to effectively filter through the system and make a visible difference. On this occasion, there were 13 candidates – 12 men and 1 women.
Mathematically not much of a chance of a woman winning and that should be obvious. As it turned out, both on paper and on the day, she was in the bottom half of the field, so she didn’t come close, and that was appropriate.
Now there are those troublesome people (with an agenda) who will argue that the nature of politics naturally excludes women. Hence there are fewer female candidates for kind of an, ‘unfair’, reason. The position has merit, but should the whole way politics is conducted, time wise, geographically, niceties and everything else be changed in the hope it may be a more palatable vocation for women?
I think the answer is No, but in, ‘Women in Politics’, part two, I’ll look at those issues as well as why a lot of women just aren’t interested in being in politics – a matter of priorities and outcomes. Yes, men and women are different – no-one in their right mind would want them to be the same.