How to restore Australia to its former glory

Daily Life
September 20, 2013 – 6:31AM

Clementine Ford

One-woman cabinet: PM Tony Abbott has announced he will take personal responsibility for women’s issues. Photo: Andrew Meares

It’s been almost two weeks since Tony Abbott stood before the nation, the proud winner of So You Think You Can Prime Minister? Now that the votes have been counted, the confetti swept up and the virginal dresses of his support crew sent off to the dry cleaners, it’s time to get down to business.

Part of what endeared Abbott to the viewers was his fondness for three word slogans that appear easy to understand but on closer inspection actually reveal nothing. And so, Tones has pledged to ‘cut the fat’, which in Prime Ministerial speak means, ‘fire a crapload of people’. Don’t worry though, they’re only public servants and everyone knows they don’t deserve jobs.

Where else would a good Prime Ministerial victor start with simplifying things but with the Ministries, with their overblown titles and ‘goal setting’? Australians don’t want all those bloody words filling up their heads. We’re a simple folk. We like beer, football and boobs in that order and we don’t care to analyse it. Tones knows this, which is why we can now proudly face the world and show off the fact we no longer have a Minister for Science, but we’ve still got one for Sport. ‘Straya!

Tony Abbott speaking at the Singleton Rugby Club luncheon. Photo: Phil Hearne

Personally, I don’t reckon Old Mate PM’s gone far enough on this though. Don’t get me wrong – I support cutting namby pamby portfolios about things like ‘climate change’ (more like cLIEmate change, am I right?) and ‘mental health’. In my day, people just got on with things. Sure, they may have been miserably depressed and consumed by the Darkness That Knows No Form, but they didn’t bloody well have to whinge about it all the time like a bloody whoopsie. Gay.

But I reckon there’s room to add a couple of things. You know, restore Australia to its former glory – to a time when white, heterosexual men of privilege didn’t have to be afraid to speak their minds, or apologise for giving the tea lady an affectionate swat on the bottom and telling her you like her muffins. By all means, trim the fat of wasteful rubbish like ‘saving the environment’ (you gotta build out to grow up, people!) but let’s consider honouring some of the following by giving them their own portfolios.

1. Ministry for Ironing and Cleaning

Those people who accuse Tones of not getting women need to do their bloody research, mate. Tony loves women, which is why he so famously expressed concern for how the carbon tax would drive up their electricity bills what with all that ironing we’re always doing. Oh, and you feminazis will shriek and squeal all you like, but we all know that you’re just bitter that you don’t have a man to iron shirts for. Because men and women are different, see? It doesn’t mean they’re not equal – but women are probably better suited to things like physiotherapy and housework, while men are suited to running things. That’s why the Minister for Ironing and Cleaning has to be a man – because they delegate. And they’re good with numbers, so they can help you add up all of the collars you still have left to do.

2. Ministry for Mateship

Nothing spells A-U-S-T-R-A-L-I-A better than M-A-T-E-S-H-I-P. We love our mates here, but not in that way. The Ministry for Mateship would celebrate all of the beautiful friendship that’s characterised by the good old Aussie larrikin spirit. Like masculinised mythology, and men’s only sporting leagues with their men’s only pay checks. The Ministry for Mateship recognises that part of what makes Australia great is how feverishly it embraces alcoholic male bonding. Let’s bring back foxy boxing and jelly wrestling, gentlemen’s only networking clubs and socially acceptable group sex in which there’s only one woman and no one talks to her! It’s mateship, mate. Because you can’t spell friendships without ‘pissed’.

3. Ministry for Marriage

Real marriage, I mean. Not that other ‘fashionable’ marriage. The gay kind where no one knows who’s the man or who’s the woman. How can you get married if you don’t know which one’s supposed to throw the bouquet? No, the Ministry for Marriage would make it easier [read: harder] to get out of love contracts once you’ve made the mistake of getting into them. God created marriage so that men could come home at the end of the day to a clean house and scotch, and a piping hot dinner on the table when he’s ready for it. He didn’t create marriage so that women could keep their own names and insist on working even though they’ve already achieved their life’s goal of procreating. All this freedom puts funny ideas into women’s heads, and as a delicate species they’re not properly equipped to handle the pressures of the world at large. It’s because they’re physiologically different, see. Anyway, the Ministry for Marriage would put a stop to all that rubbish. Headed up by Barnaby Joyce (who knows that marriage offers the best protection to women, against what I’m not particularly sure but that’s Barns for you), the Ministry for Marriage is the first step to fixing Australia and sending it back to the good old days of 1956.

Which is a handy coincidence, given that the newly appointed Minister for Sport is back there too, busily preparing for the upcoming Melbourne Olympics.

Good thing Abbott’s building all those roads. Cars! It’s the future!

The modern day Aussie woman is a phenomena, not a relic

The Australian Independent Media Network

When will all those attention-seeking, headline craving sexist males accept that the modern day woman is not a relic? Nor an object. She is a phenomena.

Let’s face it; the treatment of Australian women from the good ‘old Aussie blokes’ is appalling. No woman is immune. It matters not if they hold the highest office in the land or one far less prestigious. Equally as appalling is the alleged calibre of the perpetrators: those that espouse to be pillars of society. Those who seek respect from others but themselves offer none. It is the public display of sexism from political figureheads or aspirants that disgusts me the most. Do these people realise that their behaviour towards the Prime Minister – clearly a person they dislike – is degrading to most women – not just the Prime Minister – as well as being considered grossly offensive by an equal number of…

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Hey Facebook, rape is not a punchline

dailylife
May 28, 2013
Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford

Writer

And it’s a great big ‘thumbs down’ from us to Facebook.

One of the downsides of the world’s largest social networking site is its facilitation of hate speech, misogyny, homophobia and racism.

Facebook has more than 1 billion users, a demographic so large that it stands to reason pockets of it would exist to entertain the worst of humanity’s bottom-feeders. While you can’t blame an organisation that provides a free service for attracting rape apologists, racists, homophobes, misogynists and hate-filled bigots, you can hold them to account for knowingly facilitating this kind of behaviour, hiding behind the banner of “free speech” to defend pages with titles like “I kill bitches like you”, “I love the Rape Van” and “Raping Babies because you’re f—ing fearless”. And if they still refuse to address it, reasoning that their reach and influence is so great that not even a bunch of panty-twisted feminazis can dent their huge success, then you attack their bottom line.

It’s exactly the motivation behind the #FBrape campaign currently being run by a trio of online feminist activists. Jaclyn Friedman from Women, Action & the Media (WAM!), Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, and writer Soraya Chemaly have joined forces to urge Facebook to take seriously the bilious swill that masquerades as humour on their website, and that so often makes the rape, assault and even murder of women and children their punchlines.

There’s an absurd irony in the fact that Facebook seems to take a zero tolerance policy to the uploading of breastfeeding photos (many users have been reported and even temporarily banned for sharing images of them feeding their babies), yet it took weeks and a Change.org petition with more than 100,000 signatures to get Facebook to remove a “humour” page called “What’s 10 inches and gets girls to have sex with me? My knife” and that they continue to respond to images urging the rape of women with tepid excuses like this (after the jump).

The #FBrape campaign began with an Open Letter to Facebook and continues by asking people to notify advertisers when their ads appear on pages promoting misogyny and violence. The algorithms of Facebook mean that ads appear dependent on the users; an ad for Samsung might appear on a page urging its users to “Kick a Slut today” simply because a user happens to have a fondness for both violence and photographic composition (or perhaps even both, given by how many photographs and videos of women and girls being raped have made their way onto the social network.)

But while a company mightn’t elect to advertise on a page that tries to pass off the trauma of rape as “controversial humour”, knowing that it could appear that way without their permission is what underpins the #FBrape campaign. Since the campaign launched last week, companies have already begun pulling advertising, a trend that will hopefully gather momentum as more organisations realise the value in defending women against what representatives from Facebook have referred to as “rude jokes”.

Look, I love a rude joke. I don’t even subscribe to the view that jokes about rape can never be funny. But as Molly Ivins once said: “Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful … When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel – it is vulgar.”

The reason misogyny runs so rampant online is because it’s completely facilitated by our culture. As a woman, I find jokes that make fun of rape culture hilarious. What I don’t find funny is a joke that relies upon the sexual degradation and torture of a woman to raise a laugh. I especially don’t appreciate the minions of Mark Zuckerberg, whose media empire began as a way for Harvard students to minimise the worth of the women in their community by rating their attractiveness, telling me that the real problem here is political correctness and sensitivity.

Male rape “humorists” of Facebook, you try living in a world where one in five of you will be raped in your lifetime; where safety is never guaranteed because even if you haven’t been raped yet, you still could be; where it is common and not rare for your friends to confide in you the stories of their own sexual assaults, some of whom have been victimised multiple times; where when you are raped, you’re reminded of all the ways it was probably your fault; where the leading cause of death among women aged 15 to 44 isn’t heart disease or cancer, but domestic violence; where less than 1 per cent of all sexual assault charges will result in a conviction, because no one wants to ruin the promising futures of young men who “made a mistake”; and where the biggest concern in all of this is not how the perpetuation of these kinds of jokes tell women that they’re nothing, but whether or not a person’s freedom of speech is being threatened.

But more than that, more than the violence, more than the blatant misogyny – you try living in a world where you are reminded at every turn that you’re not allowed to complain about the joke, because you are the joke. And when you’ve come close to experiencing what that feels like, to be marginalised as fodder for juvenile male humour, to be treated as a punchline in more ways than one, and to be expected to laugh along with it so as not to spoil the fun for all the boys who find the idea of kicking you in the vagina “hilarious”, then you tell us to stop being so goddamn sensitive about everything.

Petulantly arguing for your right to unleash violent misogyny free from persecution or criticism doesn’t just misunderstand the concept of free speech, it also betrays an ironic sense of entitlement. Women are expected to endure attitudes whose logical conclusions result in them being beaten, raped and sometimes killed, with any complaints thrown back in their face with a specially tailored threat to accompany it. But tell any one of these so called freedom fighters that their jokes are a hideous insight into their own warped minds and it’s like Stonewall all over again.

This is what the #FBrape campaign is revealing – the insidious, nasty entitlement of cultural misogyny and its skittish reaction to anything that threatens its absolute right to continue unchecked. It’s also why I’m lending it my full support. Like Friedman, Bates and Chemaly, I’m over it. I’m tired of being expected to applaud the continued degradation of my people, to marvel at the cleverness of juvenile, angry sexism, to laugh along as these men show me in every foul, unimaginative, aggressive way possible that they think I’m nothing more than a series of holes for them to violate as they please. You should be too.

NB: Men are the victims of rape and violence too – most often at the hands of other men. And while their trauma is real and far reaching, it has yet to be further compounded by a culture that continuously reminds them of how little control they have over their own bodies and safety. Male rape jokes revolve around the threat of prison issued punishment. Female rape jokes are about ownership. In both situations, it’s about the dominant patriarchy wielding masculine power. This isn’t a fight between men and women. It’s a fight between people who respect women as equal human beings and people who don’t.

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#FBrape

deafmute

Facebook’s hate speech problem

Facebook’s big misogyny problem

Update

Online protests prompt Facebook to crack down on pages promoting violence against women

Facebook has responded to the campaign in this long and somewhat typically self-serving post.

Chris Matthews Owns the Land, and the Women

 

 

No it isn’t.

 

 

 

Wait – the ‘coons’ look dodgy? You’re the shmuck hiding behind a fish..

 

 

Yeah, where they belong, while the men are out working hard (fishing).

 

 

But if it was a bunch of white guys still drinking at 9:30am – they’d be heroes, right?

 

Good Old Aussie Respect for Women: ‘Root or Boot?’

You really can’t win, being a woman in Australia.

If you’re ugly, you’re called ugly.

If you’re sexually conservative, you’re called a frigid feminist.

If you’re sexually active, you’re a slut.

If you cover up with a hijab or a burqa, you’re an ugly terrorist.

If you have non-Anglo origins, you’re trash.

If you get around with hardly any clothes on, your fair game for unwanted attention.

Hats off to all the men in this country that actually treat women with respect and DON’T engage in this BULLSHIT.

Islam Not A Race… But Islamic Women Are Ugly

Exempting themselves from any form of racism when attacking Muslims because ‘Islam is not a race’…

Yet the hypocrisy is shown (and typically missed) when John Hunton unwittingly and subconsciously refers to Islamic women as being different from Australian women in physical appearance. And when physical characteristics are pretty much the only definitive aspects separating people from around the globe, it’s obvious that John sees Muslims as being non-white. And this is after Mick Crane calls for a ‘Muslim-free Australia’ by wanting all Muslims to get onto a plane so the Government can blow it up over the ocean. (Ironic really, that Mick sees blowing people up entirely acceptable, yet probably hates Muslims based on the misconception that they like to blow people up)…

If Islam is just a religion, then Jessica Alba could be one tomorrow. And with Atheism and Islam leading the world in conversion rates, perhaps that’s not so unlikely.