It’s fitting to be in Adelaide on International Women’s Day, as South Australia was the first place in the world to give women the vote.
And yet, 128 years later, I despair at how blokey it is down under. “Why do women exist? … So men have something to like down on, while having shag,” runs a typical joke. “Why don’t women surf?…It’s so hard to get the smell out of the fish.” Australian foreplay? “Are you awake love?”
Proving that the difference between many male politicians and a brontosaurus is about two brain cells, in 2012 Union Leader Martin Ferguson described women campaigning for paid maternity leave as “hairy-legged femocrats.” Former Labour party leader, Mark Latham backed him up. “The Aussie bloke is in crisis and in danger of being replaced by nervous wrecks, metrosexuals, knobs and tossbags because Leftwing Feminists have sanitized public culture.”
Another politician who seems to have given himself a D.I.Y. lobotomy is MP Andrew Fraser. In a parliamentary debate, he told the Small Business Minister Sandra Nori, to, “Go and wash up.”
The mainstream media is equally misogynistic. Radio announcer Ray Hadley marked Germaine Greer’s recent birthday with the comment, “I bet she’s now sorry she burnt her bra all those years ago!” It seems to have completely escaped his notice that he has a beer belly drooping over his belt. (What we call in Australia, ‘a verandah over the toy shop.”)
Last year right wing radio, DJ, Alan Jones, raged against the PM Julie Gillard, Sydney’s Mayor, Clover Moore and the former Victorian police commissioner, Christine Nixon, complaining that “Women are destroying the joint. Honestly. There’s no chaff bag big enough for these people.”
The announcement of Gillard’s Prime Ministership in 2010 had male knuckle draggers quaking in their Ugg boots. As if it’s not bad enough having a Sheila at the political helm, Gillard’s an unmarried, childless, agnostic, shacked up with a hairdresser. Right wing senator Bill Heffernan scandalously described her as “deliberately barren”, implying that a woman is little more than a life support system to an ovary and somehow not fit for political office.
Last year David Farley, CEO of the Australian Agricultural Company demonstrated a machine in an abattoir with the comment, “So it’s designed for non-productive old cows. Julia Gillard’s got to watch out.”
At anti-carbon tax rallies protesters hold aloft placards reading “Ditch the Witch”. Cartoonist Larry Pickering, invariably depicts Gillard naked, wearing a strap-on penis.
When Julia Gillard used Tony Abbot’s testicles as maracas in her infamous “smack-down”, it made global headlines. In Britain, France and the US she was praised for the most outspoken attack on sexism in political history. Yet most of the male dominated Australian media wrote off her speech as a disaster.
Despite 1969’s equal pay amendment Australian women still only receive about 80c in the dollar as well as getting concussion hitting our heads on the glass ceiling. Only seven chief executives in the ASX 200 are female and only 10 per cent are key executives.
Of course, there is just as much sexism in Britain which is now 60th on the international league table of female political power, down from 33rd in 2001. Only one in four MP’s and one in five peers are women. David Cameron’s condescension chromosome’s apparent in the way he mocked Tory MP Nadine Dorries as being “extremely frustrated” and told Treasury spokeswoman Angela Eagle to “calm down, dear” at Prime Minister’s Question Time. Only two chief executives in the FTSE 100 are female, and only 17% of directors.
But here in the birthplace of modern feminism, let’s honour our female forbears and live up to our auspicious beginnings by calling a truce in the sex war – starting with chauvinists negotiating their terms of surrender.
What do women really want in bed? Breakfast. Oh, and a good book. If you’re looking for a funny, frivolous yet feisty new read, do slip between my covers. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Here’s a selection of scribblings in which I peel down to my emotional underwear – a psychological striptease that occasionally reveals all.
I think women are each other’s human Wonderbras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.
If he wants breakfast, tell him to sleep in the kitchen.
Men think monogamy is something you make dining tables out of.
Many marriages break up for religious reasons – he thinks he’s a god and she doesn’t.
Love prepares you for marriage the way needlepoint prepares you for round-the-world solo yachting.
Boys will be boys, and so will a load of middle-aged boys who should know better.
Ladies who lynch.
No wife ever shot a husband while he was vacuuming.
I think therefore I’m divorced.
All husbands think they’re Gods. If only their wives weren’t atheists.
Happy wife = happy life.
I couldn’t ask for a better husband… as much as I’d bloody well like to.
Statistically, 100% of divorces begin with marriage.
Marriage is nature’s way of promoting masturbation.
Marriage is a fun-packed, frivolous activity – only occasionally resulting in death.
It’ll be an amicable split. You’ll both get 50 % of the acrimony.
A new invention is required. The monogamous husband. Patent Pending.
How Do I Hate Thee? Let me Count the Ways.
My wedding vows didn’t say To Love, Hoover and Obey.
I’m Having my period so can therefore legally kill you.
You are going to enjoy this marriage, even if I have to divorce you to do so.
A happy marriage is like an orgasm – many of them are faked.
All this emphasis on women faking orgasms, but what about men faking foreplay?
Why do men like intelligent women? Because opposites attract.
Why don’t women tell jokes? Because we marry them.
What does a woman really want in bed? Breakfast.
For women, life is full of lies – I mean doctors maintain that wrinkles don’t hurt.
Legal aid cuts prove that the Tories believe a person is innocent until proven destitute.
Sexist men are so stupid it makes you want to take the ‘men’ out of Mensa.
If a man ever tells you that women fall at his feet – it’s only because he gets them drunk first.
A woman must always fight back. Never just lie back and think of Canberra.
The best cure for menopause is the toy boy diet. A case of having Your Beefcake and Eating It Too.
I don’t fake orgasms. I’m faking being six foot one and seven stone.
Trophy wives tarnish quickly and then get left on the shelf.
Lawyers work 24/7. The partners of lawyers suffer from a bad case of subpoena envy.
Most shrinks should book an appointment with themselves.
The question on the minds of most women is – why doesn’t chocolate go straight to your boobs?
Don’t fall for a man’s puppy dog look… Just get him wormed.
It’s been so long since a man has touched me, not even medical science will want my body.
My top tip for keeping your youth? Lock him in the pool house.