Friday, 25 June 2010

Fabulous Friday: I Am Woman Hear Me Roar.

Politics as a Fabulous Friday topic? I know you all think I've finally lost the plot. First it was my need a slap, woe is me post, and now it's politics, clearly I am in need of help. I'm as shocked as you that I'm writing about politics on a Friday but it's happening.

The last two days have been a bit of a political roller coaster here in Oz.  And I am still regaining my feet.

I never thought that one little moment in politics could make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But at 12:30pm on the 24th June 2010 it actually happened, and I find it Fabulous.

Australia now has it's
first ever female Prime Minister, 
Julia Gillard.
Woo Hoo!

Now before anyone poo poos this.  I don't think she will make a better PM simply because she is female, only time will tell if she is any good in the roll or not. Nor do I ascribe to her politics. But as a woman, I feel a whole lot of girlie excitement.

Whilst it has been possible for a woman to take the top office, this is the first time the dream has ever been realised and for me that raises it to a tangible possibility as of yesterday.

It was the first time I have ever spent hours watching political TV. Watching her being sworn in I actually got a bit teary. I was totally surprised.

The first female Prime Minister being sworn in by the first female Governor General.

It was just one of those moments where you feel a little like you stepped through the looking glass. A bit bewildered, but very excited.


(PM Julia Gillard and Governor-General Quentin Bryce. photo from here)

I wont bore you with the political wrangling behind it all, there's plenty on the net if you are interested, because in many respects I think that is superfluous to what the event represented.

Growing up in the 80s I never could have foreseen this moment. Politics has always been the domain of middle-aged white males. There have been women involved (and I certainly wouldn't have envied them trying to break into and survive that boys club) but men still dominated. The women who made those pioneering inroads into politics should be applauded for their achievements. Click here for a quick history of women in Australian politics.

Julia Gillard has taken it that step further to take the top job as leader of our country.  She also represents a move from the traditional cookie cutter politician. Apart from the obvious female factor, she also:
  • Was born in Wales, emigrating to Australia with her family when she was 4. 
  • She is currently 48.
  • Is in a long term de facto relationship.
  • Has no kids, and
  • Was also our first female Deputy Prime Minister.
(*The Deputy Opposition Leader is also currently a woman, Julie Bishop).
    That pesky glass ceiling has been smashed in a very tangible way. I'm not naive enough to think that her achievement means that all the sexual inequalities that pervade our society are now magically gone. But for the moment I am going to bask in the idealistic glow of her appointment. This time next week I'm sure the light will probably be dimmed and we will be back to politics as usual. Plus, I love that Julia Gillard became the highest rating trending topic on Twitter. Take that Justin Beiber.

    Personally, I can't wait until gender is no longer a news worthy issue (I think its called the 'Watching Way Too Much Star Trek' effect) and it's all about who's best qualified for the job. But that's for another fabulous post in a future where poorly fitting lycra body suits are fashionable for both sexes.  Today I'm enjoying a bedazzling moment in our nations political history.

    Cheers
    The slightly misty eyed Michelle :)

    In honour of Julia's achievement I give you the arse kicking Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin.

    5 comments:

    1. I was all happy about this yesterday when I read it. I don't know who this lady is or what she represents but it's nice to see a lady in power. I always think if women ran the world, wars would be way less. Everyone would knit and bake and talk about their new top and buy the world a Coke. :) No. But it IS great that ladies are getting their chance to show that they can run things too.

      But I can't help but remember Margaret Thatcher, who I think probably had balls under that skirt. Woman was horrible. My childhood is full of memories of my dad swearing at the TV when she came on. :)

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    2. It made the news in the Middle East too - It is definitely great enough for a fabulous Friday post!

      Although I agree with The Vegetable Assassin on Maggie!!

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    3. sunburnt_earth27 June 2010 at 11:22

      As much as I dislike leadership challenges, I have to say I LOVE the fact that we now have a female prime minister. GO JULES!! And you know what else I love? The fact that her partner is just a normal guy (who seems like a pretty cool chappy) and they're still in a brick veneer just down the road from where I used to work. It's awesome. She breaks the mould on so many levels and I think has the potential to be a great role model. Articulate, intelligent, grounded, independent and poised under pressure.

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    4. Love it! ...and LOVE the new header. AAAAdorable!

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    5. Veg - Every time I think of female politicians I think of Maggie. I do think she had balls under her skirt but they weren't hers, they were trophies from all the men she crushed. I don't think being female makes you a better PM they are still politicians and we all know how shifty they are. It's just nice to see someone who's not a middle aged white male in a suit.

      Oh and she's an Atheist too. I never thought I'd see the day.

      Eternally - I can't believe the news made it to the Middle East. But then again if it tops Twitter, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised.

      Sunburnt - I know, right. She is just not the typical cookie cutter politician at so many levels. It was such an exciting day. I just hope she does a good job, but only time will tell with that.

      Lucy - Thanks on the header. So when do I get to hear your recordings? Oh and I'm still expecting Mariachi bands in the background :)

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    All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx