I wrote a post the other night and, upon seeing what various other people are saying about the issue, have decided not to post it. It was one of my more rantier rants and it seems that lots of other people have come to similar conclusions. I still have to say something though, I just can't help myself…
What am I talking about? First and foremost, I'm talking about the issue last week with Julia Gillard's moment of YouTube fame when she owned Tony Abbott in Parliament about how she has to deal with discrimination and sexism on a daily basis. While brilliant out of context, the biggest issue has been that she was defending another sexist pig for her own political benefit. It kind of rendered the whole argument moot because, in my honest opinion, she should have been defending herself and her gender long ago – making a stand that no woman should have to endure the insults, bullying, workplace harassment, and petty name calling that she has had to – and not because it suited her party; just sayin'.
If you've been living under a rock lately (no judgement), I'm talking about this:
I've been reading a bit about 'feminism' lately because, while I believe in equal rights for females, I don't really want to align myself with those who have taken it to the extreme and now hate men in an attempt to counteract the discrimination. Guess what, it doesn't work like that, that's called hypocrisy…
Maybe I am naive, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's what this is, but I kind of think that everyone should be equal. Sorry, is that too difficult for everyone to understand? Or is it too basic? That we can't all put our prejudices aside and, yes, accept that men and women have different qualities but that it should be celebrated and a way of working together to achieve something great instead of standing in Parliament trying to win sides in the 'Battle of the Sexes". Come on, are we five? (Actually five-year-olds seem to live pretty well because they haven't learned prejudice yet).
I'm not only referring to Australian politics, or governments in general (I'm looking at you American Presidential Campaign) in this rant. Although the constant and never-ceasing debate about abortions and marriage equality are possibly two of my most hated arguments in society these days (ahem, Tony Abbott, Mitt Romney). I don't understand why people who have no idea or personal experience with either issue think they should have the right to make policies about them, or even have an opinion on them and are merely abusing their positions of power to be elitist prejudiced jerks.
The other thing that's really been on my nerves lately (and I've decided here is where I'll bring it up) has been the criticism of HBO show, Girls. I'm sorry, critics of the world, that a 20-something year old woman has written a clever and witty account of life as a 20-something year old women and that men don't come off very well in it. To be honest, the boys I knew in my early 20s don't come off very well in my stories either, and I can guarantee that a lot of 20-something year old girls have similar recollections of their early 20s where the men in their stories were pretty stupid.
It's also not uncommon that writer, Lena Dunham didn't write other races into her show because that is the experience she has had in her life as a half-Jewish white woman and it might make more sense to someone to fairly represent everyone instead of falling into the racial stereotype trap. Does anyone criticise male-dominated shows like Two and a Half Men for not having an equal representation of women or different races? What about Big Bang Theory? Or Modern Family? Or that really great indie show about smart 20-something dudes struggling to get by…oh wait… Maybe multi-talented James Franco will write something that represents everyone in the entire world everywhere to counter Lena Dunham's attempts ;)
And what's up with the accusations of nepotism suggesting that Dunham's success and that of her fellow cast members is because of their famous parents. What the? This would never happen to a man, I can defend that argument in two words: Charlie Sheen.
I don't know what the answer is and I don't know if we will ever live in a world where people agree on a woman's right to choose or respect women in positions of power. And, like Lena Dunham, I don't really have the experience to factor in other races or religions to my discussion because I only know what I know being a white, middle class woman in Australia.
I would like to think that one day something like the Bechdel Test won't need to exist because different races, genders, and orientations will be equally represented in media where it is appropriate. Where a female can write a hit show without being criticised (why is no one attacking Chuck Lorre for his contribution to American television?) and a woman won't need to direct a man's film (The Hurt Locker) in order to receive the first and only Best Director nod at the Academy Awards (but that's a whole other story).
And it would be nice that when a woman in political power argues for women's rights, it is to send a message to society that women don't have to stand for that kind of discrimination and that it will not be tolerated by anyone. Not as a means to win a debate where the subject is an equally misogynistic prat.