Friday, June 25, 2010

Go girls!

As a blogger, I don't talk politics, but on this occasion, I make an exception.
I'm a woman, I'm single, I'm a redhead (well, sometimes!) Watching Julia Gillard take over as Prime Minister of Australia, I couldn't help but be proud.
Her gender shouldn't be an issue, but people, get real! She is our first female PM, she's single, and she lives in a working class suburb. She wasn't even born here, she came here from Wales. This is a significant moment in Australia's history.
As it happens, my kids were home sick from school, and they were puzzled at first as to why I was glued to the 'boring news' instead of working at my computer.
Then Miss 7 wandered in, and joined me on the couch for a cuddle.
"So a girl's the boss of Australia now Mumma?" she asked.
"Yes," I replied.
"I didn't know a girl could be in charge of Australia!" she exclaimed.
And I felt quite teary as I told her: "Yes they can. Girls can be whatever they want to be."
"Cool," said Miss 7.
At H's age, I could never have envisaged a world where a woman could be the PM.
Men were always in charge - in politics, of companies, schools, churches, and even at home.
Single women with defactos were classed as 'living in sin'. Career woman, God forbid, were looked down on. Married women who wanted to work, were frowned upon. (And yes, I am that ancient).
Back then, a girl was expected to grow up, get married, have kids, and look after her husband and family. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)
I don't necessarily agree with the way Julia Gillard took over, or some of her policies.
But I do think it's awesome that we've come so far that I can tell my kids: Yes, a woman can be in charge. No she doesn't have to be married or have kids to be a respected member of the community. Yes women, like men, can be as powerful as they want to be.
And if they choose not to, that's fine too.
And you know what else? Regardless of how you feel about Kevin Rudd, yesterday he was gutsy and gracious. I love that he was emotional, and that he and his family were clearly so supportive of each other.
You've got to respect that.
Writing this, I am listening to Julia Gillard give her first press conference as our PM. I don't know how the election is going to pan out, but I'm really proud to be a woman and to live in such an awesome country as Australia.
And to tell Miss 7: "Yes, H., you can be Prime Minister of Australia when you grow up!"


Not Quite Nigella said...

Amazing isn't it. It means a lot that we finally have a female PM but I agree, I didn't agree with the way it was done. Still, it's about time we had a female PM! ;)

Motorbikes_Lady said...

Sorry this time I have to disagree with you with the under hand sneaky way she took the leadership from Kevin Rudd I'm actually ashame to be a lady & have a lady for PM now if she had got voted in by the people then my thoughts would have been different.

Thea said...

There certainly are a lot of +'s, I have to agree with that! :)

Unknown said...

No, I don't really think the way it was done was right, but I do think they had to do something drastic to make things change. It will be interesting to see how the public vote ...

Unknown said...

I had the same feeling as you when I heard too! How great that we've come so far!

Although it probably wasn't such a "surprise" for us as we've come from living in NZ where women seem to be the head of everything, from the country to the Health Department to God knows what else! (I think NZ lead the way in having the first women to vote in history or something...) so when we moved over to Australia, we actually felt it a bit 'male-dominated' in comparison...but it looks like that's changing! :-)


Unknown said...

Yes, New Zealand is a really progressive country. About time we started to catch up!