At least in some parts of the world, there are some signs of progress to celebrate on this March 8, International Women’s Day.
Including greatly improving education for girls in many parts of the globe; increasing participation of women in positions of political power in some places, and growing awareness and anger, if not much action, against income disparities between males and females and against domestic and and various other forms of violence and vileness suffered by women.
Such progress seems to me especially evident in such enlightened locations as Iceland, Finland and the the other countries collectively comprising Scandinavia, and also New Zealand.
But in most other allegedly ‘civilised’ countries, patriarchal prejudices and practices persist in prevailing to a woeful extent despite decades of activism by the forces of feminism and pious promises by the powers-that-be to fix the problem(s).
In my own motherland of Australia, for example, the first and thus far only female prime minister, Julia Gillard, was subjected to a campaign of such vicious personal abuse by then leader of the Liberal-National Coalition, Tony Abbott, that she was inspired to make her justly famous 2021 parliamentary speech that began with the words “I will not be lectured on sexism and misogyny by this man”, and proceeded to put Abbott and his ilk in their places.
These primitive pricks popped back up, however, and the Liberal-Nationals today, 10 years later, are still promising and lamentably failing to deliver female parity with males in the ranks of their MPs and cabinet ministers. And, to add insult to injury, most of the few females it does permit and promote are such bitches as to be as backward as their conservative male colleagues.
All of them having colluded with current Prime Minister Scott Morrison in attempts to minimise damage to the government arising from the rape of a female staffer by a male co-worker in a ministerial office, and other atrocities against women working in Parliament House, as well as the alleged historical rape of a girl by, of all people, a then young man who had since risen to the position of the nation’s Attorney-General.
Now admittedly the very much former Attorney-General, he was finally forced to resign only after a protracted campaign to protect him and his reputation, and a still-prevailing refusal to reveal the source(s) of a million-dollar fund to cover his huge legal costs.
Small wonder, then, that Australian of the Year for 2021 and former child sexual-assault victim, Grace Tame, and the complainant in the case of the alleged Parliament-House rape, Brittany Higgins, are now spearheading an all-out assault against male privilege and female inequality in virtually every sphere from the political to the private.
A campaign that’s rendered all the more powerful by its possible influence on the female vote in the federal election that’s due to be held just weeks from now.
And backed-up by the facts that the already-disgraceful rates of domestic violence in Australia increased significantly during the Covid-forced lockdowns over the past two years, and that an average of one woman dies at the hands of her current or ex-partner every week of every year.
In this is on top of persistent and apparently incurable injustices against women in every conceivable sphere from paid employment through superannuation retirement savings to dire disparities in unpaid housework and child-rearing and rates of homelessness, especially in middle-age.
Most troubling for me personally, however, is that, having long satisfied myself that I was a feminist or sensitive new-age guy (SNAG) at heart, I was comprehensively disabused of this notion by a course of Gender Studies that I took a few years ago at Sydney University.
In fact I discovered to my horror that I was still in many ways unwittingly but nonetheless woefully part of women’s patriarchy problem, and likely incurably so due to the taint of my psyche by the male hormone, testosterone.
A stark reality that gives me and fellow males a regrettable tendency to testosteroam. And that is further attested to at almost every turn, as, for example, when it automatically acts like tits-n-assterone every time I spy attractive adult females in the flesh or even on Facebook, thus hexing my desire to cease and desist in my inborn tendency to regard my sister humans as sex-objects.
Hence my eagerness, or rather crying need, to do whatever I can, from celebrating rather than regretting the increasing testosterosion of old age, to keeping on striving mightily to convince myself and fellow males to think, feel and act in the spirit of International Women’s Day, every day of this and any future year I might possibly have to look forward to