Sat down at my desk today, open my browser to jump online and read the news. This was the first story that I decided to read: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/shacking-up-is-hard-to-do-why-gillard-may-be-leery-of-the-lodge-20100628-zexr.html#poll
Bettina Arndt, the author of the article outlines how Prime Minister Julia Gillard's choices about her marital status and living arrangements with her de-facto partner will provide bad examples for modern day women he may chose to follow in her footsteps. Choosing to cohabit with Tim Mather means that women across Australia, who look up to her as a role model may feel that they can risk losing their breeding years if they decide to move into a non-committed relationship.
First and foremost, I would like to thank SMH for popping this on their front page. Articles like this are there to remind us all where we stand, if we stand for anything. It gets people talking, interacting. Which is always, a good thing.
Secondly, I think this woman has it completely backwards (but I am aware, this is her opinion and before anyone jumps on my back - and I am entitled to mine). Sweeping generalisations that basically peg the female population as simple folk who should be focusing on marrying their husbands, having lots of babies is a load of rubbish. I don't argue that some women chose to be married, move in with their partner and have children. However, this is not the case for all the women of Australia. Marriage, I believe, has its roots in harmful, outdated notions of ownership and immutable gender roles. Marriage, I think, is a patriarchal and homophobic institution. It is an institution which hedges a sexual union between a man and a woman with a dense network of law, custom, social pressures, tradition and ritual. I also think that it's absurd to assume that in a de-facto relationship the woman is the 'victim' and the man can't commit. He won't propose? Who says he has to? Who says she can't do it? Who says they can't sit down together and have a discussion about it like adults? Society? Traditions? Sorry, that belongs to the days where women couldn't vote, own property or make decisions about her own body. Who's screaming at me right now but that's different? No it's not. Just because society says it's so, it doesn't automatically cement it as the true and correct way forever. Remember the woman who was arrested for wearing a bikini on the beach and (gasp!) showing her navel? (Double gasp!) Sounds absurd now. There are reasons why some people don't chose to get married... some have an ambivalence about religious associations (and the incredible expense). Perhaps some like to show their solidarity with our gay and lesbian friends who aren't allowed to get married. I'm sure it sounds silly, but really, there are plenty of silly reasons why people chose the get married.
I also believe, that children born to de-facto couples are NOT born into unstable relationships. Again, another huge generalisation. Does she believe it's uncommon to find married couples unhappy, creating unstable homes for their children? Married or not, in comes down to the individual, regardless of whether they are married or not. I was flabbergasted (is that a good word to use?) Prime Minister Julia Gillard being the exception to the rule when regarding women choosing not to have children. I know 4 women who have chosen not to have children. That's right, they decided they did not want to reproduce. And do not assume these women have chosen because of high flying careers. Funnily enough, (and I know this may be really hard for some people to accept), but some people don't like children, some people don't enjoy the thought of being a parent and some people feel that having children isn't the be all, end all life goal for them. Not everyone was programmed to breed.
I feel (strongly, can you guess) Prime Minister Julia Gillard is not sending a bad message and is not setting a bad example. I think she sets a good example. Not one that screams, 'woman can do anything' but more so, that the sexes are equal. One is not, and should not be classed better than the other. She holds her own, and is living her life the way she choses, not the way everyone else says she should live it. Her living arrangements and her relationship is, without a doubt, no one else's business but their own. I think it's highly unfair that because what she does isn't the norm, that she's socially unacceptable to be in the public eye.
I also think that quoting conversations between Germain Greer and Whitlam from 1972 is not a strong support for her argument. Society back 38 years ago is completely different from 2010. Sodomy laws which labeled homosexuality a "crime" were still part of Australian law in 1972, (and right up until 1994 - it wasn't until 1984 that the Australian Medical Association removed homosexuality from its list of illnesses and disorders). Can anyone honestly say that all societies values 38 years ago are a true reflection of today (2010)?
So, if your married - don't take too much offence to this. My point is, your choice to be married is your choice and no one else's and I have no right (neither does anyone else) to judge you as a unfit person because of this, as is the same with the choice not to be married. Someone's choice not to have children is their decision, and not anyone else's. I would sure as hell encourage Prime Minister Julia Gillard as a role model for any of my children. Much better than half of the sports stars who cheat on their partners, married or not or the actors and actresses who drink, do drugs and take no responsibility for their lives who are plastered across every media outlet every single day.
I am unmarried (and chose to be), and it plays a small part behind my argument. But I feel stronger about the fact that Bettina Arndt choses to advocate our society does not encourage change, equal standing between men and women in a modern Western society. I also am surprised that some still believe that other people's lives (whether in the public eye or not) are our business. Is she running the country to the best of her ability? That should be the question we ask, as THAT is what has the greatest impact on all of us, not whether she's unmarried and 'playing house' with her partner. How long before we start attacking her religious (or lack of) views? Our society is so colourful, full of different ages, races, backgrounds, opinions. It's a great place to be. That's why the rest of the world wants to come here. We're open, friendly, understanding, and laid back. I love the idea of our political system being knitted with different people. They represent how dif
I am not against the notion of marriage. Two people choosing to celebrate their union together in a formalised way is not a bad thing. I just cannot believe that some people in society still feel that others are labelled as 'bad role models' for not choosing to take the same path.
But thank you Bettina Arndt - we need this article to force people out of their comfort zones and inspire change and to inspire everyone in Australia to be passionate about something!
Ahhh.... so, how's your Tuesday?
Well, I've come to the conclusion that all three of the Hungerford kids; myself, my sister and my brother are officially lost. Turns out we're not built for city life or the day in and day out grind. Not that we don't like to work. I think we don't like working on meaningless, bottomless tasks. Given half the chance I think we'd all jump on a plane and go somewhere - travel all the unknown corners of the world. Pity, you can't do that without money. And pity, the only way of getting said money is to be working the meanin
I'm on a quick break before I start work again for the rest of the afternoon. It's feeling a bit slow in the office today because there are so many people away (I'm all alone in the design room today!).
So, yesterday was a big day in Australian politics. The Labor party ousted the current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and elected a new leader who is now Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
I am actually really surprised at how little the Australian public know about how our political system works. Wait - scratch that. I'm surprised how many people on my Facebook don't know how it works. Wow. Can't start the entry on huge generalisations. Some of the comments are unbelievable. In Australia, no matter how much you like a leader, that's not who you vote for. You vote for the party and their policies. The party then votes the leaders. Anyone who is disappointed that the person they voted for isn't leading is a bit silly. Hence the reason I didn't vote Labor in the last election - it was their policies I wasn't too comfortable with, rather than me thinking Mr. Rudd was or wasn't a stand up guy.
Anyways. The sledging has started. The red hair jokes, comments about her being a socialist, etc, etc. I don't mind her. I think she's fierce, brave, a terrific speaker and debater. She likes to solve problems, and seems a bit more genuine than old Rudd was (however, I did feel sorry for him when he addressed the media - the poor guy was noticeably shaken and upset about what had happened).
Remember yesterday's date kids - in the future it will be one of the trivia questions at the local pub - date, names, etc.
Had to do a quick one today - hello!! First female Prime Minister in Australia.
The boyfriend is away till Sunday, which means I have 4 days of bad food, bad television and leaving my stuff anywhere and everywhere without comment.
Just a quick one at the moment, am going off with my brother to take some photos of the Bondi surrounds. Hopefully the wind off the water wont be too chilly. Gorgeous day today. It's days like this I remember why I don't mind Sydney weather - mild Winter. Not like Inverell, where we'd be rugged up to the teeth. Or Ballarat, where you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for the coldest place on earth. Sometimes mother nature doesn't get the memo that this is Australia, and it should be blue skies and warm weather all the time.
Mmm... hungry. Should eat something before I leave. Have to wait till the camera battery charges. May have time to whip something up.
EDIT: We found a kid today (about the age of 7 maybe?) named USHER. Yep, that's right. It's started.
At the beginning of every month, I read my horoscope at astrologyzone.com and this month of course, is no different. This month, it just went on about the eclipse, and that in 2002 a similar eclipse occurred and if I can think back to this time June in 2002, it will give me an indication of my month this year.
Well, I think I am one of the very few people who can look back and actually check almost exactly what I was doing at that time - thank you journal! I have kept two journals from my teenage years; one that documents year 7 (1999) and the other that documents year 10 (2002).
So I pulled it out to see what was happening. The closest date I can find written is the 6th June, (remember I'm 15 here) and it says...
Dear Diary, Well for the past 2 days I haven't been feeling well. Tired mostly, so I stayed at home. James and Elliott came and visited me this arvo (I feel special :)). You know, I don't know why they come, I think it's really sweet. Robbie asked me if I was a virgin today (STRANGE) I dunno why. Oh, this song again - we got the album and I love it (oh yeah, it's Eminem). XxX PS. I got 72% on my maths paper, I'm sort of proud.
Oh I lead an exciting life.
Anyways, that wasn't really the bit I found interesting. On the 3rd of June, this is what I wrote:
Dear Diary, Well I quit KFC. I gave two weeks notice but I told Lisa I didn't like how she spoke to people, etc. I had a close tonight too. I do want a BF (boyfriend) but I don't - they're so much hard work. Sorry, I just had a thought and it makes me feel like punching something. XxX
So one, I quit my job. That's kind of a big deal, considering I lived and breathed the place. Maybe something coming up this month for me now? A job change?
Not sure about the boyfriend thing (although if you keep reading, between June and August I find a boyfriend and let him go, and in October I fall head over heels for a guy who I end up dating for the following year - so I couldn't have been too concerned about not wanting one).
The last bit was probably an indication that the same mood swings I have now were evident back then (elementary my dear Watson!) and nothing to be too concerned with... or are they :p
I know, this entry is completely random. But I had to think it out, I thought it was pretty cool
The reason I'm online at the moment is because today is a public holiday in Sydney and I was up at 4.30am this morning to watch Australia get their asses kicked by Germany (4-0) in the football. I have started studying and plan to get as much as possible out of the way so I can venture out and take some photos (which I am dying to do today).
But, I thought I would come online and post very quickly (read: procrastinate) about my previous post (which, if you look at my blog is 3 posts down - for some reason the website isn't noticing that the first post was written two days before my third, and so forth).
This is sort of a follow up post from my friend's blog, in which she wrote about how unsatisfied she was with life at the moment and wanted to do more, feel better about who she was as a person. She was looking for a purpose I think was the term.
This was back at the beginning of May I believe, and when I read it, emailed her straight away with an, I totally hear you, I feel exactly the same way. I remembered that this morning and had to let out a bit of relief that really, we're all a bit nuts when it comes to finding ourselves, even though it doesn't feel like it sometimes.
So I thought I would jump online (read: procrastinate - I'm getting really good at it, I promise) and punched 'finding yourself' into Google (while hoping and praying a Tony Robbins website wouldn't be there to greet me with deals for his 10000 CD collection of motivational talk).
Just quickly, before anyone jumps on me - this is not where religion would help me out. My friend also found that this was the answer some people gave her when she admitted she was a little lost. No, religion is not for everyone - I do not need a spiritual father figure to govern my life. If I had to chose one, it would be Buddhism which I know quite a bit about already.
Anyways, of all things good old WikiHow popped up (thank you Internet, you never surprise me) with an actual guide in finding yourself. And simply, I think that it might have the right idea.
The funny thing is, I already know all this stuff. Sit me in a room with 10 people, 100 people and this sort of stuff will flow from me automatically. My problem is, I never apply it to myself. It always seems rational for other people's situations but never mine. Stupid, I know.
So this is what it suggests:
'Create your life timeline.'. Write down all of the major events in your life that you feel have affected you and have made you who you are. Try to re-experience these events from a different perspective and take the lessons that you need from it. Don't dwell on negative experiences but realize that if it had not been for those past experiences you would not be where or who you are today.
Start with a clean slate'. Develop your own moral conduct and practice sticking to it. Remove vice from your life. Smoking, over-eating, and over-drinking will prevent you from functioning at your peak. This may take some major rehabilitation for some individuals. Remember, you can't drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rear-view mirror!
Now that you have a clean slate and you realize some people still think you stink: Forget about what everyone else thinks! You cannot please everyone. While you might not want to disappoint the people close to you, they should want you to be happy. As long as you continue to exist to fulfill other people's ideas of who you should be, you'll never know your true talents. "He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away." - Raymond Hull
'Find solitude'. Get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Plant yourself on a park bench and look. Take a long, thoughtful road trip. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. In solitude, you should feel independent and self-sufficient, not lonely, needy or afraid.
Ask yourself every question in the book, questions that are difficult, that dare to look at the big pictures, such as:
Write down your answers. Beyond your time alone, it's easy for these thoughts to slip to the back of your mind and be forgotten. If you have them written down, then every time you reflect, you can review your notes and take it a step further, instead of answering the same questions all over again.
Act upon your newly discovered knowledge. Do the things that you want to do! Pick up those water-colors. Write a short story. Plan a trip to Mombasa, Mt Kenya, a walk at Nairobi Safari Walk. Have dinner with a family member. Start cracking jokes. Open up. Tell the truth. Whatever it is that you've decided you want to be or do, start being and doing it now.
Be ready for dead ends. Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That's the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over. It's not going to be easy - it never has been for anybody - but if you learn to see that as a chance to prove how much you want to find yourself, then you'll find fulfillment and security in your pursuit. When you are yourself, everyone will respect you more and treat you kindly. Best of all, you will always feel good about yourself.