On The Age newspaper online version published a sensible article by feminist Anne Summers about irrelevant public interest in the personal attributes and personal lives of female leaders. Thus there has been great media interest in the personal attributes and personal lives of Australia new Federal Labor PM Julia Gillard (49, childless, unmarried) and the new Leader of the Tasmanian Labor Minority Government Lara Giddings (38, single, childless, unmarried).
The article entitled “” Hairstyles the least of leaders’ worries” (see The Age, On-line, National Times, 27 January 2011: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/hairstyles-the-least-of-leaders-worries-20110127-1a5n8.html ) attracted 61 comments (all but 4 anonymous). However The Age declined to publish the following successive comments from a named person, Dr Gideon Polya: "Excellent article. The physical attributes, marital status and childlessness of politicians are utterly irrelevant to the performance of their job.
However one suspects that such issues might be raised, not merely from continuing ignorance, prejudice or sexism, but as "straw men" diversions to hide the real issues of the responsibilities our politicians have toward mothers and children. Examples below.
1. According to top climate scientists the world must reach zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050; Australia, a world leader in annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, must achieve this by 2020; and it can be done (see the acclaimed Zero Carbon Australia by 2020 or ZCA2020 Report. of Beyond Zero Emissions; Google BZE). Yet the Lib-Labs continue to threaten Australia's children with disaster through inaction on man-made climate change. Australia's domestic plus Exported GHG pollution was 4% bigger under Labor in 2008 than under the Coalition in 2006. PM Gillard's hairstyle, marital status and childlessness are irrelevant - the real issue is this gross failure on intergenerational equity.
2. 311,000 under-5 year old infants die annually in US-, US Alliance- and Australia-occupied Afghanistan where post-invasion infant deaths total 2.6 million.(UNICEF). Ms Gillard's childlessness is irrelevant - the real issue is that the US Alliance is violently imposing childlessness on 300,000 Afghan subject mothers annually in gross violation of the Geneva Convention.
3. Ms Gillard's elocution is grating but irrelevant to the real issue of Educational Apartheid in Australia - the 2 out of 3 Australian kids attending state schools are disproportionately excluded from university, top universities and top courses."
"My carefully researched comments on this article made under my own name evidently didn't make it. In short, the personal attributes and lives of politicians are irrelevant.
Irrelevant obsession with the childlessness of particular female politicians should be replaced by trenchant criticism of these same female politicians outrageously ignoring gross violation of the rights of the child e.g.
(1) Intergenerational Inequity (Lib-Lab inaction on man-made climate change).
(2) Passive Mass Infanticide (Lib-Lab complicity in 2.6 million post-invasion Afghan under-5 infant deaths, 90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes).
(3) Educational Apartheid (the two thirds of Australian children attending state schools are disproportionately excluded from university, top universities and top courses by the Lib-Labs)."
The Age evidently didn't want its readers to be exposed to the Awful Truth of most Australian women and men - the 85-90% who are Lib-Lab voters - being complicit in bad treatment of children.