Category Archives: Tony Abbott

Happy birthday to my Nipples!

Today News with Nipples turns one. I probably should have made cakes, like the ones above. How cool are they? So instead, a massive “THANK YOU” to everyone for your comments, for showing me your own blogs, for your lurking (my “silent readers”), and for making the News with Nipples a really interesting and fun place to be.

I wanted to write about fun things today. But instead I’m writing about Tony Abbott. What a sucky way to spend a birthday.

Does anyone seriously buy the whole “we’re lost near Fossil Creek” story? As Mark Davis writes in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Six hours later, we found ourselves separated from Mr Abbott’s ”guide and guru”, the Aboriginal entrepreneur Ian Conway; with nightfall looming, we were seriously worried.

Yet later he writes:

After inspecting some 500 million-year-old crustaceans, Mr Conway and one of the Aboriginal owners decided to head into the bush in search of pitchuri, a plant with kava-like properties.

But the time dragged on and there was no sign of the pitchuri seekers, the only people who knew the way out.

I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Mr Conway: We’re going to find some pitchuri. Wait here, we’ll be back.
Mr Abbott: Ok. But we’ll need a housewife to make the drinks for us. And to iron our shirts. Unless there’s a tv crew around. Then I’ll do the ironing.

So, who thinks Abbott, NT Opposition Leader Terry Mills, and three journos were really lost? They had a satellite phone but no one knew how to use it. But the next bit is really unbelieveable:

After failing to make a voice call, Mr Abbott tried sending a text to the only mobile phone number he could remember, that of his press secretary Claire Kimball back in Canberra. ”WERELOSTNEARFOSSILCREEK” the text said. No one could work out how to put spaces between words.

Two politicians and three journos, yet only Abbott had a mobile phone with him, with no phone numbers stored in it, but the only number he knew was that of his press secretary? And of the two politicians and three journos, no one could work out how to put spaces in a text message? Give me a fucking break.

How does the story end? Mr Conway came back and got them, but they were all scared because it was dark. The end.

Tony Abbott does hypocrisy again

Paul Toohey has a piece in the Herald Sun: The PM, God and women – according to Tony Abbott. It’s not a profile because only Abbott was interviewed. It’s not Abbott’s response to another politician. It’s just a puff piece. But it’s full of shit from Abbott:

“I do not regard myself as a Christian politician. I regard myself as a politician who just happens to think religion matters. I would be appalled, absolutely appalled, to think religion drove anyone’s politics in a secular democracy like ours.”

Seems Tony Abbott thinks we all have a short memory for when Parliament voted to remove his control of RU486.

And how’s this quote from Abbbott about Rudd: “I also occasionally thought he was a little bit more in love with the sound of his own voice than he should have been.” Pot, kettle, black.

Shades of misogyny

First up, I want to thank the wonderful Lexy for her post on how Tony Abbott doesn’t get it when it comes to homelessness. I asked her to write about it because she knows what she’s talking about, and it was a small way for me to thank her for being such a big part of this blog. So thank you very much, Grand Master Falcon Lexy.

So after talking about a lovely lady, let’s talk about misogyny.

Anna N at Jezabel has reviewed a dating book by Julie Klausner called I don’t care about your band: What I learned from indie rockers, trust funders, pornographers, felons, faux-sensitive hipsters, and other guys I’ve dated. If she added ‘and really crappy housemates’ to the title, it would be a book about my twenties.

Klausner writes about a “particular type of Nice Guy – one who wants a woman who never upstages him, even with her beauty”:

Fear can be the result of admiration, or it can be a symptom of contempt. When I see squeamish guys passing over qualified women when they’re hiring for a job, or becoming tongue-tied when a girl crashes their all-boy conversation at a party, I don’t credit them for being awestruck. They’re reacting to the intimidating female as an intruder, an alien, and somebody they can’t relate to. It’s not a compliment to be made invisible.

Anna N writes:

Klausner understands that not all misogynists are blustery types who think they’re better than women. Male insecurity, too, can breed misogyny – often a subtle kind that forces women out of the spotlight with sheer diffidence. According to Klausner, we shouldn’t cater to this insecurity by being more nurturing – we should just not fucking stand for it.

Which got me thinking about a guy I work with. Which grossed me out because I don’t like to think about him. He’s a lazy pisshead, yet keeps getting promoted. He also treats his girlfriend like shit and openly flirts with one particular woman in front of her. Anyway, apart from the few his penis likes, he won’t make eye contact with women. On the rare occasions he is forced to talk to me, he doesn’t even look in my direction, but will stand sideways at my desk, like he’s just paused briefly, mutter something out the side of his mouth and then walk off, following his beer gut. Gee, can you tell this guy makes my skin crawl?

But I think it’s too harsh to call him a misogynist. Because from High School Debating 101, my Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary defines misogyny as “the hatred of women”, the Oxford Pocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage says “a person who hates women”, and the Collins Australian internet-linked Dictionary (yes, we have a few) says “a hatred of women”. At Dictionary.com, it’s “a hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women”.

Regular readers will know that this is not a man-hating blog. I don’t hate men. I don’t even hate sexist men – they annoy the hell out of me, but I don’t hate them. But I need a word. Because I don’t think hatred and being dismissive are the same thing.

Homelessness – the new lifestyle choice (according to Mr Abbott)

Hi Lexy here not NWN, after commenting non stop on NWN’s pieces I finally get my own chance to have a good ole rant!  Disclaimer: I am NOT a journalist and this is my opinion not NWN’s.

 So he-who-shall-not-be-named, otherwise known as the Dark Lord, head-Poombah of the Order of the Dickstickers and occasionally as Tony Abbott has waded into another debate on which he has an opinion yet is woefully under resourced in fact. He has also attempted to be a ‘journalist’ again (and I use that word under advisement in this context) which gives me an option to critique his article.

This time he has chosen homelessness not the sanctity of his teenage daughters’ virginity or ‘Ironing 101’ lectures for housewives. This is win-win for Mr Budgie Smugglers as the homeless are not likely to vote for him in the first place and it has never traditionally been a vote winning and glamour area of social policy.   It is a handy little area for youknowwho though because it allows him to take the moral high ground and make sweeping and inaccurate statements that neatly dismiss homelessness, and its causes, as being a ‘lifestyle’ (don’t you just hate that word) choice. For a small minority it is a choice but they really are the minority and arguably only accepting of the street culture lifestyle due to years of institutionalised homelessness and few available exit options.

 Better still, it is also a useful way to reiterate Catholic mediaeval doctrine on the deserving and the undeserving poor.  What youknowwho doesn’t acknowledge is that the homeless are not just:

 “a shape huddled under an awning on a wet night or a sad figure begging in the street”. 

as he sees them, but  people in boarding houses with no security of tenure or even a bathroom, refuges and crisis accommodation, caravan parks, cars and sofa surfers gradually running out of mates places to stay. They are families made homeless by unaffordable housing and the lack of investment in social housing during the Howard years.  The previous Coalition Government consistently reduced (in real terms) the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement. The ‘new homeless’ are often the Howard battlers that youknowwho is still gunning for.   

 The biggest causes of homelessness are family breakdown and women fleeing domestic violence. Youknowwho comments that:

The Howard government established a national network of family relationship centres to try to keep families together or to take some of the bitterness out of breaking up.”

 Oh right so if these women had only stayed with their abusive partners they wouldn’t be homeless in the first place.  Well technically being beaten or being homeless (note to Tony – a refuge is not a home) is a choice but a third choice might be nice.   I am not suggesting that prevention of family break down where possible has no merit (and not all breakups are violence related of course) but a spot of marriage counselling is not the resolution to homelessness and domestic violence.

Most interestingly though, he demonstrates that he is totally out of step with all the research (domestic and international) and thinking on tackling homelessness, such as successful ‘Housing First’ models in New York.  What is needed is more long term housing solutions not more refuges and soup kitchens (the charitable response that he likes so much).  They are crucial in helping homeless people but dont actually reduce homeless numbers. Over the last few years homeless numbers have stayed stable despite all the hard work , so we have been throwing money at the issue but not making any headway in reducing the long term problem.  Both state and commonwealth responses are actually trying to reduce the number rather than just maintain the status quo and give them a bowl of soup and a blanket from time to time.

 There are some serious targets proposed which includes a 25% reduction in rough sleeping in NSW by 2013.  Ambitious yes, but better than the do nothing approach youknowwho proposes where homeless people continue to struggle and health/police and other state and federal resources remain under pressure.  Where would you rather your taxes went?

Quick, look at my dick!

I think I’m onto something with Tony Abbott and his dickstickers. Every time he pisses women off, he poses in what is essentially his undies. Like he thinks that will distract us, because our little brains can’t focus on criticising him when faced with His Hotness. Clearly he fancies himself as the Throbbing Member of Parliament.

Yesterday he insulted us with the ironing. Today he’s pulled out the lycra (well, it has been a little chilly lately):

Now, I’m sure there was something I had to be mad at him about, but I’ve come over all unnecessary*.

* This is complete and utter bullshit because he makes my skin crawl.

Abbott again, and so soon

Tony Abbott has done it again. First he says this:

“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price, and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up,” he said.

It’s a nice double insult – not only is ironing women’s work, but they’re not smart enough to figure out that a rise in electricity prices will make electricity more expensive. Unless a man like Tony tells them. See, they “need to understand”. Nice bit of mansplaining there, Tony. (And how are housewives doing the ironing if they “get it done commercially”? Hmm, Tony?)

Then he tells women to calm down:

“We’ve become so hypersensitive about all this stuff,” he said.

It’s not his first comment that annoys me – oh, ok, it does annoy me – it’s the dismissal afterwards. In the World According to Abbott, if women are annoyed by things he says, it’s not important. Kind of a dumb strategy when women represent 50.3 per cent of the Australian population.

Abbott, Gillard and Brandis

Tony Abbott isn’t an idiot. He’s a politician, he was talking to a journalist from a national magazine and he knew exactly how his comment about a young woman’s virginity would be reported. And it’s a pretty safe guess that he knew Julia Gillard would pull him up on it, and that some sexist pig like George Brandis would remind everyone of Heffernan’s “deliberately barren” bullshit. It’s a big fat lie for him to claim afterwards that he was just talking about his daughters. And shame on Abbott for using his daughters for political gain. Quite frankly, it’s creepy and a MASSIVE invasion of their privacy for him to be talking about their virginity with a journalist. How mortifying for those girls and I hope they kick his arse.

For the best slap-down, check out A shiny new coin: Every time Abbott speaks a butterfly dies.

And check out Gabriella Coslovich’s piece in The Age: Memo Abbott: Virginity debate is no man’s land:

The comment both fetishes a woman’s virginity and reduces her value to the presence of a hymen, to the unpenetrated state of her vagina. Why is that the greatest gift a woman can give someone? What about her mind? Her actions? Dare I say it, her soul? If I were one of Abbott’s daughters I would be furious to have my value reduced to the state of my hymen. Is that really the greatest gift you can give? And if it is, what does this say about relationships between men and women? It’s a pretty superficial exchange.

Thanks to Deborah at Larvatus Prodeo for this clanger from Abbott:

“I think we are talking about younger professional women, essentially, who, for perfectly good reasons, don’t want to be told by anyone else how they should live their lives.”

Damn those young professional women wanting to be in charge of their own lives. I’m sure Abbott thinks it’s just a rebellious phase young women go through as they move from having their parents control their lives to having their husbands do it.

Also, I’d like to point out to the many idiots who commented on news sites yesterday that Julia Gillard did not say that young women should have sex with anything that moves. She said: “Australian women want to make their own choices and they don’t want to be lectured to by Mr Abbott.”

Which brings me to George Brandis. He seems to think that only parents are qualified to talk about families. So, does this mean that only an Indigenous person can be Minister for Indigenous Affairs? That only a professional sporter can be Minister for Sport? That only people who have tried drugs can work in drug policy? Actually, that’s not such a bad idea. Would get some diversity in Parliament.

Tony Abbott is a hypocrite

Tony Abbott is using the celebration of a day in which boatloads of people arrived in Australia as punishment to have a go at those who now choose to move here. He is making me feel increasingly uneasy. Can you imagine if he was PM?

In his speech at the Australia Day Council he said “some recent immigrants seem resistant to Australian notions of equality”. This from a man who wants to control women’s reproductive systems. Equality? Fuck off.

Women lose when religion wins

There’s a great opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald by New York Times journo Nicholas Kristof. Oddly, it’s not on smh.com.au, but here’s a link to it in the NY Times: Religions and women:

Religions derive their power and popularity in part from the ethical compass they offer. So why do so many faiths help perpetuate something that most of us regard as profoundly unethical: the oppression of women?

He quotes former Irish president and member of The Elders, Mary Robinson: “We all recognised that if there’s one overarching issue for women it’s the way that religion can be manipulated to subjugate women.”

Today, when religious institutions exclude women from their hierarchies and rituals, the inevitable implication is that females are inferior. The Elders are right that religious groups should stand up for a simple ethical principle: any person’s human rights should be sacred, and not depend on something as earthly as their genitals.

As well as being bad for women, religion – specifically, Islam – is often used to dismiss Western feminism. You know, ‘if you women were serious you wouldn’t be wasting your time on petty things like paid maternity leave and equal pay for equal work, you’d be taking on Islam’. It’s a ridiculous argument. After all, no one tells The Smith Family they shouldn’t be helping disadvantaged Australian kids because there are starving children in Africa. (By the way, the Smith Family has a great initiative where you can sponsor the education of one of the 680,000 disadvantaged kids here, and it costs the same as sponsoring a child through World Vision.)

And since we’re talking about religion being bad for women, you know what I find puzzling? That Tony Abbott is big on Indigenous rights, but not on women’s reproductive rights. He’s taking on Queensland’s Wild Rivers legislation.

Abbott makes me nervous

You know that feeling that there’s something really important you need to remember, but can’t? I’ve had that feeling for a week about Tony Abbott, and after reading Still Life With Cat, I finally remembered: Chloe Martin’s research on politicians at Beware of the God.

Abbott is connected to the anti-abortion, anti-stem cell research, anti-gay rights National Civic Council, and the anti-abortion, anti-gay rights Australian Christian Lobby, and the anti-abortion, single mothers shouldn’t have rights, and homosexuality is a psychiatric disorder Endeavour Forum. According to their website:

Endeavour Forum was set up to counter feminism, defend the unborn and the traditional family. (“A feminist is an evolutionary anachronism, a Darwinian blind alley”.)

Their aim is to create a society “in which married women with children can work or not work in paid employment as they choose”. That sounds a little bit feminist to me. But shush, don’t tell the Endeavour Forum that.

Tony Abbott as Liberal leader is making me very nervous.

Update: Kate Barnsley has a great piece in today’s New Matilda on why some women don’t trust Tony Abbott. Here’s a sample:

Actually this is not just an issue for women. We should all find this troubling. Of course, we should be unhappy that in a country where state and church are separate a man would let himself be led in his role as minister for health by his responsibility to his church first and to his constituents second. But more than Abbott’s position on abortion, which is not unique to him (many politicians including Stephen Conroy voted against removing ministerial veto of RU486), we should be concerned that he would behave in a manner that means that the integrity of his role is compromised by his religious position.