Sexism and the Minister for Women

So, Australia’s new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is now the Minister for Women. Well done on the promotion!

This got me thinking, which is always a dangerous thing. Is it not sexist for the post of Minister for Women to only ever be held by a woman? If there were true equality, the position would be divided roughly equally between males and females (of course, that’s ignoring the fact that if there were true equality there would be no need for a Minister for Women in the first place…).

The gender bias inherent to the post implies that it is not possible for a man to understand women’s issues, or have the appropriate empathy and understanding to represent them. To believe that makes you just as sexist as the very people the Minister is trying to combat. And let’s face it, who would be better than Tony Abbot for the job? After all, he has personally experienced misogyny and the oppression of women.

And what of transgender and intersex people? Could one of them ever qualify to be a Minister for Women? Of course, that’s a bit like asking if a watering can could become Prime Minister: completely pointless since Australia would never elect one to Parliament in the first place.

Nice work Liberal voters, whoever you are (no really, who are you? I don’t know anyone who voted for Abbott. I’d love to keep not meeting you sometime).

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2 thoughts on “Sexism and the Minister for Women

  1. B says:

    Don’t take my “like” to imply that I’m one of those liberal voters you asked after.

  2. Food for thought says:

    Leaving aside the new cabinet… with regard to your last statement:

    – You are a ‘Mexican,’ are you not? (Well, so far as residents of the new PM’s home state are concerned.)
    – Australia does not directly elect a Prime Minister, agreed?
    – Do you happen to know someone who lives on Sydney’s North Shore who also happens to lean to the right? http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2013/map/?electorate=WARR (it’s a Google Map, you can zoom out.)
    No?
    You’re safe.

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