Is 'wheeling out the political wives' a step forward for women, or a 1950's tactic?

The 1950’s and 60’s although before my time have always somehow fascinated me.   It could be the fashion, it could be the cars, or it could be all of the above. What I do know though, is if I were to have actually lived as a young woman back in those days, I think I would have had a tough time.

You see, no matter how much I’d have loved rolling around town in a two toned Holden, listening to  Fats Domino, Little Richard or whatever else was coming out of the wireless, there was a lot of other things going on that I’d have bristled with frustration at and struggled to cop.

Quite simply, the limitations placed on a woman on what she could or couldn’t do in her life were hugely different to how they are now, and yet I think a lot of women my age or younger probably think that it was a generation of completely muffled women who all happily strapped on the apron and waited for their husbands to get home.

But there was a lot of movement going on in terms of sex equality; it’s just that it was in many areas, just the start.  The start of things that we women now have grown up to take for granted for always having been there.

Like working.  Not being expected to get married.  Being able to choose whether we reproduce.  Having a contraceptive pill available to make sure we decide when, if and who with.   Casting a vote.

There’s a lot of talk about women going on right now.  It’s less on the rights and more on the respect. How do certain men still really view us females when it boils down to it?  That’s what we want to know but it’s in danger of being abused as a subject, being used as an unnecessary slur.

And not always just by the men.

One thing that for some reason doesn’t sit well with me in regards to women having a right to voice their thoughts and opinions however is when it comes to the wives of politicians like Michelle Obama, like Margie Abbott.

There’s something about it that feels like it’s a modern woman being heard type of packaging, but it smells to me like the 1950’s.

If we’ve come to the point in history where we want to be treated as equals, then for the same reason no one is expecting Tim Mathieson to come out and make some gushing speech about why his partner Julia is such a brilliant woman and why we should vote for her, nor do I really need to hear Margie sticking up for Tony, or Michelle telling the world what a real, caring, amazing husband she claims Barack happens to be.

Sure Michelle is charming, well dressed, seemingly down to earth and knows how to say all the right things which I hope are more truth than fantasy, but whilst I’m glad she seems like a nice woman and she’s very much in love with her husband, she wasn’t voted into the job.

When Margie could contain herself no longer with all the insinuations the Labour party were making that Tony was a ‘misogynist’, yes it’s nice to know someone has his back, but that’s for her to do in their personal life don’t you think?

Coming out publicly with the old “I just want to add a bit of balance to this and to present the fact that he is you know a pretty ordinary bloke. No airs and graces, who enjoys time with his family and is surrounded by strong capable women.”

Firstly Tony Abbot and Barack Obama are not ordinary blokes.  They are very successful men who have climbed their way up to a very tough top.

I’m the first person to fly the female flag, but I do thing it’s very circa 50/60’s to wheel out the wife.  And as was proved back then, certainly in the States, just because you had a smiling wife, did not make you a saint.


The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. Mark Twain

One of the things I love about writing this column each week is the way I find certain themes kind of following me around. Or maybe I’m following them, who knows but it forces me to really explore my thoughts on the ‘thing’ of the week.

The last week has been the subject of death. The death of Julia Gillard’s father, and the death of the popular John McCarthy. Ironically today I am in the amazing city of Rome, and everywhere you go here, there are historical stories of death.

Death often falls into different categories. The tragic death, the natural end of their life death, and then the legendary death.

We’ve all had to really embrace the feelings of tragic death with the passing of John McCarthy. It just never seems to make any sense when the world loses a man of his age, even though young people die every single day. Because most of us expect that we’re in this life until our 80’s, but a lot of us are not. I wonder though if we didn’t have this unrealistic idea of how long we’re here for if we’d live our lives any differently?

When a young person dies, the wrap sheet of things they could have done, won’t able to do now flashes up in our minds, and that’s heart breaking whether you knew the person or not.

What is far easier to get your head around, because it’s what we do expect as part of the life plan, is when we hear someone has lost their parent as Julia Gillard did recently. Although I’m sure the last thing she wanted was having her photograph taken in those first days after his death, I’m kind of glad we got to see her so raw.

And not because she’s normally tough, I just think it showed me and hopefully others that at the end of the day, at the end of someone you loves’ life, we’re all just humans getting on with whatever we feel we’re here for. When a chapter like a parent finishes, it stops us in our tracks and reminds us that life isn’t something to take for granted. Life isn’t always a given. As they say, we’re all on borrowed time.

I remember my mother telling me when her father died how angry and hurt she was that everyone seemed to go on as normal weeks after his death. Although he was a hugely popular man, with over 700 hundred people turning up to his funeral, the world kept turning after many paid tribute. But not so much for mum.

I’m not sure if it was before or after my much loved Nana died about 15 years ago but I decided that when it comes to family, certainly my parents I wanted to always try and rise above pointless issues. The way I saw it, and again this is that old presuming I’ll be around after they go, but if something happened to them before the expected time I don’t want to live with any regrets. In a less than poetic way of thinking, I don’t want to be left rotting in ‘what ifs’.

I think at some point in our lives, it’s about trying to apply sooner rather than later, the concept of giving up the fight and the letting go of your opinion to what’s fair.

And then the bucket list. Why do so many of us come up with the things to do before I die when we get closer to the expected time we’re going to die? Why not just have a constant bucket list on the go? Because the reality of life is that every day is an extra one you may not have had.

Putting off telling someone you love them because you can’t push past the awkwardness of saying it just isn’t going to cut it if they go and you never got there.

The topic of death shouldn’t just be contemplated in the times that it’s in your face. It should really be the framework of how we live each day.



I tell you what, I just could not be more bored or over this flipping election.  And before you yell at me about not being interested in the running of this country, I just think this particular election, is like watching a model act.  Or seeing my mother drive…you know, they’re going through the motions, but they ain’t doing it well.    Do either parties really know what they’re doing?

Initially I found it kind of funny hearing how they’d slag each other off in their campaign ads, but now I’m just bored.   I find name calling really exhausting, but they seem to genuinely love it.

People have been asking me if I’m disappointed that the election has fallen on the same night as my 40th birthday party, and I’m totally confused as to why I would be?

Do I honestly appear as the type of girl that would might sit at home watching hours worth of election lead up to the final outcome?  I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.  Give me the paper the next day, and I’ll deal with the outcome then.

Maybe it’s actually because I’ve turned 40 that I’m expected to invite my friends around for bits of Kabana and cheese, and 12 or so glasses of Cockatoo Ridge  while we see in – through semi crossed eyes, the new PM.

But no, I won’t be giving a rat’s arse about it taking away from my big night.  I can’t do anything at this late stage about either of these non-inspiring, slightly annoying two options.  I will be dancing, carrying on like a twit and talking about anything BUT the election.

My goodness I am sounding just a tad on the tired and emotional, slash bitter and twisted side, but please understand that the way I see it, no matter what comes of this Sunday morning, I am going to wake up with a hangover, and will be rolling my eyes at whoever wins they race.   So both parties, put down your bloody hard hats, and construction site fluro jackets, cause I for one have had a gutful seeing you in them.

Oh yeah, and move away from the baby…..I’ve trained her to bite.


I’m sorry, but has someone in the Labour party being getting on the Purple Hazes or what?  I’m talking about that nasty drink that poor Britney was said to favour during the pink wig days.

So, could Julia Gillard, seriously have enlisted the bloke she stabbed in the back, and stole his job, and house, and all the other perks, to give her some help winning this election?

According to the news……(unless K-Rudd’s just gate-crashed a press conference, which would be hilarious and I would rate him forever), has come out and said that his old mate ‘Jules’ – apparently needs his help to help her apparently waning campaign.   She’s called him in to say “yeah, what SHE said.  Tony’s a dickhead…”  Or thereabouts

And we’re supposed to take notice of HIM, when clearly, they respected his opinion so much that they gave him the flick!!!!!  Excuse me?

What a serious debacle!!!  If it wasn’t messy and awkward enough for Labour that they even had to admit before the end of their term, that they’d backed the wrong horse, but now, they’re saying that his replacement is a bit ‘light on’ as well.

K-Rudd’s saying now, “I cannot for one stand idly by and watch Mr Abbott try to slide into office by default without any real scrutiny,” he has said.

“I actually don’t think Mr Abbott is fair dinkum.  I don’t believe Mr Abbott is a bad person, I do believe his policies are bad for Australia.  I don’t think he is up to the job of prime minister.”

He then said Julia had asked him to join the national campaign.  “I’m prepared to help.  I’m not a quitter,” he said.  Well, thank god I’m not in politics cause I would have told her to “GO JAM IT JULES!”

Regardless of what you think of Tony Abbot’s policies and his budgie smugglers,  at least he hasn’t got a full dozen of eggs smeared all over his face like dear old Julia, and the rest of the Labour camp.

I tell you what, if I were in the Liberal party today I’d be heading to the pub and buying a round of  &%*# sucking cowboys, because they must be laughing their heads off at this one…  Let’s just hope Tony doesn’t get too silly and end up doing a nudie run down the beach.  Clearly he doesn’t mind a swim.