Posted by: Bruce | November 11, 2013

P.M. Tony Abbott and his shaving Cabinet, 2013.

Or should I say Manistry? That’s right, it’s time for more earth shattering observations from my stuffed political armchair.

Well, the Federal election in September 2013 is done and dusted, an anti-climax. The Liberal Party was always going to win because the Australian Labour Party lost themselves.

P.M. Tony Abbott and his Cabinet.

P.M. Tony Abbott and his Cabinet.

Tony Abbott became Australia’s newest Prime Minister and after the first few days, it was down to business. The P.M. didn’t exactly get a long honeymoon period; once he displayed his Ministers and Cabinet members the first volley of discontent was fired through the headlines.

With only one woman (Julie Bishop) in Cabinet, P.M. Tony Abbott cemented his status as a misogynist, at least to some. I don’t know about that, personally I think that’s a pretty tough call. He does have a wife and three daughters; isn’t that sort of contrary to misogyny or has he had them enslaved, totally ruling their lives? Has he demanded his pipe and slippers the instant he arrived home at dinner or 3.00am? When his girls were two were they made to polish his shoes? I don’t think so; it’s a pretty good bet we’d have heard something.

For the time being, I’m going with the assumption that those in his Cabinet are there on merit and because he wants them. That’s the theory anyway. As one who votes, it’s okay with me and I figure it’s a good base for a P.M. (whatever party) from which to start.

Positive discrimination comes to mind as a means of balancing men and women in Cabinet, but where does merit come into it? If there are more men than women in politics then positive discrimination also means negative discrimination. I’ve never been at ease with positive discrimination; someone has to miss out.

Warning, Warning (Lost in Space); I don’t think I can continue with this. I’ll probably dig myself into a hole, get confused and mess it up, write myself into a corner or circles. Also, merit or the perception of merit can be in the eye of the beholder. In this case, P.M. Abbott is seen by some as a misogynist and therefore his perception of suitability or merit would be argued as flawed when compared to an ordinary non-misogynistic great guy, like me. This could go on, but I can’t.

I knew this would come in handy. Image from book, One Step Too Far by John Russell Fearn;  1908-1960.

I knew this would come in handy. Image from book, One Step Too Far by John Russell Fearn; 1908-1960.

A well balanced Cabinet I suppose should consist of equal parts male and female. All should be there on merit. Is such a Cabinet possible? I don’t know.

As for those that condemn the Cabinet of all men with a token woman; I totally understand because…..

If Cabinet was all women with a token man, I wouldn’t like it either despite knowing it’s an unfair approach.

Any thoughts on Mrs Escott?

Word for today;      Femality;    I wanted to use it but it doesn’t exist.

More to come;     same blog time, same blog channel.



  1. Positive discrimination was supposed to be temporary while women eased into the professions for the first time. I’ve never been at ease with positive discrimination, the same as you I believe that someone, possibly the right person for the job, misses out.


    • Was it only for women Mary or others less represented, as well?


      • Bruce, I vaguely remember now that you mention when prospective employers were told they could no longer advertise the preferred sex of the applicant. For instance it couldn’t be waiters needed, but wait staff wanted; you couldn’t ask for a paper boy or a male teacher. It made sense to me back then and it was needed (although there have always been more female teachers than male teachers). Having said that, I’ve never been in business myself, but I can imagine that if I was I’d want to hire people who would help my business grow. It wouldn’t matter to me what sex or colour or religion they were. I’d want the best, not the best mix. I imagine that I wouldn’t be allowed to do that now.


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