OPINION: by Babette FrancisNews Weekly
What Julia Gillard really thinks about men
, August 7, 2010
I was appalled at the pretence by Julia Gillard in cuddling a baby in an election photo-op on the front page of Melbourne's Herald Sun (July 19).
Julia Gillard is a founding member of Emily's List, that feminist faction in the ALP which believes in abortion on demand right up to birth, and which does not even allow for the conscience rights of medical personnel who do not wish to perform or refer for abortions. (See my article, "Emily's List - who and what are they?", News Weekly
, September 1, 2007).
Another Emily's List founder, former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner, shepherded the enactment of Victoria's notorious Abortion Law Reform Act 2008. This act is the second-worst abortion legislation in the world, second only to China where abortion is generally compulsory after one child.
According to the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Morbidity and Mortality in 2007 in Victoria (Julia Gillard's home state), 54 babies were born alive after abortions and, presumably, "neglected" to death. A baby born alive after an abortion is legally entitled to the same medical care as any other baby of the same gestational age. I would like to see Julia Gillard cuddling one of these hapless "born-alive" babies and at least providing "comfort care" until they die.
But it is not only babies in the womb to whom Julia appears to be indifferent. When the federal Labor Government belatedly recognised that there was a problem with men's health, in that their life expectancy was about six years less than that for women, Health Minister Nicola Roxon appointed a number of "Ambassadors for Men's Health", one of whom was Warwick Marsh, founder of the Fatherhood Foundation and Dads4Kids.
However, when the homosexual lobby discovered that Mr Marsh had published 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters
, a booklet acknowledging and celebrating the differences between the sexes and commenting on the physical and psychological health problems inherent in homosexual practices, Warwick was sacked as an Ambassador for Men's Health.
That was bad enough - but guess who was appointed in his place? None other than hairdresser and real estate agent Tim Mathieson, who just happens to be Julia Gillard's live-in boyfriend.
So far as I am aware, prior to his appointment to this post, Mathieson had not expressed any interest or expertise in men's health, counselling or fatherhood issues. And fatherhood is an important component of men's health because there are many men grieving over the loss of contact with their children due to no-fault divorce. Some of these men are so depressed they commit suicide.
At the time of Mathieson's appointment as an Ambassador for Men's Health, Julia Gillard was Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, and she could have over-ruled Roxon and suggested someone be appointed with more relevant expertise. Roxon had probably consulted or at least notified Julia anyway, and it is yet another illustration of Gillard's apparent inability to take seriously the problems faced by many men and the educational disadvantages experienced by boys.
I have written before about my personal encounter with Julia Gillard when Alan Barron and I, in 2000, made a submission to the inquiry into the education of boys, conducted by the House of Representatives standing committee on employment, education and workplace relations (News Weekly
, February 17, 2007). We provided evidence on how fewer boys were attempting the Victorian Certificate of Education, and on how the success rate of those who did the exams was substantially lower than that for girls.
This is further reflected in the lower numbers of males compared to females entering universities.
We also provided information on how the ratio of boys to girls requiring remedial education was four-to-one. We further showed disturbing data on the far higher rates of imprisonment, drug and alcohol abuse, road accidents, homicide (both as perpetrators and victims) and suicide for males compared to females.
None of this moved Gillard - she was hostile and cross-examined us as if we were the accused in the dock instead of citizens doing our duty by providing information to a parliamentary committee.
Her indifference to the plight of boys and men was evident in her comment noted on page EEWR 155 of the committee's transcript. She said: "Sorry about our banter. It started this morning when we had Babette Francis here, and our behaviour has gone downhill ever since. The quality of submissions has certainly gone up; our behaviour has gone downhill. ..."
So there you have it, guys. Julia Gillard thinks that the tragic statistics about your poor performance in schools, your health issues and the incidence of suicide are an occasion for banter, and she sneered at those who tried to speak on your behalf.
Remember what she did to Kevin Rudd - and he was her colleague and confidante.
Be careful how you vote on August 21, 2010.Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons), is national coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc.