Posted in Gerard Oosterman | Edit |   7 Comments »

Turkish Delights

June 16, 2013


Turkish Delights. You’ve got to hand it to the Turks though, day in day out; they are manning the ramparts at Gezi park fighting to preserve 600 trees to be razed to the ground making room for a mosque which the pro-Islamic government is hell-bent in building.

The daily sight here on Australian TV with water cannons toppling protesters does not endear the present Turkish PM. What is endearing though is the number of both female and male protestors trying to make their voices heard. Secularism is what the people want, and we want it now, they are shouting. The Turkish people want change!

You sometimes wonder what it would take to get some people on the streets in Australia. I would have thought with the latest batch of misogyny rearing its head, some might think, enough is enough. There is war being waged against women. How could it not be shown any clearer? On TV, on Radio, in the media and in parliament, women are continuously being berated, slandered, belittled, vilified and degraded. What happened to all the ‘workshops’, the ‘male bonding’ groups, the ‘counseling’ that was supposed to have been undertaken by society in order to rectify this behavior.

It’s almost as if the efforts to educate men (and women) into accepting women as equals have been given fresh oxygen, rich mixtures of well rotted misogyny manure instead. Perhaps we reconcile ourselves that it happens elsewhere as well. Nigella Lawson was attacked by her husband and even though it was noticed by passersby and the photographer, who took multiple shots of the attack, not a single person took action. We seem to be more than mortified by attacks against females in India but we seem to ignore what is happening here in good old Aussie-land.

The attack by a radio presenter questioning on whether Julia Gillard’s has a bone fide hetero male partner was just about the pits. It was a slur on gays but also on a woman living with a hairdresser. Are all women who are nurses and own cats lesbians? This could conceivably be expected to be asked next… What about radio announcers? Are they all child molesters or dog stranglers?

Sisters, ‘we must reclaim the night’ wrote someone in huge white lettering on a rail bridge at Glebe some thirty years ago. Some wit changed it in ‘reclaim the knight.’ Women were always creatures to be cared for, admired, adored and loved, regardless of sexual preference. I can’t see how people are now changed into hatred for those with breasts and vaginas. Are they perhaps also the same who loath the asylum seekers swept on our shores or the climate change deniers, skeptics?

I suspect they are. I have yet to hear a person on the ALP side of the fence making derogatory remarks about women. No doubt they are lurking in the undergrowth of our suburban landscape as well, in any case they seem less in numbers.

But as the people are fighting in Turkey for the rights of a public park, where are the people fighting for the rights of women not to be put down in Australia?

Where are the water cannons on our streets?