This not an 'Australian only' issue.
The issue of women seeking equal rights, equal pay, an equal voice...is heard all over the world.
In the near past a woman, Rosie Batty, was named Australian of the year. (2015)
More recently, the issue has seen two more strong advocates. Two women who have nothing to apologise for.
Grace Tame & Brittany Higgins.
They have, (all 3 ) been attacked with salvos from the likes of Mark Latham
and unionist John Setka
.....so it matters not how you parse or mask your anger....those who don;'t want to hear it will always find a way to reject it.
The word 'reject'.......rejection figures strongly in this issue.
A well known and much respected Australian Journalist, Virginia Trioli, wrote the piece below.
It's a face that glowered from every page this week as a woman with nothing to apologise for revealed her unvarnished fury. And it's kind of shocking to realise how shocking it is, writes Virginia Trioli.
There's a face that we try not to make too often, a face we can't really risk.
It's an ugly face. It's a frightening face — and it's a face that glowered from every page this week as a woman with nothing to apologise for revealed her unvarnished fury.
It's kind of shocking to realise how shocking it is: the clenched teeth, the thickly bitten bottom lip, the narrowed eyes, the contemptuous, gaping mouth.
We don't mind it when a sportswoman in full flight shows us that face — aggression and competitiveness combining in a glorious glare — but the rest of us don't like looking like that, and we sure as hell don't want you seeing us like that either.
Grace Tame's furious face, Brittany Higgins' high-chinned disdain and unconcealed rage predictably upset all the usual members of the usual commentariat — nothing more confronting than the uncontrolled threat of an angry woman.
But you know what was so subversive, so dangerous and so change-making about their rage, about that face? It was because it upset so many of us, so many other women — because we know what that face means and how much rage that face reveals, and its suppression goes to the heart of a deep, unexpressed fear: that once unleashed, we don't know where or how that anger will end.
This week on Q&A
the eternally brave Rosie Batty held that position for all of us. Before the show she told us of a dinner party of mostly 70-year old's she attended after that incendiary Press Club event.
Grace's anger had made her feel uncomfortable — and it turned out that it made all the women at that table terribly uncomfortable too.
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Duration: 2 minutes 41 seconds2m 41s
Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame take aim at Federal Government
What was it about women being uncomfortable with such anger, she wondered? All those years of social conditioning, never asking for too much, never banging a fist on the table in rage?
"I grew up on a farm," she told us, "and it was made obvious to me that I would never inherit the farm — it would go to my younger brothers. You've got all that conditioning of how to behave as a woman and how you should be behaving as a man. It's given me food for thought."
On the program Rosie, who has earned through gut-wrenching trauma and sorrow the right to be more enraged than most of us, acknowledged that maybe she had been wrong to criticise Grace Tame
for her open contempt of the Prime Minister at the Lodge on Australia Day and that maybe there were other ways to advocate, other ways to prosecute your cause rather than the path of the reasonable diplomat. Rosie seemed to be saying that unbridled fury also had its place.
The forgotten echo here is the reaction, now perhaps lost in the mists of recent times, to Rosie Batty's own passionate, unapologetic advocacy, stirring up angry, attacking salvos from blokes like Mark Latham
and unionist John Setka
. So it might not matter how you parse or mask your fury — those who don't want to hear it will always find a way to reject it.
Unasked-for anger, a by-product of trauma
I hear from so many angry women on my show: women caring unpaid for elderly parents of disabled children; women who are paid less than a male colleague
in the same role, women who have had their child's NDIS package slashed with no explanation. Their voices tremble and sometimes they cry. I often wonder if listeners assume these callers are sad or nervous: I don't think they are. I think they are shedding those hot tears of rage.
After hundreds of years of being raised in the arts of making nice — for safety, for self-preservation, for comfort and for the comfort of others — a new generation of women is stepping into their power fuelled by the unasked-for anger that is the by-product of their trauma. And they want you to see it on their face. And they don't care if it makes you or makes me squirm.
We are going to have to get comfortable with seeing a woman's rage. And if this generation is offering to teach us all the dark arts of refusing to make nice — I want to join their coven.
Food for Thought.