Out of the box: How we’re still getting it wrong

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So last night I dedicated some time and brain cells to staring at a screen. The television screen. Julia Gillard was about to be interviewed, and being a fan of hers for a long time I had been pretty keen to see this. Because we are in 2014, I knew the interview wouldn’t be about hair and beauty and shit like that – it would be about policies, and political achievements, and what she wanted to achieve in her time as PM.

The fact is, Julia will always be referred to as Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Because that is what she was.

The problem with this is that straight away, she’s categorised by her vag instead of her viewpoints.

I don’t care that she is female – I’m one too – but the thing is, the more that we focus on her genitals the more we undermine this strong, wise, independent human being. Not because she’s female – but because it’s the precursor to every single thing she did in her time in office.

I love this picture of her:

JuliaGillard

Image by Sophie Deane, at the introduction of the DisabilityCare levy.

She’s human. She was PM, she achieved a huge amount in her time as PM, but for some reason the interview focused on the following:

  1. Her hair
  2. Her fashion
  3. Her photo
  4. Her boyfriend
  5. Her marital status

Get. Fucked.

Julia showed us more about ourselves as Australians than any other PM has: quite simply, the majority of us could not cope with a strong woman steering the ship of our country.

This isn’t about sexism or misogyny or the disgusting Alan Jones moment. This is about a human who achieved much but is left having to discuss her follicles and anatomy.

An hour or so after this, I admit to you that I watched the Big Brother Eviction. This was the first eviction for the year and I have to tell you something: I’ve never witnessed anything more excruciating and unnecessary in my life.

The background – several housemates were up for eviction, votes were tallied and it came down to one pair – Jake and Gemma. Here they are, the night they entered the Big Brother House:

And this is them last night, as the housemates took turns to say whether they wanted Jake or Gemma to remain in the House:

Image via Channel 9

Image via Channel 9

So.

Ever been the last person picked for a team? Ever been in a situation where every single person (except one) chose against you? Ever had that happen to you on national TV?

Completely unnecessary. Totally brutal.

For me, viewing of the box left me with an overwhelming sense of how far we still had to go. We have a lot to learn about the way we treat each other. About respect. About being thankful and considerate and protecting the inner core of each other – that part we all have that can be so easily wounded.

Because it’s there. There’s no disputing it.

If your heart has ever shrunk with shame, you have it. If your tummy has ever dropped with fear, or fluttered to life with anxiety, then you have it. If you’ve ever felt like you were going to drown in grief or loss or loneliness, you have it.

It’s time we remember it. It’s time to remember we all have that part.

It’s time to protect each other.

What do you think?

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