Abalinx 6 September 2018 Peter Adamis
I am not convinced by Julia Bishop’s recent outburst on alleged bullying of women in Parliament. Here we have the nation’s most powerful and popular woman in Parliament today staring that she has personally witnessed appalling behaviour by some of her colleagues. A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: JULIE BISHOP FAILS TO CHECKMATE MENS BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS WOMEN
It reminds me of Australian Defence Force personnel (High rank) who failed to speak out against poor leadership decisions, unwarranted behaviour or mistreatment of men and women under their command whilst they were still serving. Then like their political employers, they toed the line. It is a well-known fact that rank above Lieutenant Colonel becomes political and rely on mentors rather than on merit. Once free of their political strings upon separation from the Australian Defence Force come out making comments that they should have had the courage when they were in office.
Politics is no different. Politicians have their mentors, allegiances, alliances and agreements amongst their colleagues. As such we the public expect them to stand up and be counted and toe the line on matters of behaviour unacceptable in today’s society. Sarah Hanson Young, Julia Banks, Penny Wong and Julie Bishop come out in public to speak out against alleged poor behaviour in Parliament towards women. Where were they when such behaviour was being meted outed, what action did they take, did they complain to the Parliamentary Whip, did they bring it to the attention of their leader are questions that only they can answer to.
Helen Kroger a former Liberal party Senator did not complain when she was in Parliament and neither do we hear of her complaining once she left Parliament. The Government Whip Nola Merlino did not receive any complaints, neither did the Prime Minister at the time. The former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whether you like it or not also made negative comments about her parliamentary colleagues and Kelly O’Dwyer not to be outdone came out and complained about the poor behaviour of her own colleagues. On the other hand, Christopher Pyne, who is normally the “attack dog” for the previous Prime Minister came out to say that if such matters are brought to their notice, they act on it very quick smart or words to that effect.
This brings me to the wrong message being posted on social media outlets, main news outlets and other forms of communication regarding the role of men and women regarding domestic violence. Men are being seen as evil, destructive, the perpetrator of violence and always the initiator of violence. I have discussed this matter with women and the majority of those have indicated that although the male is the aggressor, women must also be held responsible. Relationships are always considered to be a combination of respect, values, communication and faith in one another. Whenever there is a breakdown in any of the above the relation becomes damaged and although in many cases time heals those wounds, the scars remain forever.
The message that should be sent to the public is enhancing the above characteristics by mutual consolidation, education, intervention and joint discussions to find a solution. Violence in my opinion is not only physical but psychological. If a couple lacks the maturity and skills to navigate through the challenges they face, mechanism should be in place to overcome those challenges. Councils and Medical centres are in my opinion best placed to handle such matters should couples need help or are overwhelmed by the challenges they face and not to be judged because of their poor decision making.
At the Parliamentary level I see no reason why an independent body cannot be installed that is non-judgemental and nonpartisan or beholden to any political party. These are important issues that require further study on behaviour and societal expectations by individuals qualified in such matters. Furthermore I must say that when I was completing my Environmental Occupational Health and Safety at Monash University I found to my surprise that the word “Health” in the acronym EOH&S was ALWAYS a poor cousin and neglected in the work place.
In politics men and women should not have to “Suck to suck it up” but should be encouraged to speak out and not wait until they have resigned or left parliament. After all, we the public look towards our parliamentarians to set the example of good behaviour. The message being sent to our youth today is not conducive to relationship longevity.
Readers will have diverse views and I respect their opinions as long as the solutions they provide are consistent with societal expectations and values. Helen Clark a former New Zealand Prime Minister said women need in Parliament to be resilient, build support networks, and keep standing there and not to give up. Good advice I must say. A pity our own political representatives don’t take a leaf out of Helen Clark’s book.
Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), and Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: [email protected]