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Morrison’s casual sexism a ‘put down’ for women

WR Law

What sort of a standard of behaviour are we seeing in Scott Morrison when he shows the ugly side of the Macho Man – the beer-swilling, rugby league watching, tough guy image he likes to present?

He recently blackened his image when he laughed at, not with, Jim Chalmers who confessed that he had cried in Kevin Rudd’s office.

What was Morrison’s reaction? He called out Jim Chalmers in a derogatory way, describing him as ‘precious’ and ‘sensitive’, and it was meant in the cruellest, not admiring, manner. The inference was that only girls/women show those emotions, which are the pinnacle of weakness. Men don’t cry. The PM’s implication was that a man crying renders him weak, is shameful. He projected the stereotypical expectations of masculinity on boys and men. This attitude is costing the lives of young men.

Even my generation, which is somewhat older than Scott Morrison’s, encouraged our boys to show their emotions, to cry if they needed, to show love openly when they wanted, and here we are all these years later with a pathetic show of macho male in all its glory, as Scott Morrison derided Jim Chalmers for showing some emotion.

We only have to look at Australia’s suicide figures among young men to know that they and adolescent boys are at greater risk of suicide, with health professionals highlighting the importance of presenting young men with alternative and multiple ways of being male and dismantling rigid norms.

Here we have our ‘enlightened’ PM mocking a colleague for being too sensitive, too precious and a cry baby. What crassness is this?

Real leaders do not operate as Morrison has this year. Leadership during the pandemic came from state leaders, many of them women, who performed extraordinarily well in their home states.

Morrison is providing nothing in the way of leadership, instead ignoring women, the country’s most disadvantaged, and our First Nations People. And where is the leadership so desperately needed in the areas of climate change and energy? Don’t go looking in Scott’s direction.

Real leaders are not afraid to show compassion and conviction, not mock those sentiments. A more empathetic Australia is exactly what we need now, as we climb out of this recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. We need leaders who can cry if they see terrible injustices. We would actually respect them all the more for doing so. It did not hurt Bob Hawke to cry while telling the nation about the daughter he loved who was deeply drug addicted. The country cried with him, not at him.

What I found most disturbing was the disparagement of ‘feelings’ which are often attributed to women’s emotions rather than men. That is so much a put-down today, when emotions from either sex should be equally valued and appreciated, not laughed at.

Crying is very much a human emotion. We should applaud it, not deride it.

Ref: Carla Lambert. Women’s Agenda

This article has been prepared for information purposes only and is not legal advice. For legal advice regarding your specific circumstances, please contact WR Law directly on (03) 5499 6131 or by email at admin@wrlaw.com.au