I came across this extraordinary piece of journalism.
Bill Shorten, in delivering his childcare policy, made the following comment:
“Let’s face it, men in Australia rely on women in Australia to do the childcare and to organise the childcare,” Shorten said.
Which as a generalisation, is true in this country.
Lisa Wilksinson, from Today, started the following attack on these comments:
“When Bill Shorten describes women as having the second job, that men ‘rely on women to take care of all things when it comes to looking after the kids’, in other words so men can get on with doing all the important stuff, isn’t he simply entrenching a stereotype of women as second class citizens?” Wilkinson said.
I found this to be an extraordinary statement on a number of fronts:
- Wilkinson is almost outright stating that she views raising a child is the job of a second class citizen (otherwise she would not think this is what Shorten was saying). I couldn't disagree more.
- And having made that association between child raising & being a second class citizen (whether as an attack or not)...on National TV.... reinforces this view in any who hold it (whether or not that was Wilkinsons intention).
- she was attacking Shorten for saying what is very largely true in Australia...while the only negative labels attached to child raising, were the ones that Wilkinson herself was attaching to child raising.
- in saying 'it is so last century' she ignores the vast majority of Australia use this arrangement (whether or not one aggress with the arrangement), effectively sticking her head in the sand (if she believes the situation to be a problem, then it needs to be debated/discussed, not shut down)
I'm all for people trying to create a better world...but I never viewed the raising of a child as creating a lesser world. Nor those who do the child raising as 2nd class citizens. I find this concept, and her dialogue extraordinary.