Whilst halfway through my slide in the car, I heard on the radio yet another rally of rabble rousers protesting against the carbon tax and chanting "Ditch the Witch, ditch the Witch."
Admittedly, I was rather busy at the time, thinking about such things as kerbs, tyres, life, death ... you know. But I keep getting flashbacks and the chanting is the soundtrack. Like a bad 'Tour of Duty' companion CD to the war.
Why Witch? Is it because our female Prime Minister has red hair and a long nose? Or because she is female? While on the female thing - how do interviewers and slangers such as this lovely character below get away with calling her by her first name and then stretching it out to a school bully taunt?
Sometimes the supposed Aussie egalitarian ethos gives me the shits. This egalitarian sentiment only activates when peering up to the roost above, not down to the socio-economic equivalent of the chicken hutch floor: that's for the Bleeding Hearts and Do-Gooders.
When Kevin Rudd lambasted an RAAF air hostess, provoking princess tears all around, for providing him with yesterday's newspaper and feeding him meat, Australians jumped up and down at his arrogance and cruelty. Like who does this prat think he is - The Prime Minister or something?
Perhaps Rudd could have been more dignified in his response. Perhaps the RAAF could have noted that Australian Prime Minister was vegetarian and would like to read that day's paper.He is their boss, after all. Duh.
Anyway, to pull my Australian egalitarianism whinge back to the Witch discussion, I'll put myself out on a limb here and suggest that the Witch thing goes beyond sexism or just plain bad manners. It is engaging in popularising misogyny ... an exercise in keeping the woman in 'her place'. A crowd of people chanting ditch the witch reminds me of a bunch of flat earthers holding rakes and pitchforks - those delightful folk who, if they could actually find enough firewood after burning witches for the last thousand years, would happily harry another red headed, unwed woman (and thank goodness she is not a midwife) to the stake.
I'm quite politically ambivalent. Yet I find this recent climate disturbing: that the opposition leader is okay with standing in front of the blatantly homophobic and misogynistic placards in order to whip up some popularity for himself - and that our women leaders are so publicly disrespected on a personal, rather than a political platform. Maybe it is just me.
Is it just me?