Gillard’s gendered agenda

The Labor Government in Australia has been quietly perusing a legislative reform agenda dictated by the anti-male, anti-family, radical feminist principles of Emily’s List Australia (summarized quaintly as equity, childcare, equal pay, diversity and choice), but the devil is in the details.

This agenda can easily be seen in two gender-biased bills passed through the parliament this year.

June 2012 saw the new Family Violence Act come into effect. For the first time family law legislation was passed without bipartisan support, following a stifling of debate and a rushed late night vote in the senate.  It was concerning this legislation that MP George Christiansen the member for Dawson made his celebrated “Feminist Trojan Horse” speech.

The impetus for these changes were a direct result of the Labor governments pandering to the entrenched domestic violence industry and sponsoring of the National Council’s review of cherry picked feminist advocacy research that resulted in the biased Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009-2021

Although the government’s propaganda denies it, this legislation is widely believed to be a recipe for increased use of false accusations of abuse as a tactic by those (predominantly women) seeking sole residency orders (referred to as physical custody in the US).

The legislation dictates that the court must prioritize the safety of the child (read best interests of the mother) over the rights of the child to an ongoing and meaningful relationship with both parents in any cases where there is alleged family violence. There is no requirement for the allegations to be substantiated, and the definition of what constitutes family violence has broadened to include a range of behaviors that to some degree exist in most relationships and are likely to be evident during the stressful events surrounding separation and divorce.

A raised voice or look perceived as threatening toward a mother may now be used as legal justification for the state sponsored child abuse of alienating children from their fathers. The legal liability and punishments for false allegations (rarely ever awarded previously) have been substantively weakened.

The government argued that the changes were necessary because a high proportion of disputed cases reaching the family court that involved allegations of abuse. Yes they do, false allegations are an extremely effective tactic both in the court and in coercing fathers to relinquish their paternal rights under threat of such allegations if their case does proceed to court.

I predict the volume of false allegations will continue to increase, seeing more fathers alienated from their children by order of the court, aiding and abetting the malicious agenda of mothers who see children as their possessions and fathers as targets for their vindictive retribution.

We are told that is does not represent a “roll back” of the share parenting reforms introduced by the Howard government in 2006. However a roll back by stealth is exactly what it is as it gives any mother who does not want shared parenting an easy and risk free method of getting her wish.

On the 6th Dec 2012 the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 was passed into law, and will begin to be implemented this year. The bill will see a name change from the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999, to the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, with a similar change in name for the government agency enforcing the Act to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Whilst the government spin says the name change is “to emphasise the focus of the Act on gender equality, thereby improving outcomes for both women and men in the workplace,” don’t be fooled. This act is about changing from the egalitarian principle of equality of opportunity to the socialist ideal of mandated equality of outcomes.

Nowhere in the act is there any mention of relieving men of carrying the overwhelming burden of low status, dirty and dangerous work or requiring programs aimed at improving men’s work life balance, relieving them of the expectation of being primary breadwinners or encouraging men’s family life participation to match the commitment to improving women’s workforce participation.

The act dictates a requirement for certain employers (those with more than 100 employees) to prepare annual public reports relating to “gender equality indicators.” The exact indicators are poorly defined and apparently will be promulgated at ministerial discretion. Under previous legislation employers were obligated to implement and report on a workplace program aimed at “eliminating discrimination against women in relation to employment matters.” The new system will enable enforcement of gendered employment outcomes and will likely result in discrimination against men for companies to achieve those outcomes.

It is not expected however, to see the WGEA active in reducing discrimination against men in female dominated workplaces (The Public Service, Education and Public Health sectors for example) as these government employers are NOT covered by the act, which only applies to NON-government workplaces. How convenient it appears government employers can practice anti-male discrimination with impunity.

The workplace Gender Equality Agency will have an expanded role in “advice and education” functions (read indoctrinating employers and employees on the mandated gender outcomes) as well as monitoring employer compliance with the act.

Whilst it is a lengthy document anyone interested should scan the acts explanatory memorandum, which regurgitates the well-worn and simplistic feminist dogma that informs the act, supported by misleading and meaningless graphics and boxed “snapshots”. For example this graph is chosen


rather than say, a graph of hourly earnings for employee’s performing the same job under the same employment conditions, which of course would show no gender gap at all.

This “snapshot” again highlights a misleading picture.

The difference in starting salaries for graduates is of course not determined by gender alone but by a complex mix of factors.  But stating that the starting salaries of graduate nurses or graduate social workers in identical positions were equal regardless of gender would not have quite the same impact, would it?

Of course the preponderance of female graduates seems not to rate a mention despite the widening education gap that is clearly disadvantaging our young men.  For example in In 2009 of the 175,070 domestic students completing a tertiary degree 60% were female and only 40% were male, and in 2010 of the students commencing tertiary study 56.2% were female. Where is the policy and legislation to deal with the education gap? There is of course no such policy; indeed the issue still fails to be acknowledged by government despite the overwhelming evidence.

Just this week the new Workforce Gender Equality Agency has misrepresented in the media the 2012 findings of the Graduate Careers Australia’s (GCA) Annual

Australian Graduate Survey (AGS), as representative of a widespread culture of discrimination against women in the workforce that simply does not exist.  Even GCA has criticized the WGEA’s simplistic interpretation of their data and disregarding of the explanatory notes.

Julia Gillard has today responded to criticism of the WGEA confirming her government’s commitment to providing special advantages for women.  She stated:

The industrial relations system we have now has a principle at its centre, which is that women and what is viewed as women’s work traditionally should not be the subject of lower pay rates.’’

We haven’t just enacted a bill about it.

We’ve actually put our money where it should be with around a $2 billion investment to deal with the long-term disadvantage that social and community services workers are faced (with), basically, because they tend to be women.

With regard to superannuation comparing subgroups of men and women with the same employment histories rather than the totals across all men and women would show little if any difference.

As always policy based on poor analysis of only selected information is bad policy, still it conforms to the ideological underpinnings of Emily’s list and has been applauded by gender ideologues.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s falling popularity subsequent to broken election promises and clearly failing in most policy areas has seen her retreat to playing the gender victim card in her now infamous “misogyny speech.” Which whilst hailed as a triumph for women by feminists the world over, it was understood by most Australians conversant with the background and context to represent the hypocritical, last chance strategy of an incompetent and corrupt politician.

It is imperative that Australians who value true gender equity should be informed of the radical feminist agenda behind Emily’s list and their influence on Julia Gillard and the Labor Governments plans for Australian men and women. The success of sexual politics in influencing the outcome of the recent Presidential Election in the US is said to support Gillard’s change of tactical direction and foreshadows that gender issues will be high profile in the forthcoming 2013 Australian Federal Elections.

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