Welcome to the era of ‘touchy-feely’ politics where everyone has decided to govern the nation with a rush of hormonal emotion rather than reason. Given this, I do not see the point in sitting down and writing a professional reply to the Budget 2021. It was not born out of propriety so it has no right to be judged by it.
This will be offensive.
Budgets are a legal record of the way in which the government intends to waste your money. Great care is taken to bloat their spines with as much tedium and ambiguity as possible to ensure that the content remains virginal – unexamined like a third world wedding with the bride suffocated under a shroud so that no one is really sure what they are getting. It is echoed by the equally pointless Budget Reply put out by the opposition that lands on the Canberra press gallery like ‘Blue-Steel’ in a Zoolander dance off.
Clarity is an endangered species in these jungles of bureaucracy. In the rare occurrence that actual figures stumble onto the page, they are – upon closer inspection – merely estimates rounded to the nearest million loosely flung at organisations or ‘ideas’ with no explanation as to how they will be allocated. A billion dollars for domestic violence! Sure, but that is not enough detail for anyone to understand if the cash is just being piled out in a field somewhere and burned to top up the solar farms at night.
With this positive attitude, you can imagine my shock upon reaching the end of the Budget countdown only to find that the ‘Men’s Budget Statement’ was missing. Men are the gender minority in Australia, so one would have thought that if any gender was going to qualify for its own special statement, it would be those poor bastards. This missing gender statement is even more odd when we consider that the government’s narrative for the last six months has been one of raging equality. (I suspect they might have misgendered ‘female supremacy’.)
Opening the Women’s Budget Statement was a mistake.
I would like to say that, ‘I’ve read it so that you don’t have to!’ but in truth, I’ve read about as much of it as I could stomach before the urge to pick up a pitch fork and start a revolution against stupidity took over – which translates to about two-thirds of an 87 page document.
Considering that this entire ‘oh no victimised women in the Canberra workplace’ narrative started because a drunk staffer was allowed to sign herself into Parliament House at two in the morning (under the watch of a female security guard who escorted her and the man she was with up to the female Minister of Defence’s office where she was later found naked and hung over on the couch), I’m surprised that the first few pages weren’t devoted to banning alcohol, enforcing designated appropriate work hours, and buying a lock for the minister’s office.
It is not wider society’s fault that the political class have a maturity problem. This is like when Hollywood turned around and blamed corporate workplaces for the #MeToo crisis, when they were the ones with the Casting Couch and easily the worst unregulated pay disparity of any industry. Imagine if Hollywood stars were paid a flat unionised rate by the hour. There would be a global meltdown to rival the climate apocalypse if these snowflakes weren’t raking in $100 million a movie.
The Women’s Budget opens by laying out its purpose to make all of society equal, fair and safe by creating yet more layers of meaningless, expensive bureaucracy. Most of its prelude can be put down to utter drivel designed to appeal to the left-wing fringe of fourth wave feminists cowering under the #March4Justice hashtag. These professional rage-ivists have no intention of voting Liberal at the next election, but the government is happy to use them as an excuse to spend more money on itself even to the point where a conservative government is repeating their bogus claims.
Included in this borrowing blowout is the revelation that we have spent $340 million dollars on the 33 findings of the ‘Fourth Action Plan’ and have now committed to spending more.
Reading this, I have to stop and ask myself, when was the last time that a normal Australian business spent $340 million dollars on a report and some conferences? There is no possibility that the taxpayer has received value for money out of this unless one of the 33 findings contained the cure for cancer. This is a perfect example of the public service grifting off society under the pretence of ‘doing good’. After all, there are only so many reports you can run on the subject. Violence against women is bad. Yes, we know. Now arrest anyone who does it and cut us all a cheque for the money left over. What’s that? Oh, you’ve been letting violent offenders out on bail for culturally sensitive reasons. There’s your problem right there.
If you are interested in what $340 million dollars looks like as a PDF, you can view it here.
It is not enough to have an entire ministry devoted to women. The Budget lays out the creation of yet another taskforce and three new Cabinet positions staffed by women, because somewhere along the line gender has become a qualification. It forms part of the government’s intention to view itself through ‘the female lens’, an idea that was responsible for the earlier re-shuffling of MPs. Scott Morrison admits that over a billion dollars has been invested in the projects that fall under this taskforce in previous years – which to any sane person would suggest that throwing money at them is not the solution.
How are men’s issues addressed in the Budget without a dedicated ministry or taskforce? Who knows. What I do know is that there are a lot of male ministers I’d rather have in charge before I get to the likes of Marise Payne, Michaelia Cash, and Linda Reynolds. Don’t worry, the Left hate this part of the Budget too because Amanda Stoker sits on the taskforce. A Christian conservative prepared to admit that they are against late term abortion cancels out any virtue signalling points Scott Morrison hoped to earn.
While the Budget prattles on justifying its expenses because women’s basic incomes have dropped in the last few years, it misses the obvious solution. If you want women to have more financial security and provide a higher contribution in the workforce, fix the job industry for everyone. Breaking the economy down into identity groups is the fastest way to recreate Venezuela. To be honest, I thought the people charged with governing the nation knew this.
Women are not facing economic uncertainty because of their gender, they’re skirting around the edge of financial ruin because Australia’s internal and external borders are shut. This action has wiped out Australia’s three largest employers – hospitality, retail, and tourism. Considering these industries also contain the highest percentage of part time and casual work, which women naturally drift toward during their child rearing years, the government must address its own massive policy failures during the Covid crisis to restore the industries where women choose to work. A ‘taskforce of tits’ is not going to do that. One wonders how the single biggest cause of women losing their jobs is left out of the women’s budget statement. Is it because that would force the government to admit that it is not society at fault, but themselves?
Oh, but we have promised $170 million to developing women leaders in the Pacific through the ‘Pacific Women Lead’ program. Why would the Pacific want our money if we are a racist, sexist, colonial hell hole (according to activists)? Most of the nations on the list are already involved in double-dealing under the table with China, allowing the aggressive Communist state military strong holds which endanger Australia’s national security. Perhaps they can ask them for the money instead. We need it to pay off Christopher Pyne’s submarine debt.
The Budget promises $1.1 billion for women’s safety. What does that mean? I can tell you what it doesn’t mean. This money is not going towards the construction of more jails to cope with a population that has more than doubled. Without anywhere to put convicted domestic violence offenders, the legal system is sending these offenders back home to the families that they abuse. No amount of ‘hotlines’ and ‘education’ is going to protect women if thugs are sleeping next to them at night. This is especially true if the ‘defund the police’ branch of the Marxist activist group “Black Lives Matter” get their way and release all offenders from jail on humanitarian grounds. A lawless society will obviously be a safe society. Why does every civilisation have a police force? Who knows. Total mystery.
It is not only that we release domestic violence offenders over a cough, it’s that we do not sentence them properly in the first place.
See if you can spot the systemic problem with our legal system:
A 32 year old man pleaded guilty to pouring petrol on his ex-partner’s home. He set her car on fire and assaulted her by punching her several times in the head and chest. A female judge, Julie Dick, sentenced him to three – yes three – years in prison. He was released immediately on parole partly because of fears surrounding Covid.
Does the problem sound like it is going to be solved with a few talk-fests and Cabinet portfolios – or do we need to get serious about locking offenders up for onerous lengths of time as a deterrent? While the same government that is complaining about a spike in domestic violence passes emergency legislation to release criminals, the view of the wider community is to leave them there. If they catch Covid while they are in jail well that is just tough bloody luck. Don’t beat the sh!t out of your wife next time.
And yes, domestic violence has risen sharply in the last two years because families are locked in their homes watching their financial situation spiral into disaster with a screaming brood of children at their feet. The stress of going broke, losing your home, and having no social escape is entirely the fault of draconian and irresponsible government regulation. The solution to which is reducing red tape, lowering tax, and opening up the country as quickly as possible so that normal life can resume – sensible recommendations that you won’t find anywhere in this Budget statement.
The discussion on women’s safety manages to skirt around another big issue. This Budget reply goes to great length to identify the substantially higher rate of domestic violence within Indigenous and refugee communities. While its presentation of statistical data shows that these crimes are perpetrated by members of those communities upon each other, the report does not have the guts to put the obvious truth in print.
“Women from diverse backgrounds often experience higher rates of family, domestic and sexual violence, which are not well measured and often go unrecorded. The Government recognises and respects diverse lived experiences and is working to address the drivers of violence against all women.”
Let’s translate this out of double-speak and into English.
“Women from different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds experience higher rates of family, domestic and sexual violence because their cultures do not have the same level of respect for women. Violence and sexual abuse is often an accepted part of their culture and perfectly legal in the countries that they have migrated from. Upon entering Australia, these men have not changed their behaviour, which is illegal under Australian law, but the activist legal system doesn’t have the balls to call them out for it because it might offend the narrative that diversity of culture is always good and enriching. Instead, the Government acknowledges that the Australian taxpayer is dealing with a generation of violent men who think it is their god-given right to abuse their wives and children.”
Bell the cat if you are going to spend a fortune of our money on the vet bill. We are trying to smooth over the disparity of women’s equality in other countries while at the same time being routinely attacked by left-wing activists.
These are the same mental giants who blame domestic violence within Indigenous communities on colonialism, despite it being a systemic part of the culture for near on 60,000 years. Enough. It is time Australians stopped allowing these lies to go unchallenged. When we talk about Indigenous communities we have to remember that we are dealing with the largest civilisation gap in recorded history where a deeply patriarchal society is coming to terms with a rapid shift toward Western standards of equality toward women – something that took the West thousands of years to transition into. This drastic cultural shift is exaggerated by a legal system that refuses to support the interests of victimised women and children. Instead, it displays excessive leniency toward violent male offenders who are returned to the household to re-offend in a grave miscarriage of justice that would never be tolerated in the wider Australian community.
It is activism that is endangering Indigenous women and the bigotry of low expectations set upon them by the woke crowd who would rather see women and children sacrificed than admit that there is a cultural problem regarding domestic violence within the community. The Budget’s solution? Throw hundreds of millions of dollars at the bureaucratic enablers.
“Women from refugee backgrounds are particularly at risk of financial abuse and reproductive coercion. This, combined with low awareness around services available means that there are high rates of under-reporting of family violence among refugee women. Promoting access to existing culturally safe (what is that supposed to mean?) family violence services, developing the capacity of services, and providing culturally sensitive training on respectful relationships and relevant Australian laws is integral to ensuring refugee and migrant women are included in the Government’s women’s safety agenda.”
I’m sorry… What sort of men are the government bringing into Australia? Forget being ‘culturally sensitive’. How about we get very bloody insensitive and lay it out for these men that if they act like pigs then the next thing they see will be their one-way ticket back to where they came from? Can you imagine what would happen if Australian men moved to Germany and started beating their wives or locking them indoors? I doubt we’d see ‘culturally sensitive training’ – more likely there would be sirens, flashing lights, and a prison cell.
To give you an idea about how unhinged these expensive government programs are, here is a quote from ‘Our Watch’.
“Diversity and inclusion are the building blocks for taking an ‘intersectional approach’. They help us target a range of audiences and consider how we can include them in our strategy. An ‘intersectional approach’ on primary prevention of violence against women takes a step further to consider the complexity of diversity and inclusion.”
Which prompts me to ask, does anyone from the government actually read the garbage these organisations put out, or do they just write them cheques and bank the virtue points?
According to this document there has been $100 million spent on data-gathering and who knows how much tossed in the direction of marketing firms to promote government thought bubbles. Take, for instance, the ‘Stop It At The Start’ campaign – the group responsible for those ads that demonise young boys and men. It features things like two kids fighting and one of the parents saying something along the lines of, ‘boys will be boys’.
What these ad campaigns never talk about are the rise in child marriage, segregation of young women from their male peers, and mutilation of little girls for the sexual pleasure of old men – cultural practices that have been imported into Australia bringing with them an entirely new dimension of abuse. Also something you will never see an ad about; children raping other children in remote regional areas, only to be let off by activist judges influenced by ‘raise the age’ campaigns to allow the most horrific child offenders to walk free with victims never receiving the justice they deserve.
Does the government really want to talk about consent and respectful relationships? Let’s tackle the really hard stuff first. Australia does not have systemic problems with the treatment of women, it has specific problems embedded in certain communities – communities which their ad campaigns neither address nor target.
Next on the agenda is the government’s plan to claw its way into the private workforce and start micromanaging women’s lives. Aside from this amounting to Step One in collectivising industry, it is also counter-productive.
There has been nothing more damaging to the employment prospects of young, single women than the invention of the #MeToo political movement and the subsequent obsession of predatory activism with the workplace. It has undone 60 years of progress overnight by turning women into a strange dichotomy of dangerous predators and helpless victims – neither of which does anything for their career prospects.
It isn’t only activists to blame. Ex-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did a great job of criminalising consensual relationships between men and women at work by trying to erase any form of romantic interaction from the workplace. A little difficult to achieve, one might imagine, given that a large percentage of small and medium businesses are run by families. Conflating sexual assault and consensual love is a mistake that could only be made by someone permanently disconnected from affection.
Humans are complex social creatures. Expecting the Australian workforce to act like an androgynous mass of obedient slaves will only force inevitable relationships into the shadows where there is even less oversight and protection for women because they will be more afraid of losing their jobs if they admit to them.
The official proposal in the Budget covering this topic is the ‘Roadmap for Respect’ – which is one of the most insulting, de-humanising, and infantilising things to come out of Canberra in a long time.
It justifies its existence on a statistic that says 40% of all women have experienced sexual harassment at work. Based on what? An awkward pass? Normal, playful human social interactions? A joke? A tap? I wager that actual sexual harassment is far lower than the quoted figure and yet it is never challenged, not even by a conservative government which too often plays along with Labor’s habit of quoting nonsense statistics to greenlight billions of dollars.
What happened to conservative governments priding themselves on being a ‘small government’? Micro-managing the social interactions of the workplace is heavy-handed government overreach. Bosses can deal with harassment, Fairwork can bridge the gap, and if it is illegal – call the police. There is no role here for the government. Besides, Canberra has already proved itself to be one of the most toxic workplaces for women so how dare it barge its way into the private sector like a Union thug pushing into the tea room.
Consider this: if the Unions had not made it so difficult to fire employees for breaking workplace regulations, we wouldn’t have most of these problems. You can basically be caught stealing three times before an employer can fire you, so imagine how hard it is to get rid of a problem personality from the office unless they get caught on camera with their bits in the coffee machine… The loss of personal responsibility and the discretion of the employer’s judgement is to blame here – and for that you can thank the Union movement.
You won’t see a Treasurer brave enough to put any of this in the Women’s Budget Statement.
“A Roadmap for Respect emphasises that addressing sexual harassment will require leadership and engagement from all levels of government, industry groups, professional organisations, employers, workers and the private sector.”
Not that it matters. The way government is treating businesses in the post-Covid world, there won’t be a private sector left to employ women.
It is time we address the main obsession of the Women’s Budget Statement. Nearly a third of the document is devoted to the pursuit of equalising the statistical discrepancy between male and female participation in the workforce.
The Treasury is not happy that there are significant missing hours of work caused by women choosing to stay home and raise children. The report states:
“Women on average spend 30 hours per week on unpaid housework and child care, while men spend on average 19 hours. In particular, women are much more likely than men to make adjustments to their paid work after having a child, while paid work patterns for men remain essentially unchanged when they become fathers. These patterns appear to persist even as children get older and many women re-engage with paid work.”
The correct answer to this observation is, ‘so what?’
The private domestic arrangements of families are none of the government’s business. I know biology has gone out of fashion recently but women are the statistically favoured child carers. They choose to stay home when their children are young. They choose to supplement their child rearing with less stressful part-time work. Their pay gap is an expression of voluntary sacrifice for which they are rewarded not with money, but with a child.
There is nothing stopping a family from making the main child care parent the father. Plenty of Australian families see the woman as the breadwinner while the man stays home to raise their children. Other families take turns. There is no legal impediment to choice, but there is a natural inclination toward a particular family set up.
The government seeks to claw back these ‘lost work hours’ by throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at things like ‘free childcare’ – remembering that ‘free’ means ‘paid for by everyone else’. For the small amount of women that choose to stay home to raise their kids (and in 2021, it is a minority of total women) free childcare will not result in them going to work – they will simply drop the kids off and go down to the local cafe for a coffee with the other stay at home mums.
Free childcare only makes sense for families and individuals, be they men or women, who are in desperate need of employment to make ends meet. In this case, the parents who require childcare in order to work can be means tested with an examination of that person’s salary. If they genuinely need help, that’s one thing, but free childcare for everyone is not a sound economic policy.
No one has stopped to ask if equal employment participation is something that the government should be pursing in the first place. Sure, balanced columns look great on a spreadsheet, but what does it mean in the real world?
If the government got their wish and men and women dropped kids out of the womb and straight into the local creche, we will end up with an entire generation of kids raised by the State. Sending mothers back to work while the State takes control of the upbringing of their children is something that Communist regimes pride themselves on and frankly, it is bizarre to see a conservative government pursuing a figure that would result in this type of society. The most likely explanation is that Treasury has never stopped to think about what their numbers look like when applied to a real group of people.
“The gender pay gap is influenced by a number of factors, including lower wages, discrimination and bias, and women’s greater time out of the workforce.”
No, I am not quoting from Labor’s Budget Reply, this is the kind of nonsense embedded within the Liberal Party’s document.
‘Discrimination and bias’ is utter rot. It is illegal in Australia to pay men and women differently for the same job or to discriminate based upon gender (unless you are a political party promoting and hiring staff purely on their basis of female quotas).
We have already addressed that ‘time spent out of the workforce’ is a choice for the purpose of rearing children. It is not a punishment, it is a voluntary exchange. That leaves us with ‘lower wages’. Women are not paid less than men – women gravitate towards work that pays less because it is either part time or lower skilled. Men inside these jobs are paid identically to women. We do not see anyone losing their mind about the take home pay for young men in retail.
Considering women are statistically better educated than their male counterparts – both in finishing school and completing university degrees – we have to accept that women are smart enough to be make career choices that suit them. The problem is that the choices they make do not fit with the narrative sold by feminists. Less women choose STEM careers not because they are prevented from entering the profession by a maze of institutionalised misogyny and patriarchal oppression – but because they don’t want to do it.
“Female-dominated industries and occupations do typically attract lower pay than male-dominated ones. For example, women make up more than three quarters of the health care and social assistance industry which attracts lower pay than male-dominated industries such as mining where 17% of the workforce are women. In addition, male-dominated industries typically offer higher levels of discretionary payments including bonuses, commissions, shift allowances, and overtime.”
Let’s not dance around here. Health care and social assistance are easier than mining and are rightly paid significantly less. A man working in health care earns the same as a woman – just as a woman working in mining earns the same as her male counterpart. As we can see from the government’s own admission, women can and do choose to work in the mining industry. There is no impediment to them doing so.
The role of government is to make sure that individuals have choice when it comes to their employment – that there is no legal impediment to their pursuit of career. It is not the government’s role to pass judgement on the statistical differences between the private choices of men or women, nor should the government concern itself about gender preferences within a profession.
Where is the panic about the under-representation of men in the education system?
The truth is, the only reason we have hundreds of millions of dollars devoted to solving a problem that doesn’t exist is because feminist activists are using a lie invent an oppression narrative. Instead of addressing the fabrication of activists and facing the wrath of the click-bait press, the government is wagering that it can pick up the female vote if it panders to the screeching minority who – for the record – are never going to be miners or engineers.
“In Australia, women comprise 68% of all part-time workers. While working part-time provides flexibility for managing work and family responsibilities, where roles involve casual employment, they do not offer the same security and predictability as permanent roles, often carry less responsibility and can present limited career options.”
Indeed. Probably because those women want flexible work that pays more for less hours that they can pick up and cancel at a moment’s notice. If women want regular, secure employment, they take it. The Unions are trying to destroy casual and part-time work because its existence allows the private sector and its employees to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship negating the need for Union intervention. The private sector in retail and hospitality remain the largest untapped gold mine for Union membership and they are desperate to destroy private employment by restricting freedom of choice between employers and employees. It is a long story, but it begins with the mess regarding the Black Coal Award left to fester by Christian Porter until the situation was manipulated into an argument to permanently destroy casual work – to the absolute horror of workers and employers across the nation.
The fact that we are seeing a Liberal government flirt with a Union-generated idea to rip apart the employment industry in Australia – which primarily benefits women – is shocking. Even more shocking, is that not a single commentator has pointed it out.
While the government panics about getting women back into the workforce instead of raising children, they also fret about Australia’s plummeting birth rate. Our fertility is dropping and Treasury sits around scratching its head as to why that might be. Want more children? Encourage traditional family structures, lower taxes, enshrine flexible work, and stop shutting down businesses every time someone sneezes.
Demanding full workforce participation is not going to lead to more kids, especially when paired with the ‘no sex at work’ panic playing out around us.
The final part of the Women’s Budget Statement was the bit that I was really holding out hope for. It contains a discussion about the status and quality of the family court system. There is $63.3 million dollars set aside for legal assistance to ‘help address the impact of Covid’. Of course, what is never said – but should be said – is that the greatest failing of the family court system in Australia is the predatory behaviour of lawyers who treat family law as a blood bank.
They drag civil disputes between parents out for as long as possible until everyone is broke and furious. The lack of regulation and limitation on these cases is a major factor in the rise of violence surrounding family breakups. No one wants to stop the endless money-making machine because too many politicians and their bureaucratic mates are lawyers. Instead, every time the Budget rolls around, small fortunes are thrown at a broken system and straight into the pockets of the wealthiest apex predators in Australia.
In all seriousness, the Women’s Budget Statement is enough to make any woman nauseous. It is full of the meaningless virtue-signalling we have come to expect from a Liberal party which is so desperate to hang onto votes with the demise of their State premiers that they are attempting to court Green and Labor voters. Let me save you the trouble – they are never going to vote for you.
The fastest way for women to achieve equality in Australia is for the government to stop singling us out. We are being impaled on a fishing hook and dangled in front of the bureaucracy while billions of dollars burly up the water beneath us. I am sure we’re putting on a great show while we wiggle about, but at the end of the day, this sort of thing doesn’t end well for the bait.
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Alexandra Marshall (@ellymelly on social media) is the host of "Curtain Call", a Good Sauce show exploring the leading personalities in the culture war. She writes on liberty, philosophy and geopolitics. You can find her on Twitter or read her articles over at her blog.
Elly is also an AI database designer for the retail industry, contributor to multiple online journals and a Young Ambassador with Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.
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