Australia Has Its First G-G-G…

April 14, 2008 at 3:07 am (Uncategorized)

It’s not all boulangerie-based concerns here at Carbohydrate H.Q. No, I have also been meaning to discuss PM Rudd with you all in recent weeks, and Tibet, and the republic debate, and Rudd’s visit to China, and all sorts of other things, but since I have already posted once today already, and really need to turn my attention elsewhere for the remainder of my working day, I just thought I’d start with the appointment of Australia’s next (and possibly last, if Australia does move toward becoming a republic, as I hope it will) Governor-General. Yes, it’s no longer to be simply the G-G but the G-G-G: Girl-Governor-General.

It sort of irks me that there’s media discussion along gender political lines about the Queen’s appointment (under advisement from Rudd) of Quentin Bryce. After all, G-Gs have been named in Australia for the past 107 years. If there is any discussion to be had, it’s about why it took so bloody long for there to be a female appointment, not that there’s finally been one. It’s all a bit topsy-turvy, don’t you think? A bit of a non-debate, if you ask me. Is Rudd playing gender politics by naming the first woman? Er, on that painfully superficial model, do you not think he’d just as easily qualify as playing gender politics if he’d appointed another man?

As I’ve said before on this blog, it’s never once occurred to me that I’m not as intellectually or socially or culturally capable as a man, and therefore it’s never once occurred to me that my successes might be less than a man’s, nor that my future appointments might be subordinate. The very idea the G-G-G has been appointed on the basis of her sex is frankly laughable – from the CV I’ve just read, she’s a really accomplished, switched on, engaged, terribly smart Australian. The only reason it’s even relevant that she’s female is that it’s taken 107 years for a woman to fill the role. Had gender imbalances of the past been corrected over time, women would have been named as often as male contenders, and the fact of their femaleness would have ceased to cause a stir like we one we witness today. Think of women in university lecture halls and polling booths. In my lifetime, it’s never been odd. Today it’s a given that we are allowed inside spaces where once women were seen to have no place. But it was contentious once, and both men and women of the past worked hard to ensure it would not always be so, and I am part of a generation reaping the rewards of their efforts to create a diverse and fair society. Clearly, given the fuss the first G-G-G appointment is causing, there is still work to be done before such things are no longer regarded as strange.

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