Women are right to protest

| March 19, 2021

We have recently been exposed to the knowledge that many women have been treated badly. This should not have come as a surprise – for years, we have been told of women and domestic violence; of women being paid less in the workforce; of women being refused admission to certain types of employment; of women not being elected to senior positions in large companies. Now, it seems that our leaders are also to be blamed for their treatment of women.

Historically, when Australia was colonised, the majority of Europeans were not only men but also either criminals or their often brutal overseers. Later, women came to the country, but these were to a great extent also criminals or those forced by circumstances into prostitution. A few were the wives of senior officers and therefore to a greater or lesser extent respected.

For the first few generations, the men spent most of the daylight hours working with other men, only returning to the womenfolk to eat and sleep. Many of the settlers who came out did so only to make their fortune and retire – they had little or no feelings for the country. The policing was mainly done by the rather corrupt army who were not trained for that type of activity anyway.

It was only the First and Second Wars which freed women from the home duties or servitude which they had become used to. The men at war were living with their peers and their beliefs only became more entrenched, so when they returned at the end of the conflict they naturally wanted to resume the lifestyle they had grown up with.

In the years since the end of the Second World War sexual mores have changed very slowly – we now have an acceptance of gay and lesbian activities, women given more rights in the workplace, more women becoming the main breadwinners in the family and more women leading society in politics, clubs, business, science, theology the arts and philosophy.

The sudden upsurge in young women demanding to be heard in the sphere of sexual equality is therefore a logical outcome of years of oppression coupled with better education and a more relaxed attitude towards others.