Something I do periodically is check our national broadcaster the ABC for updates on gender issues. Why? Because I like to trigger myself, is why. Seems there hasn’t been a fresh sitrep on the effort against the white male patriarchy in TWO whole days! What’s going on, ladies? Equality doesn’t get a rest day you know! Maybe the foot soldiers of the equality-movement are suffering equality-fatigue, which is too bad, because there are still plenty of equality-battles to be fought before the equality-war is won.
Take my work, for example. Casual sexism is the baseline. I recently walked in on a pair of male colleagues bantering over a poorly-worded email from another employee who had “grabbed Dick” several times during an incident. While I’m definitely not the banter-police, we do have a Respectful Workplace Behaviours policy designed to extinguish this sort of silliness, so I turned to the female colleague also in the room with raised eyebrows and a “I’ll shut this shit down” expression. But then I stopped. She was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe. What gives, sister??
Trust me ladies, I was perplexed. Especially as this female colleague of mine is a straighty 180 so consciously corporate in everything she says and does that it makes you want to poke her to see if she’s actually human. So what’s with all the ROFLing, Aunt Phyllis? Sure made my day easy, though: I sauntered out with some dry comment about the mental age of people who still think the Richard/Dick thing is funny, and left it at that. Looks like us auxiliaries get a rest day too. Wartime espionage is a tiresome side-hustle, I have to say. Nobody ever appreciates a truly good agent provocateur.
Getting back to the ABC article I referred to above, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency have released a study on the gendered impact of COVID-19 and (surprise!) how it has impacted women more than men. They cite how job losses in female-dominated industries and among the part-time and casual workforce disproportionately hurt women. Equal Opportunity Commissioner for South Australia, Dr Nikki Vincent finds ‘unconscious [gender] bias’ in political responses to the virus, saying most government aid has gone into propping up male-centric industries. Grab your torch and pitchfork! We must do better!
But here’s a rhetorical suggestion — let’s poll all the blokes currently on ventilators in ICU’s to see if they’d sacrifice their superannuation for a few more years of life? Unmentioned is the fact that a husband’s super often ends up supporting his wife for years after he dies (here in Oz it’s four years currently). Ironically, if COVID-19 was created by an angry man then the Grim Reaper is demonstrably female: the mortality statistics for COVID are eye-wateringly gender biased. The virus is almost twice as deadly to men generally, and is a death-sentence to males above 75. Extrapolated unscientifically, it seems a lot of widows are doing quite nicely under $$COVID$$. I guess that’s a gendered impact the feminists ‘forgot’ to mention.