I read John Birmingham's Blunt Instrument column this morning as I always do, and I have to say I was yelling 'yay', not just in my head but out loud. Sometimes Mr Birmingham and I do not necessarily agree (and I am sure Mr Birmingham would not care less, nor should he) but this week we are definitely in tandem.
There are some total, for want of a better word (or to put it more honestly, a word which I will not use in semi-polite company), cretins out there at the moment in the public eye masquerading as men. You and I know who they are. Radio journalists. British multi-millionaires with a penchant for 'lovers tiffs'. Commentators on Sunday ABC programs which I love(d) to watch. Complete worms who seem to think that insulting or bullying women is not only acceptable, it is something to be admired.
I cheerfully admit that in my heart I would like to use Mr Birmingham's blunt instrument on these 'gents' and see how they feel about things then, but violence isn't the answer (unfortunately), so I will stick with using my words instead.
Belittling women is the act of cowards. It's the act of those who need to make themselves feel better about their own inadequacies. They are the ones who stood on the corner of the playground as kids, never quite fitting in, who made fun of others so that they weren't beaten up themselves.
I'd feel sorry for them if they weren't so bloody horrible.
This is not an anti-men rant. Far from it. Much as certain people of my acquaintance (you know who you are) may accuse me of occasionally going on a Germaine-Greerian rant, this ain't it. I absolutely consider myself a feminist. I think that women should be paid the same as men and should have the same opportunities at work and in life based on merit. Equal opportunity should be just that - EQUAL opportunity.
What I want to say is what the last week or so has shown quite clearly is the difference between the twits and the truly good men out there. And it isn't just men in the public eye, although obviously General David Morrison is a shining beacon of hope for the Australian Defence Force and for change within the workplace in general. He speaks from the heart and with passion and truth, and I applaud him. But it's everyday guys too.
Men are speaking out. They are saying 'this isn't acceptable'. Whatever their opinions of the Prime Minister personally for example, they are prepared to say that the way she has been lambasted recently is not on for the leader of our country - or for any woman. They are putting their opinions on paper, online and on the record.
I feel very, very lucky in my male friendships. The men that I know and love are the type of guys who are willing to be vocal about this. They respect women and they treat them well. So I just wanted to say two things.
Firstly, to those who think belittling women is OK - your days are numbered.
And to all those men in my life who say 'this is bullshit' to the above idiots -
Don't go changing.
That includes you, John Birmingham.
And your blunt instrument.