Sex discrimination legislation lets men get out of doing the laundry...
First I want to draw your attention to a very curious - and alarming - piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, an interview with Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick. In it Ms Broderick (in between suggesting abolishing the exemptions from the legislation enjoyed by the Church amongst others) opines that we don't need separate sex discrimination legislation anymore. In fact, she argues, men are being forced by the law to do fewer chores in the house because they have no legal right to flexible working hours...
Palin for VP!
Then came the outbreak of rabid sexism - from the American left - over the announcement of Sarah Palin as Republican Vice-Presidential nominee. Now I know that was in the United States - but is anyone really prepared to stand up and say an Australian equivalent of Mrs Palin wouldn't be subject to the same outrageous attacks?
Frankly, if ever there was a need to make a case for at least some minimal anti-discrimination legislation in Western societies, the questioning of whether a woman with a family could do the job (ironically coming mostly from rabid feminists), and vicious personal attacks on Mrs Palin and her children would surely do the job.
I'm not a conservative so I don't share many of Mrs Palin's political views. I'd have to say that to an Australian her background (a snow-mobile racing husband; ex-beauty pageant queen who goes out shooting the moose for dinner!) just sounds so exotic as to be bizarre. Almost as if she came from some alien planet (perhaps she does, see below!).
But I have to say if I had a vote in the upcoming Presidential election, I'd be voting for her!
This is a woman who has taken on corrupt forces - in her own party - and won. Who genuinely worked her way up from the school PT to State (and now national) politics. Now true, Alaska is kind of the Australian equivalent of the Northern Territory. But all the more power to her (can you even imagine anyone considering an ex-Chief Minister of the NT as a deputy PM?)! And that's even before you get to being pro-life not just in words, but demonstrated action under pressure.
Then best of all (and I know this won't mean much to many of my readers given the fact that Channel Ten has done its best to make it impossible for most Australians to watch the show by putting it only on high definition tv), she is a doppelganger for President Laura Roslin of the absolutely amazingly wonderful show Battlestar Galactica - and McCain bears an uncanny resemblance to Colonel Tigh, as Fr Zulsdorf has pointed out.
If you haven't seen the new BSG, do go and get out the DVDs (making sure you watch when no children or teens are around, this is a very adult show) - quite the best television I've ever seen, an absolutely brilliant expose of the moral bankrupcy of Western society without being in any way preachy. And its resonances with real life just keep on keeping on!
Australia's new Governor-General
Finally, Australia's new Governor-General, and first woman in the job, Quentin Bryce was sworn in yesterday. Despite pictures in the major dallies of her surrounded by grandchildren, Her Excellency, and notwithstanding her own five children, is certainly not a pro-life advocate as the commenter on a post yesterday has pointed out.
Still, as 'Grumpy old woman' urged, we should pray for her. Now the powers of a Governor-General are considerably more limited than those of a Roman Emperor! All the same, Tertullian puts the case for praying for heads of State very nicely in his Apology to the (pagan) Roman Emperor:
"For we offer prayer for the safety of our princes to the eternal, the true, the living God, whose favour, beyond all others, they must themselves desire.
They know from whom they have obtained their power; they know, as they are men, from whom they have received life itself; they are convinced that He is God alone, on whose power alone they are entirely dependent, to whom they are second, after whom they occupy the highest places, before and above all the gods. Why not, since they are above all living men, and the living, as living, are superior to the dead?
They reflect upon the extent of their power, and so they come to understand the highest; they acknowledge that they have all their might from Him against whom their might is nought. Let the emperor make war on heaven; let him lead heaven captive in his triumph; let him put guards on heaven; let him impose taxes on heaven! He cannot.
Just because he is less than heaven, he is great. For he himself is His to whom heaven and every creature appertains. He gets his sceptre where he first got his humanity; his power where he got the breath of life. Thither we lift our eyes, with hands outstretched, because free from sin; with head uncovered, for we have nothing whereof to be ashamed; finally, without a monitor, because it is from the heart we supplicate.
Without ceasing, for all our emperors we offer prayer. We pray for life prolonged; for security to the empire; for protection to the imperial house; for brave armies, a faithful senate, a virtuous people, the world at rest, whatever, as man or Cæsar, an emperor would wish."