International Women’s Day (… And The Childcare Strike)


And I thought I had a twisted sense of humour. 

But I’m not the one who arranged a Childcare Centre strike on International Women’s Day.

I kid you not.

Around 1000 Australian Childcare workers are going on strike at 3.20pm on Wednesday 8 March 2017.

Look, I get it. I get they want to make a point: they are protesting the large difference in pay between male-dominated and female-dominated professions. 

And it sucks. No, the word ‘sucks’ trivialises the matter. It is the most ridiculous bullshit* that still exists in our modern society. 

We live in a society where we are blessed… Yes, BLESSED to have high quality childcare services with trained staff and plenty of resources. In a large majority of cases. 

But to be honest, is a strike on International Women’s Day the best idea?

Because when a childcare centre strikes, when it closes early for the day, which demographic is hit the hardest?

Women

That’s right, minions. The majority of people effected by any changes to childcare are women. 

This is not denying there are plenty of guys out there, being a part of the whole childcare process.

But the stats are in, and women draw the short straw. Previous submissions to the Australian Productivity Commission have shown how good childcare can boost the economy for everyone. It gives opportunity to women where they usually see hurdles they need to manage. 

Take away that opportunity, even for just a few hours, and you are reminding women exactly how fragile their opportunities are. How brittle their rights are. 

And what a slap in the face on the one day their rights are supposed to be front and centre, both here and around the world. 

There are plenty of battles to be had for women’s rights this Wednesday. The last thing we need is for one of those battles to bleed over the  grounds we have already fought. 

Be bold. Be brave. Be vocal, and stand tall for women’s rights on our internationally recognised day.

But don’t do it on top of the beaten bodies of those still trying to hold the frontline. 

* Due to the fact EG Sinister reads my blog (taking notes for his own world domination one day), I find I need to … Manage my language. Trust me, there are better words to describe this mess than Bullshit, but it’s best I can do without paying for his tertiary education via swear jar.

Token IWD Post

There are some questions that need to be asked, and really are quite stupid in their execution – no matter how you ask them. Sometimes you don’t even realise it until some additional contextual feature kicks in – like International Women’s Day.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my midwife appointment, answering the usual plethora of questions so she could determine my risk of post-natal depression.

And then she said: “I now will ask you about your home environment to ensure that both you and the baby will be returning to a safe home environment.”

Okay.

“Do you feel safe with your husband?”

And then I realised. I feel very safe with EG Dad. He is amazing. I can honestly say EG Inc is a very safe household – except from failed science experiments and minion manipulation.

However, I am extremely lucky to be able to say that – let alone stop and think about the question at all! How many other women around the world are unable to to experience that same safety and security?

And then I realised how flimsy that question seemed!! Seriously, would a woman in a DV environment turn around to this complete stranger and suddenly say “Well, now that you mention it, my husband smacks me around a bit and I have never been able to tell anyone before.”

Hey, if it works that way – fantastic!! The system works (for a first). But after saying the exact same words above to the midwife, she turned around and said “I know. I agree – and I said the same thing to my boss. But hey – why should my 10 years of social work count for anything?”

You know, there may be an occasion when someone feels comfortable enough to confide in a stranger, but the likelihood?

There were a whole heap of other questions that also seemed pretty inane, but this was the one I was still thinking of hours later.

Especially on International Women’s Day. Especially when the theme for 2013 is Violence against Women. And especially when I am lucky enough this is the only time I really have to stop and think about it.

There are so many places around the world, countries, towns, villages, homes, cars – where safety for women is questionable, and downright non-existent. I hate making a gender issue out of it, but the truth is that gender IS the issue. Purely because the victims are chosen because of their gender. In many cases, the victims are then punished again because of their gender and the system’s inability to give them credit for the crime (“they asked for it”). Sometimes, the reaction can swing so far the other way that males in general are punished whether or not they are even that way inclined. No-one wins. Everyone suffers – the female victims most of all.

And why? Most of the time due to some stupid cultural belief of power over women. In fact these ‘monsters’ are normally so afraid of the potential of women to contribute and work with them, that they refuse to face their own insecurities and inadequacies, subsequently trying to bring their victims down to their level.

But hey – I’m not a psychologist (although some of them can be pretty evil in their genius). I’m just working from my experience dealing with some neanderthals in my life. And once again I find myself reflecting on how lucky I am that I have never had that sense of fear, danger, or anything else that ugly.

So I’ll do the only logical thing that I can do right now, right this minute – I will bring up my spawnlings to never inflict that pain, that fear, on to anyone else. To understand the need for respect, both ways. The responsibility that comes with being an Evil Genius and taking over the world – in guiding others to not resort to such intimidating tactics.

And hopefully that will one day allow at least two more women to sit with their midwives and question the effectiveness of the “safe home” question.