Friday, September 02, 2011

Women at the top

The longer Julia Gillard and Anna Bligh stay in their respective positions the easier it is to understand why women rarely get to the top and why they are unable to stay there in 2011 in Australia. Not only does the country keep telling us any number of men would be far preferable, even Campbell Newman who is bypassing being in parliament, the women are constantly being berated for their incompetence and any achievement is totally discounted. Anna Bligh's steering of Queensland through incredibly difficult and treacherous times was nothing short of awesome but it is dismissed in a sentence. Julia Gillard has worked her backside off  all her life and doubly hard since she got into a hung parliament, is no fool and constantly is told she is a failure. Neither of those women had Christmas. Neither of them have had a break but still they are being belittled and berated. Today was ludicrous when leadership speculation was sent virally through the news because of the high court decision. Authority is now being questioned because of John Howard's comment. Cornelia Rau, David Hicks, Tampa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Baxter, the wheatboard, work choices, his involvement with the high court re Nauru all vanish into thin air as though we were amnesiacs.

"Emotional abuse is commonly defined as a systematic tearing down of another human being. "

Emotional abuse comes in many forms and the top women seem to be worthwhile targets for those who are abusers:

"Following are types of emotional abuse:
  • DOMINATION: Someone wants to control your every action. They have to have their own way, and will resort to threats to get it. When you allow someone else to dominate you, you can lose respect for yourself.
  • VERBAL ASSAULTS: berating, belittling, criticizing, name calling, screaming, threatening, excessive blaming, and using sarcasm and humiliation. Blowing your flaws out of proportion and making fun of you in front of others. Over time, this type of abuse erodes your sense of self confidence and self-worth.
  • ABUSIVE EXPECTATIONS: The other person places unreasonable demands on you and wants you to put everything else aside to tend to their needs. It could be a demand for constant attention, frequent sex, or a requirement that you spend all your free time with the person. But no matter how much you give, it's never enough. You are subjected to constant criticism, and you are constantly berated because you don't fulfill all this person's needs.
  • EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL: The other person plays on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, or other "hot buttons" to get what they want. This could include threats to end the relationship, the "cold shoulder," or use other fear tactics to control you.
  • UNPREDICTABLE RESPONSES: Drastic mood changes or sudden emotional outbursts (This is part of the definition of BPD). Whenever someone in your life reacts very differently at different times to the same behavior from you, tells you one thing one day and the opposite the next, or likes something you do one day and hates it the next, you are being abused with unpredictable responses.
    This behavior is damaging because it puts you always on edge. You're always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and you can never know what's expected of you. You must remain hypervigilant, waiting for the other person's next outburst or change of mood.
    An alcoholic or drug abuser is likely to act this way. Living with someone like this is tremendously demanding and anxiety provoking, causing the abused person to feel constantly frightened, unsettled and off balance.
  • GASLIGHTING: The other person may deny that certain events occurred or that certain things were said. You know differently. The other person may deny your perceptions, memory and very sanity. (If a borderline has been disassociating, they may indeed remember reality differently than you do.)
  • CONSTANT CHAOS: The other person may deliberately start arguments and be in constant conflict with others. The person may be "addicted to drama" since it creates excitement. (Many non-BPs also are addicted to drama.)"

    The ongoing criticism , demeaning and discounting of what these women are doing has become quite systematic to the extent the agenda is now set for both of them to leave.They are now being threatened with losing their jobs as though that were appropriate justice for their "proven" incompetence.  It's horrible and quite beneath our dignity. If domestic violence is a big no in Australia, and I actually thank John Howard for making that a clear message, then politcal violence has to be a big no too. We are not helping women to succeed in our country because they are subject constantly to emotional abuse. In the end it will break them and that is as wrong politically as it is on the domestic front. 

    "Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless."

    Even by the law of averages it is simply not possibly for all these men to be eminently suitable and qualified for these top positions but not one single woman and here we have two women who are making a big effort to try and make it possible for our country to be an equal opportunity employer. Unless the abuse stops we have no hope. We battle it on the domestic front. To see it played out in public  and never being questioned is scary. 

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