Yesterday’s was the Women’s March4Justice held in every capital city and many provincial cities and towns around Australia. Here in Melbourne it was held in the Treasury Gardens and was attended by about 10,000 people, predominantly women, but also men. They came in black with face masks and represented all ages from young to old. It was inspiring to see the number but also damning that we are still fighting for equality and respect. The Prime minister Scott Morrison declined to address the Canberra crowd but stated in parliament, “ this is a triumph of democracy when we see these things take place. Not far from here, such marches, even now are being met with bullets, but not here in this country.” (The Age, ‘Morrison pushed to act as ‘winds of change howl’,’15th March, p4.)
What a patronising statement. I hope his wife Jenny gave him an earful but I have my doubts. This man hears nothing and he is the father of daughters. Shame on him. The violence against women continues unabated and the language around this implies that women are to blame. The report Respect@Work by the Human Rights Commission was damning about Australia’s record on sexual harassment in the workplace. Once a world leader in the field we are now way behind. This report has sat gathering dust for 12 months without any response from the government. https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/sex-discrimination/publications/respectwork-sexual-harassment-national-inquiry-report-2020 The prime minister wonders what the fuss is about! One of the best comments I heard all week was an English female MP who suggested men have a curfew! The discussion is always about women protecting themselves but not ever about men behaving better! Enough is enough was the message on many placards and women and their allies will no longer go quietly. At the rally Helen Reddy’s feminist anthem ‘I am woman, hear me roar ‘ was invoked and the crowd roared. Now we want to keep that momentum moving with action and real change. Watch out ScoMo, women vote!
Afterwards along with Janine and her sister Mardi, and a passionate Irish woman named Carolyn who we met at the rally, we debriefed over coffee. It was invigorating having the discussions and trying to figure out how we can make an impact too. I at least have had discussions with everyone I have come across since. This is everyone’s issue.
Before all this exploded life was full of LIFE again. Post lockdown and no community transmission of CoVid has liberated us to enjoy some of the culture for which Melbourne is famous. I went to the Triennial at the NGV with my friend Irene. We saw some amazing and thought provoking art. It inspired me to get painting again and also to make a few more visits to the gallery to see some of the classical art. Many of the triennial pieces were juxtaposed with classic art or had superimposed video works for modern interpretations. These contrasts invoked a deeper curiosity about some of the work.
This was a big day because I returned to the city the same night to attend a real live performance at the Melbourne Theatre Company of the play Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes. It was a #me to theme. Very topical and very well presented.
I had responded to the advertising and bought a ticket very early but I didn’t quite register the month of the show. When I arrived on a Tuesday in February I was surprised to see the theatre closed. On examining my ticket I realised I was a month too early. The advantage of going alone was nobody got to see my red face! I just turned around and went home. It had been my first train ride for awhile too! Sometimes I am just too enthusiastic.
The lifting of restrictions also meant we could take our planned trip to Dinner Plain in the high country. I had booked a lodge for five friends and myself so we could do some bushwalking. We were all so excited to be getting out of the city into some bush. I am very fond of Dinner Plain which is a small mountain village outside the National park and near Mt Hotham. The homes are somewhat controlled in their design so they blend into the environment. It is pretty quiet but the hotel has a couple of spas out the back in the open which we used after our walks. It was so indulgent but worth the relaxing effects on our rusty walking legs. We had planned three dinners in and one out at the hotel to celebrate Bill’s imminent birthday. Everyone cooked delicious meals with a rather strong emphasis on pulses. Consequently some of our walks became very fast jaunts between trees! It was totally delightful to be in such fresh air and the quiet was also soothing. The weather was sunny but the breezes were very cool and on one of the walks my hands were white with cold until I walked for a good half hour. I hadn’t taken a warm enough jacket for maintaining body heat while lunching. The grass on some of the paths was over my head or in my mouth. We were conscious of being alert for snakes because one of the workers at the village had remarked that there had been more snakes around this year. Perhaps another response to fewer humans in the environment during CoVid! I was glad of my gaters after I heard that.
On our return bowls got busy and I played in a few comps culminating in a tournament. This is when bowlers from everywhere play random teams at our club for prize money. It was a fun but tiring day. We started well but as the day wore on and the competition got stronger we could only claim the satisfaction of providing enough competition to stymie a complete walkover. I am competitive while playing and realise I need to practice more to improve. Still we met some delightful people and had a fun day despite the persistent rain.
Katrina ( my team mate) playing against the women champs and the guys from Chadstone who were very eager and serious about the prize money.
Lastly we have had some family catch ups and I have been going across town to watch Ziggy play soccer. A week flies past before you know it.
Little Marlo is now 5 months old. Nick is having tests to see how he has recovered from the Arteriovenous Malformation treatment, Jonathan and Clare are looking at houses to buy. We are starting to plan a walk in Western Australia and hope we can do it. Easter and school holidays are approaching. My garden is flourishing after my battle with caterpillars last year and I am bursting with delight over my perpetual spinach. Small things are still appreciated but now we have to engage with the big issues again. It is a struggle sometimes but change requires steady persistence. We have to keep trying.