Tony Abbott’s embrace of a lavishly funded maternity leave poses a devilish conundrum for progressive Inner West womyn.
Dear LL : I’m at a loss as to what’s to say when the issue of maternity leave comes up at dinner parties. The subject seems to have been turned into a giant category error as a result of that crypto-DLP misogynist Tony Abbott advocating a scheme that even a wild-eyed Swedish feminist would write off as overly generous to the sisterhood. Like most local women, I pull down a lazy 150K a year working for an NGO dedicated to eradicating global poverty and am planning on pushing out an IVF- assisted designer baby around the time of my 45th birthday. I certainly won’t be able to afford one of those $6000 Bugaboo prams to block up the footpath outside the local café with if I’m reduced to living on the pittance the Labor government offers. Nonetheless, some of my tiresomely earnest acquaintances make me feel guilty whenever I’ve suggested that, to paraphrase Mr Abbott, women of calibre shouldn’t be expected to survive on the minimum wage as if we were mere low-skilled migrant labour employed to wipe bums at the local old people’s home. If someone with the angry lesbian-feminist cred of Eva Cox can publicly back Abbott over this why can’t I?
LL replies: I’m often asked by well-heeled leftists what to do in situations where they secretly agree with a conservative government’s plans to either cut their tax, increase their (upper) middle class welfare or make it easier for them to sack troublesome employees and my advice is always this: lie. Sure, put a 1 next to the Liberals in the privacy of the ballot box come September 14, but pretend to be utterly appalled by all his policies in the meantime.