In her regular column, hidden near the bottom of page 17 of the Burra Burra Times, Sheila Bird finally puts to rest that sexism in Australia is still a major issue.
Speaking from the former mining township, after leaving her job at the Sydney Herald to spend more time with her family, the popular columnist insists that Australian men are more in touch with their mojo than they have ever been and looks back on her life and career.
“When I first started out as a junior hack in Sydney I worked with a bunch of over-paid and over-sexed Neanderthal knuckle draggers but times have certainly changed, because I now work in Burra Burra. I put down my success to the interest that my male superiors took in me and sleeping with them at critical stages in my career development.
My father was also a real inspiration to me. He used to sit me on his knee, crack open a can of lager and say, ‘Sheila, you’d better get used to being a second class citizen and don’t ever harbour any notion of being a lezza, that would just be real waste.’ When he died my mother swore she’d never remarry until the bruises healed, now that’s commitment for you.
I do take issue with people who look at Australia and only see the bigger political picture with our female prime minister being stabbed in the back by a class one bigoted no-hoper alpha male. That really gives a false impression of what it’s like for a woman working in a male environment and doesn’t do Australian men justice. There are thousands of women in Australia who’ve managed to smash through the glass ceiling or even the revolving doors out into the street and they never spit-the dummy.
Men are different now. I’ve got two daughters who worship their father and pay him regular visits even though they don’t get on with his latest girlfriend. When they grow up they tell me they want to be just like me but maybe with a pair of testicles. I think that’s really sweet and proof that we are moving on as a society.
Russell Crowe said there’s no gallantry in Australia anymore. I think he’s mistaken. I had a guy hold the door open for me only last week until I told him to get out of the ladies toilet or I’d stuff his head down the dunny. He left immediately. Now that’s what I call progress.”