Yeah, no, seriously Amanda, (can I call you Mandy?) we really appreciate you going into bat for us — especially against the Poms — but us blokes are good.
We’ve got it, we’re across it. We’ve got it firmly in hand.
In case you missed it, the former Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone is taking up the good fight for the honour of Australian manhood against those bastards of Fleet Street.
Amanda models the fair dinkum Aussie bloke (photo via news.com.au)
Vanstone suggests that the scurrilous British press have been besmirching the fine reputation of the Antipodean male, “I am furious. It really is atrocious that they are making out Australia as a colony, a hick country, a back water where men guzzle beer all day and are rude about women,” she says.
She continues, “they are going on this misogynist thing as if that was the reason why she (Julia Gillard) was ousted.”
Hang on Amanda, so you think they think we’re all Foster’s-spewing extras from The Adventures of Barry McKenzie circa 1972 and anyone sans vagina is responsible for the death of democracy and the resurrection of Kevin Rudd?
Ok, so I drew a slightly long bow, but we really don’t need your help Amanda, and speaking on behalf of all Aussie blokedom, we’re a bit embarrassed by the thought you found it necessary to jump on a plane to London to “set the record straight” for the hounds of Fleet Street “perpetuating the myth”.
Don’t you see? That’s just going to make it worse.
It’s like your mum coming down to the oval after school when some kid had challenged you to a fight ‘cause you wouldn’t give him your Tommy Raudonikis or Kevin Sheedy footy card.
With Amanda putting her nose to the vanstone to recover our sullied reputation in the UK, can you see how confusing it is to be an Aussie of the male persuasion on July 8, 2013?
Everywhere you turn, you have to decipher more mixed messages and cryptic symbols than Tom Hanks in a Dan Brown film. Is it now OK to wear a blue tie? Or will I be eviscerated by malevolent stares from the Q&A faithful? Do you hold the door open to let a woman go through first? If so, will she think you’re a chauvinist?
Now “chauvinist” – that’s a word that hasn’t had a run lately. It’s been replaced by “misogyny” which only up until this year conjured in my mind the sultry visage of the hot French student teacher I had in year 11.
You look for bloke-ish role models to steer your path — you’ve got David Beckham, the poster boy for metrosexuality, until he opens his mouth, and then there’s Warnie — but what about his WTF come-to-sex selfie the other week? I would assume this would definitely be the cold spoon antidote to anything that old Golden Balls puts on the (bedside) table.
All of this is Hugh Jackman’s fault. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he makes all us other Aussie blokes feel totally worthless and inadequate, the bastard. I stand by my comments Madam Speaker.
This being confused business is ok — as long as you don’t totally f*ck it up.
Radio 2UE in Sydney did just that on Friday with an appalling ad in the Sydney Morning Herald for their sports program. Really? “let her go shopping?” A stupid stunt.
You would have thought 2UE would have had more sense than going for a cheap shot like this, considering the dramas its mortal enemy 2GB has been embroiled in — think Alan Jones discussing chaff bags and how Julia Gillard’s father died of shame and so on. If 2UE want to continue promoting the station with lumbering dinosaur views like that, maybe it should change the frequency from “954″ to “1954″.
Even as I write this, a firestorm has erupted over the normally genteel strawberry fields of Wimbledon. Following Marion Bartoli’s win in the Women’s Singles Final, a BBC radio commentator suggested that it was always going to be tougher for her as she was “never going to be a looker”.
Again, rampant stupidity.
Though this is where that confusion rears itself like a pissed off scorpion — are the comments about Bartoli any worse than The Sun newspaper running an article about tennis player Jerzy Janowicz with the headline “Lankenstein” and photoshopping green skin and bolts on him? I don’t think The Sun is suggesting Jerzy is an avid Mary Shelley reader. Discuss.
So I’ve gone off on the occasional tangent here, but in reality as a man (and I use that only in the sense of gender) you’ve gotta be comfortable in your own skin — whether that’s regularly moisturised, plucked, and exfoliated, or merely sees a sporadic swipe of Coles Smart Buy soap every third day.
Speaking of Wimbledon and moisturiser, there was a hilarious back-and-forth exchange in the comments of Wendy Harmer’s post on The Hoopla website Men. The New Vanity Units. It was a far more entertaining than anything we saw on Centre Court over the past two weeks.
You need to read them — Mick and Dave traded screaming crosscourt forehands, lobs and sneaky dropshots, all while inserting the delightful terms “letting fluffy off the chain”, “man cards” and “wank territory” into the vernacular.
So we get it, us blokes are works in progress, we’re doing our best, we’re across it, we fail as often as we succeed — but we stand together — even with our stupid imperfections like saying “gotta zip” and “fair suck of the sauce bottle” (though only one bloke in the universe says that).
It may, or may not surprise you that we understand, we actually listen, talk about and process all this stuff.
We live in times far removed from when Raudonikis and Sheeds were running around windswept suburban footy grounds. We know, respect and simply couldn’t give a flying whatever that the PM’s wife earns more than he does. We’re aware that Tony Abbott lives in a house awash with oestregen.
It’s all good.
The last bloody thing we want or need, is Aunty Amanda trying to help, by turning up at the front office at school brandishing our forgotten lunch, or stomping down to that oval in an attempt to defend us.
Like I say, we’ve got it all, firmly, in hand.
©Steve Williams 2013
*Originally published (with bonus amusing comments) here: thehoopla.com.au/thanks-thanks-amanda/