TONY ABBOTT: If we’re honest, most of us would accept that a bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband. Not withstanding all his or her faults, you find that he tends to do more good than harm. He might be a bad boss but at least he’s employing someone while he is in fact a boss.
No, no, no.
This comment from 2002 attracted criticism at the time:
Former Western Australia Premier, Carmen Lawrence said “Well that’s not very good advice to someone if they’re in a bad relationship, for instance where there’s violence involved or abuse involved and Abbott never knows where to draw the line.”
Greg Combet, now an ALP minister, then speaking in his role with ACTU sais “Tony Abbott is supposed to even handedly look after the interests of employers and employees but now he’s saying no matter what an employer does, they’re to be forgiven and it’s okay.”
What does this quote reveal about Tony Abbott’s thinking:
1. Tony Abbott has starts his statement having trouble comprehending that women can be bosses, he compares bosses to fathers and husbands, but not mothers and wives. Only later in the quote does he say “his or her faults”.
In those three sentences, Tony Abbott uses the masculine 7 times (father, husband, his, he, He, he’s, he), always in relation to his role in power, and the feminine 1 time (her) in relation to faults.
2. Tony Abbott compares employees to children and bosses to adults. Employees are NOT children, and should not be treated as if they were children.
3. Tony Abbott compares wives to employees of male bosses, and what? if She doesn’t do as she is told He will fire her?. The relationship between a boss and an employee is an unequal power structure, this is not most people’s idea of marriage. Many people see their marriage as a partnership, not one of male=boss and female=employee.
4. What is a ‘bad’ father or husband? Someone who doesn’t take out the bins on recycling night or let their kids stay out all night? Or is this comment diminishing domestic violence and workplace abuse?
This attitude gives carte blanche for bosses to mistreat employees, if someone is under paid, or in a dangerous workplace, or abuse or mistreated, at least they are employed, regardless of pay and conditions.
post added by Penny Carter