News: 'Face reality, my dear'. Advisor's anti-fem rant.

Dr Caroline Ford is the Cairns Womens Network coordinator.


An advisor to LNP Senator Ian MacDonald has launched an ‘aggressive’ tirade against column-writer Dr Carole Ford after she attacked the boy’s club mentality of politics and the lack of women at the top. She wrote of a culture that she says prevented many from taking part: “This is not an organised conspiracy, but portrayal of women in politics in the media is certainly a deterrent to many to enter the fray.”

But Max Tomlinson wouldn’t have a bar of it and shot off a stiffly-worded email to Dr Ford which repeated the phrase ‘get a life’.

“Question: Why don’t you have a go? Answer: Like most women, you probably don’t possess the necessary drive, determination and decisiveness that men innately possess. It’s not a personal criticism; it’s a fact of biology. Where, for example, are the great female explorers, mountaineers, warriors, inventors, chefs? Blokes dominate most areas of human endeavour because Nature equipped them with something called testosterone. That was part of Nature’s grand design to enable men to be stronger, more fearless and more determined than their sisters. Sorry, Carole, fact not fiction,” he said.

“Women occupy a special but different place in the world to that of men. I’ve been married to a wonderful woman – a proud mother of four successful adult children, not a nuclear physicist – for nearly 40 years. For yeras [sic], I’ve heard women like you ask my wife at cocktail parties, functions and dinner parties: And what do you do? The clear inference in the pregnant silence that follows my wife’s answer that she is a proud home-maker makes my skin crawl. Women like my wife are the life-givers, the embodiment of sacrificial love (the purest form of love), the primary keepers of the flame of civilisation that separates us from the animal world, and yet the Sisterhood frowns on them for not joining the anti-male club that you so typefy [sic].”

Ms Ford told the Brisbane Times:

“It’s just extremely disappointing that any man in 2012 would think that way,” she said.

“It surprised me that in this day and age people would get angry about a request for woman to have better representation in parliament. It’s astounding that people would be angry that we make that request.”



The out-of-proportion wunderdoll that has been around for decades might be showing signs of slowing down. Mattel, the toy company that makes her, has blamed Barbie for a profit dive of 53 per cent. That’s the result of a six per cent fall in worldwide sales and nine per cent in the United States.

Guess who’s not selling well?

Gimantha Jayasinghe, a director with industry analyst NPD, said Barbie was caught between an increasing trend toward high-tech toys and growing demand for cheaper items.


“A lot of the better-selling toys now are impulse-purchase items that sell for a few dollars,” he said, citing magnetic novelties Mighty Beanz as a fast-growing product. Mr Jayasinghe said tighter spending meant that toys needed to be either affordable or so compelling kids could not live without them.


There’s nothing news in brides-to-be trying to lose weight before their wedding day. But the method changes and this might be the strangest one yet. Some women are inserting nasal feeding tubes in a bid to pipe the bare necessities directly into their bodies bypass the rest of, you know, eating. This leads to drastic weight loss.

According to Time Magazine:

“Jessica Schnaider, a 41-year-old Floridian bride-to-be, spent eight days eating through a tube in her nose in order to drop those pesky last few pounds before going gown shopping in March. The procedure, which is supervised by a doctor, costs $1,500 and involves the insertion of a nasogastric tube through the nose, down the esophagus and into the stomach. Patients generally spend 10 days getting all their nutrition through the tube, which provides them with 800 carbohydrate-free calories a day (Schnaider removed hers early after losing 10 lb. in one week).

Dr. Oliver R. Di Pietro, the Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., physician who administers the procedure, told the Times he sees a lot of brides looking for a prewedding fix. “At first I decided not to do it for people who just want to lose a few pounds,” he said. “But then I thought, why should I say 5 or 10 pounds are not enough? People want to be perfect.”


Nic Christensen from The Australian has reported on what appears to be a deliberate ruse by Australian universities, taking on far more journalism students than the Australian industry is able to provide for. In 2010 some 4500 students were enrolled despite the fact there were roughly 9000 journalists employed across all jobs nationwide.

He wrote:

“Margaret Simons, director of the Centre of Advanced Journalism at the University of Melbourne, said graduate outcomes were increasingly problematic because the definition of media was changing and many universities faced huge student demand.

“What are universities meant to say? No, we don’t think you should do this (journalism), therefore we won’t provide it, even though you’re prepared to front up and pay your HECS fees.”

Many who were trained as journalists would go on to work in communications or PR, but some critics said this was not good enough and that the ‘skills of journalists were used against journalism’.



The manner by which Victorian religious organisations have investigated allegations of child sex abuse from within their own ranks will be the subject of a Parliamentary Inquiry. It follows the recommendations of retired judge Philip Cummins who held a previous inquiry.

One recommendation was: “…a formal investigation should be conducted into the processes by which religious organisations respond to the criminal abuse of children by religious personnel within their organisations.”

Victorian Premier Ted Ballieu said: “While the investigation and prosecution of individual cases of abuse are matters for the police and the courts, the broader and systemic implications of this abuse need to be investigated to ensure that everything possible is done to protect children.”

A police report revealed by Fairfax linked 40 suicides to child sex abuse over past decades, principally involving the Catholic Church. Even senior police are frustrated at the lack of help received trying to investigate matters.

Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell that despite repeated requests from police, the church was not alerting authorities about clergy sex abuse cases, instead preferring to deal with the cases internally.

”I can’t think of a single referral we’ve had from the Catholic Church in the last couple of years I’ve been around,” Mr Ashton said.

Molly Meldrum during his Channel 7 interview


He’s able to laugh about the fall and says it has changed him forever. He wrote:

“AS you know, I’ve been out on the tiles a number of times. But never like this. My life changed forever when I fell off the roof on December 15 last year. I can’t say my life flashed before my eyes, but I have had plenty of time to reflect in the past few weeks, and I realise just how lucky I am.

It’s lovely being in the TV Week Logies Hall of Fame; it’s even better to be alive. I’ve heard all the jokes: What do Molly and St Kilda have in common? They both can’t stay at the top of the ladder. It’s just great to be able to laugh about it. Every day is a new adventure.”

He’s being interviewed by Channel 7 this evening.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a scheme that would pay 10,000 employers $1000 if they hired a worker aged 50 or over for at least three months. The $10 million initiative was aimed at getting some of Australia’s most talented and experienced workers back into a job as they tended to be overlooked by companies.

“It’s all about giving older Australians more choice, and the opportunity for some extra financial security if they want to keep bringing home a paycheck in their later years,” said Treasurer Wayne Swan.