Opening the newspapers and reading about myself over the past few weeks has been both humorous and challenging.
I’ve never considered my image to be a feature that defines me. Indeed, it doesn’t define my political aspirations, my credentials, my morals, my interests nor my value as a woman.
I’ve always felt that the content of my character is the most important feature that defines me – and that I should strive to be good.
However, according to some media and online trolls, my image is what solely measures my intellectual ability and validity for participation in the Australian political spectrum.
A call for more women in Australian politics on Q and A. Post continues after video.
The public asks questions about why I am the way that I am – because I have a private life, aside from politics, one that isn’t solely political. But why should we?
Why is this an issue? Why should a woman (or a man for that matter) have to fit into a certain stereotype to be legitimate in politics?
I am not a parliamentarian – and I don’t intend to be. However, that shouldn’t matter.
I believe that the parliament should reflect society, evenly and fairly.
I believe that women should be proud of their bodies and not feel shame in embracing their curves, femininity and sexuality. For my whole adult life, I have lived in this way. Whether it was for photo-shoots or just a night out on the town with my girlfriends – this has always been my private life. We live in such a free society that young women are at liberty to wear whatever they like – and I am very grateful for that.
Tamara Candy with US Senator Rand Paul.
Some people may not be able to handle my image because I challenge stereotypes and perceptions of women in politics, women with intellect etc.
Let me make this clear – you will not define my capacity to participate in politics, nor any woman’s ability for that matter.
I did not seek the attention and the media approached me. Thus, I have chosen to use this media frenzy for good. I want to fight for issues that I believe in – for liberty.
If you care to know more about me – aside from the headlines, you will know that I have been dedicated to politics for most of my adult life.
You would also know about my doctoral studies and research interests.
You would know about my paleoconservative values – and my libertarian streak that has set me apart from many other ‘young liberals’.
You will know that I am a person of conviction.
You will know that I am not afraid to say what is not ‘politically correct’ – and that I will fight for your right to be as un-politically correct as you like.
You will already know that I am fiercely patriotic and that I believe in freedom.
That I believe in fairness and opportunity.
That I am not afraid to break the conservative stereotype and shake up the system.
I’m NOT a Liberal party apparatchik, nor am I a spokesperson for them.
I am not afraid to voice my opinions for what I believe is right – even if I stand alone.
Don’t call me anything other than what I am. I’m a maverick, a believer in liberty and a political activist.
Men and women should never be afraid to have their voices heard, just because they are different or don’t fit a certain image.
I’ll keep on fighting for what I believe – no matter what the haters say.