In a similar fashion as one would give a partner, I have given the Liberal Party my love, my loyalty and my faith for some time.
But like any damaging relationship, this is not a perfect love story.
I have been employed by state and federal politicians, involved in numerous internal party affairs, and have firmly believed in the principles for which the Party has stood. Through the leadership of John Howard I was invigorated by the idea that politics and the Liberal Party could achieve results for mainstream Australia.
Nearly 50% of the NSW Liberal Party is made up of these women. Women who brave the carnage of the sewer that is politics. But too often their commitment goes unappreciated and their faith is too often met with subtle hostility.
The women of the Liberal Party have 99 problems and Tony Abbott is not really one. It’s the everyday sexism and boys-club of the Liberal Party that is the problem. Tony Abbott can hardly be blamed solely for the fact that although women make up nearly half of the NSW Liberal Party, they aren’t running for parliament. And when they do? Statistics show it is generally for the marginal seats that much of the time, they lose.
I have been asked multiple times why the male dominated parliament bothers me, as women dominate in other fields “like nursing, or teaching”. My response is that nursing and teaching are not created as representative positions, and there is a reason that we call it “The House Of Representatives”.
When the men of the Liberal Party sat around a board room table drinking scotch, after the announcement of Tony Abbott’s one-woman-ministry and entertaining the question of “how did we get here” I wonder if they bothered to ask any of the Liberal Party women.
Was it possibly the fact that over decades they have created an environment where a woman is forced to adhere to “masculine” traits to compete on their turf, yet at the same time can be undermined and condemned for being too “masculine”?