Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you. This week I have two pieces of music to tell a sordid story of potential abuse and dereliction of duty of care.
When I was a young lass and fresh out of uni, I applied for a job as electorate officer in the then PM’s office. I recall sitting in the foyer waiting for my interview. Coincidentally at that moment the PM appeared down the hall, a halo of light fell on him as he sauntered back to his office after Question Time. He oozed confidence. The Treasurer followed, also cock sure of himself. All the office staff leapt to their feet to stand as the great man passed. I didn’t know what to do. Should I stand or stay seated? I wondered whether I would have to leap to my feet every time the PM came into the room? This did not sit well with me, so I stayed seated. After all, who did he think he was? The PM? I didn’t get the job. I was pretty enough but the other applicant had more relevant experience. Fair enough. That wouldn’t have been hard in this town.
I have fond memories of being wide eyed with excitement. However, it still struck me at the time that the hallowed halls of parliament were a hyper-masculine workplace. Despite the increase in political representation that women have achieved since then, this does not appear to have led to a commensurate decrease in the hyper masculine toxicity within parliament. I also worry that the rather dominant bullying tone of party politics and government administration has infected other workplaces and society more generally.
Cue first song – The Boys Light Up sung by Australian Crawl. It was a big hit in Australia in the 80s. It is primarily a song about sleaze buckets. You know the type. There are plenty of them. Check out the lyrics for the full cultural experience. Makes me want to vomit.
It is always difficult to ‘make waves’, especially if your job is to protect your boss’ arse. Complaining when shit happens, or when you are dumped in the shit, is almost always a career limiting move. Cue second song – Don’t Cry Out Loud, written by Peter Allen and Carole Bayer-Sager, and sung by Melissa Manchester.
It is most always women who take one for the team. It has to stop.
Be kind and, if you have the power, keep your pants zipped.