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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Why the World Still Hates Women

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Why the World Still Hates Women

Weak men hate powerful women. Powerful men hate powerful women. And sadly, there are some women who hate powerful women too. Powerful women don’t hate those poor women; they feel sad for them. And when I say ‘powerful’ I don’t mean machine gun toting, muscle bound, super rich billionaires. Those barely exist in the female form. That kind of power isn’t threatening to patriarchy because it’s what they curate to signify ‘powerful’. It’s their language. No, it’s ‘quiet’ power – that which won’t be threatened or diminished – that the patriarchy find unsettling.

Difficult, defiant, smart, outspoken female disruptors make them angry. It’s why Alan Jones said Scott Morrison should give Jacinda Ardern a few backhanders. That was not a joke. It was not said in passing. It carried real intent. Those men share a bond; a distinct hatred and fear of women. Not quiet Christian women who are cardigan wearing wives, who smile nicely while holding their children’s hands in publicity photos. Those women have been subdued.

They hate women like Jacinda Ardern, women who call them to account. Jones’ backhander comment was a threat of violence. Violence is how powerful women have been subdued throughout history. It’s so ingrained in culture as normative that men are rarely held to account for expressing it – in words or deeds. Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young recently won a defamation battle with David Leyonhjelm when he tried to publicly shame her by saying ‘She should stop shagging men.’

Even though these men are being called to account, they’re not stopping. The recent #metoo movement saw such an outpouring of stories of men’s misuse of power – that the world stopped listening. It was too much. The #metoo movement has become a running joke. Possessing women, controlling women, diminishing women, hating women – it’s been what privileged men do when they’re not playing polo. Some of the world’s most privileged men are finally being called to account for it; Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein. It must be unsettling for men like that to see the world start to tilt. To see the world turn and listen to an angry 16 year old girl in braids.

It’s ludicrous how so many old white men are scared of Greta. She isn’t scared of them. And that’s what really scares them. It’s not climate change they’re pushing up against. It’s her – and a new generation that has more to fear than the men who rule through fear. If you don’t fear them, then they’ve lost power. It’s why some men hit women. It’s why some of those men go on to kill women.

There’s violence in the way powerful old white men try to bully and diminish Greta. She has a certain Joan of Arc-esque fuck you about her. Four hundred years ago they would have burnt her. I guess by not responding to climate change they still get to burn her. It’s just slower and a less satisfying ignition, and they probably won’t be around to toast marshmallows on the pyre.

Powerful women have been feared ever since the mythical Eve cajoled poor widdle Adam into eating that apple. If it wasn’t for her insistence we’d all still be living in the Garden of Eden. Well, men would be – and they’d frack it thoroughly. It’s no accident the foundation story of the Christian faith places the blame for eviction from God’s paradise on a woman (and thereby on all women.)

The human condition is apparently all our fault. That’s how you seed misogyny. You make it ingrained in culture. The church has always feared women. It’s why the Catholics won’t let them hold power. It’s why so many of them were burnt as witches. There are parts of Europe where, below the ground, if you were to investigate a cross section, you’d find 6 inches of charred women’s bodies.

Ironically, as the heat gets turned up on Donald Trump, with two articles of impeachment carried by the American senate, he was quoted as saying ‘More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.’ Wow, he’s comparing himself to innocent, powerless women who were hanged or pressed to death without any evidence of guilt. He needs to shut up and take his seat at Pussy Grabbers Anonymous.

Apparently they stopped burning and hanging witches centuries ago, but sometimes, when I pick up a paper, or a story flashes across my newsfeed, or I get an abusive email, I wonder if they have really? Sometimes, I can still smell the pungent scent of burning women.


29 responses to “Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Why the World Still Hates Women”

  1. Acta Mundi says:

    This article claims that Joan of Arc was executed for being a woman, but historians have pointed out that the English government also killed a boy named Guillaume le Berger who likewise publicly opposed them, and he certainly wasn’t a woman. English government records show that they dominated Joan of Arc’s trial and hand-picked the tribunal from a group of clergy who had long supported them; many eyewitnesses said English commanders manipulated the trial process to force a conviction; and some of the tribunal members later admitted that the motive in Joan’s trial was revenge by the English, just as in Guillaume’s case.

  2. Len Heggarty says:

    Powerful women.
    What gender puts them on a pedastal to make them powerful?

  3. Maggie Wheeler says:

    Perhaps it’s generally hatred that is the cause, more prevalent amongst women than men because they generally have less power than men. It’s a form of gaining power surruptiously

  4. Barry says:

    Methinks Ms. Nolan is an alpha female.

  5. lindy stacker says:

    Love you Mandy , as usual you hit the nail on the head or should I say the nail on the cross burning women at the stake. I too often think as dear John said (Lennon NOT the Baptist) the more things change the more they stay the same. We as women (and some men maybe) should be eternally grateful for all those incredibly brave & resilient women who stood up to the patriarchy to make modernity a safer place for all women…I for one am humbled & appreciative .However, as you rightly state many things have NOT changed for powerful women who have the audacity to speak out. Women are still vilified , abused , persecuted and even worse receive death threats & more than one a week die from male related violence in our ‘affluent’ nation. What is it, that makes many men (not all) so terrified of womens power, EVEN when they don’t have the opportunity to voice it ? I can never get my head around this ? Lucky for me I had the most wonderful kind & mushy father on the planet or the greater universe.

  6. Bob says:

    Nah just stupid gullible manipulative lying women..there’s a lot of em.

    • Kiz says:

      I’m scratching my stupid little head, wondering if I’m more of a ‘stupid gullible’ or a ‘manipulative lying’ woman. If only I knew you Bob, I’m sure you’d set me straight. I’m worrying about how I can be all of these things at once. It’s hard trying to be it all in today’s world.

  7. Martin Munz says:

    QED Mandy

  8. Ken says:

    WTF !
    Mandy I don’t believe you are so stupid. I know you are an inteligent and sophisticated woman , whom I respect, but this out- burst is just drivell and I can’t believe you have resorted to this gender bashing stereotype, are you trying to appeal to those Doc Martin wearing sickos that have no place in the real
    world ?
    Ah well I suppose you need some sort of justification for your abysmal lack of understanding of the real world
    Cheers , And merry Xmas . From a real male . G”)

    • Liz L says:

      WTF’s wrong with Doc Martens? I’ve never owned a pair but they appear comfortable, practical and look great. What a narrow reality you describe. Don’t counter generalisations with generalisations. Or was this a joke?

      All the best for a happier 2020!

  9. Anne says:

    What a great and powerful article. I see a few comments from those who feel so threatened by it!!

  10. Acacia says:

    WTF Ken?
    Who are these people, regardless of their attire, who are ‘sickos’ and who ‘don’t belong in the real world’.
    What a misogynist load of clap-trap! What a hateful nasty person you must be to say such awful things about anyone let alone a minority group of women who have every right to live as they wish. They could even become [email protected]@les like you! It is their right to exist without this harassment and violence.

  11. Ginga says:

    Wrote a lil’ piece above .. thought I would have a lil’ more of a scientific read on the ‘baculum’.., human men are not the only mammals without baculum.. horses, donkeys, cetaceans, marsupials, rhinoceros & hyenas are also genetically enabled in a uniquely powerful way.

    Personally, I was thinking maybe they were thinking of the future & how hard it might be to put on a pair of jeans.

    Haaaaa!

  12. Ginga says:

    Here’s a comment.. completely ooff track on this conversation.. but I will bring it back.. still thinking about the conversation an hour later.. i’m sorta’ into theology, mythology & ancient history & the effects in current society, as well as the psychological motivations people do things.. I find it really interesting. Particularly with women’s issues. It’s hard to understand why people do something’s when something seems apparent & obvious to everyone around them & who’se to say those many are right?

    thinking about how it is so easy to misinterpret information in these old books because they are mostly written in subjective & often vague & confusing metaphor & somehow or another these things have kept people bound to information that was often written by people whom were not there, like narrators of a story that they were not part of. That is a generalisation of course. Mostly men, who could read & write when most could not. The apple, could have been any number of different types of fruit, pomegranate, grapes, figs, psychotropic mushrooms or herbs, or even the wheat berry, depending on the culture.
    It could have reinterpreted with a Greek twist towards Persephone journey through the underworld, or even a metaphor for sex but what is clearly apparent to me is that we have the freedom here, on this stream in this country, especially as women, but also as people to have this conversation..
    I know it’s off track..
    in many countries a woman would not be allowed to write a column like this. In some countries women are not allowed to drive.
    In NSW women were first allowed to vote in 1902 & not until 1962 that all Indigenous people in Australia were allowed to vote.

    The other day model Lara Worthington put a twitter post out referring to the add campaign she did for Australian Tourism, ‘where the hell are you Scott Morrison?’ 95% of blokes in that stream commented about how dumb she was & had no right to speak rather than the issue of Scott Morrison inappropriately leaving the country. So you know.. I do agree, we have a long way to go on women’s issues, especially with gender pay equality & opportunity.
    We do have the freedom here ( for now) though to have a provocative open conversation when in many other countries, women especially could not. Some countries still do not allow women or girls to go to school. It’s very real. We have rights here women & people in other countries do not. In some countries, people are living in cultures now, like this Joan of Arc story, women & people being accused of witchcraft & murdered because of it. Not just women.
    Within our own culture, these venoms towards woman stem historically from this misinterpreted stories given as truths that have sadly & falsely defined the roles of both genders. As new generations move through & as we grow, we see differences in generational gaps, the clear & apparent misogyny that comes from generations of ‘chivalry’. Just like kids women were almost supposed to be seen & not heard & ‘gentile’ were not intended to concern themselves with such things’! What a load of prattle!

    The reason I thought of these freedoms as freedoms we assume as our right as part of our slowly changing democracy is, amidst this pondering, I remembered I was looking for something on line & communicating with a website generated in another country & was blocked because I typed in one of my enquiry messages the word ‘you tube’ rather than video.. although I thought there could have been something sinister in the use of the word ‘hairdryer’ in conjunction with the phrase shrink wrap. I really wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure but it freaked me out.
    So despite the fact many of us don’t agree, we do have the right to have the conversation as people…

    & Mandy rocks!

  13. Barrow says:

    You have crossed the line Again !! This type of
    Commentary only further divides humans
    There has been successful progress in my opinion
    In how men, treat their partners etc , there’s a long
    Was to go, and men should always respect a lady
    And women also respect men ..parents are role
    Models and this respect is past down through
    Generation’s in the hope that our kids grow to be
    Wonderful parents themselves, now mandy iam calling you out as you do on many “occasions ”
    Your comments are disrespectful, hurtful
    Further more this man bashing once again
    Is out of line ! Incidentally iam Anglo Saxon white
    And proud , if i were born African or asian i would be proud. Stand tall and proud white men of Australia rich or not , we have played our parts
    In supporting our wifes and children to become
    The best they can possibly be ..you are born in one of the most wonderful safe countries in the world
    With most freedom’s other countries could only dream of.. recently Australia was voted as the safest country in the world for women..
    And by the way Mandy our Prime minister
    Played no part in any way shape or form
    Regarding Allan Jones shameful comments
    To the contrary he was disgusted as was
    Most of the country.. to imply he did
    Is incorrect and you should retract your comments.

  14. Paul Dobbyn says:

    To my recollection, what Jones said was in some ways more disturbing than calling for a backhander – something about shoving a sock down Arden’s throat. Substitute another letter of the alphabet for the “s” in “sock” and the full import of this sick puppy’s statement can be gleaned.

  15. Cobber Smith says:

    Victim identity politics… Would you like some cheese with your wine? This drivel is not constructive. It is the very problem. I have an idea you’re single.

  16. A little equality could go a long way if
    the male would only birth a child.

  17. Vincent says:

    Another mind numbing rant from the Village Idiot.

  18. Who is the village idiot… mind numbing Jones
    no less? The politician who ‘plots’ the downfall
    of a nation deserving of so much better? The
    ‘send-up comic’ who so often hits the most
    blinding spot? Or the ‘yes sir, no sir, three
    bags full’ sir but cannot count on tomorrow?

  19. Paul Stephens says:

    “Old white men,.
    Agist,racist and misandrist.Typical Nolan rant proclaiming she speaks strong women and not the ‘sudued.

  20. Ann Hall says:

    Geez there are a lot of snowflakes with no grasp of the Aussie meanings ‘a backhanded’ means you need to wake-up / get on with it … ‘put a sock in it’ means you are going on and on / give it a break.

    Regarding ‘Old White Men’ geez again; as our Tweed villages after the war were short of food pita . nmy father (a good bushman) would grab his gun and go shooting mullet in the creeks, bag the scrub turkey or two, slit a pig’s throat or a cow, chop of the chicken’s head to feed the children and the families in our close villages, so keep your sarcastic name calling and generalising to your ‘traumatised ilk’ and the bad choices made as you look a fool here in this ‘counrty’ area… moreover as my family were pioneers of this ‘rainforest’ area it needed strong men and strong women to survive and thrive…. So get rid of your trumpt-up grudge and don’t offend either gender with a rubbish generalisation it’s beneath journalism.

  21. I agree, Ann. Foot in mouth isn’t journalism. We need
    to be a ‘caring’ country – full stop!

  22. Janice Best says:

    Well the first 4 sentences really sums up all those comments! Good one Mandy, thanks x

  23. Dear Mandy, see what you’ve done… you
    have gone & ‘upset’ the Patriarchy mob.
    Happy New Year!

  24. Rensina van den Heuvel says:

    Fabulous article and filled with heart felt and gutsy TRUTH.

    Bring it on. We need more and more of this from women like you who stand and speak; regardless of the consequences.
    I stand with you full solidarity and I have well and truly reached my highest point of tolerance of the abuse of women …and believe me; I am a patient and tolerant woman.

    All power to the women who either have the courage or have just had a gut full of this ‘forever’ patriarchal society.
    Thank you Mandy

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