Recently, a friend and I were chatting with ‘Joe’ (white bloke, late 40s) about what we (white women, late 60s) considered some of the more egregious behaviours and attitudes of former PM, Scott Morrison. Among our grievances, we cited his infamous ‘I don’t hold a hose’ attitude; Robodebt; Sports Rorts; the refusal to set up a federal integrity commission; and his remarks about how lucky the women protesters were in the women’s march on Canberra, to live in a country where we females could protest publicly without being shot at (LOL). We cited his constant stonewalling of the media’s questions, his refusal to be accountable or apologetic, or empathetic. Naturally, we cited his secret assumption of the ‘undercover ministries.’
‘Joe’, having recently learned of the phenomenon of psychological projection (the process of misinterpreting what is ‘inside’ as coming from ‘outside’), told us that we women were merely projecting dissatisfactions from our respective lives onto the ex-PM. We were so blindsided by this casual, unconscious, patriarchal ‘analysis’ of our upset and outrage over Morrisons’s behaviours, statements, mindset and apparent beliefs, and how these had negatively impacted a broad spectrum of Australians, (think Centrelink recipients, think the Tamil ‘Biloela’ family, et al.), we were momentarily stuck for words. Rather than argue (my friend had steam coming out of her ears, but I thought: why bother?), I said, deadpan, we’d go away and reflect on whether we were, as he judged, just two dissatisfied women projecting our personal grumbles onto Scotty from Marketing, and get back to him.
Imagine then our delight to find ourselves at the Byron Writers Festival among thousands of politically-tuned-in-and-turned-on adults, all nodding, clapping and laughing our heads off as one guest speaker after another pilloried the self-interested, power-grabbing, patriarchal shenanigans of the former PM. Journos, authors, actors, comedians, satirists, all let rip. Sharp insights, gags and hilarity flowed – e.g. Scotty, arriving at the Pearly Gates, decides to let himself in, having secretly taken on the jobs of both God and St Peter, unbeknownst to them, of course.
So, if all that political/satirical call-and-respond in the festival congregation was (in Joe’s perception of things) merely a mass projection of the collective dissatisfactions of all our lives, including, notably, we politically attuned, babyboomer feminist voters, then let me assure you, dear readers, it was well worth the price of admission. Amen.