Minister for Climate Change and Water
Penelope Wong is the current and first Australian Minister for Climate Change and Water. She has been a member of the Australian Senate since 2002, representing South Australia. Wong is the first openly gay member, and the first Asian-born member, of an Australian cabinet or ministry.
Wong ran for pre-selection for the Senate in 2001, and was selected for the top spot on the party’s South Australian ticket.
In June 2005 Wong was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation and Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility. Following the reshuffle in December 2006, she became responsible for the portfolios of Public Administration & Accountability, Corporate Governance & Responsibility, and Workforce Participation.
In November 2007, Wong was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water. As a result of this promotion, she is the highest ranked politician representing South Australia.
Here is a contact form to write her an email directly.
If you want, you can set a watch on this senator to receive a weekly email with all of this Senator’s parliamentary statements and media appearances.
Pretty impressive, isn’t she? It sounds like Australia has some solid feminist footing.
But, alas, when we dig just a bit deeper, we find Australia still has sexist pigs who are allowed to run free. Watch this video and get ready to feel shocked and enraged.
I was originally attracted to this topic because of the egregious behavior against a female senator – but how cool to find out that she is pretty, a lesbian, has a delightful accent!, and is a strong woman.
Here is a snippet of a newspaper account of what happened:
Australia’s politicians are “feral” and sexist – those are the claims being made against the country’s opposition party after a meowing incident disrupted a Senate meeting.
Following the general raucousness that accompanied a sitting of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Brandis had initially asked that he be allowed to finish his comment after Wong interrupted him early in the debate.
Wong soon demanded the same after Brandis in turn interrupted her, reports The West Australian.
That’s when Liberal Tasmanian senator David Bushby felt it was time to let a loud meow ripple through the crowd.
“Oh, yes, why don’t you meow when a woman does that? That’s a good idea,” pronounced an annoyed Wong.
“The blokes are allowed to yell, but if a woman stands her ground, you want to make that kind of comment. It’s sort of schoolyard politics, mate. It’s just extraordinary,” she added.
And here’s one more perspective on what happened – THIS guy wants to make her prime minister!
So in honor of this strong, professional female senator from Australia, here is one of her countrymates who may have inspired her one day long ago….
I’ll close with two things I noticed in the video:
The first was that the senator didn’t miss a beat; she called The Sexist Pig right out on his ridiculous and childish behavior. She didn’t stop to wonder if she wouldn’t get picked for the right committees or if she would be ridiculed by the press.
She did what was right.
The second thing I noticed – the younger woman sitting behind the senator did not seem all that engaged in the display of sexism OR in her older, wiser colleague’s reaction to that sexism. Matter of fact, she is looking down, then to the side, and then she begins to do something with her iphone.
I wonder if Australia is going through the same disappointments that we are – the “older” women are still fighting the good fight, but the younger ones are busy texting their friends about where to meet the boys tonight….?
What say you?
Filed under: Another reason America is falling apart, Fighting Back, Hillary Clinton, Human Rights, Senate, Sexism and Misogyny, Women, You can't make this stuff up. Tagged: | Australia, Misogyny, Penelope Wong, Sexism