Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tracee's victory column

Left-wing journalist Tracee Hutchison has been moved by the victory of Kevin Rudd ... to new levels of incoherence.

Her victory column begins with this:

It's hard to identify the exact moment I knew Australia was experiencing a seismic shift in identity and direction over this past week.

I'm not sure I'm living in the same country as Tracee. A seismic shift in identity and direction? Just from switching from Liberal to Labor?

Odder still is the "exact moment" Tracee finally settles on to mark this seismic shift in identity. It seems that Kevin Rudd's wife did a "shimmy" whilst standing next to him on election night:

If ever there was an image to differentiate the old from the new on election night, it was Therese Rein's shimmy ... It was sassy and confident and delicious. And 100% woman. Suddenly we had a first couple who were smart, successful AND sexy. It was magnificent.

It's not an easy thing to push Therese Rein into the sexy category. It's a measure of Tracee's euphoria that she gives it a go.

Then we have Tracee's glee at the appointment by Kevin Rudd of some female ministers:

Finally, we have a group of women in the highest office in the land who don't make me feel like a freak.

Women who are the daughters of migrants, women who are single and/or childless, openly gay, unmarried with children, married with children but who haven't taken the surname of their husbands and others who have.

This is beyond odd. Tracee herself is a single, childless career woman. She admits here that she is so sensitive to her situation that she feels like a "freak" if women like herself aren't in power. She wants her own situation to be made normative because it helps her with her own psychological issues.

And what of the fact that the Liberals also had single childless women as ministers (e.g. Julie Bishop)? Is it not possible for Tracee to be consoled by Liberal women?

But Tracee keeps it all going:

It is significant and noteworthy that half the women Kevin Rudd has given high-profile cabinet and portfolio responsibilities to are childless and/or unmarried — the Deputy Prime Minister to name just one. It is a great moment for generational change and validates the often difficult choices so many of us have made to pursue our careers. And it is so very welcome.

Yes, it's all about Tracee feeling "validated". Strangely, earlier this year she put a different spin on her childlessness. It wasn't a noble choice of hers, but something forced on her by an epidemic of feckless men. After watching the competition between three men to be named the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby, she wrote:

I suspect I wasn't the only single, childless woman of a certain age who belched up a slightly sour-tasting ironic burp ...

... it seemed incredible, from my experience, that each of them seemed so desperately keen to own up to firing the winning sperm.

If only there were men queueing up for fatherhood duties with such fervour in the real-life version of what happens to women in their late 30s. With due respect to the many doting fathers I know, who love and support their kids in one — or two — homes, I seem to know a lot more women who have either given up chasing child-support payments from absent and/or financially gymnastic fathers or given up the idea of having a biological child at all.

If anecdote is the litmus test for truth, the latter category feels like an epidemic. Especially if you're immersed in that special something that happens to women when their body clock starts shrieking like a wounded hyena and there's not a willing bloke within cooee.

... There aren't enough blokes with sufficient enthusiasm for child-rearing to go around.

You might think that Tracee would be most concerned to repair the damage done to family formation in this country, in order to spare younger women the sadness of unchosen childlessness. Instead, being stuck with it herself, she wants to make it a kind of high principle.

Finally, there is Tracee's attitude to country. She tells us that the sight of Therese Rein's seismic shimmy made her overflow with patriotism:

I felt my body jolt upright with exultant anticipation and gushing love of country.

Is this the same Tracee who, in questioning the appropriateness of ANZAC Day, wrote:

why does all of it have to come with an Australian flag draped around its shoulders? It frightens me.

Tracee is frightened by the quietly held patriotism of ANZAC Day and the sight of the Australian flag, but gushes with love of country when her candidate's wife moves on stage.

I wouldn't mind Tracee following the impulses of her mind, if it represented a liberation from ideology and released her from the grip of political correctness. I expect, though, that she identifies too closely with her side of politics for this ever to happen.


  1. Female journalists often seem to use the "method" when writing. They REALLY FEEL every word of what they're writing - when they're writing it. A day later they'll REALLY FEEL something completely contradictory and not be the least embarrassed. Pointing this out is clearly a sign that you're a bad person who doesn't VALIDATE her FEEEELINGS.

  2. Start from the commentator's first name: "Tracee." Ask yourself if you know anyone of a moderately adult disposition who goes professionally by a cognomen that childish. Your derision centers will kick in automatically, allowing you to bypass the rest of the article and save valuable time.

    Simple, isn't it? Pass it around!

  3. Umm, Amanda Vanstone is married to Tony and has been for decades.


  4. The Age's Catherine Deveny is worse - she described her feelings about Rudd's victory as 'post-coital' and anticipates a bunching of births conceived on the night of his win.

    The women of the left have sexual and validation problems. That is undountedly the reason they are so troubled with the world.

  5. HC, I clicked on the link. Your point about sexual and validation problems was not exactly undermined by Catherine Deveny describing her response to the election this way:

    I feel as if I've started dating another man after being in an abusive relationship for 11 years. But who is this other man? It's as if we've had an intoxicating kiss in the kitchen but still haven't made it to the bedroom.