Thursday, July 29, 2010

Abbott's angst... or is it our angst?

The meaning of "angst" is "always worried about things" as per Macmillan's dictionary. It means "a feeling of anxiety or apprehension often accompanied by depression" according to Tony Abbott, the Australian opposition leader, has run into a problem with women reports The Economist. With the general election on August 21, 2010, Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister, is more popular. While sensible people would place their policies before the people, The Economist reports that Mr Abbott’s frustrated colleagues seem to be trying the “gender card”: highlighting Ms Gillard’s status as an unmarried, childless woman (and an atheist, to boot).

I fail to understand why unmarried, childless woman is in any way inferior to anyone else. It might be her personal choice and should not we respect each person's personal choice. As long as the person has the quality/qualification/experience/knowledge etc to discharge her role as Prime Minister, why should her being unmarried / childless be a disqualification? I doubt if the same yardstick would be applied if it is a man.

If a woman comes up in life, somehow other issues are raised. Can a woman never come up or be successful in life due to her intelligence and hard work? Looks like even developed countries have this attitudinal problem. The Economist calls this "Abbott's angst". Somehow I feel it is not his angst, it should be the angst of all right thinking people as to why issues about a woman are raised for the only reason she is a woman and why societies adopt double standards for men and women?