Motherhood and feminism

Monica-Oshea The attacks by left-wing feminists on Natalie Portman shows their contempt for the family unit, writes Monica O'Shea.

When Natalie Portman won her Oscar on Monday, she thanked her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, for  providing her with “the most important role of my life."

This struck a chord with me, as it would have with many people watching the live telecast from LA. 

If you speak to any mother, or indeed father, they would rate giving birth to their children as one of their proudest moments in life.

So who could blame Natalie for relating to all mothers, and sharing a personal view that giving birth is her most important role in life? 

The left, it seems.

No sooner had she aired her comments, than the left started accusing her of undercutting her work and downplaying the value of an Oscar.  

Salon media group writer Mary Elizabeth Williams provided the following thoughts

“…is motherhood really a greater role than being secretary of state or a justice on the Supreme Court? Is reproduction automatically the greatest thing Natalie Portman will do with her life?,” she said. 

Slate writer KJ Dell'Antonia put it this way:

“…every time a powerful woman downplays her other achievements as inferior to her maternal status, she feeds the doubt that still pursue working mothers at every end of the spectrum: Will she really take her work seriously or will she put her children first?” 

These comments are offensive to mothers and anyone who values family.  

First, Portman was not trying to downplay her achievements, she was simply expressing in her own way, that being a mother is important. 

Second, what right do feminists have to put words in Portman's mouth and judge her for having a personal view?

Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams asked the question if motherhood is a greater role than being Secretary of State. 

But she misses the point – it's not about what role is more important, it's about recognising that politicians and movie stars like all people, have families. 

Indeed, no-one understands the importance of family more than politicians. 

Many politicians have given up promising careers on the back of family tragedies.

Why?  Because politics is a nasty game and most politicians recognise that when their personal life falls into tatters, it won't be fellow politicians who will be picking up the pieces – it will be their family.  

But be it a movie star, politician, blue or white collar worker or sport star – what we all have in common is we have a family. 

This is what made Portman's comments so appealing – they showed similarity with every day Americans.    

What the left don't realise, is that we all have the right to voice our opinions and we all have our own take on what is the most valuable aspect of our life. 

That means the best judge as to whether an Oscar, Harvard Degree or motherhood is more important is not the raging feminist – it's Natalie Portman. 

Monica works in the public service and is involved in the Young Liberal Movement in South Australia.

How Gillard is Undermining Our Community With Her Flood Tax

Monica-Oshea Monica O'Shea notes how Julia Gillard's flood tax undermines community by crowding out civil society.

The Government is underestimating the power of the individual and community to solve the flood crisis. 

People love to give, but they want to give out of the goodness of their own heart.

They don’t want to give because the Federal Government has told them they have no choice.

Stories are now emerging that people who were previously working hard to raise money for the floods have now decided there is no point, because the Government is going to tax them anyway.  

While people in big cities and regional towns throughout the country are dedicating their time, effort and money to helping the people of Queensland, the Government is doing nothing but talk and tax. 

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a student tax, alcopop tax, carbon tax, mining tax or flood tax – when the Government can’t balance their budget, they introduce a new tax.    

People of all kinds, shapes, sizes and worth have donated to the Queensland floods.  

It doesn’t matter if you are a small company, big company, rock star, sports star, chief executive or welfare recipient – everyone wants to help.   

I recently met a child who was seven years old. The child saw the devastating images of the flood on television and decided not only donate his entire money box to the people of Queensland, but also to encourage his friends and family to do the same.  

So while chief executives and rock stars and individuals are busily balancing their budget to account for multi-million dollar donations, the Gillard Government has decided to balance its budget with yet another new tax. 

And now throughout the country, people are asking themselves the following: if I can manage my budget, why can’t Julia Gillard?  

Monica works in the public service and is involved in the Young Liberal Movement in South Australia.

Julia’s first speech

Monica-Oshea Monica O'Shea breaks down Julia Gillard's first speech as the new Labor leader and Prime Minister elect.

Julia Gillard used her first speech to give the Australian people hints of key policy decisions she will make as Prime Minister. 

Gillard’s statement that there should be a price on carbon should be a strong indicator that she intends to bring back the ETS. 

Her comment that the Australian people deserve a fair share of Australia’s resources indicates she has every intention of keeping the mining tax. 
She may modify the mining tax slightly, to give the Australian people the impression that she has compromised on a tax that clearly, was never popular to begin with. 

Gillard showed she has learned key lessons about Labor’s polling in recent months – the Australian people didn’t like the policy back-flip on the ETS, and they are not fans of the mining tax.  

Make no mistake though – she is a politician, and a very good one at that.  But a good political game-player does not make her a good leader or a good Prime Minister. 

Her greatest challenge will be to show the Australian people that she is genuine, and not a populist like Kevin Rudd. 

The key question now is, how should Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party frame their attack against Gillard? Should they focus on her key role in major policy decisions of the Rudd Government, or should they get dirty and focus on her lack of conviction, leftist history, “no comment” on religion and ability to relate to families?  

Time will tell.

Monica works in the public service and is involved in the Young Liberal Movement in South Australia.

Abbott’s words inspire more than they provoke fear


Listen to Tony Abbott and not the commentators, writes Monica O'Shea.

It is clear the media, Gillard and left-wing commentators have been waiting for an opportunity to jump on Abbott and his so-called extreme conservative views. 
Early this week, when details of his interview with Women’s Weekly were released, the left exploded.  The only problem is they did so unfairly.

Gillard and many prominent left-wing commentators have since labelled Abbott as a religious fanatic who is trying to dictate their lives.  Some media outlets were claiming that Abbott was telling women to wait until marriage. 

Firstly, he didn’t say that.  And secondly, portraying such a comment in a negative light may give women the impression that waiting for the right person is a bad thing.

If women want to wait for the right person, they should be able to do so without being made to feel terrible by Gillard and left-wing commentators. 

Contrary to what Gillard believes, almost all parents, and some young women, would have agreed with Abbott’s words: 

“It happens … I think I would say to my daughters if they were to ask me this question … it is the greatest gift that you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving, and don't give it to someone lightly, that is what I would say."

A more accurate description of his words would have been inspiring. 

There is nothing wrong with having aspirations for your children. Most parents do. Very few parents would be encouraging their children to lose their virginity at the first opportunity. 

My parents certainly didn’t, and, I find it hard to think of any parent who would.  Most parents want the best for their children. And giving up their virginity to one of the hordes of young men who may readily take advantage of them is certainly not what is best. 

But it’s not only parents who would have been inspired by Abbott’s words.  It’s also young women. 

Growing up I met very few women who were in a rush to give the gift of their virginity away lightly. However, I sensed sometimes that women felt pressured that it was expected of them once they reached a certain age. 

As a teenager, I often read Dolly, Cosmopolitan and Girlfriend magazines. I still remember the stories about young teenagers who had lost their virginity or were thinking about losing it for the first time.  I was frightened one day when I learned that the average age for losing ones virginity was approximately 17.   This did not inspire me at all.  In fact, it frightened me.  At the time, hearing the words of Abbott would have filled me with relief.

When Gillard heard of Abbott’s interview with Women’s Weekly she had the following to say: 

"These comments will confirm the worst fears of Australian women about Tony Abbott. Australian women don't want to be told what to do by Tony Abbott.

"Australian women want to make their own choices and they don't want to be lectured to by Mr Abbott."

There is nothing in what Abbott had to say that suggests he was telling women what to do, lecturing them, or that he was confirming their worst fears.  

Somehow, I can’t see Abbott announcing a policy or introducing legislation to prevent women from making choices about their virginity. 

It seems that when it comes to advice about relationship, love and marriage, the scales are tipping too far to the left.  We are lucky to have leaders like Abbott who will steer us in the right direction.

Monica works in the public service and is involved in the Young Liberal Movement in South Australia.