Tasmania is a tiny island at the bottom of Australia. Most people outside of Tasmania know very little about Tasmania. Most people outside of Australia know almost nothing, but can usually bring a certain Warner Brothers cartoon character to mind if they try hard enough. But here is something cool about Tasmania that you will know at your next trivia night that no one else will: Tasmania just got its first woman Premier.
Lara Giddings was the youngest person ever elected to Australian parliament, winning her seat when she was just 23 years old (which makes this 23-year-old feel like a total underachiever). This week, she became the first woman to be sworn in as Premier of the state of Tasmania, after serving for two and a half years as the state’s second ever female Deputy Premier. This means that in addition to having its first woman Prime Minister, Australia now has a woman at the helm in three of our seven states.
Which is all well and good, I hear you say, but what of Giddings’ left ring finger? What of her UTERUS? Enough talk of gender equity and politics and leadership! Let’s talk about what really matters: does she have a strong manly husband and lots and lots of babies to offset the unpleasant fact that she is a woman with power?
The answer is no. She does not. She is 38, unmarried, childless and OH MY GOD FREAK OUT. The newspaper The Australian ran this headline earlier this week: “Leftist Lara Giddings Still Looking for Mr. Right.” The woman has just been made head of her state, and also its Treasurer, sure, and she’s the first woman to ever hold the job, but let’s focus on what matters, which is that she’s a picky lefty feminist who hasn’t settled down yet. Sounds like someone at The Australian has been studying at the Piers Morgan School of Using Journalism to Insult Powerful Women!
But The Australian wasn’t alone in focusing on Giddings’ pathetic, pitiable loneliness. Pretty much every newspaper article about her new job mentions the fact that she’s single, and at the press conference in which her takeover was announced, one female journalist asked, “As a single woman taking on the role, do you, are you concerned perhaps you’re giving up the potential to have a family? Is it compatible?” Which is a fair question, right? After all, it’s a question that male politicians get asked all the, er, never.
For her part, Giddings seems to have some thoughtful things to say about why, for women, politics and marriage often don’t mix. She believes it might have something to do with the fact that in our culture, powerful men are sexy, while powerful women are scary: “For some reason, men in politics seem to have a larger charisma and women drop around their feet,” she told The Australian. “I haven’t noticed that so much for me.” And so, she is single, and probably will never have children.
Clearly, this situation must be rectified immediately. If you are an eligible man who would like to marry, impregnate and raise children with the Premier of Tasmania, please consider applying for the position of Validator of Lara Giddings’ Existence. The ideal candidate will be manly enough to prove beyond doubt that the leader of Tasmania is not a lesbian, but not manly enough to prevent the newspapers from mocking him for being less powerful than his ball-busting wife.
Quick, the application period closes soon, as the idea of a single woman with power is too terrifying to be entertained for very long!