Warning: this product may contain traces of equality and a ‘fair go’

Dear Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration Andrew Robb,

I am proud to live in a country that values equality amoungst the sexes and a quintessential opportunity to be permitted and encouraged to try, enshrined in the notion of a ‘fair go.’

I am however confused by the limits to equality that I know are government sanctioned. The ADF is a good example of this. The Australian military cannot recruit women into certain roles.

“To be eligible for service in this position you must be male. Government policy currently precludes women from being employed in certain ADF positions.”

I am wondering how you could insist that a new Australian can sign up to our values of equality between the sexes and a fair go when neither of these statements are strictly true. Australia discriminates against women in joining aspects of the ADF thereby denying them a fair go.

Please, if you go ahead with this Australian values sign up, exclude the Canadians from this exercise and save yourself considerable embarrassment as they laugh uproarously at your record of equality and a fair go in the military.

Or you could add an asterisk to denote that these Australian values have exceptions.

Or you could scrap these pathetic motherhood statements, admit your hypocrisy, and embrace diversity.

Suki Lombard
Sydney, NSW.

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22 Responses to “Warning: this product may contain traces of equality and a ‘fair go’”

  1. Kim Says:

    Excellent post, Suki.


  2. Suki Says:

    Thank you Kim!

  3. weezil Says:

    Government sponsored racism spills over in the worst way.

  4. Gordon Says:

    Brilliant…seems to be an upsurge in motherhood statements lately!

  5. Graham Bell Says:

    Good on you. It’s high time this sort of nonsense was held up for public ridicule.

  6. Alan B'stard M P Says:


    That post was ridiculous and I suspect you know it! Of course there are service areas in the armed services cannot do due to physical limitation, such as the Commandos, the SAS, and RAN clearance Divers!

    I won’t ask you to prove me wrong as I know you can’t. So do you!

    Andrew Robb, as usual is wrong. I fact, I wonder why we allow immigration to such as scale into this country! If the pollies are serious, they shouldn’t import the problem!

  7. Alan B'stard M P Says:


    I checked the Canadian Armed forces site. It says this

    ” The Canadian Forces is an equal opportunity employer. This means, that men and women may apply for every open entry-level job. ”

    There are a number of positions that are not open entry level. Some of these in the Canadian services exclude women! These service positions are not subject to equal opportunity legislation. They are excluded from such legislation by law! In other words they are exempt!

  8. Suki Says:

    “Of course there are service areas in the armed services cannot do due to physical limitation, such as the Commandos, the SAS, and RAN clearance Divers!”

    So physical limitations is your argument hey Alan? Does that mean that some sort of physical endurance testing could exclude a weak man and include a strong woman?

  9. Alan B'stard M P Says:

    It is more than physical endurance testing. Physically strong men can fail Special Air Service or Special boat Service selection

    You need better than average lung capacity and bloody strong legs as well as being strong!

    Suki, physical limitations atre not my arguement. They are mother nature’s law!

    Woman in WW2 were in units like the Special Operations Executive, but not, even today in physical demanding environments!

    It would have to be a strong woman indeed that passes this test. Considering 85% of men fail, I suspect that not a woman exists on the planet that can pass it!

    Thinking of having a go are we Suki ?

    By the way. Military and Naval units rely of uniformity for success. Diversity is not welcome! had you experience in this field you would understand

  10. Suki Says:

    Alan the government is responsible for and is underwriting the inequality however you rationalise it, and that’s my point!

  11. Alan B'stard M P Says:

    Well that can come in two forms Suki! The underwriting of inequality re serving in the armed services may be based on recognition of a natural inequality set by nature. However it is fair to say inequailty for the sake of it isn’t fair! I understand this!

  12. weezil Says:

    Alan, the only ‘natural inequality’ going on here is the innate human ability to stick with the illogical despite reality.

    I’ll buy your argument that men are always physically superior to women when you outrun Jana Pittman and Catherine Freeman.

    On your mark… get set… babble!

  13. John Snelson Says:

    I think that the assumption that chromosomes are the dividing factor is the offensive item. If the real requirement is ability, then sex has nothing to do with it. If the natural result is that women are unlikely to have the required attributes, then so be it – they will fail the tests along with all the men who can’t do the job. So, there seems to be no point in excluding them from the opportunity.

    The crunch though is the automatic exclusion of a slice of the population on the grounds of their sex. How dare the powers that be make that assumption, just because it may be likely that they may not qualify.

  14. Alan B'stard M P Says:


    Please demonstrate some of this “reality” in the context of equality for women in the armed services.

    I’ll go away now.

  15. Graham Bell Says:

    Reality? So you want reality.

    SAS and Commando would probably rely more on tenacity and common-sense and initiative than on sheer physical strength.
    And exactly why would female Clearance Divers be at a disadvantage?

    You said “And if you are caught, being tortued as a spy and not treated as a normal POW. Not nice for the ladies!” No. Not nice for ladies! Not nice for anyone! (I have met women who survived such brutality). Personal courage does not depend on nationality, age, gender, social status or religion.

    By the way, don’t be too anxious to chuck off at “only part timers”; I used to be a Regular Army soldier and I had – and still have – respect for “part time soldiers” ….. but then, what would I know ….. (btw, your 15% is generous; try as low as 6%; adding women might alter that statistic)

  16. weezil Says:

    Graham, don’t hold your breath waiting for Alan to reply. I think his network connectivity is wanting…

  17. Graham Bell Says:

    No worries. I’m patient ….. though a wee bit busy this week.

    John Snelson:

    I would prefer not to have soldiers who are over first trimester pregnant or who have young infants go on hazardous operations – but only for the kid’s sake.

  18. Suki Says:

    All members, as part of their operational readiness, have to be prepared to be away from their children for long periods of time. This can include their birth, if the member is male. I find it harsh, but understand the need for the military to require their members to offer unrestricted service.

    Kid’s (and their dad’s) suffer from absent father syndrome also. Many young children can’t distinguish their dad in a sea of disruptive patterns. I’m sad every time I see a kid get their dad wrong.

    Very few women stay in the military once they have a family and many men leave at the time when their children ask for stability and continuity in their education. Retention data constantly states the need for family-friendly practices.

  19. Graham Bell Says:

    Oh well, back to beating the drum again about the unnecessary and counter-productive frequent reposting of service personnel with vulnerable families.

    Just can’t see why posting service personnel in real need of family stability from field units to garrison units would harm or significantly degrade our national defence.

  20. Suki Says:

    Oh Graham, I know, I know…
    Then there’s the question of just how busy the ADF really needs to be.
    If you are a C130 guy you can have back-to-back deployments because there is no one else to rotate with.
    I am not surprised that recruitment and retention levels are low and plummeting…

    It will be addressed via conscription (every now and again I hear rumblings) or the acknowledgement that by 2020 we will not have an effective military.

  21. Graham Bell Says:

    Conscription definitely won’t come in until a system of Scutage, Substitutes, Exemptions and Gangplank-Dodging-for-The-Favoured is firmly in place.

    So far, the lid has been kept on all the rorts and scams of the old National Service; there’s no guarantee that the same tricks can be pulled again if conscription is reintroduced; the public these days is too media-savvy. Falsification of medical records and the like is too easy to detect with modern technology.

    And it wouldn’t look very nice if a terribly patriotic but unconscripted little darling had his feelings hurt by insults shouted by a crowd of recently bereaved relatives …. of diggers who died in war.

  22. Darren Says:

    I believe that a valuble point that isnt considered on either side of this is that the torture , rape and abuse of women if captured by an enemy as opposed to men is of such a moral sapping danger when used as a tool for propoganda purposes that to train women (regardless if they can do it or not) to be in a combat and/or behind enemylines role is not worth the end result, not to mention the furious outrage by we the public that would ensue if the Govt. or Armed Forces put women in the position of this possibly happening. My point I guess is that regardless of wether we agree or not about women being allowed into all areas of the Defence Forces the politicians wont put themselves in a possition to be condemed by “the voters” in the event of any women being tortured etc. After all they dont want to lose there seat on the gravy train.
    The point about children and pregnancies is also a point as what do we do will a fully trained (kill 27 different ways with a tooth-pick) pregnant woman who after the birth and maternity leave may or may not wish to continue in the same area of employment. The constant vaccum of trained personel would be chaotic not to mention weakening to operatioal efficiency of any Armed Forces. Its bad enough now with people not staying.
    Any way thats my opinion like it or not and sorry about the spelling and grammar.

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