Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Testosterone Not Essential to Saying What You Think

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Testosterone Not Essential to Saying What You Think

Article excerpt

A BLOKE once told me that I was the only woman he knew who had balls.

A little crude, perhaps. And maybe my wedding wasn't the best place to stand up, clink his glass to ensure undivided attention, and make such a proclamation.

But despite his wife's best efforts to sit him down and cease all further red wine service to table number seven, I took his toast to the blushing bride as a compliment. A statement of endearment; admiration even.

It's not as though his comment came as a surprise to anyone, either. I am fairly well-known for speaking my mind, for my complete inability to lie (my face goes red and my eyes go shifty), for my enjoyment of stirring the pot.

At a dinner party on Saturday night, I decided to have some fun by suggesting that anti-discrimination laws had now created a situation of disadvantage for men, and that women, the elderly, and other groups now receive opportunities often far beyond their abilities to the detriment of others better qualified. Mooting that 50 per cent of all parliamentary seats must be held by women - even if they are not the best candidate in their electorate - is a perfect case in point.

My friend turned to me and whispered "God, you've guts to say that." (She is far too cultured to use the "balls" word.)

I am surprised however that candour is still considered an act of bravery - especially among women.

I count among my friends some who will never publicly express a political view because they have been raised to regard it as unladylike. I have a girlfriend who refuses to offer her personal opinion on any issue in case people think less of her for holding it. I know women who act as though the only ones with the right to take a stand on anything are blokes.

I understand there are females - other than my mother - who believe that upper management and parliament are not nice places for a well-bred girl to spend her career. Possibly the same people who don't long to see a female Prime Minister in their lifetime. …

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