Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson
When getting the vaccine is straightforward and easy
I received the following letter from a friend in Canada this week. “Yesterday Kate and I were vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine. The appointments for my age group, 75 or older, were opened at 12pm yesterday. Kate had been working in the garden all morning, and I had been for a walk, so I didn’t get around to calling until just after 1pm. After 15 minutes on hold, I was offered an appointment at 4pm that afternoon, which I accepted. On asking if Kate could get a shot at the same time (she is in a different age bracket) she was quickly slotted in at the same time.“
We were at the community centre 10 minutes early and were quickly slotted into the short line-up. Twenty minutes later we were done and had to wait the 15 minutes to monitor possible side effects. Now we wait two weeks for the vaccine to be effective, and some unspecified time for our second jab.“
All we seem to be getting are announcements and television shots of politicians having their jabs. As my wife and myself are both 80-plus, and have health issues, any attempt to get an appointment is incomprehensible. Enough said.
Colin Billington, Inverloch
How many in aged care have been vaccinated?
How come we are onto phase 1b of the vaccine program before phase 1a has been completed? There have been no vaccines for residents in my brother’s nursing home and no one can tell us when that will change. I would like to know what proportion of nursing home residents have been vaccinated. Are our most vulnerable still being forgotten and ignored behind closed doors?
Lesley Beasley, Mornington
Sometimes “b” really does come before “a”Is A
really before B? This week, as part of the group 1b program, I had my first COVID-19 vaccination. My husband and the residents and staff at his aged care facility, in group 1a, are still waiting to have theirs. What is going on? Is this another case of the federal government letting down those who are in aged care?
Helen Bryce, Brighton
Sorry, no jab means you cannot come in
Stopping international travel into Victoria, albeit only for the short-term, was a very wise and effective measure. With the proposed reintroduction of international travel and talk of improved hotel quarantine, including vaccination of frontline workers, everyone seems to be missing the bleeding obvious. That is to allow the entry of only vaccinated travellers.
Peter Knight, St Arnaud
The importance of early testing for travellers
The new guidelines for returned travellers still indicates that they will not be tested until they have located their baggage, been through customs and boarded a bus to take them to a city hotel. Until we hear that they will be checked and tested before they move into the arrivals lounge, we cannot be sure that no infection will be passed on to workers and others that they may encounter during the transition through the airport and while being transported to their hotel.
Margaret Smithers, Southbank
Twice bitten, we’re three times shy, Premier
After two outbreaks resulting from hotel quarantine, why is our state government insisting on reintroducing it, thereby risking yet another lockdown, rather than building the purpose-built facility at Avalon airport?
Doug Springall, Yarragon
Let’s keep wearing masks and social distancing
The relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions combined with the resumption of flights into Victoria when we are still not anywhere near all vaccinated is a recipe for new cases in our community. Why take the risk? Why not keep up masks in supermarkets and crowded spaces? It is not that much of an imposition after we have all become used to being careful. Oh, I forgot. The economy is worth more than our lives. Silly me.
Fiona McHugh, Preston
In an emotional press conference this week, Scott Morrison said it had been a traumatic month for many Australians, as he and the nation were confronted by the issue of violence against women. He said he had been listening to women’s stories, and was horrified that all women “have put up with this rubbish and this crap for their entire lives, as their mothers did, as their grandmothers did”. He said he would continue to listen.To
day, we are running letters from our women readers with similar experiences. We hope the Prime Minister, and all those in power, will read them. All letters are published with “name withheld” for legal reasons.
National Sexual Assault, Familyand Domestic Violence Counselling Line: 1800 737 732. Lifeline: 13 11 14, lifeline.org.au
I am a woman and a survivor of child sexual abuse by a family friend. I put up with sexual harassment and bullying in my work life, personal life and in public. I smiled and was polite and did not complain. That is what a good girl did. I have never spoken of this before now. Now in my 60s, I can finally put aside my shame and guilt and do so. I know I am one of many. I am so angry that generations of women born after me still have to put up with misogynistic behaviour. Let silent women tell their stories.
My friend and I worked for IT companies and were on a regional trip visiting stores which sold our products. We invited one proprietor and his second in charge to dinner where they became extremely intoxicated. Both men made lewd and suggestive comments to my friend and I. After dinner we walked to the pub.
The proprietor and I were separated from my friend and the other man. He bailed me up in an alleyway, against the wall, and demanded I perform oral sex on him, otherwise he would not order my products again.
Thankfully he was so drunk I was able to push him away. He was sacked the next morning for abusing a female staff member as she struggled with the lock to the front door. I never reported the incident for fear of being labelled a trouble maker and losing my career. I hope this man did not go on to hurt other women because I was afraid to speak out.
I was 23 and raped at a party by a stranger. I woke up and he was on top of me, taking off my clothes. I was so drunk I could not consent, nor could I stop him. I told my friends and family days later. Not one person suggested I should go to the police. I also never reported it to the police because I did not trust them, or the law, to do anything. Every man I have told my story to has suggested that I did something to lead the man on or that it was a misunderstanding.
Every woman I have spoken to about this has believed me. It has been 10 years and I still am fearful of men. I am afraid to date men or to live my life the way I deserve to. The fear and hurt never goes away.
I was in grade 6 when my first sexual assault occurred on a tram. It took me about 10 seconds to realise the “swollen throbbing thumb” was actually the guy masturbating whilst rubbing my thigh. These stories continued on until my year 12 English exam when a lovely, stocky man bellowed to the guy who was dry humping me to “Get the f— off” the packed tram at the next stop and then stood guard protectively of me when I crumbled in a heap, sobbing quietly until I got off at my stop. I was in my school uniform. I am 44. I have two daughters and I am terrified for them because I see how men look at them.
My career was in a male-dominated industry. Three anecdotes (of many) before I turned 30. First, at 27, I was a finalist in an awards competition. At the awards ceremony, a male winner was announced. One of the men who’d been on the interview panel said, “You were the clear winner but we couldn’t have a girl win two years in a row”. He followed me around and tried to grope me on the dance floor. I left the event in tears.Se
cond, I overheard two senior managers, whom I’d highly respected until then, discussing my recently announced promotion. “She must have some skills”. “Yeah, sucking c–k”. And third, I was grabbed and kissed by a smelly contractor when I was signing his timesheet late at night, with just the two of us on site. I kicked him out of the office but was terrified to walk to my car, alone in an industrial area. I banned him from site, and the company’s state manager called me to apologise. Said the man would still have to attend site occasionally. I rejected this arrangement and my manager implied I was overreacting.
I am a 50-year-old female from a middle-class Baptist family. In grade 2 or 3, I was taken by an older boy at school to a remote corner where he sexually assaulted me. Over the years I had men in passing cars shout “slut”, men stare and wolf whistle at me, and had my bottom pinched by a stranger. At church we were told women should be silent and men were the rightful leaders. At home I was slapped for taking up my hem, told I could not go out with friends, and body shamed. Women who were sexually assaulted were “asking for it”.Male
colleagues told sexist and derogatory jokes about women, tried to infer I was in competition with female colleagues for the title of “princess”, counted my “eggs”, made pregnant women and new mums redundant, and were promoted over me when I was more qualified and experienced. I, too, am angry and tired like so many other women. I just want to be treated with dignity and fairness as an individual irrespective of my gender.
In 1964 when I was 11, I was molested by our local Catholic priest. He ingratiated himself into the trust of my parents and took my two brothers and me to the beach one day. He encouraged my brothers to swim out while he taught me to float. It was during that “teaching” that he touched me between the legs.I
righted myself in the water and told him to leave me alone. All the way home, he spoke only to my brothers, leaving me to feel that I had done something terribly wrong. I was so worried and found myself reliving and reviewing it the whole way home. I knew intuitively that I would be doubted. So I said nothing to my brothers or parents. I carried the anger about it all of my life. It did not damage my life, but it certainly gave me a healthy mistrust of authority and a clear understanding of male power. Years later, I read that the same priest had gone on to molest and rape many little girls. I felt so guilty that I had not told anyone back in 1964.
I was not intoxicated or in the “wrong place” when I was sexually harassed as a young girl. I was unable to understand this behaviour and was frozen in fear. I never told anyone until now. As a young woman I was harassed at a work conference. I did not report this. I quietly retreated to my room and locked myself in. My teenage daughter and I were threatened with rape by a carload of louts. I rang the police. They came to our home to write a report. They were supportive and thanked us as there had been similar abuses in our area. Recent reports have reawakened my feelings of terror and anxiety.
When I was attacked by a stranger as I was leaving a party, the police grilled me on what I had been wearing and how much I had drunk. I was covered in scratches and bruises but they gave more time to what I had done during that day than the events around the attack. I found out the attacker’s name from the hosts and told the police. They never contacted me again. The guy got away with it, despite my injuries. The police did not care, it was demoralising.
AND ANOTHER THING
Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding
Liberal women need to speak their own truth, not Liberal male spin. We are sick of it.
Elizabeth Bolger, Eltham
Tin ear. Glass jaw. A blind eye. On the nose. Maybe ScoMo could claim some credibility if he spoke in tongues.
Kieran Martin, Mallacoota
Cabinet reshuffle: deck chairs on the Titanic.
Lyn Beaumont, Bentleigh
Earth to Scotty. Is anyone there?
Mayda Semec, Brighton East
Washington may have a swamp but Canberra certainly has a cesspool.
Ross Coulthard, Glen Iris
It’s a cop-out to blame the atrocious behaviour on “culture”. It’s the poor quality of the perpetrators and those who turn a blind eye to these actions.
Phil Mackenzie, Eaglemont
If the Coalition gets more women into Parliament, will it treat them any better?
Julie Carrick, Leopold
Bring back Julia.
Glenda Johnston, Queenscliff
Having worked for our most misogynistic PM, Credlin is laser sharp on the cause of the problem: Turnbull. Who’d have thought?
Dick Davies, North Warrandyte
Another day, another episode of Men Behaving Badly.
Krystyn Hendrickson, East Melbourne
For some political hopefuls, feigning sincerity has become an art form.
Jaroslaw Kotiw, Strathfieldsaye
It’s clear that Scotty from marketing was not born to rule after all.
John Bye, Elwood
Recently ScoMo has pretended to be a pilot and a scientist. When will he pretend to be a prime minister?
Hans Pieterse, Narre Warren North
Did art curator Nina Miall really say slow practices and ideas have “developed momentum” (26/3)?
Anna Horsfall, Chirnside Park
Avoid peak solar. Place your panels facing east or west.
Graeme Walters, Mount Waverley
Cathy Wilcox for PM. (And so say all of us.)
Margaret Mackenzie, Alphington
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