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Oh the virtuous!

Updated: Jan 4

I did something yesterday I don’t normally do: I switched on the television and flicked over to the ABC. For obvious reasons – that of complete leftist bias - I had not watched the ABC for some time. I thought I should quickly remind myself as to why because over 20 years ago, the ABC and SBS were my go-to television destinations.

I managed to sit through the news and 7.30, however it all fell over quickly after that. The next show on offer I barely noticed as it was now on in the background. I watched a show host walking up the footpath to someone’s home and she was greeted at the gate. I later realised it was a show called Kitchen Cabinet.

This someone’s home turned out to be a federal parliamentarian – Aged Care and Sports Minister Anika Wells. I quickly found out why I needed to be interested. Anika is superhuman. She is the youngest minister in the Albanese government, has 3 children under 6, has a chronic disease and of course (drum roll) is a woman.

This was all communicated to the audience in the first few minutes and that was my queue as a viewer to pop on my eternal admiration hat for this amazing woman who has it all, juggling the enormous pressure of her important and amazing life.

The conversation was quickly directed to the underlying theme: Anika was an ambitious, virtuous, achieving woman, a mother, and…well…(and this is the more important part) a woman, who needed to be admired and celebrated. Their discussion was punctuated with demure and cute comments about how she copes, however, all I noticed, was Anika’s cup filled with her own virtue and self-importance.

I only lasted 10 minutes. Then it was the off button.

But the residue lasted. The first thing I was piqued about was a tax-payer funded show host, Annabel Crabb, interviewing and celebrating a tax-payer funded politician, on a tax-payer funded broadcaster. Two women talking about the vagaries of work/ life balance, gender politics, and motherhood as the government pays their bills. Kitchen Cabinet is obviously a giant PR exercise designed to make politicians in Australia more human and endearing to the general public. But my questions are: Is that the best use of their time? Should they not be busy back at work for the people of Australia?

Perhaps being in someone’s kitchen means that you can’t really talk about the actual important issues your government faces, or even chat about your ministerial portfolio to address how you intend to tackle the ever-increasing aged care crisis in Australia. Perhaps being in someone’s home means you shouldn’t mention key policies, and deliverables or talk about the current cost of living crisis. On our dime, this is all about the virtue of the person. Finding out what makes them tick and maybe liking them a little more for having seen their homely and “pretend to be funny” side.

Not for me. I will never turn this show on again. All I discovered is that I will now hold a little bit of disdain for Anika Wells should I see her face again. She clearly believes she is more special, important, and virtuous than most, because of her gender, her political status, and motherhood. The best servants are the ones that don’t need to put themselves on a pedestal.

(Oh, I never stuck around long enough to find out what chronic disease she has).

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