From Exploiting Women…To The Triumphs of Strong Women

It saddens me that women still have to fight for feminism rights and respect within this world.  Today I tackle a controversial issue that irritates me within the Australian culture… the exploitation of women.  After being faced with an incident last week, it has played on my mind, and now it is time I revealed my annoyance with the way women are looked upon as inferior sexualised objects.  Australia is supposed to be a pretty advanced society and women’s rights have been successfully implemented over this last century.

Despite the strength of many women, we are still faced with sex-based discrimination bringing an abundance of emotional torment to women every day in this country.  Why do some men welcome this exploitation for their mere selfish pleasure?  Why do some women allow themselves to be regarded as the inferior sex and settle for being taken advantage of regularly?

Historically, Australia is a male-dominated society, which started way back in 1788 when the British settled upon this land.  There has predominantly been a lack of respect and inferiority that continued for many generations.  Despite the equity of women becoming more accepted in Australia now… sadly I am reminded that we still have further hurdles.

Thankfully most Australian’s are respectable and there is support for women’s liberation every day around us… and not all men are so superficially challenged.  During this last week, I have witnessed both extremes… from very supportive women to the exploitation of women.

After enjoying several performances and shows during the Tamworth Country Music Festival, I was having a wonderful time and enjoying time away from the farm.  However, there was one particular performance that really did annoy me… which in my opinion, is working against the progress that women have made.  Not to mention names of the “not so great” performing group or venue… the exploitation of a woman within their performance, I found extremely crude and disrespectful.  Not funny at all.

To set the stage for you…

A young woman was “selected” from the audience as a volunteer, which may or may not have been part of the act.  The attractiveness of the young woman was verbally stated as part of the show… but it was the inappropriateness of the in-depth references to her body parts and blatant sexual advances, that I found very offensive. I am not too much of a prude and I don’t mind a little crudeness for humorous purposes.  But the sexual suggestions and inappropriate requests from the all-male performers… such as asking her to stroke the tambourine with intimate references, continuous bending over to take a bow in order to give the drummer a view of her butt in her short shorts, jumping up and down in excitement with men tantalising over bouncing breasts, brazen suggestions for a wet T-shirt to be brought to the stage, the fiddle player “accidentally” on purpose poking her breast with his bow, and the ongoing sexual advances… this was not entertainment but patronising vulgarity.

The saddest part was that this young woman was all too obliging and acted very “ditsy” when carrying on with their show.  Her foolishness within this show, made women appear brainless and cheap.  It made out as if women are worthless and our purpose is only for the sexual connotations for men.  This notion is so prehistoric and I found it crude that this was depicted in this way.  This type of presumptuous demeanor is a tragic insult to women in general.

Women have come so far in this world with equality, through women’s liberation and feminism, and our value has finally been acknowledged.  Sadly, I felt sorry for this woman being exploited (whether she realised it or not).  I felt sorry for the women in the audience (mainly an older generation)… thinking that this was normal back in their day and not considered sexual harassment at all.  And I felt sorry for the men that watched (and maybe quietly enjoyed the show) whether they realised it was disrespectful or not.  As a mother of 2 sons, I would be disgusted and disappointed if my sons treated women like this… and I am grateful that my husband respects women and is not superficial.

I watched the show for a short while, despite their early warning that their aim was to offend people and challenge political incorrectness.  I really thought the show could be quite funny.  Once I realised that this show was far too objectionable for my liking, I did leave the venue, as a personal statement that I did not support the exploitation of women by anyone.

Women are not sexual objects… they do need men to drool over their superficial looks and sexuality.  Women want to feel like a work of art… not a “piece of meat”.  Women have thoughts and feelings… they have opinions and talent… they deserve to be treated with dignity and regarded as an equal gender.  No more, no less, equal.

Although the disrespect may be evoked by many men in our community, it is women who allow them to be disrespectful towards them.  Women must realise their worth and stand up for themselves.  As women, we need to promote the well-being of all women.  If we are more liberated, the men will see that we deserve the respect we seek.

In a paradoxical moment, only several days later, I was able to witness a heartfelt supportive woman.  I attended Beccy Cole’s concert and enjoyed her fun-loving stage presence, her humour and her music.  Something that stuck with me… at the end of her show, her outspoken statements in support of feminism.  She just wants women to be nice to each other and accept ourselves for who we are.  Women need to support each other and boost each other up.  Her kind words really resonated with me, as I totally support this notion.

Similarly, when I attended another big concert “Country Turns Pink” which was raising funds for the McGrath Foundation, I witnessed another inspiring event.  Many music artists showed their support at this event and of women in general.  Beautiful music and lyrics touched the audience thanks to artists such as Tania Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys, Beccy ColeAdam Harvey and Amber Lawrence.

I would like to share this song I enjoyed when sung by Amber Lawrence as I really loved the beautiful lyrics… “Cheers to the Girls”.  The uplifting song is about women realising their own worth, taking back their power, standing up for themselves and following their dreams.  I am sure that every girl and woman can relate to this song and has felt these sort of feelings at some point in their lives.  This is what we should be promoting for women… and we deserve nothing less.  Listen and enjoy!

Take care, Karen.

“Women of Worth

She is someone’s daughter

She is someone’s friend

She is someone’s sister

She is someone…”

~ Author Unknown

Video Credit: Amber Lawrence & YouTube

Tamworth Country Music Festival 2019 ~ Part 2

Further to my story here at Tamworth NSW (Australia), for my final recap from the Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival 2019.  It is a wrap… done and dusted… and what an enjoyable, fun-filled, relaxing time that we have all had during the last 10 days of the festival.  The country music talent never ceases and the entertainment factor has been incredible.  Over 300,000 music lovers have enjoyed their time here at the festival… and what an incredible experience for everyone, especially during this horrid drought.

Farmers have had a little time out, rural families have found some enjoyment, city folk have supported the businesses that had been doing it tough over the last year.  Everyone has come together through their passion for country music and this music has encompassed their lives and lifted spirits across the community.  My personal experience has continued on the road of thrills and indulgence.

On Thursday afternoon, I received a phone call from Clipex Fencing & Stockyards, to ask if I would like 2 complimentary tickets for my husband and I, to attend the concerts of Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole.  I was astonished and almost paralyzed… why me… why us… there are so many farmers, that would deserve this generous offer.  But rather than worry or feel selfish for being presented with this wonderful opportunity to give us a night out… I just felt so very thankful.  As a Clipex customer, we were so grateful to this local fencing business and their staff… and their kindness was appreciated so very much.

Whilst we had been attending some free shows at the local clubs during the music festival, we had only purchased tickets for shows, to support breast cancer through the McGrath Foundation and drought relief through the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.  So this was very special for us, as a farmer in drought with limited finances, this opportunity was of great value.

Adam Harvey – Friday 25th January

We were still amazed that we had received this generous opportunity to attend Adam Harvey‘s concert.  As we sat waiting for the concert to start, my husband and I were so excited and thankful to Clipex Fencing.  We were so lucky.  I don’t think we have smiled this much for so long.

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The show started with support act Judah Kelly, best known for winning The Voice Australia in 2017.  This young man’s voice really is amazing with his unique range.

We then enjoyed the music from Adam Harvey himself, from his older tunes to his more recent ones.  What I like about Adam, is that he is a genuinely nice fella and is good-hearted and supportive of other young artists.  His guest artists for the show included Catherine Britt and Troy Cassar-Daley.  He also introduced his lovely daughter Layla Harvey and then proudly sang a duet with her.  I really love his laid-back music style and down-to-earth lyrics.

Beccy Cole – Friday 25th January

The good times continued in the next concert with Beccy Cole and the Sisters of Twang.  The all-girl line-up was an absolute hit for festival-goers and a performance to remember.  I still could not believe we were so lucky to receive these complimentary tickets to see this incredible show, thanks to Clipex Fencing.

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The powerful voice of Beccy Cole was incredible and her passion through her songs was captivating.  This may have been my favourite show at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.  I really loved her humour, her story-telling and her heartfelt lyrics.  Her guest artists included her son Ricky Albeck, Kelly Brouhaha, her mother Carole Sturtzel and her partner Libby O’Donovan.  It was lovely watching the emotional performance with Beccy Cole and her son Ricky Albeck.  The heartwarming connection was visible as mother and son shared their mutual passion for music, both with their own individual styles.  As a mother myself, this was just beautiful to witness and enjoy.

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What I really like about Beccy Cole… was the way she promoted feminism and women supporting each other in this day and age.  By no means is she a man-hater, as she is a mother of a son, that means the world to her.  She just wants women to be nice to each other and accept ourselves for who we are… which I think is great advice for us all.  Her kind words and fun-loving performance… left us all feeling strong and capable to face the world.

It was nice to see a “Drought Relief” CD amongst others at her CD store, from various artists for the drought appeal.  As a farmer in drought, this gesture is very much appreciated, when we see the support in front of us every day.  The drought support has been nation-wide from not only music artists, but everyday Australians in city and country, young and old.  This generosity and support make us feel like you have our back and care about the future of Australian food and fibre.  So thank you so much.

Australia Day – Saturday 26th January

Australia Day is the national day set aside to celebrate being Australian, regardless of where our personal stories may have begun.  It is a day for us to all reflect on being Australian, be proud of our culture, celebrate our nation and recognise our history.

What better way to celebrate Australia Day… than spending time with my lovely sister and her beautiful family, when they visit Tamworth this weekend.  We enjoyed a buffet-style dinner together, in the J&L Family Restaurant at the Tamworth Services Club.  There was plenty of choice with succulent seafood including prawns, oysters, smoked salmon… a variety of carvery roasts and vegetables, Chinese cuisine, fresh salads, fruit platters and delicious desserts.  There was something for everyone to choose to their liking, both adults and children.

I remember sitting and reflecting on being Australian… enjoying the company of my family, enjoying tasty fresh food in the local community, and with a sense of proudness for the ex-servicemen and women that fought for our freedom many years ago… so we can continue to enjoy our beautiful country.  I respect the multi-culturalism of Australia and recognise all of our origins… a history that ultimately unites us within our nation.

Following our dinner, we then enjoyed a stroll in the park and listened to some more country music from Tamworth’s best local artists.  The finale was watching the spectacular fireworks with my nieces and nephew.  What is it about fireworks that just seems to fascinate us all and brings us to a complete stand-still momentarily?  From the young children through to the older generation… we all just watch calmly in awe.

Tex Dubbo – Sunday 27th January

My final show was the Tex Dubbo gig… the alter ego of Troy Cassar-Daley, singing old-style songs from renowned country music artists that inspired him.  At this show, Troy does not sing his own songs… but pays homage to the music that has shaped his own career.  We heard original songs from the music of Merle Haggard, George Jones and Willie Nelson… which were relaxing and unwinding for me.  This show happens every second year, is very popular and held at the Longyard Hotel.

His wife Laurel Edwards, supported him in some of his show.  I really like how Troy is so respectfully open and speaks so highly about his lovely wife and their life together.  This gives you so much respect towards him, knowing that he is a very decent bloke and that he appreciates his wife.  As a loving wife myself, I think this is just wonderful.

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Despite the 39 degree heat in the open garden area, I enjoyed the show with my sister and her family.  My sister and her husband love these old-style songs, and I loved to see the enjoyment on their faces as well, as they enjoyed some time-out.  My husband and I also enjoyed a great lunch from the bistro as we enjoyed the music.

And the show must end!  As my lovely sister and her family headed back home to Dubbo, my husband and I returned back to the farm.  Shearing is happening the following day on our farm, so the evening is spent mustering sheep to the yard, ready for tomorrow’s early start.

What a huge jam-packed music festival over the last 10 days!  The festival ended yesterday and is now over… until next year.  So I encourage you all to add the Tamworth Country Music Festival to your “TO DO” list.  This event is not to be missed.  Bear in mind, you will probably enjoy yourself so much, that you may return year after year.

We all deserve a little break every now and then.  It is what keeps us sane and recharged to work effectively in whatever industry we are involved with.  Farmers tend to not take enough time-out… due to the ongoing daily workload and costs.  But in this current drought, it is more important than ever, to look after yourself and your loved ones.  My husband and I are more focused than ever, to tackle life and farming again… with thanks to those music artists and entertainers that support this major festival.

Take care, Karen.

“Never get so busy making a living

that you forget to make a life.”

~ Author Unknown