Is the real gender equality battle fought around the toilet?

AS YOU read this we will be at the polls, deciding on the serious matter of who will run the country. Fortunately this column will address none of that but, rather, something much more important: the loo roll.

A quick poll - not Nielsen-rated but of intelligent, hard-working women - reveals that the bathroom continues to be the last bastion of the gender war effort. While we struggle for equality, perhaps plumping for a Labor government that will have "policies to support the equality of women" or a Turnbull-led regime headed by a man who has managed to stay "married to Lucy for 36 years", working women everywhere are running the gauntlet of the toilet paper supply and the up and down of the loo seat.

Inevitably, as the paper nears the end of its supply women wait breathlessly to see if the male of the household will go in hunt of a refresher. However, this never happens without affirmative action. Then, and only then, the male will track down the prey and put it on top of the cistern, while the empty cardboard carton dangles from the holder, or place the new roll on the holder and the old roll on top of the cistern, where it can be worshipped as the sixth wonder of the world. Note: the empty loo roll will never, ever be consigned to something as practical as the bin or, in Greens households, the recycling bin.

As for the seat dilemma, many a woman, probably even Lucy, continues to endure the shock of cold porcelain after getting up in the middle of the night. I have no suggestions for resolving this dilemma; it is as inevitable as the fact that, come tomorrow, we will have a new government with a new set of promises that will result in very little gain financially or socially for the average man or woman and certainly none for those seeking refuge in a new land.

But back to less important matters. Will we be delivered to Bill Shorten, a man who recognises that discrimination against women continues to be so abhorrent on the equal pay and domestic violence front that we actually need more laws to address it, or to Malcolm Turnbull, a man who chooses Julie Bishop, she who preaches against the sort of political correctness that would restrict Eddie McGuire's cheerful mockery of female journalists who he believes should be held under the water, as his right-hand woman?

One thing is sure. True equality will only be ours after the war of the bathroom is won.



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