Friday 2 November 2018

You Could Be A Receptionist, A Secretary, Or An Air Hostess

"It’s going to be a boy!"

Oma could tell by the way Mum was carrying me.

“Of course you will name him Peter”, Oma insisted.

Me: “What? Peter? No! I’m a girl, I’m a girl!” I can just hear me objecting through the gelatinous fluid I was suspended in.

“How about all that morning sickness? She’s craving chocolate too, and sweet creamy things! And look at her eyes. They’re dilating aren’t they? What about all those pimples and that daggy hair? That’s me sucking away all her beauty. That’s what girls do to their pregnant Mums. Can’t you see? I’m a girl!”

“Yes”, Mum agreed. "Peter it will be”.

Blond haired, blued eyed Peter was Mum’s favourite brother. He was as close to Saint Peter as a man could be. Kind, gentle, funny, and caring: wouldn’t hurt a fly. And we Australians hate flies. Any good Catholic would call a son Peter. Peter, every believer knew, was one of Jesus’s 12 Apostles, ordained by Jesus as the Rock upon which Roman Christianity would be built. The direct successor to Saint Peter is the incumbent Pope, God’s representative on Earth.

Peter was an honourable boy’s name.

Like everyone else in Mum’s family, Uncle Peter was talented with his hands. Most of the streets of 1957 Mackay, in northern Queensland, were sign painted and window dressed by Uncle Peter. At just 17, he was the first of the De Wit boys to board the Johan Von Oldenbarnevelt bound for adventures untold in Australia. He ended up in Mackay because a friend of his from Holland who had been chasing my mother – all the way to Australia he chased her - was working there.

On New Years Eve 1958, Uncle Peter was driving along the pocked roads of Mackay on his shiny black JAWA motorbike. Ahead of him, and just minutes earlier, a man had pulled up on the crest of a bend in the road, to splash his boots. As the driver threw open the door to get out of his car, Uncle Peter rammed straight into him, killing them both instantly. The car driver’s wife was in the passenger seat watching on in horror, as the two men’s bodies hurtled to their mingled and mangled deaths.

Uncle Peter on his JAWA
It took seven days for an aerogram to deliver the shattering news to my grandparents in Holland. During that week Oma woke every morning in an anxious sweat, clasping her hands in prayer, not knowing why. Opa said Peter had come to him in a dream.

Somehow they both knew. Something had happened to their beloved son.

And so my fate was sealed. I was to incarnate as Uncle Peter.

When I emerged at Paddington Women’s Hospital in Sydney with a few male appendages missing - and olive eyes - I was named Peter anyway, as in Peta.

My adoring parents over their newborn Peta
I put up with a boy-sounding name until we travelled overseas, and I attended Primary School in England. Even though I usually wore a dress, my peers couldn’t tell the difference between me and a boy, just like Oma couldn’t when I was a foetus. Peter or Peta sounded the same to them. My Beatles mop top haircut wasn’t doing me any favours either. But we lived in Surry. John Lennon and Ringo Star lived in Surry too, “just up the road” said Mum. So we all got mop tops in solidarity with the Beatles. Dad abstained.

“Real Australian men don’t wear mop tops”, he said.

Me and mop top growing
Surrey was neat, tidy and ancient. Nature was organised and child friendly. No lethal animals and deadly insects like we have in Australia. I could stick my finger in a hole in the ground as much as I liked and nothing would bite me. There was a chestnut grove on route to my school. It’s tree branches arched over in a tender scrum. Squirrels scrambled up, down, and across it, checking on their crop. Sunlight glowed through the canopy, illuminating natures treasures with streaming light, as if the essence of life was shining a holy path for me to walk to school through. That’s what I imagined anyway. You know, like the light God beamed onto Jesus wherever he went. 

My two favourite books in the world were the Ladybird Book of British Wildflowers, and the Ladybird Book of British Birds. I always carried them with me, like some might carry the Bible, trying to spot birds and identify flowers that were inside my books. I can still smell their pages and feel the mystical power of enlightenment they gave my young self.

There was an apple orchard at the bottom of the grassy playground at my primary school. I used to play kiss chase with the boys there. Except that with my Beatles mop top, and kids being cruel as they can be, I soon got this little melodic taunt in mob unison:

“Ha – ha, Peter is a boy’s name. You look like a bo-oy”.

Obviously, I was the one doing all the chasing.

One day, after a particularly relentless bullying offensive when no-one wanted to kiss me, I stomped home, burst through the front door and told my mother,

“That’s it! I’m sick of being called a boy. From now on my name is Petra!”

I was not one for crying. I was a solutions finder!

“Oh. Okaaay” said Mum, not the slightest bit upset that I was rejecting the birth name she gave me, her special first child. And the living memory of Uncle Peter whilst at it. 

We were about to return to Australia, so I didn’t have to explain my sudden name change to those nasty English boys.

Over the next few years I grew my hair long so there would be no mistaking my sex. 

When I was elected Blaxland Primary GIRL’S School Captain, I knew I had definitely reclaimed my chromosomes.

I'm third from the left with my longer hair and my Girl's School Captains badge on

I don’t remember how or why I chose Petra as opposed to Julie, Susan, or Eve of the forbidden Virginia Waters apple orchard, and nor does Mum. I must have just psychically stuck an ‘r’ in there.  Psychically, because as it turns out, that’s how Petra has been throughout antiquity: generally interchangeable with Peter.

Petra means ‘huge rock’ or ‘mountain’ in Greek. Peter means ‘little pebble’.

This rather noticeable difference in physical size is important when it comes to Catholicism, the religion into which I was baptised.

“You will offend people,” Mum warned me when I asked her what Oma would have thought of the revisionist view of Saint Peter.

My catholic Oma and Opa, with Mum

The Catholic Church claims that when Jesus said (as recorded only once in the Gospel of Matthew 16:18-19), "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church… I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven", Jesus was giving Peter primacy as the man who would found Christ’s church on earth.

Many historians say this biblical passage was most likely a forgery, deliberately inserted into the New Testament about the 3rd to 4th century, as a ploy to uphold the superiority of the Roman Catholic Church over other competing variations of a booming and morphing Christianity industry. At the time, the Roman Empire was almost in collapse with a military monarchy in control. The Catholic church seized the opportunity of chaos to impose a religious imperial cult during which it put into place all its hallmark organisational structures: monasticism, celibacy, theological works and doctrines, church ‘fathers’, hierarchies of bishops, tax exemption for the clergy, and Christians in high places telling the ruling class how to manage the masses. Christianity was declared the national religion, with the crime of heresy punishable by execution.

St Peter, supposed inverted crucifixion
Historians also say that there was never a Saint Peter in Rome to found the papacy, that he was never crucified upside down at the spot now occupied by the Clementine Chapel in the grottoes of Saint Peter’s Basilica, and that the bones in Saint Peter's tomb under St Peter’s Basilica, belong to someone else. It’s all a ruse to keep the faithful, faithful. Peter, they say, was not even the first pope, nor was he Roman Catholic. In his first letter, historians point out, Peter did not teach a Roman hierarchy, but that all Christians are royal priests. And, they say, the same keys that are given to Peter in Mathew 16:19, are given to anyone who believes in God, in Matthew 18.

Some historians interpret that famous little chat with disciple Peter as Jesus Christ referring to himself as Petra, the ‘huge rock’, and to his disciple Peter, as Petros, the ‘little pebble’. The Bible says so in passages 1 Corinthians 10:4 (that Rock was Christ); 1 Peter 2:4 (you…the living stone); and similarly in Psalm 118:22; and Isaiah 28:16.

Maybe Jesus noticed that Peter was getting a little too ambitious. Maybe Petra took Peter aside and said something to the effect of:

“Peter, I like your enthusiasm and everything, however, I am a YUGE rock, and you are but a wee pebble”. 

To put him back in his box. That’s all. It was a metaphor for Peter’s personal capabilities versus mine. I mean, Jesus’s. We really don’t know how it turned into this behemoth of a thing called Roman Catholicism. Men!

Anyway, why would Jesus desire or promote a church in his name going forward when at the time he was preaching that the end of the world was nigh? 

Even if it was the end of Jesus’s world that was nigh, it was not everyone else’s. 

When the Romans put Christ to death, his followers were just left standing there with one crucified, very dead, Jesus - and no apocalypse. What to do?

Pagan Christ, Mithra on the left
A bunch of Peters took charge, calling themselves the Roman Catholic Church. Seems they borrowed a few ideas from ancient pagan Gods to endow their priests with magical powers. Paganism was a belief system embroidered with gods and spirits and in particular, magic, which bonded people to their ancient divinities. It was an earlier attempt to explain ourselves, life around us, our place in the universe, and do we really just die and that's the end? One of the most enduring powers they borrowed was vesting the keys of the Kingdom and Heaven with Peter, and all subsequent Popes, who then claimed to have them by divine patrilineal inheritance from Peter. Christian clergymen claimed the power of the keys they alone held, could cause God to act, and with this power they would rule not just the world, but also the afterword. 

Barbara Walker writes in The Woman’s Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets:

“The key held by subsequent Popes, had magical powers: whatever the key holder commanded would be true. This primitive idea that whatever the key holder commanded would be true, underlay the powers of priests, bishops, popes, and the whole church organisation. Without the mystic keys, ecclesiastics’ blessings, cursings, baptisms, exorcism, excommunications, prayers, or invocations, just couldn’t work".

Having the keys to the afterword is a common theme for both Peter and Petra across ancient pagan mythologies. In Indo –Iranian mythology, Mithra was a pagan Christ, and Petra was the sacred rock of Mithraism. Petra, the rock, then became Peter (which in Greek comes from Petra), the foundation of the Catholic Church.

Petra is a female city-God known as Liber Pater in Ancient Roman mythology (other variations being Patriarch, Pompeius, Patricius). She is the God of fertility, viticulture and wine, and the plebeian right to free speech and ecstatic release. This God of good fun and freedom is associated with the coming of age. I do prefer that to establishing some church that would go on to do terrible things to Petra’s throughout time, especially as I was soon to be a coming-of-age alcohol dabbling teenager myself, not long after changing my name from Peta to Petra. Liber Pater’s gender was stolen at some point, by men, who morphed her into ‘Father of Fathers’, then into ‘papa’, and then into ‘pope’.

St Peters Cross
Liber Pater had a stone phallus shaped staff, which was planted where the Vatican now stands. Legend also has it that the Greek God Bacchus (known too as Dionysus, God of fertility and wine) sent his phallic staff to the underworld in the form of an inverted cross in order to raise a Saint called Maternus from the grave. St Peter is represented by an inverted cross, because he is said to have chosen to be crucified upside down. The phallus of Bacchus is called a 'perron', 'pyrm' or 'pierrem', which are all names for both Peter and rock.

Both Peter and Petra combine with other phallic shaped rocks at almost all pagan pearly gates, like the entry gate into the Egyptian afterword, which was also called Petra, and the gates of the ancient Greek’s Great Mother’s temple representing Petra, who demanded the right passwords of initiates entering both the temple, and heaven after death. I also guarded the gates through which Christos Aeon passed, according to ancient Jewish Gnostics. 

There was a historical Peter who was identified with the ancient Roman Janus, God of Gateways, who came to be called the Janitor, or ‘Gatekeeper’. He held the key to the Nile in the Sky (the Milky Way). Peter is also represented by a feathered Cock with an oversized penis. Funny how Peter gets the oversized cock and I got the pearly gates. Although sometimes Peter held the keys to the pearlies and I was actually the giant cock.

It’s all so labyrinthine. No wonder nobody could tell the difference between me and me. I am both male and female, Peter and Petra. We are interchangeable. Man-woman. Woman-man. Spiritually Hermaphroditic. Masters of the universe. Key holders to the destinies of all true believers. Except that when Roman Catholicism came along, Peter underhandedly metamorphosed from a little pebble to become a God on Earth and I got “Haha Peter is a boys name, you look like a bo-oy”.  

AND he appropriated the keys to the pearly gates when I had them first. 

What a mistake that was.

Peter went on to abuse his power by not letting Christ through the pearly gates three times once he rose from the dead! Not until dawn. Jesus must have known this was the sort of thing Peter would do, that’s why he preferred his little gospel chats with Mary.

My Uncle Peter it turns out, did not resemble Saint Peter at all, or any of the Popes that have claimed his primacy. 

My Uncle Peter was lovely says Mum. He respected women.

Page from Gospel of Mary
Unlike Disciple Peter. He hated women dabbling in men’s business, according to the Gnostic Gospels (13 leather-bound vellum codices of early Christian and Gnostic texts). Gnostics believe the core of salvation is not in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and the sinfulness of mankind, but by acquiring knowledge (gnosis). Gnostic Gospels belong to the Apocrypha - texts considered unworthy by the Catholic Church of being called scripture - and hence they are not part of the accepted canon of the Bible. One such text includes the Gospel of Mary. The Gospel of Mary has Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene and having children. In this gospel, Jesus also entrusts a great deal of secret knowledge and honour to Mary, who is frequently harassed by Peter. In another gnostic text, Pistis Sophia 36.71, Mary Magdalena remarks, 

“Peter makes me hesitate; I am afraid of him because he hates the female race”. 

Peter, it seems, was jealous of Mary. He just couldn’t accept that Jesus selected a mere woman to interpret his teachings. And, what’s worse, to have so much influence over Jesus.

I can just hear Petra tell Peter, 

“Peter I love your enthusiasm and everything, but Mary is just more sensitive, humble, and a better communicator than you”. 

For her intelligence and capabilities, the Gospel of Mary was censored out of the Canon in the 3rd century by the now all male Catholic Church, and she was reinvented as a prostitute. Coincidentally, I auditioned for the role of Mary Magdalene at High School, but got stage fright. However, I learnt all her songs. I remember this line, unaware at the time of its misogynistic roots:

“I’ve had so many men before, in very many ways, he’s just one more” 

Peter started it all. He turned me into a whore and ruined my reputation for millennia, until the gospels of Mary and Psitis Sophia were found, and Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett had a go at Mary Magdalene, the movie, in which Peter is not some commonly depicted wise old bearded white middle eastern jew, as the ancestor of all Popes, but a misogynist African. 

Peter’s revenge of Mary even extended to his daughter, Petronella (also a nickname of mine). She was too beautiful for his liking so he asked God to strike her down with a fatal illness. God obliged and killed her (by way of locking her up in a tower to keep her from eligible men until she starved herself to death). 

The Golden Legen, a 13th century collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de Voragine, suggests that Peter also tortured women to exorcise them, as he "caused them to vomit up the devils that possessed them, along with much blood". 

The tradition of Peter’s misogyny has been handed down through generations of religious authorities and Christian writers. 

In passage after passage of biblically derived texts, women are commanded to accept an inferior role, to serve men, to keep their mouths shut, to feel ashamed, and to despise their femaleness. 

Apart from being insultingly built from a piece of Adam in one of God's early stem cell research experiments, and blaming Eve for everything, when the history of men's conquests, war and greed, has repeatedly demonstrated that Adam surely ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil of his own volition - and probably didn't even give Eve a bite - charming texts like these set the stage for nearly 2 millennia of woman abuse:

How can he be clean that is born of a woman? (Job25:4)

...Redeemed are they which were not defiled with women (Revelation 14:4);

But I want you to realise that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians11:3)

Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. (1 Corinthians 11:9)

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. (1 Timothy 2:11-12)

The widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. (1 Timothy 5:5-6)

The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible
These of many biblical texts, have been interpreted by men of the clergy who stamped more extreme and unbelievable expressions of contempt, hatred and control over women and their place in the world:

Thomas Aquinas, 13th century Italian Priest: 

“But woman is naturally of less strength and dignity than man . . .” (Summa Theologica, Volume 1, Question 92, Article 1, Objection 2 )

"The male sex is more noble than the female, and for this reason he (Jesus) took human nature in the male sex." (Summa Theologiae III:31:4)

As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence. (Summa Theologica, Vol. 1, Q92, Art. 1, Reply to Objection 1)
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, Christian author, c. 155 – c. 240 AD:

"Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Woman, you are the devil's doorway. You led astray one whom the devil would not dare attack directly. It was your fault that the Son of God had to die; you should always go in mourning and rags."

Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Doctor of the Church and Latin Father, 354-430:

“I don’t see what sort of help woman was created to provide man with, if one excludes procreation. If woman is not given to man for help in bearing children, for what help could she be? To till the earth together? If help were needed for that, man would have been a better help for man. The same goes for comfort in solitude. How much more pleasure is it for life and conversation when two friends live together than when a man and a woman cohabitate?” De Genesi ad literatum (The Literal Meaning of Genesis) 9.5-9

“. . . woman was given to man, woman who was of small intelligence and who perhaps still lives more in accordance with the promptings of the inferior flesh than by superior reason. Is this why the apostle Paul does not attribute the image of God to her?” De Genesi ad literatum  11.42

St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople and Doctor of the Church, 4th century: 

“God maintained the order of each sex by dividing the business of life into two parts, and assigned the more necessary and beneficial aspects to the man and the less important, inferior matter to the woman.”

St. Gregory of Nazianzum 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian:

“Woman – a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil.” 

“Among save beasts, none is found so harmful as woman.”

Origen, Theologian and Greek Father, 2nd-3rd centuries: 

“Men should not sit and listen to a woman . . . even if she says admirable things, or even saintly things, that is of little consequence, since it came from the mouth of a woman.”

Boethius, a 6th century Christian Roman Senator, self declared King of Italy:  

“Woman is a temple built upon a sewer.”

St. Jerome, 4th-5th century priest, confessor, theologian, and historian:

“For my part I say that mature girls should not bathe at all, because they ought to blush to see themselves naked.” (Epistle 107)

St. Clement of Alexandria, Christian Theologean 150-215 AD

“Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.”

"If (women) become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth-that is why they are there."

Martin Luther: German professor of theology, priest and monk, influential protestant, 1483-1546

"The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes."

St. Albertus Magnus, Dominican Theologian and Doctor of the Church, 13th century:

Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison to his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one's guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil. ... Thus in evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good

John Wesley (1703-1791): English Cleric and Theologian 

Wife: Be content to be insignificant. What loss would it be to God or man had you never been born."

Saint Jerome (345-420) Priest, Confessor, Historian, Theologien: 

"If it is good for a man not to touch a woman, then it is bad for him to touch one, for bad, and bad only, is the opposite of good."

GOD! What poor women through the ages have had to put up with...

Clearly I was better off reading MY ‘bibles’ when I was young: beautiful, interesting and science based teachings about plants and animals!

While not everything these men have said about women is derogatory, the volume of pejorative and misogynistic statements, and their renewed and reinforced interpretation and repetition through time  has been consequential.

In Rwanda, in 1994, when the Interahamwe broadcasted to the Hutus on radio day after day after day for just a few weeks:

'You have to kill the Tutsis, they're cockroaches.'

'All those who are listening, rise so we can fight for our Rwanda. Fight with the weapons you have at your disposal: those who have arrows, with arrows, those who have spears, with spears. We must all fight.'

'We must all fight the Tutsis. We must finish with them, exterminate them, sweep them from the whole country. There must be no refuge for them.'

'They must be exterminated. There is no other way.'

around 200,000 obedient Hutu civilians, including more than 4,000 children, picked up guns and machetes – and, along with the Hutu militia - shot and hacked up to one million Tutsi and moderate Hutus to death, just as they had been indoctrinated to.

It took only 6 months of hate speech delivered by radio to ignite the genocide.

Millennia of verbal, physical, psychological, sexual, and emotional abuse and religious indoctrination enforced through the legal, political and economic systems based on the patriarchy of Christianity ensured that throughout almost the entire time that Christianity controlled the western world, women have been treated as expendable property, with few human rights, no political or economic eligibilities.

Women are not permitted into the Vatican hierarchy either to reinterpret or modernise Catholic discourse. The Vatican City State, the smallest country in the world with a fortune of 10 to 15 billion dollars, is an absolute, nearly all male, monarchy (the only absolute monarchy in Europe). It is a secret little country of around 1000 people, which declines to be a member of the UN, and which, to this date, is still up to its old tricks of accumulating money dubiously, notably through sophisticated money laundering operations.

The Vatican says only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination and that this is divine law.

Divine law was invented by men, for men. 

But let's not allow that to get in the way of two thousand years of lies and propaganda.

A woman is restrained from becoming Pope because the person chosen for the position would have to be ordained: women are barred from becoming ordained. Women are barred from becoming ordained because according Roman Catholic catechism, Jesus Christ chose 12 men to be his apostles, and they in turn chose men to continue their ministry. Therefore, the Catholic Church argues, precedent binds it to be faithful to what they see as Jesus’s intentions. 

The apostles were Jewish fishermen, how many priests today are Jewish fishermen? argues writer Tia Ghose. 

Lets not forget, Jesus was heralding the end of the world. So he wasn’t setting a precedent for anything. If he even existed.

And just who are these self appointed ‘Holy’, pharisaic, and sanctimonious men?

A great many Popes were lazy, violent, murderous, avaricious, megalomaniacal and kleptomaniacal, nepotic men, often paedophiles and pederasts, and commonly misogynist. 

They fell way short of being Jesus like. 

Much of their criminal and hypocritical behaviour is diarised in the Liber Gomorrhianus, a treatise on papal corruption and vice, authored and published around 1051 AD during the Gregorian Reformation, by the Benedictine monk, St. Peter Damian.

When successive Popes took on the role of heir to Saint Peter, they weren’t content to be the earthy representative of Christ, a common ‘Son of (a mere) 'Man’. They wanted to be more powerful than him: to be Gods on earth. Just like so many later day dictators, as well as Egyptian Pharaohs, Chinese, Roman, Japanese, Javanese and Inca emperors, a whole bunch of male Indian spiritual masters, Thai Royalty, Haile Selassie I, the Duke of Edinburgh - deified by the village of Yaohnanen, in Vanuatu - and even Diego Maradonna, the footballer. 

And if a footballer can be a God, why can't an Italian priest, right?

Pope Innocent III
Pope (not so) Innocent III, (1198 -1216) was the first to make himself an untouchable deity"Verily the representative of Christ, the successor of Peter, the anointed of the Lord, the God of Pharaoh set midway between God and man, below God but above man, less than God but more than man, judging all other men, but himself judged by none."

Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303), who seized power by driving a nail into his predecessor’s head, stole land and towns, and lead Italy into a bloody civil war, reinforced his Emperor status with his 1302 Unam Sanctum Bull, declaring that kings were subordinate to the power of the Roman Pontiff.

Once you are a God on earth and above everyone else, you can do anything.

And do anything they did. All of which was clearly forbidden in the Bible they were preaching and whose prescriptions they were enforcing on the fearful Christian world.

Pope John XII (955-964) committed incest with his sisters (prohibited in Leviticus 18-20), slept with his father’s girlfriend, was accused of invoking demons, and turning the papacy into a whore house, blinded his confessor Benedict, murdered and mutilated men, and was an arsonist and gambler. He died in his early 20s, allegedly in bed with a married woman.

Benedict IX (1032 to 1048) was described as “feasting on immorality” and “a demon from hell in the disguise of a priest”.  He was accused of routine homosexuality and bestiality (also forbidden in Leviticus 18 and 20). Pope Victor III referred to “his rapes, murders and other unspeakable acts. His life as a Pope so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it.” Benedict sold his position as Pope twice to other would-be papal candidates. 

The worst popes of all were Pope John XXII (1316 -1334) who declared alchemy a crime of heresy and called anyone practicing it a witch, and Pope Innocent VIII (1484-92) who continued the murder spree of women assessed as being witches. Between the two of them, they are responsible for half a millennia worth of female mass murder.

Andrew Dickson White wrote:

On the 7th of December, 1484, Pope Innocent VIII sent forth the bull Summis Desiderantes. Of all documents ever issued from Rome, imperial or papal, this has doubtless, first and last, cost the greatest shedding of innocent blood. Yet no document was ever more clearly dictated by conscience. Inspired by the scriptural command Exodus 22:18, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," Pope Innocent exhorted the clergy of Germany to leave no means untried to detect sorcerers . . . Witch-finding inquisitors were authorized by the Pope to scour Europe, especially Germany, and a manual was prepared for their use  . . . With the application of torture to thousands of women …it was not difficult to extract masses of proof ( that they were witches). . . The poor creatures writhing on the rack, held in horror by those who had been nearest and dearest to them, anxious only for death to relieve their sufferings, confessed to anything and everything that would satisfy the inquisitors and judges. . . . Under the doctrine of "excepted cases," there was no limit to torture for persons accused of heresy or witchcraft.

Pope Innocent VIII
Pope John XII

An estimated 40,000 - 50,000 women and girls were sham trialled, tortured, burnt or hung, right up to 1750, just 27 years before the first settlers were about the head out for Australia.

Witches do not exist. 
Witches never existed. 

These men simply burnt women.

But wait, there’s more. 

The long reigning Clement V11 (1478 – 25 September 1534) was nicknamed “The Butcher” and the “anti Christ” because he enjoyed a good massacre, killing 5000 mutinous Bolongians in one little adventure alone.

Sixtus IV (1471-1484)- had six illegitimate children—including one that was the result of an incestuous affair with his sister. He also collected a tax on church prostitutes, and charged priests for keeping mistresses. Historians say this introduction of tax on women, increased the prevalence of homosexuality in the church.

Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) is considered the worst pope ever, hated by devout Catholics at the time. He bought his way to the throne by paying off other papal rivals. Not only did he transfer vast fortunes from the church to himself, he made his relatives cardinals, and plunged Italy into war. He prostituted his own daughter to wealthy merchants, by repeatedly marrying her off for a price, then divorcing the husbands, and keeping the spoils. He ran a pogrom against the wealthy, expropriating their assets and killing anyone who resisted. 

He is most famous for the Banquet of Chestnuts, a feast his son organised in the Papal Palace for nobility and senior officials.
Fifty women were disrobed at auction, and on hands and knees, they crawled around the floor picking up strewn chestnuts, while the clergy, including Pope Alexander IV, competed for prizes based on their sexual performance upon the women.

Pope Cesare Borgia
Pope Alexander’s, son Cesar Borgia, ordained a bishop at just 15 years of age and a cardinal at 18, was apparently worse. Rumours had it he murdered his older brother Giovanni, and that he was involved in an incestuous relationship with his sister Lucrezia. 

I don’t know if Pope Alexander VI was comparatively that bad. What’s a little extravagant heterosexual orgy (of which the bible is ambiguous) compared to the worst of biblical crimes of bestiality, paedophilia, pederasty, incest, mass murder and mass extermination of women (Thou shalt not bear false witness - by claiming women are witches), collectively committed by so many other popes? His reign had some redeeming features. Alexander VI was a 100% secular pope. He married and had children. Normal stuff the international community is calling upon the Catholic church to mandate in order to stem the apparent systemic sexual abuse happening in its ranks. He is also noted for his significant influence on the Age of Enlightenment, spending high on advancing the arts and architecture.

Pope Julius II (1503 -1513), the Pope that allowed Henry VIII to marry Catherine of Aragon, despite being previously married, also fathered at least one illegitimate daughter and had several mistresses. In 1511, the church brought charges of lewd sex acts against him, calling him a “sodomite covered with shameful ulcers.” He was a known paedophile and pederast – spending most of his time with small boys and male prostitutes, and he was the first known Pope to contract syphilis.

Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X (1513-1521) was the papal neo liberal who invented Indulgences: that’s where you were allowed to sin, but you had to pay for them in this life. With tangibles, like money. Even sodomy, bestiality, paedophilia, murder and incest were okay, just more expensive. Upon a return from Rome, Martin Luther, the same guy who wrote, “women were made either to be wives or prostitutes”, observed: “If there is a hell, then Rome is built on it. Tiberius, the heathen Emperor, even if he were such a monster as Suetonius writes of, is nevertheless an angel in comparison with the present court of Rome. The same hath to serve the supper table twelve naked girls”. 

Just recently, in 2017, a drug-fuelled gay orgy hosted by the secretary of Cardinal Franceso Coccopalmerio, an important adviser to Pope Francis, was broken up by police, at the same time that Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, was charged over a number of historic sex offences. The apartment belonged to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a former Pope. The hosting secretary belonged to the Congregation for the Doctrine, a department within the Vatican City that deals with clerical sex abuse.

Is the fox is in charge of the chook pen?

Cardinal Coccopalmerio. Who me? A fox?

The whole world has been watching in horror as decades of clerical child sex abuse comes to light. A tendency for abuse that was already well documented in the Liber Gomorrhianus, yet ignored until now, because so many people in positions of authority were implicit in protecting the abuse racket, while others chose to disbelieve and shame the victims.

The Pope is reported to have said in 2014, that 2% of the Catholic Church’s 414,313 priests, cardinals and bishops (2012 figures) are paedophiles

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a paedophile abuses pre-pubescent children under the age of 13, and apparently the gender of the child doesn’t matter, as long as they are children. 

The U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (criminologists and psychologists) to conduct what is considered one of the most comprehensive and more recent studies into clerical sexual abuse ever undertaken in the USA; unique because the church gave them access to extensive records.

Released with updates between 2004-2011, the report found that while 4% of clerics in active ministry (4,392) committed abuse, 81% of the victims were male. Of that figure, 77.4% were 11 years or older, and 85.2% were 15-17 years of age.

Only 96 of the 4329 priests were classified by John Jay as true paedophiles.

So what then are the other 4233 priests if not paedophiles? The ones who are abusing boys 11 years and older?

'Age fetishists’, and psychologists, call them hebephilias (‘attracted’ to 11-14 year olds) and ephebophilias ( ‘attracted’ to 15-19 year olds).

Authors Richard Fitzgibbons and Dale O’Leary, of ‘Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Clergy’, published in the Linacre Quarterly, critiqued the John Jay report, especially it’s claim that the predominant abuse of adolescent boys over the age of 11 has nothing to do with a preponderance of gay men in the church, and in particular, nothing to do with same sex attraction (SSA). John Jay authors say the abuse is happening opportunistically, simply because of the availability of, and access to, so many adolescent boys.

Fitzgibbon and O’Leary argue that, ‘opportunity and availability’ is only affected if the temptation is already felt.  If a thing or person that is available does not tempt a person, its availability is irrelevant. A man who finds homosexual acts repulsive will not be tempted by the availability of vulnerable adolescent males. Priest offenders with adolescent boys were obviously experiencing homosexual temptations.”

Since gay men are 44 times more likely to become HIV positive and 46 times more likely to contract syphilis - and priests were hit hard with AIDS - these abusers have knowingly jeopardised the health and lives of their victims, as well as inflicting lifelong and life altering trauma.

The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) classifies sexual abuse as torture. It has condemned the Holy See, stating that “by acquiescing to rape and other forms of sexual abuse committed worldwide by Catholic clergy and others operating under the Holy See’s authority, the Holy See has failed its duties to prevent torture and other acts of ill-treatment within its jurisdiction, thereby violating CAT.

David Berger
A former theologian at the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas in Vatican City, David Berger, who recently came out as gay and was defrocked as a result, says up to 60% of the Vatican is gay - and especially so in leadership positions. This is highly disproportionate to the general population in say Australia, where up to 2.6% of the population is gay.

The Linacre report concludes that what is going on is not just classic paedophilia, but deliberate homosexual predation, a grooming of adolescent boys by a cult of narcissism fuelled by opulent self indulgence, drug and violent porn addictions and a myriad of psychiatric disorders found among SSA men in the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict once said, that homosexuality in the priesthood was “one of the miseries of the church and that the church needed to “head off a situation where the celibacy of priests would practically end up being identified with the tendency to homosexuality.

And the tendency to paedophilic and homosexual grooming of children who are their victims, one could add.

Historians say there is nothing in the bible that requires celibacy and that Jesus did not require celibacy of his apostles. Peter himself had a wife at the time of Jesus' ministry. And 1 Corinthians 9:5 is commonly interpreted as saying that, years later, Peter and other apostles were accompanied by their wives. Although the church claims the men abandoned their wives.

The earliest known reference to the requirement of celibacy is the Council of Elvira (c. 305 AD) – the same period when the church was taking control of Rome and establishing a hierarchy of power and real estate - where it was held that “marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this shall be deprived of the honour of the clerical office

Being chaste, says the church, is living how Christ lived. We don’t know how Christ lived. If he even lived. On Doctor Google one can find that Jesus was straight, married, a polygamist, a pederast old man sleeping with younger men like John, and some other guy in a loincloth, and didn't even exist.

To a lay person, celibacy is an irrational denial of biological functions and urges. Pepe Rodriguez in his book length study of the sexual life of clergy in Spain (La Vida Sexual del Clero 1995) estimates that 95% of the clergy masturbate; 7% are sexually involved with minors and 26% have "attachments to minors;" 60% have sexual relations, 20% have homosexual relations. 

Most likely the requirement of celibacy came about because popes and priests were appointing their own children to high positions and leaving their wealth to them as well. By eradicating the legal family within its' walls, the Catholic Church could concentrate the fortune it stole, exhorted, taxed, murdered and caused wars for, invested, and laundered over the centuries, which in turn grew the power of the institution.

Ironically, the Vatican invited SSA men into their fold. The church believes gay orientation is an 'objective disorder', and an 'intrinsic moral evil', that can only be remedied through prayer and chastity. “By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should, gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.” (How the Catholic Priesthood Became an Unlikely Haven for Many Gay Men, SLATE, 2017)

Former Vatican priest David Berger, says the sin of homosexuality was being used to attract gay men. Homosexual priests, he says, are “guilt-ridden, work harder… being gay actually helps further your career in the Holy See...being gay is an important apparatus of power in the Vatican... however, Priests who come out as gay are seen as the ultimate threat because they more likely to reject church teachings in sexuality and this can lead to a permissive attitude towards sexual offences by fellow clergy”. Openly identifying as gay generally leads to defrocking because “those in power don’t have anything left with which to hold you down”.

The Vatican has defrocked 848 priests who raped or molested children and sanctioned another 2,572 with lesser penalties over the past 10 years.

The supposed ‘sacred’ confessional plays a critical role in enabling the abuse to go on for so long.

Both the John Jay and the Linacre reports agree that,“SSA men are more likely to have been victims of childhood sexual abuse than other men, with a significantly higher prevalence of homosexuality (48% vs 8%) among young adult males who had a history of child sexual abuse, compared to non abused controls. The Linacre study cites a 1985 finding that "57.5% of those who reported childhood sexual abuse were either now homosexual or bi sexual”.

The Linacre report found that while not all homosexual priests will be abusing young boys, “SSA males, and are more likely to have a positive attitude to sexual relations between adult and adolescent males, and they are also more likely to confess to a priest with deep seated homosexual tendencies”.

They, and others studies, allude to a likely attitude among offending priests like that held by Milo Yiannopoulos, former senior editor at Brietbart news, who says he was sexually abused as a child, and who was recorded in a video clip in which he said, “sexual relationships between 13-year-old boys and adult men and women can be perfectly consensual and positive experiences for the boys”. 

Larry Kramer, American playwright, similarly denies that grown men having sex with adolescents is grooming and “recruitment” because the children being abused are “homosexual and innately know it….In these instances where children do have sex with their homosexual elders ..I submit that often, very often, the child desires that activity”.

Sounds a lot like, "She made me beat her up. She deserved it. She asked for it".

Such a preponderance of homosexual men in the priesthood - up to 60% - may not be helpful in removing misogynistic distortions in Catholic Church attitudes or aiding women’s ascension to the Vatican. While some commentators have suggested that gay men can make good priests because they are ‘sensitive’, actress and singer Rose McGowan recently ruffled feathers when she tweeted about the misogyny she experienced from gay men in the media: 

“Gay men are as misogynistic as straight men, if not more so.” 

Milo Yiannopoulos goes into depth on gay mysogeny in his hard to read essay on feminism, where he describes women as “dogs” and "the unf’ble feminist fag hags who have for so long ridden on our tastefully embroidered coat-tails." 

Writer Monica Rodman, wrote in the Advocate: “gay misogynists can be more dangerous to identify because of how easily they infiltrate the cracks of even the burliest of lesbian feminists, like me. We unknowingly excuse gay men of their misogynistic tendencies, especially when it comes to verbiage ("bitch," "girl," etc.). And the more we are unaware, the longer we allow misogyny to exist among those whom we’ve long thought to be our brothers in arms”. 

And Bryan O'Flynn penned in the Guardian, "Scratch lightly at the surface and what flakes off is, yes, reciprocity and genuine affection, but also callous mysogyny" and "even when gay men aren't raining outright abuse on these women, their praise can sometimes reveal different forms of mysogyny".

Some online resources on this issue are too execrable and unfiltered to link to.

The Catholic Church needs to reform if it is to address so many things so wrong with it, including a shortage of priests, in particular, non predatory ones. The requirement of celibacy is a major cause of the shortage of priests.

Because the rule of celibacy is an ecclesiastical law and not a doctrine, the Pope can change this requirement at any time to enable marriage and family. In March 2018, Pope Francis hinted that he might allow married men to be ordained.

Ordaining women and bringing them into the Vatican might put an end to what men in convenient long pink and purple robes get up to behind their gold gilded doors. Like Julia Gillard did when, as the first woman Prime Minister of Australia, she put in place a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse ( any institution, including government run, and any religion).

Unfortunately, ordaining women is doctrinal, and therefore requires the Pope to have a little chat to God. Pope Francis has made it clear he has no intention of seeking God's opinion on the matter.
The current Pope Francis at St Peters Square
One might hope that a woman or a heterosexual married priest wouldn't hesitate to inform the police upon hearing the confession of clerical paedophilia (and I am including hebephilia and ephebophilia because I have two teenage sons and do not accept the legitimacy of these predator enabling definitions). Unlike current Australian Catholic Church leaders who have publicly stated they prefer to face jail than break the seal of confession. And just like governments of the past, the current NSW government of the most populous state of Australia, under its Premier, Gladys Berekijlian, also a woman, and a Catholic, has decided it will continue to protect priests by not forcing them to break the seal of confession in cases of confessed child sex abuse.

Meanwhile back in 1977, when I was supposed to decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life...

I was going to enter a world where more companies would be run by men named Peter, than there would be women anywhere near running a company, and a world in which, according to the 1976 Census, over 60.3% of respondents claimed to be of a religion we know is sexist, patriarchal, sexually abusive, and repressive of women (52.1% Christian). I belonged to the 30.1 % of ‘no religion’ even though I was christened Catholic. I am doubly handicapped – a young girl and an atheist.

Of all this I am blissfully unaware. 

Things looked alright. While my career options weren’t overwhelming, they were certainly more appealing than choices offered to girls before me: especially those who were burnt as witches.

Men now allowed me to be something other than a domestic servant, a factory worker, or an obediently 'owned' housewife chained to housekeeping duties and a husband I probably didn't love. And things were set to get better. 

As the Australian superstar, Helen Reddy, sang to the world in what became an international anthem, ‘I am woman hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore and I know to much to go and pretend”, Australia underwent a massive social upheaval spearheaded by women, and one noticeable male politician, Gough Whitlam.

 Video: I am woman. Helen Reddy

We were well into the second wave of feminism, a spurt of activism that began during the 1960’s when women began to challenge workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and legal and social inequalities.

The first-wave of feminism, which started in the late 19th century, focused on women's right to vote, property rights and political candidacy. The women militating for these rights were called ‘suffragettes’, a word which comes from suffrage - the privilege, or right, to vote. The ‘ette’ suffix, meaning 'small' and 'inconsequential', was added by men to denigrate thinking acting women who were, as one newspaper described them at the time, “hysterical agitators” and “violent cranks”. 

Victorian Suffragettes

“Deeds not words" was the Suffragette slogan. Women chained themselves to railings, set fire to mailboxes, smashed windows and even detonated bombs. 

It had been thousands of years after all. Women were fed up. 

New Zealand was the first country to respond and give all women the vote, including indigenous women, in 1893. South Australia was the second in 1894, well ahead of all other Australian states. Federally, Australian women could stand for election in 1902, except for Indigenous women of any origin who were excluded under the White Australia policy.

Back then, girls left home as young as twelve and were put to work as servants in middle and upper class homes in preparation for their eventual domestic duties as a wife. They were commonly exploited: low pay, unsafe and unaffordable housing, left them vulnerable to the predation of men outside work. One can only imagine how many of them were regularly raped.

Women were still managed by religious culture, both indigenous and imported. The ability of women to lobby for their rights and protections, and those of their children, were the greatest within non-hierarchical denominations, most of which formed organisations, like the protestant Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the Young Women’s Christian Association, the Methodist Women's Federation, and the Mother’s Union. They sought to navigate women’s issues through the prescription of their faith. The WCTU was integral in achieving the right to vote in South Australia. The right to vote was a necessary part of lobbying from what men considered to be ‘girls clubs’, to achieving legislative changes with legal legitimacy and from the protection of entities that had international backing.

Women's organisations fought for affordable housing for girls, minimum pay for underage workers, protection for girl workers, and married women in the case of cruelty, abandonment or violence, an end to sexual slavery (known then as “white slavery”) and prosecution for sex offenders, equal divorce laws, and inheritance rights. They lobbied against alcohol, drugs and gambling and for laws of deception by fraud or false pretence. They wanted women to be on boards of all institutions that receive women and children, including in prisons. They lobbied against the death sentence, segregation of the indigenous population, were in favour of sex education for the young, and eventually even for terminations, given the evidence that backyard abortions were killing women and babies.

Their activities predictably bought on the wrath of men who accused them of violating traditions of modern domestic purity, and abandoning their homely responsibilities. Christian women felt they offered a sound moral judgement that was lacking in the politics of men. Men argued women would become as corrupt as men if given power.

Between the two waves of feminism, Australia was involved in two world wars. During both conflicts, women kept the country ticking because hundreds of thousands of men were being shipped off to be killed in horrific hegemonic battles. They ran factories and took over businesses, as well supporting the war effort in the field. By the time the wars were over, there was no turning back.

Women Coal workers WW1

Women in WW2
In 1961, when I was born, the pill arrived in Australia, but it was only made available to married women. Some Catholic doctors refused to prescribe the pill. Other men and women not as progressive as my parents, vociferously protested the immorality of the pill, and in the good old tradition of every pope that ever was, loud were the voices that claimed women would be damned forever because of their uncontrollable promiscuity. A promiscuity enshrined in 60’s mini skirts.

The morally corrupting Mini

My mother couldn’t be happier for the pill, not because she thought it would equalise her right to liberating pleasure like men had – she only knew my father - but because she wouldn’t have to churn out babies every year like her catholic mother and grandmother did, who, between them, had basically been pregnant for 30 years. So traumatised by watching their difficult lives - and being shipped off to boarding school due to overcrowding at home – that Mum was hesitant to breed. But she married, and the pill made it possible for her to stop at a manageable two babies and have a decent quality of life as a stay at home Mum. My father also shared the responsibility for the population growth of our branch of the family tree, and snipped. For other women, the pill meant they no longer had to choose between a career or financial independence, and having a relationship, and so more women entered the workforce.

Cranky Catholic Priests holding press conference on the Pill, Saint Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, 1968

In 1970, the same year woman were finally allowed into a public bar for a drink, Germaine Greer published the Female Eunich. “I'm sick of being a transvestite. I refuse to be a female impersonator. I am a woman, not a castrate” she wrote. Men, both those who understood what she meant and those who didn’t have a clue, accused the ‘radical feminist’ of wanting to be a man.

Mum agreed with everything Germaine wrote she told me. Although it was too late for her to live a life she dreamt of, it might not be for her two daughters. I don’t recall seeing the Female Eunuch around our house like all the other famous books of the 1970’s. Germaine’s narrative was a source of domestic conflict in many households. Some women had to hide the book from their husbands. I wondered if Mum's copy wasn’t secreted with a “massage Machine’ (for sore shoulders) and a graphically illustrated “Karma Sutra” (for its' vibrant use of colour). She said she lent it out. Maybe she didn’t want me to read that I would “only know to be truly free if I drank my own menstrual blood”.  I mean, at my age the monthlies were gross and disgusting and embarrassing. And Drink that? Ewe.

The Female Eunuch, first edition.
During my high school years, the loud voices of women protests were acted on by the most progressive Australian Prime Minister to date. Under Gough Whitlam, half a million female workers suddenly became eligible for equal pay to men when performing similar work, resulting in an overall rise in women’s pay by 30%. And for the first time, women qualified for the minimum wage. Refuges and health and welfare services for women and victims of domestic violence became available. Women got 52 weeks of Maternity Leave if working in government (12 of which was on full pay), and they could return to work after giving birth without losing their job. Oral contraceptives became more readily available. The Whitlam Government was the first in the world to appoint a dedicated adviser on Women's affairs to the head of government who argued that all submissions to Cabinet should include an assessment of their impact on women. A Women’s Impact Assessment. Imagine that.

Equal Pay Protest Song

It takes a long time for women to get a few human rights.

Gough Whitlam also bought in free university just in time for my high school generation. He believed "a student's merit rather than a parent's wealth, should decide who should benefit from the community's vast financial commitment to tertiary education". 

But first, in February 1977, I have to decide whether or not to finish high school so I could go to university. I am only 15. Wow. Just last month I was mud swimming, swapping clothes with girlfriends, calling up the local radio station begging “can I hear my favourite song pleeeeease?” calling girls ‘moles’, rolling my eyes, being a 'surfie chick', and slapping boys across the face and kneeing them in the groins for trying to grope my female parts over my clothes.

The Vocational Guidance Adviser seated before me was all knowing and all seeing. She could just tell by looking at me, “you could be a secretary, a receptionist or an air hostess”.

Aunty Georgie, a customer at Coles where I worked part time, and the mother of a schoolmate, had a little more ambition for me. They told me, “You could be a model”. I disagreed. "What do you reckon diary. No? Me too. I’m too fat and wide and I’m not photogenic. Everything is against me. I’ll be a computer programmer".

I didn’t have the stomach for medicine or dentistry, but why couldn’t I be a politician for example? I had been School Captain of Blaxland Primary School? I had a big mouth – and an even bigger foot I often put into my big mouth. I stuck up for things. I wrote letters to the editor. I rang the radio – even if it was to request songs. By 1977 there were only 14 women in various state parliamentary houses across Australia, and no women Senators in the Commonwealth. The only politician I knew in the Blue Mountains was Robert Quirk’s Councillor Dad. 

Maybe that’s why.

Or a teacher? I coached the under 80’s from a team of little girls that ran all the way down the court in uncontained exuberance to a team that could stand still with the ball and win the grand final. I taught life saving too. 

Or a business woman/entrepreneur/advertising agent? I was working the minute I was legally allowed to and had laboured for pocket money even earlier. I was in a netball team that won the grand finals every year to now. I was one of two who scored those winning goals. I knew how to cooperate within a highly effective team. I was competitive. I entered competitions like Tip Top jingle:

“Rooster give his morning call. Tip Top Sunblest Bread for all"

"Fresher, tastier than the rest, 

and the bit I made up:

Tip Top Sunblest bread is the best".

John Farnham advertising the Tip Top jingle competition.

I was just never happy. One minute I don’t want to be Peter, the next minute I’m groaning because I’m being channelled in Petra jobs.

Besides that I didn’t want any of those things. I wanted to be a computer programmer, to be on the forefront of new and exciting things, at the spearhead of the future. That's what I wrote in my dairies 

When I found out that you needed to be good at maths to be a computer programmer, I relinquished that idea. Whitlam's belief in womens' abilities hadn’t trickled down to maths teachers yet. Maths was for boys, and if you couldn’t keep up, ship off.

My next choice of career was to enter the armed forces. You didn’t need maths for that. The advertisements looked pretty exciting. All that physical exertion crawling on forearms and knees through mud – mud swimming had been such fun – climbing ropes like monkeys, abseiling down cliffs and walls like mountain goats, and all out in the Australian bush I loved so much. But then I learned that neither police force nor the army offered cadetships to teenage girls.

And so, resigned to the fact that I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do, or am allowed to do, being a girl and terrorised by maths, and not keen on any of the options projected onto me, I decided to prolong the decision – by three whole years - and finish high school with a Higher School Certificate.

Although I did dutifully go off to night school with my neighbours, Sharon and Glenda Taylor - and my mother - to learn how to type. Just in case. It was a good skill to have we all assured each other. And so it was

Diary February 1977

This year many of my peers will leave High School. Only about a third of us will stay on. Vocational councillors have arrived at school to help us decide what to do. 

My maths teacher's wife died when a tree branch fell on her while they were camping. We are all devastated for him.

I'm called a b'tch because I am way too preoccupied with boys. This is true. My diaries make this nauseatingly clear. My obsession has seen my grades plummet from being top in my class in most subjects, to being put in class levels 3 and 4. I'm constantly on the look out for boys but the minute they get too close, I don't like them anymore. I am so on the look out, that I don't even notice my parents come home from ten days away in Fiji, or write anything in my diaries about my two Oma's looking after us during that time.

A Jakaroo I am seeing, Dave, kissed me at the door of my home after taking me out. He grunted and stuck his 'thing' at me. I hate it. I wished he wouldn't do it. So I drift away from him

Some of my peers are moving up in the adult world. One neighbour, who I spent a lot of time with, has already left school and is working. She has a boyfriend. But there's a bit of friction when I visit them. I don't realise I am imposing. Similarly, one of our group has a boyfriend with his L plates, which inflates her feathers some, as well as our jealousy.

I resigned from Coles last year to go on holidays over the summer, but I didn't get my job back when I returned. I go to Coles every week, sometimes twice a week, to ask for it back. But no luck as yet.

My aunties have arrived from Holland for my Grandmothers birthday. It's a big event.  

I start start coaching an under 8's netball team from scratch and they have their first game within the month: a nil-nil draw. 

And it's school dance season, with some well known Aussie bands playing at them. We were very lucky when it came to the bands who played at our schools and local dances.

Tuesday February 1 - Today I went to Vocational Guidance and did all these tests

Today I went to Vocational Guidance and did all these tests. Didn’t get out till 12 o’clock. I hadn’t even had my interview so I asked if I could have it after, and off I trotted to the pool. Bought a $3.00 dress. It’s OK for the pool. Got burnt.

Also got invited by two guys to a party on Sunday. I mean Saturday. They kept following me around. We spoke. They were OK. Then I met one of Lex’s (blood) friends on Saturday, and Dave (who also rang) wants me to go to Wonder Woman. But I can’t go to any cause its Oma’s birthday. Lex Nixon rang and wanted me to go the beach on Sunday and a disco on Friday. Don’t want to go. I also don’t want to go to the fancy dress on Friday. Don’t know why. I can’t decide. Talked to smiley Gary at the station. He offered to buy me a beer but I only had ten minutes left. Talked to Lex’s friend at the station. He’d just been to Queensland and it was his birthday party on Saturday 18. School tomorrow. Suppose I’m looking forward to it. No I’m not. Seeya.

Wonder Women see a man for the first time

Wednesday February 2 - Mr McCrorey’s wife was killed when a branch fell on her while they were camping

Well today was the first day back at school. Got into disgusting classes! 10E4 10M3 10S4 10H3. Talk about bad. I’ll have to work hard to get a decent grade and I’m determined to!

It was good to see everybody again. Nobody’s changed though. Yesterday I got a letter from Jason. I told him about it today. Funniness. Doing (hopefully) fencing for enrichment course. Mr McCrorey’s wife was killed when a branch fell on her while they were camping. Poor Mr McCrorey. Boy will he be in a sh-t when he comes back.

We’ve got Schuck for science again. Got new teachers too. Would be nice if Mr Johnston came back. Dave came up but he wasn’t supposed to, so he had to go again. He said he’d ask Dad if I could come up to a party but I don’t want to. He kissed me at the door grunting and sticking his thing at me. It scares me and annoys me. I wish he wouldn’t do that. Seeya

Thursday February 3 - Mum’s sisters, Marthy and Gretje, came from Holland yesterday for Oma's birthday

Dad's gonna tell Dave that I’ve got a relative do on, so I can’t go to the party. Got a letter from Gibbs today. He didn’t have much to say. School was boring. It dragged. Got Mr Dods for History, Mrs Powel for English, McCrory for Maths, Lock for Home Science, Pope for Woodwork. Was going to go to Penrith tonight but I’ve got nothing to wear. I didn’t have time to iron anything.

Mum’s sisters, Marthy and Gretje, came from Holland yesterday for Oma's birthday. Poor Mum was running around like a chook without a head. It was strange to see them again, for about ten minutes anyway. Then they went to bed. They came in at 3am last night to say hello!

My Aunties from left to right Hanny, Marthy, Gretje. Mum in the back

I still haven’t made up my mind about Dave yet. If he just didn’t do all these things that annoy me so much. It’s really only the way he kisses etc. that bugs me. I could let myself like him but somehow I just won’t. Why Diary? Why! Why! Why! Why! Seeya.

Friday February 4 - Tomorrow’s the big day. All my relations trundle down for Oma’s birthday.

Well I like Marthy and Gretje. They’re really nice. Tomorrow’s the big day. All my relations trundle down for Oma’s birthday.

Tonight is the party. I’m glad in a way that I’m not going. There’s a new guy at school. He’s in my maths and science class. He sits in front of us in maths and we talk to him. He’s OK. I think he likes Debbie cause he kept looking at her. Must go.

Saturday February 5 - We all sang happy birthday in Dutch. Imagine how it sounded.

Went to Penrith today and dropped into Mick Simmons. He said they haven’t any word yet about a job for me but there was a possibility for a boutique job - whichever comes up first. God I hope I get it. I bet I don't. I had to write all my sports interests and didn’t name half of them. 

Got off the train and Uncle John was there so I walked home with him. Next to arrive was Oma and her sister Oma (Tante Marie), Georgie and Willie, and Oma Pete. Then came Gus, Teena, Freek, Honey, and their kids. Everybody was kissing and hugging each other and all this and we all went out for photos.

Then we got dressed and went down to the restaurant. The Wine Barrel. Altogether there was Me, Jenny, Mum, Dad, Gretje, Marty, Honey, Freek, Georgie, Willie, Teena, Gus, Amanda, Mellissa, Uncle John, Oma, Oma, Oma Pete. I think that’s it. It was quite a good night. The food was nice: $146 exactly, $8 a head. Not bad. They must have made a mistake. Willie ordered a candle which doesn’t blow out and when Oma blew out the candles this one candle kept relighting. God it was funny. Then she opened the presents and we all sang happy birthday in Dutch. Imagine how it sounded! Then we all sang happy birthday to Freek and he opened his presents. The restaurant is really nice.

Georgie says I should give modelling a go. What do you reckon diary. No? Me too. I’m too fat and wide and I’m not photogenic. Everything is against me. I’ll be a computer programmer.

Outside the restaurant everybody was kissing each other goodbye and off they all went. Seeya.

Sunday February 6Mum and Dad went to Fiji for ten or more days. Lucky stiffs.

Today Mum and Dad went to Fiji for ten or more days. Lucky stiffs. God I’d love to go. Oma and Oma ( her sister) are looking after us. Dropped us off at Penrith pool where Anthony and all his friends came and talked to me at the station, until Lex’s friend and all his friends came and talked to me.They racked off. They’re nice to talk to. Anthony invited me to the mud holes next Sunday. There were these blond guys at the pool. Niceness. They knew both Lex and his friend Anthony. They said the party went OK.He walked me to the station when we left. 

And just my luck I missed the train. So he offered us a lift but my sister was too scared. In the end we did go up with them but my sister was holding onto this steering wheel lock just in case he tried anything. But we were safe. Well I knew that but my sister didn’t. They dropped us off at the shops and L.F asked me out next week. I told him it’s in the phone book (when he asked for my number). He asked what street. I told him. Well, ten days of who knows what.

Monday February 7 - There’s a new guy at school

Went to school. Wow. There’s a new guy at school. His name is Steve Taylor. He’s a bit of spunk but if only he was a little bit older. Seeya.

Tuesday February 8 - She recommended that I either be a receptionist, or secretary or an air hostess

Today I went to Vocational Guidance for my interview and she raved on about what you need for what. A computer programmer needs to be fantastic in Maths so that cuts that out. She recommended that I either be a receptionist, or secretary or an air hostess, so I don’t know.I’d like to be an air hostess but I’m not sure. Then she gave me all these pamphlets and junk and said that I should come back either in two weeks or in August after I’ve got my half yearly’s, to see how things go. She also suggested that I take a maths course so I am.

Tonight I started a secretarial course. I mean a typing course. Gees it’s hard, my little finger was killing me. Sharon and Glenda do it too. Sharon’s really fast at it. She does arvo lessons though. God she’s changed. Now she thinks she’s really tough just cause she’s working. Gees it makes you sick. Seeya.

Wednesday February 9 - “Are you doing rowing? No you’re not. I’m not teaching you.”

Today Debbie and I were supposed to do life saving for sport but we decided we wanted to do rowing and we finally got into it. The bus costs $1.20 to go down to the Nepean River. Robbery. When we got there this girl from school said, “Are you doing rowing? No you’re not. I’m not teaching you.” Stupid B'tch. Who did she think she was?

Peter from upstairs in Farmers was there and he came over. So I went and talked while MacAlpine was watching. Then when I was down on the rowing ramp they came down and talked to me but I had to tell them to go away or I’d get into trouble. They joked about it. He’s nice though. There were all these spunks from some place. One had blond hair and I'd seen him before at Coles and around Penrith. SPUNK.  I wore Debbie’s shorts and skirt and Gary pushed me in the river, clothes and all. He had to run up and down the hill 20 times. Stephen Dooley does it too. But we can’t row for 7 weeks cause of training for Taree. Seeya.

Thursday February 10 - We had dancing today. I was having hysterical fits

We had dancing today. I was having hysterical fits. I danced with Stephen. Niceness. Gees it was funny. He’s never done dancing before at his school – Penrith. Cathy Scott and Megan Taylor did dancing too, and they really like him. Seeya.

Friday February 11 - “The best looking girl and you won’t hold hands with her?”

We had dancing again today and I was even more hysterical than before. I couldn’t stop laughing.I was so hysterical that I had to lean on Tony Keevil’s Shoulder. And I was crying. Danced with Steve twice. Niceness. Once I was dancing with Kim Doust and he got all confused and Stephen came up and said, “The best looking girl and you won’t hold hands with her?” Then another time he said to Stephen Kneally and me that we were dancing beautifully. Tada! In history Glenda was going on about how I was laughing. When I got to Steve, Mark said, “You get to Steve alright” and I did not comprehend. Jo had to tell me. Mark told Glenda in history that Steve really liked me. I bet. He doesn’t know about Megan Taylor because he doesn’t know her. He will. Steve Doorey asked me to sponsor him in Taree and then he started talking to me. He’s OK.

Saturday February 12 - Me and my bloody big mouth

Went to Penrith today. Steve and those other two were there again and I waved to them. Then they went past and he was looking at me. Went into Mick Simmons and he reckons, no, he still hasn’t got word on a job. What’s he trying to do? Give me a job in two years? I’ll go broke. Did homework today. Good girl. Dave hasn’t rung all week. Since last Sunday. Or Monday. He hasn't even tried to see me. He must have found someone else. Takes me. I probably opened my big mouth. Or somebody told him something. Gees I’m useless. Mandy or Mark haven’t written for nearly two months. I must have said something wrong. Me and my bloody big mouth. God I wish I’d knew what I said or wrote or did. But whatever I did, I sure did it well. Steve Dorey sat next to me on the train home. PS Now I wish Dave will contact me – at least.

Sunday February 13 - Today I helped Oma clean out the BBQ and shed

Today I helped Oma clean out the BBQ and shed. Oma gave me $10.00 and she reckons she started to put money away for me to come over to Holland for a holiday. Wow. Isn’t that good. Dave still hasn’t rung. God! Sharon cut my hair and it’s a bit short. Damn it. I’ve lost my nice white earrings. I just can’t find them anywhere. They’ve just disappeared. Gees. I’m mad now. Seeya.

Cleaning BBQ shed with Oma and the pumpkin invasion

Monday February 14The moles

My hair went a bit decenter today. I talked to Steve Taylor and gee he’s nice. Megan Taylor and Cathy Scott are after him. His hair looks different. Nicer. Seeya.

Tuesday February 15 - . I’m doing fencing for enrichment course

Talked to Steve at lunch today. Niceness. Bloomen this guy kept interrupting and wouldn’t leave me alone. I’m doing fencing for enrichment course. He’s doing wood carving along with Moleface and them lot. He came over and talked to me but all his other chick friends took over. I had to borrow Robert Hunt’s jeans for fencing. And gave them to Chris after I had them. Debbie said to Jo and JB, “Why doesn’t she kiss him goodbye next time”. God I was mad. Furious, in fact. But if she wants to be that way, let her. Seeya.

Wednesday February 16 - I do lifesaving now. I’m doing my Award of Merit.

Sport today. Steve does grade volleyball. I do lifesaving now. I’m doing my award of merit. I’ll never get it though. I did 16 laps but not in the proper time. This guy thought he could buy me. He kept hanging around and every five minutes he asked me if I wanted anything or he’d have something for me. He just wouldn’t get the hint and knick off. He said he’d have me if I drop Lex. That’s nice.

A friend got herself into trouble with some guy. She can easily get out of it but won’t. Her and her boyfriend had a fight about me. He told her not to be so childish and all this. Serves herself right. That guy who asked me to the trots was on the train. Said I had nice legs. Ha! That’s a joke. Mark Hamilton talked to me and Allen yesterday. Full of compliments. Seeya

Tuesday February 17 - I only got to dance with Steve one time

We had dancing again today. And guess what! There were three places left for girls and they got three third formers. But then Cathy Scott, Megan Taylor and Linda Davies swapped with them. I only got to dance with Steve one time. 

Friday February 18 - God he gives me the creeps, the perverted poofta.

I had the real shits today. On top of that we didn’t do dancing. Gees I was mad. Bloody this guy kept coming up to me and following me around and wouldn't shut up. Then this other guy kept touching me so I belted him. God he gives me the creeps, the perverted poofta.

I think I like Steve now but he doesn’t like me cos he doesn’t look at me much. I talk to him in science, in maths, and on the way to free period. But he doesn’t seem too excited. As IF, Petra. Dave hasn’t rung or anything. I’m afraid I’ve seen the last of him. He’s definitely found someone else.

I had a talk with Jo cause I was real upset and she reckons that I’m pretty. Bullsh't. Then Julie Stephens told me I was much better than this other girl. When I asked her what that means, she told me that one of Cath de Graff’s lot reckons I’m a b'tch, and that I’m just as bad as that other girl cause I’m always chasing after boys. And all this. What a bloody ay. I think I’ll commit suicide.

Saturday February 19 - the way he was talking it sounded like he’s not married

Went to Penrith into Mick Simmons. He asked me to work for him a couple of hours. So I did. It was OK I spose. I got $6.50. Deryle, the boss, drove me home and on the way he bought me a drink. By the way he was talking it sounded like he’s not married cause he talked the way we do.

He said the head office hasn’t notified him yet but he’ll let me know how things go. The other job won’t be until about May. Great. I bet I end up getting neither. Went into Coles and talked to Mr Valenze. He’s really nice. I really like him. Talked to Greg and Rob too. They asked me if I was going to see Peter Zeghers. I didn’t know what he meant at first, and then he told me I go in every Saturday and say hello to him. God I wish I had a job. I bloody well need one.  Well I wonder what horrors are in store for tomorrow.

Sunday February 20 - I got changed into my Caftan and big cream rose

Got up this morning and did all the work cause we are going to the pool. It was nice and sunny in the morning but by the time we got going it was cloudy. Ugh. Glenda came with us and Mum took us up. Caught the train home. There was absolutely nobody there. Well practically nobody. Derek Cluff and that lot. So we talked to Glen and he’s very nice. Spunk I mean. He talked to us about how he and his wife went to America and all this. Then we went to Corvassi, and went home. Jenny asked me if I liked Ian Elderidge. When I got home, Marty, Gretje, Georgie, and Willie were all here, so I got changed into my Caftan and big cream rose. It looked really nice.

My wallpaper matching 1970's Caftan
I tried on Marthy's clothes. She reckons she’s going to send me over some, and this suit of hers but I bet she doesn’t. I just bet. Well seeya.

Monday February 21 - His Dad is a teacher. His Mum, a Librarian

Stephen is the same old spunk as before. Talked to him in maths today. Gees he’s nice. His Dads a teacher. His Mum’s a librarian. He told me about his dog and all this. Talk about nice. But I don’t think he likes me. He likes Megan. Stephen Dorey says hello to me every time he goes past. Gees I wish I knew why Dave doesn’t ring or anything. I spose now that I lost him I want him back.

Tuesday February 22 - Steve came into a room with me at lunch and flirted with Megan at Enrichment class. Seeya.

Wednesday February 23 - We said goodbye and waved them off and then I watched the plane take off

Vincent Teresa in Oz to testify
Feb 1977.
Today we went to the airport to see Marthy and Gretje off. I trondled around the place trying to check out everyone. But there wasn’t anyone worth checking out. American Mafia man, Vincent Teresa was in the lounge with a cameraman and reporter. We saw the report but not Vinie. Went into the lounge and had drinks. 

Then I had a fight with Dad so I bought a cup of tea and cake and just as I was eating it they were leaving, so didn’t finish it all.We said goodbye and waved them off and then I watched the plane take off. Went back inside and the whole airport was empty. Practically. I couldn’t find Mum or anyone. Georgie and Willie and this really nice lady came too. Marthy was crying. After, we went to a horrible Chinese restaurant with nice food and cheap, on Dixon street, arvo time in China town. The Chinese were getting merry down the road. Seeya.

Thursday February 24 - You talk to a guy and he thinks you like him, so he tries to crack onto you, and then you don’t like him

Had dancing today. Mark asked me how much I liked Stephen. He reckoned I couldn’t get it through my head that he liked me. But found out that Mark likes me and is only trying to find out if I like Stephen so Mark can ask me. In a room Mark tied my necklace and put his hand around my shirt, and once in maths he turned around and practically kissed me. See what I mean. You talk to a guy and he thinks you like him, so he tries to crack onto you, and then you don’t like him. Cheers. Seeya.

Friday Feb 25 – The Dance was absolutely fantastic and guess what! I won $10.00.

The Dance was absolutely fantastic and guess what! I won $10.00. Wow. I couldn't believe it. Out of over 500 people I won $10.00. Well, I'll start at the beginning. I was very nervous on the way up cause everybody stares at you. Anyway, Sharon and me went straight in after saying hello all over the place. 

We found Jo and sat down. And sat, and sat, and sat until finally I got sick of sitting and got up and danced a little - eyeing all the guys along the way. Steve Taylor didn't come but his brothers did, and some of his friends. I kept looking at them and so did they to me. I sort of just got talking to them.  Glen Hunter came cause he was friends with them. They were OK. They kept watching me while I was dancing. I got asked to dance a lot which was great. One guy came up and asked about Term1 and we just got to dancing. After I remembered him from Penrith when I was working and he was following me. He was OK, I spose. A bit shy though. 

Another guy asked me to dance as I was getting a drink and I told him I'd be back in a sec. I got a drink of water and then danced with him. He hung around Scott Wilson and some other guys. He was O.K. I like Stephen Lions though. I think he's really nice. Gees he's quiet though. He doesn't talk much and neither do I, so that doesn't help. But I sort a got the feeling he didn't like me so I stayed away. There were stack of other guys that were alright too.

Practically everyone looked nice. Jason rung me this afternoon and asked me if I was going to the dance. He came up to me quite a few times and raved on about how nice I was ( but he was a bit merry and didn't know what he was talking about).

Bondi Bitch Band, played out our local Dance
I wore my black dress and choker. I danced a lot. The Bondi Bitch Band and Rabbit played. Both were pretty good. Then the lucky door prize came. I was hoping that it would be my number and it was - C84. Gees what a coincidence. I was just about to get my money when I remembered you had to show your ticket and bloody Robert Quirk wouldn't let me have my bag. He broke my little dog too. But after that I got my $10.00. Thank goodness. Then I just HAD to tell everyone and I was shaking like anything. I talked to everyone and danced with everyone. I was having a fantastic time. The $10.00 helped too. Gees I like Steve Lions. He's a real spunk, but he doesn't like me. Said hello to Steve Dorey too quite a bit. He was with Judy Gilbert for a while.  Then Sandra Henderson. Then finally it was over and we had to go, boo hoo. Gees Im glad I went. I thought I wasn't going to have a good time! Seeya. 

Video: Rabbit played at our local Dance. "Too Much Rock and Roll"

Sunday February 26 - Penrith show. It was quite boring and very expensive.

Today I went to Penrith show. It was quite boring and very expensive. I stayed with Sharon from about 11.30 till about 1.15, then they went but I caught the 6.15 train home. I bought about 6 or 7 flavoured ices at 30 cents and 40 cents each. I had 2 Dagwood Dogs. Mark Downard bought me one. He hung around me at the very end and when all the guys were arriving. Anyway, to continue, I went on 1 ride. The dogems. It cost 70 cents, thats why. The guys kept following us around. I don't know if they knew that we knew, but we did.  In this animal place, these moneys grabbed my flavoured ice and we kept going in to get free passes to animal world. I talked to this guy at Hi Fi several times. he was O.K> There was a real spunk too with 3 chicks. I couldn't work out which one was his girlfriend. He was a bit young though. Blond hair, nice eyes.

Dagwood Dog

This dirty old man came up to me and put his fingers everywhere
but I didn't quite realise it it until he was walking away with a smirking grin on hie face. THEN he had the hide to do it again. This time I belted him across the back. He was about 60 though. This bunch of guys kept walking past and saying hello, how are you and all this. Then I met up with Louise Ferrit and her sister so I stayed with them for the rest of the arvo till about 1/4 to 6. Then I went off and talked to Glen Hunter and them. Then I found Mark. He's dropped Lynette. He bought me a Dagwood Dog and hung around and I walked him to go. Then these two guys came and asked my name, and they go, "Oh she's with her boyfriend". They raved on and really embarrassed Mark. 

See what I mean. The minute you talk to guys, you're the girlfriend. Then I saw Lex with his arm around this chick and I waved to him. Also at the station that guy who drove me home from the pool, Drove past with his girlfriend, and I waved to them. This bloke gave me whisky.It was nice cause I was thirsty. At the station Susan Montano and her boyfriend were there and then he went and his friend came up to me and tapped me on the face and said "You must be the one" and went off. I hope it was something nice. Well must go. Seeya.

Sunday February 27 Did nothing today. Slept in. Sharon came down and I went to their place. Penny came down. Got into trouble when coming home.

Monday February 28 - Gee I feel sorry for him

Mr McCrory’s back. Gee I feel sorry for him. So does everybody. I bet he’s sick to death of it. Poor thing. Talked to Steve Lions but he doesn’t like me. Sharon came down to tell me that Paul rung and is going to Luna Park with them on Saturday, and Sunday he’s taking her to the pictures.  Seeya.

Tuesday February 29 - It’s still raining. I wore my jeans and shirt to enrichment course and talked to Steve Dorey. Seeya

Video No. 1 single for February 1977 was Pussyfoot: The Way that You Do It. 

It stayed No1 the whole month. Who knows how :-)

Diary March 1977

Wednesday March 1 - Didn’t go to the school today. I was quite sick. I’ve got cramps that are absolutely killing me. Seeya

Thursday March 2 - Was supposed to go to Penrith with Sharon and Glenda on Thursday but I had a fight with Mum in front of Glenda . Umah. I wasn’t allowed to go.

Friday March 3 - I haven’t decided whether to be an air hostess or a policewoman

Careers bloke came in and we had to fill out these blue forms on what we want to be. I haven’t decided whether to be an air hostess or a policewoman. If I be a policewoman, I’ll go into the cadet force next year. I wish I knew what to do. I’ll have to get more information.

Saturday March 4 - Guess what! I might have my job back at Coles

Went to Penrith today and guess what! I might have my job back at Coles. They have a new manager and he’s getting more kids in, so I went and asked him and he said to come back sometime next week. I'll fill out the application form. Wouldn’t that be fantastic if I get it? I’ll go in on Monday. Seeya

Sunday March 5 - Did nothing. Paul and Sharon drove past. 

Monday March 6 - Filled out an application form. Got all the questions right –hooray

Went to Coles and filled out an application form. Got all the questions right –hooray.The Co-Manager said he thinks I might get it. I hope so. Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Gary (Smiley) was at the station so I talked to him on the train, and after he asked me how my job went. Saw Stapleton on the train – SPUNK. If I weren’t so damned fussy. See what I did to Dave. I’m a fool. I really am. Seeya.

Tuesday March 7 - Had typing lessons again

Nothing much happened today. Had typing lessons again. Blooming type writer’s stuck. Oh yeah, Sharon called me up to her place when Paul was there so I went up and met him. He’s quite very nice. He looks awfully younger than he is. Sharon’s lucky though. I kept dirtying Paul’s car when I wrote on it. He asked me when he could bring the car around for me to wash. Seeya

PS. I flushed a test tube down the sink today in science. Rang Coles. Have to go back in tomorrow. Bet I haven’t got job.

Wednesday March 8 - I went in the relay and my pants fell down 

Well Dada made me go in the swimming carnival. This guy didn’t go thank goodness. Chunk, Gary and Doug hung around all the time with Glenda and me. Talked to Stephen at recess. I went in the relay and my pants fell down about 7 or 8 times. I was on the side lane and Mcorey, Dacey, Morgan and Thomas and Truffle and others, along with everyone else, saw. Wow, talk about embarrassing. Then everyone kept giving me sly comments. Andrew Cocryn was there. He’s OK. I was having fits after my relay, with Stephen, and he was pretending he didn’t know me. 

I had my towel and cossy on and everyone kept telling me to take it off. But I was too embarrassed cos I was too fat. Our house, Chapman, actually won, could you believe. I swam fairly well too. For once. Met Gareth at the shops. Drove me to Penrith. Went into Coles. He said he’d send me a letter if he needed me in the next few weeks. BULLSH'T. In other worlds I haven’t got the job.   Seeya.

Thursday March 9 - Emma Smith was in Miss Penrith Plaza. 

Went shopping with JB. Mum had a shit before I went cause I didn’t do my room. Wore my black dress. Peak hour. Dirty look off EVERYONE. Even did teachers, men, girls, boys, dogs, anything. I shouldn’t have worn it. JB and I had a Chinese dinner.Yum. Owe her $2. Saw Paul and Sharon there too. Me and JB were walking down High Street and this panel van went past. The guy in it screamed so loud the lady in front of us jumped a mile! Saw Jenny and Louise and Gail from Coles. Good kids. Emma Smith was in Miss Penrith Plaza. Only thing that let her down was the way she talked. Saw a guy that was at the last dance. Talked to Gary at the station. Said I was good looking. Bullsh't. He’s going to Queensland for 7 weeks soon. Said he’d bring me back a grass skirt and a pineapple.

Friday March 10 - Jason asked me to see Alice Cooper with him. He bought two tickets!

Today was the dance. I nearly wasn't going because I wasn't allowed unless I had transport one way or the other but Helen's Mum is taking me home. The dance was a bit slack but STEVE went. Got there. First of all I wore my white dress, white shawl, white necklace, earrings, bangle, plus a blue one.  My hair was all curled back and so was the fringe. Most people said it was nice. Niel Wadell came up to me and said "gees you look nice". I went in and sat down. Went and said hello to a lot of people. Then sat down. I was in a sh't mood most of the night. I don't know why though.  Maybe its because I wanted to talk to Steve and I didn't. He said hello a few times, and I just kept looking at him and he knew it. I know he saw me a couple of times too. Once I walked practically straight passed him and he waved. I waved back. Gee he's nice. Really, really, nice. One time he was standing in front of me, I wanted to go and talk to him but I was afraid he wouldn't. SEE PAPER...

I seemed to have lost the paper :-(

Saturday March 11 - She told me I talk too much.

Went to Sharon’s. Paul came. SPUNK. I was being real stupid. I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t stop laughing. Paul was laughing too. Strange. Sharon wasn’t. She was jealous I think. After a while she was sort of telling me to go. She kept saying things to Paul about me. Not very nice ones too. Then she told me I talk too much. Then I said I’ll go home, and when I came back she said, “I thought you were going home”.  So I did. That hurt. She was really glad to see the end of me. So was Paul. I wanted to stay. Wish Steve would come down.  I bet I don’t see him on the train. I bet he won’t be hanging out the window. I just bet. Gees I like him. Seeya.

Sunday March 12 - I’ve got a lot of his pictures on my wall

Did nothing today. Homework, read, raked up grass, ate, got into trouble, had fights, didn’t watch Countdown, mother wouldn’t let me. Wrote in diary. Thought about STEVE. The spunk.I’ve got a lot of his pictures on my wall. It’s real good. He’s real good. He’s real nice. Yeah. Seeya.

Monday 13 March - Steve wasn’t on train today. Bum. Dream about him a lot. Lots of people said they like my hair.

Tuesday March 14 - Typing today. Type writers up the creek.

Steve was on train today. He was hanging out of the window BUT facing the other way. I saw him but he didn’t see me. Why does he do that? He must know I like him so he’s tormenting me – I bloody bet. Typing today. Type writer's up the creek. Seeya

1970's typewriter

Wednesday March 15 - I am now coaching a little netball team

Netball training today. Got measured. Playing Saturday, yeah. Those two guys who were usually at the station (or used to be ) offered me a lift. Mrs Pittman rang. I am now coaching a little netball team. Where will I get the time? Eight year olds who have never played before. Boy am I in trouble. What will I call them? Jesus Christ, we’ll lose. I won’t be able to do it. What am I going to do! Steve was on the train. He stuck his spunky arm out the window. Gees he’s beautiful. Wish he was mine. Rung my team. They’re training tomorrow. Seeya

Thursday March 16 - Trained my team. They can catch a ball at least

Steve wasn't on the train. Well he probably was but I didn’t see him. Trained my team. They can catch a ball at least. I’ve got a lot to get through before their game. They don’t even know the rules. Gees. I’m having two trainings next week. Monday and Thursday. I hope I can get them somewhere. But I doubt it. Dropped into Sharon’s. Paul was there. I came in and he goes, “Oh no” (only joking). Sharon wasn't though. Paul's funny. He was joking about me being a coach and then they told me how he was being transferred to Orange and I really believed them. But he’s getting transferred to Springwood where Danny works. I said goodbye when Sharon told me to p'ss off. She hurt and embarrassed me three times. 

Friday Mach 17 - God she’s brown and her hair is as blond as ever

Steve wasn’t on the train again that I could see. Jason rang. Reckons his Mum's gonna take us home from Alice Cooper on Saturday night. He reckons he’ll come around on Saturday to see Ma and Pa, and all this. I bet $10.00 I’ll end up not going. I bet. I probably won’t be allowed. Debbie came to school today. God she’s brown and her hair is as blond as ever, and she’s really pretty. It’s not fair. Why is it I have to be so ugly? Going to the coast with JB tomorrow. That should be good. Seeya. PS I LUV STEVEN LYONS.

Saturday March 18 - They did a real live corroboree! 

Went to beach with the Baileys today. Waited for hours at the bus stop at Cheppy’s. Rob Adams stopped to give me a lift. So did Kerry and other people. Millions waved. Got to National Park. Piled out, had lunch, then we went to the beach. These guys and one spunk kept following us and vice versa. Never met though. Drats. Aborigines were playing didgeridoos and click clacks. My God. Later they did a real live corroboree!  Then they followed us and we ran into them along these tracks and I screamed my head off and teared off up the track with them running after us. 

Cheppy's. A Local Blaxland landmark

When we were leaving they kept yelling, “can you walk like that”. Wow. Weirdness. They kept yelling and whistling and carrying on. Then these real drips followed us and they asked me what my name was and all this. They said they’d catch us on the way back so went a different way. It’s really nice there. Peaceful and secluded. Had BBQ for tea. Lost weight swimming around. Put it on again eating. Seeya 

Sunday March 19 - I don’t know whether to go

Did nothing today. Jason’s Mum rang. She hasn’t got the car on Saturday but she said she’d be with us when we stay at his cousin’s place. I wonder. Mum said it’s up to me. Well, what will I do? I told Glenda. She was jealous. She reckoned she wouldn’t go but before she said she would. She’s only doing that to make me not want to go. I don’t know whether to go. I wish it was Steve who was taking me, not Jason. Seeya

Monday March 20 - Jason’s Mum rang again. Nothing much. Had netball training. Seeya

Tuesday March 21 - I whacked him fair and square across the face. 

Today I found out that Jason is going with Heather Du Pree and she came up to me in roll call. I found out that he told her that he was taking her to Alice Cooper. So I was furious and when I saw him I said, “I’ve got to talk to you”. I whacked him fair and square across the face. Gees my hand hurt. I walked off not looking back. I heard him say, “What was that for”. Would you believe? Jo said that he went bright red and everybody was stirring him and congratulating me.I felt better.

Later Debbie told me that he said it was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to him. What a poofta. He found out I only wanted to see Alice Cooper. Ha! I’m not upset about not going though. Jason’s bad news and I didn’t like the plans. They weren’t certain. Seeya.

Wednesday March 22 - Today at Life Saving I got the most massive cramp ever. Mrs Powel said it was the worst she’d ever seen. Gees it was bad. God it hurt. My muscle looked outstandingly abnormal. Netball training good. Seeya.

Thursday March 23 - Mrs Stratten told me I should be a model. Ha! Imagine me as a model. Disaster – fail

Jo and me are on fairly enemy terms with this girl. She’s so incredibly self-centred it isn’t funny - and Dad thinks I’m bad. She is sickening. And her boyfriend got his L’s which makes it even worse. My little team is called the Wrens. UGH. I’ll never get them going. Went late night shopping and wore my white dress and shawl. Everybody told me I looked nice. Went into Coles and Mrs Stratten told me I should be a model. Ha! Imagine me as a model. Disaster – fail.

Talked to Greg and Rod and Wayne. They drove me home. Went up and saw Sharon and Paul. Talked to Lex’s enemies – two brothers. No spunks. Steve was on his bike today. When he drove past we waved. SPUNK. Gees I like him. Wish he was mine, and or, at least liked me at least. Seeya.

Friday March 24A friend invited me to her place on Saturday to have a camp. Hope I can go. Dad said I can go. Good. Last training for the Wrens. Jesus. I’ll never get them going. Well, disasters will prove. Seeya.

Saturday March 25 - My team had a nil all draw!

My little team had a nil all draw! But the ball was always up the other team's end. If only they had have got the ball down further. Umpiring was O.K. We, the Tigers, lost against the Beavers - naturally. Came home at about 5pm. Went to Taylors and Paul was there. He was being real nasty. Going on about how I tell fairy tales. I wanted to tell Glenda something and she would come and Sharon and her and Kim and Paul were being such a bitch. I got up, knocked some cards over and Kim said, "Pick them up!" I just looked at her, got up and slammed the door behind me. Can imagine what they said. Sharon's making me out to be a real slut. Went to a girlfriends and got everything ready (the fire). Cooked in the dark and ate in the dark. Froze to death and talked a lot about everything. Seeya

Sunday March 26 - She and her boyfriend often lie in the nick

Got up. Coldness. Started fire and cooked breakfast (burnt the bacon). Went to the school and played basketball. Came home and my girlfriend went to Sunday school, while I stayed at her place and typed. When she came back we cooked lunch. Jaffles. They were nice. Then we went to the pool and she told me about how her, her boyfriend, another girl and another boy went skinny dipping, and how one guy said that this girl had a shocking figure and all this. She told me about how she and her boyfreind often lie in the nick (and don’t do anything, which I believe), and we just talked about everything. Good on her. There’s nothing at all wrong with that. Then we came home and cooked tea and sat by the fire and talked some more. Just about life. Good weekend. I luv Stephen Lyons.

Monday March 27 - School. Ugh. Trained my little kids. That was OK. Seeya.

Tuesday March 28Nothing happened again. Typing. How bloomin boring.

Wednesday March 29Lifesaving.

Guys from Nepean are OK. Didn’t go to training. I couldn’t be bothered. I really couldn’t. Did I tell you that the other day Steve drove past on his bike and waved. God he’s a spunk. I luv him. But he likes someone else. Don’t ask me who but I know it’s not me. Seeya

Thursday March 30 - Trained again.  Can’t have Jackie Caban in team. Worst Luck. She’s a good shooter.

Friday March 31

Helen told me Stave was at Penrith. Wouldn't you know it. I go and he doesn't. He goes and I don't. It's not fair is it. Oh well. Seeya.

Mary MacGreggor. Torn Between Two Lovers. Top single in March 1977

The controversial Torn Between Two Lovers - umah. Naughty girl. Is number one this month. Well, it was the 70's. Seventies songs were often way-too-much-information for us teenagers. What did the future hold for us if adults were getting up to all this stuff?


Written By Petra Campbell

Twitter: @petraau

The research for these posts are found as links in the body of the text.

Hard copy references include:

Agitate, Educate, Organise, Legalise: Protestant Women's Social Action in Post-Suffrage Australia. By Ellen Ward