FOR those men who are defensive and feeling women are tarring them all with the same brush, I have taken a snapshot of my family and friends and hopefully they will get a broader picture of why women have been protesting.
My grandfather left for war, leaving my grandmother and three children under four behind. When he returned he punished her, accusing her of sleeping with other men while he was away. My grandmother would often get plates of food thrown at her when he came home drunk from the pub.
My mother related being chased by male family members who felt because she was in the same room, they had the right to sexually harass her.
Many female friends who cleaned the homes of the elderly to earn a little extra told me how men would often hit on them while their wives were in other rooms.
I have many friends who were in abusive marriages and their partners did things that ranged from locking them out of the house to smashing their head into a wall to kicking and throwing.
There is a commonality because similar things have happened to me and other women, and much worse. The last thing women want is war. They just want safety, respect and equality inside and outside of their homes and it is well within the power of men to make this happen.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
If men don't understand, help us
JOHN Ure (Letters, 7/4) I was hoping for a reply from a member of the opposite sex. Firstly, I consider playing the victim entirely appropriate given a certain cohort of men is being singled out as the main problem for women. Secondly, the correspondence I have seen simply states "men don't understand". That, to my basic thinking, means all men. The explanation I am seeking is not personal, it's for all men who apparently don't understand the problems women confront. I say again, driving a wedge between the sexes is not the way to get decent, respectful blokes, the overwhelming majority, onside. As for equality, yes, I'm all for it. Perhaps women could start by demanding they play best-of-five sets in tennis to earn their equal prize money.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
Party position hard to lock down
IT'S hard to get a concise handle on One Nation's position on climate politics, for voters and, seemingly, for the party itself. In his Outsiders column of January 2020, Mark Latham advocated for nuclear energy, and accepted the warnings of scientists. "We just need to adjust to a slightly warmer world", he wrote.
Now, scrambling for profile and oxygen in the lead-up to the Upper Hunter by-election, Mr Latham is in full climate-change denial mode, bombastic in his endorsement of expansion of coal mining in the Hunter. What happened to the nuclear option?
Recalling Mr Latham's attack on anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, in which he maintained that men used violence as a "coping mechanism", and that the former-Australian of the Year was conspiratorially part of a feminist group using domestic violence for political gain and a campaign "against all Australian men", and considering again his call to stop immigration from Muslim nations, along with his emphatically pro-Trump views, the people of the Hunter might question how this far-right demagogue managed to come to guide our city's alcohol/violence management policy, standing alongside local Labor politicians.
Mr Latham's claim that "women are safer than ever before" made in a Sydney newspaper in January 2016 seemed at odds with reality then, and after recent horrific events, is surely today even more absurd.
Politics makes strange bed-fellows, it seems, but hopefully not strange enough for other parties to prefer One Nation.
John Beach, Cooks Hill
Long, hard year for the Jets
I'VE been a Jets member for a dozen years. Frustration is a constant companion. Usually because so many goal chances are missed.
Lately, because of the ongoing ticketing debacle, I missed the first minute of the Western United clash because of the latter, and therefore the only goal of the game.
The Jets again created three times as many goal scoring opportunities as the opposition.
Making complaints about referees is very much part of the weekly spectacle. One wonders constantly about bias.
Wednesday night's game between Sydney and Perth again raised that spectre, the Sky Blues escaping an obvious penalty against them, the VAR apparently blind to their misdemeanour; a tackle that was so clearly a foul to every observer except the referees on site.
The Jets on the wrong end of so many decisions. Another long season for us.
Stephen Willmott, Maitland
Fighter jets should cast wider net
WHILE Williamtown is the headquarters for the F35 fighter plane, I notice over 50 of the 72-plane fleet will be stationed at the Hunter RAAF base. To put all our eggs in the one basket would never happen during war time, and with terrorism I believe it should not happen at any time. Why are so many of these planes being stationed at Williamtown? I can understand all being controlled from one place, but I fear that having them all stationed at the same place could be another Pearl Harbour in the making .
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
It's no walk in the car park
MY friend's daughter is a trainee nurse. She worked all over Easter without pay and wasn't allowed to park in the hospital car park. She had to walk from the highway at all hours of night and early hours of the morning. It's an absolute disgrace.
John Keen, Gateshead
Powerhouse passing into history
ELECTRICAL engineering at Newcastle University had its own identity before the university's autonomy in 1965. At Newcastle University College there was a Department of Electrical Engineering. In 1963 the Head of Department was Prof. R.E. Vowels.
In 1967 Professor Brian Anderson became the Head of Department and transformed Electrical Engineering at Newcastle into a teaching and research powerhouse. Since that time Electrical Engineering has continued to be a powerhouse and has taken thousands of raw students and transformed them into fantastic engineers that have gone on to have leading roles in the Hunter and around the world. It has produced world-leading research, and researchers, in areas including automatic control, power systems and electronics. Electrical Engineering has been the custodian of several Centres of Excellence and is currently home to three IEEE fellows. It has been awarded the highest score in the Excellence in Research Australia ranking in all the years that the ranking has existed.
Sadly, while the degree program will remain for the time being Electrical Engineering will not. My understanding is the proposed changes within the current restructure being undertaken by the University has killed off Electrical Engineering as a body with any autonomy. Vale Electrical Engineering, you will be sadly missed by all that have known you.
Terry Summers, Medowie
ON New Year's Eve 2020 our lives were turned upside down when my husband Bob suffered a cardiac arrest while doing the lawn. Prompt attention from neighbours doing CPR until paramedics arrived saved his life. The staff at John Hunter's Emergency ICU and C3 were amazing. Three months later Bob is making a big improvement. Thanks to all concerned, we are forever grateful.
Kathleen and Bob Lyons, Merewether
IT'S a little concerning that there is a lot of discussion around about the possible blood clots from the coronavirus injection ('Australia mulls latest AstraZeneca advice', Newcastle Herald 8/4). Look at other health risks that we face; measure this with risk of smoking. Everyone knows the risk of smoking yet it is an acceptable practice and a risk to those who participate. Given the figures that it is possible that a few people in a million could die from blood clotting I would think that the risk is acceptable compared to the smoking risk. Life is just one big gamble. Do I or don't I?
Greg Lowe, New Lambton
WHY have all our favourite people been vaccinated against COVID, but none of our friends?
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
THE coverage from Fox Sports over the passing of Tommy Raudonikis was nothing short of disgraceful. All the segments were based on nothing less than fighting and violence. Absolutely disgraceful and what sort of message does that send to our kids? I went to a luncheon 3 years ago where he was the guest speaker and he said basically there's no such thing as depression and that youth of today need to toughen up. It's sad he's passed away, but remembering someone shouldn't be based on violence.
Dave Fothergil, The Junction
EASTER Sunday was the introduction of a newly formed band named Vinyl Tap at Adamstown Bowling Club. The club has transformed itself into a terrific outdoor entertaining venue. How lucky are we to live in Newcastle and hear live music? Let's support live music and our venues Newcastle and get behind this amazing band.
Amanda Woolford, Minmi
AS an electrician, I am not in favour of active electrical equipment in the roof cavity. I have reluctantly succumbed to my wife's repeated requests and modernised with LED downlights. We purchased from a reputable lighting store and paid good money. About one third of them failed during the warranty period and were replaced. This, seldom used, light lasted more than 5 years before failing spectacularly. The product does appear to be compliant with electrical specifications and the failure did not develop into a catastrophic fire. But I still question the wisdom of active electrical equipment in the roof cavity.