Why does Australia love statues so much?

I first became aware of this glaring lack of statues of women when I was doing what every girl in her 20’s does on the weekend; Search the National Archives online. In particular, I trawled through the list of thousands of memorials in Australia dedicated to World War II. However, I could not find any statues of Australian women here. I found a statue dedicated to the dogs that served, one with a horse and a sheep, but I really struggled to find a statue of even one of the 66,000 women who volunteered.

The one I found represents society’s gratitude to them, in hindsight I wish I hadn’t. To be honest, I would have been more excited to discover a pair of paper mache tits. The most sobering memorial I found was dedicated to women who fought and died in WWII in Angaston, South Australia. The quiet country town really made their case for feminism when they built the very real WW2 Women’s Memorial Rest Room. That’s correct. WW2 women, lo and behold, your splendid toilette… happy now?

A seagull overlooks the view from Cook's statue in St Kilda.

A seagull overlooks the view from Cook’s statue in St Kilda.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The headstone in the main entrance of the stinky public restroom reads “A Tribute to the Women Who Served” and if that doesn’t taste sour enough, take a deep breath, because once you’re inside the framed plaque on Dunny’s wall It states: “This building is dedicated to the great women who served in uniform and at home to humanity during the war of 1939-1945… Please treat it with due care and respect so that it may be preserved long to serve its purpose.” That purpose, of course, was to be a safe haven for horny teens and bachelors to vomit up their mimosa brunch in peace. I had to wonder if these women who had fought and sacrificed their lives knew it would be immortalized in the form of a public thunderbox.

In 2023 there must be more room in the world for tall, tanned women. Australian sheilas, heroines to be celebrated. For example, I appreciate that we placed a massive iron sculpture of the hardest working woman on Australian television, Sophie Monk, somewhere along the Gold Coast promenade. While we’re at it, we could show a giant Penny Wong shoeying off a political enemy’s boot in front of Parliament House, and who among us could deny that Abbie Chatfield would be a definite tourist trap if she were a life-size version of her was displayed over the Anzac Bridge in Sydney?

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If these ideas strike you as less than tasteful, or perhaps a little misguided, dear reader, I urge you to pull yourself together and remember the group of men who thought that a statue of a pig with its limbs hanging out was more important to society as one of a woman.

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https://www.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/for-the-love-of-hog-why-are-there-so-many-animal-statues-20230124-p5cf0d.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Why does Australia love statues so much?

Jaclyn Diaz

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