Anyone who thinks that Thérèse Rein has caved in to gender
conservatism, joining the ranks of subjugated women, should think
again. The nation has witnessed a transparent demonstration of true
choice, so unlike the so-called assertiveness of popular acclaim. The
latter is little more than a blend of insecurity and stubbornness. It
captures much attention by bluster and spin. But it relies on
retreating from relationships, thus existing only at the expense of
mutual trust and regard.
Ms Rein’s considered response to the real dilemmas inherent in the
juxtaposition of her business interests with her husband’s prime
ministerial aspirations, has been of quite a different calibre.
Whilst later emphasising that she has never been “forced … or
compelled … or pressured” by Mr Rudd in reaching her personal
decision to sell her Australian businesses, in an earlier interview
she stated “I am prepared to put Kevin first and my country first.”
To be assertive in the context of a healthy relationship – with a
spouse or a nation – is to sovereignly choose, sometimes at personal
cost, a path that will benefit the other, on a foundation of mature
Amidst all the political and media spin, a refreshing reminder to us
all. Relationships matter more.