GOT BALLS? BOLLOCKS TO THAT!

Hair iron

I do try to be a “gutsy” sort of person.

“Get out there. Be strong. Show ‘em what you’re made of. Have a bloody go,” are all variations on a theme that have been drummed into me by my father since I was a child.

Gym teacher with ballsSometimes I struggle mightily with this expectation. But I’m pleased to say that my outspokenness is the very thing that attracted my husband to me. (That and my shapely pins, he reckons.) And in an echo of my father’s admonishments he says: “Don’t be pathetic. Stand up for your beliefs.”

I have two great mentors in my life, both men. But like them, do I have “balls”?

I once heard Kristy Kirk-Fraser, the woman  who brought the sexual harrassment case against David Jones CEO, Mark McInnes described on the nightly news by an admirer in this way : “She’s really got balls!”

(Which was quite ironic really, since it wasn’t her balls that were the problem.)

How about Margaret Thatcher, Aung San Suu Kyi, Golda Meir, Angela Merkel, Erin Brockovich, Hillary Clinton… or even Mother Theresa? Are they all “ballsy”? Do they have “cojones”?

In fact, is every woman who speaks her mind or stands up for herself deemed to have testicles?

Writing in The Australian, Janet Albrechtsen said most male political leaders didn’t have Margaret Thatcher’s balls – managing to insult everyone, all at once.

Why do we persist with this odd description? Bollocks to that, I say.

I’ve given birth and made my way in male-dominated fields all my working life and can tell you I’ve never felt the need for testes.

Nor has any woman I’ve ever met.

Apparently they can turn blue (alarming), itch (eeyew), get caught in your zipper (aagh) and are hazardous when bike-riding or playing with toddlers with bats (according to Funniest Home Videos).

I don’t regard having balls as a term of admiration, even though I understand that men are mightily fond of theirs and think they are being complimentary.

I’ll add to that. My son doesn’t need to “grow a pair” to show he can stand up for himself. And if my daughter does, she and I should really have a serious talk.

Maybe, in the spirit of equal opportunity, we could say courageous people have “nads”.

Gonads are the powerhouses that make sperm cells in men and egg cells in women, so testicles are just ovaries with air-conditioning.

And if it comes to a caged gonad death match, my money’s on the egg cell. It’s 20 times larger than the sperm cell.

But, hey, one is pretty useless to human reproduction without the other, so let’s call it a draw.

When women do extraordinary things there are any amount of words to employ: fearlessness, nerve, daring, guts, grit, audacity, backbone, toughness or valour.

Women are not “ballsy” any more than they are “ball breakers”.

Some things are apparently “ball tearers”, but I tend to let the men in my life be the judge of that. (Ouch!) And some things can equally go tits, arse or balls-up.

I’m not a great one for so-called “political correctness”, but in this instance I just don’t get it.

“Wow, she’s really got balls,” is just not in my vocabulary.

And as for the blokes who drive around with those rubber or metal “truck nuts” hanging off the back of their utes?

It doesn’t look tough. I can only imagine their wife or girlfriend has removed them from their sorry personage and made them put them in the back with the cattle dog.

Maybe I should festoon the Mazda with some rubber ovaries, fallopian tubes and a uterus hanging off the aerial?

No, I’d just look nuts (mountain oysters, knackers, nuggets, jewells, mantonsils, love spuds, two veg, stones, marbles, manjigglies).

Balls to that!

Do you say: “she’s got balls?” No, seriously, what you reckon?

 

MORE STORIES BY WENDY HARMER

Azaria. What was I thinking? 
Let’s talk about death, baby!
Top 10 ways not to name a baby

 

Wendy’s media and entertainment career span almost four decades. She has worked as a journalist, radio broadcaster, television host and stand-up comedian. She has written plays, stage shows and is now a highly successful author of children’s books and adult novels.

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