26 Aug 2010

The Aussie Woman's Worldview

Image from here

Generally I am not a big reader of women's magazines. I read lots and lots of things, the cereal packet included, but Australia's number-one monthly magazine, The Australian Women’s Weekly, and our number-one weekly magazine, Woman’s Day, are rarely among them.

Recently though, in my fragile emotional state, I've been unable to read my usual deep and meaningful fare. I have been unable to concentrate on my literary diet of living books, food labels, and fine classic literature, and have found myself digesting frivolous fluff much more often than I would like.

A couple of weeks ago I purchased the August edition of The Australian Women's Weekly. It was all the talk about Julia having been airbrushed that sucked me in. Well, that and the article about Azaria, to tell you the truth.

Now The Weekly is no my usual reading material, but it is not too bad as far as women's mags go. It's not like Cosmo or Cleo or Dolly - full of sex - or like NW or New Idea or Who - full of scandalous gossip - no, by their standards The Weekly is pretty tame. My mum always chooses it to read if she travels anywhere by train, and I noticed a copy of the current edition on my Auntie's table when I was visiting recently. Their readership is a staggering 2.2 million, meaning that about 13% of the Australian population reads it. It's pretty safe really...or so I thought.

Anyhow, so this is what I learned within the covers of that esteemed scientific journal, The Australian Women's Weekly:
  1. Plants and seeds sown during the best lunar phase and in the appropriate zodiac sign show increased vigour. So now I know. I don't prune my roses in August because they are dormant then - I must prune them between the 4th and the 9th between the last quarter of the old moon and the new moon on the 10th. Oh well. Missed that window of opportunity. Wonder what will happen to them now? S'pose they'll die. I should have planted my vegies earlier too - after 8.44 am on the 13th up until the 16th or between the 20th to 22nd before 11.38 am. See. I've had it wrong all this time. I am clearly quite deluded over my gardening abilities.
  2. According to my zodiac, apparently the last 12 months have been pretty bad for me. August should be better. Given circumstances over the first three weeks of August I fail to understand why things should be so good now, but apparently that's my fault. My brother and mother share my zodiac sign (along with 12th of the population - who'd a thunk?) so obviously it is their fault as well.
  3. Fortunately, I can discover more about what my stars are predicting by obtaining the personalised reading for my star sign. These have been prepared especially for readers of The Weekly - which makes us different from non-readers, I guess. It will cost me $1. 27 per minute, but that includes GST, so that's a pretty good deal.
  4. Angelina and Brad's kids, Shi and Pax get their karma from their mum. They are wild.
  5. Angelina is an Earth Goddess.
  6. Mum Blogs are a lifeline for 50-something women whose husband have run off, 30-somethings at home with sick kids or 40-something single mothers. That's why we blog. Apparently.
  7. Everybody should be doing yoga once a week. Apparently it feels good and will get me back on track. (That's why my zodiac wasn't working - no yoga.) Since the goal of yoga is to unite one's transitory self with the infinite Brahman, the pantheistic Hindu god, clearly it is the path to spiritual growth and enlightenment. Sigh, I have been so misled my whole entire life.
  8. A gorgeous new workout outfit will inspire you more than nothing else. Wanting the cutest outfit is not superficial, and is a walking must-have. A new pair of Adidas sneakers is $240.00, or you can indulge in the MBT Baridi Silver shoes for a mere $379.00. Go on - you're worth it, and the right gear will make all the difference to how you feel about yourself.
  9. Meditation eases stress, reduces pain, increases focus and helps you sleep. That's my problem. If I'd been meditating I wouldn't have had trouble focusing on the cereal packet and I wouldn't have ever bought The Weekly. Apparently meditation's main purpose is to allow me to make friends with myself. This will make me happy. It will enhance my mental and physical health and will show me the true nature of reality. Yep, it does all that.
  10. Astrology can make your hair more lustrous. Simply trimming my hair when the waxing moon is in a fertile zodiac sign will improve its condition. Honestly. If I'd read The Weekly sooner I too could have hair like Angelina. I would be an Earth Goddess with wild karma too. Bet she cut her hair between the 13th and 15th after 8.44 am.

So this is what Australian women believe. This is the Australian Woman's Worldview.

And they make fun of me for believing in a Creator God. Yep. So unbelievable, that.

I don't get questioned much about our reasons for homeschooling. My husband does though - especially during his week skiing with Jemimah, where it seems that this is the main topic of discussion - that and my Supermum status. Anyhow, when the questioner is a Christian parent, it seems that the conversation mostly gets onto dinosaurs. something like "Oh, I see, too much emphasis on dinosaurs in the curriculum for your liking, eh?" What I take this to mean is that those parents think I am concerned about evolution being taught at public school. Well, yes I am, but I think that most Christian parents reassure themselves that they teach their kids creation at home and so they have that furphy covered very well thank you very much. I can homeschool, but they'll just correct the creation/evolution standpoint on Sundays.

But see, I don't think that the Evolution Debate is the problem with Public School. I believe that the problem with Public School is that it teaches an Australian Worldview.

And as you may have seen by my reading of The Australian Women's Weekly, the average Australian's Worldview is very, very different from my own.

School will teach your children to be Australian. It will teach them to be materialistic, to live by the standards of man, to make decisions based on their own wants and desires. They will do 'what is right in their own eyes'. (See Judges 21:25.) It is the Australian way.

I want my daughter to be taught the Worldview that has Genesis and biblical creation as its foundation. I want her to learn to live to glorify God and enjoy him forever. I want her to have Christian ethics, values and behaviour. I want her to learn the biblical idea of tolerance instead of the all inclusive Australian 'tolerance'. I want to teach her the Kingship of Christ. I want the Bible to be her guidebook for all of her decisions, all of her values, all of her behaviour, and all of her life choices. I want her to know why we don't do yoga or meditate or run our lives according to the stars. I want her to understand why we do not live by the standards of The Australian Women's Weekly.

That's why we homeschool.

If it means that our plants don't thrive and our hair grows a little more slowly, then I guess that's the price I'll need to pay.


  1. Wonderful post! And sadly, at least on this score, it appears Australians and Americans have more in common then I thought. :-/

  2. I think this was meant as a serious post...I think by the end I got that...but really, I was just about to fall out of my chair! You have a way with words and I love it.
    You have definitely pinpointed definite problems with the worldview- not only in Australia but worldwide. And wow, is that Jemimah's hair? It is beautiful!

  3. I cancelled my subscription to 'Real Simple' last year based on the same worldview you've described. I've since subscribed to 'World.'

  4. I used to buy Woman's Day for the nice big crossword but I inevitably read it as well; sadly I'll read anything printed. Got convicted, ditched it & they are so awful I no longer even flick through them at the drs.

  5. Judging by that beautiful head of hair you are doing something right!

  6. you do have a way with words:)
    sad isn't it! yay for homeschooling!
    btw, I've already been telling Rebekah that some people don't believe in God (she knew about other god/ false gods much earlier because we drive past a temple all the time and I had to explain) just wondering if it's too early to start telling her that some people dont believe in God / are atheists (as in JG)?

  7. Joyfulmum, We certainly discussed the fact that as a Catholic Tony Abbott had ethics and morals more closely aligned to ours than Julia professes. I haven't told her much about Julia's beliefs and lifestyle though, and Jemimah hasn't asked.

  8. Great post Jeanne. You're so right, the magazines in this country, as well as the schools, all promote the same, materialistic, selfish, ungodly ways of life. Not God's way.

  9. So eloquently put, such sad truths. I'm a word-muncher too, but have at times given up books for a while (if I'm escaping or relying on them too much) ... I also find Sudoku, jigsaws, Mensa-type books, kids logic puzzles & word games to be quite a good way to relax.

    My children have observed in their own time that many people we know, particularly our lovely relatives, don't know God (this makes them sad) or love God but have different beliefs and ways of living than we do (and we've had to remind them not to debate points of religion with their grandparents!)

    Keep your light shining :)

  10. That's why we homeschool, too! Well, that, and the fact that we want our kids to be able to actually read, write, and think when they graduate and that isn't a given in our public schools.
    Jemimah's hair IS beautiful!

  11. You're preaching to the choir, Jeanne! As I struggle to pull everything all together for another year of single-parent home school, I received this strike of the match the other day while reading: "Whoever teaches a child indeed disciples him." Spot on.

    And now this!

    My children are exposed to the world and its "view," as we engage it through daily living and more pointedly through soccer, in which we participate as a family (I coach). It's after these times spent outside our home that we have some of the most heart-wrenching conversations and times for prayer. They see the brokeness of the world in the hearts of its children that are being discipled in public schools. The false gods of astrology and yoga are foolishness to my kiddos, but the emptiness of the children we serve are bitterness to their hearts. We grieve for them--and pray!

    May God use my weakness in suffering to disciple my sweet babes in His truths and for His glory!

  12. Great post Jeanne!

    I never understood worldview until I delved deeper into the education of my children. It is such a subtle persuasion of thinking and I know that I have areas that are still under the influence of the world. How they got their was allowing dribs and drabs of things into my life. Now as I attempt to weed out the wordly worldviews I think how blessed my children are that they are presented with a biblical worldview (as best I can) in their lives. I am so happy that I can disciple them in this and it isn't a teacher or the school yard that is forming their worldview.

    Thanks for the reminder of the little foxes who spoil the vines.



  13. I just learned a new Australian word--furphy. (I liked the rest of the post too.)

  14. Thanks Jeanne:) Rebekah has been asking way too many deep questions from the time she was around 5:) I'm constantly having to work out how much to tell her (at her age) and what to leave out till a later age! I don't bring up these discussions, she does:)
    She asked some questions during the election about who we were going to vote for and why / why not, so we had to explain atheism, which I didn't necessarily want to at her age!

  15. I love the way you put things, great post!

  16. I use to work with a bunch of women who all bought these trashy magazines and I was weak and read them. Once I changed jobs I stopped reading them (I wasn't going to waste money buying them) and I feel all the more better - cleaner. And you have just confirmed that I have made the right decision. They are full of endless rubbish, pointless information about people I don't care much about, who are not Christian, who sprout ideas that I don't share and display clothes that I wouldn't buy. The only thing I use to like was the recipes but i can get them other ways.

    Very refreshing. And no, like you I wouldn't want to fill a daughters head (not that I have any daughters) with those view points.

    What is scary is the number of these trashy magazines that are available and bought by women/girls.

    It is wonderful to meet and have conversations with other like minded Christian women.

  17. Oooh, I can't believe I'm going to leave a comment here.... feeling somewhat anxious....
    I enjoyed reading this entry, and I believe in what you have written and how ridiculous those magazines truly are. I wouldn't allow my children to read them.
    However, I also believe these magazines do give Christians an insight into what Australians are thinking (or what they are being told to think perhaps), and that we cannot be ignorant of such things and hope to reach people and tell them about our loving God, and why yoga won't get them to heaven.
    I have just finished reading a great book, titled The Radical Reformission, which discusses the need for Christianity not to ignore a country's culture (yes... I know these magazines aren't exactly culture, but you get the drift).
    In order to grow followers of Christ, we must not sequester ourselves away, covering our ears and eyes to the follies that society is perpetrating against God's people. We must be careful that we don't surround ourselves with like minded groups and individuals.
    And this brings me to the part that REALLY makes me anxious... just as homeschoolers dislike the unfair and inaccurate generalisations made against their educational choices, we must be careful not do so back. Public and private schools are also filled with Christian children being raised by Christian parents, who send their children off to school each day, praying that the good Lord will grant their child graciousness to other children, and be an example of Him.

    Oh, no, there you go, I've gone and done it... sorry if I've upset anyone, its not my intention. I really did like the blog entry, and I've gone and gotten all serious on you, and ended up somewhat off topic!

  18. Oh Jeanne,

    I just love love love this post. I totally agree with everything you have said. :::clap clap clap:::

  19. Hello my friend! I have been a bit slow catching up on all my favourite blogs. I skimmed over this last week. But your posts are not the kind that you skim over. Ha ha. I need to read them and take them in. So now I have found time to do so. :)

    I love love love this post. Well done. Great perspective. xo

  20. Hi Jeanne,
    1. I am a little jealous of your winter produce - those tomatoes (posted recently) are incredible. Much like the giant lettuce from a couple of years ago.
    2. I feel a little out of my league here, not being familair with blogging world. So excuse the lack of lingo. Can a male post here? ;)
    3. Great 'blog' - this particular one and the whole thing really. If nothing else, what a great way to record your family's life and experiences.
    4. Womens Weekly - Do they still have Maggie Tabberer on the front of every second edition? I remember in primary school when making arty stuff from old magazines that she featured quite often. Who was she anyway? As for lunar phases, there is likely to be a rational explanation for it - water movement throught the ground etc (http://www.gardeningbythemoon.com/phases.html). Ignore the parts about marijuana etc, the website seems to hedge it's bets both ways. Maybe you could do an experiment as part of your curriculum - plant some seeds at various times of the month, and see which ones do the best? The watering regime would have to be pretty strict though, you would probably need to monitor soil moisture to make sure no seeds gained an advantage - sounds a bit much actually...


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