Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 1 December 1965


Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) .- I want to speak on a matter which is on the lighter side in contrast to the heavy material with which we have been dealing during the day. I have been intrigued for a long time with the reason for naming cyclones which occur around the world after the female of the species. I have never found a satisfactory answer to this intriguing question. We hear of Cyclone Bertha, Cyclone Alice, Cyclone Caroline, Cyclone Mavis and so on. We hear of them tearing the insides out of cities, blasting the beaches around the world, sinking ships at sea, flattening crops, smashing towns, destroying human life, causing millions of pounds worth of damage and striking terror into the hearts of people in their path. Why is it that they are named after the so-called weaker sex when they deal such tremendous destruction as this? Is it that females are basically more vicious, more spiteful, more ferocious, more unpredictable and more changeable than males? We have all heard that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. What is there about the female that results in cyclones being named after them? I would like meteorologists to answer this question in due course. Here are a few examples of female cylones at work. We read of Cyclone Hazel howling her eyes out in the haystacks of Hungerford, Cyclone Betty battling through the breakers in Bingil Bay, Cyclone Tessa tearing at the throat of Townsville, Cyclone Katy careering through the cattleyards of Katherine, Cyclone Sylvia shifting the sand dunes between Southport and Surfers, Cyclone Teresa tearing down the trees on the tablelands, Cyclone Bertha blasting beaches from Broome to Bundaberg, Cyclone Tania terrorising the townspeople of Toowoomba, Cyclone Caroline carrying on with the carpenters of Cairns, Cyclone Robina roaring down the railway lines to Rockhampton, Cyclone Tammy taming the tourists of the Territory, Cyclone Sabrina smashing to smithereens the skyscrapers of Sydney, Cyclone Dulcie digging a ditch between Darwin and Dorrigo and Cyclone Donna dealing out devastation from Duchess to Darling Downs.

This is what we read about the female cyclones. Why do we not hear about male cyclones? We might read of Cyclone Robert raging roughshod over the rights of the rebels in the Vernon Report, Cyclone Harold hurling his hatred on the humans of Hayman, Cyclone Arthur avalanching his anger at the avarice across Australia, Cyclone Gough grafting his image on the grafters of Grafton, Cyclone Jack gerrymandering his way through the junkyards of Jandarra, Cyclone Sam sucking the sand from the sea near Sabina, Cyclone Nick gnawing at the nerves of the newlyweds in the Never Never, Cyclone Irwin igniting the insects of Isa, Cyclone Pat pushing down the pansies in Parkes, Cyclone Jim jackknifing his way through the jackeroos and jumbos of Jackson, Cyclone Reg roaring and raging through the rookeries of Roma, Cyclone Fred feasting on the frenzies of the farmers in Ferndale, Cyclone Beaton blasting the billiards battlefields in Bendigo, Cyclone Willie Wentworth wrecking the red rusted wheatcrops of the west, Cyclone Billie Mac. blinding the eyes of the beauties of Birdsville, Cyclone Bob barnstorming his way through the ballrooms of Brisbane, Cyclone Winton whistling and whiplashing his way through the skeleton weed of Woomelang, Cyclone Kim killing with kindness the kiddies from Kalgoorlie to Kennedy, Cyclone Gordon gaily giving some grandeur to the grandsons of Gove, Cyclone Gilbert grinding a groove through the granaries of Gwydir, Cyclone Tom testing the tycoons of the tabloid by trial and terror and Cyclone Tony tickling the toes of the Tories in Tamworth.

We do not hear of male cyclones doing things of this kind in Australia or anywhere else. Does the female species of the human race deserve to be remembered and indeed immortalised in the nomenclature of the world's most devastating cyclones? Are women really as bad, as ruthless, as this? I have been married for nearly 24 years. I have three daughters. I have seen our womenfolk in scores of different careers and I say emphatically that to name cyclones or typhoons after them is an insult. Our women should rise up in angry protest and petition the women-hating, women-insulting weather men of the world to end this outrageous slur on their sex. Let them adopt this battle cry: "Women of the world unite - you have nothing to lose but your pains ".

Question resolved in the affirmative.







Suggest corrections