Friday, November 28, 2008

The Wife of Kevin Rudd

I started thinking that maybe I'd do my next biographical post on Kevin Rudd. Even though I'm on his email list, I really don't know that much about him besides the fact that he's from Queensland, has a taste for earwax, and would go gay for his wife.

But then I started thinking maybe I'd write about his wife instead. I don't know. Maybe I'm more in the mood to write about women right now. Or maybe it's that I have seen what it's like for women who are married to men with celebrity and power. I think they get both pushed into the limelight and pushed into the background. They get attention for the wrong reasons and then they also get ignored.

Who is the wife of Kevin Rudd? I don't even know her name. I'm wondering what it is. I'm also wondering if she has a title like the wives of American leaders have. First Lady. In a way, that sounds so yucky and sexist. What would we call the husband of a female president?  First man? It sounds wrong to me. It sounds a bit archaic.

Anyway, I am now going to begin my little learning adventure.

Hello, Lord Wiki.

Kevin Rudd's wife is Therese Rein. Lord Wiki has put all these accents on her name. I trust that they're supposed to be there, but I have no idea how to type those in so I'm just going to have to have her name without the accents. Sorry.

Rein was born in Adelaide on the 17th of July in 1958.

Fun birthday website time!

Rein was born on a Thursday. I love Thursdays. Friends and Seinfeld were on Thursday. Lost was on Thursday. Charmed (my favorite show) was on Thursday; but then it was demoted to Sunday.

Rein is a Cancer. Tim is a Cancer too. Cancers are known to be loving but moody.

Her numerology number is 11. 11 is a master number. It's big and important.

This astrology website says this about 11's: This is the giver. Number Eleven is an innovator with an unmistakable streak of humanitarianism.

The birthdate website says 11's are least compatible with 1's, 5's, and 7's. I'm a seven and Tim's a one. If we invited Rein over for dinner, there's a chance things might not go so well.

In Chinese astrology, Rein is a dog

Her Native American Zodiac sign is a woodpecker.

In the year Rein was born (1958) Australia had only about ten million people. The population has about doubled since then. Wow.

Back to Lord Wiki.....

Rein was the founder of an employment agency called Ingeus. Lord Wiki says she's the first wife of an Australian Prime Minister to keep on working while her husband is in office.

Here is the website for Ingenus. It sounds very impressive and has gone international (France UK, and Germany) It seems Rein has sold her part of the company though...if I'm reading this right. The website says: In May 2007, Ingeus’ Managing Director, Thérèse Rein, announced the sale of the Australian operating companies of the Ingeus Group comprising WorkDirections Australia, Your Employment Solutions and Clements (Ingeus’ recruitment agency) for personal reasons. This sale is now complete.

This page gives the company's history. It started in 1989 as a rehabilitation service--helping injured people get back to work. Then I guess they got into employment services. By 2000, they had thirty offices in Australia and in 2002, they started branching out to other countries.

Rein's father suffered spinal injuries in a plane crash and this is what inspired Rein to help injured people find work.

Although Rein was born in Adelaide, apparently she later moved to Melbourne. Lord Wiki says she attended Firbank Grammar School.

For College/Uni, Rein went to the Australian National University in Canberra. It's here that she met her hubby!

Lord Wiki says that ANU is consistently rated as the best university in Australia.

Marcia Langton, one of the stars of The First Australians went there! Anyone else? Well, apparently a convicted murderer named Anu Singh went there as well. Oh, and Peter Garrett.

Rein met Rudd at a meeting of the Australian Student Christian Movement. It sounds like an awesome group. I hate to say it but I'm a little bit prejudice. When I hear the word Christian, I automatically think of people in California and the evil passing of Proposition 8. But this Christian group sounds totally wonderful to me. They are progressive and on the left. Lord Wiki says they are involved with women and gay/lesbian liberation. They also fight against racism and defend the rights of Indigenous people.

I really need to open my mind and remember that there ARE Christian people like this. There ARE Christian people who follow the ideals of Jesus. When I see the word Christian I'm going to try to picture these people instead of the demonic Fred Phelps.

I'm happy to hear that Rudd and his wife were part of this group! It makes me love them even more. Although wouldn't it be funny if they weren't really a part of the group--that they were both from a very conservative Christian group and were there as spies?

Rudd and Rein got married in 1981. That means Rein was twenty-three when she got married. My parents were seventeen and eighteen when they got married. I was twenty-six.

Lord Wiki says there was some controversy regarding Rein's company. Apparently it involved underpaid workers. Rein had been overseas when it happened and her hubby defended her. He said it was an honest mistake. I'm not sure who to believe here. I guess I'll try to have faith in my Prime Minister. Oh crap! I'm becoming delusional again. Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!

Rein started the Rein Foundation in 2007. This was to help people start small businesses. But then she shut it down because there were worries that there'd be a conflict of interest. It has to do with the small business people asking for money from the government. Something like that.

See, I really think it would be hard to be a Prime Minister's wife. All this conflict of interest stuff. People are watching your every move......

Lord Wiki says Rein is a patron of The Indigenous Literacy Project. I'm not sure what Patron means. I guess it's someone who donates money?

She's also involved with Common Ground( an organization that fights homelessness), the Australian National Portrait Gallery, and the Paralympics.

I just looked at the Australian National Portrait Gallery website. Wow. That thing could keep me happily busy for hours.

I'm now going to look at some articles about Rein.

This one, from the Courier Mail, was written before Rudd became Prime Minister.

Rudd and Rein have a clock that chimes the hour. At their lake house, my parents have a clock that makes a different bird sound every hour. I'm not sure if it still works or not. It's one of those things you begin to not notice--well, until you have a guest and they get all jumpy. What is that? What is that?

Rein and Rudd drink lots of tea. I think it's cool that Australia is more of a tea country than a coffee country. I say this because I don't like coffee.

The article says, He has a wry sense of self-deprecating humour and the couple both laugh frequently and finish each other's jokes. I like those kinds of people.

I don't know if I'm too happy about this. The interview was done on their wedding anniversary. That doesn't sound that romantic to me. I wonder if Rein was okay with this, or was she secretly pissed off? I guess it would depend on the nature of their relationship--whether their was mutual support in terms of career and aspirations. On that day, Rudd also announced his bid for the election. Did it have to be done on that day? Was it something that couldn't be helped? Or was Rudd an insensitive husband who put his career before is marriage?

If he was the latter, did Rein protest this, or did she let her anger stew?

The article says he did buy her twenty-six roses. I personally hate store-bought flowers, and the idea of someone buying them as a kiss my ass gesture totally pisses me off. But maybe she loves roses, and if she loves them, then that's a good anniversary gift.

Rein and Rudd have a daughter, two sons, a cat, and a dog. They held a family meeting to discuss whether Rudd should run for Prime Minister or not. What if one of the kids had said no?  Would their parents have listened?

Oh! Rudd and Rein spent time in Sweden. Rudd was a diplomat there. That's good. Sweden has some of the best family life policies. Maybe Rudd picked up some good ideas from there. He was also a diplomat in China and studied the Chinese language. Cool. I wonder how much Chinese he can speak?

Okay. I just talked to Lord Wiki. Rudd was totally into China. He majored in Chinese Language and Chinese History.

I'm feeling a little bit emotional here. Rudd is like totally part of my tribe--people who get obsessed with a country or culture they don't belong to.

I love you, Kevin Rudd....earwax and all.

Back to the article: It says they go to church every morning and then go to a bookstore and drink coffee. Ah, so I guess they do tea AND coffee. All right. Well, that's fine. Anyway, I like that combination of religion and reading. It sounds like a nice Sunday. Personally, I'd prefer skipping the Church part, sleeping in, and then doing the bookstore. But Rudd and Rein are Christian and like church stuff. I respect their dedication. I hope they're still able to find time to do stuff like that on their Sundays.

Rein says she likes the campaigning. She likes meeting people--shaking hands and all that. In that respect, we're not alike. I guess that's our numerology stuff in opposition. She likes to go out and change the world. I like to sit back and learn about the people who are changing the world.

Okay. Now I'm moving onto another article. This one's also from the Courier Mail, but was written last April. Last April....that's when I had my total Facebook addiction.

The article(well, editorial actually) talks about how Australia is obsessed with superficial stuff. They are so unlike Americans. We care only about the REAL issues. Uh, just ignore the fact that we have a whole television station dedicated to style and fashion.

People called the fashion police on Rein. I am NOT a fan of the fashion police. The fashion police are best mates with the lose-ten-pounds-in-ten-days people. Poo on them. Poo on all of them.

The editorial says: Even when a strong, capable woman is placed in the spotlight, the emphasis is on how she looks, not who she is or what she's achieved. What is this stressing of style over substance teaching young men and women about valued qualities in people – particularly females?

I hate all that.

One of my fantasies is to be nominated for an Academy Award. I'm on the red carpet and Joan Rivers asks me where I got my outfit. I say Goodwill. Oh and these earrings. They're fake. I got them when I was sixteen at Target. Okay?

JK Rowling has an awesome essay on her official website about the preoccupation with weight--goes along well with the editorial on Rein's fashion issues. If you haven't read this before, I HIGHLY recommend it. It had a large influence on my own eating disorder recovery.

I'm looking at blogs now to see what kind of crap I can find. Here's something. They say in this blog: Surely every woman has an innate sense of fashion somewhere in her bones. But not this lady. Australia deserves better. She doesn't have to be a fashion plate but she should be far better than this rumpled, daggy frump. Help her someone ... please.

I LIKE rumpled daggy frumps. Although honestly, I'm not sure what daggy is. Okay, I looked it up. Yes! I like daggy people!

This other blog says: What really cheeses me off about Therese Rein is that she has millions and she dresses like my primary school scripture teacher. Therese, get a personal trainer, a wardrobe stylist and a subscription to Vogue or Marie Claire for chrissake!

Yes! Exactly. Rein needs to stop helping people who are unemployed, disabled, and/or homeless! How dare she waste her time on these issues instead of reading Fashion Magazines!

Well, that's about it.

Before I go though....

I found the answer to one of my initial questions. It seems Australia does not have an archaic title for the spouse of the country's leader. Lord Wiki just calls her the spouse of the Prime Minister. That works for me.