Abstract: The primary focus of my research is Australian rural women. I am interested in unearthing within their space(s), the issues with which they contend whilst engaging in self-management of chronic illness, so that health policies and strategies for health management might reflect these issues and needs. In this paper I will argue that the mythology of the ‘rural idyll' is full of dogmatic traditions. The dogmatism inherent in this idealistic view has direct implications for the lives of rural women, as it disguises or renders invisible the conflict, subordination, exploitation, inequality, marginalisation and exclusion which are reality for many women, and which portrays them as one happy, subordinate and homogenous group. It also ignores the diversity of the spaces and roles of Australian rural women.