Over the five years I’ve been writing about politics I’ve steered clear of feminism: mostly because I don’t really know much about it. I didn’t do gender studies at high school or university and, perhaps most importantly, it was never raised as an issue at home. My parents never told me I had a natural disadvantage in life because I […]
Quentin Bryce: a model of even-handedness. A post for Guardian Australia.
Do feminists want equality for women or not? If they do, then they need to accept that any person who holds the office of Prime Minister will sometimes be described in extremely offensive terms. Honestly, is calling John Howard a cunt any less offensive than calling Julia Gillard a cow? Is the placard wielded at one rally depicting Gillard as […]
Here’s my debut piece for the online news and magazine site The Hoopla, in which I argue that the rants about pink lego are a load of rot. Enjoy :-)
Women around the world are participating in #slutwalk to reclaim the “derogatory” word and the right to dress however they wish, whenever they wish. These women are incensed by a Canadian policeman who candidly opined that women should not to dress like sluts if they want to avoid being the victims of sexual assault. These women have accused the policeman of being a misogynist and a proponent of the victim-as-perpetrator excuse for rape. Perhaps they are right on both counts. But in fabricating a mildly controversial PR stunt that advocates the celebration of being a “slut”, these women are grievously wrong in encouraging others to dress in a sexually provocative manner whenever they want. To do so is a grave disservice to all women, particularly young women, who are striving to be seen and treated as equal and capable in relationships, social settings, learning places and the workforce. Before I am misunderstood, let me say up front that there is no excuse for rape. Not ever. No woman or man, regardless of their dress, demeanour or behaviour, should be subjected to sexual activity against their will and there is no justification for doing so. The rightful denial of “sluttishness” as an excuse for sexual assault (which more often than not is an act of dominance rather than sexuality) does not however shield a provocatively dressed woman from a litany of other negative responses from those who observe her. Some will […]