Today I read a collection of articles addressing the issue of sexism.
I’m drawing attention to them in case you missed these in the flood of media we face these days!
The first was a letter by a father to his daughter on Fathers’ Day – not the Australian Fathers’ Day, the one everywhere else in the world!
We tell girls that they can succeed if they work hard and be themselves. So why is it that a woman in business or politics is seen as cold and harsh if she doesn’t show emotion — but seen as “emotional” or manipulative if she does?
The second was by our own John Birmingham. John’s article is a wonderful summation of “the week that was” from the male perspective. John did make a bit of noise about his dick, which seemed to upset some of the audience who said as much in the comments. However one reader, Jessica of Brisbane at 8:10 am, very eloquently put such back in their box.
Second: to the men commenting here who are taking this personally and getting upset because they’re not like the men described. Please start ranting too. In public. At work. In the pub. To the ABC.
It’s not enough to tell the readers here that “I’m not one of them”. You have to tell “them”. In public, to their faces, to the editors, the CEOs, the senior managers. Call “them” out on their sexism. If you don’t, they (and we) think you are one of “them” and for all your good intentions, you may as well be.
We are your mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, daughters, friends, bosses, staff members, doctors, nurses, teachers. We are half the population and we need your support. Not your denial.
The third article I found extremely sad. US rapper Tyler The Creator is particularly horrific in his attitude to the females of the species. Mandy Nolan has written a very good article about this particular style of overt hatred of women on The Hoopla.
If they were rapping about blowing up planes, glorifying and encouraging the planting bombs at marathons, then they’d be arrested as terrorists.
http://thehoopla.com.au/imma-rape-her-bitch/ (Trigger warning)
Thinking that had to be it for the day (and I am not even counting Saatchi’s ridiculous explanation of his behaviour, but feel to read about it yourselves), I find pregnancy discrimination is STILL happening in Australia.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick says that around 20 per cent of the complaints received under the Sex Discrimination Act relate to alleged unlawful terminations due to pregnancy or potential pregnancy.
Nicola Roxon gave her valedictory speech today in which she said, “It really is time for people to understand how corrosive sexism is.” The full video is available http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jun/18/nicola-roxon-valedictory-speech-video . Nicola also said “… constantly sexualising women disempowers them …” Mr Tyler could pay heed, perhaps.
The pièce de résistance, however, may well be the Convoy of Cleavage (#convoyofcleavage on Twitter). I did contribute some cleavage, but, sadly, after the montage had made the UK press! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2343807/Outraged-Australian-women-bombard-Facebook-photos-breasts-Julia-Gillard-criticised-exposing-cleavage.html
I want my daughters to grow up not only to BE equal legally, but to be TREATED equally in their daily lives. Gender equality is not something we should have to fight for, it should have always been.
Yet we know it hasn’t and we know all the mainstream religions have subjugated women through the ages.
Finally I would like to call, again, on all women and the men who love us to work together to eliminate sexism from society. Political parties damage themselves with their constant internal bickering as we are currently witnessing in Australia. The fight for gender equality is, I suggest, suffering a similar fate as different factions debate about the best way to be a feminist.