Quick question #1

November 19, 2013

It’s mid-week and crazy busy, but I just wanted to put forth a quick question.

Some of the discussions I’ve had over the years – about gender specific behaviours (for both men and women) in particular – have invoked a common response:

‘It’s always been that way’.

or

‘The core of human nature has never changed’.

I agree. I do. I’ve written that on this blog many times.

BUT…

When I was a kid growing up (in the days of yore: AKA late ’70s / early ’80s), my sister and I spent a substantial portion of our time, playing on the street –  generally venturing to the end of our large street block on push bikes.

Sweet.

Question #191: So – if people haven’t inherently changed, why don’t we let our kids play on the street anymore?

I don’t know anyone who does – including myself.

Actually, I saw a report recently about a possible future rule where parents may be fined for leaving children alone  – like walking home from school.

On one hand, it’s staunchly argued that people need to just ‘relax’ and ‘move on’ about certain issues because it’s always been like that.

On the other hand, we know – statistically – that it’s actually worse out there.

Or is it?

If you agree it is worse out there – the question that must be asked, is:
WHY? What’s changed?

Therein lies the possibility of a path toward some solutions – don’t you think?

What say you?

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Deep breath

x

Here in Australia we have a t-shirt company named Nena & Pasadena.

The t-shirts they sell show degrading images of women – generally with their faces cut out of the image so that their value only lies in their breasts, buttocks and the all-important pose.

Example:

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NP1112300WHTE-NENA-AND-PASADENA-1

You get the idea.

A few months ago, this company started an all-ages ’Casting Call’ on Instagram #npcasting – calling out for men and women (boys and girls) to post photos of themselves, to then be judged by a group of privileged lads – deeming them the ‘hottest’.

To the truly tiresome argument that men are objectifying themselves too, I reply with the obvious – it’s not the same. Men have their shirts off, flexing chest muscles. Strength. That’s it. They’re not sexually posing with their legs spread or bending over with their butts in a g-string (thong).

Simply – the males are not vulnerable. And that’s the glaring difference.

There is also the fact that there are far more females posting up their ‘selfies’.
I’m sure you don’t need to go over to the site to verify you’ll see predominantly women and teen girls in hyper-sexualised, or sexy-kitten, or innocent-young-girl-ready-to-be-deflowered etc., looks and poses.

I took the following images off the actual competition page:

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So here is my perspective on this pandemic:

Yes, women are doing it.
But WHY?

This is not empowerment.

And there’s a very simple reason for it – it’s done for validation from a vulnerable position, not one of power. Once someone seeks validation, they are in a submissive position to the person they’re awaiting judgement from.

Period.
And this obviously gives the ‘judge’ ultimate power and places them in a dominant position.

This is not what we want for our girls and we don’t want our sons to see and judge girls and women this way. And yet…

What we also seem to forget – but shouldn’t – is how these girls and women will be spoken about.
It won’t be about their sunny disposition, it will be crass, degrading, demeaning and more – calling them bitches, sluts, whores, gangas (girls who like gang rape; a term used by teens) and so on.

We know that.

Question #190: So, why do we continue to act so blind and ‘unaware’ of the effect this is having on our psyche?

  • That women are being collectively objectified and seen as submissive (by BOTH sexes), in everyday life;
  • That our youth’s perspective on gender is becoming alarmingly skewed and toxic;
  • That there is no equal modelling on what healthy and loving relationships look like.

All of this is for the male gaze – one that’s becoming insatiable.

As a tiny example, this ‘casting call’ is evidence of that.

Why does Nena & Pasadena need to incite this behaviour?
It’s a win/win for them – they get the benefit of seeing to what levels women will go to be validated in this way and get wonderful material for men everywhere (including predators) to masturbate over.

Simple truth.

Sadly the images are posted up by a large contingent of girls and women who have been brainwashed to think their value lies only in the collective sum of their body features; although the differentiation in their ‘hottness’ is miniscule – they all look the same. The fact that women’s faces are absent (like on many N & P t-shirts) just confirms this.

Why doesn’t that annoy women enough to stick two big fingers up at it all?

These t-shirts are just a cog in the machine; the machine that includes porn magazines in newsagencies and petrol stations all the way through to the infinite collection of violent and degrading porn on the Internet.

I recently featured in the article  Too much, too soon –  in the Sydney Morning Herald magazine, Sunday Life. This is a succinct and illuminating piece by Melissa Jacob, about the toxic relationship our kids are having with Internet porn.

This is an emergency.

These women are the supply; Men are the demand.

And we all know that when demand is strong – and supply is waning – extreme measures, like trafficking, are taken to keep the demand happy. That road leads to a desensitised world – one that will stoop to anything, while the rest turn a blind eye.

Are we there yet?

Deep Breath…and make a stand!!

x

PS Want to take action?
1. Nena & Pasadena is owned by AFL player Buddy Franklin (who joined the Sydney Swans in 2014). The AFL has a policy regarding respect for women that this ‘business’ does not comply with. You can write to the AFL or the Sydney Swans and let them know your thoughts – especially from you good males.

2. With some friends and the gals from Collective Shout, we’ve been posting our own memes on the competition page.
Why not do your own? It’s as easy as writing a sign, taking a photo of it and posting it on #npcasting on Instagram.

I put up the following one:

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and this one:

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GO FOR IT!!

How I see Malala.

October 13, 2013

I’m finding my mind swimming – literally swimming – with thoughts and perceptions that I want to articulate in a coherent and succinct manner. But there are so many and sometimes it just doesn’t help that I want to shout and use a shit-load of profanity.

I’m getting so weary and disappointed at our microscopically slow pace of change, that I have this to say:

One important lesson to gain from Malala (not the obvious one).

Yesterday I read an article that had a great impact on me.

Malala Yousafzai and the White Saviour Complex

It says:

This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalised. Journalists and politicians were falling over themselves to report and comment on the case. The story of an innocent brown child that was shot by savages for demanding an education and along comes the knight in shining armour to save her.

The actions of the West, the bombings, the occupations the wars all seem justified now, “see, we told you, this is why we intervene to save the natives.”

I agree. It practically looks like a PR stunt and I don’t like that Malala looks like she’s being used as a pawn in this seemingly deceptive agenda.

I also agree that there are A LOT more Malalas out there.

But this is the point where I want to deflect and add something important.

It’s not just that these girls need urgent saving – and they absolutely do – the motivation that has to power the movement of change, is the realisation that:

This world NEEDS girls and women like Malala.

It’s the missing ingredient for things to improve.

Girls and women.

NOT to take over. Equal representation.

If women – according to the Patriarchy – are supposedly the nurturers and carers, then the question shouldn’t be, ‘What have we got to lose?’ (because the only answer is money) but:

Question #187: What have we got to gain?

Simply, I think a great, great deal of good.

When are we going to evolve?
Don’t we want a happy planet for all, instead of this realm of greed, despair, rage and destruction?

I just want to finish by saying, that I think Malala is astonishing. A true hero. An inspiration.

I don’t care in the foggiest that the western world has made a big fuss about her – she absolutely deserves our full attention.
What a wonder she is.

Now let’s WAKE UP and channel that toward educating our children – in schools and at home – by teaching them to be the cogs of change.

Our youth is the answer – with our guidance.

If you’re thinking that you’ll give it a try (which would be awesome) – I would also like to respond with the famous words of Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back:

“Do or do not; there is no try.”

What are you going to do?

Something.

Anything. However small.

We must start to act as a collective.

Deep Breath.

x

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Take the quiz: Who said it?

September 11, 2013

Rapists or Lads’ Mags?

That’s the question.

I have always discussed how degrading and misogynistic magazines like ZOO are to our world and have also let you know that together with my partner in crime, Lily Munroe – with the strong support of Collective Shout and people such as Steve Biddulph – we are close to launching a sister campaign to the UK’s Lose the Lads’ Mags, here in Australia.

These magazines have now crossed the line and I’m over the clichéd arguments: Yes, porn has always existed. Yes, you can see a woman on the beach in a bikini. But my favourite has to be when a man responded to me on Twitter by likening a man with a bare chest on a Men’s Health magazine, as being in the same league of objectification as this:

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Snore. These covers are now the gateway to what’s inside because women are not only being exploited and objectified in the images on the covers and on the pages inside – it’s also how women are being talked about. A gentle reminder (which is in the ZOO link above) was when ZOO asked its followers to pick a ‘half’:

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But there’s more – there’s violence. Talk of violence against women – in magazines with NO age restrictions. It’s Rape Culture. It’s Porn Culture.

All of our rights are being exploited by having them so readily available.

Psychologists from Middlesex University and the University of Surrey discovered that the line between comments from convicted rapists and ones made in Lads’ Mags, were starting to blur. The following article explains: Are sex offenders and lads’ mags using the same language?

Question #182: So – do you think you can tell the difference?

Let’s see!
Leading up to the launch of our Lose the Lads’ Mags sister campaign in Australia we have compiled our own list of quotes taken from Lads Mags such as Zoo, Maxim, FHM and Picture as well as interviews with convicted rapists.

*** Take the quiz >>> HERE

Please let me know how you fared!

Deep Breath. x

I don’t know who created this image – it’s from a friend who shared it from someone else and it doesn’t recognise the creator. It came with an explanation in Spanish.*

>>> I have since discovered that it is called THE UNTOUCHABLES – by Erik Ravelo.
Erik has composed an image that is haunting.

Our children are being sacrificed for the avarice of man.

Nearly all of the Seven Deadly Sins are represented – all being satisfied. At any cost.

Children – around the world – are the very real and prevalent commodity, in the degradation of human decency.

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Image #1: Pedophilia in the Church. (Vatican)

Image #2: Sex trafficking for tourists. (Thailand)

Image #3: War. (Syria)

Image #4: Organ Trafficking – Black Market – where the majority of victims are children from poor countries.

Image #5: The right to bear arms in the US.

Image #6: Obesity. (Fast Food companies)

As a species, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Ashamed for letting things get so chaotic.

Ashamed that we permit our most vulnerable – children – to be preyed upon.

The state of things are so horrific worldwide, that it seems unfathomable to actually succeed in pulling back on the reins.

Question #178: Are we going to able to get some control back?

Are we?

I really, bloody-well hope so – because in my eyes, our global mental state seems quite despondent and our beliefs, defeatist.

Our existence has to be balanced out with more of the positive – celebrating the things that fill us with light:

* Laughter * Love * Compassion * Bravery * Strength * Respect.

Human Rights.

I write with a naïve optimism; that we snap out of our collective coma and simply start making some noise – taking a stand – calling it out – changing ways.

Do it for the numbing amount of children with pain and cruelty in their lives;
lives that entered this world with the same rights to existence as you when you were born.

 

Deep Breath

 

* La primera imagen hace referencia a la pedofilia en el Vaticano. En segundo lugar el abuso sexual infantil en el turismo en Tailandia, y el tercero se refiere a la guerra en Siria. La cuarta imagen se refiere al tráfico de órganos en el mercado negro, donde la mayoría de las víctimas son niños de los países pobres, el quinto se refiere a las armas libres en los EE.UU.. Y, por último, el sexto imagen hace referencia a la obesidad, culpando a las grandes empresas de comida rápida.

Last year, I wrote the post – Sex…education? – about my concern over our youth’s access to just about any type of porn on the internet – at their fingertips.
Playing with porn is a recent article pretty much declaring the same.

This porn paradigm is destroying a lot of our kids – it really is – and we just allow pornographers and the punters to indulge – either by watching it or making money off it – at the expense of our girls…AND our boys.

In fact, we are breeding the worst in some of our boys and girls/men and women, and the collective silence is allowing it. 

In just one week I heard a few personal stories from great women I know, regarding porn – accessed through the internet – by 11 year old boys (one a son, the other a nephew).

That’s young, isn’t it? 11?

Story #1

NEPHEW: The Aunt, with her very young sons – below 5 years of age – had their 11 year old cousin visit them in the holidays.

She thought that he was showing the young boys a game on his smart phone.
It turned out to be porn images.

The Aunt found herself pouncing to deflect her sons’ focus off the images – without drawing too much attention and making a fuss at the same time.

What she also felt was incensed – not just with the fact that her nephew was doing what he was doing – but also the ease with which he was able to ‘share’.

Story #2

SON: The mother called out to her 11 year old son to come to her when at home.
He appeared – upset – saying, “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to see it! I didn’t see much!”
The mother was merely going to ask him a question, but instead found herself thinking, ‘Oh no. What has he done?’
The poor boy had googled ‘Angry Birds’ and it seems porn companies will pay Google through the teeth to advertise on the top page, when those words are put in.
Predatory.
This normal, curious boy clicked on the ad because it was deceptively luring him in with information about Angry Birds.

It was a porn site.
The boy was quite upset by what he saw – on many levels.
His mother saw the shame he felt and immediately comforted him on the fact that it was NOT his fault.

It’s not the fault of any of these boys because the problem is what’s out there and its accessibility.

What’s out there, you ask?

Well, Red Tube.
Another friend told me her 12 year old son – still six months shy of entering high school – was informed by a school friend of this site.
I just looked it up and the homepage alone is utterly and horrifically graphic.

As this site loaded its welcome and revealed itself, I can tell you that I was NOT prepared with what appeared.
Simple shock was what hit me first – like a rabbit in headlights – followed by an overwhelming wave of indignant fury at this site’s very existence and finally, a very real sense of helplessness that boys who are still in Primary School are looking – learning – experiencing something many will not understand – and then passing around the name of this site to friends.

Surely the logic in our minds has to admit that the porn that’s accessible today, as well as how it’s made, is dangerous, sinister and toxic.

How can boys navigate through this, without it affecting their mental health (in terms of sex)?

How are parents, who are already finding themselves overwhelmed, supposed to help their sons form healthy, loving and respectful relationships with women, when what they see in porn is the COMPLETE opposite?

I can’t help but feel a sense of despair – and all for an industry saturated in money, dominance and violence.

Is this what we want for our sons and daughters?

Question #176: Can’t people see things are very, very wrong?

On Friday Night, SBS aired the following documentary:

Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography 
(This link expires on the 9th August – please make time to watch this)

This is a fantastic collection of perspectives (from Australia) by many young adults, in relation to the porn industry.
The girls broke my heart – too many beautiful, young girls covering their tears with laughter…sitting with their agent who is literally filth.
The juxtaposition between them and him only compounds how it’s all VERY out of whack.

Below there is a petition which is following the UK’s footsteps – where a law has been passed, compulsorily putting filters and stops to porn (adult content) from reaching any computer – unless asked for – as well as making it illegal to make rape porn.

Bloody brilliant.

We want to do the same, here in Australia…

 How wonderful would that be?

SIGN HERE

Deep Breath

x

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Let the battle begin.

July 15, 2013

In the UK, Kat Banyard – founder of UK Feminista – started a campaign to Lose the Lads’ Mags.

She has signatures from lawyers supporting her push to have leading businesses, like Tesco, cease to continue stocking magazines – such as ZOO – in their stores.

As it states in the linked article (whilst looking through a ZOO magazine):

Banyard points to one advertising sex line workers who are “just 18” and a bigger ad, on the facing page, promising “Asian Dolls: find your perfect Oriental escort NOW!”. She winces slightly. “I find it staggering that high street retailers sell these magazines mean, they’ve been on their shelves for years, but I still find it staggering that they expect customers and employees to be exposed to this and also that they think it’s OK to profit from them.”

I think this drive is fantastic.

I want to do it here in Australia – and this is why…

A few days ago, my 10 yr old daughter needed a few simple stationary items, so I said we’ll pop into our local newsagency – a family friendly place, right?

This is the same location where I had ‘words’ with the owner, a few months ago, about how he positioned his copies of ZOO magazine on a stand, so that you could see it from outside the shop as you walk by…or your son…or daughter…or grandparents…
He also had very provocative magazines in the same location – down the front of the store – near the newspapers.

When I challenged him about a magazine cover showing a naked lady sitting on a push bike, in plain view from where you get the newspapers, he simply told me I had good eyes. (?)
He also argued that ‘children never go there’.

He ended up removing the ZOO magazine stand – which was a positive step – but alas, it stopped there. He left the other magazines as they were.

It had been a long time since I had gone in there, so you can understand how livid I was when I saw my daughter head to the stationary section and noticed it is located directly opposite the Lads’ magazines.

The current cover of ZOO is this:

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Below are the magazines ready for visual perusal, by anyone wanting to buy stationary in this newsagency – where ‘children never go’:
Bulging breasts, spread legs; titles such as ‘Six feet of Sex’ and ‘Hot Stuff’…oh and a naked woman.
Above these are the hard-core mags which have the majority of the cover shrouded in dark plastic.

If this is what’s ‘allowed’ to be shown – what the hell are on the other covers?

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Where I was standing, as I took the photo below, is where they sell the newspapers and women’s gossip magazines. Stationary wall to the left and lads’ magazines just opposite.

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Question #175: Does this incense you as it does me?

I spoke up.
The only person in the shop was a woman who I have regularly seen over the years and I told her I thought that it was completely inappropriate to have these magazines where children could see these pornographic photos – where anyone could see.

She shrugged, said she just worked there and it had nothing to do with her.
A fairly predictable and typical response and yet still deeply disappoints.
I always wonder if the day will ever come, when someone I’ve spoken to says, “Yeah! That’s true.” (A girl can dream).

She also offered an alternative place of business – Officeworks – to buy stationary.
I was surprised by that – proposing we spend our money elsewhere – and I said to her that sadly,  for newsagents, it may just have to be the way.

At that point I directed my girls out of the shop and we did, in fact, go elsewhere.

There seems to be no thought for anyone except heterosexual boys and men to get titillated (and conditioned) everywhere they go, perpetuating this ever-invasive porn culture …and then profit from that.

Of course, we have the equally unsettling issue of the girls and women participating in this paradigm – who feel somehow empowered to be told by men they look ‘hot’ when nearly naked…and then profit from that.
It’s aaall OK, as long as someone’s getting rich – regardless of what ethical lines are being crossed.

Well, I am done.

So is my friend Lily Munroe and we’ve started research for our own campaign.
So stay tuned.

Question #176: Are you with us??

Deeeeeeep (nervous but pumped) breath.

x

The Man Box

July 10, 2013

I had a chat with my husband the other night about how I write about men, if men are the focus of that particular post. It came up because I asked him why men seemed hard to get through to – the good ones – because the first reaction is to somehow take it personally.

My husband was saying that I can’t bundle every man into the same box – which I completely agree with. I explained that in my mind, I absolutely don’t – but that it’s hard not to when I’m writing of the problems we face, based on statistics that come with with men’s actions.

How else can it be done?
It’s important to also understand that I hover the magnifying glass over women just as closely – if not more so. Therefore crying misandry is a mute point here.

I know – I really do – that the good men (like my husband) find the act of rape abhorrent, for example, and I also know they would never lay a violent hand on a woman – just as my husband has never laid a hand on me or on our two daughters.
They want the best for the women in their lives.

I’m afraid, though, that it’s no longer enough.
The fight has to spread beyond the walls of our home; as the horrifying outside world encroaches ever so much closer to touching our own lives – especially our girls.

How am I to express to you good males – from my/our perspective (because it counts) – the effect the male gender is having on its partner?

Partner, not enemy.

The Yang to its Yin:

Yin and Yang

‘Yin and yang are in pairs, such as the moon and the sun, female and male, dark and bright, cold and hot, passive and active, etc. But yin and yang are not static or just two separated things. The nature of yinyang lies in interchange and interplay of the two components. The alternation of day and night is such an example.’ *              

Statistically – in the BIG scheme of things – it’s a mean, sad and violent union with females:
* Personally: domestic violence + rape + VAW
* Politically: low % of women represented in government + legislation on women (only) and their bodies and
* Economically: >10% of women in clout positions in all top areas of media, publishing & business + lower pay (77c to a male’s $1).

When you step back and read the above statistics – logically – it doesn’t resonate well.

It’s unfair.
It looks like a bit of a boys’ club.

Don’t the good men feel that women and girls deserve a fairer shake of the stick?

I have often recognised and asked for the assistance of the good men on this blog.
I reach out for advice.

Sadly to deaf ears it seems, as I never actually receive suggestions of what approaches might be taken that may work on the men doing their gender a MASSIVE disservice or on the young boys who are suckling on a teat which teaches them, from an early age, to objectify women and therefore see them as less.

You live in the male realm – I don’t.

* Is it all the fault of males? No.
* Are women to blame for contributing to the imbalance? Of course they are.
You can’t have a porn t-shirt, showing a woman’s objectified body, without the woman’s participation. But we are still, ultimately, comparing apples to oranges.

The following video is a Ted Talk called MAN BOX by Tony Porter.
This is a good man, speaking up about the traits boys are raised on and how that has affected HIM personally. Boys need to see more of this.

So back to you good men.

Question # 174: Do you permit the imbalance to continue, through your silence?

I feel there are good men/bad men; good women/bad women.
I imagine a bell curve where the big, bulging, bell part is full of goodness.
But the voice, the shout, the outrage; predominantly bellows out of women. Men at times agree, of course, but where are the EQUALLY loud male voices and blogs calling out for a transformation to this paradigm?
Careful not to stumble on and trip over all the Facebook pages about sluts…

Using the Nanny State excuse leaves us hopeless because there must be a moment where the line is crossed.

Haven’t we already crossed it?

I thought I’d leave you with this collection of comments left on people’s Twitter accounts about the Female Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli.

THIS is hatred.
Many of the comments were left by men with images that suggest they’re in a relationship.

How do we change this, guys?

Deep Breath

x

h79Rd

* chineseculture.about.com

Yes, I had to go again. A friend of mine can’t drive, so I picked her and her daughter up and, together with my girls, we went to see Despicable Me 2. I have to say that I got quite a few giggles from that one.

I told my friend about the pole-dancing ad and we went in to ensure we saw all the advertising from the beginning. I had written to the cinema a few days earlier and wanted to see if some miracle was going to occur and see the ad had been pulled. So again, the curtain was drawn and the screen was blank when we went in.

This time the ad was first up.

As the curtains were opening, there’s all this ‘welcome to the cinema’ fanfare – ensuring everyone is watching. My 6 yr old mentioned her excitement that it was all starting. My 10 yr old said that they were just the ads. Ms 6 replied, “I know, but at least it’s on.” (My kids are obsessed with anything on a screen – regardless of time and place – Aaargh!)…and then BAM! – a woman in stiletto heels, hanging off a pole, is donning the screen. Again.

So it’s not bad enough that they design the fanfare to catch everyone’s attention – they decide to put that particular ad up FIRST? Livid.

A couple (with their two children between them) in the row in front of me looked at each other. I watched with interest, wondering if they were going to communicate to each other the disgust I felt. But the man simply raised his eyebrows at her, smiling – like saying, ‘That looks like a go-er’. She smiled back. Their children, however, were just soaking in those images.
*sigh*

The good news is that the Advertising Standards’ Board has contacted me via letter yesterday and they are taking my complaint to the next meeting. Woooo Hoooo!!

In terms of what we’re seeing at the movies – in my last post I discussed how children are always seeing boy characters fulfil their destinies and dreams.

It’s no different for adults. We only really get immersed in the man’s world.

I took some photos of what’s on offer for us. The first two images came from April when I took similar shots of the predominantly advertised movies.

You get the idea, though…IMG_4967

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From yesterday:

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Question #173: Isn’t anyone else feeling gender fatigue? 

I have been to the movies three times in the last few months. Once in April and twice this week.
In April my husband and I celebrated our anniversary by seeing Jurassic Park in 3D with the girls because my 10 yr old daughter is obsessed with dinosaurs.
The ads for the upcoming movies at the time were, Star Trek 2 (I think there’s only one main-ish female role – the rest are ALL men), Ironman 3 and Superman 72. 

So regardless of age, the movies being made seem to only provide the wonderful world of man as its backdrop, with a peppering of woman here and there.

Am I saying – don’t make these movies?
Anyone who has really followed me knows that that is never what I’m about.

But a more balanced representation of this life – which harbours 51% of women?

YES! Yes to more about us, please.

We are fairly awesome, after all.

Deep Breath

x

 

The Misogyny Factor

June 16, 2013

A few weeks ago, my mum and I went to the Sydney Writers’ Festival to watch Anne Summers speak about her new book, The Misogyny Factor. Anne has worked as a senior bureaucrat and political adviser, and is the former editor-in-chief of the landmark feminist New York based Ms. magazine.

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She was wonderful.

Articulately pointing out logical and factual anomalies in the fabric of our unbalanced existence, in the never-ending search for equality.

Some facts:

  • By simply being female, a woman will earn 1 million dollars less than a male, in her lifetime – 1 million – or the fact that an HSC male (high school graduate) will earn more than a university post-grad female.
  • That the control of a woman’s 1. Financial Independence and 2. Fertility plus the ever-growing 3. Violence against Women, have us in a grand old pickle.

Anne mentioned three words:

Inclusion – Equality – Respect.

These are the words we must ALL aim for – for a better world…for ALL.
We must strive for governments and policies that go about securing us inclusion, equality and respect.

Following are a few of Anne’s perceptions that she wrote in the introduction to her book.
They just resonated with me (well, it all did, really):

  • ‘I nominate the misogyny factor is the obstacle.’ 
  • ‘If misogyny is the theory of women’s inferiority and unworthiness and, therefore, unsuitability to be equal players in our society, sexism is the everyday expression of it.’ 
  • ‘These people believe that, once they are mothers, women just do not belong in the world outside the home. They also tend to have the conviction that all women ought to be mothers and, therefore, confined to the domestic sphere. Such views can be, and are, held by women as well as men.’ 
  • ‘My starting point is the absurdity of a society predicated on a double standard: men can be fulfilled as fathers and as workers, yet we still argue the toss about whether women can ‘have it all’.’

The last point is the crux.
Question #167: Why does this double standard truly exist?

My delay in writing about seeing Anne and listening to her fantastic-ness, was due to the fact that within those two weeks, the news was choc-full of misogyny galore!
And these are just the ones that made the news. The cold and sad reality for many women suffering similar actions go generally ignored or ‘unseen’.

We must start to see…

1.

tyler
We had Collective Shout and many women – from all around the globe – speaking out against rapper Tyler the Creator coming to Australia to perform his sexist, racist, homophobic, hate – with lyrics containing violence against women, such as:

“Rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome,”
“Keep that bitch locked up in my storage, rape her and record it.”

New Zealand didn’t permit him entry into their country, but not only did Australia grant him a Visa, he performed all around Australia in places like the Enmore Theatre in Sydney to all-ages audiences.

???

{A future post will look at how the objection to have Tyler come out here, meant the predominant women who spoke up, received a barrage of threats of rape and violence against themselves and their families, by Tyler’s fans online.}

2.
We had a Liberal Party fundraiser menu – click here – which featured our Prime Minister as a dish, demeaning her down to the features of her body, including her pubic hair.
Our Prime Minister.

3.
PM Julia Gillard was again insulted a few days later when radio ‘journalist’, Howard Sattler, decided to ask personal questions about her partner’s sexuality and pushing for an answer.
He was sacked.
I wrote on the radio station’s FB page:

‘She is our Prime Minister and this dismissal was a good call. 
Like Ms Gillard or not, the job commands our respect.
There would have been justifiable outrage if John Howard were asked about ANYTHING sexual about him or his wife. 
This radio station demonstrated respect for our Prime Minister. Well done.’

4.
Australia’s Army Chief gives a stern warning telling sexist soldiers to get out of the army after:

“Following revelations of further “demeaning, explicit and profane” behaviour by his army members.”

5.
In a moment of go-knows-what, the Socceroos coach, Holger Osieck, whilst being directed to his seat for a press conference, is heard saying:

“You push me around like my wife.”

He then said something in Latin, which he then translated to:

“Women should shut-up in public.” 

These examples all occurred within a two week period – the last four within just one week – two of which were against our female Prime Minister.

Inclusion – Equality – Respect.

I leave you with a question Anne Summers wrote within her introduction:

Question #168: What exactly do we need to do to ensure our society promotes equality and makes it possible for women, as well as men, to live they want?

Deep Breath

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