Feminism? In a pig’s feckin’ ear.

25 Jan

And yet another feminist in the msm makes it all about feminists.

And they’re even running  a poll about it.

Apparently feminism has been reduced to public spats about who has ownership of the brand. Feminism these days apparently no longer cares about much else. The co-option is complete.

Feminism, at least that faction of it that has a public voice, has now been entirely subsumed by capitalism. How the patriarchy must be cheering! Look at these feminists in these cat fights about who is allowed to be a feminist!

But we’re not complaining. While they fight about nothing, they aren’t focusing on us.

I’ve always had a wry little laugh at Bob Ellis when he sets to lamenting about the moral demise of the ALP. He shouldn’t take it so seriously!  But not anymore. It is heartbreaking to watch as a vision you believed in sells out to the degree that it is unrecognizable. To watch as it becomes the property of a handful of white middle class  women who figured out how to make a name and a living for themselves by being just feminist enough to gain a foothold in both camps.

Feminism was about equality, and that includes equality between women, not just equality with men. Feminism was about honesty, and shining intelligence, feminism was an analytic tool that was unique and adopted by many seeking to expose all kinds of inequality.

Feminism and feminists helped me save my own life.

And now?

It’s enough to make a strong woman weep. Weep, I tell you! Feckin’ bloody weep!

30 Responses to “Feminism? In a pig’s feckin’ ear.”

  1. AJ January 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    The fragmentation of feminism seemed to occur when slowly and surely we got rival gangs attacking each other on the WWW in the usenet forums years ago. Even novel labels like “lipstick lesbian”, traditional feminism, radical feminism etc etc meant it could only end this way. To me its a bit of a meaningless term other than to advertise someone identifying with feminism as a woman with an opinion. To some extent it suffers the same fate as all mature and deconstructed idealogies, people move on to other subjects and feminism becomes a historical movement. The voice was heard, some goals obtained but it always existed in a universal world of conflicting ideologies so did well to have some wins. The generation following the 70’s feminst are most easily identified as those that have much higher expectations, know how to get what they want and unfortunately in a lot of cases damn the consequences. To this extent angry women succeeded and thoughtful ones were left in the wake. I used to identify with feminism until I noticed how savagely mistreated some were. IS there such a thing as feral feminism? Im sure there is or would have been, Now I think its no path to inner peace or contentment and instead a plaything of those that just like to cause trouble. Goal obtained. case closed?


    • Helvi January 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      I never knew that feminism was about inner peace and contentment…I prefer meditation for that…
      There are people under any ‘ism’ wanting to cause trouble.


  2. Marilyn January 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    I don’t care if women are feminist or downtrodden – if they have rancid right wing views on things that affect the lives of other women I am not interested.


  3. ItsBouquet January 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm #


    Take heart – there still exists “shining intelligence” and “honesty”.
    That feminism has always sort to mold itself in the capitalist image is probably its weakest tenet.

    As we discussed earlier, it’s the communities where people are focused on survival that seem to produce “feminist” leaders who are able to suss out the all-connecting issues and clearly discern the true value of womanhood.

    Take Vandana Shiva, for instance……


    • Jennifer Wilson January 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

      Thank you ItsBouquet. Just having a little dummy spit. Over it now! I think.


  4. Hawkpeter January 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Can a man be a ‘feminist’? and if not, what do you call a man who is for equality for women?


    • Jennifer Wilson January 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      I don’t know. I don’t even kow which women are feminists. And by the minute I care less and less!


    • Doug Quixote January 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

      Ben Pobjie claims he is, but we should be able to get him into rehab soon.

      The only sensible answer is no, unless one is transgender : male >>> female . . .


      • Helvi January 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

        DQ,I assume that Ben can speak fot himself, and before you rush him into any rehab, what are you..not that I really care.


    • AJ January 26, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      I feel compelled to answer this. I have a great grandmother (who I have mentioned before I think) who was pioneer of women’s rights in England in the late 19th Century. She was a moderate and had the ear of the great and powerful. She advocated a better life through education for women to lift their status from what was a gloomy outlook unless you were born from the landed gentry. The men surrounding her were educated, socially conscious, responsible and had no qualms about her goals. One gentleman even got published in the front page of the Times encouraging the King to give support to this cause (and ruffled a few establishment feathers doing so). I would call these men supporters of feminism of her type, although not feminists themselves as they had other careers and worthwhile pursuits in their high achieving lives. A man who is for equality for women is simply decent, probably enjoys the company of intelligent women, and not so narcissistic to think men and women need to be differently treated to live a life worth living. I wouldnt call these men feminists though.


      • Helvi January 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

        AJ, why call YOURSELF anything, just work towards better living conditions for all.


  5. gerard oosterman January 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Quote,”The voice was heard, some goals obtained but”,unquote.
    So what are those goals obtained?

    Have women attained reasonable represenation in parliament- very few? ( I know, I know a female PM)
    Equal pay for equal work?
    Equal representation in the corporate world? Still not many women in the corporate world nor is there legislation in place forcing/ encouraging companies to employ more women executives even though it hasbeen proven (Norway et all) that companies run by more women are likely to be more profitable.
    Women representation in the hierachy of churches? Any women Popes around lately? Cardinals?
    How many females Judges to Males?

    Join the queue here* 😦 Feel free to add to this list.)


    • gerard oosterman January 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      Spell-check Gerard!


    • AJ January 26, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Quoting Wikipedia:

      “Under Australia’s old centralised wage fixing system, “equal pay for work of equal value” by women was introduced in 1969. Anti-discrimination on the basis of sex was legislated in 1984.”

      The vote was achieved decades ago. Choice of career is a present reality.

      I think regarding Representation in Parliament that women are more reluctant to experience the hurly burly of politics and its dirty tactics. Its not a numbers game, its more a lack of interest – politics being only one career path and it is known to be notoriously demanding on families – perhaps another reason women are less likely to put there hand up. Its not as if the choice is blocked for them but the motivation has to come from women, No one can force people into this path.

      In the corporate world its true at board level women are under-represented. Again to me equality isnt about raw numbers but about inclination. Again it can be a tough world, and again it might not be as appealling to women as men. Its not an easy climb for either sex and it seems women dominate other sectors nowdays (small businesses for example but also the health and teaching professions spring to mind) Men are under-represented in education nowdays but again this is due to choice, not the failure of any social equality policy.

      In the heirarchy of churches I think the question is moot. There are higher attendances overall by women than men in congregations. Some churches have female ministers. Again this is a choice. Some brands of religion simply do not allow for a female leader. But then some womens gym’s deny men entry…

      Equality to me is an impossible standard to meet, human populations will always have their percentages of high achievers, ambitious, losers, non participants etc from both sexes and I doubt legislation alone can hope to address any perceived inequality nowdays – it can only provide a framework and opportunity and see who takes advantage (in Australia anyway). I prefer the notion of complimentary community – ie men and women best suited to the different aspects of life aspire to attain that. Let not be stuck on the accounting of numbers and go for 50% every time (or a lot of female teachers are going to need to be laid off!)


      • ItsBouquet January 26, 2012 at 9:33 am #


        On the subject of women in politics in general, a few years ago I made the acquaintance of a woman who led the Canadian Green Party in the mid nineties. However, her time as leader was brief as she felt it was “a boy’s club”. She resigned and went back to magazine publishing as she felt she could have a greater impact by directly getting her message out there that way.


    • Craig Minns January 31, 2012 at 5:51 am #

      How many men bore children last year? You see, the only reason there are not more women in the groups you mention is that lots of them have a strong desire to have babies and they prioritise that above their career, while their male equivalents don’t have to mke the choice in most cases.

      Personally, I reckon they’ve got the right idea. It’s all about division of labour. There are lots of personal choices made by men that have negative impacts on other parts of their lives. Just as for the women referred to above, that’s entirely up to them and doesn’t represent any kind of failing of social construction.

      Why should you care about someone else’s choices?


  6. Helvi January 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Tags; Bob Ellis, feminism

    Jennifer, that’s a very amusing juxtaposition you have there: )


  7. Ray (novelactivist) January 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    This is getting messy – people running off on tangents everywhere. Cathy Sherry doesn’t know enough about the issue to comment. I suspect she was published as an attempt at balance. Judging by the poor quality of her misinformed opinion piece it seems the opinion editor didn’t have a whole lot of choice.

    If Sherry were aware of the facts she would know that it is MTR who is the bully and who is attempting to ‘silence ideas’ and it is MTR’s cohort that is behaving like a nasty primary school in-group.

    Other feminists have attempted to engage MTR at the level of ideas but MTR won’t have it. She’s into controlling the debate.

    And I’m getting real tired of the focus on abortion whilst MTR associates with the religious right who are anti-sex, anti-diversity and who seek to impose a deeply conservative vision of both womanhood and girlhood.


  8. paul walter January 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Not Cathy Sherry. Even the name sounds treacly, but not as treacly as the rubbish she used to write in the Age, half a dozen years ago. Another Howard era Judas Goat for conservative female readers of Fairfax, life doesnt extend beyond the green and leafies, a closed world of private schools, four wheel drives and a pulsating sense of entitlement.
    Cup cakes and tax cuts to pay for the consumer fetishes for the upper crust..


    • Jennifer Wilson January 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      And this at ABC religion end ethics: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/01/25/3415534.htm


      • Ray (novelactivist) January 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

        Pure apologia. Which naturally brings into question Spinifex’s role in all this. Are they really all that comfortable with Melinda speaking at the conferences of the religious right, who have always resisted progress for women? Really?

        I’ve just been reading the heart rending stories of girls/women forced to give up their babies for adoption. This happened to a former girlfriend. It is as traumatic as an abortion. And why were they forced to give up their babies? Because they weren’t married and sex outside marriage was condemned. And Melinda chooses to hang out with people who still think this.

        She keeps strange company for a feminist and advocate for girls.


      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) January 26, 2012 at 5:09 am #

        What a stunningly total inversion is the piece ‘The authentic feminism of Melinda Tankard Reist’, by Renate Klein and Susan Hawthorne! Its all about Melinda!

        It has to be, of course. We evidently have some non-person attempting to bring MTR to her knees and destroy her work. So that non-person is called an ‘elephant in the room’. This elephant works for the pornography and prostitution promoters, they tell us.

        They impute to this non-person the smacking of a fundamentalist label upon MTR, and then in positively breathtaking fashion call upon views that I think could be attributed in real life to one Dr Jennifer Wilson in saying:

        “What is less easy, but more ethical and intellectually
        rigorous, is to examine Tankard Reist’s views … and to
        see what the factual arguments for those views are.”


        Particularly if you know that that is what Jennifer Wilson has tried over time to engage MTR in doing, and if you know that the non-person of this piece, the ‘elephant in the room’, is none other than …. Dr Jennifer Wilson!

        The non-person is eventually given her name in this all-about-Melinda piece toward its very end, where, speaking of some seemingly other person of the same name, they say:

        “Much of the social media and conventional media comment
        perpetuate falsehoods about Tankard Reist. It is the
        perpetuation of these falsehoods for which Melinda Tankard
        Reist is requesting an apology and retraction of some
        defamatory posts that a blogger, Jennifer Wilson, has spread
        about her.”

        They seem comfortable in using the term ‘blogger’ with respect to Jennifer Wilson, but evidently uncomfortable about using the word ‘alleged’ with respect to the claimed defamatory posts. (Are they even talking about posts BY Jennifer Wilson, or posts by un-named others on Wilson’s blog? Its not clear, is it? The target seems to be the BLOG, as much as any specific comments.)

        The parenthetic text link ‘reflections two weeks later’ posted at the beginning of this piece gives some interesting insights upon Miranda Devine’s piece upon which I have already commented. Rachel Hills, in reflection upon her 8 January Sunday Life article ‘Who’s afraid of Melinda Tankard Reist’, http://rachelhills.tumblr.com/post/16364379780/notes-on-a-scandal-melinda-tankard-reist-and-me , wrote:

        “But what did I notice most? The HANDFUL of people
        on Twitter who were outraged that the article had
        even been written… or that it had been written in
        a way differently to the way that they would have
        written it.”

        The emphasis is mine. According to Hills, and in contradiction of Miranda Devine’s claim to that article having “infuriated the miserable orcs who lurk in the dark recesses of twitter and the blogosphere”, there were only a “HANDFUL of people on Twitter who were outraged”!

        Continuing with Hills’ reflections, we have this reference to an apparent non-person:

        “By the beginning of week two, when Melinda-gate had
        turned into #MTRsues (although Tankard Reist says she
        actually only requested an apology), I was wishing it
        would all go away. …”

        “… Most of [the blog posts and opinion pieces] would
        never have happened if there wasn’t the initial strong
        negative reaction.”

        Strong negative reaction to what? Strong negative reaction to the fact that MTR was sueing the non-person Jennifer Wilson!

        That fact of the institution of defamation action just wasn’t supposed ever to have come to light. MTR’s lawyers’ very aggressive letter of demand was supposed to have seen to that. Jennifer Wilson just wasn’t following the script!

        The script was all supposed to be about Melinda, and perhaps intended to pave a way for her into a real political career as a member of the Commonwealth Parliament. There just wasn’t room in it for any Jennifer Wilson however nameless, or blogging ever so obscurely, placing a spotlight upon MTR’s apparent denominational affiliations, or perhaps more significantly upon her 12 year sideline political career as a staffer to catholic former Senator, and staunch anti-choice campaigner, Brian Harradine.

        Everything in what appears to have been this quite extensive and perhaps long-planned public profile promotion, it seems, was predicated upon the authentic feminism of Melinda Tankard Reist outweighing any erstwhile perceived sectarian ownership of the anti-choice position with respect to abortion. Jennifer Wilson’s obscure blog, ‘No Place for Sheep’, implicitly challenged that authenticity. What may arguably be claimed to have been a successful ‘false flagging’ of the lapsed catholic and non-catholic component of the at least nominally Christian population was under threat.

        When Jennifer Wilson ‘did a Letterman’ on Saturday 14 January, and publicised the attempted extortion, it seems the wheels all started to come off MTR’s bandwagon.


      • Horse January 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

        Ray, perhaps many want the pregnancies to proceed so the ensuing baby can be given to a Christian-based adoption agency to go to Christian-aligned adoptive-parents?


  9. gerard oosterman January 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Yes, We also met so many women forced to give up their babies because they were single. All this happened in recent times. I don’t want to sling off about Australia but you have had some rough times when it comes to children and babies.
    Try and read David Hill about the children imported to Australia from Britain up till the seventies. Then the horror of orphanages run by churches. The canings at schools. The abuse at boarding schools. This is where the hatred comes from against boat people. ( You give back what was given)
    I had a pretty rough time but that was because of war and no food not a deliberate action by churches and do-gooders.


    • Ray (novelactivist) January 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

      Indeed, you only have to look back to the early 60’s and 50’s (and before) when the churches were the unchallenged moral authority. It was an horrific period. Violence against children. Cruelty. Hidden sexual abuse (a child should be seen but not heard – and besides, no-one believed them anyway). Forced adoptions. Very little contraception. Appalling sexual ignorance. Backyard abortions. People suffering in silence in loveless marriages. Husbands allowed to beat wives. The good old days of the religious right.


    • Hypocritophobe January 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      The Stolen Generations was an institutionalised racket too, to de-Aboriginalise the first Australians and breed them to extinction.
      The first couple of waves of kidnappings were using the victims as free labour.

      This of course was done after the people were chased from their lands,made dysfunctional and had there water supplies stolen for livestock or poisoned.

      Yes Gerard we (Australia) have a history of this stuff.
      And religion(Christianity) was at the forefront of these campaigns.

      Missionary,sound familiar?The thing Christians are really proud of.
      You know, the ones the pave the way for the slave traders,loggers and miners?

      I appreciate the work some Churches do, but they all have grave difficulty admitting their institutionalised stuff ups.Most will try covering up for decades and still do.

      And all of this stuff is very relevant to the topic at hand and why it matters what a persons motives,connections and affiliations are.
      It’s personal AND political.



  1. Feminism? In a pig’s feckin’ ear. « No Place For Sheep | Secularity - January 25, 2012

    […] Feminism? In a pig’s feckin’ ear. « No Place For Sheep. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. By Colin Mackay • Tagged feminism, opinion 0 […]


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