Tag Archives: International Women’s Day

ABC TV Qanda excludes Indigenous women yet again

4 Mar

 

Adventures in Democracy

 

ABC TV panel show Qanda will mark International Women’s Day in its March 6 program with a panel consisting entirely of women, and hosted not by the urbane Tony Jones, but by Kitchen Cabinet’s Annabel Crabb.

The panel consists of Julie Bishop, American Roxanne Gay, Professor of English at Purdue University; Holly Kramer, CEO of Best and Less; Germaine Greer, “feminist icon” etc. and Yassmin Abdel-Magied, founder of Youth Without Borders, an organisation focused on enabling young people to work together for the implementation of positive change within their communities. 

Indigenous women are not represented on this panel.

As was noted in the recent Qanda panel on domestic violence, no Indigenous women were invited to participate in that either, although Antoinette Braybrook, CEO of the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria, was allegedly asked by producers if she could recommend an Indigenous man to appear on the show.

The exclusion of Indigenous women from the national broadcaster’s celebration of International Women’s Day reveals again the depth of racism and apartheid  in which this country is so thoroughly steeped it is normalised, and unremarked.

There is no possible excuse for this exclusion. It is absolutely shameful.

If you are moved to ask Qanda why Indigenous women have been excluded from their IWD panel you can do that here. You could also invite the producers to get really adventurous in democracy, and adopt the practice of  inclusion.

You could also remind the ABC that Indigenous women and men pay taxes, and it is their ABC as much as it is any other citizen’s of this country.

I also wish they would stop wheeling out Germaine Greer as our “feminist icon.” I don’t know what a feminist icon is, but I do know Greer hasn’t said anything interesting for a long time though other women have, including Indigenous women.

This woman won’t be watching.

 

 

 

 

 

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International Women’s Day

8 Mar

What I want more than anything is for there to be no need for an International Women’s Day.

Seeing as that’s not going to happen anytime soon, what I want next is for IWD to be dedicated to women living in situations where their survival and the survival of the children in their care is a daily struggle.

Who are the most outstanding and inspirational women? The women who keep on going against all odds. The women who’ll never get their names in lights because the work they do isn’t considered light-worthy. The women who’ll never bust through any glass ceiling. The women who at the age of fifty and more, take on the children of their children when their children can’t do it.

International Women’s Day belongs to the unknown woman. Light a light for her.

Becoming woman

8 Mar

by Alex Dram via flickr

 

On International Women’s Day it seems appropriate to reflect on feminism.

I never imagined I would find myself in agreement with anything with that terrifying Janet Albrechtson said, but last night on ABC’s qanda she declared that feminism must be a broad church, the rhetoric of the sixties and seventies means nothing to young women now, and we must move on. Or words to that effect.

She also took Western feminism to task for ignoring all others, and mother of god, I agree with everything she said.

I’ve lately fought off allegations of being anti feminist, a victim blaming apologist for rapists, an exploiter of sexually assaulted women (because I once worked in clinical practice as a psychotherapist) not to mention being a “man fondler,”  a term of abuse I’m not familiar with, but don’t hold back, girls.

All this as a consequence of having had the temerity to suggest women have to take responsibility for our safety and well being, because nobody else is going to do it for us.

Anybody who bases their identity on an ideology is asking for trouble, in my opinion. Having held that opinion for some time now, I wasn’t unduly upset when some women started telling me I was anti feminist, pro male, and had a prick in my head. But what this torrent of female abuse did cause me to do was reflect on what it is women can do to other women in the name of feminism, and what a scary thing that can be.

There is no such animal as  universal feminism. Like it or not, it it’s already a broad church and always has been, even if there’s been a dominating voice from time to time.

Like any ideology, cliques and factions within feminism stake out claims and marginalize those who don’t comply. Feminism is as cruel, prejudiced and contemptuous of difference as any ideology. It always has been.

As ferocious as it can be to men, it is capable of equal ferocity to women who do not comply with the factional rules. That’s the nature of ideology. If you add an imaginary transcendental exteriority, you’ve got religion.

I know young women who are vibrant feminists, contemptuously dismissed by some older women as “fashionistas”  who shouldn’t be referring to themselves as “chicks” and “babes.” “Is the word woman too fat for them?” somebody’s asked. But young feminists have to do it their way. From this fresh perspective and energy, something new will emerge for women, even if as yet it is unformed.

Those of us who are their female mentors need first of all to respect their ascendency. Enough already with the moralistic prescriptives!

Get out of the new way if you can’t lend a hand, for the times they are….

There are young women who want to take responsibility for themselves, they see it as a badge of honour. Not for them the jaded diatribes of victimology.

This morning I heard a story of three generations of women together in a house with a man who was husband, father and grandfather to them. For years it had been his practice to drink, come home, and beat up his wife. On this occasion his forty year old daughter hid away as she always had, When the beating was over, the fourteen year old granddaughter took her grandmother aside and told her she didn’t have to live like this any longer. She took her grandmother to a refuge. They got help for her and eventually a place to live.

The young woman had learned about domestic violence and knew what to do. She’d been educated. She took charge, and her grandmother’s life was changed.

Who cares if she also likes to wear lacy panties and short skirts?

So  I’m giving the finger this International Women’s Day to any woman who tells me or anybody else how to be a proper feminist, after telling us that we’re not.

Rotate, honey. I like me just the way I am.

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