Traditional, cultural practices that assert male authority will always disadvantage women. (Reuters: Ahmad Masood )
In a chilling ABC radio interview last week, a young Palestinian man calmly described how he repeatedly smashed his sister’s head against the wall until he killed her.
Julia Gillard wore big, brave polka dots in her first interview as Prime Minister with Laurie Oakes on Sunday morning. It was an interesting choice. I have no idea if it was deliberate, but I suspect I wasn’t the only woman to smile at the echoes of Joan Kirner.
It would seem there are some things in Australia we are not allowed to discuss. A ban on the burqa is clearly one of them. But the time has come to get over our fears and cultural fragilities – and grow up. The call to ban the burqa is receiving serious consideration in European parliaments. And it should here too.
I’ve never been one to cheer a fight. And I’ve never urged a girl to pick one. But this moment was different. We were a world away, in Afghanistan, in the basement of a crummy building in Kabul, one of the few in the block that hadn’t collapsed from bombing.
Is it possible that Australian women lack ambition? Have young women heard how hard it is to “have it all”, and decided not to bother even trying?
It is inconceivable to me that any human can watch a mother give birth, pick up the baby. see that it’s a girl and, in disgust, throw it into a “slops pail” to die. And to do so while uttering “Useless thing.”
What do you do when someone you love deeply and profoundly is losing their mind? When you depend on that love to keep you afloat, the thought of losing it is terrifying. It breaks your heart to see confusion and uncertainty creep into every movement and utterance, and to feel that the love and nurture which once sustained you – is slipping away.
A cranky old boss once yelled at me to stop yelling. I was on deadline, and the newsroom was noisy. So I bellowed to be heard above the clanking of typewriters and two-way radios. Everyone yelled back then.
If my women friends lived in Malaysia, and we happened to be Muslim, we’d – with a few exceptions – be badly battered and bruised. Our bodies would be red raw from constant thrashing. I wonder if we’d wear those lashing marks with pride. Or would the pain and humiliation of official caning eventually break our spirit, and reduce us to a pitiful submission?
How often should a modern feminist shave under her arms? Do you think Germaine Greer ever shaves? Do you think the 16 percent pay gap will eventually close, so that men and women are paid the same? And if so – when?
Tony Abbott is God’s gift to women. He wakes us up, and slaps us in to action. He’s jolly, silly, sweet and stupid – all at once. But best of all, he makes us think. We may be thinking unholy thoughts, even nasty, angry ones. But at least we’re thinking. Which is a whole lot better than mindless ironing.
Anyone who has witnessed the horror of a charred body and the putrid stench of burned flesh knows how these sights and smells are seared into your psyche. But to witness such horrific injury to the body of a young woman who has purposefully done this to herself – in a desperate attempt to die – is almost too much to bear.
Virginity is not a “gift”. To suggest it is, as Tony Abbott has (What a fucking retard), is absurdly childish. It’s also ridiculously romantic. None of which would matter if the discussion stopped there. But it doesn’t.