Guest Post by Susan Hawthorne
The Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s led to all sorts of intellectual pursuits, one of which was to ask whether patriarchy had been around for ever. Was it universal and inevitable? We fairly quickly understood that it hadn’t been and lots of women became engaged in reading archeology, world mythology, comparative religion, linguistics and history. I was one of them and in 1979 I decided to enrol in a PhD in Philosophy which I described as a ‘study of belief systems in the ancient world’. At the same time I began studying Ancient Greek. The difficulty I faced was that instead of reading relevant material I was sent off to read Saussure (on semiotics – a foundational thinker for postmodernists which deals with the ‘science’ of symbols) and others. I first heard the word postmodern during this time and that was where I was…
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A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing.
January 31 Press Club review: There are many reasons why the Canberra Press Gallery is failing to fulfil its democratic role. A collapse in media revenues, 24 hour filing, no time to stay with a story and investigate it, an atmosphere which sees journos run from one ephemeral topic to another in waves, an exodus of experienced practitioners with a corporate memory, the removal of quality newspapers as the bedrock of serious journalism…
When an institution is in trouble, leadership is required.
I was proud of the gallery I once belonged to today. It was on trial, and it delivered a solid performance. I was moved to tears, though, by the leadership of two of its most experienced, rational, hard-working, intelligent members. I know both of them. They are strong, fearless, and dedicated to the core values of journalism.
They broke Abbott’s silence on Ashby, and Laura Tingle also called…
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Happy Australia Day! Last night I went to the inaugural Adelaide Wonk Drinks. It was, as promised, heaps good. I had my very first offline Twitter argument, which was interesting. This particular argument reminded me why I would prefer to debate a die-hard right-winger than an ‘undecided voter’. At least the right-wingers know what they want and understand immediately what I want, and we can disagree to our hearts’ delight. But an undecided swing voter who seems to be tempted to use his valuable democratic right to deliver an informal vote is, in my opinion a very frustrating person. What would the people of Syria think?
The reasoning that this particular undecided voter gave for his indecision was an assortment of arguments that I think can fairly be filed under the heading of there’s no discernable difference between Labor and the Liberal National Party. I guess it really depends…
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Horrendous for women of Guatemala.
I have been running a short series on the hundreds of women sexually tortured, mutilated and murdered in Guatemala. I have decided to post the story of Manuela Sac Haz on to ‘A speak out of male violence’ instead of my personal blog.
*Warning triggering content*
In Guatemala an average of 10 women are being brutally murdered every single week. Many are raped, mutilated and tortured before they die – sometimes for prolonged periods. Yet the authorities are failing to investigate these murders. As a result, the murders continue to kill with impunity.
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I rushed to write a response when I found out Julie Burchill’s article, alongside many posts by radical feminists, including mine, were removed by CiF (commmentsisfree). It remains unpublished by CiF. I knew that would be the case. Despite that, I felt it was important to express my concern about how the politics of radical feminism is silenced under a broad “transphobia” umbrella. In my posts following that article, I focused only on this problem and that of radical feminists receiving online abuse for our beliefs.
I hesitated about whether to make it a blog post myself. It was rushed, not the strongest piece I had ever written etc. And, then, today, I heard that Gallus Mag, who writes gendertrender, has been suspended from her account. She provides news-stories which are difficult to access anywhere else. That was the final straw. I had to post this (imperfect though it…
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Misogyny, hate speech, attacking women…
TRIGGER WARNING: discussions of physical and sexual violence; racism; threatening, profane and obscene statements about women’s bodies, character and sexuality.
Anyone who works in the areas of women’s rights and empowerment can probably share at least a few stories of the threats, obscenities, and general vitriol hurled their way via email, social media, and telephone – hell, probably even fax machines though I don’t have confirmation on that. If I were to speculate on the reasons why men (and it is mostly men) wage such campaigns of abuse against women’s organizations and publications, I’d say their intent is to intimidate, humiliate, and generally cause emotional distress. Whether they’re doing this to attempt to compromise the organization’s work, to vent what they believe to be righteous anger, or to take the evil feminists down a peg is really beside the point.
This means that most women who want to work in…
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