On the death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, the ABC asked me to consider his legacy. I wrote that it was second wave feminism that drove sexual liberation for women, while Hefner was more interested in controlling women. Read the article, first published online by the ABC on 29 September, here.
Extract: ‘As I listened to Elaine Welteroth, the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, speak to the Sydney Writers’ Festival in June this year, it occurred to me that today’s popular feminism would be unrecognisable to many of the Miss America protesters half a century ago. For Welteroth, an African-American former beauty editor at Teen Vogue, women’s magazines and beauty products are feminism now. “Beauty and style are just really … Read More Friday essay: The personal is now commercial – popular feminism online
First published by the Sydney Morning Herald, 9 November 2016 Their first names start with D, they’re both ginger-haired, and they both have interests in real estate empires, but otherwise Rosehaven’s Daniel McCallum and Republican Donald Trump couldn’t be more different. A large part of the pleasure of watching Luke McGregor (Daniel) in the new ABC drama is, surely, that our hero plays the anti-Donald. When … Read More Daniels trump the world’s Donalds
First published by the Sydney Morning Herald, 26 September 2016 Crowded House’s farewell concert on the Sydney Opera House forecourt in 1996 has taken on a kind of Woodstock folklore: everyone in the country under 35 at the time was apparently there. The pictures and the reports of the concert, and the reminiscing in the years since by those who were there, have so effectively infiltrated the memories … Read More Generation X are having their Don’t Dream It’s Over moment
Not so long ago, the ABC’s Q&A turned the tables for a bit of self-examination: why, the show’s producers asked, don’t we have more women on the panel? Trying to understand the show’s gender trouble, series producer Amanda Collinge cited women’s reluctance to put themselves forward compared to men’s self-promotion, the trolling and online harassment of women who do join the show, and the … Read More I don’t mean to be personal
First published by the Sydney Morning Herald, 24 May 2016 There’s a scene from an early episode of Girls where the editor of Hannah’s e-book presses her to write about her most personal, shocking and sexual stories to make her book more compelling. “Did your hymen grow back?” her editor complains after reading a draft of Hannah’s too-tame exploits. I thought about this scene again recently while reading about … Read More Our insatiable appetite for women’s tragic stories