Category: Feminism

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The Handmaid’s Tailspin

See The Saturday Paper (26 July – 2 August) for my review of The Handmaid’s Tale. Click here to read.

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A Change In The Weather

A story I wrote for Meanjin on life, death, memory, weather, feminism, and Nick Cave’s mum.   The man I climb past to reach my window seat smells of sandalwood mixed with something herbaceous and fresh. It’s the kind of scent you buy in amber glass bottles from minimally lit shops; the kind that can somehow be simultaneously soothing and stimulating. The flight to … Read More A Change In The Weather

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#MeToo Stories from the Australian Movement

This #MeToo anthology is out now from Picador. In the opening essay I revisit the 70s, make peace with a 90s Helen Garner, ponder if I have any Louis C.K.s in my life and talk about the work labour movement women are doing to address sexual harassment at work. At all bookselling places …  

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Lunch with School Strike 4 Climate lead organiser Jean Hinchliffe

When I spoke to school climate strike leader Jean Hinchliffe for The Saturday Paper she told me a story about how she came to organise the first strike in November 2018: “I went down to my mum and said, ‘I think I might be organising a giant school strike on November 30.’ She said, ‘Oh my god, Jean. Why are you doing this? Aren’t … Read More Lunch with School Strike 4 Climate lead organiser Jean Hinchliffe

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Before #MeToo, 1970s feminists used film and theatre for women’s liberation

This story, published in The Saturday Paper on August 4, is about some of the women I have been interviewing for my PhD on women’s liberation film and theatre in the 1970s. Click here to read it.

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Top Girls (theatre review)

This review was first published on Daily Review on 18 January 2018 My mother used to tell me a story about women who would come into the emergency departments where she worked as a nurse. Complaining of agonising stomach pains, staff would have to break the news they were in labour and would soon be giving birth. The story always made me think about the … Read More Top Girls (theatre review)

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The Town Hall Affair and Riot (reviews)

These reviews were first published on Daily Review on 12 January 2018 (Riot review here) Writer Norman Mailer was no Milo Yiannopoulos. But his attack on the women’s movement in a 1971 issue of Harper’s Magazine (which became the book The Prisoner of Sex) led Kate Millett and Gloria Steinem to no-platform themselves from a panel Mailer hosted on ‘Women’s Liberation’ at New York’s Town Hall the … Read More The Town Hall Affair and Riot (reviews)

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Hefner didn’t invent the sexual revolution, he took credit from women

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. This article was first published online by the ABC on 29 September here. On a warm weekday afternoon in Sydney recently, I rested on rocks by … Read More Hefner didn’t invent the sexual revolution, he took credit from women

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Friday essay: The personal is now commercial – popular feminism online

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

I don’t mean to be personal

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

Our insatiable appetite for women’s tragic stories

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

The twinned story of journalism and feminism

First published by Women’s Agenda, 12 January 2016 Betty Friedan. Gloria Steinem. Germaine Greer. Anne Summers. Naomi Wolf. Susan Faludi. What do these women all have in common – apart from writing some of the key texts of 20th century feminism, that is? They were all, of course, at one time or another journalists. There’s a bitter-sweet irony to the drama that has ensnared Samantha … Read More The twinned story of journalism and feminism

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