First published by Daily Review, 11 December 2015 Social movement movies — films about pivotal moments in the race, class, gender and sexuality wars — all have a tricky problem to overcome. They need to create a central, believable character the audience can invest in, without over egging the character’s place in a story that is always a collective one. Suffragette (notice the singular) does a half successful … Read More Suffragette: review
First published by Women’s Agenda, 8 December 2015 At this time of year school communities across the country are assembling to hand out prizes and hear end of year speeches from departing school captains and leaders. They will also be welcoming the newly elected students who will take on leadership roles from the first day of school next year. Six years ago, on my … Read More Gender equality: are schools leading girls down the wrong path ?
First published by Daily Review, 24 September 2015 Another Monday night, another hour thrashing out the issues de jour: gay marriage, IVF, the privatisation of public assets*, all delivered with cleverly scripted lines. No, I’m not referring to Q&A: I’ve tried watching that program lately, but I usually end up passing out on the couch, thankful I’m not poor flu-afflicted Simon Sheikh, slamming my head down … Read More House Husbands: less mad men, more dad men
First published by Women’s Agenda and Crikey, 27-28 May 2015 When Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey announced an end to two sets of maternity leave payments for “double dipping” mothers, it almost seemed wise to stay quiet. Abbott and his ministers appeared to be doing a good job of burying their new policy themselves. There was their seemingly ill-advised language (mothers were “frauds” and … Read More The worst thing about the PPL backflip is that voters love it
First published by the Sydney Morning Herald, 7 May 2015 As the government prepares to announce its plans to reform childcare subsidies for working families, it was interesting to see how the issue of children appeared to be impacting on one of the parties it will be negotiating with to get its changes through the Senate. When Christine Milne announced she was standing down as Greens leader, she said: “I … Read More Goodbye Christine Milne, and another female leader
First published by Women’s Agenda, 10 April 2015 Is Cinderella like a harmless dose of royalty – a mix of completely politically incorrect, a little bit charming, but also utterly bonkers? Should feminist mothers keep their daughters away these school holidays? Kath Kenny took her daughter, Miss almost-5, and her daughter’s friend, Master 6, and reported back. Early on in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella our heroine is … Read More Is Cinderella a good role model for your daughter? Probably not. Are you?
First published by The Hoopla, 19 February 2015 We are just seven weeks into 2015 and already 14 women have been violently murdered in Australia. That’s two women every week – much higher than Tony Abbott acknowledged last month when he said: “Every week, one Australian woman dies as a result of domestic violence.” The grim statistics are collected by the Counting Dead Women project, … Read More 14 Women dead this year and counting…
First published by The Hoopla, 6 March 2015 This International Women’s Day I have one wish: that we start making caring for children men’s business. Honestly, truly, men’s business. If I could wave my feminist wand and make all my equality dreams come true, I would begin by banning all talk about parental leave, childcare and flexible work as if they were only women’s issues, or … Read More A 6-point plan to make kids men’s business
First published by The Hoopla, 1 February 2015 If, as looks almost certain, Labor forms government in Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk will become Australia’s first female state opposition leader to take her party to victory. Another glass ceiling will be smashed, another milestone notched up. Carmen Lawrence, Joan Kirner, Anna Bligh, Kristina Keneally and Lara Giddings all became premier when their parties were already in office, … Read More Annastacia Palaszczuk: Smashing glass ceilings
First published by The Hoopla, 4 February 2015 Khadija Gbla, who suffered female genital mutilation as a little girl, has given birth to a baby boy in Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital. It was the child she thought would never be born. Speaking exclusively to The Hoopla from her maternity ward, Khadija said of her new baby: “He is my own victory against FGM. It’s a miracle that … Read More Defying the odds on female genital mutilation
When I caught a bus between my high school and my home there would always be a handful of boys sitting at the back heckling, making rude or dumb comments: I knew that was just their way of getting attention, and most days I would ignore them. But some days I would cave in and say something back. Just like I am going to do … Read More Relax Loewenstein. And hold the tough love.