Australia’s first female Prime Minister a victim of misogyny.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard is a victim of vicious misogyny. This is highlighted by Marea Donnelly in an article in “The Punch” about recent TV satires where “tarnishing the country’s first female Prime Minister has gone beyond sexism to an almost visceral hatred, fuelled by a passion far richer than the carbon debate”.
Wikipedia quotes sociologist Allan G. Johnson’s definition of misogyny as “a cultural attitude of hatred for females because they are female”. Johnson argues misogyny has a central role in sexist prejudice and ideology. As such, it is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies and manifests in many ways, “from jokes to pornography to violence”.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard hits back on sexism and misogyny. Click to read the full speech by Julia Gillard to the Parliament in 2012.
Kerry Lovering, WEL Victoria Convenor, recently emailed Radio National on their talk on sexism to say:
“Women’s Electoral Lobby Victoria is very pleased that our first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard has at last condemned the sexist and misogynist remarks directed not only at her but every woman who exerts some power. Domestic violence and rape are the consequential results of what begins as rudeness as shown by the three men on the Q&A program where Tony Jones failed to control the behaviour of Lindsay Tanner, Chris Pyne and Piers Akerman who constantly interrupted and spoke over Minister Kate Ellis.
Rudeness indicating a contempt of women, particularly of those in power, is the beginning, followed by verbal abuse as shown by shock jocks such as Alan Jones. Verbal abuse is followed by physical abuse to men as well as women leading to suicides, domestic violence and rape.
Also click here to read the essay “Women Down Under” by WEL member Veronica Schwartz, describing sexism in all its detail.
Women’s Electoral Lobby congratulates former Minister for Defence Stephen Smith for commissioning the enquiry into the Australian Defence Force’s sexist culture after the Skype incident at the Duntroon Academy. WEL National Executive member Kathy McDermott said WEL was aware of the difficulties in working for cultural and organisational change. “It is fantastic to see the Minister’s determination and that of the ADF leadership to see that changes happen and pursue the recommendations and reforms outlined in the reports. “ Ms McDermott said WEL also welcomes the reports into alcohol abuse and use of social media, so often the cause of much physical, sexual aggression and bullying. “Australia’s young people who in the future elect to enter the ADF for training and service can be assured of training in a safe environment and of a career based on merit.” WEL is aware of the sexist culture underpinning the social norms of many small and large Australian organisations in Australia. We hope many of them will read these reports and apply appropriately the changes to their establishments.”
On the current affairs Today Show the complaint from female air stewards of sexist advertising by Lynx Deodorants was discussed. The TV ad shows the women virtually acting as prostitutes towards male airline passengers – what does that has to do with deodorant? Dr Sarah Maddison, from Women’s Electoral Lobby, spoke very well in support of the air stewards.
Men as well as women suffer from sexist advertising. Advertisements that show men as useless in the house or bathroom are not clever. They are usually demeaning and in many cases are offensive. Men now should have a better understanding of how women feel about demeaning advertising. Women draped over cars really miss the point that most women buy cars these days—it’s not just a boy’s market. We wonder if the young people who make these advertisements really understand the community they serve.
WEL encourages any reader to send examples of sexist advertising to us by email. We will contact the manager of the goods being advertised to ask their opinion of this type of advertising of their products.
Board of Premier Brands: JUST JEANS. JAY JAYS, PORTMANS. JAQUI E. PETER ALEXANDER, DOTTI, SMIGGLE.
The Board of Premier Brands appointed Mark Mc Innis as its Chief Executive at a potential pay of $5.2 million. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mark Mc Innis quit his job at David Jones in 2010 after a sexual harassment scandal in which Mr McInnes admitted to conduct “unbecoming a Chief Executive”. No-one suggests that Mc Innis, who received $1.2 million on quitting his David Jones job, should not be employed. However the decision by Premier Brands to employ him so soon demonstrates a lack of respect for female customers and employees on whom Premier Brands relies.
Many young women suffer sexual harassment which affects their confidence and job satisfaction. The 2008 Survey by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that 22 percent of women had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in their lifetime. A further 22 percent reported unwelcome touching, hugging, cornering or kissing, inappropriate physical contact, actual or attempted rape or assault. sexually suggestive comments or jokes as well as intrusive questions about their private life or physical appearance that made them feel offended.
October 2012. The Australian Human Rights Commission has released the results of their National Survey on Sexual Harassment. The former Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, said that the report shows that women are victimised for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. She claims that it is all about exerting power over others. This has given rise to the “#Me Too” worldwide movement.
Sexualisation of Children
WEL suports an enquiry into child sexualisation as seen in the child beauty pageants being promoted in Ausralia, and the development of a code of conduct for these (and other) children’s performance events.