Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard a victim of vicious misogyny. This is highlighted by an article in “The Punch” where “tarnishing the country’s first female Prime Minister has gone beyond sexism to a 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”. Julia Gillard hits back on sexism and misogyny. Click to read the speech by Julia Gillard to Parliament in 2012.
Kerry Lovering, WEL Victoria member, 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 Lindsay Tanner, Chris Pyne and Piers Akerman who constantly interrupted and spoke over 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 reforms outlined in the reports. WEL is aware of the sexist culture underpinning the social norms of many Australian organisations in Australia. We hope many of them will read these reports and apply 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 ad shows the women virtually acting as prostitutes towards male airline passengers – what does that has to do with deodorant? Dr Sarah Maddison, from WEL, spoke very well in support of the air stewards.
WEL encourages readers 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.
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.
And more: at London’s Dorchester hotel a black-tie charity men-only dinner was attended by British business, politics and finance leaders of 2018 where the entertainment included 130 hostesses (some of them students earning extra cash) who were told to wear skimpy black outfits and underwear, and were later groped, sexually harassed and propositioned.
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.