Do we have to let the men speak for us?

This post was originally published on the 14th April on Thoughts On Everything.  For the original comment stream please click here.

This morning my colleague Polly handed me the S supplement from Sunday’s Sun Herald. “Thought you would agree with this”, she understated.

I have tried to find the article online because it so perfectly sums up my thoughts on feminism, but for some very strange reason the Sun Herald’s site not only has no search facility, they also don’t upload all their print content.

So you can’t read it in full, unless you dig out your print copy from Sunday 12th April and turn to page 31 of S. But I wanted you to see it so much that I have typed out three sections from the piece. Yes, I know, a tremendous time waste, but trust me – this is worth repeating.

Sorry Sam de Brito, for not hyperlinking to your original work. Have a word with your bosses and get your content online. But thank you, for putting it so clearly.

Ladies – do we really need a man to point out to us where 51% of the world’s population is going wrong??


There can be nothing more sobering for an old-school dinosaur than watching his darling daughter grow into a young woman, assured she’s gonna meet a generation of narrow-minded creeps just like Daddy, who’ll treat her like a brainless piece of meat.

Its a pity the same perception shift doesn’t occur in so many women, with huge numbers of mothers continuing to transmit the trivial obsessions of shoe shopping, beauty products and gossip magazines to their baby girls.

As I’ve written before in this column, it’s a bit much to expect men to take the insoluble issues of Western gender equality seriously – things like abortion rights, equal pay and sexual discrimination in the workplace – when millions of intelligent women spend their days consumed with what Gwyneth Paltrow is wearing.


We now live in a country where a generation of Australian women don’t even consider themselves feminists, having rejected the term because they think they’ll be labelled a lesbian and won’t get a boyfriend if they even utter the word.


I could walk into any bar, supermarket or fashion boutique in this country and I guarantee I would know more about feminist issues than 90 per cent of women there.

Ask a woman under 30 to even define what feminism is and I bet you’ll get a pea soup of misconceptions about hairy armpits, man-hating and rabid activism instead of this: feminism is the belief that women should have equal political, social, sexual, intellectual and economic rights to men.

Update: The full article is now online here.


2 responses to “Do we have to let the men speak for us?

  1. Great Article Em!

    I myself am very often puzzled at the behaviour of otherwise, sane, intelligent, powerful and brilliant women who are drawn to gossip mags and the sleb pages in the “lifestyle” sections of newspapers / magazines.

    Women who rail against “The Media’s” (as if it was somehow not part of the world they live in) objectification of women and how it directly contributes to body-image problems in teens, yet the same women directly contribute to the presence and availability of these magazines, sites, etc. in the first place.

    Perfectly smart and strong women who simultaneously complain we (hetero men) are obsessed with women’s bodies, yet exhibit far more obsession than we guys do about said bodies. Perfectly gorgeous, healthy, sexy women feeling inadequate because they compare themselves with retouched iconic images that do not even exist in nature. Teens getting implants and avoiding healthy eating in order to look like idealised mannequins.

    Women spend more on beauty products in a year than on their summer holiday and regularly gush over shoes that hurt their feet and contribute to spinal damage that shortens their lives, when they know better. Intelligent, strong and successful women! Powerful, capable women.

    I for one would very much like to know how other women feel about this dichotomy and the amount of attention they give to it in their lives.

    Of course advertising has a part to play because the magazines exist to push products on consumers, not to advance equal rights or promote unbiased debate; but all the same, you’d expect these women editors who fret over “readership loyalty” to try to see beyond advertising/marketing as well.

    I’m keen to know how women feel about this.

  2. Hiya Em

    glad to see I converted you to fight the good fight 🙂

    great blog!


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