By Amanda Dunn
Can women have it all? It’s the question that seems to have overtaken ”what do women want?” in the media (though the latter still figures), and to feminist writer and journalist Anne Summers, it’s a particularly galling one.
”It epitomises the inequality between women and men, because no one asks men if they can have it all,” she says.
In fact, this is the opening gambit of Summers’ new book, a polemic called The Misogyny Factor, in which she argues that women’s equality is still far from won in Australia, stymied by an entrenched view of their ”inferiority and unworthiness” and therefore unsuitability to take an equal place in society alongside men.
And, she points out, these views can be held by women or men.
» Continue reading Lunch with Anne Summers »
If Tony Abbott is serious about wanting to boost women’s workforce participation, there are more effective and less expensive ways to accomplish this than via his paid parental leave scheme, which has been forecast to cost $5 billion a year by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
”Paid parental leave is an important economic reform, very important economic reform, that will boost participation and productivity,” Abbott said this week on ABC’s AM program.
Actually, Mr Abbott, no it won’t. Or at least not nearly as much as other measures, ones that are needed by women much more and for far longer than the first six months after the birth of their babies.
I am talking about childcare.
» Continue reading Abbott’s baby bonus in disguise »
What would I do? I ask myself each time I hear about another racist rant on a train or a bus somewhere in our country. Would I stand by complicitly or, as more and more people seem to be doing, would I take on the ranter?
A few weeks ago, when a woman was abused on a Melbourne bus for singing in French, my partner and I talked about how we would have reacted if we’d been there. I would have gone and sat beside her, I said. All I could imagine myself doing in the face of such hostility and implied violence was a silent act of solidarity. I could not see myself confronting and arguing with the abusers.
Illustration: Simon Bosch
» Continue reading The courage to take a stand »