06 January, 2013

Coming Out of the Feminist Closet

There's a picture I've seen on FaceBook the past couple of days which has finally spurred me to come out of the feminist closet - I am a feminist and proud of it.

Anyway, back to the picture. It's a picture of Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama about to do the traditional cheek kiss greeting. It's captioned "Kiss me, Ketut" - A reference to this Australian insurance ad.

I'm not going to post the picture - I'm sure you can find it if you want, but I have no intention of giving it space.

A lot has been said in Australia recently about misogyny and sexism, especially in the wake of this speech by Julia Gillard.

(It's about 15 minutes long, but well worth listening to)

To me, the Gillard/ Obama picture is indicative of an ongoing problem. It's sexism on the sly. It's considered innocuous enough that if you protest, say it's sexist, that it's not funny, you are accused of not having a sense of humour, of being too sensitive. And therein lies the problem. We have been sold that line - we have no sense of humour and we are being too sensitive. It's the same line we were sold when we started to complain about sexual harassment behaviour from work colleagues. The difference is we continued to say being patted on the backside was not acceptable, would not be ignored and laughed away. But now we are suppose to find pictures such as this funny - after all, who is it hurting? The truth is, it's hurting all of us. It's hurting your mother's, your sister's, your daughter's. It's say it's OK to use someone's gender as a comedic tool.

I don't want my daughter (or my son for that matter!) growing up in a world where this is classed as humour, where this is thought of as OK. It's not and it's time we stopped letting it be seen as such.

Just as an additional note, for those who are aware of my political leanings (left wing, Labor Party, if I was an American, I'd vote Democrat), I would have written this post if the picture had been Julie Bishop, a woman whose politics I definitely don't agree with.

1 comment:

  1. Women's equality is a myth. There is "The Glass Ceiling" = Women do not get paid as much as Men (despite the fact they do they SAME job). We are damned whichever way we go...We choose to stay at home with our children, we should be out in the workforce, We return to the workforce, we are neglecting our children. A husband can leave you, after 24 years of you supporting him and following him around the country, but if he waits until your children are grown, he has NO responsibility.. Feminism is still equated with braless, lesbian women. I see it my my sons, with despair. The young women of today are not making it any easier...obsessed with thier looks and being perfect all the time. They judge other women by the same standards that the men do. We are going backwards at warp speed. Maybe it is time to stop being Nice about things, tell them to get over themselves and understand that without us they are nothing, as we are without them (seriously...how quickly would the earth survive without both sexes). If a similar "joke" had been made about Howard, the country would be in uproar. Regardless of your politics, Ms Gillard is our Prime Minister.and therefore has earned the same level of respect afforded the BOY PM's