There has been a lot of talk about sexism and misogyny of late and (just in case you have been living under a rock) here is a link to “that speech” by Julia Gillard. This is very powerful stuff however it has been polarising in many parts of the community.
There seem to be two schools of thought:
The first is the “We don’t like her” group:
“It was a cheap political stunt”
- Are we that cynical?
“Even if it was genuine it was OTT”
- Ask any woman out there who has borne the brunt of sexism if it was over the top and you will get a resounding no!
“That’s not the meaning of the word misogyny”
- Seriously! Words are not always limited to their absolute meaning and even the Macquarie Dictionary is going to broaden their definition to reflect it more accurately. (as an aside there has been a resounding silence since this was announced)
“You need to keep it in context and anyway she has done lots of things that are not good for women”
- Context can certainly be required to distil things down but in this case it transcends any context
“She was mean to him and besides he has daughters so he couldn’t possibly be a misogynist”
- This one is my absolute favourite. Obviously if he has sperm that produce daughters of course he couldn’t be a misogynist and anyway those things he said were taken out of context because you have to remember the context. (Are you freaking serious!!!)
The second group could be summed up with “WOW!!!!!!!”
What has amazed me is the incredible resonance on a global scale that the speech has achieved. It has shown up everywhere and there is no sign of it disappearing anytime soon. More than that it has made me think about my attitudes and behaviour towards women and I am left with hope.
I hope that it influences just one person (ok technically I am one person so maybe one other person) to take a look at their words and actions and make a conscious decision to be more inclusive
I hope that we can use this as a lever to understand how we can get rid of sexism for good
I hope that the debate can rise above the petty and start to offer constructive solutions
As a father of two daughters I hope that they never have to live in a world where they have to “just deal with it” when it comes to sexism
I particularly hope that they never have to watch a speech like that again in any context other than as a footnote in history to show people “how it used to be”
Is it the beginning of the end for sexism…….
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