Paul Sheehan will dull your passion

I was out of the news loop today, so I didn’t see that Paul Sheehan had his feminist* hat on again until I was reading A Big Life.

Sheehan is writing about violence against women, which is something men should be talking about it – that’s the point of White Ribbon Day – but my goodness, could he make it any more boring? If women tune out before they get to the end, what hope is there of men reading it?

Yes, violence against women is disgusting and should be stopped – that’s a no-brainer – but I have a couple of problems with articles like this. Firstly, the discussion around them tends to focus on sexual assaults, female genital mutilation and how Western feminists don’t care about their Muslim sisters, which is an accusation always levelled by a man to dismiss anything an Australian feminist says. Secondly, it implies that violence against women is the only problem women face. And thirdly, that it’s only important enough to talk about once a year on a special day.

Now, there’s quite a few of you who like to sit quietly up the back, but I’d really like to know what you think about this. Don’t be shy.

* Paul Sheehan is not a feminist

2 responses to “Paul Sheehan will dull your passion

  1. Not only was it boring, it was confusing. That story about Marc Lepine was distracting. It provided context, but White Ribbon Day has become more about speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault. Not a deranged stranger killing 14 women he didn’t know – acts of violence against women perpetrated by people close to them.

    His article also looks like lip service. WRD is the first day in the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women, but he didn’t mention that. Wearing a white ribbon is a symbol of a lifelong commitment to never be violent and never be silent, but he didn’t mention that either. Just “Wear a ribbon to recognise that violence against women happens”. Jesus. Thanks for the insight, Paul.

    • Paul Sheehan has written about how feminist he is a few times, and each time he comes across as an idiot. Earlier this week, David Penberthy had a big whinge in The Punch about how no one asked the men about female body image issues, which isn’t that surprising since his response was in sexist pig territory. But the main reason men weren’t asked is because there isn’t much they can do. After all, you don’t hear women trying to muscle in on discussions about prostate cancer. But the one thing men can do is tackle the airbrushing that goes on in mags like Ralph and FHM. Yet Penberthy laid the airbrushing blame on mags for women. Anyway, back to the issue of violence against women. This is one area where men can make a difference. But Paul Sheehan blew it. White Ribbon Day is about men speaking out, to other men, about violence against women, and he didn’t do that.

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