With apologies to Gil Scott-Heron (who wrote his masterpiece 40 years ago), today, the revolution will be televised. Live on ABC News 24. And on commercial television if there are good images. And it will be blogged, and tweeted, and podcast. And you know what? It’s already happening.
2011 is going to be a year of change in Australia. The Government’s paid parental leave scheme began on January 1. The equal pay test case could mean that women are finally paid fairly. And the public conversation about quotas for women in management is starting to acknowledge that, contrary to popular opinion, we don’t live in a meritocracy.
But we still have bullshit like this:
SMH says women who file sexual harassment claims are copycats
SMH still calls rape a "sex scandal"
Prince Andrew’s friend Jeffrey Epstein spent 13 months in jail (from 2008) for soliciting an under-aged girl for prostitution. He’s a registered sex offender. But according to the Sydney Morning Herald, it’s just a sex scandal. Wrong. A sex scandal is Tiger Woods and his bajillion affairs. A sex scandal is Max Mosley in a fun-filled Nazi-themed night with five prostitutes. If it involves an under-aged girl, then it’s statutory rape. It’s not a “sex scandal”. Plus, it’s filed in the fucking Lifestyle section. Yep, according to the SMH, statutory rape is a lifestyle choice.
I started this blog in March 2009 because I was sick of the way the mainstream media treats women. I was sick of the stupid little stories that (usually male) editors think will increase their female readership, but are really just an excuse to show a picture of a woman in her underwear. I was sick of the constant tits-and-arse treatment of female celebrities when I am an equal opportunity objectifier. I was sick of the way journalists write about female politicians’ hair and clothing. I was sick of all the opinion pieces (usually from women who have clearly benefited from feminism, but often from men) saying feminism is the devil and feminism has failed because we haven’t toppled foreign governments and feminists control the media, without giving equal space for opinion pieces saying it hasn’t failed. I was sick of women being blamed other people’s crimes. And I was sick of Janet “feminism has failed because my wealthy friends have chosen to raise families instead of taking silk at the bar, oh, and by the way, feminism has also failed because Western feminists haven’t fixed everything for women in other parts of the world” Albrechtsen being given a national platform to bang on about how feminism is wrong.
Shit, when I put it like that, it feels like nothing has changed. But I’m optimistic. I have a good feeling about 2011. International Women’s Day is a public holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia, and women get the day off in China, Madagascar and Nepal. Here in Australia, I will be celebrating today.
It’s gonna be a good year.