Angela Priestly for Women’s Agenda writes:
The representation of women in the Australian Senate suddenly increased this week, after the surprise declaration (and stunt) by Senator Barry O’Sullivan that he is now a woman.
O’Sullivan made the declaration because, he believes, women are not “attacked” for their stance on abortion.
“I am going to declare my gender today, to be a woman, and then you’ll no longer be able to attack me,” he said.
As you can imagine, the response online and across social media as Buzzfeed shared the video of O’Sullivan was swift. From editors updating pronouns on Sullivan’s wikipedia page, to others declaring that O’Sullivan should now take a fairly significant pay cut given the gender pay gap and expect to get plenty of criticism over his hair and appearance.
Jane Caro noted on Twitter that it’s a pity O’Sullivan’s gender change won’t “involve menstruation, a functioning uterus or any of the things that make reproductive rights real and visceral to those who do (mostly women).”
Back in May, O’Sullivan asked during Senate Estimates if he would be able to use the ‘ladies’ loo-loo’ if he declared himself a woman, however he did not go so far as to declare a change of gender at that point.