Transgender people and lesbians are two groups that face hatred and discrimination, and differences of opinion exist within these groups. Some trans people and lesbians believe that being a woman has nothing to do with biological sex; others believe they are related, because female reproductive biology is the basis on which women have always faced structural oppression. Both perspectives have a right to be heard. Yet lesbians who believe the latter – many of whom have faced lesbophobia their entire lives – are facing persecution for their beliefs.
Take Julie Bindel, an important feminist voice whose decades of campaigning against male violence have made a material difference to women’s lives. Last week, an Australian bookshop issued an apology for “any hurt caused” by hosting an event with Bindel three years ago. They did not even have the guts to say what is offensive about Bindel, but it’s fair to assume they were referring to her views on gender.
Or Allison Bailey, the barrister suing her chambers and the charity Stonewall for employment discrimination. Bailey is a black, working-class lesbian and a survivor of child sex abuse who believes, as many women do, that there should be some exceptions to males being admitted to female-only spaces. After she tweeted about a group she helped found for people who are same-sex attracted, Stonewall filed a complaint to her chambers and warned that its relationship with them would be damaged unless her chambers took disciplinary action against her.
On Friday, a judge ruled that Bailey’s case has “more than reasonable prospects of success” and should advance to trial. That a gay rights charity stands accused of discriminating against a black lesbian illustrates how wrong it is to assume the rights and interests of all LGBTQ+ people perfectly align. Of course, that has not stopped white men telling Bailey that her concept of womanhood is not only wrong, it makes her a bigot.
The government is looking to establish a new agency that would have the power to investigate misconduct allegations against federal judges.
The Australian on Friday reported that attorney-general Christian Porter had sought legal advice on plans for the entity, which would investigate allegations of corruption and misconduct, including sexual harassment.
However, Porter said, the establishment of a judicial commission was his “second order of business” behind setting up the proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission, which will not be able to investigate judicial officers.
Dreyfus also agreed that the NSW example, as well as the Victorian Judicial Commission were suitable models. However, he questioned the decision to wait until after the Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation has gone ahead.
“I’m just making the point that we’ve seen many announcements from Mr Morrison, many announcements from Mr Porter, and it’s very rare for this government to actually follow through on their announcements,” he said.
“I seriously doubt that the attorney-general will do anything at all about a Judicial Commission, I would welcome it if he did.”
Susan Hawthorne In Defence of Separatism is a timely book. When it was first written in 1976, although it was an important subject of conversation among many feminists it was not welcomed by academics or publishers.
Through careful argument, Susan Hawthorne takes us through the ideas which are central to her argument. She analyses the nature of power, oppression, domination and institutions and applies these to heterosexuality, rape and romantic love. She concludes with a call for women, all women no matter their sexuality, to have separate spaces so they can work together to change the world and end patriarchy.
The World Athletic Championships in Doha, 29 September 2019. The 4×400 mixed relay final (2 men and 2 women per team) sees Poland, with a female runner, start the last leg with at least a five-second lead. Around 50 seconds later, FOUR men have cruised past her to leave Poland finishing 5th.
Venture capitalist Elaine Stead sued the AFR and Joe Aston over a series of published columns where she was described as a “feminist cretin”.
Four women have taken out this year’s awards, with 26-year-old sexual assault survivor and advocate Grace Tame named Australian of the Year.
Cyber bullies could face $110,000 fines, and adults bullying children online could be obliged to apologise to their victims, under an online safety act.
Many of the people wrote about groups, projects and organisations they are involved in. Most of these have been developed in the past few years as informal groups, while the established parts of civil society have failed to address the issues.
Landmark report ‘Wiyi Yani U Thangani’ into the challenges and aspirations of Indigenous women and girls in Australia recommends an urgent focus on healing from intergenerational trauma and a national plan of action to advance wellbeing.
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) report, launched today in Perth by Ms Oscar, made five major findings and seven recommendations.
They include the implementation of a national action plan on advancing the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, and a national summit with the establishment of a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Girls advisory body.
Other recommendations include national action to eradicate racism, and an urgent focus on healing from intergenerational trauma.
The report found Indigenous women report higher rates of anxiety and depression than their male counterparts, and that 32.8 per cent of First Nations people report high or very high rates of psychological distress.
The rate is 13 per cent for other Australians.
It also found discrimination and social, economic and political marginalisation has trapped generations in cycles of poverty and trauma, and it highlighted that Indigenous women are Australia’s fastest-growing prison population, being 21 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous women.
The Women’s Human Rights Campaign – Australia/Asia (WHRC) will launch Vortex: The Crisis of Patriarchy in their next webinar . Author Susan Hawthorne will be in conversation with Helen Pringle, Senior Lecturer from the University of New South Wales and Anna Kerr, Principal Solicitor of Feminist Legal Clinic Inc.
Time: 7.00pm – 8.30pm AEDT
Date: Saturday 28th November