There’s no excuse for sidelining the needs of athletes with disabilities and women at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
On a boiling hot morning in June 1984, hundreds of women converged on the Museum of Modern Art in New York to protest. MoMA was holding a huge exhibition of recent art and of the 165 artists showing, only 14 were women. The crowd chanted “You don’t have to have a penis to be a genius” and wore suffragette sashes. Among them was the artist Mary Beth Edelson. By that point Edelson, who has died aged 88, had spent 20 years at the forefront of the feminist art movement.
In 1972 she created a collage titled Some Living American Women Artists/Last Supper. Riffing on the Leonardo da Vinci painting, she replaced the faces of the disciples with those of female artists, among them Yoko Ono, Louise Bourgeois and Helen Frankenthaler. In the place of Jesus is Georgia O’Keeffe. The work became a poster, widely distributed and iconic to those fighting misogyny in the art world.
Mary Beth Edelson, artist, born 6 February 1933; died 20 April 2021
Google Docs will now prompt users to use gender-neutral terms in their writing.
As part of a new update, Google Docs will prompt users to make their writing more ‘inclusive’. The software will suggest they change terms like ‘mailman’ and ‘chairman’ to gender-neutral ones like ‘mail carrier’ and ‘chairperson’.
In 2018, Google purged gendered pronouns like ‘he’ and ‘she’ from Gmail’s predictive-text feature, after staff raised concerns that it might wrongly predict someone’s gender. The horror!
Now, Google wants to ensure all your documents are gender-neutral, and that you don’t use your PC to type un-PC language.
Mother’s Day is a day for mothers – not “special person’s’. Writer Jane Cafarella discusses how language can erase or affirm experience.
Chloé Zhao has become only the second female director in the Academy Award’s 93-year history to win Best Director, for her film Nomadland.
The High Court is considering whether to allow an appeal to a Family Court decision after it was disclosed that the judge and a barrister in the matter had a relationship that included “numerous” text messages and meetings over coffee or drinks.
A Perth real estate agent has brought an appeal to the High Court on the grounds of apprehended bias after his lawyers discovered that the opposing side’s barrister Gillian Anderson had been engaging in a “personal relationship” with the now-retired judge, the Honourable John Walters QC, throughout the course of the proceedings.
In dismissing the retrial mid-last year, Justices Steven Strickland and Judy Ryan, who formed the majority, found that the extensive contact between the two parties would not cause a reasonable person to fear that the judge might have been biased.
However, in a dissenting judgement, the Honourable Chief Justice Will Alstergren said it was incumbent on judges and barristers to disclose any contact that could raise a reasonable concern of apprehended bias.
As a result of the case, the Australian Law Reform Commission is reviewing laws in relation to judicial impartiality with an inquiry set to examine whether the law about actual or apprehended bias relating to judicial decision-making is appropriate and sufficient to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice. They are expected to release a consultation paper later this month.
A Woman Has Won the ‘Nobel Prize of Math’ for the First Time Ever On Tuesday, one of the most prestigious mathematics prizes in the world was award
Former Australia Post boss Christine Holgate’s appearance at the Senate inquiry on Tuesday was nothing short of explosive.
Ms Holgate claims she was unlawfully stood down by the chairman of Australia Post, after the PM told Parliament last year if she refused to stand aside during an investigation into the watches “then she can go”.
Ms Holgate defended her choice of gifts, arguing it was not out of the ordinary for a CEO to give gifts or bonuses to executives who had worked hard.
She argued she was being treated differently because of her gender. She pointed to “five-star luxury jaunts” to the 2012 Olympics, doled out by her predecessor, as an example of executive spending that was left uncriticised.
Ms Holgate said she also believed she “wasn’t popular” with Mr Di Bartolomeo and ministers because she opposed a confidential business strategy review conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, which argued Australia Post should be privatised.
Kerr, who is the Principal Solicitor of the Feminist Legal Clinic in Sydney, joined forces with technologist and general polymath Spider Redgold to apply for a grant to found a women’s Wikipedia editing group. Supported by Create NSW through the NSW Writers Centre (now Writing NSW) in 2017, the Women Write Wiki (WWW) group was born.
By March 2021, the group was celebrating four years of editing, activism and friendship, during which they estimate they’ve now created over 300 new pages on Australian and New Zealand women. Their efforts form part of growing international movements, such as Women in Red and Art+Feminism, whose work to increase the visibility and representation of women on Wikimedia platforms has seen the number of pages about women grow to nearly 19 per cent as of March 2021.
This gender bias is perpetuated by the dominance of men on Wikipedia, which are estimated to make up as much as 90 per cent of editors, yet another reason WWW was formed. The group has produced some of Australia’s most prolific Wikipedians such as Ann Reynolds and Margaret Donald who walked through the doors of the library and have been stalwarts of the group and Australian editing community ever since.
In 2020, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, 200 NGOs signed a so-called ‘feminist declaration’ which calls for the removal of laws prohibiting sex with or between adolescents, the abolition of laws prohibiting of certain forms of violence against women and the full decriminalisation of prostitution.
The ‘feminist declaration’ was the work of the Women’s Caucus, a collection of organisations which lobby on the fringes of the UN. The declaration is hosted on the website of the New York based NGO, the International Women’s Health Commission (IWHC). IWHC are described on their website as co-conveners of the Women’s Caucus. According to their most recent financial report, one of IWHC’s most generous donors is the Open Society Foundations (OSF) which gave in excess of $100,000 in 2018-19. OSF donate to many organisations which call for the full decriminalisation of the sex industry, and the replacement of sex-based rights with those based on gender identity.
Here, couched in the language of human rights, is a call for a reduction in the age of consent. The World Health Organisation define adolescence as occurring between the ages of 10-19. Furthermore, the phrase “sexual and reproductive services” ushers in the possibility of commercial sexual exploitation of adolescents in surrogacy and prostitution.
Elsewhere in the document there is a commitment to “replacing punitive laws with comprehensive social interventions” with regard to issues including “female genital mutilation, domestic and intimate partner violence, and child, early and forced marriage.” This would seem to be a call for decriminalisation of some the most pernicious forms of violence against women and children.
Interestingly, the UN has some qualms about the type organisations with which they will work. Those who promote what are in effect laws that could lead to the rape of children are welcomed into the fold. Whereas grassroots organisations which promote women’s sex-based rights are not to be tolerated.
On 26 March 2021 the WHRC were removed from the online space on the grounds that they had ‘disrupted discussion’ during an event and made ‘offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, physical appearance, political affiliation, age, race, national and/or ethnic origin, immigration status, language, religion, or indigeneity’. WHRC co-ordinator, Jo Brew, contests this;
“My only comment in chat during the whole event was that the opening meeting was inspiring” she said. “It is impossible for me to have done the things that they say that I have. Chat transcripts from conference events would confirm this.”
The story here extends far beyond lobby groups like ILGA and Stonewall. The Women’s Caucus document could legitimately be recognised as rolling-back every gain feminists have made over the past two hundred years. It is clear there are a host of organisations working at an international level to undermine basic human rights and moral boundaries.