“Don’t let anything defeat you.”
These were words of advice Her Excellency Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley AO QC shared earlier this month in an inspiring speech to an audience of students, parents and the broader Rosewood school community including principal Ms Elizabeth Stone & Governor Lucy Brogden.
Leading by example, with a distinguished legal career, including as the first woman to be appointed as the President of the NSW Court of Appeal, Her Excellency Margaret Beazley spoke eloquently and modestly.
“Emotional labour” might strike you as a strange term. We don’t necessarily want to think about emotions as “work,” or being thoughtful and considerate as “labour.” But what the concept speaks to is something real, that many women struggle with — particularly women in heterosexual relationships.
In a 2017 article for Harper’s Bazaar, Gemma Hartley wrote about the way in which women are socialized to pick up so much extra labour in terms of holding relationships together, planning trips, remembering events and birthdays, scheduling social and extracurricular activities, planning meals, etc. — generally thinking ahead, and taking care of life. And when we try to bring this up with our partners, we are accused of being nags, or of complaining. “I want a partner with equal initiative,” Gemma wrote.
The Daily Telegraph published an article on Thursday claiming a Sydney lawyer and writer named Anna Kerr had been “silenced” when a paragraph of a column she wrote for women’s media website . . . which detailed De Vendre’s identity as a “transgender woman” was cut.
The newspaper article said the 76-year-old underwent “Facial Feminisation Surgery” in Thailand in 2016.
“I’ve been fully transitioned for three years now,” De Vendre said. “I am a woman physically, mentally and my hormone base is estrogen.”
It is women who make up over 60% of the membership of the Catholic Church, who statistically speaking are more likely to bring their children up in the faith and whose volunteering hours keep parishes alive. However, did you know that in 2019, women are still not welcome to sit at the table of its male leaders even in regards to decisions that directly affect them? It would seem that their opinions, expertise and perspectives do not matter.
I believe most people of faith, and most Catholics specifically would agree that it makes no sense that decisions affecting us all, cannot be voiced by only half of us. By excluding female voices from the decision making of one of the largest institutions in the world, half the Church remains silent.
That gay men sexually harass or assault women like this demonstrates the result of the objectification of women in our society.
Anyone who has seen a drag performance can’t fail to see that it is, like blackface, a “womanface” parody of the femininity most women feel they have no option but to perform.
Gay public figures too often contribute to cultural misogyny in similar ways straight men have, historically. On April 10th, Dr Christian, the gay “celebrity doctor” who hosts Embarrassing Bodies, a British reality TV show, tweeted that “mothers knowing about motherhood” was “a frightening and dangerously deluded assumption.” This message is what underlies the endemic misogyny women face at the hands of the medical industry, where our understanding and experiences are routinely undermined, as women are not viewed as “experts” on our own bodies and reproductive function.
Unquestionably, gay men still suffer discrimination. To be effeminate or attracted to other boys at school is to be ridiculed and ostracized. But, for the most part, it is not women who humiliate and shame men because they are threatened by homosexuality — it is other men and boys. Yet still, too many gay men kick back against women rather than at the straight men. Women remain an easier target — one that will gain gay men power, rather than further marginalize them.
“Men won’t easily give up a system in which half the world’s population works for next to nothing,” New Zealand feminist economist and former politician Professor Marilyn Waring CNZM said.
“I’m not talking about repaying this time. It’s about the redistribution of government resources. It’s a productivity and choice issue. Why should women spend all their time in unpaid work on a road to poverty. The poorer I am, the longer it takes me to do the things I need to do.
“In 2017, Price Waterhouse Cooper research concluded women undertook 72 per cent of all unpaid work in Australia. The bulk of this unpaid work is childcare. It is Australia’s largest industry – three times the financial and insurance services industry, the largest industry in the formal economy. The rest of unpaid work combined is the second largest sector in the Australian economy.
“This has egregious outcomes that are totally gendered; childcare, superannuation, equal pay and pay equity, the right to leisure – Australian males lives ride on the exploitation of women’s work,” said Waring.
Our government has continued to give lip service to addressing the scourge of violence against women, whilst at the same time masterminding the effective dismantling of the NSW Women’s Refuge Movement. Currently, the Women’s Family Law Support Service located in the Sydney Family Court is facing imminent closure because the government is unwilling to commit to ongoing funding for the service at a mere $120,000 per annum, let alone expanding it into other courts.
As the historian Deakin writes, “The most detailed accounts we have of Hypatia‘s life are the records of her death. We learn more about her death from the primary sources than we do about any other aspect of her life” (49). She was murdered in 415 CE by a Christian mob who attacked her on the streets of Alexandria. The primary sources, even those Christian writers who were hostile to her and claimed she was a witch, portray her as a woman who was widely known for her generosity, love of learning, and expertise in teaching in the subjects of Neo-Platonism, mathematics, science, and philosophy in general.
Hypatia was a close friend of the pagan prefect Orestes and was blamed by Cyril, the Christian Archbishop of Alexandria, for keeping Orestes from accepting the ‘true faith’. She was also seen as a ‘stumbling block’ to those who would have accepted the ‘truth’ of Christianity were it not for her charisma, charm, and excellence in making difficult mathematical and philosophical concepts understandable to her students; concepts which contradicted the teachings of the relatively new church. Alexandria was a great seat of learning in the early days of Christianity but, as the faith grew in adherents and power, steadily became divided by fighting among religious factions. It is by no means an exaggeration to state that Alexandria was destroyed as a centre of culture and learning by religious intolerance and Hypatia has come to symbolize this tragedy to the extent that her death has been cited as the end of the classical world.