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Team Abbott: We're not feminists! Get over it!

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Australia’s only female minister is fully supported by Cabinet colleagues in her message to the people.
On October 29 at the National Press Club Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launched a “Women in Media” group in Canberra.

“I don’t find the need to self-describe in that way (as a feminist),” Fairfax Media reported. “Feminist” is “not a term that I find particularly useful these days.”
“It’s not because I have some sort of pathological dislike of the term. I just don’t use it … It’s not part of my lexicon. I’m a female politician, I’m a female foreign minister … get over it.”

9 responses to “Team Abbott: We're not feminists! Get over it!

  1. Julie is smart – she thinks men do not care for feminists but she has lost my vote. Feminists are about equal opportunity, pay, conditions for women – and there’s plenty of room to improve these in Australia. Using the term also acknowledges what feminists have done in the past to make the lot of women better now.

  2. This a very moderate opinion. ‘Julie is smart – she probably thinks’ could be a moderation to give her the benefit of some doubt.

  3. I am a middle aged white male, and I am a feminist. I believe in equal rights for women (and people of all races, creeds and orientations). I believe in the right of women to make their own choices about things that affect their life and lifestyle, without being controlled by disinterested parties (such as lawmakers controlling reproductive rights) or those who want to blame for the unreasonable actions of others (such as “It’s her fault she got raped”).
    Feminist and feminism are still terms of great relevance today, and on that basis are still “particularly useful”.
    Get over it, indeed.
    Regards, Kevin

    1. Firstly, all humans have the right to be treated with care, dignity and respect, not just females. There’s a reverse chauvinism to the term ‘feminism’ that I think limits its acceptance. For many (including me) it’s a poor handle for a movement that espouses equal treatment for all. Feminists will rail against this view, but if they really want a fairer world for all (that’s what’s claimed) they should possibly go for a term that focuses attention simply on notion that every human should have the means to reach their full potential. I don’t have the word off the cuff, but humanism would be a better interim solution. Getting back to Julie Bishop, I think the reason she may eschew the term is that, as foreign minster, she also sees the plight of the other 50 percent of humanity that could use some fairness.

      1. As long there is discrimination that is gender based, feminism remains relevant. Equal pay for equal work seems to be undermined down gender lines, although racial discrimination will stop some people even being able to get the job in the first place in some circumstances. The right of a woman to terminate or continue a pregnancy, or choose her birth control, is absolutely a gender issue. The suggestion that a woman should not walk alone at night because a man might pray on her, or that if she chooses to wear a short skirt it is her fault if he does, are also gender issues.
        My desire for equality is broader than just encapsulating the female of the species, but that does not make my feminist beliefs, or anyone else’s, less valid. Feminism is still valid, as are individual campaigns for equality for specific races, cultures, or other aspects of humanity.

      2. Thanks Phil, and all the other smart men and women for understanding feminism stood and stand for equality and fairness beyond gender!! The latest Australian- in Europe it’s still ‘cool’ to be a feminist) backlash implying feminism as a dirty word, is a misleading ploy of those who seem hell bent on seeing others have less (respect, power, freedoms, power!) – hmmm except for struggle and hardship. I am a feminist- and I am proud.

  4. Actually Tony has apparently, thanks to those magic daughters of his, been converted from ‘an unreconstructed bloke into a feminist’. So it is ironic that while none of the ‘women’ (each of whom benefit enormously from white capitalist privilege) identify with the term ‘feminist’, the most misogynistic leader we have ever had in the country apparently feels entitled to feminism as well as women’s bodies. Yay Tony!

  5. Also can I just point out that equating ‘feminism’ with ‘equality’ is very misleading as a significant number of feminists do not want ‘equality’ within the current system. Reform feminists do, largely because they see the practical benefits for women in say earning ‘equal pay for equal work’. But in the long term the notion that someone is paid enormously well for being an executive manager of a corporation, yet society deems teaching (which even with a substantial male cohort, is still a ‘feminised’ profession) to be of next to know value speaks to the way in which patriarchy damages both women and men. Feminism has a very simple definition which can be used to help men understand that it very much includes them and it is from bell hooks:
    “Feminism is a political movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression”

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