feminist news round-up 14.04.13
Ladies’ Night, Qanda style.
The ABC loves a good ol’ fashioned theme. The national broadcaster’s ladies’ edition of panel program Q and A began as news of Margaret Thatcher’s death rolled in on Twitter on Monday evening. The panel featured indigenous opera singer Deborah Cheetham, author/research scientist Brooke Magnanti, Germaine Greer, Mia Freedman and The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen. They were charged with discussing everything from whether chivalry is dead to how young women should view sex work, with a revisiting of Germaine Greer’s 2012 comments about Julia Gillard’s dress sense to boot. Greer has not backed down on the assertion that the Prime Minister’s jackets make her behind look large, despite criticism that the comments reduced Gillard to her dress sense instead of focusing on her political abilities.
Margaret Thatcher passes away aged 87
Britain’s first female prime minister and longest serving leader of the 20th Century passed away on Monday aged 87. Her death caused reflections on a controversial reign that many see as crushing trade unionism and strengthening class divides in Britain to this day. But political leaders from Julia Gillard to Barack Obama mentioned her strength as a female leader and the path she paved for female politicians in Britain during her 11 year leadership.
Tasmania may ban abortion clinic protests
Tasmania will debate new abortion legislation in their lower house next week, which will include the prohibition of protest groups demonstrating in front of abortion clinics. The Reproductive Health Bill includes a clause making it a criminal offence to engage in such behaviours as obstructing others from entering clinics, conducting protests within 150 meters of clinics or recording people entering or exiting the space. Both church groups and the Tasmanian Greens reportedly have reservations about preventing protests, but the legislation will be considered in parliament next week.
G8 Combats rape as war tactic
The G8 Summit in London has seen nations commit to measures to eliminate the use of rape in war and conflict. The ground breaking agreement will see $US35.5 million committed to tackling sexual violence in conflict. The move also carries the symbolic message that G8 nations view sexual violence in war as a severe breach of the Geneva Convention, and will work within their own militaries to educate and respond to rape in war.
Femen’s topless protests controversial
Women’s movement Femen has been criticised for a ‘topless jihad’ protest movement that began in support of Tunisian activist Amina Tyler, who was threatened with death for baring her breasts in a protest photograph. Topless Jihad Day saw protesters from around the world post half naked pictures of themselves to Femen’s Facebook wall, scathing of Islamists who they claim oppress women. The movement has sparked critiques from Muslim women (explained eloquently by the lovely Susan Carland here). The split between western Femen members and Muslim women themselves, who believe nude protests are not conducive to liberation, has been highlighted thanks to the movement.
Also covered on lip this week: