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feminist news round-up 18.02.16


Clementine Ford: footy fallout reveals footy’s antiquated views on women and relationships
Australian feminist writer Clementine Ford writes for DailyLife on the media and industry response to the fallout between former footballers and media personalities Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless. Ford calls the industry’s reaction ‘reinforcing regressive, outdated ideas about mateship’ and paternalistic views on relationships between consenting adults. Ultimately, in this world, women simply appear to be the prizes men have won along the way.

Crowdfunding campaign set up to fly child sex abuse survivors to Rome to hear Cardinal Pell give evidence
Child sex abuse survivors are crowdfunding to fly to Rome to hear George Pell give evidence in the royal commission from February 29. Cardinal Pell was cleared to give evidence on his time as an assistant priest in Ballarat via video from Rome rather than in person, due to medical conditions. Comedian Meshel Laurie set up the campaign with support from Ballarat’s survivors support group, Loud Fence, but the campaign hinges on whether the commission will be heard in a public space in Rome, as it is in Australia.

Thirsty Camel body-shaming ad withdrawn
Bottle shop franchise Thirsty Camel has had its radio advertisement withdrawn after complaints to the Advertising Standards Board say that it makes fun of eating disorders and the modelling industry. The ad’s female voiceover says that ‘at Thirsty Camel, we’re giving away a gourmet super model’s lunch. That is, a refreshingly free bottle of water’. The company claimed that the ad uses ‘satire to reference dated stereotypes about supermodels’ but promised not to use it again.

Triggs: ACL call to suspend anti-discrimination laws in plebiscite ‘disgraceful’
Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs has called the Australian Christian Lobby’s idea to suspend anti-discrimination laws in the lead-up to the same-sex marriage plebiscite ‘outrageous’ and ‘highly misguided’. Professor Triggs noted that the current threshold for free speech in Australia is ‘very, very high’, meaning that the ACL are free to campaign for the ‘no’ vote. The ACL are claiming that current anti-discrimination laws would mean that their arguments would be vulnerable to legal action.

Matildas Olympic Qualifiers squad named
For fans of women’s sport, the Matildas squad has been named for the qualifier games for the Rio Olympics. The qualification round will be held in Osaka, Japan, between February 29 and March 9. The Matildas are currently ranked 9th in the world.

Period pain can be as bad as a heart attack, according to experts
Olivia Goldhill of American publication Quartz has written a piece on dysmenorrhea and endometriosis, with experts noting that there is little research on the conditions and that doctors are dismissive when presented with symptoms. Writing from personal experience, Goldhill concludes that we need to talk more about period pain, in order for doctors to take the condition more seriously. (Trigger warning for cissexist language in the article.)

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