Monday, November 05, 2007

Is Gillard setting women up for conflict?

Julia Gillard, deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party, made this prediction back in August:

There will come a time when we women will be judged purely on achievements and strength of character rather than whether we ascribe to what are seen as feminine traits, fit a particular model of attractiveness for public life or have fruit in a fruit bowl.


This is an unfortunate way of putting things. It cuts women off from what is feminine in two ways. First, Gillard seems to deny that femininity is something irrevocably connected to womanhood. She states that women may or may not "ascribe" to feminine traits, as if femininity is something that can be picked up or discarded as a personal choice. Similarly, she doesn't simply speak of feminine traits, but of qualities "which are seen as feminine traits", as if to doubt their objective existence.

Worse, Gillard separates a woman's achievements and character from her femininity. The way she puts things you would think that femininity is not a substantive part of what it means to be a woman - that it isn't a core aspect of who a woman is and what she has to offer.

What is supposed to be cutting-edge feminism puts women in a difficult position. It makes what is distinctively female a negative, secondary quality.

Imagine having a female identity but seeing what is distinctively female as being inferior and in opposition to your life goals. Isn't this an unsuitable framework for a woman to live her life by?

8 comments:

  1. There will come a time when women will realize they've been snookered by feminists.

    It usually comes at around age 35 when those who believed the feminists decide they're ready to have children and find out that ignoring biological reality maybe wasn't such a good idea.

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  2. Tanstaafl, a good point. Just on Monday in the Melbourne Herald Sun I read this:

    "Dr Karen Weiss, regional manager of Relationships Australia, said women often enjoyed being single until they were 35, when they worried about meeting someone they could have children with."

    It's tragic for women to start taking marriage and children seriously when their fertility is starting to wind down.

    The irony is that feminism promised these women "reproductive choice", yet many will experience the opposite: the sadness of having left things too late and no longer being able to fulfil the choice to have children.

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  3. Keep in mind too that this happens primarily to the smart ones.

    I wish we could just laugh at their stupidity and ignore it.

    Unfortunately it's literally helping to extinct us.

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  4. I think some of these women would like to start a little earlier, but there is no expectation for men to get married either. When the biological clock really starts ticking, ladies find many 35 year old men are not interested in 35 year old women.

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  5. Why even care about these women? They are part of the problem. It's good that they are infertile and incapable of passing thier idiocy on future generations. I say, good that they are stranded in the biological time-bomb. What we have to do is stop thhem from recruiting young people to follow their lead.

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  6. Imagine having a female identity but seeing what is distinctively female as being inferior and in opposition to your life goals. Isn't this an unsuitable framework for a woman to live her life by?

    Yes. Which is why I am singularly unimpressed that Gillard is Deputy PM.

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  7. It is the feminists that are the most misogynistic. The hate traditionally feminine traits and they are the one's label them as inferior.

    It was Freidan who said that housewife/mother types were "not fully human." Most men did not see it that way at that time. Nor did most of the women.

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  8. It is the feminists that are the most misogynistic. The hate traditionally feminine traits and they are the one's label them as inferior.

    It was Freidan who said that housewife/mother types were "not fully human." Most men did not see it that way at that time. Nor did most of the women.

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