Sally McManus is the first female Secretary of the ACTU - Australia's peak trade union body. She is also an anti-male radical lesbian feminist who is critical of women wearing dresses.
And yet she has attracted support because she is willing to take a militant stand against Australian jobs being sent offshore.
It seems that the price of trying to defend your job, if you are an Australian worker, is accepting the leadership of radical leftist feminists who want to overthrow heterosexual culture and the family. Not much of a choice on offer.
There is a political vacuum here of the sort that Trump was able to fill in the United States.
Below is a clip of Sally McManus at a "defend the burqa" meeting. She argues on the grounds of liberal autonomy theory that the burqa should not be banned because "women themselves as individuals have the right to choose who they are and what they do".
As part of her argument she also outlines a series of things that Western women are allowed to do that she considers more oppressive than wearing the burqa, including wearing dresses, high heels and makeup, and going on diets - she complains that these are oppressive as they are not done for the sake of the women herself but for the sake of appealing to men.
(There is some logical consistency here. If you believe in liberal autonomy theory then you are supposed to only make choices that follow from the wants and desires of your own "authentic" self. So Sally McManus is suggesting that women are not choosing what they want, but what men want, i.e. that it is not their own wills, but men's wills, that are driving the choices being made.)
It's interesting to note that the radical union left in Australia is so orthodox in its liberalism, and also that liberal autonomy theory can be used to suggest something so counterintuitive, namely that it is more oppressive for a woman to wear a dress than a burqa.
It seems unlikely that women began to wear the burqa in the Middle East because of some authentic, autonomous, individual desire of their own to do so. I can think of two possible reasons for the burqa being imposed. The first is that if you have a polygamous society in which one older man can have up to four much younger wives, then there will be many sexually frustrated younger men. The husbands will then have reason to impose on their wives a much stricter form of modest attire in public than would be needed elsewhere.
The second is that when women dress beautifully it does give them a degree of power in the public square. Men do feel the power of feminine beauty and attraction. Perhaps the Muslim system was designed to very strictly limit this female power to the home.
The liberal approach to the issue doesn't help much, as it is artificial to say that we should make choices as if were atomised, blank slate individuals expressing unique desires within a moral vacuum. We need a standard to measure what we choose apart from "it's my own authentic will that I desire this".
Sally McMahon believes it to be wrong, a violation of autonomy, if a woman chooses to dress attractively for the sake of men. But it seems to me that if a wife dresses attractively because she thinks it is pleasing to her husband that this is a more moral reason than if she just arbitrarily wants to do so as part of her own will. At least she is acting for the happiness of another.
I don't have a carefully worked out position on the morality of feminine beauty, but my instinctive attitude is that the Western mind sees an inspiring good in it, which means that its erasure by the burqa is strikingly alien and confronting, and that just as any creature seeks to fulfil the potential within itself, so too is it to be expected that a woman would wish to embody feminine beauty.