The Mum Network

I think I may be a little anti-feminist……*chucks another bomb, runs away

Screen shot 2014-03-09 at 12.18.38 AMPromised self to write something amazing and touchy, feely and stuff for International Women’s Day, which is today and the first thing that came to mind was “How unfair is it for the poor guys, there’s no International Men’s Day”. Googled and there is a day for the boys, Wednesday November 19. Phew – equality has been restored.

I read a quote today where a female Professor of something or other said.

”Men dominate all positions of power and influence in our society – in politics, business, the arts and universities.”

She lives in Australia so must have been living under a VERY FRIGGING BIG ROCK  last year when our highest Public and Political offices were ALL held by women:

The  Queen – nuff said.
Quentin Bryce was our Governor General
Julia Gillard was our Prime Minister
Marie Bashir was the Governor of NSW
Christine Milne was the leader of The Greens
Julie Bishop was the deputy leader of the Liberal Party (and became Foreign Minister after the election)
Tanya Plibersek became the Deputy Federal Labor leader in late 2013
Penelope Wensley was the Governor of Queensland
Ged Kearney was the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions
Peta Credlin became Tony Aboott’s Chief of Staff

Oh, and women got a tiny little thing called PAID MATERNITY LEAVE.

And then in business:

Gina Rinehart was the Wealthiest, not woman but, PERSON in Australia
Ita Buttrose was named Australian of the Year
Gail Kelly was CEO of one of our biggest banks, Westpac
Jennifer Westacott was the Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia
Julie Coates was the CEO of Big W
(this list could be enormously long, not listing them all, it’s late, I’m tired) 

There were more more women over the age of 40 then ever before reading the news, presenting TV programs and playing leading characters in major drama series like Offspring. Think: Melissa Doyle, Lisa Wilkinson, Sandra Sully, Nat Barr, Kylie Gillies, Angela Bishop & Juanita Phillips.  Cate Blanchett was running the Sydney Theatre Company and Asher Keddie won our biggest award ever, the Gold Logie!

And overseas Sheryl Sandberg was appointed the COO of Facebook and Marissa Mayer was appointed the CEO of Yahoo. Hillary Clinton was the 67th Secretary of State in America and if you’re a betting person, you’d put money on her becoming the next American President.

If you ask me 2013 was a bloody good year for women. I actually felt sorry for the guys, we even had the mining sector covered. They didn’t get a look in. But like all good people in great roles, things change and women can’t have all the good jobs all the time just because they’re women. Plus, we can’t do EVERYTHING, the boys need to pull their weight too. The best person for the job should be appointed, regardless of their gender, race or religion. With a few of the above roles changing hands (like our first female PM being replaced by Ruddo), feminism wasn’t stalled nor did it take a step backwards. The job went to another PERSON who was deemed a better person for the job at the time.

I am still really confused and a little scared by the word ‘feminist’ and as a result, I think I’m a little bit anti feminism. Many will scream that I’m ‘anti the sisterhood’ but as someone who has never been held back because of my gender, I find it hard to relate to feminism from a personal point of view.

More often than not, I’ve been paid more than my male peers because I’ve been able to argue successfully the cost for me to get to work is huge and way more than my male counterparts who have partners at home to take care of kids and home duties. I literally have to replace myself as mother and housekeeper because the Big Guy has a big job too and can’t stay at home so, it’s not cheap. My gender has actually been the reason I was chosen to be a Director on professional Boards. I’ve always been respected and if I haven’t, the guy at the desk across from me was being yelled at just as much as me. Being female has allowed me to speak my mind much more than my male counterparts who are often scared to offend in this overly politically correct world we now live in. My role as mother and professional has garnered incredible respect from men and women who understand how hard it is to do both. I’ve been able to make the choice to work for a few years and then take a year off when I felt my kids needed me most. What an incredible position to be in. For me, equality is well and truly here and I’m so grateful (perhaps I have the women’s movement to be grateful to, so thank you).

From a less selfish perspective I am very aware that women in our world still have a long way to go. China’s one child policy has meant most families have a preference for boys. China’s orphanages are still full of little unwanted girls. Women in middle eastern countries are expected to cover up regardless of religion because showing their beautiful faces and skin is seen as immodest and they’re so desirable that men can’t control themselves. Female circumcision is rife in many countries. Women are not given an education in many parts of the world and paid maternity leave is not available to all. These are the global issues we should be looking at when clinking glasses on International Women’s Day. It’s about those who really are disadvantaged because of their gender.

For me, the glass ceiling in Australia was well and truly lifted in 2013. We have choices and we have stability. We need to  stop whinging and bitching about inequality, in this country at least, or we’re going to go down like the Democrats did. We need to get on with the job of being ambitious and continuing our roles of professionals, mothers, home makers, workers and wives. Whatever role it is that we have chosen, we are so lucky and we thank everyone who fought hard for it.

If you want to talk inequality……….Gay marriage still isn’t legal.

Nuff said, shall write something light and fluffy tomorrow – this is getting waaaay too heavy!


  1. Well said La – couldnt have put it better myself. I have often thought that maybe the reason more women arent involved in politics is because they just dont want to be – who would willingly choose those hours!!!

  2. I just stumbled across this post, I wasn’t looking for it, and being a mere male, I probably won’t have anything of significance to say.
    Well, maybe just 1 comment, and that is, you’ve produce a great list of successful ladies here, and that’s good, but percentage wise, women are still down in numbers compared to men in the majority of areas, and that’s a shame.

    Our new government didn’t set a good example with its new cabinet following the election last September, with only 1 woman in it. They received the appropriate rubbishing in some parts of the media, but that won’t change their stance.

    After they named that cabinet, I put out this cartoon . . . . . . .


    • Great Cartoon Mick, very cool. I think the point is that there’s less women to choose from so naturally there will be less women in positions of power because they have a choice and many put their families first. It’s not that they’re not being chosen for the roles because they are but there’s no point in putting a female in a position of power or a big job if they don’t want it. We’re lucky we have choices and even luckier that our genetic make up means that we want to ensure our kids are ok first and foremost, even at the expense of careers. As for cabinet…..not really sure what to say about that!

  3. Adele

    At my office we have a committee of all men. Because of the industry I work in it’s not really surprising. But the Government is pushing us to find a female for the committee. If we find one who is duly qualified then I am all for it. However, if a woman is chosen just because of her gender then it enrages me. The most suitably qualified person is best, not the token female.

    I very much agree with you Lara.

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