“I deny that any one knows or can know, the nature of the two sexes, as long as they have only been seen in their present relation to one another. Until conditions of equality exist, no one can possibly assess the natural differences between women and men, distorted as they have been. What is natural to the two sexes can only be found out by allowing both to develop and use their faculties freely.” John Stuart Mill, 1869
18 June 2013. Sexism is in a war for legitimacy. Sexism and women’s rights are certainly frequent topics, but in Australia’s general media they are still too often being treated as a peripheral not fundamental issues. And it doesn’t matter how many women bleat about it, unless evolved men speak up in leadership, legitimising sexism as a crucial real world issue, we will not progress. (Did you cringe when I used the word ‘bleat’? Yet that is how easily women’s voices are dismissed.)
If Abbott becomes our new prime minister the recent advancements we have made discussing feminist issues could easily fall away as they get repackaged as “noise” around Julia Gillard’s leadership. We need to build on this momentum not let it fade away.