The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Feminism Has Failed, not really, however, it will be debated tomorrow night

Posted by Rhiana Whitson on September 21, 2010

Don’t miss this event!

Tomorrow night! 6.30pm!

Feminism Has Failed

part of the Wheeler Centre’s Intelligence Squared debate series…


Author of The Feminist Denial Monica Dux, ABC journo Jennifer Byrne, journo Gay Alcorn and a few guys also…

I’ve gotta run, however, here’s what the Wheeler Centre has to say about tomorrow nights event…

After generations of effort, women still bear a disproportionate burden of domestic labour. Women are under-represented in the senior ranks of politics, business and the professions.

Women continue to be denied equal pay for equal work.

Perhaps more troubling still is the fact that the basic structures of power and influence bear the cultural marks of masculinity. In all significant ways, it remains a man’s world.

However, it could be argued that If feminism has failed, then it is because it has failed to mobilise women and that female acquiescence rather than male determination has preserved the status quo.

Or should feminists be celebrating a deeper victory in which a new generation of young men and women take equality for granted thanks to feminists who ushered in a deeper concern for justice – irrespective of gender?

Want more info? Check our Clem’s great interview with Monica Dux and Zora Simic posted here on TDC way back in 2008…


Tomorrow night 6.30 – 8.30pm


Melbourne Town Hall

90-120 Swanston Street
Victoria 3000

Tix are  $20 full and $12 conc.

and are available online


2 Responses to “Feminism Has Failed, not really, however, it will be debated tomorrow night”

  1. Nico said

    I wish I was in Melbourne so I could attend this event…

    …but I hate the mantra ‘feminism has failed’. I hope everyone leaves dissuaded.

  2. marianK said

    Even if I had been in Melbourne, I wouldn’t have bothered with this event. If it were a genuine attempt to focus on feminism in a constructive manner, the organisers would have chosen a more constructive title, like: ‘What has feminism achieved?’ or how about: ‘Well done, feminism!’

    It’s very important to those mainstream forces who seek to undermine feminism (and that list is endless) to keep repeating the mantra ‘feminism has failed’ or, alternatively, to keep asking the question ‘has feminism failed?’ By consistently framing the words ‘feminism’ with the word ‘fail’, a subliminal belief is thus maintained in the public mind (and, of course, in the minds of feminists themselves) that the two are inextricably linked.

    Other framing juxtapositions routinely used to maintain mainstream negative beliefs about feminism are: feminism/angry, feminism/rigid, feminism/irrelevant, feminism/man-hating and so on and so on. While masquerading as constructive criticism designed to make feminism ‘better behaved’ and thus ‘more likable’ (two goals that are as unwinnable as they are artificial), the real agenda is to keep feminism on the defensive, so that its energies are mostly directed into trying to please others, and one another, rather than just getting on with doing feminist stuff.

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