The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘fairfax’

I know which Kylie I prefer

Posted by caitlinate on April 24, 2010

Kylie Northover is not the right answer. They wrote this article. Should you be uninterested in following the link and reading the whole article, let me summarise the main gist:

– Female performers are only as good as how attractive the writer finds them. Older female performers are embarrassing because they aren’t, in the opinion of the author, hot. Because they are no longer considered hot they should retire lest anyone be confronted by the horrifying spectacle of an older woman performing or being in the limelight. If they can’t retire they could take a job as ‘a judge on British reality show The X Factor. It’s a nice, dignified role, befitting an elegantly maturing pop star.’

– Kylie Minogue is an ancient 42 years old.  She should ‘pack away her breasts’ and ‘unhand the shorty-shorts’ lest she turn out like… Madonna. Kylie should really just wake up and realise that, like all women, all she is worth is what she looks like – and Kylie Northover doesn’t think she looks all that great.

I’m too tired to say anything more than: fuck this sexist, age-ist shit. If you wanna be a journalist surely there are better ways to do it than attacking other women.


Posted in body image, Media Watch, music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Montmorency Football Club & The Legal System

Posted by caitlinate on October 28, 2009

As I’m sure many of you have read, three junior members of the Montmerency Football Club – a suburban football club in Victoria – have been charged with the sexual assault of two young women. Thirteen other players were interviewed and the police say they expect to lay further charges. At the end of their playing season a group of young players had organised an unofficial weekend away to Phillip Island. **trigger warning** Whilst there they lured two women to the villa they had rented and held them prisoner whilst raping them. One woman was reportedly ‘sexually assaulted by as many as eight men’ and the other at least five different times. They finally escaped when a brawl broke out between the men and they could sneak away unnoticed.

I know that it is because it’s a high profile case (it appears sports teams raping women is in vogue for the media) but it is so exciting to see the police taking this crime seriously and the courts processing it quickly. Several women I know are still caught up in the legal system two years after their original assaults. One woman I know had to wait a year and a half before she even got a committal hearing. Rape and sexual assault cases frequently take years to be processed and, as I’m sure you can imagine or are aware, this is not an enjoyable process. It’s not as easy to move on and heal when you have a court date in two months… and then in five months… and then in a year… Apart from the waiting and the wondering there’s the potential – or at least fear – of having to see your abuser. A given part of the process is that you have to relive the experience of your assault over and over and over again – to the police, to the judge, to the lawyers, on paper, in person, via video link up. You have to be cruelly cross examined by the lawyer of the person who assaulted you (I state unequivocally, right now, that the majority of lawyers that represent rapists are fucking scumbags).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in law, Media Watch, Politics, sexual assault, violence against women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Thoughts on rape reporting

Posted by caitlinate on October 14, 2009

There’s a story up on The Age about the horrific rape of an Australia woman in Edinburgh. I’m attaching a massive TRIGGER WARNING to this article and this story. If you think reading somewhat graphic details about rape is a bad idea for you then be careful following the link to this story. It’s here.

Briefly: an Australian woman living in Edinburgh was raped multiple times by two strangers who were also physically violent in other ways. There’s a couple of reasons I want to mention this article.

First is that Fairfax has finally managed to write an article about rape that isn’t horribly offensive. (I checked outside and the apocalypse hasn’t come so I’m not really sure what is going on.) Sure, the title (‘Australian woman’s eight-hour rape ordeal’) is a bit jarring and they mention the nationality of the perpetrators, a possibly unnecessary descriptor. But, for the most part, it’s a simple and well written piece of reportage on an horrific and devastating crime.

Second is, why?

The article states that the “rape was reported as one of the worst to ever occur in Edinburgh.” This makes me wonder if she’d instead been raped by her partner who was claiming she had consented, would the reporting be as straight forward and clear? Or would they write “pretty bad but not the worst” and would we be back to the inverted comma’s of ‘rape’? I understand that there are different levels of brutality and different forms of trauma, some worse than others. But I try really hard to not buy into the sliding scale of rape. Disqualifying a persons experience of rape as ‘less’ than that of someone else is very dangerous territory. One of the cruelest things about rape, that I think a lot of people don’t understand, is that it often can’t be measured by the form of the original attack, it’s the long term emotional consequences that are the true terror. Obviously, the rape itself impacts on those long term consequences but not in a definitive definable way.

I know I sound awfully cynical here but to get to the point: is the reason the article is written so clearly due to the crime itself being so brutal and horrific? There is no way anyone could cast aspersions on the survivor after reading in detail about what happened to her. Additionally, the survivor was able to give lengthy and detailed statements to the police about her attack as well as appearing in court. Is the reporting on this woman’s experience fair, balanced and reasoned because what happened to her is – beyond a shadow of doubt – awful and because she was able to tell us exactly how awful it was?


Posted in Media Watch, sexual assault, violence against women | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Fairfax Still Loves Bettina

Posted by caitlinate on April 4, 2009

A short while back The Age published this piece by Bettina Arndt (an anti-feminist pro-rape sociopath masquerading as a sex therapist). There were, you know, some disgruntled people as a result. Their way of restoring balance isn’t to publish a well written, articulate and composed response (of which there are so many available) but to instead publish this piece of crap. An article that presents itself as a rejoinder to the fucked up notions that Arndt is pushing but, in actual fact, does nothing to explain why anyone would find Arndt offensive or why her women-blaming misogyny is, you know, not okay. Instead it tacitly legitimises Arndt’s arguments by publishing a juvenile, confused and completely fucking stupid response involving something about men being old, fat and bald and that’s why we don’t wanna fuck em. I suspect the author of the article is trying to be funny (forgive me for not getting the joke) but the whole article is based on the premise that, yes, women are to blame, women are doing something wrong, it is the fault of women that men aren’t having sex… but here are some reasons why. Why are we still coming up with fucking reasons why it is okay for a person to say no to sex? Why can’t we just accept NO!?!

Part two of my outrage involves the ‘Your Say’ page for this article. First off they refer to women as “fairer sex” in the blurb. I kid you not. Hello, calling Fairfax, are you aware we’re in 2009? Arriving at this page I then made the fatal error of scrolling down and actually reading some of the comments and I’m so choked with anger and jaw-to-the-floor I can’t even type straight so will rely merely on quotes. Here is the very first cab off the rank comment for your perusal:

“I think the photos of the men in the Age and the Heading Implying that men are to blame is In appropriate.

Women also are looking overweight and gross..”

Yes. It is inappropriate to suggest men are to blame because that would mean we weren’t blaming women and brain explode for Andrew.

The next best one is about ten down:

Wow what a bitter and biased article. I find it particularly suprsing that this article is written by Wendy Frew, who I put politely will certainly not be challenging the next Miss Universe contest.

The point of the initial survey is that after having children many women focus too much on themselves and the children, and not enough time on the relationship with their husband. It doesn’t have to be the bitter slant Ms Frew put on it but it is a very real issue.

I find her comments particularly stupid considering out of the group of friends that my wife and I spend time with I’d say as far as appearance goes this would be a fair indication. Out of 10 males only two would be considered overweight and none would be considered obese. Out of the ten females I’d say 5 of the women would be over weight and 2 would be considered obese. I’d also say that of these seven over weight women, only the two who are obese would actually think they are are over weight. Yes it is true that most of these women have had children but we are purely talking about attractiveness here, not how it happened.

Many women have what I call the “David Brent” opinion of themselves. They delude themselves to thinking that being overweight is just normal and still attractive.

Now are the men in the survey complaining about their overweight partners? On the contrary they want more sex and their overweight wives are not giving it to them.

As far as I can tell this guy can be summarised as saying: “fuck fat bitches, you’re a fat bitch, fuck you”. Which is quite a thoughtful and considered argument really. I wish that guy would bring his thoughtfulness and consideration over to my neck of the woods. We could have a beer, go for a walk, maybe kill a little time in the park kicking a ball around. It’ll be swell.

This is all just another reminder of why I find myself regularly boycotting The Age… isn’t it meant to be better than the Herald Scum? At least the HS aren’t pretending to be something they’re not.

– Edit – In the comments Amber mentioned a Lateline interview with Bettina Arndt. It’s 17 minutes long and you hear some pretty yuck things from Arndt but it’s worth taking a look at – Emily Maguire and Tony Jones (the interviewer) do a great job of bringing light to and discounting some of Arndt’s more questionable assertions and placing them closer to the context of reality. You can read the transcript or stream the video here.

Posted in Blog Watch, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Just How Much Does The Age Value Catherine Deveny’s Contributions?

Posted by Clem Bastow on March 18, 2009

Not a whole lot, it would seem.

Two weeks back, Deveny wrote – in honour of International Women’s Day – a stunning piece about the lack of female voices in the Australian media. Her weekly columns may be polarising, but there are many who turn to the Opinion page come Wednesday morning just to see what she has to say. Those of us who love her do so because we love her wit, passion and honesty. Two collections of her columns have been published. In other words, you could be forgiven for thinking that The Age would want to hang on to her for dear life – but you’d be wrong.

Since last Wednesday, Deveny has been on strike:

[New] editor Paul Ramadge declined to honour an agreement Deveny had struck with his predecessor Andrew Jaspan for a pay rise that, according to one Age insider, would have taken her into the stratosphere.

The Age (and Fairfax as a whole) has a recent and rich history of stuffing around its editorial staff, but such behaviour is even more injurious to its freelance contributors, of which Deveny is one. She is a contractor who recieves no super, benefits, holiday pay, maternity leave, sick pay or long service leave. The blokes at the top get paid performance bonuses for cutting costs. The last thing Deveny wrote about the was the lack of strong female voices in the media (and only 13 of the last 69 opinion pieces in the paper were written by women). Now she’s not there.

Complain and tell your friends – tell The Age (and Ramadge) that you don’t approve of their dealings: call 9600 4211 for reader feedback, or send a letter to the editor.

Posted in Business, Media Watch, Weekend Love-In | Tagged: , , , , | 24 Comments »