The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘surveys’

Note To The Morning After Pill Isn’t An Anti-Depressant

Posted by Clem Bastow on December 17, 2008

Gotta love a bit of braindead photo editing in a major news source: today’s (and, presumably, its accompanying News Ltd papers) have run a story regarding the latest study by Women’s Health Australia that has suggested depression (and the accompanying use of anti-depressants) is “rife” amongst Australia’s young women. It’s a concerning trend; as the piece notes:

The search for answers in prescription medicines has had young women making about seven claims for anti-depressants a year against the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and spending $113 a year out of their own pockets on treatment.

They reported higher rates of depression (18 per cent) than women aged 53 to 58 (13 per cent) and those aged 79 to 84 (10 per cent).

So what do the champs at (not known for its particularly shining feminist credentials when it comes to reporting on women’s health, reproductive rights and/or issues of choice) do with the story? Well, everyone knows stories are boring unless they have pretty pictures, so they trundle over to AP to grab a shot of some “pills” (because, you know, anti-depressants = pill popping, or something):

Except, what’s that in the anonymous (and seemingly male) hand? Why, it’s the ‘morning-after pill’, Levonelle!


Seriously, it’d be a stretch to suggest that someone in the photo room is trying to subliminally imply that women are depressed because they’re sleeping around and using emergency contraception, but feminist conspiracy theories aside – is it too much to ask for a bit of care in both reporting and illustrating of stories, particularly when the issues they are illustrating are a cause for concern? Oh, you know, I guess it’s just chicks’ news – no one will notice!


Posted in Media Watch, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Getting To Know You

Posted by Clem Bastow on September 21, 2008

The Dawn Chorus will be growing bigger and better over the next month, and we’d like to know what you want to see on the site (and what you don’t!) and a whole mess of other information about you, so we can tailor the site to keep our readers happy.

So, we’d like you to take a few minutes to answer some survey questions about the site, the feminist web, and yourself. Don’t worry, we don’t want to know how much you earn, where you live or what dunny paper you use, and we’re not going to sell your 0s and 1s to any corporations; we just want to know who you are and why you come here!

Ready? Take us there, Mr Sulu!

Posted in Announcements | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Getting To Know You

That’s ‘Essential Baby’, Not ‘Get A Load Of These Babies’

Posted by Clem Bastow on September 19, 2008

Essential Baby is Fairfax Digital’s web presence for mums and parents, covering all things baby – from pregnancy to Baby Crocs (god, I sound like a marketing executive). So it figures, then, that they would run a story about the breastfeeding rates of various countries (apparently Norway is beating Australia 90% to 65% when it comes to breastfeeding, largely because that country provides better support to breastfeeding mothers, according to the experts questioned in the piece). It’s quite an interesting insight into the way certain countries choose to assist (if at all) mothers who choose to breastfeed.

Which is why I am having trouble working out why the Fairfax Digital team decided it would be best to create this little graphic/blurb to use on The Age Online as a click-through feature:

A note to the design team: babies are suckling on them, not FHM readers.

Posted in Family, Media Watch, Sexist Stock Photo Watch, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Today In ‘Sweeping Generalisations Digest’: Australian Women Are “Too Timid” At Work!

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 19, 2008

Hey ladies, wondering why you just can’t get ahead in the workforce? Perhaps it’s because you keep lying down and letting yourself get walked all over? That’s the word from the latest “study” of questionable value, this time from – ahem – “US researcher Sharon Goodson”, who reckons Australian women are “too timid” in the office:

U.S. researcher Shannon Goodson says Australia’s professional women are not earning what they are worth because they “struggle with stage fright and sensitivities about appearing too forward, pushy or intrusive.”


Ms Goodson was surprised by the results, given the stereotype of the meek English woman and the brash, outspoken Aussie.

“They’re not comfortable with conflict,” she said of Australian women.

Right, so she actually thought that stereotypes were accurate reflections of her sample groups before she began the study? Gee, off to a flying start.

My experience in the offices of Australia is fairly limited given I’ve worked from home for the past four years, but in the office I did work in, the women were amongst the most outspoken members of the team. I can’t help but feel that hollow studies like this are just another way to perpetuate outdated ideas about the way women work.

I’d be interested to hear from those who do the 9-to-5. Do you think this research is accurate?

Posted in Business, Media Watch | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Poll Finds Australian Male Drivers Should Put Their Hands Back On The Wheel

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 1, 2008

File this one in the “what did they expect?” folder: Australian Top Gear magazine has polled its readers and, surprisingly, found that the rev-heads are knuckle-dragging cavemen a little sexist when it comes to their fellow, female drivers.

In a survey of 3,000 readers of motoring mag Australian Top Gear, only 15 per cent said they felt comfortable when their wives or girlfriends were driving.

Almost half said they liked to point out serious flaws in their partners driving skills and many admitted they were embarrassed.

When reversed, most men said they couldn’t handle being corrected by women.

More than 60 per cent said that when a woman pointed out a fault in their driving they “sail on at 160km/h in a 50 zone – the car has airbags after all”. More than 30 per cent said they would want to push them out the door.

Almost 40 per cent of respondents said they would want to call the divorce lawyers if their partner corrected their car knowledge in front of their mates.

Okay, I know the multiple choice answers offered are meant to be “funny”, but pushing a woman out the door of a moving car? Theoretical violence against women is hilarious! Give these guys a Walkley!

The editor, Stephen Corby, tries to act repentant and tut tut his readers, feebly adding “If they’re all such good drivers, why do they crash more often than women?” but perhaps he should look at himself and his editorial team for offering the readers the chance to air their misogynist tendencies in the first place?

Incidentally, for once I would like to congratulate the Fairfax Digital photo team, for choosing to illustrate the story with one of my favourite road safety campaigns ever:

Says it all, really, doesn’t it?

Posted in Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

“Are You An Average Australian?” Dunno, Do You Have Boobs?

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 22, 2008

Yet more sunny sexism from the stock photos folder – today we have this charming example, illustrating a piece on what the “average Australian” earns, spends, and so forth:

Can’t read the first little bit of the caption? It says “Stacking up…” GEDDIT? Like “stacked”? Boobs? Hur hur hur!

Click through to the article and there are our anonymous bosomy friends once more. This has nothing to do with anything, really, unless they’re clutching at straws and tying it in with this alarming statistic:

This is bad news for people on the brink of retirement.  The average super payment for men this year is expected to be $155,000, while women can expect an average payout of $73,000. These payouts have to stretch a long way.

There’s no word as to whether this is to do with men currently at retirement age having worked more, over their years in the workforce, than their female counterparts, or whether it’s to do with discrepancies in pay rates between men and women, which is still a huge problem.

But why answer the difficult questions when you can just show some bazoongas in a tight t-shirt?

Posted in Media Watch, Sexist Stock Photo Watch | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

“Women Managers Make Greener Business Decisions”: Report

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 18, 2008

Reader Sophie sent through this little business tidbit – a study has found that women managers and CEOs are more likely to make environmentally sound business decisions than their male counterparts. Here are the findings in not-so-easy-to-read tabled format:

If you’ve lost your microscope, the actual results can be found in this PDF report of the findings, which are part of a larger survey of green business practices.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the findings are accurate? Or is the idea of a “green” female manager just another way to flip the whole cigar-chomping man-in-suit stereotype of business on its head, in essence another way to brand female business leaders as the fairer, greener sex?

Posted in Business, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »