Archive for the ‘sexual politics’ Category

Glass ceiling truly shattered

February 21, 2011

A long time coming

It is still a struggle for committed gender feminists to accept a truth staring us in the face. A new study by the the UK Institute of Leadership and Management has declared that the long envied glass ceiling may be all in the mind. Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute was surprised at the results that suggests it is a lack of ambition and self-confidence, not overt male sexism that is holding women back from senior management roles.

For many years I have been writing about this issue and it is nice to read a news article that confirms what so many previous studies have shown. I concluded in an article in September 2000, in response to a bogus piece of research on salaries by the Australian Institute of Management, and which elicited the predictable “shocking finding” bleating of organizations like the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency,

Could it not be thought, in present day Australia, that the so called glass ceiling is really a glass mirror? Some women, when looking up, see themselves reflected in it. Equal opportunity and a society free from sex discrimination are obvious, necessary and good things. A dogged belief in equal outcomes is ultimately profoundly reactionary and patronizing.

The burka again: contempt for our openess

August 5, 2010

Burka is legal, but it’s about manners

A PERTH Muslim woman is now waiting for Perth District Court judge Shauna Deane to decide whether she can wear a burka while giving evidence in a case brought against Anwar Sayed, director of the Muslim Ladies College of Australia for fraud. Again, much ink and air time has been expended on this persistent, and very strongly felt issue.

Hugo Rifkind, a columnist for the British Spectator, recently wrote the best, most common sense, opinion about what should be done with the burka in Western countries in relation to the tricky problem of “rights”. Conjuring up the idea of wearing underpants on his head — any, his own, porn-star panties, Victorian bloomers — he explains that he has the right go into a Post Office, a Jobcentre, a school, a church or a mosque. “Such is my right, as a freeborn Brit, and nobody has the right to force me to take them off.”

But I don’t have the right to not be told by people who see me that I look like an idiot. I don’t have the right not to be asked if I wouldn’t perhaps mind growing the hell up, and taking them off.

When did the world suddenly decide that the right to do something necessarily entailed the right not to be politely asked to stop doing it? It’s a dangerous nonsense. None of this is about ‘rights’ at all. It’s about manners. Security concerns aside, of course, women should have the right to wear the burka, anywhere they like. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an inherently repellent garment, the wearing of which, in Britain, is basically just rude. So stop it.

So, getting back to the Perth woman; she was reported as saying “I’d like to make it very clear that … it’s a personal choice and we lead a very normal active life just like everyone else.”

Well I say that this is plain silly. How can she claim to lead a normal, active life with a sack covering her head? In Western countries it is simply not normal to cover your face and deprive everyone in public of seeing who you are, and then to expect to interact with you in a normal way. It is not normal to be an Australian women and feel uncomfortable showing your face in front of men other than your immediate family because you believe “intermingling” between the sexes encourages adultery.

Perth District Court judge Shauna Deane clearly has the judicial power to maintain her own standards of conduct and respect in her own court. Let us hope she has the courage, or the conviction, that to be hidden from view for personal reasons might just be considered to hold the court, the judge, the jury and the public in contempt.

The beauty of our system is that, in this case, the witness has the right to refuse to attend.

UPDATE

The Prime Minister has worked out which side her electoral bread is buttered.

BURQAS should be removed when the public interest overrides personal choice, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.

Navy all at sea

March 23, 2010

HMAS Success – warship’s culture of sex, grog and drugs

The first question is, why are we  surprised?

A CULTURE of drug, alcohol and sexual abuse existed on board the supply ship HMAS Success but there was no sex ledger, an inquiry heard yesterday. The culture extended to male and female sailors celebrating Anzac Day by having sex on a pool table in a Chinese bar as other sailors cheered.According to the ship’s captain, Commander Simon Brown, the incident was captured on video. It also emerged that a fifth sailor from the Success was put ashore in Hong Kong for having sex with a female sailor on the ship’s pool table. There is a strict no-touching and no-fraternisation policy on all navy vessels. The crew allegedly used the warship’s “goodwill” cruise of Asia between March and June 2009 as a drunken holiday, culminating in the smashing up of a bar in Manila.

Apart from the name of the ship, there seems to be several things wrong here.

Remember the acrimonious debates about women serving in the forces on active duty, and in confined spaces for weeks at sea. This behaviour is certainly appalling, but are we so blinded by feminist theory that no-one could have forseen it?

If the navy can’ t control drugs and excessive alcohol on their ships and bad behaviour on shore, what do they think  a “no touching and no fraternising policy” is going to achieve when they add a few girls on board.


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