By BEN POBJIE
Feminism, right? Sometimes, I think, we can get sick of talking about feminism, and hearing about feminism. Sometimes it’s just exhausting, isn’t it? Boring. We wish sexism and misogyny and patriarchy didn’t keep getting raised. We’d like a break.
I feel this, I really do. I bet a lot of the people who spend a lot of time talking about feminism get sick of it sometimes too. Unfortunately, as much as we’d all like a break, it is difficult for feminists to take a break when every day some idiot goes and illustrates perfectly why they have to keep hammering away, because there is just so many more concrete-thick skulls to penetrate.
I was watching Q&A last night, and this really hit me with monstrous force, as I watched Kate Ellis MP attempt to answer questions and address issues in the face of some truly mind-boggling rudeness and disrespect from a sniggering bipartisan triumvirate of Lindsay Tanner, Christopher Pyne and Piers Akerman.
Here’s an example:
Now, in my opinion, in the area of feminism and gender relations, there are very many areas on which room for disagreement exists. I think reasonable people can differ on many issues without anyone being assumed to be stupid or bigoted. And you can disagree on all sorts of things. You can disagree with me, or anyone else, on women’s portrayal in the media, or on women’s dress, on affirmative action, on pornography or sexual freedom or sexism in the workplace. I would not necessarily think you a fool for taking a different position to mine on any of these issues.
But if you try to tell me that feminism’s job is done here, that we are not still living in a society that is positively drenched in sexism, then I will laugh you right out of that cosy little cocoon you’re snuggling up inside. Because if you’re living in this world, and you think everything is cool, men-and-women-wise, you’re pushing a line so obviously and directly at odds with the evidence in front of your face that you might as well be telling me that you just rode into town on a flying sheep.