Tracey Spicer has done it again.
Tracey Spicer is a journalist, commentator and media trainer who has been a central figure in Australian media for decades. She is perhaps best known for her 14-year career with Channel 10 which came to an end when she was fired in 2006 after she had her second child.
In the years since, Spicer’s public battle with Channel 10 has been well documented in the media – she launched a lawsuit against them in 2006 on the grounds of unfair dismissal and received a $250,000 settlement from the network.
At Ben Jenkins’ and Zoe Norton Lodge’s Story Club night last week, Spicer stood up and read a poem she had written about gender discrimination in the workplace. It will ring true to anyone who has ever experienced such unjust treatment.
This story I tell you is really quite vexed.
The antagonist remains somewhat perplexed.
It’s about the time I was, effectively, de-sexed.
(My lawyer says I should refer to him as ‘Rex’.)
There is an irony, I must impress
That sex got me into this sticky mess.
(Minds out of the gutter: I’ve already ‘confessed’.)
It was with a child that we were blessed.
But this was TV in the early noughties
And I was approaching my early 40s.
For women, this meant our careers were short(ies).
So I prepared the troops for some well-aimed sorties.
“You’ll want to be home with the baby!” Rex said.
“Shouldn’t your husband be winning the bread?”
“You’re too long in the tooth,” shaking his head.
“We’ll get someone younger to stand in your stead.”
I knew my once bountiful beautiful breasts
Had flopped, like puppy ears, I attest.
But our value as women should not be assessed,
On perkiness pertaining to flesh on our chest.
You see, this had happened so often before.
I was told by one boss, “Stick your tits out more”.
Another, I should have knocked to the floor