Two small steps for women and LGBT, two giant leaps for humanity (hopefully).

It’s been an exciting 24 hours in Australian politics with two movements for equality slowly starting to gain some traction for change:

  1. Joe Hockey (Federal Treasurer) has agreed to lobby the states and territories to make sanitary products exempt from GST thanks to an online petition with over 90,000 signatures (originally shared on this blog two and a half weeks ago at which time their were approximately 12,000 signatures). While this is a great first step in the right direction, historically similar past campaigns have not resulted in change. Let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed and keep sharing and encouraging sign ups to the petition here.
  2. Bill Shorten (Opposition Leader) has confirmed Labor will move a bill to legalise same-sex marriage next week after the Greens stated they would bring marriage equality up for debate in the Senate later this year.

Exciting times, it’s just about a decade late. Read more at ABC.net.au on the tampon tax and marriage equality.

Abortion legislation. Because men should decide what happens to women’s bodies.

A rare mamamia article that actually makes some solid points on the situation where a Democratic Ohio State representative felt she had to share her own experiences of rape and subsequent abortion in order to counter the arguments to those proposing a new bill on abortions.

Because when it comes to women’s rights, women shouldn’t have to put their grief on display in order to be heard.

…it makes women’s participation in these debates conditional on their willingness to reveal sensitive information about themselves first.

…women who do not have, or are not prepared to share personal experiences, are instantly demoted or excluded from discussion.

…the act of disclosure acts as a double-bind, because as soon as a woman is done revealing an intimate aspect of her life, she is immediately at risk of being accused of being biased because of her personal connection to the issue.

…when women are expected to offer their personal narratives, they are often only seen and engaged with on an emotive level (as either a victim or a survivor), while the authority roles of expert and judge remain preserved for men.

The paradox here, is that this only enables men to continue to dominate the conversation, while women are kept on the sidelines.

Read the full article >