Sexism & feminism
The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Necessary Truths: Fatima Bhutto and Mona Eltahawy
Sisonke Msimang, Fatima Bhutto and Mona Eltahawy on stage at Melbourne Town Hall — Photo: Sophie Quick
'The role of artists is never to celebrate power.'Fatima Bhutto
There's a million reasons why we're told to keep quiet on difficult subjects: propriety and decorum, convention and status, fear of retribution. When women try to introduce nuance into certain public debates, it doesn't usually go well for them. Western media conglomerates are often more interested in protecting power than interrogating it. If a woman offers an unvarnished analysis of power structures, or a contrary view, it's often framed as ugly, inappropriate or ungrateful.
In this episode, recorded at the inaugural Broadside festival of feminist ideas, two of the world’s most fearless, most honest, most forthright voices – Fatima Bhutto and Mona Eltahawy – unpick the challenges and pitfalls of a life of truth. With host Sisonke Msimang, they discuss artistry, the west, power and biography.
The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Rage Against the Machine: Feminism and Capitalism
The panel, from left to right: Santilla Chingaipe, Fatima Bhutto, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Jia Tolentino and Aminatou Sow — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
What is feminism under capitalism? What is feminism without it?
'Art does become so very important – because it does help a community articulate a way of understanding the world that allows them to reimagine it, rather than reproducing it.'Tressie McMillan Cottom
Not all of us can afford to lean in, because some of us aren’t even in the room. We’re rightly galvanised by the fact that there are more CEOs at ASX200 companies in Australia named Andrew than there are women – but when did feminism become about earning power? Doesn’t it have to be anti-capitalist? Market ideas about success and failure seem like a shaky foundation for liberation for the 99% of women, so what does an uncommodified resistance look like?
In this conversation from Broadside 2019, hosted by Santilla Chingaipe, our panellists – Aminatou Sow, Fatima Bhutto, Jia Tolentino and Tressie McMillan Cottom – discuss she-EOs, 'ethical consumption', reimagining value and good ancestorship.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Jia Tolentino and Aminatou Sow on stage at Melbourne Town Hall — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Tressie McMillan Cottom
Tressie McMillan Cottom — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
'People really like to consume [black women] – our emotions, our cultural exchanges, the way we look, the way we speak, our experiences, our traumas. We do not have as much capacity for rendering visible our intellectual work … Can I evoke an emotional response from an audience? Publishers will want me to publish something that will be evocative, without being thought-provoking.'
With Thick, Tressie McMillan Cottom delivered a treatise on beauty, media, money, misogyny and race, a searing analysis animated by the ‘radical idea …[that] black women are rational and human’.
An award-winning sociologist, professor and author described as ‘transgressive, provocative, and brilliant’ by her Hear to Slay co-host Roxane Gay, McMillan Cottom works her way through politics, history, sociology and culture with critical dexterity and unapologetic force.
In this episode, recorded at the inaugural Broadside festival of feminist ideas, McMillan Cottom joins Aminatou Sow to discuss her work and career – including navigating academia, the publishing industry and addressing perceptions of how her work fits into various categories.
The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Taking Up Space: Building the City That We Deserve
A woman’s place in the world and right to move through it freely has always been controlled. Workplaces, our city streets, pubs and parks are not just traditionally unwelcoming, but can be dangerous and destructive. Patriarchy has, until now, dominated our public spaces, and the way that different bodies and identities are policed within them.
So how can public space be reconceived, and how can we create a city that is truly accessible? Can we break our urban environments free from Anglocentric and gendered constructs of the past? And – are we even asking the right questions?
Pictured, left to right: Jan Fran, Niki Kalms, Caroline Martin, Gala Vanting and Jax Jacki Brown — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
In this episode, recorded at the inaugural Broadside festival of feminist ideas, host Jan Fran leads a discussion with writer and sex worker advocate Gala Vanting, spoken word performer and disability activist Jax Jacki Brown, YIRRAMBOI First Nations Festival creative director and Yalukit Marnang founder Caroline Martin and Monash University design researcher and XYX Lab founding director Nicole Kalms. They talk about urban space – and, ultimately, the intellectual work we have to do before we can even begin to talk about building anything.
‘Memory is a Creative Act’: A gallery of Broadside 2019 graphic recordings
This past weekend, the Wheeler Centre presented the inaugural Broadside festival of feminist ideas – with a blockbuster line-up of speakers and discussions. Complicated questions were posed. Difficult issues were surfaced. Creativity was celebrated. Graphic recorder Sarah Firth captured the discussion in real-time.
The Fifth Estate
American-born journalist Megan K. Stack is an acclaimed author and war correspondent. She was Moscow bureau chief for the L.A. Times when she made the decision to work from home and look after her newborn child. As her growing family followed her husband’s work through China and India, Stack’s new life forced her to understand the economy of women’s work, and the inequalities that make it possible to exploit ‘poor women, brown women, migrant women’.
Megan Stack (left) and Sally Warhaft (right)
Stack’s memoir, Women’s Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home, undertakes a forthright and relentless examination of domestic labour, and the complexities of working parenthood – for herself and for the babysitters, cooks and cleaners which made her continuing career possible. She asks: ‘Why was it that, whatever you desired, you could find a poor woman to sell it?’
In conversation with Sally Warhaft at Bendigo Writers Festival, Megan K. Stack discusses the ethics, unexpected emotional shifts and negotiations of the household as a workplace.
Presented in partnership with Bendigo Writers Festival.
Anything and everything in Sexism & feminism from across our archives.
‘Mensch’s Men’ Show Characteristic Condescension
When Jonnie Marbles attacked Rupert Murdoch with a foam pie during Murdoch father and son’s appearance before a parliamentary committee last week, he chose a fine time to do it. It was just after Conservative MP Louise Mensch had asked James Murdoch a pointed question: “Can you just tell me whether or not the Taylor settlement included a confidentiality clause?” It turns out that…
New News by the Centre for Advancing Journalism
Changing the Story: Reporting on Violence Against Women
Video of Leslie Cannold Speaking on the Problem with Feminists
(Click to watch video.)
The problem with feminists, according to Australian Humanist of the Year Leslie Cannold, “is that there aren’t enough of them”. In this video of her recent Lunchbox/Soapbox presentation at the Wheeler Centre, the author and ethicist tackles what ideals should inform how female representation unfolds in the popular imagination. Ultimately, she sees us aspiring to build a world in which…
Explore these other subjects, across our site.