Stephen Mayne seems to be busy thrashing some strawfeminists lately - because "they" are not speaking out about the things he thinks they ought to. Unfortunately this does not appear on the Crikey! website, just in the daily newsletter.
Sexist patriarch Kerry Packer: Mayne's really got a bee in his bonnet about feminists having a go at the late magnate, but some things simply aren't worth commenting on. There has been reams of radical feminist theory about gender power imbalance. There was nothing particularly new to say about Kerry Packer's string of mistresses, misogynist remarks and fawning politicians, as they had no novelty to offer: it's all been seen before and condemned before, amongst every wealthy patriarchal elite there ever was. And I didn't see much waving of microphones at anyone who was particularly critical of the Big K, so feminists are hardly alone in being unheard on his flaws.
Govt initiatives benefitting stay-at-home mothers: Mayne apparently wants feminists to condemn a superannuation initiative allowing stay-at-home mothers the ability to make contributions even though are not earning an income - why on earth would feminists condemn that when the wage/self-funded-pension gap that results from women being the majority of primary childcarers has been a feminist concern for decades? Sorry Stephen, but even though it was introduced by Mal Brough, it's still a good idea.
Ditto for the Prime Minister celebrating more women running businesses from home: feminists generally are in favour of any measure which supports women earning an independent income, and if that can be done while they choose to be stay-at-home mothers, bully for them. Is Mayne somehow under the impression that feminism condemns those women who choose to stay at home as primary childcarers? Because that's we call a strawfeminist misrepresentation, Stephen.
Child support reforms: the reforms are a mixed bag, and there are certainly concerns that single mothers of young children will be worse off. At last Mayne hits on a topic worth feminist ire, and he claims feminists aren't addressing it. Well they mightn't be getting much airplay, but feminists are actually speaking out about that, or does Mayne think that the spokeswomen for the National Council for Single Mothers and Their Children and the Sole Parents Union aren't feminist enough? Should other feminists who don't work in the child support policy area stridently talk over the top of these women to keep Stephen happy?
A quick GoogleNews search will show that most newsdesks gave '' this '' story to ''female '' staff to report, and that not unreasonably the people they quote are from parenting advocacy groups of various stripes (interestingly they nearly all quote the same few people from the original AP release). Perhaps the editors thought female writers were sufficient as far as "feminist" input goes, and the news providers themselves just ignore whatever feminists have to say about these issues.
Are the editors going to get any Crikey! brickbats for giving us such lousy coverage of "women's issues" I wonder?