Posts Tagged australia

Prime Ministering while female

So, Australia’s Foreign Minister resigned yesterday. He resigned at 1am yesterday at a hastily-convened press conference in Washington, DC, in the middle of a trip.

A little background, for those of you who aren’t Australian. Australia’s until-recently Foreign Minister is a man by the name of Kevin Rudd. In 2007, the Australian Labor Party swept into office, largely thanks to the energy created by the prospect of having Rudd as head of the party and therefore as Prime Minister. Rudd’s Deputy PM, Julia Gillard, was the first woman to serve as Deputy PM. And then, in 2010, after months of rumours of intraparty conflict and leadership struggles, the ALP booted Rudd and replaced him with Gillard.

Gillard became Australia’s first ...

So, Australia’s Foreign Minister resigned yesterday. He resigned at 1am yesterday at a hastily-convened press conference in Washington, DC, in the middle of a trip.

A little background, for those of you who aren’t Australian. Australia’s ...

Update: Australian Labor Party votes to add marriage equality to its platform

“Surely Australia has reached a point where we can value relationships by markers such a respect, commitment and love.”

That’s Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong, who is openly gay, in her remarks to the Australian Labor Party conference this past weekend.

Last week I posted a video that was made by the Australian political action group GetUp, in which Australians were urged to sign a petition indicating their support for same sex marriage rights. The timing of the video was significant: this past weekend, the Australian Labor Party, the party of the Prime Minister, held its annual conference, at which same sex marriage was one of the issues up for debate.

It appears that GetUp succeeded in harnessing public opinion ...

“Surely Australia has reached a point where we can value relationships by markers such a respect, commitment and love.”

That’s Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong, who is openly gay, in her remarks to the Australian Labor Party ...

It’s time… to get out the Kleenex

This ad from Get Up!, an Australian progressive group, urges the Australian government to legalise same sex marriage. Before you watch it, I urge you to grab a few tissues, because it is beautiful and it will probably choke you up.

The video is called “Love Story,” and with good reason: most people, if they didn’t know going into it that it was an ad for marriage equality, would probably assume it was about a straight couple. A straight couple that meets, falls in love, moves in together, builds an extended family, goes through ups and downs, and decides to get married. You know, all the things that “normal” straight couples do. The point is to show that same sex relationships ...

This ad from Get Up!, an Australian progressive group, urges the Australian government to legalise same sex marriage. Before you watch it, I urge you to grab a few tissues, because it is beautiful and it will ...

Women at Australian Defence Force Academy treated as “game,” inquiry finds

Regular readers know I’ve been following the story about women cadets at the Australian Defence Force Academy for some time now. This April, ADFA became embroiled in scandal when one cadet had consensual sex with another, then filmed and broadcast the encounter to a group of other cadets via Skype without her consent.

In the aftermath of the incident, a dozens of cadets and former cadets alleged that they had been victims of sexual harassment, assault and abuse at ADFA and in the Australian Defence Force. One outcome was an in-depth inquiry into the culture of the ADF and its schools, with particular attention paid to the treatment of women.

Last week, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick revealed the ...

Regular readers know I’ve been following the story about women cadets at the Australian Defence Force Academy for some time now. This April, ADFA became embroiled in scandal when one cadet had consensual sex ...

Quick hit: Welcome to Australia

The debate over Australia’s immigration policy is heated, and, at times, utterly horrid. The dehumanizing terms in which politicians now speak about asylum seekers, referring to them as “the boats” – as in, “turn back the boats,” as if those boats don’t have real human beings in them – are profoundly upsetting, and echo the way American politicians talk about “illegals.”

A new campaign called Welcome to Australia asks, “if you were seeking asylum, how would you want to be welcomed?” It reminds Australians that with the exception of indigenous Australians, every one of them has been a newcomer at some point, and urges them to welcome asylum seekers the way they would have liked to be welcomed. Journalist and Welcome ...

The debate over Australia’s immigration policy is heated, and, at times, utterly horrid. The dehumanizing terms in which politicians now speak about asylum seekers, referring to them as “the boats” – as in, “turn back the boats,” ...

Men’s sheds: because blokes have feelings, too

I’m home in Sydney for a few weeks, visiting family and enjoying the crisp early spring after a long, sweaty New York summer.

Last week I opened our local paper to find an article about a plan to build and open a men’s shed in my suburb. What is a men’s shed? you’re probably asking if you’re not one of our many Australian readers. (If you are one of our many Australian readers, you might be bored by my explanation of men’s sheds, so please go watch this video of a baby wombat while I break things down for all those Feministing folks not lucky enough to live in the Land of Plenty).

A men’s shed is a space where ...

I’m home in Sydney for a few weeks, visiting family and enjoying the crisp early spring after a long, sweaty New York summer.

Last week I opened our local paper to find an article about a plan ...

An unwanted American export: invasive anti-choice tactics

Taking a dick move out of the American anti-choicer playbook, protesters at Australian abortion clinics have started filming women as they enter and leave clinic buildings. Doctors have called on police to intervene, but police can’t intervene because the protesters aren’t breaking the law.

Protesters say that the decision to videotape outside clinics isn’t about shaming women, but about protecting themselves. The Age reports:

Tanya O’Brien, of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants group that regularly protests outside abortion clinics, admitted that members of her group were filming outside clinics but said it was for their own protection in case they were attacked or subjected to allegations of wrongdoing.

You know what, Tanya O’Brien of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants ...

Taking a dick move out of the American anti-choicer playbook, protesters at Australian abortion clinics have started filming women as they enter and leave clinic buildings. Doctors have called on police to intervene, but police can’t intervene ...

In praise of Anna Bligh

What would Anna Bligh do? That’s the question some Australians have been asking as the flooding in the northeastern state of Queensland becomes one of the worst natural disasters in the nation’s history.

Bligh is the Premier of Queensland, a position she has held since 2007, a member of the Labor Party, and the country’s first popularly elected female state Premier. As heavy rains pummeled rural Queensland throughout late 2010, resulting in the rising rivers, spilled banks and flash floods that have now killed more than 20 people and destroyed thousands of homes, Bligh has emerged as something of a heroine in the midst of a crisis.

On Wednesday, the Sydney Morning Herald described Bligh as “indefatigable” in her involvement and engagement ...

What would Anna Bligh do? That’s the question some Australians have been asking as the flooding in the northeastern state of Queensland becomes one of the worst natural disasters in the nation’s history.

Bligh is the Premier of ...

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