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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

On the one day a year where we’re told it’s acceptable to consider women as fully human, and think about how the world is for women, SMH are running a story about workplace sexual harassment claims that they say have been sparked by Kristy Fraser-Kirk’s recent case against David Jones. Given that last week there was some fairly eloquent commentary from the current Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, that it would provoke other women to come forward with their stories instead of keeping quiet, and that this was a good thing, and that anyone considering Fraser-Kirk (or by implication other women making sexual harassment claims) as ‘gold diggers’ was continuing to perpetuate misogyny, you’d think that on this day (the 100th anniversary of this day even) SMH might show a little respect. While the article itself is not offensive, and is simply a rehashing of elements of last week’s feature on Elizabeth Broderick, the headline writers have outdone themselves.

The headline for the story? Copycats: Fraser-Kirk sparks new discrimination claims. Then when you click through “Fraser-Kirk case triggers flood of claims”. Well done Sydney Morning Herald. Copycats? Women coming forward with stories of workplace harassment are dismissed as being schoolyard ‘copycats’? Floods? No, that’s not alarmist language. If you read the article, it says there will be 100 more claims this year if the trend to report it more continues. Given the population that’s hardly a landslide, but thanks for startling people into thinking that these ‘copycats’ are going to totally collapse the system with their floods of bogus claims. Fuck you.

There was one link to anything related to International Women’s Day, being an article by Annie Lennox, but the rest of the stories featuring women were of abuses, broken celebrity engagements, a video of a model dancing, childhood pics of Kate Middleton, and an article saying Michelle Obama is ‘hot’, ie seen as warmer than her husband. In amongst articles on the price of milk, the guy who accepted free ‘sex sessions’ in order not to report breaches of building codes, a toddler mauled by a dog, a guy who is demanding to know if the judge is Jewish or a Freemason and all the usual crap. If you look hard enough you can find a tiny link to a story about the governor general talking about quotas.

Happy International Women’s Day 2011. It’s nice that after thousands of years of oppression and violence we get one fucking day in a year and the mainstream media could care less. I guess at least it wasn’t a big pink-fest.

ETA: Took a quick spin through sites to do a ‘front page’ test.

Well the ABC news website contains NO clues to the fact that it is IWD.

The Guardian is off the hook so far since it’s still Monday there and they already have a link up to this article (click through to watch the video).

The NYT has nothing, but again, it’s only Monday there.

On the ‘aternate media’ front, Larvatus Prodeo so far has nothing up, and same with Crikey. It is prior to business hours so let’s see how the day progresses shall we?

ETA (9:35 a.m) Nothing on Crikey or LP still.

ETA (10:00 am) SMH has removed the link to the Lennox article from the front page. In the ‘Life & Style’ section (what the FUCK?) there is an ‘inspiring women’ link, full of the faces of grinning white women. And directly under that ‘Women prefer funny to flawless’ with a pic of a bare male chest just so you know they’re not talking about ‘Those Lesbianists’. The section under the main banner where the Lennox article has been bumped from now has the primary spot given over to Sophie Monks fucking engagement break off. I don’t know, Monk may be LOVELY, she may be a feminist wonder, but I don’t fucking CARE about her engagement break off. It isn’t news. Whereas, hey, the ONE HUNDREDTH FUCKING ANNIVERSARY OF IWD…the one article directly addressing that? That was news but it’s now bumped). The link still works to the Lennox article, it’s just not on the front page which means no one new will find it but for links shared on Facebook etc.

Still nothing on Crikey or LP. Good work people.

ETA: 11:55 am. Still nothing at Crikey or LP. Link to the one major article on IWD still missing on SMH, gone too is the link to the article on the Governor-General and quotas. ABC news now has one small link to an article on the lack of gender-related pay equality. The article itself from a quick scan seems very good, but it’d be great to have something more prominent on the front page of the 100th anniversary of International Womens’ Day.

ETA: 7:39 am Wed 9 March Another article buried in the smaller headlines on the front page today – article is good, but headline says ‘Women dominate but men rule’.

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