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DEAR MR. SEXIST

Dear Mr. Sexist,

I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve taught me over the past 25 years.

Why, I had no idea I was so fat, ugly and stupid. I thought being a Size 12 was perfectly acceptable.

But when you yelled across the newsroom, “I want two inches off your hair and two inches off your arse,” suddenly, a light went on.

Of course! The size of my posterior is directly related to the content and credibility of the stories I’m reporting on for this network. Silly me. You’re right. I’ll never make it as a TV journalist.

Those wise words of yours from 1986 are still ringing in my ears: “That’s why you don’t see blonde newsreaders,” you explained patiently. “People don’t take them seriously.”

It reminded me of another sage piece of advice, from a radio boss during a job interview some years ago.

He put it simply yet eloquently: “There’s a reason why you don’t hear women on commercial talkback radio,” he said. “No-one wants to hear the whiney sound of a female voice. Us blokes get enough nagging at home!”

Really, in retrospect, it was foolish to think I was worthy of such a role.

Like all women, I only have two areas of specialisation: shoes and handbags. We all know high heels are a patriarchal construct to disempower us by constricting movement. (Oh dear. Must stop having thoughts like that. Sorry, I have no idea where that came from.)

Anyway, through some quirk of fate, I managed to land a newsreading job.

I know what you’re thinking. I finally decided to speak into that flesh-coloured microphone you were always pointing in my direction.

Oddly enough, I was offered the job by a woman. Who would have thought? Initially, I was wary. You always said you’d never work for a female boss because, “You can’t trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and doesn’t die”.

Hilarious! It’s a good thing I was wearing a corset or my sides would have split.

Fortunately, there were enough blokes around to keep me on the straight and narrow.

On my first night, the station manager came down and said, “You need to stick your tits out more”.

Once again, my brain wasn’t working properly.

In between the raging bushfires, the political crises and savage cuts to welfare, I’d forgotten to flirt with the camera.

A couple of years later – I’m ashamed to say this – I “porked up”, according to one of the producers.

My new boss quickly raced out and arranged sponsorship from the local gym.

Frankly, I was unsightly. I stood out like a bull in a china shop, around those fragile lollypop ladies with their skinny bodies and massive heads.

Speaking of heads, I got a nasty shock when I looked in the mirror one day. Wrinkles around my eyes AND on my forehead. Too much thinking? Surely not.

I remember you reviewing a video tape of one of my colleagues – clever girl, Walkley Award winner as I recall – and saying, “The problems seems to be here and here,” pointing to her ghastly crow’s feet.

As it turns out, wrinkles were the least of my worries. I’d gotten myself knocked up.

I wanted to go back to work when bubby was three months old but, once again, it took a man to show me the error of my ways.

“Women should be at home with their children,” my news director said. “Or the fabric of society will be rent asunder.”

“Anyway Trace. You’re getting a bit long in the tooth. Why don’t you give some of the younger girls an opportunity?”

Suddenly, all the lights went on. And it was so bright – it made your light look like a limp insipid flicker.

This is difficult for me to put into words but if I had to, it would sound a bit like this: Fuck you.

Fuck you, you misogynist bully with your archaic beliefs, intellect of a pygmy, and tiny dick. Fuck you, and all who sail with you.

The reason I am writing this letter is to thank you.

Among others – too many to mention – you lit a fire in my belly that’s become an inferno and these days, I don’t cop shit from anyone.

When I was sacked by email after the birth of my second baby, I fought the fuckers.

I use the term “fuckers” advisedly, having checked with my attorney. After all, truth is a defence in this country.

I do hope you receive this correspondence. I had trouble finding a forwarding address after you lost your house due to that unfortunate sexual harassment case.

(I’m sure the bitch was asking for it.)

Yours in emancipation,
Tracey

 

 

*This is an edited version of a speech Tracey Spicer gave at a Women of Letters presentation.The anecdotes contained in this letter may or may not be true, according to her attorney.

 

MORE ARTICLES BY TRACEY SPICER

Life’s Too Short To Be Busy

Time to Pull The Plug On Alan Jones

Please, Can I Give Some More?

I’m Glad I’m an Atheist

 

 

*Tracey Spicer is a respected journalist who has worked for many years in radio, print and television.
Channel Nine and 10 news presenter and reporter; 2UE and Vega broadcaster; News Ltd. columnist; Sky News anchor …it’s been a dream career for the Brisbane schoolgirl with a passion for news and current affairs.
Tracey is a passionate advocate for issues as diverse as voluntary euthanasia, childhood vaccinations, breastfeeding, better regulation of foreign investment in Australia’s farmland, and curtailed opening hours for pubs and clubs. She is an Ambassador for World Vision, ActionAid, WWF, the Royal Hospital for Women’s Newborn Care Centre and the Penguin Foundation, Patron of Cancer Council NSW and The National Premmie Foundation, and the face of the Garvan Institute’s research into pancreatic cancer, which killed her beloved mother Marcia 11 years ago. But Tracey’s favourite job, with her husband, is bringing up two beautiful children – six-year-old Taj and five-year-old Grace. Visit Tracey’s website at www.spicercommunications.biz or follow her on Twitter @spicertracey.

 

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249 Comments

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Layla

    I like this reply, but jeez it’s hard to accept that this actually went on! Very sad as I really believe that woman are stronger, smarter, more driven, emmotionally intelligent, organised and compassionate – in my mind it’s woman that make the world go round and more importantly keep it on its axis!

    • Reply October 16, 2012

      Susan Taylor

      Horrified Tracey at your letter but know it goes on as many of us have been subjected to more sexist comments than we’d like to remember in the workplace and life in general. Thanks to Julia Gillard too for opening the flood gates to speak en masse after holding our tongues for what seems to be a very long time. I have to say the worst experience I had was with a female boss but she was a one-off. Thank you for writing your letter lovely lady!

    • Reply October 27, 2012

      Your Humble Narrator

      I can’t believe “woman” make the world turn with so many spelling mistakes.

    • Reply November 3, 2012

      KARMA MRA MGTOW

      Television, newspapers and radio will be all dead in 10 -15 years….

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      j

      “I really believe that woman are stronger, smarter, more driven, emmotionally intelligent, organised and compassionate – in my mind it’s woman that make the world go round”

      That’s a pretty sexist comment in itself.

      So smart that they are completely unable to see the hypocrisy in their own double standards.

      Why is it frowned upon for men to be “sexist”.. but cheered on by the sisterhood. Women seem to ignore all the good that men do, and have done to make this world easier for them, and focus on how much better they are by themselves in their “man built” houses and “man made” iphones, driving their “man made” cars.

      This wasn’t men stopping women from doing things, this was men going out and doing things. Going out to look after their women and children.

      If a woman makes a comment on a man. e.g. “small dick” He acts like a man and deals with it, without whinging to everybody about how unfair it is.

      If a man were to say “bee sting tits” its the end of the world.

      Ladies figure out your own equality issues, before trying tell me about how it should go.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnKifxUZZJU

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Amelia

    Ahhhh yes this was familiar… i wrote my own post the other day. A comprehensive list of all the reprehensible sexism I’ve endured and not back in the 80’s I’m afraid http://ameliadraws.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/a-thankyou-to-my-father-and-my-prime-minister/

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Tracey

    Oh, Amelia – I just read your piece. So strong. Good on you. It’s interesting, Layla – I read out this piece at a recent Women of Letters event in Sydney. You would not believe the number of other women who came up to me – from different industries – and said, “That happened to me, too”. Unfortunately, it’s not isolated.

    • Reply October 15, 2012

      Amelia

      ( pssst everyone Tracey Spicer read my blog!) (that is the second time this weak i have giggled like Elmo!) Ah dear this thing is an infection I am so proud of all the woman and men who speak out xxxx!

    • Reply October 19, 2012

      nikki stevens

      I love what you have to say. All power to you Tracey.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    A jackson

    Worked for a religous solicitor who used to read me the bible then try to kiss me. Worked for a man who used to yell all yhe time at the women workers and speak respectfully to the males. Thank you Ms Spicer thank you PM Gillard

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Boo

    Ahhh sooo good. This line totally warmed my cockles: “Fuck you, you misogynist bully with your archaic beliefs, intellect of a pygmy, and tiny dick”

    • Reply December 3, 2012

      Tony

      What’s sexist?
      If I had of written that it would of been pulled down.
      Now ask yourself what double standards are?

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Kate

    Thank You Tracey! It’s great to finally hear women speaking out about their experiences of misogyny…. now if only people will listen we’ll have some chance of changing our society for the better. These are not one off incidences, women are having to put up with sexism every day. Sadly many women are so used to it, it hardly raises an eyebrow, and even more disheartening is when women side with men against other women…. I can only hope that the current discourse around sexism and misogyny gets people thinking and brings about real change for our future generations of daughters and sons!

    I recently split with my long term partner because I just couldn’t stand it anymore. He wouldn’t even discuss the issue because he found it too confronting! What is up with that? So long as men are not willing to engage in the discussion, what hope?

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Kate

    If there is anyone out there who thinks that sexism isn’t a real thing, follow @EverydaySexism for just a glimpse of what women are having to deal with every single day.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Jane Caro

    That’s what the blokes in the MSM missed and that’s partly because when a woman tells of her experiences, she’s accused of playing the gender card. Heads women lose , tails sexists win.
    it has happened to us all.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Bev

    It had to be said/written, Tracey. More power to you and to The Hoopla. Collective opinion among my group is that you left the others on that radio station for dead.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Michael B

    Fabulous article Tracey – I must say I am shocked absolutely shocked at the level of sexism in this country. I thought it was a thing of the past, left long ago in the 1970s. How wrong I was. I thank PM Gillard for her speech on Tuesday that opened my eyes, and other such as yourself, Jane Caro & #Destroythejoint.
    Yes I am a guy with 2 very young daughters. I would be devastated if they had to endured the inequality that you were subject to Tracey by the media industry.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Michael B

    Fabulous article Tracey – I must say I am shocked absolutely shocked at the level of sexism in this country. I thought it was a thing of the past, left long ago in the 1970s. How wrong I was. I thank PM Gillard for her speech on Tuesday that opened my eyes, and other such as yourself, Jane Caro & #Destroythejoint.
    Yes I am a guy with 2 very young daughters. I would be devastated if they had to endured the inequality that you were subject to Tracey by the media industry.

    • Reply November 3, 2012

      KARMA MRA MGTOW

      This man Tracy writes about is a one man microcosm of all men – not.

      http://www.avoiceformen.com/

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Chris

    Go, Tracey Spicer! There is no place – no place, hear it! – in this world for men who treat women like this. The mainstream media (which basically comprises a lot of sad-arse old blokes) last week dumped on Julia Gillard for raising the issue of sexism and misogyny. But they missed the whole point, and JG has become something of a hero to many, many women. Tony Abbott is still bewildered by the attack on him, but like many men he just doesn’t get it. Listen to me, fellas – the “shielas” are simply not going to take it any longer. Take a long look in the mirror and repeat after me: “Women are my equal and I shall respect them”. No more looking at women as “meat”. No more thinking from the crotch of your pants. No more brainless sexist and sexual innuendo. No more slagging off at women for being real, or intelligent, or assertive, No more, hear!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Cameron

    Great article Tracey. Top sentiments and, as always, well put.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Tom Rice

    Well done Tracey. The more women (and men) who stand up to this truly abhorrent undercurrent in our society, the better we will all become.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Annie Also

    I am a 59 year old carer. I was a full time mum. Intermintently I did some work. I am a ‘large’ lady, tall and fat. I have been large for most of my life. It is no protection from sexism or ‘those’ comments. I thought it never happened to ‘size 12′ women. I thought they had it sweet.
    I was told that ‘my face was nice; pity about the body’. I was asked once ( when I tried to go back to work after my husband became chronically ill, I was in the Public Service) ‘why don’t you get your stomach stapled? You’d be quite alright then’. I have been advised by men ( and a couple of women) how to lose weight, how to dress, how to ‘present’ myself better. I have also been told to be ‘quiet’, ‘quieter’, not to be so ‘opinionated’ ( or you will frighten men away). I have been told to be more ‘feminine’ ( what does THAT mean?) and I have been told to be things I cannot change ( eg shorter, less wide, not have such big feet etc).
    When my children started school in Queensland THEY started to get ‘teased’ because of having a ‘fat’ mother. So every afternoon before I picked them up, I would ‘dress up’. I would put make up on to make myself as presentable as possible and I would smile boldly and say hello to ALL their school mates.
    I have been belittled and spoken to like I did not know I was overweight. It mattered not that my husband loves me and my children love me.
    When the PM spoke on that day I cried.
    Thank you for this piece Tracey.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    dani

    You totally were the author of Boned, weren’t you Tracey? :)

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Graham

    I worked in commercial television operations for 30 years, and not only was this attitude common, it still IS. For every Tracey Spicer, and every Jessica Rowe, there are still a hundred girls taking crap like this every day. It wasn’t only Network Ten. There is a case before the courts regarding someone formerly involved with the 7 network. I wasn’t surprised. 9 was just as bad. There was one case involving a girl who was subjected to treatment that should have resulted in the imprisonment of several people. It happened so many times she thought it was a normal part of work. “Informed consent” was never given. You can work it out. She eventually left. This so called “blokey attitude” was so prevalent, that those of us who were happily married with wives and families who were so important to us, felt alienated, ostracised and bullied, if we didn’t join in. A world of fantasy and illusion, smoke and mirrors, totally cut off from reality.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Marcia

    Thank you Tracey for expressing these sentiments.
    I worked as a journo in Sydney radio in the 1980’s and 90’s and oh the stories I could tell! Here’s a gem: The news director who explained to me (very slowly so silly me could understand) that he employed a male — with less experience and ability than many of the other women in the newsroom — at a higher grade than us because he was married and had a wife and children to take care of. This was also the reason said male journalist was never rostered on weekends or overnights either. Funny that — how all the women used to get the shitty shifts.
    When I spoke up about such disparity I was targetted in the most dispicable way (eg: explicit pornography was sent to me via the internal mail with notes detailing all the ways in which I would get fucked over.)
    When I complained, I was told to get a sense of humour.
    There is nothing funny about targetting and bullying women by virtue of their sex. So glad this issue is getting oxygen. The challenge will be to keep it up so real change takes place.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Sharyn

    Oh, I like you so much Tracey! : )
    Thank you for all you stand for.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Shazza

    I just developed a woman crush on Tracey.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Noely Neate (@SunriseNoely)

    Excellent! That used to happen in the travel industry all the time as well. Men were bosses and women were supposed to look pretty & say nice things. I think the hardest thing at the moment, and why Gillards Speech hit such a chord, was that people of our generation grew up hearing about the fight for equality, thinking it was something our mum’s did in the 60’s because at school we were always told & treated as equals, then to hit the work-force and find out it was a lie. BUT you can’t whinge about it as then you look like an ‘over-sensitive sook’… Whatever my thoughts on Gillard are, I am really glad she bought this into the public debate, for ‘my’ daughters sake.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    JacH

    Great stuff, Tracey. I admire your strength. I also wonder what happened to all the women whose ambitions were thwarted by this cr@p.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Liz

      I am one of those women. We worked so hard and got no breaks, so lots gave up and some got angry. I got angry and copped heaps for backchat and daring to challenge and tell them their attitudes were despicable and they were cowards to do it. Then we went into small business – women do a lot of these today. So were sitting back enjoying Tracey and Julia’s truth-spits.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Jodie

    Good on you, Tracey. I did broadcasting, but came into the work sphere at the start of the waif fashion trend. This tall, big-boned (yeah, at 62 kilos, I was a size 16) woman was never ever going to get work in that industry because of the sexist, sizeist attitude to women. Men can be ugly, old, fat, whatever, doesn’t matter. Women have to be small, pretty, young. Hit 30, GTFO. Fat? Please, not a chance. Our society suffers as a result, because we’ve put attractiveness ahead of skills.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Gayle

    Thank you Tracey for taking the time to share your experience. I am most interested in the statement ““There’s a reason why you don’t hear women on commercial talkback radio,” he said. “No-one wants to hear the whiney sound of a female voice. Us blokes get enough nagging at home!”
    I would really be interested to know how many single women “hate” Julia Gillard.
    I think that a lot of women in relationships with men who are professed Gillard haters are just sick of hearing their male partners complaining about her and wary of doing other than agree for peace sake and also wary of opening up a “can of worms” about their partner’s view on women in general.
    Yesterday’s ABC Insider’s program is well worth a look to see how different views are expressed – Michael Stutchbury for example said ” Gillard has a problem with men” whereas Barrie Cassidy observed “Or do men have a problem with Gillard”. I have also observed ( not surprisingly) that men in my FB newsfeeds and online forums are saying “are we STILL talking about it” whereas women are saying at last and let’s dig deeper.

    • Reply October 16, 2012

      helenbea

      Insightful Gayle! Love this site…so many intelligent and thoughtful women!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Catherine

    Thanks for your article Tracey, but I wonder about the ‘small dick’ comment. Isn’t that belittling men – using the same weapons they are using against women? Also, your comments made me think about the recent Jimmy Saville outrage in the UK and how the media was complict. Despicable. I’m a senior staff in a medical library – yes it is a female dominated industry but when you work within industries like mining or medicine, you can get the same flack. Luckily I haven’t … yet?

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Catherine

    Thanks for your article Tracey, brilliant. I wonder about the ‘small dick’ comment though. Isn’t that belittling men – using the same weapons they are using against women? Also, your comments made me think about the recent Jimmy Saville outrage in the UK and how the media was complict. Despicable. It is time there was a safe place for whistleblowers to out this type of abnormal behaviour.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Zoe

    Dear Mr Sexist
    thanks for trying to sabotage my career because I turned down your unwelcome advances. I note you are still in your corner office lauding it over your underlings. And Dear Partners at Major National Law Firm. Thanks for taking into consideration what I said at my Exit Interview about my years of sexual harassment. I see that exactly the sort of action was taken as expected against the perpetrator. Nothing.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Val Schier

    I am loving it that strong women are telling it the way it IS. My concern is that many blokes continue to have issues with strong women or women in positions of authority. I had a middle-aged male councillor sit in the mayoral office (Cairns Regional Council) and tell me, “I’m sick of being told what to do by women.” No-one was telling him to do anything but he was clearly threatened by the first ever female CEO, female mayor, highly capable female head of economic development, female project manager of a major council initiative. It was too much for him. I bet he hated the PM’s speech in parliament and he’d have a fit if he read what you’ve written Tracey; he’d think you are making it up!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    jeremy

    Good read, Tracey, even if I was led to it by a tweet from Miranda Devine, whose awfulness stands refreshingly aside from gender issues. What I don’t understand in moments like this is why so many plaintiffs forgo the use of the most potent weapon in these situations: naming the culprit/s. At least the culprits to whom there’s a mail trail of some sort. Does it really come so firmly under our libel laws that someone in your situation cannot name them in a way where the shaming is implicit in straight facts?

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    sue

    *Wild applause*

    What I love about this is a) The Truth and b) that it gives the heads up to the new women on the block, just out of school. For too long we have sucked it up silently. More shouting from the rooftops I reckon.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    David Keyssecker

    Wow. Bloody well, and may I say eloquently, said. The arrogant old ( and young) farts are certainly out there. Full of themselves.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    LJH

    Tracey – I have always thought you were gorgeous. I didn’t realise there could be another point of view.
    I am glad that the sexism and misogyny made you stronger and drove you on to have the amazing career you have had. Unfortunately 25 years of sexism and misogyny in one government organisation nearly destroyed me and ended my career. I sincerely hope that there are more women like you and less like me.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Alice Shaw

    “flesh coloured microphone”, heave.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Katie

    Oh Tracey, can I ever relate to this! Sadly there is a limited number and range of expletives available to express our ire with sufficient intensity and gravitas.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Kate

    Absolutely Gayle! Let’s dig a lot deeper. Let’s keep the discussion going until we see real, lasting change!

    In 2011 I spent the whole year working on a research paper relating to the sexual objectification of women in the media and the effects it has on women in general, my partner would not discuss it, didn’t want to hear about it. Any time I mentioned it or something pertaining to it he would change the subject. When I asked him why he wouldn’t just listen to me, he told me it was too confronting. He didn’t want to know, ignorance is bliss. He didn’t want to have to stand up to the men at his work – porn everywhere – cos he didn’t want to be bulled, told he was under the thumb.

    This is a question of equality not dominance. Women just want to be treated equally, equal respect, too much to ask? Well as far as I’m concerned, enough is enough! I’m raising a son here and the last thing I need is him learning how to be a sexist pig. My long term partner was portraying a lot of the things I was fighting against….

    If we are ever to achieve change we need to encourage discourse that engages men too! Yes they may at first feel threatened, confronted, the walls of sexism are crumbling…. but for many of them it is a case that they just no longer have any justification for the beliefs they hold. It is sexism pure and simple.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Carole

    Brilliant article Tracey.
    I’m 65 and absolutely astonished that the sexism
    seems to get worse and worse as the years go by.

    I commenced work at 15 as a public servant, not only were there no women in management positions , when a woman was so foolish as to marry, she was no longer a permanent employee. When she became pregnant with her first child she was automatically sacked.
    Sexism was the norm in those days, seems nothing has changes.

    In the mid seventies a woman could not get a “home loan” without a male guarantor.

    Women today have far greater opportunities in the workforce and in life but it seems that the price they pay is just as high.

    I’m hoping the PMs speech will see us all raise our voices higher and continue to say—-

    “We’re not gonna take it anymore”

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Cam Gould

    Well said. Absolute gold. F’ the old-school out of touch archaic-management status quo.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Jenny MacKinnon

    Great work, Tracey! Keep going.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    miss milu!

    Thank you for such a powerful article! I think we’ve all experienced this discrimination to some degree no matter what industry or age.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Jane Clement

    Great piece, Tracey. I’ve shared with my former BBC colleagues – we could all tell similar stories.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    The Huntress

    “Fuck you”.

    :)

    I couldn’t have put it any more eloquently myself.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Anonymous

    I am sick of getting you are “over-qualified” at 54. Having been divorced for 3.5 years and previously out of work force to raise our daughters, I still cannot get a job. Or are they scared I will take their jobs? On divorce, get ready for these men to spend everything they can legitimately of your money before you can get them into court. He spent on rent $2,600/week, buying cars and antique furniture for cash! Wasn’t much left to divide up. I am renting, continually moving and trying to get work while he got a job in a mate’s company, his girlfriend moved in, they both have new luxury cars and a house with a pool. Something not right somewhere but I just have to suck it up. Not to mention i now have no sex life, no social life with my old ‘friends’ (he gets invited not me), no house, no partner for life, no job. The only thing I have got is that I am away from him which i didnt realise i wanted at the time.

    • Reply October 20, 2012

      fliz

      One word: ATO

      Reports can be anonymous….

    • Reply November 1, 2012

      Elaine

      Awesome response with great wit, humour and candour – loved it….!
      It’s so interesting how slow some organisations are to change whilst others are more progressive (looks per se aside).
      I vividly recall my then Managing Director (huge German pharmaceutical company) asking ‘if he could ask me a personal question’? The question was:
      “When are you going to get married?”
      I had just finished my Masters of Commerce, had all the rungs on the board and desperately (at the time) wanted an overseas posting – pathetic, but they did not want to invest in women – this was approx 15 yrs ago.
      I did marry – but not until 39 and have 2 gorgeous children.
      I also went on to run my first company (including lots of overseas travel), then had children, studied again and then founded current company – Sexology Australia and practise as a private sexologist.
      Funny how the world turns….
      Amazingly same company did ambitious trials for a new drug for female desire – but they struggled because there is a group of lobbyists on the international scene suggesting that FSD (female sexual dysfuction) is all in the women’s head…..PLEEZE – so too is ED and all sexual issues!!!

      Amongst other projects I’m determined to break thru some of the male macho that exists – including the fact that not ALL men want sex 24/7 despite what Bettina and others suggest….
      actually to be precise it is 44% – that’s a long way from 100%!!!

      Well done Tracey…..

      Loved Angela Mollard’s article too re your comments, and other female trailblazers including Juanita Phillips.

      regards, Elaine George

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Jaded1

    Once again I find myself unemployed. And I have been reduced to tears by my own mother, telling me I’ve earned a lousy reputation for standing up for myself in the past & hence am now unemployable. Apparently, I need to learn my place it would seem – put up, shut up, put out, or get out…!
    After trying to report sexual harassment to HR in one of my roles, my employer started ‘egging’ my house and car. One of my female colleagues was driven to take her own life……but still nothing changed. And despite taking the matter to the EOC, I discovered that too was a sham process, with no real justice or resolution.

    But what hurts the most is that it’s a completely different story for the blokes….they’re made of teflon, cause nothing sticks. No matter if they’re junkies, alcoholics, philanderers, sexist pigs, misogynists……they can say and do whatever they like and know they’re protected. Oh – and so are those dumb ‘bimbos’ who protect and pander to them…..the REAL blondes!

    Thank you Tracey for telling your story – you’re my new hero….!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Britt

    Tracey, you rock! Sincerely, in sisterhood and emancipation, Britt :)

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Sally McGlew

    I was told by a radio executive in Melbourne (a female) that I would not be considered for the top job in the newsroom because I had recently married and would be having children soon (she assumed!). So the job went to a male with less experience who had a mental illness, and managed to completely stuff things up. When I expressed my dismay to higher management over her approach adn attitude I was told: “She would never say that.” But she was old school, she believed she had to be part of the boys club, to survive. Perhaps she was right. She reached a high position in the public service – I did not.
    Im afraid she did, I insisted and it was just ignored.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Jaded1

    To all the decent men with daughters……read it and weep. This article gives a very clear picture of what your daughters have to look forward to, unless they’re also burdened with the extra humiliation that goes with being a single mother.
    Fellas – doing nothing is no longer an option….!!!

    • Reply October 16, 2012

      Bob

      Utter Garbage. Incompetence has a new excuse – it is called misogyny

      • Reply October 20, 2012

        Sara

        While I agree there are times where this may be the case, I can’t agree with you. I used to have the same opinion, even as a woman. All these ‘whinging feminists’ really got my back up. Then I started working in the media. I was completely blown away by the comments, the assumptions and marginalisation, purely based on my gender. I was told by a manager once who knew nothing about my work ‘on air wouldn’t suit you, not really your thing.’ He didn’t know anything about me. Mind you he spent the entire meeting staring at my chest, offered my the job of a glorified coffee maker, then later gave the spot to a guy with less experience and ability, who eventually screwed it up. There were so many instances, and I was completely shocked every time. We all worked really hard, but I seemed to always have to work 10 times harder, longer hours and was given the hardest time. I had never encountered anything like it. I still don’t count myself a feminist, I stand for equality. I get equally as outraged when men are marginalised and put down. Criticising the work of a woman, holding her to the same high standards as everybody else and giving no special treatment is not misogyny. (Hear that labour polis?!) But to say it doesn’t exist and it must be ‘her fault’ is short sighted and ignorant.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Carol

    Sadly I can also add a long list of similar comments to the list … and one physical assault by a former colleague who took issue at me going to work for the opposition.

    A long, long sickening list.

    Thanks Tracey.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Katie P

    Fantastic article Tracy. I suspect that workplace sexual harassment & bullying are experienced by all women. I remember, when I was a teenager working in hospitality in 1999, having a male coworker stand in front of me while I was kneeling to restock a fridge and wave his crouch in my face and ask that I give him a blow job. I just laughed it off & didn’t tell anyone.

    When I was pregnant 3 years ago my Manager was discussing with the Finance Manager how to budget for up coming maternity leave payments in his team. The Finance Manager’s response – “don’t hire breeders”.

    I’ve also had opportunities to change culture & behaviour. I am a Manager now, when a new male worker in his 30’s started making jokes with a sexual punch line in the context of team discussions I pulled him aside and explained why his jokes were not acceptable. He was genuinely surprised that anything was wrong with what he had said but his behaviour did change.

    I live in hope for the future.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    ro.watson

    Ah vigour and rigour,Tracey~onya.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    clare

    Brilliant. Really.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Bec

    Great read. Unfortunate that guys like this still exist in 2012, I’ve worked with some.

    Good on you, Tracey, for dishing it back with far more intelligence and wit than they’ll ever have.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    ernestine lavalle

    And I laughed til I cried. The more things change … brought back memories. Well said, Spice.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Jacqui Manning - The Friendly Psychologist

    Wow, thanks Tracey for such a fantastic article!
    And thank you Julia Gillard for your speech that has started a wave that is never going to stop! Enough is enough! It’s why I appluaded at the end of those 15 minutes, and it’s why I’m hopeful that by the time my daughters are adults (the clock is ticking….14 years to go) that this kind of treatment will be where it belongs – in the dark ages!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Dolores Neilley

    This is no doubt the Australia that TOny Abbott and Alan Jones grew up to love!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Heather

    Yes. Thank you Prime Minister for standing up for all women. I really appreciate it and I hope other women come to appreciate its significance too.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Chuck McKenzie

    Wow. Tracey deserves a medal for this. A briliant piece of writing.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Michelle

    I love you Tracey Spicer.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Indira Narayan

    Generally great letter Tracey, but now I’m going to sound like the whiner that one is accused of…

    I’m massively disappointed with you writing “…intellect of a pygmy..”

    By all means call them fuckers, demean their physical attributes, be vtriolic about their attitudes..all that stuff may be true, but pygmy’s dont come into it. I’m not sure what you think a pygmy is? Try wikipaedia.. But a dickhead mysogynist cannot ever be equated with a pygmy. GET IT??? I don’t care how angry you are. Dont dump on others the filthy attitude that has been dumped on you!

    I get all distracted by any sort of racist comment and am willfully adamant that there is NEVER any excuse for being racist or taking up any public space with racist comment. Your small (and totally unnecessary) inclusion of your racism distracts from the substance of your letter for me and the support that I would have for you as a public commentator

    And what’s even more disappointing is that while I haven’t read all the comments word for word, no-one else seems to have picked this up either.

    There is no carte blanche. Ever. You want respect? Make sure you give it as well.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Rosalie

    Yes, Tracey. YES! YES! YES!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    DJ

    Saw former Liberal MP Amanda Vanstone interviewed on the weekend about the PM’s ‘misogyny’ speech in parliament. She was not surprisingly highly critical of Julia Gillard’s comments to Tony Abbott and said Julia gave away all her power by reacting to his jibes. I nearly died when she then proceeded to say there is sexism in politics, business, and basically everywhere, but that women just need to get over it. Not try to change it mind, just that they should get a backbone and get over it! Puleease!!! Explains a lot about the Liberal Party’s attitude toward women.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Mish

    Thank you Tracey, this is excellent. And rings completely true with my experiences as a woman (and lesbian, gasp, oh no!) in the IT industry. Oh the stories I could tell from my male coworkers who not only tried to put me in my place as a woman but “straighten me out” as well. If I had a dollar for number of times I was told I just needed a bit of dick to straighten me out, I’d be a millionaire. I worked for a company who didn’t allow desktop passwords. Every morning and after lunch for years I would return to my desk to find my desktop wallpaper replaced with porn. On complaining to my boss (who sadly was female) many times her response was “Boys will be boys!” urgh. Sickening. And for anyone who thinks this is a thing of the past, I am 25 years old.

    • Reply October 16, 2012

      Bob

      @Mish. I do not believe you. Legally you have avenues available to take your complaints above your female boss.

      • Reply October 16, 2012

        Nats

        @Bob… at least you are a literate troll. Yes, the forces of misandry are crawling, unseen amongst us… be afraid; be very afraid. (Ps. You left out the offices of the Opposition Leader, which gave you away.)
        I did want to add if a male was subjected to some of these behaviours by a male boss who was gay, he would throw a punch, and be backed by management, which is what you got in the Slipper case.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Jacqui

    Wonderful article. I have had to put up with comments because I don’t crumble emotionally and I’m capable. My father instilled this in me. Please don’t deride the pygmies. I know this was not your intention . This amazing group of people have been misunderstood and ethnocentric comments are unfair. After the anger intelligent discussion and education are needed. My 21 ye old son sent me Julia Gillard’s speech the same day…. He is a real man and a women lover.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Rob

    Tell us more Tracey – tell us about the email you get from viewers. Tell us about the comments you get about your hairstyle, clothes, makeup etc. Then give us a gender breakdown on the source of those comments.

    • Reply October 16, 2012

      Bec

      Oh, here we go.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Cate

    Watching puberty blues at the age of 50 bought back my teenage nightmare of being female in the 70’s . So happy to see its all coming out to be addressed for what it is . I have hope for my daughter . Thanks Tracy

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Carli

    *runs off to put Tracey Spicer on inspiration board*

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    adam p

    Thankyou for having the courage to write this tracey the way you wrote it made me laugh it also made me despair how fellow male’s can be such inconsiderate and sexist pigs.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Christie

    Thank you, Tracey, for making a difference!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Julie Wright

    Well, this is the most newsworthy story and feel good piece that I have read for quite a long time. Thank you Tracey, you have made my day. I can truly relate to all you had to say, every bit. Well done.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Kate

    Tracey, you rock!! Thank you for this :)

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Martine Valentine

    This is groudbreaking stuff! It’s going to make a work of difference!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    SarahMac

    Tracey Spicer you are awesome. Sing it sister!!!!!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Vicki

    Bravo….Bravo….Bravo…. that is all :)

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Mary Robinson

    Thank you Trace Spicer – this is a worked of a letter!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Paddy

    Dear Ms Spicer,
    Thank you so much for writing and publishing this letter. I had no idea that you had to fight so hard during all of those years that I sat watching you present the news. I am appalled that anyone would treat another human being in this way. Mostly I am really grateful to you, because by talking about this, by fighting this misogyny, by being loud and proud, my four year old daughter may not have to encounter this despicable treatment when she grows up and turns her attention to her career. Thank you. For myself, and my daughter, thank you.
    I also loved the Black Adder reference with the corset.
    Yours,
    Paddy.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Cathy R

    What a great post! Thanks Tracey. It really is time we called this stuff for what it is. Not fun, not a joke, not a bit of a dig at someone with no sense of humour – but straight out prejudice, discrimination and at its worst a very nasty pack mentality that sees smart women as a threat to be put down, collectively, by the force of male bullying and harassment. Thank goodness there are more and more men willing to treat women as equals, to respect our intellect and our leadership and nurture our strengths. But we have a long way to go and we need to nurture and encourage and support each other, so GOOD ON YOU!!!!! Every little bit helps, every positive message goes to help a disempowered woman somewhere in standing up for herself.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Thea

    Tracey,

    You have expressed in this letter some of the many thoughts and experiences I’ve had over the last decade working for a multinational in a very male dominated field. Good on you for speaking up with such a hilariously expressive, honest letter.

    If only more women of notoriety could be as brave as you, perhaps things would change.

    More power to you!
    Thea

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Liz Golding

    Bless you Tracey. What a gal!
    I too love people telling me I can’t do something.
    My usual thought is….”Really? Watch me”.
    Very motivating.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    If Only I'd Had the Guts

    Bravo Tracey, bravo. Thank you for telling it like it is. And still is. I look back on my decade+ plus in some of the leading newsrooms in Australia with shame over not having the guts to stand up to what were subjected to when you were young and coming up the ranks. The sleazy section editors who groped your thigh under the table at staff farewell dinners, ignoring the fact they were more than twice your age, and that you had shown absolutely zero interest in them sexually or romantically. The price paid for repeatedly removing their hand from your inner thigh, and then discreetly moving away? Being told the next day the 1000 word piece you had been working so hard to craft for publication was no longer needed. The colleague who was repeatedly harrassed to go out by three different editors (all at the same time good grief, one editor with their defacto only a few desks away from the new object of obsession and still thought nothing to keep sending massive flower arrangements in a bid to woo my colleague). Her repeated nos led to again, pieces that were to be published being pulled, and all further submissions rejected. The female cadets relegated to a backwater of details for a year instead of the required three months (thank you idiot woman in charge of that section who demanded we be kept there for that long). Upon complaining why it was no male cadets were ever rostered to this section, scored a win, only to have the editor who walked by each day for a year, smiled and said: “hello girls”, storming up to our desks on the male cadet’s first day of duty to angrily declare that it was an outrage and he would be doing all he could to get him off there instantly. And then, sadly, there was the female editor who was the biggest mysoginst of all: actively seeking to destroy the career of anyone she perceived as being too pretty, too young, too thin. Bitterness writ large on her face. Sadly, her campaigns worked and destroyed some promising talents who withered under her campaigns of hate. And then what about the joys of being thrown in to cover politics, where male leaders of political parties (using the word leader loosely), would subject female reportes to comments like ‘I can’t concentrate with all those great legs in front of me’ as they came down off stage from a speech, and yes, we were then supposed to interview them and take what they said seriously. None of these examples have quite the out there verbal assaults Tracye Spicer was subjected to, but they shaped our days (and nights). It made us wary, we worried about what we wore, what we said, who we were alone with, and yet somehow, despite all the niggle we found in some quarters, many of us went on to craft successful media careers. But it just didn’t need to be so hard, so dirty, so sleazy, so disrespecful. Wishing I could have my time back, take that sleazy editor’s hand off my thigh and tell him loudly, in front of all, get you hands off me. I was barely out of school. I can still recall, how at the time, being back in the playground started to seem appealing. Gillard is right: time to call it for what it is, when it happens. Adn not just women will be doing the calling in the utopia I have dancing in my head.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Rhoda

    They demean their mothers and grandmothers, their sisters, their wives and daughters by this behaviour but don’t think they make the connection. And women are their own worst enemy as the saying goes. How many of our mothers would support us if we kicked up a stink about it.

    I’ve taught my daughter to kick, bite, scream and otherwise make her feelings known in the event a male forces his attentions on her and I know for a fact that males read this attitude loud and clea and steer a clear path.

    It’s only a small step to fronting up with the same attitude in the work place. After all they can’t ignore all of us. Take it to them – make them face it square in the face for what it is.

    Males generally don’t take hints – you have to be blunt.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    A

    Phwoarrr! Go Tracey!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Danielle

    Thanks Tracey. Inspiring and entertaining.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    NOT-post-FEMINISM

    This has absolutely made my day. Not only did Julia Gillard’s speech bring to me to tears – for the sheer joy of hearing sexism and misogyny addressed in such a powerful way and in such a powerful space – but I am excited and energised by reading a very prominent woman journalist talk about sexism, and with such wit and integrity. You rock hard Tracy Spicer!!!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Alex Baker

    Feeling the fire has been re-ignited thanks Tracey Spicer. Sadly your experience isn’t an isolate one. It’s heartwarming to note that since AJ’s disgraceful comments the number of men to come out in support against misogyny and sexism in our communities.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Chad McBacon

    Tracey you are a goddess. Good on you for saying what you think! Hopefully my daughter will grow up with as strong a constitution as you…having put up with all that shit for so long …I heartily congratulate you!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Brash Daniels

    Loved every word. And 99 per cent of the replies too, Troll Free Zone?

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Nats

    This has blown this female-friendly gent’s mind (mainly because of the torrent of abuse Jessica Irvine’s article got on The Punch site). Tracey, I didn’t take you seriously because you were a blonde :-) but I have total respect for you for writing this piece and it’s passion. I was a bit surprised by a letter in today’s Herald about a young female lawyer always receiving a pat on the bottom… And the stories here as well syrprise me. I don’t think the public really understand how far sexism reaches. I was lucky enough to work and live with strong women who stood up for themselves. If this is the norm, it’s time to lift the standard…

    • Reply October 16, 2012

      Bob

      “And the stories here as well syrprise me. I don’t think the public really understand how far sexism reaches. ”

      Obviously not as far as the office of PM,. our GG, or our Head of State, not to mention the Richest Person in Australia. Oh and our first Catholic Saint.

      All I see is a way to legitimise psychological projection and misandry.

      • Reply December 27, 2012

        Beth

        ‘All I see is a way to legitimise psychological projection and misandry.

        Your absolutely right. Whenever a women talks about discrimination she has faced it’s obviously misandry. Never mind the fact that she never said all men acted this way and never mind the fact that other women have commented about discrimination they have faced from both men AND women it must be misandry.
        I see you posted a link in an earlier comment to a website designed for men. I wonder how you’d react if I came on it and dismissed any discrimination against men the way you just did to women.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Di

    I love you Tracey Spicer,

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Cate

    Thank you Tracey for displaying the intestinal fortitude so many men don’t understand we have.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Rex Hateley

    Go Tracey!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Tracy

    This is excellent and very inspiring. I loved the small dick comment! The depth of sexism in Australian society is alarming. My daughter has encountered it in the film and television industry too on numerous ocassions, and she is only in her early twenties. I hope we see real change in our time. Thank you for a great article.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Bronnie (MaidInAustralia)

    So well said. Having been on the receiving end of male harrassment and even abuse during my time in television and newspapers as a young, green, naive journo (and girl), I wish more like you had been outspoken. The crap we put up with, and how bad we were made to feel for fighting it. And the career hits we took for doing so.
    I still found my place, eventually in magazines in London, and later as a freelancer where I didn’t have to take anyone’s crap if they wanted my kick-arse stories.
    I am thankful times have changed, but wonder how much they have changed.
    Would I want my daughter (or son) to go into the media the way it was when I entered into it? I think not.
    Thank God for the Traceys of this world who have opened eyes to the creeps who prey on talented young people in this industry. And even to talented maturing people.
    I think she could have used far worse adjectives to describe them!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Michelle

    When I was pregnant my then boss said to me in front of all my colleges, ‘at least you will get big tits and your big tummy takes your eye away from your large arse’. I complained to HR but b/c he was high up in the company nothing was done. That was nearly 5 years ago and it still makes my blood boil.

  • […] Struggle […]

  • […] Dear Misogynist by Oz journalist Tracey Spicer […]

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Sally

    Waaahooooooooo! Love the article Tracey!

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    linda

    Applause! Applause! We need more stories like this and more comments as well!

  • […] Spicer has given some of her sexist ex-employers an early National Boss’ Day treat with a blistering pay-back and found an extraordinary amount of support from those with similar […]

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    KarlettaA

    Thank you, thank you Tracy!

    After reading your and Amelia Draws’ open letter blogs, and watching Julia Gillard’s speech, I realised I am sick of the way I’ve been treated too.

    I wrote a blog post “Dear Horny Fuckers”, and it is for the many, many men who have treated me with a lack of respect, sensitivity and willingness to listen.

    “When I repeatedly say ‘no’ to your advances, I don’t mean ‘i’m not horny yet, but keep talking and i’ll get there’ (and other things I don’t mean).”
    http://t.co/Ra914pjQ

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Maureen

    Holy cow, you said the words I’ve wanted to say for ages. I’m much older but I faced the same sorts of sexism right out of university. What bothers me most is that so many of them don’t understand what we’re on about. They think it’s that time of the month. bastards

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Glenn

    Well put.
    I love the way the misogynists have even pervaded the burqa debate when they proudly extend their red necks defending the women folk of Australia so don’t have to endure the downtrodden, disrespected lifestyle of those poor women who are forced to cover their bodies.
    It’s not like that down here in Australia, our blokes fully support the ladies working as skimpies and you can just hear the respect as they offer them an extra $5 to flash their tits as they serve them their next schooner.

    Thank goodness we know how to to treat our ladies with dignity.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Lou

    Thanks Tracey. I worked in TV news in Sydney and can confirm it is the bastion of sexism. Particularly the commercial channels. And 20 years ago it would have been considered normal. Good on you Tracey for fighting.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Melissa

    It was equally hideous for those of us who were trying to make our way through the television sports production ranks. There were a few exceptions – a Senior Director at Fox Sports who couldn’t care less whether you were male or female – if you showed potential he gave you a go, and if you could do the job, you got it. He was and still is a very rare individual, but a lot of the rest of them were just disgusting, dirty, filthy pigs. Thank you Tracy.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Shakira Hussein

    Aren’t men embarrassed to plagiarise lines from one of the most unpleasant characters in South Park?
    http://www.hark.com/clips/fgvrwpkssb-bleeds-for-five-days-and-doesnt-die
    Mr. Garrison: “Well, your moms are just upset. Theyr’e probably all on their periods or something.” Gregory: “Mr. Garrison, Wendy and I think that was a sexist statement.” Mr. Garrison: “Well, I’m sorry, Wendy. But I just don’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.”

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    annabellouise

    Love it Tracey. Your article made me laugh out loud – a great start to my morning. So many responses to your article… by gosh I think you’ve hit a nerve. Let’s stick our heads out the window and all chant together, “WE’RE AS MAD AS HELL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE”.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Frances Tiller

    Freeking unbelievable, in Australia, in this day an age, I am so ashamed that this is still going on mainly by men, very sad,sad, sad……

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Mrs Notable

    I thought I liked Tracey Spicer, bloody LOVE her now. Its so ridiculous the things we as women put up with. I so hope my daughter doesn’t have to cop this bullshit we have grown to see as the norm.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Anne Miles

    I really appreciate this coming out Tracey! I have been in advertising for over 30 years now and my early days in advertising agencies sound very similar.

    Here are a few highlights:

    ‘Bring the girlie in!’ (That was me – I was to present hundreds of thousands in production spend but couldn’t be in the rest of the meeting because it was ‘man’s business’ then came to present and then was asked to leave so they could make a decision – without me) Note: This meeting was just like many with a slab of beer polished off before 11am and scattered across the boardroom table.

    ‘Show me your tits’ from a senior client when I asked him which option of budget he wanted to look at first.

    ‘Your headlights are on’ when walking into a meeting and the airconditioning too low.

    When an external trainer suggested my management skills were exceptional and I should be considered for a more senior role the MD said ‘there’s no place for a woman in management though, she’s as far up the ladder as she’ll ever go in this industry’

    Sadly the industry is still a little behind but improving all the same.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Brigid O'Rielley

    Congratulations. Well done for using what can only be described as negative and productive sapping behaviour to fire you up and become even more successful. So pleased that you continue to highlight the importance of remaining true to oneself and ignoring the narrow minded insecure comments by those who clearly felt threatened by your intellect and dretermination. Take a bow and plenty of applause coming your way… And a big grin too xxx

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Martin Cole

    What a relief a return to balanced reporting. Thank you Tracey for your understated delivery.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Linda

    You think the TV or Ad Agency industries are bad? Try the Games Industry (that’s if they’ll hire you in the first place).

    It’s still in the 1960s.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    John Chester

    Love it Tracey

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    SallyE

    Brilliant article Tracey – we all experience it but you have put it into words.We owe it to our daughters to get angry and stay angry utill it changes.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Alberta

    I remember the habit men had in the 70’s of discussing you in front of your face, as if you weren’t there. Feeling free to say the most hurtful and personal things about your face, body shape, size of boobs, fuckability.
    It is about time the lid was lifted on this issue, if only to remind young women, all women, what they don’t have to put up with.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Ben

    Bravo Tracey. Hopefully this is the discussion that needs to be had for equality in the workplace to finally be taken seriously. On a sidenote, having working in newspapers for 20 years, i find it a tragedy that so many of my female editors (and I’ve had a few) have felt they have to be ballsy blokes to prove themselves rather than let their talent do the talking. I also worked with a group of women who would only promote other females which meant i had to start my own business if I wanted to progress. Perhaps that’s the upshot of women being treated so poorly for so long. But it’s a fine line. If only we could all just be professionals and leave gender out of it.

    • Reply October 16, 2012

      Bob

      Ben. We all have been subject to female sexism and it is sad the extent that the misandrists will go to cover this up.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Bob

    1986 – does this make it 26 years ago?

    Bravo.

    @Glen: Thank goodness we know how to to treat our ladies with dignity. – speak for yourself.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Alistair Graham

    Good for you!

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Suzie

    Thanks Tracey! And thanks also to the very religious solicitor Chris B in the BCC (who had eight kids) who wouldn’t take no from me when I said repeatedly I didn’t want to date him. He stopped my pay rise and trashed my name. I was a stenographer then, but his behaviour was the catalyst for me to empower myself by going on to complete two degrees and a successful career in government. I wish I could say that was the only sexism I have experienced, but alas, in its many guises it has been a regular part of my workplaces right up to my recent retirement. Let’s keep up the momentum! Name it and shame it! Blokes in Australia have got away with it for too long.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    james

    I’m so sorry you or any other woman has to go through those type of experiences. That you can channel your anger into success is admirable. But – can I please ask that you not stoop to their level of criticising someone for how their body looks?. To use the ‘small dick’ insult is to be the same as these sexist men commenting on your body parts. A guy cant help it if he has a small penis and what has that got to do with how he supports women (or not)? You lose your argument when you use this term as a put down – it’s as bad as saying a woman has small breasts and using that an an insult – which is often the case why women feel unhappy about their breast size and get them surgically enlarged. What are men with small penises meant to do – go and get it upsized? If you could please find something related to their personality not their physiology as a put down that would be less hurtful to men who are anatomically ‘born this way’.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Therese Quinlan

    Thank you so much, Tracey, for saying, like Julia Gillard, what is in most women’s minds; and thanks for saying it so forcefully and unambiguously!! I totally support you and all the wonderful supportive posts above from women (and a few men). We have been biting our tongues for far too long, murmuring “I’m not a feminist, but…..” We must stand together one and all, for the sake of our daughters, sons, and grandchildren. There’s no shame in asserting your human right to respectful treatment, at work and at home.

    Yours also in emancipation :)

    Therese
    Melbourne

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Angela

    So the truth is eventually coming out. We don’t live in an egalitarian society, we don’t have equal opportunity and ignorance is not bliss – but don’t make this an us versus them battle. Men have never had equal opportunity either, and the mothers and wives of chauvinistic males are no less responsible than fathers for the appalling attitudes of some men toward women. I am unashamedly a feminist – and anybody who claims they aren’t is part of the problem.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    sue bell

    Over the past weeks there have been a total of 364 posts about sexism, Julia and Jones. 134 in responses to this article alone. Most have been comdemnatory of the blatant sexism women experience. This is an amazing response and I am sure many, many women such as myself have not posted as
    their experiences are so like the responses we have seen to these articles. This shows how dreadful the problem is, how widespread and how acceptable it is seen in society.
    We need to say NO MORE, we need to speak out every time we are subject to or overhear or read about such sexist behaviour, whether from politicians, employers, reporters or the churches. We need to treat it as unacceptable as racism. No longer should we be polite. Sexism is a form of racism. Congratulations to your article writers and to you brave people who have posted, maybe now if we never let up the pressure we will see a change over the next ten years.

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Andy Sorriaux

    Good on you Tracey, those sexist pigs bring shame on us men of this world. If only we had more women not afraid to tell those pigs the sad reality of there comments, we would have a better and more equal work place in this world.
    Stick by your principals and please don’t give up facing low life like that, boss or no boss.
    Well, entertaining and intelligently written

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Naomi Simson

    I joined the workforce in a similar era to Tracey – I wrote a chapter in my book available at ( http://naomisimson.com/ ) “Thanks to all the ‘no’ people” – Tracey Spicer has been far more vivid in her language. But with out those negative nancy’s I would not be where I am now – and as Tracey said nor would she. So conflict is not a bad thing…. necessarily. But when it turns into bullying – or belittling then it is just not on. This is soooo last century… surely such sexism doesn’t still take place – does it?

  • Reply October 16, 2012

    Lochsley Wilson

    I love the article, though felt the “tiny dick” insult was unnecessary. I assume it was used sardonically, though in an article which so succinctly blasted sexism (assumedly, in all its kinds), I felt its joviality was lost to hypocrisy.

    All the same, a wonderful article! :-)

  • Reply October 17, 2012

    Mbutu

    I understand your frustration, but you sound like a victim and a hypocrite. Your comments disempower women. As a Pygmy, I am saddened by your biggoted comment “…intellect of a pygmy..”. Perhaps you think that intellect is exclusive to white women. I consider myself an intellectual, and I am amazed that you imply YOUR intellect while using inappropriate, unprofessional language. Your anatomical references reflect your lack of maturity. Get a grip.

  • Reply October 17, 2012

    Mbutu

    Re: last post
    sp: Should have read “bigoted”. Sorry for the error.

    • Reply October 19, 2012

      kaz

      @Mbutu, no offence intended but can I point out in a caring, intuitively feminine 6th sense kind of way that you seem to be a little sensitive about a stereotypical self image, and perhaps identifying with a small minority group that you dont belong too, because you need some attention? Are you ok? Do you need a hug?

  • Reply October 17, 2012

    Jim Heywood

    I was raised in a female environment and gender has never been an issue as long as when you are in the public eye a neat appearance and friendly demeaner is all you require. Tracy and her colleagues provide a pleasant and informative news program, you look at the faces on the screen to inform and entertain.

  • Reply October 17, 2012

    Lydia

    I really enjoyed this. I have no doubt about the truth of the ‘anecdotes’ in here. Once, when I was passed over for a modest job at the level above me (public service), I asked my male boss why. He put his arm around me(!) and said, “oh, in a few years, when you start having babies, you won’t worry about all this”. That’s all. I went and did Law and have had male lawyers (partners of law firms no less) tell me (straight faced) that “women who have children can’t be good lawyers”. Why? God knows… Something about ‘losing the fire in the belly’ or some such rubbish. It’s a conspiracy, Tracey, love! Keep the horrible harpies out of the workplace because, well, no one wants to work with those whining cows, huh?? They should be put out to pasture! I mean… some of them are over THIRTY and they haven’t got perky breasts and they whinge and are just so annoying…

  • Reply October 17, 2012

    linda

    I have longed for years to expose the well-known-in- his-field professor who offered mentoring to promising female postgraduates on condition they sleep with him and when he worked out I wouldn’t suddenly passed my postgraduate supervision on to one of the several (now successful) academic women who did take advantage of his offer. To do her credit, she was somewhat shamefaced.
    What I can’t work out is what my attitude should be to the women who did take him up on his offer: since he was the only academic in the discipline in Melbourne who actually offered mentoring to women, were they traitors to their sex or people who did what it took to become established in a largely male field? He did make a point of following through on the deal.
    I do know though what I think of the female head of the department in the same discipline at another university who, when I asked her if I could transfer to her university because of this man’s behaviour, well-known to his peers, couldn’t hang up on me quickly enough.
    He’s still working though: just got a notice about an event he’s MC-ing yesterday.

  • Reply October 17, 2012

    Trinity

    Amen!
    THIS is why the Julia Gillard speech went viral. It absolutely resonates with 51% of the population. We’ve all been on the receiving end of some form of sexism at some point in our lives, and we’ve wanted to say some of what Julia said, and let’s face it, most of what you have said Tracey.
    It baffles me why we still need to have these conversations anymore. Enough already!

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Sky_Watcher

    Great piece Tracey, did you think that up while working for Sky News and giving Misogynist in Chief Tony Abbott a milk run for the last 3 years?

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Stafford

    When they start talking policy with JG instead of commenting on her wardrobe, I will know the casting couch is gathering dust. But until then, we can be sure it is still in use. Nice work Tracey.

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    christopher

    Great article Tracey as are a number of your other publicised pieces.
    Allan Jones is a bigot and bully, just another example of an ego on legs, who beleives that the rules of decency and civility apply to everybody but himself. He has it appears issues around his own self-esteem.
    As a bloke in IT corporate Sydney I lament the shortage of women in the workplace. On the flipside though the interferance of and extent that political correctness has now reached in the workplace means we almost need to segragate those with different or varying attitudes on reliigions, ethnicity, sexuality etc or face retribution for comments made without intent to harm that simply state an individuals belief system. We all have different opinions on everything and not being allowed to express these, excluding those that are clearly offensive such as the Jones rubbish, that a particular section of society doesn’t agree with would be the death knell of our society.

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Gerardwe Barrios

    well said! it is a pleasure to read!

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Paul

    Wow, great capturing of some really poor peoples thoughts. Love the humour as well as the candid representation of words and emotion. As a male, it embarrases me to think this rubbish still occurs, yet as a realist I know (evidently) it does.

    On a positive note, as you have already stated, your conviction is so much more energised and fuelled. Must have been nice just to simply express that in words.

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    growlybowls

    i am glad i dont have to cross you tracey i never found you fat in any of the places mentioned

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Georgia

    My, I’m sick of some of the girls around here holding a grudge from back in “1986”? So 26 years has passed, and you say all the above like nothing has changed? I find workplaces immensely different today than 30 years ago. We can’t hold todays men responsible for what happened 30 years ago.
    Also, I can take criticism that may relate to how I can better do my job, without thinking it’s because I’m a woman. If it helps that I stick my tits out a bit to win a contract, so be it. I’ve got an advantage over the guy sitting next to me who can no longer take the client out for beers because it’s not acceptable to have boozy lunches anymore! Ha! take that!
    You’ve got to deal with the cards you’ve been dealt and get what advantage you can, not bleat about how the game is unfair. it’s worked for me!

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Katie

    Oh Tracy, just because this happens in the newsroom, doesn’t mean that it happens everywhere. Do not tar all women with the same brush… Strong words to call anyone a Misogynist.
    Gillards rant was guttertalk, and if that defines her brand, then she should be ashamed. A person in the supposed highest position of the land speaks such rubbish, and accuses the leader of the opposition of ” sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women” taken from Wikipedia…
    I think Gillard should be ashamed, just as most Australians ( women included), are serious embarrassed about such gutter talk.
    The fact that the media have not demanded an apology is absolutely beyond belief.

    I agree that there is sexual discrimination everywhere, not just against women, against men too. Many women cry foul when faced with competence issues, and then try on the gender card, instead of being judged on merit. Unfortunately the newsroom is very harsh on women, people are much harder on womens looks than mens, but guys have equally the same problem with other areas, look at education – guys cannot get a job as a teacher, or massage therapist, nurse etc

    • Reply December 3, 2012

      Tony

      Now you’ve done it Katie. You will be accused, found guilty and sentenced by the Sisterhood because to even have thoughts like that, you must be a man.
      The sisterhood will not allow it……… Going against the flow is not permitted. And this reply will be deleted……5 – 4 -3 – 2………

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    russell fraser

    Females are more sexist and insulting than males , females can have any job they want that’s cool but they have society wraped around their finger , they are called ladies whilst we are called men .

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Moo

    Sexism is a lot like racism. No one thinks they do it but most are guilty of it. Wonderful letter Tracey.

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    kaz

    Dear Trace, I remember a IT boss I worked for in un-named insurance coy, suggested that my serving in the Australian Army Reserve was a joke, as was the Australian Army. He was an Israeli preferring to work in Australia than serve in the Real army in Israel. Fortunately he pointed out that not only was my patriotism and support for our peaceful existence stupid but really, that I would be much better off getting married and staying home to have babies, rather than pursuing a career as a computer programmer. As a result of that enlightening discussion and post being harassed by my boss pressing his crotch into the back of my neck as I sat working at my computer, I disappointed them by not resigning and going on to have a fruitful 20yrs working for several large IT organisations in several countries. Naturally I experienced a variety of uplifting experiences like yourself, where it was better to be seen and not heard, to work as hard as the boys but still be a lady, and reminders of that you are paid to work, not think and certainly never ever to point out anything about the size or lack thereof of any bosses’ willy. Fortunately, I was genetically blessed with a good rack, which is probably why I got the any work in the first place, ha and I thought it was because I was bright! Ahh, that does feel better, like squeezing a bit fat zit. Gross but deeply satisfying despite the pustulence. Oh Cabana boy, another round of daiquiris for myself and my new friends..

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Amelia Jane Hunter

    In 1993 when I was working as one of 3 female tour guides in Kakadu National Park (the other two were affectionately known as ‘The Warthog’ and ‘Slut-guts’) my first boss told me ‘every female employee that had ever worked for this company had had anal sex with him’!

    Lucky me!

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Eleanor Tuensdale

    I don’t understand. Why beg? Why play the victim role? Crying like a little girl, craving for attention … Is that going to solve your problem? Stand up, fight back, do something meaningful! The Internet is not your stage, there’s two sides to every story. Either fight face to face or shut up

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Ayalin Mercer

    She is so beautiful. See this is why I laugh at men when they ask why are there so many lesbians. Really boys? The fact that a man still questions if we even have s g-spot still and couldn’t find it with 2 torches and a map doesn’t surprise you? Umm derp…. Sorry bit this is a prime example that I’m not very impressed with males being gentleman. They want sex. Ya know there’s ya palm. Get to know her. That’s how you like your woman.
    To all the women who endure bastards like this-get more than 50% in the divorce and kick them on the way out. I’m so sorry Tracey you had to go through this. What a fucking tool

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Anthony

    Sexism against anyone, male or female, is absolutely disgusting and is therefore completely unacceptable. Tracey, I am deeply sorry for what you and other women have had to endure over the years purely because you are women. It is great that you have spoken out about this issue and called a spade a spade. However I do not think it was at all appropriate to resort to denigration of sexist men using equally racist and sexist terms such as “Pygmy” and “small dick”. Fighting fire with fire is never going to be the best way forward.

    As bad as many women today are still treated due to their gender, please be aware that today men get a very raw deal in many aspects of life also; in fact some would argue convincingly, more so. These things need to be recognized if we are to live in a truly equal society. The rates of male suicide and homelessness have always been many times that of females; boys and men are consistently performing significantly worse, on average, than girls and women at school and university; men generally get much more unfairly treated by the family court system. I strongly suggest all women who feel hard done by (and I’m not for a minute implying that some women aren’t), to please watch a series of video logs on YouTube by a highly educated and competent woman (and mother) who goes by the YouTube name “girlwriteswhat”. She has exposed the myth that women in the Western world are still worse off in general than men. Any woman with sons should be VERY concerned with the facts she discusses. Feminism in and of itself is a noble cause, but the moment it begins to disadvantage the male half of society, it instantly loses its claim to nobility. The only way forward is for each and every one of us to embrace HUMANISM.

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Everton Thompson

    Tracy, I had no idea you were so stupidly racist..What’s with this Pygmy remark? Do you even know who these people are. My real concern is that you could have just as easily substituted that Pygmy for Aborigine and the bulk of your admirers still would not have noticed how vile you are being..That one comment in my view as reduced you to just another privileged white woman with an unworthy axe to grind, boring is the word.

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    cherie grant

    oh good on you Tracey. I LOVED this letter. I have lived this letter. (though not on tv, lol) as many of us have. you have my respect.

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    cherie grant

    oh boo hoo, anthony. men are getting a raw deal? cry me a river will ya.

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    zenobius

    Tracy, this great on so many levels.

    @Cherie. sure one river coming up. complete with a prefab bridge so we can move on.

    Or are you just here to hate on everything that might present it self as a manifestation of all the negative aspects from your childhood?

    Personally, gender segregation or extremism is not something that I feel is worthy of my emotional and intellectual investment.

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Chris Allen

    This is a fantastic piece Tracey. I’m ashamed that some men still behave this way. Fortunately, more and more strong, intelligent women are not standing for it. It’s time for these guys to be shown the door. They’re doing nothing but giving the rest of us a bad name.

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    mary

    Yep!!

    Those executives are in the media Tracey and employ people like you with blonde hair and blue eyes

    oh the irony ????

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    mary

    The partner in the law firm where our pm worked was a blokey place

    Slater and Gordon prepared Ms Gillard well to work in politics

    Just saying

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    fliz

    I have spent many years working in the Defence industry. One hell of a ‘boys club’. Back in the 90’s my role was retrenched and I was transferred to a different department to a role that had been filled by a lot of temp staff. Well I soon found out why… the manager (a morbidly obese, married father of 2 girls) was an arsehole. I was referred to as “the dumb *&^%$#@ bitch”, the “useless *&^%$#@ bitch” and repeatedly asked why I didn’t dress like a slut ‘to brighten his day’, show off my tits and wear no underwear. I complained to Management and was told it was my word against the Managers. Only when this Manager made racist remarks to a male colleague was action taken. The Manager was made to apologise infront of all the staff on the entire floor. The apology was going well until he directed the comment “YOU should get used to it – you are at shop floor level now” at me. I responded with “No, actually we are a level above shop floor – and after that remark you can shove your ‘apology’ up your arse”. The place fell quiet, no on said a word. He refused to speak to, or acknowledge me after that. I resigned a few months later.

    Fast forward to ’97 and I was pregnant with my first child. I suddenly deserved to have “Lard Arse”, “Chubby”, “Fatty” and “Preggie” and “here she comes, waddling along” yelled at me across the office. This came from a married father of 4. I complained to Management and was told it was up to me to challenge him. So I did. I refused to acknowledge his comments and one day he came and yanked on the back of my chair. I still ignored him and he returned to his office. I walked around to him and told him that I did not appreciate his comments, that they were disrespectful and that I did not find them amusing, and that if he could not acknowledge me by name and in a respectful and professional manner then he should find someone else to do his work. No further problems after that.

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Bianca Moon

    That made my night…

  • Reply October 21, 2012

    Zelda

    It behoves all women to stand up for themselves. If you are being bullied or picked on then deal with it or get out of there. The expectations that someone will change because they have done wrong is not always going to happen.

    First rule in a new world of women’s equal opportunity is that you are responsible for your own well being.

    The blokes have been playing in this arena for a long time so if we women wade in then you need to know the rules.
    Then perhaps you can make the changes from within the organisations by showing the female way offers other options.

    • Reply October 21, 2012

      Ella

      Yes Zelda, you’re right, but it’s easier said than done.

      You rightly point out that men have been in this arena longer than women, but that does not mean we have to cop their crap.

      Women need to support one another and the first step is to speak up and not suffer in silence. There is power in numbers and when we speak up, we are no longer isolated.

  • Reply October 21, 2012

    Stella

    You’re fabulous, brave and have a great way with words. When in doubt keep it simple: fuck you!

  • Reply October 22, 2012

    Els

    Dear Ms Misandrist,

    Women’s real enemies are not men but other women. I bet your female viewers were much more critical of how you looked than your male viewers were.

  • Reply October 22, 2012

    sam

    The Melbourne Club mentality reminded me that an American Business woman didn’t get her emails returned because she was a women and this was only ten years ago…

    Our bran has been tarnished because of that speech that our pm gave…

    You all must prove yourselves to the world as Aussies are looked at as Bogans with no class….

  • Reply October 22, 2012

    Zelda

    I believe women’s biggest battle is agains patriarchy, not misogyny. Patriarchal “rule of the father” has been part of this country since it was a colony, brought to us by the churches and politicians out of history. Women were “God’s police” to keep men’s natures in check, as Anne Summers has noted – Julia Gillard has fulfilled that role recently.
    Our current politicians, probably the more conservative ones, might still believe in the societal rule that has filtered down through families about that patriarchal power…their right to rule family life.
    For them to find out their ingrained patriarchy is being called misogyny is why they, and conservative journalists too, are left scratching their heads.

  • Reply October 22, 2012

    Lawrie

    Unfortunately sexism DOES still go on in the work place, and it is not all one sided either. I had a female boss who was a real divide and conquer type person and caused enormous problems amongst the female staff ( in the majority ) and the few males there. A guy had a nervous breakdown because of all the pressure applied to him if he disagreed with various things that the female staff wanted. So Tracie I am sorry to hear that you had this experience in the workplace, but it can also be two sided.

  • Reply October 23, 2012

    Jon

    Excellent rant, I was appalled and I laughed.

    “Misogynist bully with your archaic beliefs, intellect of a pygmy, and tiny dick.”

    Just lost your composure at the end there.

  • […] to share their own views and opinions of sexism. Of particular note was Tracey Spicer’s article Dear Mr Sexist, which was met with the same twitter fan-fare that celebrated Gillard’s Parliamentary performance […]

  • […] Posted on 23 October 2012. Tags: lifestyle, news, the Guardian, Women TweetTracey Spicer, a broadcast journalist in Australia for more than 20 years, is no stranger to the sexist aside nor the cut and thrust of a busy newsroom. One of her favourites is overhearing a colleague saying: “You can’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.” […]

  • Reply October 23, 2012

    Lucille

    Excellent article Tracey. It sure brings back memories of my experiences of sexism in the work place. In fact it was so bad that I finally decided to open my own business. I knew I could do just as well, if not better than many of my bosses, and I did. I ran a very successful art gallery and picture framing business for many years. I still had clients coming in and asking if they could deal with my boss, read “male”. I’m still working part-time at 68 because I enjoy it (and the money helps!)

  • Reply October 23, 2012

    Bernadette

    So much I could say, but Tracey says it so well.
    It’s not just one woman’s story; it’s not restricted to one workplace, or even to the famously superficial world of commercial television.
    This is just one version of too many women’s story.
    What are we going to do to stop this?
    It’s time to out the men who think this is ok, and all the other men -and women – who stand by and watch or snigger or smile …. even those who raise their eyebrows in disgust. Every person who knows and says nothing is saying it’s ok and allowing this bullying sexism to continue. It’s time to stand up and say it’s not ok – for anyone…for your female rivals in the workplace or for your friends.

  • Reply October 24, 2012

    Kate

    Thank you Tracey. Looking forward to when you and others like you have turned the tide of attitude so much so that my daughter can enter the workforce free of this fight.

  • […] Tracey Spicer, a broadcast journalist in Australia for more than 20 years, is no stranger to the sexist aside nor the cut and thrust of a busy newsroom. One of her favourites is overhearing a colleague saying: “You can’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.” […]

  • Reply October 24, 2012

    Belinda

    I hear you loud and clear Tracey and wish I could as well stand up and say the same about my frightening and terrifying experience many years ago in the workplace. I left in a real hurry scared, suffering from shock, humililiation and fear. Years later, after some much needed Counselling, I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression. At the time of ‘the incident’, I had no support including when I told the CEO’s what had happened they moved me, NOT HIM! But I couldnt cope and left. I have carried around so much shame and fear for so many years. I was sexually assaulted by my boss at a very well know Media organisation. This article by you Tracey comes at such a great time for me personally and is another message to me as finally now I feel I have the courage to finally stand up and get MY POWER BACK!! Through more recently Counselling and more support, knowledge and the strength I am in the early stages of pursuing Police and Legal matters required to have this awful person (and organisation) bought to justice. This is not just for me but also to help so many other women, and to especially send out the message to men that IT’S NOT OK TO BE SEXUAL PREDATORS IN THE WORKPLACE no matter who you are or think you are!! Thanks again Tracey your an awesome lady.

  • […] Tracey Spicer, a broadcast journalist in Australia for more than 20 years, is no stranger to the sexist aside nor the cut and thrust of a busy newsroom. One of her favourites is overhearing a colleague saying: “You can’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.” […]

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Jeff Pinkham

    Respect!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Fay

    Thanks Tracey for such a fantastic article! And thank you Julia Gillard for your speech which was sensational. The treatment our PM has been subjected to from Mr Abbott is disgraceful. I wanted to share briefly what happened to my daughter recently. She had parked her car in the garage where she was helping her sick father to fill his tank up with petrol when this guy backed into her car, he then got out, went over to look at her car and said to her “Oh it’s just a small scratch (fender falling off) I’ve got bigger scratches on my penis than that and then drove off! She got the creeps number plate and has since reported him. He wouldn’t dare do that to a guy. He’d get his head knocked off. And for all the women that stand up to men treating them disgracefully, thank you for your courage!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Loki

    “I thought being a Size 12 was perfectly acceptable.”
    Pathetic. Right off the bat she sarcastically tries to claim she doesn’t care about her looks and yet flat out lies about her clothing size. You’re not physically a size 12.

    “Of course! The size of my posterior is directly related to the content and credibility of the stories I’m reporting on for this network.”
    No, your APPEARANCE and it’s ABILITY TO GENERATE VIEWERS AND THEREFORE REVENUE is what matters. If it is preferable that you lose weight then as much as you might find it idiotic, the viewers are the deciding factor in your MEDIA career.

    “Silly me. You’re right. I’ll never make it as a TV journalist.”
    No, you won’t. You’re not a journalist. You don’t research the stories, you don’t get the scoops, you don’t even find out about it first. Journalists that work for your station do. You are a news PRESENTER. Which means your sole job is to present in a likable way the news handed to you for your to simply read off of a prompter.

    “Those wise words of yours from 1986 are still ringing in my ears: “That’s why you don’t see blonde newsreaders,” you explained patiently. “People don’t take them seriously.”

    Oh my, silly me! Who would have thought that public perception was the deciding factor in visual media! No matter how racist, sexist or idiotic the viewing publics perceptions are…they are what you are trying to adhere to.

    “He put it simply yet eloquently: “There’s a reason why you don’t hear women on commercial talkback radio,” he said. “No-one wants to hear the whiney sound of a female voice. Us blokes get enough nagging at home!”

    Oh my! Again you ignore the perception of the time. Women with high pitched voices don’t tend to do talkback because they are not suited for it’s viewers. It’s viewers ARE males and the rest are the elderly, which older women also don’t like younger female voices. It’s like complaining that your new black presenter isn’t getting any views on your racist talk show.

    Hell, every one of your complaints is the same.

    “Hurr why do people prefer young female presenters”

    “Hurr why do people prefer skinny female presenters”

    “Hurr why do people want sex appeal on a visual medium that’s rife with boring topics to the general population”

    “Durr i’ll quote joke from South Park that is actually against sexism because it sounds like a man would say it”

    It’s because the VIEWING PUBLIC for your PARTICULAR STATION wants to SEE THOSE THINGS! They are not sexist, they are neutral and following the dollar, not your moronic perceptions of being “kept down by sexism”.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Edward

    Good on you, Tracy. A bracing read.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Tony W

    Speaking of bloke culture:

    “At the Logies, we take bets on which new soapie star will be the first to be rushed to hospital after taking too many drugs in the toilets. Actually, the entertainment in the toilets is far more interesting than the turgid awards ceremony.” (Tracey Spicer, Daily Telegraph 23/12/2008)

    Touching concern for vulnerable young girls entering an industry populated by sexual predators.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Lisa

    Whatever Tony W!!! You just read a great article about what we women have to go through at times, and all you can do is troll through the internet to find some comment and twist it up to kick some more mud in Tracey’s eye. Pathetic!

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Simon

    I admire Tracey and know her story is very real, but…. Having read all the comments on here, and listened to the so-called misogyny debate for weeks now, I have come to the conclusion that feminism is a very ugly concept that creates divisions, gender wars and mistrust. Lets just tar every man now as a misogynist and pretend its all one sided. Please. Some of the bra burners on here are just as detestable as those TV pigs. Keep it fair and balanced or you’ll repel every man who might have given a damn.

    • Reply October 26, 2012

      Lara

      Simon, get an education.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Debbie McDonald

    Great letter! I love your honesty Tracey. I lost my job as a school teacher because I reported a principal and APRE for sexually harassing me. Just so you know…..it’s ok to tell a woman that her breasts offend you, that he can’t sit across the lunch table without getting an erection …oh and it’s also ok for a female principal to ask if she can look inside your bra. 3 years of hell,a court case and a big “shut up” agreement from Brisbane Catholic Education and I now work for myself. So fuck you and thank you Cath Ed! I now have my own tutoring service, so luckily my tits won’t get in the way of educating young children. Keep doing what you’re doing Tracey, you inspired me to share this story,which until now has really upset me. I’ve just realised that those idiots actually helped me become a successful business woman!!

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Michelle

    Just gorgeous!! Love it!!

  • […] fair share of horror stories from the trenches of the gender wars, and it has been sobering to read Tracey Spicer’s account of […]

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Leigh

    With that “tiny dick” comment, you’re no better than the people you’re complaining about.

  • […] contained in this letter may or may not be true, according to her attorney. It first appeared on The Hoopla.com.au Share The Brave Discussion Movement Somaly Mam – Anti-Human Trafficking […]

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Trillion

    Going to be completely frank and honest- please don’t take my words as if I am an apologist for the people that hurt you, that’s no way my intention at all. But here are the issues I have with this speech:
    1. Heels don’t disempower a woman unless she cannot walk in them and there were heeled shoes for men too once upon a time. Also I can run in them, and have never had a problem and I hate the implication that me as a woman am being disempowered by my love of them.
    2. I feel the body comments borderline body shaming especially when you refer to the ‘skinny lollipop’ bodies. I don’t think this is the way to go when defending your own body type.
    3. I believe the use of Pygmy in this context is actually derogatory. There are people in the world who are of adequate intelligence who happen to also be Pygmy, and I feel you could have picked a better word.
    4. Comment about his penis was unnecessary, immature and sexist. It’s the same realm as some man referring to you as ‘fat’.
    5. You did not need to refer to the sexual harassment victim. Even though it was an obviously sarcastic tone, your point had been made and that phrase at the end, particularly the word ‘bitch’ wasn’t needed. Even if it was his words once upon a time.

    Overall I felt that you are fighting fire with fire and while you are admirable in many ways and I do look up to you, I feel that this could have been written and structured better especially seeing as you are in fact an intelligent individual.

    I’m not meaning to offend so please take my comments with a pinch of salt.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    amelia

    Good on you Tracey!
    This reminds me of what happened to me last week at school (i’m a teacher). A male colleague has recently lost his job as he is on a contract; i have recently (a term ago) been made ongoing and have kept mine. He said to another staff member, (who i mentor) that i should not have kept my job as i have no children and that he has a family that he has moved here for this job. He is a man and needs the jb more than me.
    I am more qualified.
    I have a large role within the school organizing the day to day affairs, teach art classes, and plan and teach a whole weeks worth of lessons (as well as art) for another teacher as he has a larger role than me.
    I am the union rep, the JSC rep, the choirmaster, the school council rep and take after school instrumental lessons.
    I do more, but according to this MAN, he should have his job over me because he is a MAN!
    Sexism and misogyny are rampant in this country.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Zahara

    OMFG! And I thought you were a push over, Tracey. You’ve won me back by saying it ALL back to those pigs. Hope they are ‘personally offended.’.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Seb Alvarez

    Fuck yeah!!
    Way to go! This letter is awesome!
    The industry has a long way to go, it needs to shake its casting couch culture and graduate to the 21st century.
    I’ve been working in the industry for the past 5 years, been thrown into it after graduating Uni with honours, and I was constantly seen as someone inexperienced and incapable of thought.
    This was just the tip of the iceberg that I had witnessed being directed to some feme coworkers. So, this letter is just brilliant.

    You have my full support, respect and fist clenched towards the faces of the old culture ruining the prospects of sterling television.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Lara

    Love!

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Aaron

    Dear Tracey
    Just when I thought I had run out of reasons to like you, you give the world this! Brilliant!
    The men you describe and their abhorrent conduct are the very men I spend my life trying to live down.
    A real man knows the meaning and value of respect.

  • Reply October 27, 2012

    Tony W

    “Whatever Tony W!!! You just read a great article about what we women have to go through at times”

    Gee, where would we poor dumb blokes be without Tracey to tell us all about what women have to put up with in the workplace!

    It may come as a surprise Lisa but some of us men have been confronting misogynist bullies in the workplace for much of our working lives. For many of us it was a personal fight – like the time back in the ’70s when I was a 19 year old brickies labourer, and my much older boss made a lewd joke about my 17 year old girlfriend who was a schoolgirl at the time. Raucous laughter all around, but not for long I can assure you.

    Nor was there much laughter from the fat-bellied executive who sexually harassed my wife back in the ’80s, when I stormed into his office next day and dealt with him man to man. Funny how he never pressed charges – I guess he didn’t want his wife to hear about his fondness for groping secretaries. My own wife was ecstatic with the outcome – she finally got to resign and received a handsome settlement for not pressing charges of her own.

    In later years I learned to deal with these matters in a more civilized fashion, in a large organization where I enjoyed a long career in sales and admin. A number of us had wives in other departments around Melbourne, and not all of us enjoyed “blokey humour” at the expense of female colleagues, even the ones we didn’t happen to like personally, and we were sick of being made to feel uncomfortable, or even ostracized, when we refused to laugh along with these misogynist misfits – most of whom were our bosses. Above all though, it riled us to hear from our wives the kind of stuff they had to put up with from their own bosses at work.

    So a few of us decided to act collectively, by getting the union involved. In the event they exceeded all expectations – they escalated the matter to national management, and pretty soon directives came down for all staff to attend compulsory educational presentations on the subject of “discrimination” in the workforce, which among other things addressed the question of sexual harassment – including what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace, and the obligation upon staff witnessing such incidents to report them, and the likely consequences for repeat offenders brought to the attention of higher management, and the penalties applicable if convicted in a court of law, etc. etc.

    It came as a great surprise to many, including women, that sexual harassment can be verbal, not just physical, and that sexual abuse encompasses psychological abuse – which can include sexualized nicknames if found to be unwelcome (as was the case with my wife at the time).

    That was 25 years ago, so I don’t need to read about it in a rant from Tracey – entertaining though it may be! Furthermore we made a difference in the workplace, as opposed to simply spreading misandry – which only alienates men, and even many women, especially younger women, from the cause you seek to further.

    However I take your point Lisa, and I shall refrain from further criticism, which I agree is hardly constructive. Believe it or not I genuinely do admire what Tracey has been able to achieve in a male dominated world, and I can see she is an inspiration to many women. And I’m not one of those who are critical of Tracey’s language – that’s her style and it works for me. I guess I’d just like to see more in the way of advice for other women from someone of Tracey’s stature.

  • Reply October 27, 2012

    Angie

    Fantastic. Well said. Your strength of character and continued success in the industry say it all.

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  • […] Tracey Spicer, a broadcast journalist in Australia for more than 20 years, is no stranger to the sexist aside nor the cut and thrust of a busy newsroom. One of her favourites is overhearing a colleague saying: “You can’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.” […]

  • […] (Image credit) /* Share […]

  • Reply October 31, 2012

    Gillian

    Tracey – I loved this article until I reached the part that made an extremely pejorative reference to having the intellect of a pygmy. I can only imagine that you don’t quite realise what you are saying…Pygmies are not mythical creatures – they are an existing group of people with no lesser intellectual ability than you or I. Shame on you.

  • Reply October 31, 2012

    GROUNDHOG DAY

    […] in the last few weeks, with Julia Gillard’s impassioned speech about sexism in her workplace, and Tracey Spicer’s blistering letter published in The Hoopla about sexism in […]

  • Reply November 1, 2012

    Carmen

    Thank you so much for this great piece! I work in a great environment that I love but still, the innate behaviour of men in general is that they are sexist. All the men have the big offices, all the men sit together in QANTAS business class, all the men drink together and plan work collaborations, and the senior men are always in each others ears. I watch the senior women in the organization struggle with this problem and get stuck at certain levels as they don’t want to go out getting drunk with the fellas etc.

  • Reply November 4, 2012

    Diane

    Remarkable! I thought I had it tough in IT, but it seems that’s clearly not the case. Good on you for speaking out.

  • Reply November 5, 2012

    Tony W

    “Pygmies are not mythical creatures – they are an existing group of people”

    Gillian, note that Tracey has used the UNCAPITALIZED noun. Go check the difference in the dictionary, eg Oxford:

    pygmy:
    “a person who is insignificant or is deficient in a particular respect: he regarded them as intellectual pygmies”

    or Merriam Webster:
    “an insignificant or unimpressive person ”

    “pygmy” can also be used as an adjective, eg. Oxford:
    “very small or insignificant….used in names of animals and plants that are much smaller than more typical kinds, e.g. pygmy shrew, pygmy water lily.”

    There are many words like “pygmy” which have a pejorative meaning while also referring to real people with congenital or acquired conditions, eg. cretin, moron, lunatic, insane. Are we to feel outrage on their behalf when these terms are used pejoratively?

    Anyway I never would have guessed there’d be so many Friends of Pygmies on Hoopla.

  • Reply November 7, 2012

    THE HOBBIT OF HOMOPHOBIA

    […] Tracey Spicer […]

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    jonah stiffhausen

    Dear Mrs Unthinking.
    http://www.newoxfordreview.org/reviews.jsp?did=1112-gardiner

  • […] Tracey Spicer […]

  • Reply November 20, 2012

    THE FUTILITY OF WAR

    […] Tracey Spicer […]

  • Reply November 27, 2012

    THE JOINT'S DESTROYING US

    […] Tracey Spicer […]

  • Reply December 11, 2012

    Justine

    Thanks Tracey. OK. I’m gonna share from now on and lift the lid on the endless shitty little bits. Following events from the late teen years working in hospitality: At 17 extracting myself from the lap of my duty manager as he said, ‘don’t worry girlie, I won’t tell your boyfriend.'; (oh well, that’s alright then, you gruesome canker. What boyfriend?) Having it explained to me that I would have to blow dry my hair straight each day because women with curly hair ‘have no credibility’ (I didn’t even brush my hair – not even sure it was curly); Being sacked for wearing inadequate volumes of lipstick (see previous comment re hair. Lipstick?? yeah right!) And one that I find the ugliest when I think back on it, standing at work behind the bar while 3 money market jocks laughed hard while a 4th lied sweetly to his wife about his whereabouts, hung up his mobile and said, ‘What a stupid dumb slut’. I hate that story. I now vow to call it every time I see it.

  • Reply December 13, 2012

    Deniz

    i don’t agree with the small dick comment myself, but i am astonished that out of the whole text.. comments focus on that. it is not a good thing to say, but well, she has suffered, let her be angry for a moment. the initial point here.. is something else..

  • Reply December 13, 2012

    THINK BEFORE YOU TWEET

    […] Tracey Spicer […]

  • Reply December 18, 2012

    ABBOTT: CAN HE CHANGE?

    […] Tracey Spicer […]

  • […] Dear Mr. Sexist by Tracey Spicer […]

  • Reply January 6, 2013

    melinda cook

    Must be so good to be able to play the gender card when your performance is not good enough.
    Oh and wonder when Tracey will realise that the ONLY reason she was given the opportunity (which she blew) in the first place was due to her looks.
    Why is it that women always actually think that they are trhere on their merit! LOL

  • Reply January 25, 2013

    Ed Roy

    Looks like confected outrage from a comic book journalist, probably trying to leverage Ms Gillard’s (i.e. Mr McTernan”s) battle cry for the useful idiots who believe: a. that sexism is unilateral , and b. sexism is confined to those awful people who hold right of centre views.

  • Reply January 30, 2013

    Ian McFadyen

    There was a significant moment in news broadcasting in the late 90s when Channel Ten suddenly decided to shoot Sandra Sully on the10:30 late news from the side, rather than across the desk, framing it so you could see her legs. Later, channels adopted the ridiculous practice of having newsreaders stand up while reading the news. The only possible reason for this is to reveal the newsreader’s physique, both male and female.

  • Reply February 19, 2013

    DEAD SEXY SELLS

    […] Dear Mr Sexist […]

  • Reply February 20, 2013

    espresso maker reviews

    Thanks for finally writing about >DEAR MR. SEXIST <Loved it!

  • Reply February 27, 2013

    CUNT. THERE, I SAID IT.

    […] Dear Mr Sexist […]

  • Reply March 12, 2013

    man o man

    […] http://thehoopla.com.au/dear-misogynist/?cpg=2 […]

  • […] Dear Mr Sexist […]

  • […] Dear Mr Sexist […]

  • […] Dear Mr Sexist […]

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  • […] Dear Mr. Sexist […]

  • I rarely comment, but after reading some of the remarks
    here DEAR MR. SEXIST. I actually do have a few questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be simply me or does it look like like a few of these comments look like they are written by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting at other places, I’d
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  • […] Dear Mr. Sexist […]

  • […] You can read Tracey’s letter here. […]

  • […] Tracey Spicer, a broadcast journalist in Australia for more than 20 years, is no stranger to the sexist aside nor the cut and thrust of a busy newsroom. One of her favourites is overhearing a colleague saying: “You can’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.” […]

  • […] Dear Mr Sexist – letter by Tracey Spicer published on The Hoopla […]

  • […] Dear Mr Sexist […]

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