misogyny-2

MI·SOG·Y·NY. HIJACKED BY PEDANTS

I’m starting to feel pretty worn down by the commentary surrounding the Prime Minister’s speech on sexism and misogyny.

Not because the debate has been heated (it has) not because it’s been partisan (it has) and not even because it has been used as a springboard for even more sexist insults directed not just at the PM, but at women in general (if you are a masochist, have a look at the comments on Andrew Bolt’s blog).

No. What’s depressing me is how reductive and pointless the majority of the arguments have been.

If one more person starts their speech or article with ...

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116 Comments

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Ilsa Evans

    Well said – as frustrating as the ingrained sexism has been the hijacking of the discussion itself. And the trivialising of the issue, and the denigrating of those who have spoken out, and the ‘it’s just a joke’ defence, and…. the fact that the list goes on, and on. But I’d better stop there and calm down, my brow is getting wrinkled.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Susan Taylor

      Great Corinne – you absolutely hit the spot.

      • Reply October 19, 2012

        Cinzia

        Yep, a fantastic article. It’s been a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Ella

      Yes, its the old “smoke and mirrors” trick, to distract us from the real issues, we need to tell them to stop the dumb stunts and stick to the facts.

      Like the nightly news, cross promotion of BB or other pointless rubbish is NOT news.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    sue

    An ingrained example of sexism is in Fairfax and the headline on the PM’s fall.
    Yesterday it was, “PM plays Cinderella again”
    Today, same story, “Gillard takes a tumble as heels dig in”

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Julie

    That;s been the whole point, Corinne, to detract from what the PM actually said. The old grumps club (which includes an interesting group of women) set out to deliberately derail the whole debate by wearing people down, as they always do – don’t let them! While PM Gilllard has has put the sexism agenda back onto the world debate and is being cheered in other countries for doing so (see the UK Independent article this morning) what is really happening here is ‘Gillardogyny’ which is even more entrenched in this country than misogyny.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Tony W

      Yes, it’s been incredibly frustrating to watch these pedants who insist on speaking Greek – literally. Corinne, next time someone calls you hysterically funny, ask them “What does my comedy have to do with my uterus?”

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Carole

    Bloody brilliant Corrine .

    I’ m so angry at the moment I can’t form a reasoned comment, I think I’ll just go outside and. S C R E A M.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Carole

    S C R E A M !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Carole

    S C R E A M !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’nnnn

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Jacqueline

      I’ll join you. SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Sandy Gandhi

    nice work Corinne – Peter Slipper’s definition of ‘miso gyny’ -
    mussel soup! Bully based of course.
    Namaste
    Sandy

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    twinarp

    When some folks don’t understand that dictionary definitions evolve….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpty_Dumpty#In_Through_the_Looking-Glass
    Completely agree with you, as usual Corinne.

    The problem is side-stepping sexism with a argument amongst BLOKES that goes “sexism? Sexism? How do we define sexism?”
    That should go, “Oh, are we STILL doning that, we should STOP IT.”

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Panther_Power

      One thing I like about the Hoopla is that there is no sign of pedants and right wing media hacks that constantly push the barrow containing their distorted views that are at odds with reality.

      • Reply October 19, 2012

        Frankyj

        Panther Power

        I would be concerned with your definition of your own reality, whereby all that is important is what is important to you.

        Careful what you wish for.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Heather

    Brilliant article as usual Corinne. Keep chipping away at them with your good sense. It does my heart good!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    jonah stiffhausen

    I thought you were meant to be funny? Gawd help us. The dynamics of a relationship between a man and a woman are no one else’s business, least of all the state’s, if there are no laws being broken. Anything else tends towards totalitarianism, which is where “feminism” is taking us. “Wimmin” thus are a danger to a free society and thus must be treated as the enemy by all social libertarians. Honestly, these “discussions” are just the 21st century’s version of the caricatured women in hair rollers nattering over the back fence.
    Power seekers seek any excuse to interfere in people’s lives and give them a banner/cause/ideology such as “feminism” and they’ll so do. Love, honour and obey, that’s all you have to concern yourselves with. Leave the thinking up to us.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Jenny

      My god, Jonah, are you for real?? are we supposed to believe you are serious??

      • Reply October 18, 2012

        MoniqueN

        Nope. Flame-bait. And pretty poor flame-bait when you come right down to it.

        Come on Jonah, you can do better than that. Really put your back into it this time!

      • Reply October 20, 2012

        jonah stiffhausen

        Never more so Jenny Wren. “Feminism” is an ideology and ideologies are nothing more than ideas pursued by power seekers as a vehicle. By its very nature, it has to be imposed upon people, because it as goes against nature’s grain. Therefore it is totalitarian by its very nature. Evidence is overwhelming. Hundreds of men are now languishing in prisons for no other reason than displeasing women. All been denied due process of the law. The Horrid Sisters are responsible. You’re all dangers to the rest of us

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Wendy Harmer

      hahha, nice try Jonah.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      William Marshall

      Hahaha, Josh, you are clearly trying to be funny but I don’t think that quite worked! Brilliant Article, Corrine, another thought provoking piece, love to see you write this again!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Wixxy

    Brilliant stuff Corinne.
    Great appearance on The Drum the other day too I might add.
    Hope they put you on Q&A next time

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Nedahl

    Corinne Grant, you are awesome. That’s all.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Mez

    Great article Corinne – how true, keep it up !!!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Meg

    From the title I thought it was going to be an article about a recent knee injury you suffered Corinne, from tripping over a pedant having a hissy fit on the floor…mi-sog-y-ny (or “my soggy knee”)!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Dee

    Fabulous article. I’m with you all the way, Corinne.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Norelle

    yes dictionaries take a while to catch up – I used to think I knew the meaning of ‘sick’, ‘gay’, ‘tweet’ and ‘tool’ !

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Jen

    Thanks, Corrinne. Thoughtful and eloquent – voicing the concerns of many of us who were shouting at the telly on Monday night.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    coffee needed

    Well done. It is obvious that many males and alas females can’t accept the idea that the behaviour the Prime Minister called out is misogynistic. Much easier for their conscience that the word be attacked as the wrong word than face the truth of the situation.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Steave

    Corinne,

    I wish you could see me and if I wasn’t at work, I would stand and applaud.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Jenny

    Monday night’s Q&A was one of Tony Jones lesser efforts I thought. Thank goodness for Charlie and Bill – between them they offered a little common sense into the debate.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Carole

    Thanks Corinne. Screaming with you – very loudly. Most unladylike!!! Of course language evolves – or should I really believe -literally – all those messages in the bible?
    Again spot on, Corinne.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Trisha

    Excellent discussion. I stopped watching Q&A because it no longer has an impartial host, whatever the topic.

    Yes, every time I push back on statements that I feel are sexist I’m told I have lost my sense of humour, and this is from intelligent men who are horrified to think of themselves as sexist or misogynist. They feel that anything they say as a joke is fine…..

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Diana White

    Thank you a great article.I played and replayed the PM’s speech to all the family and friends – who seemed to get it . Then a few days later when I objected to sports officials and commentators referring to female team members as ‘ladies’ I was told – “oh you are out of touch – no offence is meant – it is a respectful term”. Even the ‘enlightened’ just don’t seem to see there are many hangovers in our new equal ??? Society.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Monika

    yes yes yes and yes! you are speaking for me. Sexism is ingrained, so much so that as you say, mentioning it makes us whiners and “sensitive”. I would love to see a revolution; a paradigm shift where women’s perspectives and experiences are equal and valid and not just relegated to the ‘minority/novelty view. Men take so much for granted, in terms of how the world is shaped and constructed to fit, reflect and validate their experiences of being a man. Men fail to see this as they were born in to this cultural construct and therefore have come to feel a sense of entitlement and supremacy in terms of their views, opinions and experiences. Our issues the become relegated to ‘women’s issues’ rather then simply being human issues or world issues.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Di Pearton

    SHOUT!!!!!!!!!!!
    Agreed Tony Jones is not just biassed, he also isn’t a good facilitator. He has wasted some really great guests, eg Clover Moore, by letting others, usually LNP past and present, to hijack the ‘debate’. I would love to see Jenny Brocke host Q&A, or CORINNE??

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Kevin

    Great piece Corinne, echoing the thoughts of many in my view.

    As an off-topic aside (sorry), I see the commenter above ‘Jonah’ gives us a clear example relating to that other contemporary definitional issue, trolling. Jonah is a troll. A deliberate attempt to wind people up for the sake of their own amusement. This is entirely different from bullying. I do not understand this behaviour, but its important to understand the difference between trolling and bullying.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Nat

    Cheering from the cheap seats.

    I love how so many people seem to believe that just because we have some prominent women in positions of power that sexism and misogyny no longer exist. If only it was that simple.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Anne

      As usual, a very perceptive article Corrinne. And a great point from Nat. A few prominant women in positions of power does not mean that we are in a `post feminist’ age. As you say, Nat, if only it was that simple.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    mrs pops

    I’m agree Corrine et al. It’s exhausting that by focusing on the dictionary we ignore the issue. Suggesting women are lesser than men is sexist Mr Abbott. Didn’t President Ford fall down the stairs deboarding an aircraft and also an Opposition Leader from the UK a long time ago? I have often suffered a heel sinking into the grass. Embarassing but common.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    blueblood

    I like this article:
    http://www.theglobalmail.org/blog/word-of-the-day/421/

    and this one:
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Joni

    Of course an accurate definition of a word is important, our whole language is based on mutual understanding of a word. Julia just picked a word that is wrong and exaggerated for effect and to distract the masses from her failures and problems, Orwellian, much??

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Marnie

    Julia is out there doing a great job as a political leader and it is all being hidden under a barrage of infantile bickering over boy v girl name calling worthy of the school playground. Julia said her piece. One worthy rant to counter the continuous flow from the offenders and it has spawned another tit for tat squabble. I see dozens of ads on the TV, jokes in the media and innuendo everywhere I go depicting men as dumb, ineffectual, thoughtless and childish. Do we see men crying in their beer over this? Of course not. Men don’t see it as an affront. Most women don’t see the ‘attacks’ on them as an affront. I get upset at genuine attacks (e,g Alan Bond) but for goodness sake…get real. Real women do not need to PROVE they are better. Real women do not need to DEFEND themselves. Real women just get on with the job and do it better despite the little barbs from men which are designed to undermine their confidence. I am proud to be a woman, I know we have strength of character that most men can only dream of, but as women fight to become equals they are losing the pride and dignity of what being a woman means and are downgrading themselves to the level of men. Shame ladies, shame. Stop these silly word games, pick yourselves up of the playground and walk away proudly and with the dignity of our unique gender.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    blueblood

    Joni, not really. The Global Mail article above is illuminating with regard to words and meanings.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Joni

      Devil is in the detail, blueblood. If Tony Abbott had used the word incorrectly, all hell would break loose. In that case, Julia is a misandrist.

      • Reply October 18, 2012

        MWS

        Actually, Tony Abbott DID use “misogynist” first – in his speech directly before the Prime Minister’s speech. He claimed that Peter Slipper’s text messages were misogynist and sexist. So if the word wasn’t used correctly by the PM (who gave plenty of instances of Tony Abbott’s behaviour), then Slipper’s private text messages certainly wouldn’t fit a “strict” dictionary definition.

        As Terry Sweetman said “If the Opposition don’t want Julia Gillard to play the gender card, they should stop dealing it to her.”

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Nigel-63

    … while I agree with your perspective and point of view, Corrine, perhaps, in this world of appropriate words and definitions, you’d care to give Pammy hers:

    Dr Pamela Stephenson-Connelly, not just Comedienne and Author, but also practicing Buddhist, Clinical Psychologist (having received her PhD in 1996), Sexologist (stop snickering) and Hypnotherapist… ‘she has developed a psychometric measure, the Pre-Assessment for Trauma Plus (PAT+), to assess treatment needs in young offender populations which is now being used in some British prisons.’ [Wiki.]

    … so, um, lets not sell her short, eh… although, although, p’haps in retrospect, dumbing her down for an Australian readership, like sexism, is also an ingrained Australian trait…

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Katie

    Yes it is interesting that Pam has a PhD. If she were a bloke I bet her routine title would be Dr.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    DeeDee

    I just stood up and applauded! Thanks Corinne!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Lindy

    I rarely watch the complete QandA programme because the questions are chosen beforehand so Tony Jones is able to push his political barrow. I find his adjudication very poor also as seen on the previous weeks’ show, I hope that Lindsay Tanner has appologised to Kate Ellis for his rude behaviour. I wasn’t impressed with Pamela Stephenson in particular her claiming that she wanted to be a “babe”, but was very impressed with the presenter of The Project.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Linda

    SCREAMING with Carole- so sicvk and tired of the fight- been fighting it for 35 years now and its going backwards.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    C Venn

    Words changing definition is very common & a lot of men will get cranky about re-defining the word misogyny.
    I remember when they were male chauvinist pigs – definition: “male chauvinism” was used to refer to an attitude of male superiority or male entitlement to power over women
    http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/60s70s/g/gl_mcp.htm)

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    SarahMac

    What a great article Corinne!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Gwen

    @ Marnie: “Alan Bond” ?? Have I missed something?

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Lydia

    I’m with the SCREAMING ones….

    This whole ‘debate’ is so frustrating. Thank you for pointing out the bleedin obvious Corinne. You are right on the money – stupid, but effective, ploy to derail the real debate about sexism and, yes, misogyny in society.

    When I was doing women’s studies back in the day, one of my lecturers said that there’s no ‘male equivalent’ of the word misogyny. Misandry? She said that it’s a very good example of the asymmetrical nature of the English language, which reflects and amplifies our embedded views of society (and women’s and men’s positions in it).

    Thoughts anyone?

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Carley

    Bravo!

    Let’s stop getting mired down in irrelevant bs, sexism is alive and well, and prescriptive gender roles are limiting for women and men alike.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Caroline B

    Corinne, you’re a Goddess!! Have been alternating between quiet fuming & loud groaning/ head shaking over the exact same thing all week – if it sounds & smells like misogyny, it’s probably misogyny, people….

    A deliberate tactic to muddy & sidetrack a much-needed debate by semantics & yes, even as a former Silver Foxy Lady, I’m also disappointed in Tony Jones’ performances of late. What’s going on there??

    Anyway, thank you for articulating my exact same feelings & frustrations on this topic. Love you & all your brilliant insights xx

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Liz

    @ Nigel-63: Obvious you had a bit of trouble finding fault with this one Nig but at least you made the effort. Don’t think Pamela Stephenson would be concerned to be described as a “Comedian and author” any more than “Liberal front bencher Sophie Mirabella and journalist Catherine Fox” would be concened that all of their achievements, degrees, awards etc were not listed beside their names. Point is – all of them were credited by Corinne with having given “an eloquent, personalised and dignified reply to the question” – doesn’t sound like an insult to me. As for “dumbing her down for an Australian readership” I can only assume you are speaking for yourself.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Lisa Lintern

    Like racism, sadly there are many ‘well-meaning’ people who don’t even realise they are being sexist. As frustrating this debate has become, at least it’s being discussed. I just hope that it results in a little honest (and maybe brave) self-reflection in the media, workplace, government, at home…wherever.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Jane Salmon

    Sexism is indeed ingrained and yes words are powerful but we don’t need to go over and over what might constitute misogyny. We simply need to be aware of it overall. As another comic almost said, misogyny could be miso and seafood soup for all I care. I just want it to bloody stop. And yep, that other dirty word ‘patriarchy’ describes somethng that fathers (and not just the Taliban) do to daughters, to society as a whole. I want that to end, too.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Meredith

    Amen, Corinne, amen!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Tia

    Great piece Corrine; we really do need to keep this conversation going. Sexism and mysogyny do exist. This discussion is not about ‘hating men’ or devaluing women who don’t have, what might be regarded as, typically feminine qualities. Rather, it’s about recognising that gender bias and discrimination exists – and it’s not right, or acceptable.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Karen

    “I AM AS MAD AS HELL AND I’M JUST NOT GOING TO PUT UP WITH IT ANYMORE” from Newsfront

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Sandra

    I’m with all of the other screeeeeeming people. I also had to raise the finger after Tony Jones tried to put Bill Shorten down. But then I used the finger to a better use. I turned Q & A traveling side show off once again.
    Corinne you really are the light of my old life – may your wonderful sense of humor keep on guiding your writing forever.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    NetFreeUK

    Impressive – an entire article and thread of comments that talk about sexism as a problem that only affects women. Checked the gender gap in school exams recently, and noticed the lack of measures to address this? One-sided legislation concerning child custody?

    How often do you see acknowledgment of the statistical fact that domestic violence is roughly equally perpetrated by men and women (yet virtually all support is targeted at women)? Or when headlines are written about wider violence, how often do you see acknowledgement that men are TWICE as likely to suffer violence as women?

    These are a few examples from many. Sexism very much affects both genders – and I’m disheartened to see in the 21st Century most seem to think it’s still a women only affliction.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Joni

      EXACTLY

    • Reply October 26, 2012

      Jane Doe

      NetFreeUK, I would like to see the evidence that half of domestic violence victims are men. I agree that violence is a huge problem and that men are victims too, but you have to face facts, 90% of reported perpetrators of violence against men are other men. Even taking into account under reporting, which skews ALL violence statistics, the evidence from anti violence campaigns around the world tells us that men have a problem when it comes to dealing with conflict and anger. Narrow gender roles and socialization is harmful to everyone, men, women and children.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Pseudonym

    From the always-pedantic Less Wrong, 37 ways that words can be wrong.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Caroline B

    Yes, I’m also puzzled about what’s happened to Q&A lately. Always been a big TJ fan but maybe he needs a holiday? Thought Bill Shorten & Charlie Pickering were terrific this week & counting the days for the wonderful Big Nosed Bard from Barking, Billy Bragg next week! Rudely interject at your peril, Tony!

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Joni

    This whole thing reminds me of when I liked a page that had a Christian theme on Facebook and a “progressive” friend messaged me to say that the man running the page is a BIGOT. I find it amazing that people will use the word BIGOT for a Christian without realising that to say so it to be a bigot themselves. eg a BIGOT is “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

    Let’s stop labelling esp if the label is incorrect.

    Yes, Misandry is hatred or dislike of men or boys and it’s true and happens.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Joni

    Have a read of this if you don’t believe misandry exists – http://www.womynkind.org/scum.htm

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Kevin

    Another interesting side-note. Following the Macquarie dictionary lead from yesterday, today the Merriam-Webster is reviewing their definition of misogyny. They also point out that although their current definition is ‘hatred of women’, if you go a step further and look at the definition of hatred, it includes the references to prejudice, intolerance etc.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Serin

    “About time this all came out in to the centre stage”, “Some” Australian men are very afraid of assertive, powerful women.
    Maybe us Aussie women have just put up with it for too long in our everyday- we laugh at the “larrikin” humour- that often comes out after a few beers at a casual barbecue. I have rolled with it for a long time- in my family-WHY- because the perpetrator’s female friends and family- all went with he culture and he was seen as some sort of black humour hero.
    I had lived in the UK and the men their by in largely did not act like this in women’s company. You know the stuff the snide “tit jokes” root worthy comments- I have had it since I was in my early teens.
    I now live in rural Australia and let me tell you a lot has not changed! But as long as a lot of women still are prepared to “roll” with it and even (as I have experienced firsthand) stand against women who stand up against in- in defence of the men, (not boys- MEN) who choose to act this way- then the cycle is very insidious, and will remain so.
    You are right on the money Corrine, Let’s not water it down to the level of the definition in the Dictionary- let’s be honest we need to do something about the cultural norm of open season on women and sexism- it’s a long time coming in my experience.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Ella

      Yes Serin, we live among the Taliban but without the turbans (which makes them harder to spot).. There are many women haters – who are scared of losing their status, sad little shits.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Ilsa Evans

    NetFreeUK – While you are correct in saying that men are more likely to suffer violence than women, you neglect to add that this is at the hands of other MEN. Nor is there any such thing as ‘one-sided legislation concerning child custody’ – what we do have, now, is legislation that prioritises a child’s right to safety. Nor is there any ‘statistical fact that DV is roughly equally perpetrated by men and women’. All reputable research, such as the recently released Victorian Family Violence Database, which collates data from a range of sources, such as emergency hospital admission, police, courts etc, refutes this claim. That’s not to say that there are not male victims, but they are in the minority and you do them no favours by not sticking to legitimate data sources.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Tony W

    Yes Marnie, Julia is to admired as a proud and dignified woman who has advanced on her own merits. But she has also promised to “call out sexism and misogyny” wherever she sees it. You should do likewise.

    Surely you can’t be serious when you say “Real women do not need to DEFEND themselves” against sexism. That’s like saying Real blacks do not need to defend themselves against racism.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Narelle

    Great article Corrine, sums it all up very well. Yes I too almost punched the TV on Monday night.
    Tony Jones and humour? do those 3 words sit well in a sentance? Me thinks not.
    Am absolutely fed up with the sexism down here, my local servo manager thinks he’s a card and often says “oh gee, bad headache today, feels like a head full of women talking”!!! I told him today “get over yourself, no self respecting woman would inhabit your head, it’s a vacant space and nothing going on there”.
    Me thinks all these men doth protest too much, the see intelligent women as the enemy it seems.
    May take us all a few hyears to turn things around, we just have to keep chipping away and equalise life.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Tony W

    Lots of English words are derived from other languages, it would be interesting if we insisted on literal translation rather than modern definition, eg:

    misogyny – miso (hate) gune (woman)
    hysteria, hysterical: – hystera (uterus)

    Of course, some root words occur in more than one language, so things could get a bit confusing, for example when you go to a Japanese restaurant and order hate soup.

    Any other examples out there…? I’m curious to see where this kind of pedantry might take us.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Noely Neate (@SunriseNoely)

    Excellent! Exactly what I was whinging to my husband about yesterday UGH! I find it sad that the whole debate is being hijacked, I am not a feminist, I just believe in equal rights for all adults, but, am getting frustrated that instead of a rational conversation about how insidious sexism is, we are having these silly pedantic conversations. A heap of men do not even realise they are being sexist, my dad loved me greatly, still, if we are talking business would ‘politely’ shut me down and defer to my husband… True rabid sexism is rare nowadays, it is more the quiet, insidious type that makes it harder to fight, as the PM found out, if you call them out on it, you are then titled a ‘drama queen’ :(

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Tony W

    NetFreeUK – Yes, you’re absolutely right, sexism cuts both ways. There are some appallingly unfair imbalances in society against men, eg. dangerous work (construction industry, the military, police, firefighters, etc).

    The difference is that when women attempt to enter these occupations, they face enormous objections. Conversely, there seems to be no objection to male nurses.

    Yes, there’s a gender gap in school exam performance. It’s the result of deliberate education policies favouring girls, and it’s been happening for decades. It’s called positive discrimination, and it’s designed to redress societal imbalances caused by women being locked out of the workforce almost completely in the ’50s. So they’re starting off a very low base.

    We can debate the merits of positive discrimination as public policy, but don’t try and label it sexism against men. By that logic you’d have to say positive discrimination for black people is racism against whites.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Rosie

    So many people applauded Julias’ speech, all around the world because it rang so true, based as it was on solid quotes of Abbott’s own words come back to bight him. A holding to account long overdue. What was fascinating was the parrallel universe reaction of journos like Peter Hartcher, who rattled on about context as some defence when the public just groaned in total exasperation at his bagging of the PMs speech the next day. Abbott was the first to play the gender card in calling Slipper sexist and misogynist when moving his motion that Slipper should go. Given Abbott’s long history of well documented public pronouncements he was being a total hypocrite. Julia Gillards’ response was nothing more than appropriate. Abbott dropped himself right in it. She was spot on and nailed him beautifully. She was not ‘playing the gender card’ Abbott was and it backfired. That the Canberra journos beat up on Julia again the next day was more revealing about them than anything. Anne Summers’ article on the Drum was illuminating. Equally deserved and brilliant smack down article Corrinne.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Bobbie

    If I have understood one important thing from the past week and the reaction to the PM’s excellent speech is that it is no longer OK to passively accept the misogynist background noise in which women have to live, work and rear the next generation.

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Sere

    I would love to see how many tumbles Tony Abbott would have if he tried to walk in high heels, because he already stumbles over his own words over and over again.

    While Tony tries to walk in heels I think Jonah Stiffhausen should try it also.

    I hate the fact that Julia Gillard wears heels and is constantly falling, and then you see the men around her trying to catch her and pick her up. It makes women look so vunerable and in need of extra help with walking, when it is just the fact that she is walking on uneven ground. Even that does not make the playing field fair. The men around her have an advantage just because of fashion. And then the media uses it to mock her and it can make her look unstable and unsteady because all the men around her aren’t falling over, BUT THEY WOULD IN HEELS. I think she should pass a law that everyone in parliament has to wear heels if she does lol. We’ll see if that law makes it through with all the men voting in parliament.

    Julia Gillard does an incredible job standing (no pun intended) the way she does against all the verbal attacks she receives from all directions. The way she keeps her ‘cool’ in public through it all. She is also doing this in a job surrounded by the opposite sex, which means it would take a lot more strength than it would take for a man (eg. Tony Abbott) to stand against attack in parliament and in the media.

    Now for a joke on words:
    (Since the dictionary has been brought up quite a bit in this article).
    Have you noticed that so many words to do with the things that women suffer or have to endure have male pronouns or the sound of a male pronoun in them:
    MENopause, HYSterectomy, MENstruation…….LOL

    • Reply October 19, 2012

      Jenny

      In regard to high heels – I would prefer to see Julia wearing more stable footwear when she is out and about. Heels are available which are wider and more substantial and wouldn’t sink into grass; she doesn’t need to go the whole way and wear flat shoes. High heels are a hazard no matter where you walk.

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    ian

    surely misogny as traditionally defined has no real meaning in English. I mean, who really “hates” women? So it’s meaning has changed to the broader ‘sexism to women’. And the fact that sexism isn’t gender specific only means that another word is needed. a bit like “homophobia” doesn’t mean fear of homosexuals.

    But it seems conservatives pull rank on the dictionary definition when it suits their argument.

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Jane

    You are so right Corinne! I think it is absolutely high time that this country deals with the misogyny that is rife in its society. I am getting fed up with the cries (from several male politicians and commentators this week) that we (the voters) have had enough of the gender wars, so shut up and get on with running the country. Well, sorry, but this has an awful lot to do with running the country. And this particular voter doesn’t think the discussion is finished.

    • Reply October 20, 2012

      helenbea

      Jane…yes. Absolutely right!

  • [...] Comedian and columnist Corinne Grant said the debate over dictionary definitions was ”reductive and pointless.”She said she thought questioning the prime minister’s use of the word misogyny detracted from [...]

  • [...] and columnist Corinne Grant said the debate over dictionary definitions was “reductive and pointless.” She said she thought questioning the prime minister’s use of the word misogyny detracted from [...]

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    helenbea

    Corinne, you are such a valued ‘voice’ for all those of us out here who have felt voiceless over the years. Anyone with intelligence, perception and awareness has been aware of this underlying imbalance in our society and culture.

    The gender imbalance – it’s the tip of the iceberg, but the most prevalent, as approximately half the population is female. For those who suggest we put the issue aside and get on with running the country is all well and good. However, we are clearing up issues of imbalance in our ethical stance as a society which claims democracy as our governing philosophy. The groundwork has to be done and redone!

    The addressng of imbalances in gender will lead to addressing issues of inequity in other areas such as age, wealth/poverty, ethnicity, religion, sexuality. Reframing the issues around gender has the potential to spearhead issues of equity across the board.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/online-sensation-exposes-abbotts-gender-card-play-to-millions/story-e6frg7ex-1226499493184 A great article in The Australian.

    Also, a great article today by Anne Summers in SMH about women’s shoes and Julia’s fall this week.

    Thanks Corinne and Hoopla for providing such a wonderful forum for everyone to vent with dignity and safety. Corinne…you’re a hotshot…shooting from the hip! Love ya!!!

  • [...] and columnist Corinne Grant said the debate over dictionary definitions was “reductive and pointless.” She said she thought questioning the prime minister’s use of the word misogyny detracted from [...]

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Zelda

    Maybe I am too cynical, but Christian Kerr’s article on how Tony Abbott is not a misogynist by dint of his fundraising for womens’ organisations does not prove Tony innocent for me.
    I can see that Tony and his minders are mindful of the power that women now hold, of womens’ issues generally and therefore would be directing attention to currying favour with these groups ?
    His efforts are aimed at getting support from women for his tilt at the prime ministership.
    For me Christian Kerr, it doesn’t prove he is not misogynistic.

  • [...] and columnist Corinne Grant said the debate over dictionary definitions was “reductive and pointless.” She said she thought questioning the prime minister’s use of the word misogyny detracted from [...]

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Saskia

    Isn’t this a pointless debate?

    Most men deep down think they are better than women at most things. This is not misogyny it is an honest belief backed by a millennia of evidence. These men love women but (quietly) think they are better.

    The sad thing is under the current govt’s nanny state, wowserism people cannot be open about their sincere feelings without thought police smearing them incorrectly as ‘women haters’ which is a total untruth.

    The definition does matter. To say it doesn’t beggars belief. How can people have a debate when we don’t even understand the actual issue being debated?

    You are mistaking chauvenism, misogyny, and reality.

    By playing the female as the victim card you are hurting and embarrassing us women who don’t have the victim chip on our shoulders.

    Please don’t refer to women in a generic sense as you certainly do not speak for a huge proportion of us.

  • Reply October 21, 2012

    Marilyn

    It was a dreadful premeditated whinge by a woman who climbed over the corpses of Beazley twice, Latham, Crean and Rudd to be PM. I reckon she is a man hating sexist coward.

    She reminds me more and more of Nurse Ratchet with her brutal treatment of single parents, aborigines, gays, lesbians, refugees and other minority groups whose rights she has destroyed even more than Howard ever dreamed of.

    Anyone who sees Gillard as some sort of saviour of women and a role model of anti-sexism is deranged.

  • Reply October 21, 2012

    knowerzark

    you’re suffering from misopedantry

  • Reply October 21, 2012

    NancyC

    awesome article, thankyou!

  • Reply October 22, 2012

    M.K. Hajdin

    “This is the discussion we should be having: there is an all-pervasive sexism that isn’t deliberate, but serves to continue to stereotype and limit women.”

    We absorb it unconsciously, but those who defend it do so deliberately.

  • Reply October 22, 2012

    H Errington

    Misogyny and sexism are even more highlighted for disabled women in this country because many disabled women don’t fit the female stereotype. For those men who have a problem with this conversation, try living in the shoes of a woman for a while and then give me your opinion. Also misogynistic phrases such as those uttered by Abbott don’t occur if one is not a misogynist. What you say speaks so loudly!

  • [...] all Most ReadMI·SOG·Y·NY. HIJACKED BY PEDANTSNOT JUST ANY OLD WINDEAR MR. SEXISTKILLING US SOFTLY, SHAMEFULLYTHE NON CHILD-FRIENDLY SKIES? [...]

  • Reply October 24, 2012

    Dimpzee

    Sorry Corinne but IMO the PM has used the misogyny card to deflect from other issues. I have not seen any article that quotes Mr Abbott of making any sexist comments. When that happens I will be interested to read what is said.
    I wish the smoke & mirrors would cease & the running of the country would commence.
    I do believe that in many cases sexism sadly is alive & well in our country & that women receive a raw deal. It is the finger of blame being pointed, in Parliament, at one lone individual that has annoyed me.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    knowerzark

    corinne, the broadening of the definition, in my opinion, merely reflects that word has been misused over time….much like reitcent versus reluctant…a bugbear of mine. of course, unless ‘misandry’ is similarly redefined, then this is clear case of sexism in the media, that medium being the national dictionary.
    as for jones’s squirming remark over the “plastic surgery” topic, which was raised, you might remember, by a teenage girl who seemed quite judgmental and ageist towards stephenson in her tone and stance, it was merely reflecting the well known pattern where men invariably end up with their feet in their mouths if they dare to comment on a woman’s appearance or her right to change it. simply, we’re on a hiding to nothing, and we all know it. poor bugger.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    knowerzark

    btw, my previous comment should read “reticent or reluctant”…the two words are discretely (not discreetly) different.
    but the big issue for me is this…when, if ever, can/will we get to a point where gender is irrelevant? surely that is the goal, is it not?
    can anyone on this site see a time where this might happen? i mean, when and where will it end?
    because, as a male who tries to share the load of raising 3 kids with his highly intelligent, very successful professional wife/spouse/partner, i often wonder what i’ve done wrong by being born with testicles when i read about this issue and many women’s reactions.
    you see, men don’t all seek to oppress women or retain power for its own sake. most of us are doing our merely best we can within our chosen responsibilities to keep our heads above water.
    and working while your spouse chooses to stay at home with the kids, as I did for a few years, can be a huge burden that takes its toll. this will be true whether you’re male, female, blue, brown, pink or polka dotted.

  • [...] MI·SOG·Y·NY. Hijacked by pedants [...]

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Jane Doe

    Saskia,if you don’t think there’s any need to challenge men’s idea that they’re somehow naturally “better” than women as you see it, all I can say is I really hope you’re neither a mother nor a teacher. Or if you have a way of challenging that incorrect assumption that those men have please share, don’t leave us in suspense, the issue is too important for you to keep it to yourself.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Jane Doe

    “If it’s true … that men have more power generally speaking than women, is that a bad thing?” – Tony Abbott

    Dimpzee, check out the site Tony and Ponies for many of Mr Abbott’s greatest hits in one place. With cute ponies!

    NetFreeUK, please supply the statistics for domestic violence you refer to, I’ve never heard that before, from a single credible organisation in any country or region. Even taking into account under-reporting, the majority of perpetrators of violence against men and women are men. There is clearly a problem with socially imposed roles for both genders.

  • Reply October 27, 2012

    Larry L

    Horse hockey. Ill-considered, emotive horse hockey at that. The issue here is retaining the clarity of the language. It’s a valid issue. Why artificially change the definition of a word when better alternatives for what is meant (i.e. by the revamped, thoroughly modern millie, all-new chorus line version of “misogyny” already exist in the language? Sexism is what was being discussed in the PM’s speech, and has been in weedy attempts since by the Opposition and its allies to countermand the damage done by the PM’s now-famous quarter-hour of zingers.

    Sexism and misogyny weren’t the same word. They didn’t have identical connotations at all. How will it help the language – our tool of communication between each other – to artificially remove the distinction between these words?

    The argument that there is no standard or “single-source” one-truth dictionary reference is weak sophistry. When this issue arose, re the MacQuarrie I checked three dictionaries I use as reference all the time, and which, as someone who writes for a living and reads constantly and widely, I consider representing a pretty decent spread of approaches to the language.

    All had identical meanings for “misogyny” – hatred of women. That’s what the word means. Kind of like how “misanthropy” doesn’t imply someone who’s “Just a bit grumpy”.

    There’s no room for movement there. No new phenomenon has come up that needs encapsulation via the previously existing word ‘misogyny’, which already had a clear and viable meaning. Language isn’t a bunch of loose definitions scuttling about like hermit crabs and trying to run into old words and live in them.

    The more it’s a tool of precision, the better humans are going to be able to communicate with each other using it.

    An unnecessary dilution like this is a diminuition as well. It’s a misuse.

    This is a communicational, linguistic issue. It’s not sexism. Raving about it being pedantry and trumpeting that the feminist aspects of the discussion trump any such considerations (the latter apparently being designated invalid anyway – i.e. message here seems to be there’s no ‘One Dictionary’ authority but there IS one Corinne Grant Authority) is pretty rich. Too rich for my stomach, anyway. I’d wager I’m not the only one.

    Incidentally, just to remove this as an easy get-out clause for any who disagree with my argument, I have never voted Liberal/National in my life, and do think women should work (or not work) at whatever the hell they want, get paid as much as men for it, marry whoever the hell they want, etc.

  • [...] Unless one goes galloping off wildly in all directions carried away by a combination of rhetoric and emotion. Which is exactly what Corinne Grant seems to have done here. [...]

  • Reply October 27, 2012

    Jane Doe

    @Saskia, in the cold light of day (and not tired and cranky trying to get 3 slumber party kids to actually slumber and allowing your comment to really get my goat) I apologise for saying I hope you’re not a mother. I should have said, if they’re your views I hope you don’t pass them on to your kids if you have any (because I’m not entirely sure from your post, as I indicated, that you think those men who think they’re “better” than women need to be challenged on that prejudice). Of course I don’t “hope you’re not a mother”. I stand by the rest of my post but I’m very sorry for that very bad choice of words.

  • Reply October 27, 2012

    Jane Doe

    …and NetFreeUK, re violence against men, I believe the rate of family/IP violence against men is higher than reported. (And as I said, all violence is under-reported.) I also agree there aren’t enough provisions for men who are victims of violence – by women, or by other men. It is commonly assumed that this is in part because of certain gender roles and assumptions where men feel uncomfortable reporting violence – and especially IP violence by women – because it’s emasculating. There is some good info on that here fyi just in case you haven’t seen this particular study http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/PDF%20files/Men_as_Victims.pdf

  • Reply October 29, 2012

    Tony W

    “NetFreeUK – Nor is there any ‘statistical fact that DV is roughly equally perpetrated by men and women’

    Actually I have to stick up for NetFreeUK on this one. I grew up with DV so I know a bit about it. In my case it was 100% wife against husband, my father never retaliated once. A few quick stats on spousal abuse:

    “Straus and Gelles found that in couples reporting spousal violence, 27% of the time the man struck the first blow; in 24% of cases, the woman initiated the violence. The rest of the time, the violence was mutual, with both partners brawling. The results were the same even when the most severe episodes of violence were analyzed. In order to counteract claims that the reporting data was skewed, female-only surveys were conducted, asking females to self-report, and the data was the same.”

    “Wives are more likely to be killed by their husbands than the reverse (59% to 41% per Department of Justice study)”

    “From a data set of 6,200 cases of spousal abuse in the Detroit area of USA in 1978-79 found that men used weapons 25% of the time while female assailants used weapons 86% of the time, 74% of men sustained injury and of these 84% required medical care.”

    “This bibliography examines 275 scholarly investigations: 214 empirical studies and 61 reviews and/or analyses that appear to demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 365,000.”

    It’s a hidden problem because men are ashamed to report it to police, and when they do, they’re very likely to prosecuted themselves.

  • Reply October 29, 2012

    Tony W

    “All reputable research, such as the recently released Victorian Family Violence Database, which collates data from a range of sources, such as emergency hospital admission, police, courts etc, refutes this claim.”

    Ilsa, the critical point to note here is that this database only records REPORTED incidents. Men don’t REPORT domestic violence against them, for several reasons that don’t apply to women. It’s a taboo subject and notoriously difficult to gather reliable data.

    I know it’s hard to believe, and I wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, but wives can beat up on their husbands for years and years and never get reported.

    The fact that it’s so hard to believe is one of the reasons it never gets reported, and that applies to the children later in life too. In my case I never bothered mentioning it to anyone, not even my wife.

    I found a couple of links with stories from battered husbands, they make for good reading!

    http://www.heart-2-heart.ca/men/page6.htm

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2091837/Male-domestic-violence-victim-The-day-wife-beat-hated-haircut.html

    .

  • Reply November 30, 2012

    I'VE GOT ALL THE ANSWERS

    [...] MI·SOG·Y·NY. Hijacked by pedants [...]

  • Reply December 23, 2012

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