So after doing my run for refugees in the Melbourne Marathon and completing yet another boring accounting exam the other day, I am back and hopefully with some posts worth reading to come. By the way, if you do still want to sponsor me for the run for refugees, it’s not too late and there are so many reasons why the work the ASRC does is so important and much needed. These days more than ever. To get some idea why, one of the better articles written about our government’s appalling treatment of asylum seekers is here. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, on the other hand, with very little funds, manage to help lots of asylum seekers with all kinds of essential services and to continue to treat them as human beings in the process, who’d have thought, eh?
Other interesting things that have happened during my hiatus are the Destroy the Joint campaign that has been actively working to let advertisers know that if they continue to support the misogynist asshole that is Alan Jones by advertising on his radio show, that we will shop elsewhere. Personally I have found the whole campaign inspiring. There are so many situations where we can all feel so helpless to do anything. When the mainstream media is full of powerful voices that don’t care for equality or decency and with no counter view point to be heard. This campaign has demonstrated that when people get together, they can stand up to those who have taken their power for granted for way too long.
There was also a really inspiring speech by our Prime Minister Julia Gillard, which has gone viral with more than 2 million views. During question time, she took down the opposition leader Tony Abbott very calmly and honestly by pointing out all the instances where he has proven himself to be a misogynist and making it clear that she wasn’t going to put up with it any longer. It was certainly inspiring to many women who have liked to say some of those very same things. Unfortunately I have a whole lot of other things to say about Ms Gillard, the rest of which are not so pleasant but that topic will be getting a blog post all its own.
Outside of this country we have had an article in Slate by Rebecca Watson, where she talks about how she started getting rape threats after making a really casual and seemingly innocuous video. I’m not sure I can sum it up better than Jean Kazez does here, but I certainly am grateful for people like Rebecca for continuing to stand up and speak out despite the fact that it would no doubt be easier for her to do otherwise.
While it is abundantly clear that we have a very long way to go to achieve genuine gender equality it has certainly been heartening to see feminism and related issues be so openly discussed of late. I also intend to go to this inaugural meeting of Melbourne Feminist Action. I am keen to hear from people more knowledgeable and experienced than myself. So much of this is new to me but I am certainly inspired by it all and ready and willing to learn.