The question of whether or not women should have the right to extended paid parental leave and the right to return to work has been, as Eva Cox argued last week in The Conversation, the subject of a long and bitter fight by feminists and the broader Left for decades. What then do we make of an apparently generous paid parental leave policy scheme coming from the Liberal Party? And how should we respond?
I was in Buxton on Black Saturday. My friends and I stood in the front yard of their cousins’ house, almost as if we were in a trance, watching the trees explode as the fire blasted its way down the ridge towards us.
Late one June night in New York City, 1969, police raided gay-friendly bar the Stonewall Inn and attempted to arrest many of the patrons for offenses against ‘public morality’. Spontaneous demonstrations by evicted patrons and a gathering crowd of onlookers against the police behaviour quickly developed into a riot. It was a critical moment in the development of the worldwide gay liberation movement, and a catalyst for widespread ongoing political action for LGBTQI rights.
A few months ago, my mother and I went on a road trip to Horsham to visit my Auntie Patty. At 92, Patty is my oldest living relative. That’s a grand old age no matter how you look at it, but when I think about the fact that she was born in 1920, and has lived through such massive changes in the world, those defining moments of the twentieth century – the Great Depression, a World War, the sexual revolution and even the advent of the internet, all in one lifetime – well, it begins to make clichéd phrases like ‘a living link to history’ resonate anew.
‘This ain’t no Warrior Dash!’ he announced. ‘This ain’t no mind numbing fun run! This is 21 kilometres designed by British Special Forces!’
I find it very difficult to write meaningfully about art that I love. Work that I find compelling, moving and aesthetically triumphant often overwhelms me – emotionally, intellectually, artistically. The problem isn’t that such work registers on one of these planes more prominently than the others, but that it registers profoundly on them all simultaneously, sparking a myriad of associations subject to flutter and flux, and near impossible to pin down and shape into some comprehensible pattern.
Last night, as the wind howled and the rain clattered on Melbourne rooftops, Melbourne Feminist Action held its inaugural meeting, heating up Meeting Room 1 at Trades Hall with its enthusiasm for women’s rights.
If winning or losing in politics was merely a matter of who had the best one-liners to throw along with their stones, then Gillard won yesterday hands down. But politics is not simply about whip-smart wisecracks and cutting speeches.
Back in May, when Amanda Palmer ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund her latest album, she set her sights on a target of $100 000. Her fans went above and beyond the call of duty, pitching in almost $1.2 million, and her project became the highest-earning Kickstarter campaign ever. Then in September, she sent a call-out for ‘semi-professional’ musicians to play unpaid on stage with her at her gigs, and the shit hit the fan.