If settlers are to see a treaty substantively address injustice, power, and inequality, we need to listen to Aboriginal people, especially to Aboriginal women, whose views, anger and pain are routinely silenced by nationalist discourses. We need to ensure that the state moves beyond the symbolic politics of recognition.
The woman I knew best, of course, was my own mother. I could see my hips, legs and breasts becoming hers, and I heard her every self-abasement as my own. She’d take up walking regimes, or cut out bread for a month, and then on weeknights I’d come into the kitchen to find she’d caved and drunk an entire bottle of white wine. It was a cliche, a stock-standard Electra complex, but there was no way in hell I was going to become her.