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Helen has been writing at the Cast Iron Balcony since 2003. She has been a proud contributor to the Australian Group blogs Road to Surfdom, Larvatus Prodeo and Progressive Dinner Party. She's a blogger, she's a grinner, she's a mother, she's a sinner. She plays her music in the sun.

This author has written 35 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about Helen »

8 responses to “Poor Journalism nearly causes Road incident”

  1. blue milk

    Great post Helen. Unbelievable question for a Premier.

  2. Sheryl

    That Australian article is particularly awful. Totally disgraceful to focus on her current marital status and past relationship history. Of greater interest would be her views on Green politics.

    “She suggested she had probably made sacrifices in pursuit of a career in politics, including failing, so far, to find a life partner.” (my emphasis)

    Failing? Failing? Since when was finding a life partner a competition?

  3. mel p

    I saw it “reported” on Channel 9 news, and yes, you guessed correctly, that was the video grab that they used. It was so bizarre – the newsreader announced the story, “Lara Giddings replaces David Bartlett, blah” and then they cut to the video. Complete non sequitur, but don’t worry ’bout that, folks. It’s important that we get this statement to air!

  4. SunlessNick

    Later in the article, she says this:

    While respecting Mr Bartlett’s “courage and honesty” in citing his desire to put the needs of his two young children ahead of the job, Ms Giddings said she and other MPs believed he should have “finished his task . . . as our leader”. She suggested she had probably made sacrifices in pursuit of a career in politics, including failing, so far, to find a life partner.

    Which suggests to me that “looking for Mr Right” is something she puts secondary to the responsibilities she’s assumed – certainly less deserving of being the subject of the headline. At least the headline now includes her last name.

  5. Jo Tamar

    Isn’t it all so frustrating? blue milk, you say it is unbelievable – I would like to agree, but unfortunately, I think it is all too believable :(

    I like Anne Summers’ opinion piece on this precise topic (and hairstyles) in the SMH today.

  6. Sheryl

    From Anne Summers article: “It is one of the great paradoxes of Australian society that as the numbers of women in public life grow, we seem to become more anxious about whether they are “real” women; whether they are married and have children. We seem to fear that power erodes femininity, which just goes to show that we still retain unexamined, and perhaps unconscious, assumptions about political power being masculine.”

    One of the things I hated about the last Federal election campaign was the Women’s Weekly story about Julia Gillard, and those photographs where she really didn’t look the the Julia we see on a normal day. The pressure to submit to that sort of trivialisation must have been enormous for her to have done it. Yet apparently thousands of readers loved the story.

    The focus on appearance and marital status (even the word status implies a value judgment, don’t you think?) and family structure for women who hold political power is the same as that seen in the office of Stirling Cooper in Mad Men. I suspect Giddings’ interviewer might watch that show and gasp and tut tut and say how awful things were then, though she appears completely blind to it in her own work.

    Sometimes I think women perpetuate these assumptions about femininity, masculinity and power, as often as men. sigh.

  7. tigtog

    Sometimes I think women perpetuate these assumptions about femininity, masculinity and power, as often as men. sigh.

    Definitely – we’re all swimming in the same false gender binary soup. Women are hardly immune, indeed women get the gender policing stronger in early childhood, IMO, through being told there’s all those things that little girls don’t do, and even just dressing girls in impractical clothes and then telling them that ‘little ladies’ take care to keep such pretty clothes nice and clean. Boys get some gender policing from parents too, mostly about appropriate dress-up clothes and toys, but I think they get more seriously limiting gender policing from peers in prepubescence and adolescence.

  8. Helen

    More commentary from Jeff Sparrow and Kim at LP.

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