Bleats

To Nobody's Surprise, Scott Morrison's Got An Incredibly Tone Deaf Take On International Women's Day

A truly shocking twist.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Prime Minister Scott Morrison well and truly botched his International Women’s Day speech. How did he do that, you ask? He made it about men, and how women shouldn’t succeed “at the expense of others”.

At an International Women’s Day address in Perth, Morrison referenced Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer’s past comments that she didn’t like the idea that “girls doing well must mean that boys do badly”.

Morrison expanded on that line of thought, and explained to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy that the Liberals are “not about setting Australians against each other, trying to push some down to lift others up.”

He went on to add:

“We want to see women rise. But we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse.”

It’s clear from these statements that both Minister O’Dwyer and Prime Minister don’t actually understand feminism, which isn’t surprising, but it is particularly frustrating on a day focused on women that began as a revolution but has since been watered down beyond recognition.

Generally speaking, feminists are not seeking to succeed at the expense of men. Many feminists have husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, sons and friends that they love and support! The idea of feminists seeking to topple the patriarchy and create a matriarchy is a straw-man designed to make it easier to write off all feminists as extremist misandrists.

Men who feel attacked and marginalised by feminism may see women succeeding and feel threatened by that; they might see a woman get a job they applied for and deem it unfair and all feminism’s fault. But this is just the playing field becoming slightly more even – men have been succeeding at the expense of women for centuries, so when a tiny bit of their power is chipped away, some men feel like they’re losing some imaginary battle.

Other things that men blame feminism for are actually the result of sexism, like the way mothers are favoured in custody arrangements. That’s because the belief that women are natural caregivers who stay at home and raise the kids is ingrained in our society. How often do you hear couples talk about the dad ‘babysitting’ his own kids? Not only does feminism seek to uplift women, but it also seeks to undo gender imbalances that exist at the expense of men.

I honestly can’t believe that it’s 2019 and I’m having to explain this because the leader of a country said something incredibly stupid about feminism on International Women’s Day, but Australian politics is nothing if not farcical.

Men, stop stressing: women are not trying to get revenge on you. We just want to be treated equally. That’s it!

Happy International Women’s Day, y’all. I need a drink.

Wait, Did TripAdvisor Tell A Woman To Leave A First Person Review Detailing Her Assault?

What on earth.

TripAdvisor is facing intense criticism for the way it handles accusations of assault against hotels it lists and promotes, according to an investigation published by The Guardian.

The investigation found that hotels that are facing sexual assault allegations continue to be promoted on the site, despite users contacting TripAdvisor to inform them of alleged attacks by hotel employees.

In addition, one woman who contacted TripAdvisor was told she could “leave a first person review detailing her sexual assault on the website”.

What?!

Not only that, but they also sent her links of other reviews detailing sexual assaults so she could get an idea of how to write about her traumatic experience.

The woman, known only as K, was understandably astounded.

“I was in disbelief. Am I seriously being asked to recall the humiliating details of my own sexual assault? Was this global company pushing me to relive my trauma on their forum for everyone to see and comment, or worse of all for the perpetrator who is still out there, to respond to me, troll me? It left me feeling shattered, hopeless and alone.”

The idea of a victim being forced to detail their assault on a review website so that other tourists can be aware of allegations against an employee or business is incredibly troubling.

Aside from social media, there’s no real way for someone without a platform to publicise their experience and make other travellers aware, and really, the onus shouldn’t be on individuals to leave reviews detailing traumatic events.

In November 2017, they said they would add warning tags to hotels where “health, discrimination and safety” issues have been reported, but these wouldn’t state explicitly what the business had been flagged for.

This means that there’s no way for someone to know that an employee has been accused of assault unless they trawl through all of the reviews until they find one that discusses the incident in question.

There has to be a better way for victims to warn others about their experiences at a hotel – ideally a way that doesn’t give their concerns the same weight as one-star reviews complaining about “bed sheets”, a Canadian woman who spoke to The Guardian said.

“They definitely should have a different kind of review system, for these types of incidences so they’re not buried in with everyone’s reviews about you know, the quality of the towels or the sheets. Especially if it’s a safety issue, particularly for women.”

If we can read hundreds of complaints about maid service, breakfast buffets and how dirty the hotel pool is, there has to be a way to inform people about allegations against employees, so they can make informed decisions and prioritise their safety.

The Fearless Girl Of Wall Street Is Coming To Australia To Destroy The Joint, Of Course

Her arrival in Australia comes a month before International Women's Day on March 8.

‘Fearless Girl’, the statue that made headlines around the world when it was installed opposite Wall Street’s well-known ‘Charging Bull’ statue, is heading to Melbourne’s Federation Square ahead of International Women’s Day next month.

The statue’s visit to Australia is sponsored by law firm Maurice Blackburn and super industry funds HESTA and Cbus. It will remain in Federation Square for two years before finding a more permanent home somewhere else in Australia.

Maurice Blackburn’s CEO said that the statue will serve as a reminder that Australia still has a long way to go in the fight for gender equality, particularly in the workplace.

Just yesterday, The Sydney Morning Herald published an article with a built-in feature that lets you check if there’s a significant gender pay gap in your profession. Their research found that despite a decrease in the gender pay gap last year, men earn more than women in 97% of full-time jobs in Australia.

The statue is just one of four in the world, with others in Oslo, South Africa and, obviously, New York. The New York statue has previously travelled to Ireland to fight climate change, appearing at Dublin Castle during the country’s first Climate Week late last year.

The New York statue was moved from her place opposite the Charging Bull, and it can now be found in front of the New York Stock Exchange. A plaque with footprints can be found at her original location.

‘Fearless Girl’ is a bronze sculpture by artist Kristen Visbal that was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, the investment management division of State Street Corporation, an American financial services institute.

The statue was commissioned to advertise an index fund that consists of gender diverse companies that have a relatively high number of women in leadership positions (as for State Street, three out of their twelve board directors are women). The plaque that accompanies the statue reads “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference”, with SHE being the fund’s NASDAQ ticker symbol.

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