Last night I put the boy to bed, laying in the darkness of his room for half an hour. When I came out, blinking at the glare of the light from my laptop, we had a new Prime Minister. When I went into Dear Boy's room, I'm fairly sure we had Julia Gillard in power, the first female Prime Minister of Australia, and beleaguered since day one with a minority government and the most smarmy and misogynistic Opposition leader the country has ever seen. Not long after Kevin Rudd was back, the former Prime Minister who was ousted when his party claimed he'd lost his way, whose management style was autocratic and whose delivery had gone from young and approachable during his kevin07 campaign to incomprehensible geek.
It's been an interesting few days (weeks, months, years?) for women around the world - for women in power and women in the spotlight of celebrity and women under the lens of history. This list of links is about them, about us, about the things I've been reading and listening to about them and about us this month.
- This article comes within hours of the government leadership spill, an elegantly written piece about one of the toughest people in politics. Yes, JG lost last night’s vote but she has endured far more, and with more grace and dignity, than any Australian leader before her. The article is good, you should read it – but what impressed me most were the tone and quality of the comments. Maybe that’s because the readership of the Global Mail are primarily labor voters; maybe they’re better informed or more thoughtful. Who knows. But it’s nice to see the majority of comments on an opinion piece be reasonable and measured.
- It’s a photo of the (now former) Prime Minister knitting. Let’s stone her.
- This on trivialising women in power (after the 'big, red box' menu).
- And this Time photo essay on the brief history of women in power, just over fifty years worth - so yes, it's brief. It's also old so Julia Gillard doesn't get a mention.
- This beautiful filibuster by Texas Senator Wendy Davis over a women’s reproductive rights bill was inspiring. She stood and talked for almost 13 hours for something she believed in. She stood. She did not stand down. She ran out the clock on a bill that would've restricted legal access to abortion. Afterwards, the Republicans tried to screw the victory by retroactively changing the date on the bill. Nice try - the internets will screenshot you into submission if you try to mess with public data.
- The photographs of Nigella Lawson being choked by her husband in a crowded restaurant didn't make me want to cry. The fact that no-one stepped in, no one stood up and said 'not on' brought on the angry tears - you know the ones? The wipe them away with your hand and insist you're not crying tears? The rail against the world falling apart tears? Yeah, those ones.
- I watched this two part mini-series on the battles between the editors of Woman’s Day and New Idea, about how many times they put Princess Diana on a cover because she sold copies, and then the backlash when she died. It’s a brilliant series about starkly different women - the feisty and fierce Nene King and the graceful old school Dulcie Boling, women who sat at the table in the male-dominated publishing industry. The leading ladies are riveting and Rob Carlton who plays Kerry Packer is perfect in his gruff grotesqueness. Yes, the woman playing Nene is familiar (it’s Rhonda of 'kiss me, Ketut' fame). Now I want to track down this one too and watch Ita Buttrose kick some butt during the birth of Cleo magazine.
- This is what I'm going to watch next (via Meet Me At Mike's). ITV have already commissioned a second season so there's promise of more to come.