Izzy and Emma printing Wom*news #8 at Visible Ink on Valentine’s Day!
The UQWC would like to proudly present to you Wom*news #8: Herstory of the UQ Women’s Collective and Thoughts On Feminism Today. You can read the online version here – please spread it around! – or pick up a hard copy at the women’s room or our Market Day stall from 9am on Wednesday, the 20th of February at Campbell Place.
Thank you to everyone for their awesome submissions, and to all of our readers. Please don’t forget to tell us what you think!
Since I was little, I had the notion that in the majority of families the man was the one that worked and the woman was at home taking care of the children and the household. I started to question myself: “what if I do not want to do that in my life?” A similar questioning happened when I wanted to play soccer; the answer was “that is a sport for men”. Every time when I heard an expression like that, I felt a small pain inside my stomach, which was anger; it was a feeling of “that is not fair”. I do not know from where I achieved this way of thinking being so young. Perhaps it came from the encouragement received from my family to study, or maybe it was just in the air at that time.
I was born in Chile in 1983 under the dictatorship period (1973-1990), but it wasn’t until I went to college that I could understand the relevance of this part of the history of my country. The reason was that in many families the subject became a taboo, and it was “not appropriate” to talk about it. Or perhaps people just wanted to forget the events happened during that time and keep going with their lives.
During this time the sense of injustice against women’s rights was expressed with an immense force, especially in urban areas. Brave women carried on such protests against a tough authority, and as a consequence, they created a wide awareness about women’s rights. I believe that these events have triggered significant improvements to reach equality in our society.
Although there are many relevant issues that remain unsolved (due to several reasons such as influence from religious beliefs, tradition, fear, lack of open-mindedness, or a combination of these factors), in the present day there is a larger conscience about gender equality than in the past.
This submission will feature in Flashback: Wom*news #8, out late January
By Laura Howden
Max Tomlinson – the former media adviser to LNP senator Ian McDonald – resigns after writing a scathing response to a courier mail article from April 2012, critiquing the lack of women in Queenslandʼs parliament.
Dr Carole Fordʼs article highlighted the drop in female representation in Queenslandʼs parliament from 49 percent to a mere 18 percent. Responding to the column via email, Mr Tomlinson advised her that, “like most women, you probably don’t possess the necessary drive, determination and decisiveness that men innately possess.”
He further argued for the so-called natural propensity of men to succeed. “Blokes dominate most areas of human endeavour because nature equipped them with something called testosterone…”
Dr Ford found Mr. Tomlinsonʼs position to be “extremely disappointing… It surprised me that in this day and age people would get angry about a request for women to have better representation in parliament.
This fabulous piece of herstory will be featured in the upcoming issue of Wom*news: #8 Flashback!
This article from a 1981 edition of the UQ Union students’ magazine, Semper, showcases ex-Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and fellow UQ Women’s Collective member Kerry Boman explaining why magazines that exploited women were removed from sale on campus. Anna Bligh went on to become the students’ women’s officer during her time at UQ. There are also some interesting related women’s and queer issues raised in the other replies on this page.
~ Emma Di Bernardo
By Madeline Price
A Letter to the UQWC, on Behalf of One Proud Member
This letter will feature in Wom*news #8: Flashback.
Dear University of Queensland Wom*ns Collective,
As a proud member of the Collective over the past year, I have been inspired, my faith in feminism, women and crushing the patriarchal dividend has been restored, by the wonderful people I have met, the incredible events I have attended and the brilliant discussions I have been privy to.
We may vary in our opinions (on issues such as pornography, Andrea Dworkin and more), our feminisms (cultural, radical, black, liberal..), our gender identities (woman, transgendered, gender queer..), our sexualities (lesbian, asexual, bisexual, polysexual, heterosexual..), but our beliefs about the strength of women, the importance of women in society and the equality they deserve are universal throughout the Collective.
The Collective may be in the minority on campus, but it – we – are influencing the majority in the outside world. Our participation in Reclaim the Night, SlutWalk and White Ribbon, as well as our fundraising for Blue Stockings Week and Pink Ribbon has not gone unnoticed. More importantly than that, we have not let the UQ Union beat us, nor cause us to become disillusioned about change.
It inspires me that these wonderful people in the Collective will be our future teachers, archaeologists, writers, philosophers, lawyers, scientists, anthropologists, university lecturers, politicians, doctors, museum curators, accountants, government workers – our future. It inspires me to have met so many young people advocating for change, for equality, for an end to the disparities faced by so many in our society.
It inspires me that there are so many like-minded people, not yet jaded by the harsh reality faced by those wishing to invoke such society-altering change, but instead ever the more passionate about overcoming such a hurdle.
The whole of the UQWC inspires me.
With much heartfelt affection and admiration,