Reblog – Gender equity in rural areas

By Caitlin McInnis The 62nd session of Commission on the Status of Women will take place in March 2018. The Australian government will be present at the session and recently took submissions from experts and the public as to what it should prioritise and advocate for when attending the session. The Castan Centre’s Acting Director […]

via Rural women and girls deserve gender equality too — Castan Centre for Human Rights Law


Euphemisms for Disability are Infantalizing

This is a great blog piece.


Labels Image Description: a hand places disability label cards onto illustrations of children. Still taken from this youtube video

I have written about the importance of language as it relates to disability before. To oppose the idea that clear language should be avoided in favour of what can best be described as pretending difference doesn’t exist to opposing the replacement of clear language with euphemisms.

Euphemisms are rampant in disability discourse. There is this misguided idea that disability must be softened and made palatable.

This comes from general assumptions that the word disabled is negative and shouldn’t be used to describe people and from watching words that relate to disability be adopted by society as insults.

The best example of this can be seen in the evolution of language around intellectual disability. In the early, to mid-20th-century people began to realize that language utilized to describe intellectual disability had been…

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Letter to my (often feminist) friends who are concerned about those in “prostitution” and think that criminalizing those who pay for sex really can’t be such a bad idea.

This is good.

Feminist Ire

Guest post by Dr Susann Huschke

I write this with you in mind, those friends of mine who are generally open-minded, critical, progressive leftists. We agree on a lot of things – like, that capitalism is a problem, that Theresa May needs to go, and of course Trump, too, and that gender equality continues to be worth fighting for.

But when it comes to “prostitution” – that is, the selling and buying of sexual services – you are not so sure about my views. You have heard me argue that criminalizing those who pay for sex is a bad idea, but perhaps I have not done a good enough job explaining why that is. I believe it would be fair to sum up your position as follows: “We want to live in a society where women do not sell sex to men. And to get there, we think that it…

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Marriage equality – vote yes, vote now!

Reblogged from the Castan Centre.

This survey is a ridiculous waste of money and an offensively bad way to determine issues of policy, but the question is simple:

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex marriage?

That’s it. It is not about free speech or parenting or religious freedom or boys wearing dresses (which is actually not a bad thing…)



It’s just about whether Australian law should be equal and non-discriminatory. That’s all.

So vote yes, post your vote as soon as you get it, and remember this whole exercise in unleashing discrimination, bigotry and public expenditure wastefulness when we next have to vote for the government…


By Caitlin McInnis The marriage equality survey is now under way, and lots of Australians are showing their support for equal love. If you want to stay inspired on a daily basis, there are many things you can do, including following us on Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll be making the “YES” case every day. […]

via 5 things you need to know about voting in the marriage equality survey — Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

What makes a word a slur? — language: a feminist guide

I would find this post a lot more engaging if the author left comments open, so that people could have a respectful debate. It wasn’t a case of closing comments after a disrepectful debate – there’s just no comments at all.

It’s a good article on dissecting when is a term a slur or a descriptive term, but I do disagree with the author’s conclusions.

Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, or TERFs, are a distinct group of people (and frequently intersect as Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists or SWERFs.) These are people who believe that feminism is only for women, and ‘woman’ is defined by biology; or have a belief that there is no form of sex work that can be consensual because any form of sex work is inherently violent.

I strongly disagree with both propositions.

Put it this way: the people who get offended about the term TERF or SWERF are people being described as TERF or SWERF. Other feminists, and people who do not identify as feminists, don’t find the terms offensive – they find the term descriptive, as it conveniently summarises a wide spectrum of arguments that typify some parts of radical feminism.

Do we define a description as a slur simply because the person to whom that description applies doesn’t like being described in that way? Does this mean that when we describe Eddie McGuire as a person who habitually says or does things that are racist or misogynist, that we’re offending McGuire and his fans by calling him racist or misogynist? Because that is more or less the equivalent to “TERFs don’t like being called TERFs so therefore it’s a slur.”

So… worth reading, but respectfully: no.

Content note: this post contains examples of offensive slur-terms. Last week, the British edition of Glamour magazine published a column in which Juno Dawson used the term ‘TERF’ to describe feminists (the example she named was Germaine Greer) who ‘steadfastly believe that me—and other trans women—are not women’. When some readers complained about the use […]

via What makes a word a slur? — language: a feminist guide


I have lots of thoughts about Amnesty’s latest report on the deplorable situation on Nauru, where Australia is torturing refugees for political points with racists. But I need some time to organise those thoughts into a blog that is less RANT ABOUT ALL THE THINGS and more Intelligent Advocacy.

But in the meantime, you should read this:

Cate Speaks

I didn’t read Amnesty’s report on Nauru last week.  I knew it was bad, and I signed yet another petition, but I didn’t read the report because some things, once seen, can’t be unseen.  My imagination is vivid and I am prone to nightmares – I don’t need more fuel.

I haven’t read the full Nauru files, either.  In fact, I spent yesterday consciously avoiding reading anything about them at all.  I know they will hurt to read.  I know they will detail endless abuses, ignored and even encouraged by a system in which there is no transparency, only secrecy, with deterrence and stopping people drowning at sea being held up as the cardinal virtues, the only solution, the moral response before which all other moral imperatives must bow.

I didn’t read them because I have read so much already, and written so much already, and the only…

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Australia, racism, and the uncomfortable conversation we never seem to get around to having…

Today Pauline Hanson made her maiden speech to the Australian Senate. I’m not going to link to it, because she’s had more than enough airtime for her xenophobic hate speech.

Much of it is a carbon copy of her maiden speech to the House of Representatives, 20 years ago, when she claimed that Australia was being swamped by Asians. Today, the Asian horde has been replaced by Muslims; her supposed fear of ‘Straylians being bred out of their own country has been replaced by her supposed fear of being blown up by a bearded terrorist clad in an ISIS flag.

It makes me really sad that we’ve come so … NOT far in the last 20 years, that this overt racism hits a note with enough voting Australians that people like Hanson are being elected to our Parliament. Again.

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