An abridged version of a comment I left here because enraged…
Yesterday, I snarked at Natalie Barr because in my fancy little mind, I had the notion that she threw women under a bus.
“Cut the carping, girls! Stop blaming men! Knuckle down & YOUR DREAMS WILL COME TRUE!’
I’m delighted for Natalie Barr that her experience as a professional woman has been a largely happy one, free from blatant sexism & structured gender inequality; but it is in such stark contrast to that of so many of her female peers, her words rang hollow.
How could this come from a woman who saw her female colleague shafted just last year? Related: that Barr’s column was endorsed by that woman’s younger replacement in the ‘next to the middle-aged bald bloke’ spot on the sofa’ did give me the lulz.
As for ‘it’s about equality, not gender’… it is about gender. When Kochie & Mark Beretta’s daily fashion choices are tweeted by ‘Sunrise’, I’ll stop snarking. When you google “Natalie Barr” + “Samantha Armytage” and don’t wade through several pages of ‘how Nat helped Sam shed the kilos’ yarns’, I’ll stop caring. When I don’t have to prove that I’m ‘up to the job’ by going to a strip club with the boys (no joke); that my lived experiences might make me out-of-the-box but just maybe (again, in my deluded little mind) a ‘high on empathy, low on cookie-cutter bullshit’ prospective employee whose default position is ‘I would sooner take a bullet than fail’; when people don’t tell me to my face and on social media that having a postgraduate degree makes me look ‘too smart on paper’… maybe then I will stop sweating the ‘small’ stuff.
I didn’t write about Barr yesterday (except on Twitter) because I didn’t think she provided a cogent argument. Did my tweets change any minds? Maybe they did. I’m proud to be a feminist, not a ‘so-called feminist’, ‘bottom feeder’ or part of some mean girl clique who loves tearing another woman down. If I roll my eyes at twaddle, that doesn’t validate the twaddle.
It boggles my mind that writers believe because they haven’t experienced something means they shouldn’t/don’t/won’t write about it. It’s not my lived experience, but I found Barr’s comments re: people who take breaks or modify their work hours to parent a throwback to an era I can’t begin to contemplate. I don’t want to work in an atmosphere where parents are made to feel less committed, driven or capable because they want to see their kids school play, or special assembly, or their child is ill – or that because I don’t have children, I don’t have a family life.
Finally (for now): the real, sad outcome of Barr’s column is stuff like this – a rag which uses it to further its ‘gender inequality is a myth’ stance: http://washingtonexaminer.com/australian-anchorwoman-stop-blaming-men-for-your-problems/article/2546014 … yeh, I’m gonna write about that.