Goodness….this was going to be a post about International Women’s Day, Helen Razer’s blazing article and the Destroying the Joint project but after I started writing it I deleted the whole thing. I’ll just say this. I read Helen’s piece and Jenna Price’s response and I can see both their points of view and agree with both of them on different things. I hope the rulers of the internet and twitter allow me to stay because I quite like it here.
I’m lucky enough to work in a job that reminds me every day of the privileges I have experienced as a white, middle-class woman in a first world country. I have a home of my own, a car, a fixed income which keeps me very nicely and a trail of educational experiences that I didn’t have to fight for the right to undertake. For many years now I have worked with women (and men!) who have been unable to live the Great Australian Dream of home ownership, have spent their entire lives in low paying jobs, or relying on the vagaries of Centrelink while trying to support their families, and who have been unable to even think about returning to education. I have seen many of them grasp the opportunity a university enabling program offers them with both hands and run with it towards a changed life. Has this got anything to do with feminism? Perhaps. In another culture or generation I might not have been able to work in this educational field. Similarly, many of our students would be denied the opportunity use an education to start the long and arduous process of shifting their place in our Great Australian system of class. Has this got anything to do with International Women’s Day? Not really. IWD provides a day of the year to reflect on these kind of issues, but these are everyday things, not one day of the year things.
I apologise for the lack of cultural studies/ gender studies jargon in this post. It’s early on a Monday and I couldn’t be bothered dragging out all that baggage.