For me, the best reaction to the pathetic sledging directed at David Warner, and his mishandling of it, came from former Australian netball captain Liz Ellis.
“Everyone is focusing on the sledging. What I think is the controversy is that 40 years after the sexual revolution … 40 years after that in the middle of the #MeToo movement, in the week of International Women’s Day, a player’s wife is being dragged through the mud because they’re attempting to shame her for her past.” she said. “It really does slam home this idea that some Neanderthals have that women are the property of men.”
Seriously, who cares what Candice Falzon did more than a decade ago when she was a single young woman who worked harder than most of us could possibly imagine. Was she not entitled to party in her rare moments off? Is it our business? Shouldn’t we focus on her outstanding success as an elite athlete? Shouldn’t she be allowed to enjoy this stage of her life as a wife and mother of young children?
The same could be said about Michaelia Cash’s nasty attempt to slut-shame the women in Bill Shorten’s office. Who, outside their family, cares who they are rooting? Are they doing their job well?
For all the gains women have made, they are still held to very much different standards to men.
And we are so used to it, that we just go along.
Not only do we accept it, we are complicit in many ways.
Women are constantly telling other women that they will feel better about themselves if they look prettier.
Women teeter around in agony wearing ridiculously high heels, risking injury and adding strain to your hips, lower back and knees. Why?
Women paint their faces with make-up and spend a lifetime dying their hair. They glue ridiculously long fake eyelashes and nails on top of their own. Why?
Women spend thousands of dollars on designer label clothes, accessories, jewellery and perfume. Why?
Women have injections to paralyse their faces or to fill in wrinkles. Many even have surgery to pull their faces tighter or flatten their stomachs or make their breasts and bottoms harder and bigger. Why?
Rather than reassuring us that it is the person and their behaviour that counts, or showing admiration and respect for accomplishments, men are increasingly joining us in this shallow peacock pursuit of Never Never land.
The amount of time, money and resources wasted on the beauty and fashion industry is staggering. The mental and physical health costs are significant.
And it continues to trivialise and objectify us as people.
Just look at our first female Foreign Minister. With all the challenges facing the global community, all of a sudden, it has become a crucial part of the job to be at every fashion week going around the world and to have your photo taken on the red carpet at gala events wearing very expensive clothes and jewellery, which may or may not have been given to you.
Is this really what we need our Foreign Minister to be doing? Give me a position of world power so I can go look pretty?
Women are very judgemental of each other. We judge each other’s morality, our appearance, our decisions to work or not, have children or not, our domestic performance (because we are all innately supposed to enjoy shopping, cooking and cleaning).
Until we start valuing each other for the important things, celebrating our complementary diversity and enjoying the different stages of our lives, using our skills and resources to solve problems and our wisdom to effect worthwhile change, women are unlikely to see any real change in behaviour or in their perceived role in society.
It’s time to cast off the shackles and burden of “beauty” and get down to the real work of fixing things.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said that 10 percent of the annual $1.7 trillion world military spending would be enough to fund the global goals agreed upon by United Nations’ 193 member states to end poverty and hunger by 2030.
Forbes estimates the beauty sales industry at $445 billion annually.
If we stopped making bombs, if we liked ourselves for who we are rather than how we look, If the boys gave up their guns and the girls gave up their lipstick, we really could save the world.