Feminism Fodder

An Open Letter to Julie Bishop

open letter

Dear Julie Bishop,

I understand you recently said that you do not use the word feminist and that it’s not part of your lexicon. I think your exact words were “It’s not because I have some pathological dislike of the term. I just don’t like it.” Umm, so I gather you dislike it. {Don’t like = Dislike}. You also went on to say that others shouldn’t take offence.

Ms Bishop, this term that you dislike using is one of the reasons you are even allowed to run for parliament as a woman. If it wasn’t for what this ‘term’ and movement did for us women, we wouldn’t be allowed to vote, let alone be elected ourselves. I know like many women today, you probably think this term refers to man-haters; it doesn’t. All the word implies is equal political, social, cultural and economic rights for women.

It is because of feminism, we women can vote. It is because of feminism, we have access to birth control measures like the pill. It is thanks to feminism, women like you can run for a seat in parliament. It is because of feminism, It is because of feminism we have are able to work and have property rights and rights after the end of a marriage.

However, we still need feminism, And we still need to use the term because at the end of the day, it is about the equal rights for women. Gender inequality still exists in 2014 Ms Bishop. Here in Australia, as well as across the globe. It’s just seen differently. Ms Bishop, I’m sure you still read every few days in the papers about women being sexually assaulted and then having questions posed about what they were wearing or how much they were drinking or how they were out late at night. The men who assault get asked nothing. Feminism is still fighting hard to end that judgement. I’m sure you hear about how people question the woman for not leaving a domestically violent relationship rather than question the perpetrator of violence. Feminism is still trying to fight to end that judgement.  There are girls in several countries being denied education. Feminism seeks to improve that.  And finally, Ms Bishop, the very party you represent, has a someone utterly incapable as a Minister for Women and hardly any women representatives in parliament.

So Ms Bishop, while you may have your views, it saddens me that as a woman in power, you choose to ignore the importance of feminism. Feminism has done a lot for you and me. But we still need it because our mission has not been accomplished. Gender inequality continues to exist.

Sincerely,

Sanch

***Linking with Tegan for The Lounge and Grace for FYBF***

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  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    31 October 2014 at 7:23 am

    Bang on. The fact that she’s the only woman in cabinet and that the minister for women is a man, who is twiddling his thumbs while the pay gap widens and even more than a woman a week dies due to DV/IPV. She’s in a position to actually do something for feminism, for women. And instead, she “doesn’t like the term”. Thanks, Ms Bishop. Thanks for nothing.
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…I Have a Phobia and It Hasn’t Hurt Anyone*My Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      31 October 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Welcome here Amy and I agree with you that she is in a great position to advocate for feminism. It’s so sad she chooses not to… 😐

  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    31 October 2014 at 7:23 am

    Bang on. The fact that she’s the only woman in cabinet and that the minister for women is a man, who is twiddling his thumbs while the pay gap widens and even more than a woman a week dies due to DV/IPV. She’s in a position to actually do something for feminism, for women. And instead, she “doesn’t like the term”. Thanks, Ms Bishop. Thanks for nothing.
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…I Have a Phobia and It Hasn’t Hurt Anyone*My Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      31 October 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Welcome here Amy and I agree with you that she is in a great position to advocate for feminism. It’s so sad she chooses not to… 😐

  • Tegan
    31 October 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Well said! I really liked the video of Kitty Flanagan about the ‘I don’t need feminism’ hashtag and social media accounts that were created. I think a lot of people are scared of feminism because they don’t understand it and it’s only through posts like yours that we can hope to educate them.
    Tegan recently posted…We’ve come a long way babyMy Profile

  • Tegan
    31 October 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Well said! I really liked the video of Kitty Flanagan about the ‘I don’t need feminism’ hashtag and social media accounts that were created. I think a lot of people are scared of feminism because they don’t understand it and it’s only through posts like yours that we can hope to educate them.
    Tegan recently posted…We’ve come a long way babyMy Profile

  • Cassandra
    31 October 2014 at 5:01 pm

    This is a wonderful post that made me smile! I understand why people sometimes want to distance themselves from the term “feminism” but I also believe those people don’t have a firm understanding of what that word means.
    Cassandra recently posted…Beauty Tuesday: Sleek Faux Bob and Homemade Hairspray RecipeMy Profile

  • Cassandra
    31 October 2014 at 5:01 pm

    This is a wonderful post that made me smile! I understand why people sometimes want to distance themselves from the term “feminism” but I also believe those people don’t have a firm understanding of what that word means.
    Cassandra recently posted…Beauty Tuesday: Sleek Faux Bob and Homemade Hairspray RecipeMy Profile

  • The month that was October 2014 - Living my Imperfect Life
    1 November 2014 at 12:24 pm

    […] Blog Action Day and I wrote about gender inequality. Coincidentally, it was related to an open letter to Julie Bishop who apparently doesn’t like the term […]

  • The month that was October 2014 - Living my Imperfect Life
    1 November 2014 at 12:24 pm

    […] Blog Action Day and I wrote about gender inequality. Coincidentally, it was related to an open letter to Julie Bishop who apparently doesn’t like the term […]

  • Grace
    3 November 2014 at 9:30 am

    Word! Her statement was just absolutely pathetic. Then when she continued to say that Gillard “played a victim” and completely denying that gender differences played a huge impact on her prime ministership…Just playing that right-winged politician.
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Piranhas in Pirrama ParkMy Profile

  • Grace
    3 November 2014 at 9:30 am

    Word! Her statement was just absolutely pathetic. Then when she continued to say that Gillard “played a victim” and completely denying that gender differences played a huge impact on her prime ministership…Just playing that right-winged politician.
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Piranhas in Pirrama ParkMy Profile