The Sydney Morning Herald has just published a photo gallery of its 20 Most Influential Female Voices of 2012.
It is always astonishing that the media attempts to present such shameless agenda-pushing as straight-up reportage. The reader is meant to assume that the chosen ones were selected by the sheer power of their worthiness. The ugly truth, of course, is that a journalist, probably a shameless bigot like Clementine Ford, liked the cut of their jib. Not something to brag about.
All of these ‘influential female voices’ belong to shrill feminists. This sends a clear and unambiguous message to the young women of Australia: the only way for them to achieve any influence in society is to embrace feminist dogma and give relentless voice to it. No alternative routes to power and influence are offered or explored. Even the token nods to diversity were selected to reinforce this message. Regardless of their religion (Susan Carland, Muslim), race (Penny Wong, Chinese-Australian) or ability (Stella Young, disabled), women had better belong to the sisterhood.
Not surprisingly, Prime Minister Julia Gillard tops the list. What made her so influential in 2012? “Throughout a difficult and turbulent year she has taught many of us an important lesson in how to stand up to sexism.” In other words, she has demonstrated to countless Australian women that making spurious accusations of misogyny to divert attention away from their workplace incompetence pays off handsomely. “For many of the thousands of women who nominated her she is an inspiration.”
What a sterling contribution.
Some of the exhibits in the gallery have been previously loaned to AVFM, where they received considerably less admiration. Germaine Greer, incorrigible, septuagenarian ratbag surprised many by wandering onto the list. Dr. Greer enraged feminists by criticizing Julia Gillard’s bottom. The fat-acceptance community shares a massive overlap with the feminist demographic – and they are slow to forgive.
Germaine Greer plays the doddery old crank, but she knows what she’s doing. Her comment garnered lots of publicity, just in time for her slew of speaking engagements. She took great delight in demonstrating that, because she was a woman, she could get away with her impropriety. A man would have been all but crucified for doing what she did. After all, as the “patron saint of modern feminism”, she need only make some kind of yahoo comment urging women to be more “difficult” to have them love her again.
Then there’s Clementine Ford. The Sydney Morning Herald had this to say:
 

Between her fiercely witty social media presence and prolific posts on Daily Life, Ford has become the go-to feminist for a new generation, unafraid to channel all of her eloquent rage into ground-breaking articles that shape the zeitgeist. Before the dictionary broadened the definition, before the Prime Minister made her speech, Ford articulated with flashing brilliance exactly what it meant to be a misogynist, and in doing so, changed the national conversation.

Fiercely witty? Eloquent rage? Flashing brilliance? Clementine Ford? This lazy, flat-footed bigot is a disgrace to journalism. In case anyone has trouble recalling why she is so widely vilified within the men’s movement, here is her notorious review of Dr. David Benatar’s book, The Second Sexism:
This is typical Clementine Ford. There is no wit, no brilliance – just bitter, vengeful rage. The joy she takes in sneering at male pain is nauseating. The fact that such a creature has been selected as an ‘influential female voice’ leaves no doubt about the nature of the agenda being pushed here. It is a radical feminist agenda saturated in unapologetic misandry.
Three of the twenty women are regularly heard discussing violence against women. Elizabeth Broderick, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, contributed to the 1 in 4 hysteria by cooking her very own book. In 2012, her department published a 650-page report revealing that the ratio of women who have experienced sexual harassment in the Australian Defense Forces within the past five years is (drumroll please) 1 in 4 (gosh, that was unexpected). “The report calls for a dedicated unit to deal with sexual misconduct.”
More jobs for Gender Studies graduates – another sterling contribution.
ABC Four Corners journalist, Sarah Ferguson, is described as an uncompromising, brave and smart woman of integrity. She received this accolade for tackling “important issues for women” such as domestic violence and forced marriages for girls as young as 17. While this is admirable, up to a point, one is left wondering if Ms. Ferguson can summon enough bravery in 2013 to start tackling important issues for men such as domestic violence and forced male genital mutilation. If she does demonstrate that kind of integrity, we can safely assume that she will not be making next year’s list.
At first glance, Muslim convert, Susan Carland seems like a reasonable woman focused on dispelling myths about Islam in order to build much needed bridges within our community. She actually appears to be someone with whom you could have a pleasant chat.
Then you read that she teaches gender studies, politics, and sociology at Monash University in Melbourne, and her aura of harmless do-goodery instantly vanishes. Ms. Carland may or may not have been directly involved in the frenzied vandalism of AVfM posters pointing out that women are just as likely to initiate domestic violence as men, but she would have been very close to it. After all, the department in which she works was at the center of the dispute.
Where was her influential voice of reason then?
Four of the ‘influential female voices’ have been particularly vocal about issues concerning women in the workplace. Penny Wong’s greatest achievements for 2012 is described as “her vocal campaigning to get more women into board rooms.” As we have entered an era in which quotas for such things have already been discussed in earnest (Norway’s 40%), this is a very troubling development.
One woman on this list is particularly dangerous: Nareen Young.
She is the CEO of the Diversity Council of Australia, formerly known as the Council for Equal Opportunity in Employment Ltd which was established in 1985 to “demonstrate the business community’s commitment to equal opportunity for women.”  It now passes itself off as an independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia. However, since her appointment in 2007, Nareen Young has ensured that the DCA remains stridently focused on women.
Young is an increasingly ubiquitous presence in the public discourse on Australian women in the workplace. She is everywhere, spouting her dissatisfaction that businesses just aren’t catering to the wants and whims of women. Ms. Young summarizes her platform as:

  • Women are still undervalued in the workplace;
  • Workforce participation for key diversity groups could be much higher (e.g. people with a disability and Indigenous Australians);
  • Discrimination and harassment at work are alive and well; and
  • Work-life balance is still hard to achieve.

 
She is given to making jaw-droppingly inane pronouncements, especially when it comes to work/life balance:
 

Surely our organisations are sophisticated enough to move beyond assessing a person’s contribution at work on how much time they spend in the office, to what outcomes they achieve, regardless of where or how they work.

 
So, Ms. Young concludes that women shouldn’t have to spend their precious time at work if they don’t feel like it.

Nareen Young – CEO of The Diversity Council of Australia

Here is another quote citing the kind of unsubstantiated statistics beloved of feminist ideologues.
 

Domestic and family violence is conservatively estimated to directly cost employers over $484 million per annum. The cost of violence against women and their children to the Australian economy is estimated to be likely to cost the economy $15.6 billion by 2021-22.

I estimate that this is likely to be something she just made up.
All of this would be laughable were it not for the fact that Nareen Young has recently begun to support quotas for women in boardrooms.
As the CEO of a powerful entity whose website makes frequent threatening references to benchmarks and compliance, this is a portent of things to come. Fellow ‘influential voice’, Elizabeth Broderick is certainly on board.
When the Sex Discrimination Minister notes that there will be a turning point in “voices calling for quotas”, we can safely assume who these voices will belong to.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s gallery of Australia’s most influential female voices indicate that feminists are responding to opposition by being louder and less compromising than ever before. It is no less than any of us expected.  2013 is going to be a rocky year.
Happy New Year everyone.

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