Friday, September 24, 2004

non-violent femmes

Further to my post below, here's Judith Brett on the same subject (via backpages):

[T]he so-called doctors' wives - women who put moral values before self-interest - are not new. They are simply continuing a long tradition of women's political engagement.
It is not surprising that the Liberals are finding concerned women across all age groups in many Liberal electorates thinking about changing their vote. What is surprising is that they know so little of their own history that they are surprised by these women's reaction. Did they really think that it was only leftie, pinko inner-city latte drinkers who opposed the war in Iraq, or were ashamed of Australia's treatment of asylum seekers?
As well, the term is extraordinarily patronising, assuming that women should vote according to their husbands' economic interests, that they are someone's wife rather than a citizen in their own right. And further, it is implied that when they don't vote according to their husband's economic interests they are somehow making an inauthentic political choice.
...What this term describes - women's morally motivated political engagement - has a long and proud history. How it is described - in a dismissive and insulting epithet - also has a long history in men's attempts to patronise and diminish women's political voice.

Yeah, exactly.