I was watching “Studio 10” this morning and they were giving away DVDs to the audience of the movie “The Suffragettes”, which is based on the true story of the Suffragettes that demanded women have the right to vote. The protests started in 1897 when Millicent Fawcett formed the “National Unit for Women’s Suffrage”. Her argument was that women, who could be involved in school boards at the time could be trusted to vote. To read more about it, go here.
It made me think about how far women in Western countries have come. Common focuses for feminists now are things like equal pay, paid parental leave and domestic violence. The problem I have is that the voices that are often heard in the media are those who, apart from being women, if you like, are generally quite privileged. They are: cis, able – bodied, Caucasian and middle/ upper class. I’m not saying that these women don’t face problems. But, because of a lack of representation, other issues are too often ignored or not properly advocated for by feminists in the mainstream media.
Where are the voices for:
- Aboriginal women – who are victims of domestic violence at a much higher rate than non – Aboriginal women
- Disabled women, who again, are much more likely to be victims of domestic violence than the general population
- Women who can’t get employment and live in impoverished conditions, making them more vulnerable to domestic violence
- What about women who are abused by other women.
- In the workplace, where is the demand – not just a “feel good” charity case here and there – that people with a disability aren’t discriminated against by employers, or potential employers
- The rights of trans – identified women and other gender minorities.
- Justice for women who have been subjected to violence based on religion or culture, such as FGM, honour killings, etc.
True, feminists, such as those who write for blogs like Mamamia, have addressed issues such as domestic violence in same – sex relationships. What I’m saying is that the fight for the rights of women need to extend beyond us – beyond the “average” or “upper – class” Australian. Let’s fight for ALL women’s rights. Frequently. And without political correctness. Saying that domestic violence is a problem in Aboriginal communities does NOT mean that ALL Aboriginal people should be branded as a domestic abuser. Saying that domestic violence is a problem in many same – sex relationships does NOT tarnish the whole LGBTQ+ community.
It’s time we stood and fought for ALL women. All voices need to be able to be heard. No one deserves to suffer anything in silence, regardless of any labels (gender, sexuality, socio – economic status, etc).