Anne Summers Event @ Yellow House Pop-Up

When we held our event with Anne Summers on June 25 at Yellow House Pop-Up, we knew some things.
We knew that misogyny and sexism were topics on everyone's list, that Anne Summers was the go-to woman on the topic, particularly after her landmark speeches in 2012 and sold-out sessions at the Sydney Writer's Festival.  We knew that Julia Gillard's struggles were proliferating the media and that our audience - made up of men and women - were in for a great night.

What we didn't know was that Anne Summers' remarks that rainy evening would be so incredibly prescient and that we would embark the next day on a new era of Australian politics.

"We thought that anti-discrimination would eradicate sexism."

From the outset, it was a rallying to the ramparts.  A battle cry to women (and men) everywhere to get angry and to make their anger about the inequality they experience known.  And whilst that may sound confronting to some, the conversation that ensued after Anne delivered her speech was incredibly inclusive and supportive.

Anne's thought-provoking questions -why is it after 40 years, women are still paid less than men and that men still dominate the top ranks of leading organisations - her pointers to objectives - financial independence, fertility control, freedom from violence - indicators of success - inclusion, equality & respect - and viewpoints on equality - is equality a good idea? - were discussed in great length long into the night.

"Women are penalised at least $1 million dollars in their lifetime."
Anne talked passionately about her respect for female leaders and women in power, particularly Julia Gillard. She offered an interesting perspective on reverse sexism in the case of the cautionary tale that unfurled in Queensland politics, which saw some of our first women leaders ousted within a short period of time.  And her statistics were often breathtaking.

Question time was dominated by questions about leadership, politics and of Julia Gillard's knitting habits. Broader strokes dealing with disability and racism were also addressed.

"If Misogyny is the theory, sexism is the practice."
In an age where women are supposed to be able to "have it all", the emphasis on motherhood guilt that proliferates our media is generated by the Misogyny Factor.  In a world where women can "be" anything they want, companies who strive to keep women underpaid and unrewarded are using the Misogyny Factor.  In a country where women's "rights" were forged more than 40 years ago, the Misogyny Factor is still going strong.
How does equality between men and women work?  If you really want to know.....

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