Feminists revolting next year?
The Australian - 31 December 1999.
Edited by Graeme Leech
Revolt and retribution
Some feminists seem to think they should support the sisterhood right or wrong. Sometimes, ardent feminists cannot see beyond their categorisation of all men as anti-women. Which makes it a bit tough to engage them in a debate that looks at issues without the prism of gender politics deflecting the argument on to a tangent.
Melba should explain this out-of-the-blue position statement. On Tuesday, we referred to a feminist reaction to an excellent article on the failings of the Family Court published the previous Friday in The Australian.
Betty McLellan from Townsville sent an email to her like-minded sisters describing the author, Mr X as a men's rights fanatic. His story speaks for itself.
McLellan urged recipients of her message not to read the "disgusting article", otherwise they might spend the holiday period throwing up. Somewhat discourteously, Melba referred to McLellan's "revolting" followers. If any offence was taken, we regret it. We were merely alluding to McLellan's e-mail postscript enjoining feminists to be "more revolting than ever" in the next century.
Who needs Y2K bugs to cause meltdowns in the nation's e-mail system when the sisterhood is quite capable of achieving it in reaction to a couple of inoffensive paragraphs from Melba. We've been flooded with angry rants about our mild support for Mr X, who was accused by Mclellan of writing "utter garbage".
Only Kathleen Swinbourne of the Sole Parent's Union has bothered to attempt a relevant, intelligent response. Even Eva Cox writes about Melba's spluttering spleen without attempting more than a nod towards the core of the issue. Perhaps she's saving it for an opinion piece in The Australian sometime in the new year.
A snitch among sisters
To conclude on this matter - which, don't forget started because a male journalist wrote an excellent critique of the inadequacies of Australia's family law and its impact on him and his young children - we'll answer a key question posed by the sisterhood. How did we get hold of McLellan's absurd e-mail? It was passed to us by an anonymous source. It seems there's a viper in the bosom.
By the way, an e-mail from Kate Orman claims McLellan's original communication was "a casual joking comment". She should ask victims of the Family Court it they think it's funny.
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