Sisterhood’s double act

PETA Credlin highlights a particularly pervasive “problem with the sisterhood, sadly from my experience not just about “women (not) on their side” in politics, but also for women who hold different points of view about men, feminism and safety, among other issues (“Hijacking the agenda”, 21/3).

In the 1970s when the sisterhood was first proclaimed as “powerful” with the women’s liberation movement, I was criticised, if not condemned, by women I regarded as friends because I did not perceive men as the enemy to be feared, on the streets at night or in my own home, too.

As a young journalist in the male-dominated media then, I certainly endured many sexual comments about my appearance, also feeling discriminated against as women reporting football and crime was disallowed. Expressing my outrage at these sexist attacks, I received no support from other women, and later working in England, most of my female colleagues were downright damning about my demands for pay parity, greater fairness and genuine equal opportunity.

Returning to Australia, still espousing supposedly feminist rhetoric, I was subjected to even more abuse from so-called feminist friends because I did not lambast my male friends as “sexist pigs”.

Some women are unwilling to confront the inconvenient truth about the sisterhood, and at the same time seem unable to accept responsibility for their own risky behaviours.

On Sunday April 4 the Sunday Herald Sun published this letter from Jackie Morris, Chelsea in response to the above:

SO well said, Paulyne Pogorelske. I also grew up in the era of change in the late ’60s and ’70s, when women were encouraged to have better education and seek a career.

I too experienced lack of support of my so-called sisters, who were generally extremely volatile towards the male of the species, and I am seeing it again.

Paulyne, your last few words really hit home: “unable to accept responsibility for their own risky behaviours”. As a health professional, I have seen too many times young women put themselves ar risk with the mantra of getting as drunk as possible, before the night out even starts, therefore removing inhibitions and self-preservation.

Girls, the majority of men out there are okay human beings.

Respect yourself first and they in turn will respect you.