Monday, 8 April 2013

Women talk about "women's issues"... again

I watched last night's episode of Q and A with both interest and disappointment.

The panel consisted of an interesting and diverse group of women, all intelligent and articulate and all of whom possess different and sometimes opposing opinions on, no doubt, a variety of different topics.

One such topic, of course, is feminism.

Unsurprisingly, it was the first subject discussed.  Sadly, it was the only one.

While feminism is unquestionably an important issue, and a conversation I was looking forward to hearing (enough to keep me from my Monday night guilty pleasure, Revenge), I couldn't help but be disappointed that the first time an all female panel presents itself, the only topic covered is... feminism.

There were a few loose diversions, such as sex work (which was extraordinarily glamorised by most of the panel with the exception of Mia Freedman), politics and Islam - all were directly linked to feminism.

Deborah Cheetham tried to swing the conversation a couple of times, and both she and Janet Albrechtsen attempted to add some much-needed depth to the feminist discussion, but to little avail.

While it was undoubtedly an interesting episode (surprisingly I found myself nodding most enthusiastically to both Germain Greer and Janet Albrechtsen), it really was an episode about feminism as opposed to simply an "all women panel".

Even if they wanted to limit the discussion to issues effecting women, some broader questions could have been put to the panel, relating to, say, parenting, politics (non-gender), careers, the environment - anything really!

Alternatively, to legitimise the importance of the feminism issue - should this be the focus of the episode - perhaps a male panelist should have been included?

For me, despite consisting of remarkable women discussing a very important topic, although it was an interesting show, there was a hint of "novelty" about it.

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