Sheilas’ @sarah_capper: Feminist #Frightbats Unite!

[clear] [clear]We’re proud supporters of ‘Feminist Frightbats’ at Sheilas, having published more than a few of the contributors listed in Tim Blair’s “hysterical” blog post on News Limited’s Daily Telegraph website a couple of days ago. Under the post titled ‘Crown Our Crazy Queen’, Blair launched a predictable ideologically driven sexist spray against what he labeled “this nation’s most unhinged hysteric” of “Australia’s left-wing ladies’ auxiliary”. Included on Blair’s list querying ‘Who is Australia’s craziest left-wing frightbat’ are Jane Caro, Clementine Ford, Margo Kingston, Van Badham, Anne Summers, Catherine Deveny, Elizabeth Farrelly, Marieke Hardy, Clem Bastow, and Jenna Price. But as a clever rebuke of the offensive post, several on the list […]

Seeking a Fair Go in a ‘World of Pain’ by @sarah_capper

It’s hard to fully comprehend, but just eight months after being elected, the Coalition-friendly News Limited broadsheet ‘The Australian’ ran with the headline, ‘Coalition in World of Pain’ emblazoned across its front page early this week. Sure, it was selectively quoting Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who had used the expression in justifying why the Government needed to make “tough” decisions in handing down its first budget, but nonetheless the Oz chose the headline to correspond with a story reporting the dismal Newspoll results in which voters declared it to be the worst budget in 20 years, and which gave Labor a 10 point two-party preferred lead over the Government. In […]

Crystal ball predictions for politics 2014 by @sarah_capper

[clear] By Sarah Capper  @sarah_capper 14th February 2014 Our federal representatives, who we ushered in with gusto last September, returned to Canberra this week – the land of what Wikipedia (hey, if it’s good enough for the Environment Minister) describes as being home to “politics, public service, pornography,pyrotechnics, pot and prostitution – the “Six P’s” as they are known.” Let’s make it seven: PRIDE. It may seem like an eternity, but the Abbott Government has been in power for just over 100 days (approaching the 150-day-mark). Typically, modern Australian political parties get at least two terms to flex their governing muscles. The first term is often reserved for doing the “tricky” business – running with agendas that are […]

Best Polly Ticks Quotes and Moments of 2013

by Sarah Capper 23 December 2013 A week is a long time in politics. A year is an excruciating amount of time, and as we near the end of 2013, our third prime minister for the year has just reached his first 100 days in office. Awww. In many senses, it’s been Tony Abbott’s year. So what does this year in politics look like – in the “suppository of wisdom” of quotable quotes? Beyond the delivery of our PM’s trademark “Umm, Ah, Yeah, Um,” response? Some people said Abbott’s election would provide Australia with its ‘George Bush’ moment [shiver], but in terms of adding to the rich history of Australian political […]

Reporting Indi: A reflection by Margo Kingston

[clear] By Margo Kingston, 1 December 2013 I take the Gold Coast train to Brisbane airport, the plane to Melbourne, the sky bus to Southern Cross Station, the train to Seymour, and the bus to Wangaratta train station. Wayne Jansson leads me to his battered old car and drives me to the hamlet of St James. A late frost has killed the canola oil crop, and the farmers who couldn’t afford to let the crop rot as fertilizer for next year have rolled it up into hay. The cherry trees look good. Wayne says his Mum Glenys and step father Mark will host my stay because he lives in a ramshackle […]

To Zip or Not to Zip … And Other Tragedies

By Sarah Capper 23 November 2013 In announcing his resignation from parliament last week, it seemed quite fitting that former Prime Minister and Member for Griffith Kevin Rudd quoted Shakespeare’s Hamlet – a tragedy about treachery and madness. Rudd referred to the “slings and arrows” suffered during his political career (and by his family in recent months). The phrase is part of ‘Hamlet’s’ ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy, “the question” being followed by: And so it goes. The quote queries what is the “noble” course of action – knowing when to cop things on the chin, when to bow out gracefully, versus pushing back and taking down everything (and […]

Roo Poo and Who’s Who in the Senate Zoo

[clear] By Sarah Capper 18 October 2013 It was perhaps the moment in which I found myself googling “Ricky Muir” + “poo” that served as the final straw in realising the need for Senate reform. Not that I needed much convincing – the new Senator-elect from Victoria from the Palmer United Palmer Motoring Enthusiasts Party is just one of several fresh faces in the who’s new in the Upper House zoo. Anyone who managed to successfully complete their below-the-line Senate ticket form in last month’s federal election deserves a round of applause [pats back]. Voting below the line is always preferable (pun intended) no matter how painstaking, as even the most “ethical” (ahem, […]

The intellectual grunt behind @Indigocathy Indi victory: @sarah_capper report

[clear] By Sarah Capper Sheila’s editor 20 September 2013 When Jeff Kennett lost the “unlosable” Victorian election in 1999, the Victorian Women’s Trust’s Mary Crooks wasn’t overly surprised. In the years leading up the state poll, in her new role as Executive Director of the VWT, Crooks designed and led the ‘Purple Sage Project’ – which involved a community ‘kitchen table’ dialogue process with some 6000 people across the state. During this time, over 600 female and male group leaders (76% were women, all of whom had been taken through briefing sessions, many in country Victoria), met in their own groups of up to ten people. These individual groups met on […]

‘Casual’ racism and dominant discourse: A review of the AFL media debate

By Sarah Capper June 07, 2013 In 1999, former St Kilda ruckman Peter “Spida” Everitt was cited for racial vilification against Melbourne player Scott Chisholm. Everitt reportedly called Chisholm a “black c**t” during Round 2 of the AFL season that year. Everitt copped a $20,000 fine, self-imposed a four week match ban, and undertook a racial awareness program. He apologised to the Aboriginal community, to Chisholm and spent time with Chisholm’s family. There was copious media comment on the AFL and racism, and player attitudes. The outrage, as demonstrated on talkback and in newspaper editorials, centred on the racist implications of Everitt’s phrase. The public narrative, by and large, didn’t […]

Using Thatcher’s death to rewrite history, past and present

By Sarah Capper, Sheilas Editor Source: Sheilas 18 April 2013 When Germaine Greer penned a piece on the late “crocodile hunter” Steve Irwin for the Guardian shortly after his death from a stingray puncture, it was followed by howls of protest from all parts of the globe. Greer ended her ‘barbed’ take on the much-loved ‘Aussie legend’ with: “The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing 10 times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn.” As a […]