Catherine Delahunty

Just when you thought girls could do anything

by Catherine Delahunty

The front page of today’s Dominion Post carries the story of a Newlands college pupil who was told she “looked like a slut” for wearing her school skirt short by her school dean.

The verbal apology that was given notwithstanding, this incident is very disturbing. As a former girl who formerly wore very short skirts because I thought I looked cool, I would be grateful if young women were not subjected to moralistic abuse about their appearance. Uniform policing is an almighty waste of time; if you want to incite rebellion, attack young people about their clothing identity.

Speaking of high school injustices, check out this story about two young Melbourne women who were refused the right to go to their school ball because they were same-sex partners. Hasn’t the school heard of human rights? One of their dads has lodged a complaint with the Australian Equal Opportunity Commission.

But my pick of of the week has to be this young hero from Timaru. William Struthers won the Lions Club Young Speechmaker of the Year competition, and will get to go to the USA and Canada. His speech was about “women and why they should stay in the kitchen” because children need a loving and caring mother at home to raise them.

Thanks William Struthers for your profound analysis of women and what’s best for children. I am sure the girls in your class were thrilled to know their job is cooking and staying at home with the kids. Of course children need loving and caring parents at home with them but it’s not a gender specific role. Have fun being a young expert making speeches about women and being rewarded by the Lions.

Lastly, I found out today via facebook that the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at Victoria University is under threat (again). We have until tomorrow lunchtime to write something in support of this vital centre of analysis. Otherwise the stereotyping and the discrimination will not stop!

Send submissions in support to

Published in Justice & Democracy | Media | Society & Culture by Catherine Delahunty on Thu, November 11th, 2010   

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