Leslie Cannold: Writer, Commentator, Ethicist, Researcher
ARTICLES

Women’s Response to Ectogenesis

Leslie’s 1992 Master of Bioethics

more

The young beauty and the billionaire

WE MAY think we know the real story behind this week’s report that 67-year-old billionaire media magnate Rupert Murdoch intends to marry his 31-year-old girlfriend Wendy Deng after he divorces Anna Murdoch.

more

The quiet renaissance in male culture

THE evidence is everywhere. On the radio, where popular new group Cake sing “I need your understanding, I need your love so much/you tell me that you love me so, you tell me that you care/but when I need you baby, you’re never there”, and The Whitlams croon about the aphrodisiac effect of loneliness.

more

A role model? No thanks

First Diana, now Monica. They became superstars, but that doesn’t make them admirable.

more

Let’s look at the system, not what we do in bed

IN A new book, A Return to Modesty, 23-year-old American Wendy Shalit argues that women’s problems spring from their lack of modesty – or, to put it more crudely, their inability to keep their knickers above their knees.

more

The first cut

TO circumcise our sons or not? Before our first children were born, a Jewish friend and I argued the question. Our non-Jewish partners looked on, unsure what the fuss was about.

more

Why men hold the key to the new feminism

All workers, not just parents and not just women, need a life.

more

Women are being ripped off, but not by feminism

Don’t blame the movement, blame the system.

more

Labor’s man of the ’50s

Just like John Howard, Martin Ferguson wants to take us back to the future.

more

Why women need a workplace revolution

Reproductive technology will never provide the answer to inequality.

more

Good parents or good citizens?

Taking a tiny risk can serve overall community interests.

more

Australians Battle Over Definition of Fatherhood

Court and legislative battles have embroiled this nation in an uneasy search for the definitive answer to the vexing question: Who are dads anyway? The deliverers of DNA or the conveyers of care and concern? And if the answer is the latter, can the law insist each child have one?

more

Will making women equal change anything?

The issue: Will making women equal change anything?

more

For the love of Jeff

Victoria’s intellectuals are blind to the Premier’s popular appeal. Here’s why.

more

When more choice means less freedom

IVF advances may make the working lives of women harder, not easier.

more

Raising a brood of IVF commodities

Knowing the identity of their biological parents gives children a sense of who they are.

more

The anti-choicers’ real target is women

Late abortions are emotive fodder for those who deny women moral agency.

more

Charity begins at home, morally speaking

Protecting our loved ones is only natural in a world of un-met misery.

more

Identity deficit disorder - it’s so you

JENNY McCARTNEY’S hand-wringing about the preoccupation of the modern Western woman with vanity and consumption (on this page, 6/1) has a familiar ring to it. I am 34 now, and for as long as I can remember, responsible society has been exhorting me and my fellow female travellers to consider what we might have time to think about were we spending less time thinking about the shapes of our bodies.

more

The bully and the bullied, chapter and verse - I confess: I was cruel in school

A lot has been said in the past two weeks about the devastation wrought on children by bullies. I wince when I hear the stories, wince through identification and with shame.

more

Do nice guys finish last?

The latest theory out of America about rape is not just wrong, it’s dangerous.

more

School hours: did feminism drop the ball?

Working parents may not be able to rely on the women’s movement to help them.

more

Bottoms up, sister!

I LOVE The Vicar of Dibley and Dawn French’s vicar, Geraldine Granger. But after most episodes, my stomach hurts – figuratively, that is. Which may be better than the literal way the vicar’s must feel. Because at some point in each episode of the show, Geraldine does some serious eating: a freezer’s worth of icecream, a cupboard full of chocolate bars, an entire Yule Log. That sort of thing.

more

The population debate we have to have

It’s easier to talk about immigration than about why we’re having fewer children.

more

Calling all single childless women…

A new ruling may end discrimination in access to donor sperm.

more

It’s his baby too, give him paid leave

Both new parents, not just mum, should get time off work.

more

It didn’t start with a kiss…

HOW DOES this generation define a transcendent relationship, a perfect twosome, the ultimate love? In his construction of the relationship between Gen-X FBI agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, the Australian-born creator of The X-Files, Chris Carter, has taken a leaf from the Victorian era, and added a distinctive 21st-century twist.

more

A mother’s birthright

A woman-centred approach to birth includes the right to choose drugs.

more

Best, yes, but for whom?

BREASTFEEDING: what could be more simple? Best for mother, best for baby, the obvious and necessary feeding choice for all mums, and the only one ethical health professionals can support. Most women reading this would find such “facts’’ familiar.

more

The Horrible Dilemma of the Pregnant Woman

She is pushed to have all the tests, then damned if she terminate late

more

Child-care dinosaurs’ time is past

Dated views about women and work are deservedly dying out.

more

The disappearing father

Women don’t turn to IVF lightly. Men are fleeing fatherhood.

more

The Australian Pro-Choice Movement and the Struggle for Legal Clarity, Liberal Laws and Liberal Access

Leslie was employed to write the Australian chapter for this collection of international reflections on reproductive rights advocacy.

more

Staying mum’s a cop-out

Feminists expect fathers to do domestic work, so how can they tacitly exempt mothers from paid work?

more

Street Prostitution in St Kilda

Read Leslie’s perspective on how St Kilda politics went wrong when trying to make the streets safer for prostitutes and residents.

more

Lowering the Temperature of Debates About the Use of Donor Sperm by Single Women and Lesbians

Published in the peer-reviewed journal the Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics 4(2) November 2002

more

The Abortion Myth

The Abortion Myth forges a new women-centred abortion ethic capable of preserving a woman’s right to control her body and her freedom to choose or reject motherhood.

more

Book Review - “The End of Equality: Work, Babies and Women’s Choices in 21st Century Australia”

Who better than Anne Summers, a woman who lists among her achievements the best-selling book Damned Whores and God’s Police, advisor to former Prime Minister Keating and Officer of the Order of Australia for services to journalism and women, to write about the most pressing social problem of our time: the tragic imbalance between work and family responsibilities, and the devastating impact it is having on women’s well-being and the nation’s capacity to reproduce itself?

more

Fathers look after their children, but seek more thrills for them

USUALLY he amazes, but this time we were appalled.

more

Deadly price of decency

WE still don’t know exactly what sparked the terrible flurry of violence that cost David Hookes his life.

more

Misconceptions in the Blame Cycle

Women must play and active role in protecting their sexual and reproductive health

more

Much Remains Confused about Men, Women, Sex and Power

Here, there, women crying “rape” are everywhere. I worry about the sudden onslaught of rape charges. Of course, I support a woman’s right to raise her grievances publicly and have them addressed in a legitimate forum, but I worry that others might not. The men being named are sporting heroes, and it wasn’t all that long ago that author Helen Garner questioned the legitimacy of young women bringing charges of sexual assault, both because of serious damage the resulting publicity had on the man’s reputation, and because she felt it was the job of young women to take responsibility for the effect their sexuality had on the opposite sex.

more

The Difference between a Slut and a Stud

Has anyone been listening to the lyrics of Eminem lately? The man is obsessed about the sexual morays of his lady friends. And women just can’t win with this guy. First he tells them that if they don’t put out, he’d going to “put them out,” while in the next breath he’s dismissing them as beneath contempt for sleeping with him on the same day they met. The rap superstar is also pretty direct about his lack of respect for women who offer to worship at his alter (if you get my drift) when all they know about him is that he’s lead singer of a band.

more

A Pregnant Pause for Waiters and Watchers

The budget will encourage single working women to have children – but more needs to be done

more

Abortion Critics Deny the Complexity of Choice

British filmmaker Julia’s Black’s documentary My Foetus won’t screen in Australia until August 8, but debate has already begun about whether the film should be censored, and the impact it will have on political debate about abortion.

more

No Sister, Feminism is Not About Choice

Airing a dream is to criticise and negate the opposing vision

more

Book Review - Night Thoughts in a Time of War - Bob Ellis

Most people are familiar with at least some of Bob Ellis’s long and impressive resume. The author of seventeen books, including the bestselling Goodbye Jerusalem, Goodbye Babylon and First Abolish the Customer, he’s also written and directed features and documentaries including The Notradamus Kid and Bastards from the Bush. He’s won or been nominated for numerous honours, including the Premier’s Literary Award.

more

Discrepant Paternity Chapter in Sperm Wars

Walking Wallets and One-Stop Sperm Shops: How Men Fear That Women See Them in the Postmodern Reproductive Age

more

What, No Baby?

What, No Baby? takes us on journey into thelives of contemporary women who plan to have it all – marriage, motherhood and work – yet have been derailed by reluctant men, insatiably demanding jobs and ever-climbing expectations of what it takes to be a “good” mother.

more

Why are Young Women Welcoming the Return of the Bunny?

The Playboy symbol is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. What does this signify?

more

A Woman Fighting to Help her Sisters Have it All: an encounter between Sushi Das and Leslie Cannold

The Age’s Saturday Interview focuses on the events in Leslie’s life that led her, a partnered mother of two children, to write a book about the difficulties many of her contemporaries are having finding a man who wants children, and whom they want to have children with.

more

The bald facts

WINSTON Churchill said that a fanatic was a person who couldn’t change his mind and wouldn’t change the subject.

more

In Search of the Gorgeous Aussie Bloke

In the great debates about family/work balance and fertility rates, let’s not forget men.

more

Leslie Cannold’s original ideas about choice may put her odds with other feminists in the fertility debate

The Mercury Magazine reports that while Leslie has often found her ideas at odds with other Australian feminists, she has proved popular with various media outlets where she has carved a niche as a spokeswoman on issues about motherhood, ethics and abortion.

more

Book Review - Motherguilt: Australian women reveal their true feelings about motherhood

Motherguilt bills itself as a book in which Australian women “revel their true feelings about motherhood” and one that assists women to “deprogram themselves” from the powerful and unique “epidemic of guilt” experienced by today’s mothers.

more

Leslie nominated as one of the most influential Australians

The 100 people who voted, and who they voted for.

more

Choice? What Choice?

Women academics under-achieving has nothing to do with biology or inclination

more

Book review: The Catch

Spritely, sure-footed, rich with colour and authentic understanding of place, The Catch by first-time author Marg Vandeleur maintains its innocence and light-heartedness on a potentially chin-dragging topic: the shortage of suitable men for desperately-ticking women.

more

Leslie listed as one of Australia’s "most talked about brains"

Leslie has appeared in the list of 20 nominated by The Age as Australia’s celebrity – or public – intellectuals.

more

School Holidays: Give Us A Break

For me, school holidays are like housework: highly demanding, ever-present and seemingly never done. My problem, in a nutshell, is while I’d be happy to have the kids at home, the demands of my work mean this only sporadically and occasionally possible. Most of the time, I need care. This means that every time those dreaded two weeks draw near, my “to-do” list looks like this.

more

Book Review - The Moral of the Story: An anthology of ethics through literature

Over my (far too) many years of studentship and academic employment, I have bought (far too) many books, (far too) many of which have stagnated on my shelves, growing dusty and churlish from disuse. Amongst this unedifying lot have never been tomes edited or authored by Peter Singer. This is not because it is impossible to disagree with Singer, or to occasionally find his fearless exploration of the most complex, sensitive and interesting ethical issues of our times unsatisfying terse and one-dimensional. But rather because with the exception of de Botton, Singer is without peer when it comes to picking the right topic and penning erudite and accessible prose steeped in casual references to philosophical debates on similar issues dating back thousands of years. In The Moral of the Story, written in partnership with wife Renata, he does it again, compiling an anthology that students, academic philosophers and writers interested in ethics (and what writer isn’t) will pull off the shelf to thumb through again and again.

more

Sex and the Teacher: Was Justice Done?

Did unconscious sexism lead to a miscarriage of justice in the case of Karen Ellis? On Thursday, the Court of Appeals threw out the 22 month suspended sentence handed down in November by the County Court and re-sentenced the 37 year old school teacher to nearly three years, 6 months of which she must serve in jail. The ruling found the initial sentence had violated the principle of equality, including “equality of concern for male and female victims and equality in the sentencing of male and female offenders.”

more

Why We Will Resolve the Conflict Between Work and Family

Workers are demanding better working conditions, and conditions for family life

more

Madness in the Method

Start talking research methodology to journalists, and many will run screaming from the room. To be fair, the same might be said of some academics working outside the bounds of history, social or pure science departments. Yet, however technical and dry it seems, researchers working in methodology-driven disciplines know that valid methods aren’t a detail, but at the heart of the most important question to be asked of any study: can you trust the results?

more

Book Review - Wonder Woman

By Virginia Haussegger, Allen & Unwin, $26.95

more

Book Review - Male Trouble: Looking at Australian Masculinities

In his introduction to this collection of academic essays about different aspects and types of contemporary Australian masculinity or, as the authors prefer, masculinities, R.W. Connell notes that: ‘It is now a familiar observation that notions of Australian identity have been entirely constructed around images of men.’

more

Popular, yes - but is it moral?

It’s been driving me crazy for years, but John Howard’s comments in Parliament early this week about the rectitude of mandatory detention and public support for it, tipped me over the edge. The time has come for some clarity in the minds of public figures and commentators about what public support for something does – and does not mean – in terms of morality.

more

Zealotry trumps humanity in pursuit of dubious cause

There is no end in sight to the painful saga of the long-ago termination of a woman with a foetus diagnosed with dwarfism in 2000. Feeling it has no choice but to defend the principle of patient confidentiality, the Royal Women’s Hospital has decided to seek leave to appeal against the Victorian magistrate’s ruling at the end of last month. The ruling compels the hospital to hand over the medical records of the woman known to the public as Mrs X, despite that women’s persistent refusal to consent to their release.

more

Book Review - After the Party - Jesse Blackadder

Jesse Blackadder’s first novel is an exploration of the physical and eclectic social terrain of Byron Bay: Sydney-sider holiday escape and stopover de rigour for the backpacker set. It follows the chain of events set into motion by Zac’s near-death experience at a party given by the emotionally inscrutable Black Dragon. Over a three-week period, Zac, Black Dragon, her friend Madeline and Zac’s girlfriend Kate roam between Sydney and Byron, searching and ultimately discovering important truths critical to unlocking their true vocation or potential for love.

more

Abortion case could set an ugly precedent

We should not further restrict women’s access to late abortions, writes Leslie Cannold. The charging of Dr Suman Sood for manslaughter and procuring an unlawful abortion in NSW is the first such prosecution in that state since 1971, though it was only seven years ago that two West Australian doctors were charged as criminals for providing terminations. Indeed, Australia has a long history of prosecuting women and doctors over abortions and, because of the consistent refusal of politicians to legislate progressively on the issue, common law rulings have had a profound impact on the development of abortion law.

more

The Sins of Scholarship

Few academics would have slept through the long-running Australian history wars. Sparked by claims made by retired academic Keith Windshuttle that several prominent scholars – among them Henry Reynolds and Lyndall Ryan – misrepresented or falsified data in order fabricate a version of Aboriginal history consistent with pre-existing political agendas, the debate threw a sharp and very public spotlight on the fallibility of scholars and scholarly methods.

more

Book Review - Call Me Elizabeth and Callgirl

It’s a big year for books on prostitution, with Call Me Elizabeth and Callgirl only some of the volumes weighing down gender studies shelves across the nation. At the start of Callgirl Angell gives us an inkling as to the cause of the current obsession when she writes that “people look at me and get a little scared. I could be – I am – one of them. I am their sister, their neighbour, their girlfriend. I’m nobody’s idea of what a whore looks like. Maybe that’s why I’m scary. They want callgirls to be different, identifiable. That keeps them safe.” Thirty-five years after second-wave feminism and in the midst of rising divorce rates, declining fertility and increasing numbers of women willing and able – should a suitable male fail to appear – to go motherhood alone, many of us are confused not just about what women want, but who women really are. Exposes of the secret worlds of women who appear average or even respectable on the outside tantalises us with the prospect of finding out.

more

Beslan’s Terrorists Show the Dark Side of Human Emotions

Damaged children grow up to believe that only violence can change

more

Leslie elected to the board of Family Planning Victoria

Family Planning Victoria is a specialist statewide agency with extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of human relations, sexuality and sexual and reproductive health.

more

Book Review - Motherhood: How should we care for our children? Moving beyond the motherwars - changing the way we see and act

Motherhood is the latest in a long line of cri de coeur books by baby-boom women about what is claimed to be the incompatibility of “feminist” ideas about motherhood and female emancipation and their lived experience of motherhood. Like Manne, such authors breathed feminist assumptions – about the equality of men’s and women’s talents, women’s need for economic independence and human flourishing – “as naturally as air”. But when their children are born, such women find they conflict with the way they want to mother (or as Manne prefers, the way children need them to mother).

more

Paternity Fraud or Paternal Discrepancy?

“Paternity Fraud” implies deceptive women cuckholding men into believing children are biologically theirs. But the truth is more complex, and more human.

more

Lift the Ban on RU486!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but those who’d hoped the giving spirit might have affected the Prime Minister when it came to the abortion drug RU 486 have found their stockings sadly empty. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister emerged from a Liberal party room meeting to inform the media that the vote expected by the end of next week was cancelled. The Coalition’s pre-Christmas legislative agenda was crowded with issues far more important than women’s health. Those hoping to find out whether Australian patients will finally get access to a pharmaceutical that doesn’t just terminate very early pregnancies, but is used in the treatment of breast cancer and endometriosis, would just have to wait.

more

To RU486 or not to RU486?

In the next few weeks, the Australian parliament will debate a bill that would let the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) decide on whether RU486, the abortion pill, could be used in Australia. This has kick started a pretty feisty debate and a strong letter campaign from those who want to stop RU486 from being available in Australia in which Leslie was involved.

more

RU486/Mifepristone: A factual guide to the issues in the Australian debate

A joint publication of Reproductive Choice Australia and the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance. Written by Leslie and launched at Parliament House Canberra on 8 February 2006.

more

THE RU486 DEBATE: Death by Amendment

As I write, the Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Repeal of Ministerial Responsibility for Approval of RU86) Bill 2005 may be sliding towards defeat in the House of Representatives. Designed to undercut 1996 amendments to the Therapeutic Goods Act that have effectively banned RU486 and other abortifacient drugs from Australia, the Bill – having passed through the Senate last Thursday – is now the subject of an amendment that, if successful, will see the ban remain firmly in place.

more

Women need counselling, not coercion

Pregnancies Don’t Need Support, Women Do

Anyone who followed the debate on RU486, and understood the complex politics surrounding it, knew it was coming: a quid pro quo for the Health Minister to soften the blow of losing his powers to deny Australian women access to RU486. It came last Thursday: a $51 million dollar package for two pregnancy support measures a new counselling hotline and Medicare rebate. Then came the story of a push in Victoria to remove abortion from the Crimes Act.

more

To tell or not to tell

Ethical dilemma from Virginia Trioli’s ABC Australia Radio Program. Download an MP3 encoded recording of the interview.

more

Abortion, Corruption & Cops: The Bertram Wainer Story

Crochet hooks, castor oil, slippery elm bark, syringes full of Lifeuboy soap and Dettol. Sepsis, gas gangrene of the uterus, hysterectomies on 12 year olds, deserted pregnant wives taking their children and jumping off the St Kilda pier and women waiting, scared and alone, on a dark windswept corner of Bourke Street for the stranger’s car that would take them, huddled beneath a blanket on the floor of the backseat, to the backyard abortionist. And if they haemorrhaged on the kitchen table, the best they could hope for was to be dumped on the corner near the Royal Women’s in the hope that someone would find them in time. Many died.

more

The Ethics of Neonatal Circumcision: Helping Parents To Decide

Leslie’s chapter on male circumcision appears in Cutting to the Core: Exploring the Ethics of Contested Surgery

more

Full disclosure for pregnancy counselling services

Leslie was interviewed by Henry Grossek (Viewpoints) on 3SER 97.7 FM. Download an MP3 or Ogg Vorbis encoded recording of the interview.

more

Time to Break the News to Your Children

Should children be told they were conceived by sperm or egg donation?

more

Stem cell dilemma

Ethical dilemma from Virginia Trioli’s ABC Australia Radio Program. Download an MP3 encoded recording of the interview.

more

Living in the public eye means living under public judgement

Former footballer, broadcaster and TV fisherman Rex Hunt’s entanglement in a scandal of his own making may not engage everyone’s sympathy and interest. Tabloid-fodder, we might sniff, before returning to the more serious business of sipping lattes and cracking open expensive bottles of chardonnay.

more

Victims of a Lost Puritanism

Book Review – Lost: Illegal abortion stories. Edited by Jo Wainer, foreward by Helen Garner. Carlton, Melbourne University Press, 2006. 214 pages. ISBN: 0~~522~~85231–9

more

Progressive Social Movements: Is the end nigh?

The challenge for feminists is to beat a system that still stifles them

more

Positive Family Planning Letter

Leslie’s letter to the editor on “Positive Family Planning” in the .

more

Accusers, Abusers and Excusers: The Dreyfus Affair Revisited

Download an MP3 encoded recording of the event.

more

Rewind

The recent “Camilla” incident streamed from the Big Brother house several weeks ago renewed controversy about the show’s suitability for free-to-air TV.

more

Does “yes” still mean “yes” and “no” mean “no”?

Some called it Camillagate. The streaming of footage from the Big Brother household showing two men sexually dominating a woman, followed by a public outcry for the show to be taken off air. But was there something in the story most commentators missed? Leslie says “yes”.

more

Stem Cell D-Day

Late last year, the Lockhart Legislative Review Committee – the Federal Government’s own handpicked experts – handed down its recommendations on the fate of stem cell research in this country. Among other things, the Committee recommended lifting Australia’s ban on so-called “therapeutic cloning”. Having first shelved the report on the basis of a cabinet vote, a backbench revolt saw the Prime Minister agree to a broader discussion at the first party room meeting after winter break. That meeting – otherwise known as Stem Cell D-Day – is today.

more

The Net Brings You The World, But Not Necessarily the Facts

It’s enough to make you feel queasy. A recent Harris poll found that half the American public – up from 36% last year ~~believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction at the time of the US invasion. This despite the fact that final report of the Iraq Survey Group~~ experts handpicked by the CIA and Pentagon – concluded that Iraq had no deployable chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in 2003, and had not produced any since 1991.

more

Transparency in Advertising

Hear Leslie discuss the lack of regulation prohibiting deceptive and misleading advertising from anti-choice pregnancy counselling agencies

more

Contemporary callenges to women’s freedom to choose

Leslie joins Jo Wainer in a discussion of her book Lost, and contemporary challenges to women’s freedom to choose.

more

Implications of Dr Suman Sood conviction for unlawful abortion

Leslie talks about the implications of the conviction of New South Whales Dr Suman Sood for unlawful abortion.

more

Steve Irwin: Why we admired the boy who wouldn’t grow up

For me, the news of Steve Irwin’s death caused a Diana moment: the molasses, freeze-time moment of shock that sears whatever one was doing – going to lunch, cleaning the fridge, having a shower – on one’s consciousness for ever. I sat at my computer and cried.

more

Burlesque evokes a repressive past, not a liberating present

Last Thursday, a number of female scientists stormed out of the dinner of a government- funded conference on climate change. They were outraged at the choice of a scantily-clad, all-woman burlesque troupe that included one performer covered with balloons that conference participants were invited to pop – as entertainment.

more

Legal Safeguards Can Make Euthanasia A Legitimate Option

People should have the right to make choices about their own deaths.

more

Leslie Nominated as Feminist Icon

In the wake of the deaths of feminist icons Betty Friedan and Wendy Wasserstein, Book Standard reviewer Jessa Crispin nominates Leslie, Susan Faludi and Laura Kipnes as likely successors.

more

Multiculturalism and Feminism: Do they Mix?

Do multiculturalism and feminism mix? What about feminism and religious freedom?

more

There Shouldn’t Be One Law for Religions, Another for the Rest

Retiring sex discrimination commissioner Pru Goward’s parting comments on the unfettered capacity of the nation’s religious institutions to practise gender discrimination were the most interesting – and contentious – of her tenure.

more

Women can still say “no”

Is stem cell science really anti-woman? Can anyone who truly believes in the right of women to be treated as rational citizens deserving of the same rights and opportunities as men campaign against the science on the grounds that women lack the capacity to give informed consent to egg donation?

more

It Matters Who You Are, and Where You Come From

Should arguments stand or fall on their merit? Or is it critical that media consumers get full, accurate and relevant information about who is providing facts, or offering opinion, about matters of public interest?.

more

Beyond the ‘yuk factor’

WILL the carping of stem cell opponents never cease? First they insist their opposition to liberalisation of the laws governing embryo research is grounded in concern about women being exploited for their eggs. Then, one by one, they misrepresent and then reject every scientific alternative proposed to find alternative sources for such eggs.

more

The Kovco Case: Mother’s Grief Real, and So Are Her Questions

The death of a loved one is always difficult. For parents, regardless of the age of the child, anger, blame, impotence and guilt may accompany more generally experienced feelings like shock, disbelief, confusion, sadness, resentment, bitterness, hopelessness and depression.

more

Voting Above the Line

It turned out to be a storm in a teacup. In response to calls for a recount from a Victorian ALP confident the Democratic Labor Party’s number two man had cheated its own candidate of victory, the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) ran the figures again. On Thursday, the elevation of a third Green’s candidate to the Upper House was announced.

more

Are Fathers Parents or Progenitors?

Once upon a time, there were two men.

The first, Gary, had a child in a shaky marriage. The couple separated, but then reconciled. When Patti discovered she was pregnant, both knew the child could be that of the lover she took during their time apart. Patti agreed to put Gary’s name on the birth certificate, and Gary pledged to love and raise the child – Gary Jr – as his own. But when the marriage ended, Patti asked the court to deny Gary further access to the boy on the grounds that he was not the child’s biological father. Gary fought back, seeking to maintain contact and both rights and obligations to the child. Ultimately, however, the court held that as “third parties” neither he – nor his parents – had any entitlement to a relationship with the small child.

more

Do Blogs Spell the End of Moderated Opinion?

Do blogs spell the end of moderated opinion? As expected, internet enthusiasts say “yes”. The destiny of the World Wide Web is to end hierarchical, corporate control over the content and dissemination of knowledge, and the glorious reality – as far as editorial and analysis is concerned – is nothing less than the liberation of the opinionated from the oppressive control of toady, petty and uncomprehending editors.

more

Do we want to help overweight kids, or insult them?

Fat camps, prohibitions on junk food advertising, bans on sugary drinks in school canteens, Medicare subsidies for private weight loss programs, chair-free classrooms, food pyramids. Bariatric surgery, school weigh-ins, public service announcements telling kids to take more exercise, public hospital weight management clinics for the young. Bulging childhood waistlines as risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, escalating health care costs and social exclusion. Childhood obesity as lifestyle choice, disease, biological destiny or the result of parental ignorance, sloth or permissiveness. And in 2006, a three-fold increase in the number of Melbourne children – some as young as 10 – admitted to hospital with eating disorders resulting from their morbid fear of fat.

more

Privacy Should be Our Choice

Privacy, as Victorian Privacy Commissioner Paul Chadwick recently observed, is a freedom most noticed in its absence. Sadly, we only seem to appreciate what we had once it’s gone.

more

Let Us Decide for Ourselves on Euthanasia

The hypocrisy of the Coalition government on issues of personal choice is breathtaking. While supporters of restrictions on junk food advertising to children or universal minimum workplace conditions are “nanny state” advocates, blanket prohibitions on the capacity of terminally ill Australians to control the time and manner of their own deaths are claimed to show adequate respect for individual choice.

more

There is a Case for Staying the Course

I marched on the streets of Melbourne to express my opposition to the war and Australia’s involvement in it. From the trumped-up and ultimately fictitious casus belli, the predicted unpreparedness of the invading forces to win the peace and the incompetent and corrupt reconstruction process, the war’s prosecution has fulfilled – indeed exceeded – every gloom-and-doom prediction of the nay-sayers.

more

Catch Leslie on the Catch-Up Online

The Catch-Up is a weekday talk show premiering early in 2007. Covering news, entertainment, lifestyle, beauty, fashion and gossip, the show is pitched at Australian women. Leslie chatted about her book What, No Baby? with hosts Libby Gore, Ita Buttrose and Lise Oldfield.

more

The Magill children finally speak

In an exclusive report in the Bulletin, Julie-Anne Davies speak to Meredith Magill and her three children about life on the other side of a paternity suit. Leslie gets to make a comment too.

more

Who Owns A Dead Man’s Sperm?

Leslie’s article in the British Journal of Medical Ethics about postmortem or posthumous sperm donation.

more

Safe Sex Means Just That

It is important we don’t miss the forest for the trees. As the Michael Neal scandal rolls on, with the Health Minister Bronwyn Pike now admitting that the health department “bungled” the case, we need to consider whether the “better protocols” being mooted as the answer for protecting public health in the future are really the answer. Or does officialdom need to dig deeper to discover why transmission rates of HIV in Victoria are high and rising.

more

Australian Government’s Pregnancy “Helpline” - Help or Hindrance?

Leslie talks to Richard Aedy on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters about the Federal Government’s “Pregnancy Support” measures.

more

Catch Leslie on the Catch-Up Online

The Catch-Up is a weekday talk show premiering early in 2007. Covering news, entertainment, lifestyle, beauty, fashion and gossip, the show is pitched at Australian women. Leslie spoke about The Abortion Myth with hosts Libby Gore, Mary Moody, Lise Oldfield and Zoe Sheridan.

more

There is racism, and then there is the glory of multiculturalism

The government is in trouble in the polls and the Prime Minister claims there’s no rabbits in the hat. Maybe, but I’m skeptical. Both history and early policy signs – the reduction of benefits available to new migrants, the Federal government’s consideration of a ban on HIV positive migrants – suggests that as polling day draws closer, there will be rabbits. The same ones that have been stewed before.

more

High price to be paid if abortion reform bid fails

I love Right to Life President Margaret Tighe. After years of dealing with anti-choice activists who pretend their feminists, researchers, and medical ethicists – anything but foot soldiers for God – her straight-talking misogyny is like a breath of fresh air. With Margaret, women who seek abortions know just where they stand.

more

Support and Respect Gives IVF Parents Time to Tell

It’s Time to Tell. The slogan is back, along with the second phase of the Infertility Treatment Authority’s campaign to inform parents of how Victoria’s infertility laws may affect their lives, and parenting choices.

more

Ten Questions for Leslie in this week’s Australian Jewish News (AJN)

Each week, the AJN poses ten questions to someone, and this week was Leslie’s turn. Catch the interview in the Life section of the Friday 24 August 2007 edition.

more

Balancing public interest and the right to privacy

It’s far from over, with many still shouting. But as the conga line of those condemning Channel 7 for broadcasting the news that two AFL players had been referred for illicit drug use grows, we need to ask ourselves: are we shooting the messenger?

more

Prevention is One Thing, But Take Care with the Cure

Ingrates. That’s the word that keeps coming to mind when the Canberra lesbian case is raised. That, and some vital misapprehension of what parenting – at its core, and in its specifics – is all about.

more

Laws on Sex Work Must be Framed to Protect Women’s Choice

Sex work is back in the news. Having hardly been broached in polite conversation since the state government’s “tolerance zone” policy for street sex work went down in flames five years ago, the West Australian government’s decision to descriminalise and regulate indoor prostitution has refocused minds around the country on the best way to manage the world’s oldest profession.

more

Book Review - In Viro Fertility Goddess by Jodi Panayotov

Infertility sucks and IVF is worse. Yet women rarely talk about either, or make jokes, a truth Jodi Panayotov found out the hard way when aged 37 she struggled to get pregnant and to stay that way.

more

I Feel Guilty, My Son is at Public School

Ive been wanting to write this column all year, but dreading it, too. Because I don’t want to be misunderstood and I don’t want to offend. But the truth is that there is something horribly rotten going on in my personal world and _ because the personal is political _ this nation. The rot comes from the way we fund our schools. And it is making me so angry (or is it so grief-stricken and guilty?) that I can hardly breath.

more

Education is not about being a good or bad parent - it’s about the children

Everyone’s heard of the Mummy Wars. The debate that flies out of the box like a bat out of hell every time some dry academic study appears about centre-based childcare. Behind all the shouting about sample size, confidence levels and expert bias is a shrillness that can only come from women who feel accused of being “bad” mummies, or are defending their status as “good” mummies.

more

Declining Marriage Rates and Gender Inequity in Social Institutions: Towards an Adequately Complex Explanation for Childlessness

A recent newspaper report pitted McDonald’s and Birrell’s explanations for Australia’s below-replacement fertility against each other. In this article, Cannold presents data from qualitative research into the experience and understandings of 35 childless women aged 28 to 42.

more

A Man Worth Emulating

In our society, who best reflects Jesus’ compassion and sense of justice?

more

The Futility of Treatment: Who Decides?

Blink and you’d miss it. That’s the fate of stories in the lead-up to Christmas, even explosive ones about the questionable withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from unconscious patients like Paulo Melo.

more

The Australian Pro-Choice Movement and the Struggle for Legal Clarity, Liberal Laws and Liberal Access: Two Case Studies

In this chapter, written with Cait Calcutt (p. 41–70), Leslie analyses, and seeks to draw lessons for contemporary Australian pro-choice activists, of significant legislative changes to abortion laws in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in 1998. The chapter is part of a larger collection undertaken in phase one of the Johannesburg Initiative, an international project aimed at building capacity amongst pro-choice advocates.

more

Reprogenetic Technologies: balancing parental procreative autonomy and social equity & justice

Chapter published in The Sorting Society: The Ethics of Genetic Screening and Therapy, edited by Loane Skene and Janna Thompson.

more

Insults Deter Quality Debate

Something worrying is happening to column readers. They are becoming rude. Menacingly rude – and just plain mean – when they don’t agree with you.

more

Look at Yourself, Before It’s Too Late

How many of us are not living our dreams? What’s stopping us? And what does dedicating ourselves to closing the gap between what we wanted for our lives and how we are actually living them have to do with ethics?

more

One-Size-Fits-All Marriage Model Fails to Bind

It’s built into our psyches. How could it not be, with marriage – and the implied happy-ever-after – concluding every literary and cinematic romantic tale? And then there’s the return of the elaborate, often white wedding, costing on average (based on 2004 figures) $36,234. Social research shows it, too. We, as a nation, particularly those in our dotage, and those in our thirties, believe in the institution of marriage.

more

Breastfeeding: differing advice flows oh so freely

What’s a Baby-Friendly hospital? If you don’t know, you may soon because if the Australian Government’s House Standing Committee Inquiry into Breastfeeding has its way, the three that currently exist in NSW are set to mushroom.

more

Education Ethics bigger than public versus private

There are 17 selective high schools in New South Wales, and 10 schools offering selective classes for academically gifted students.

more

Let’s Get Rid of the Cloak and Dagger

Transparency. In recent years, journalists, politicians and medical researchers have joined lawyers and judges in accepting formal obligations to either disclose personal or financial links they have with those they report on or serve, to divest themselves of those links or to recuse themselves.

more

Full Disclosure Necessary in Abortion Law

Many people think that the State government’s commitment to the decriminalisation of abortion guarantees a good outcome for women, no matter what model ultimately makes it into law.

more

Shameful Apology Proves Sorry Shame

Talk about giving with one hand and taking with the other! There, in Parliament House, with members of the Stolen Generations looking on and thousands more bearing witness via video link on the adjacent lawns. One man, representing the nation, validating the painful experiences of Aboriginal Australians and by so doing, reminding us of what we as Australians have the potential to be. The other – his literal shadow – excusing, justifying, insisting on his version of the truth and in so doing, painfully reminding us why progress on race relations in this country have been stalled for so long.

more

Women, vote for yourselves - no one else will

I don’t like her, and it ain’t the hair. It’s the annoyingly wooden affect, and her obeisance over the years to the demands of the American public that she change her name and hair, but stand by her man. But when I mailed in my absentee ballot for the Democratic primaries several months ago (I’m an American citizen as well as an Australian one) the tic was next to Hilary Clinton’s name, not Barrack Obama’s.

more

Threat to Choice Leaves Bitter Taste in GM Debate

Some moral questions reduce to empirical ones. Where you stand and what you’ll stand up for turns entirely on the facts.

more

Stand Up and Shoulder the Consequences

The real test of our principles is when those with whom we disagree stand on them to justify doing something we hate.

more

In Death We Don’t Part from our Obligations

Last week in New Zealand, Ivy May Ngahooro became the third body snatched after disputes about burial between non-indigenous and Maori relatives. The distress of Ms Ngahooro’s family was extensively covered in the New Zealand press, with the will’s executor, niece Trish Scoble, saying that the loss of the body made her feel both “sick” and “frightened”. Scoble said that she would not stop until her Auntie May was laid to rest as she had wanted.

more

Stripped bare, Spitzer affair raises big question

The facts are simple. Elliot Spitzer, who fought organised crime and corruption on Wall Street, resigned last week as New York’s Governor after Federal wiretaps caught him arranging to meet an out-of-town hooker in his DC hotel.

more

Why Parents Try to Avoid the Pain of Loving a Sick Child

Imagine this. You’ve spent your childhood with a brother bound to a wheelchair by a disease that causes him immense suffering. The condition has haunted your family for generations, killing male children and putting the female ones at risk of passing the faulty chromosome on to their own kids.

more

Cash is Always the Currency of Love’s Labours Lost

It’s always about the money. Or is it?

more

We May Yet Avoid Frying from Global Warming

You may not have heard of it, but my guess is, you will soon. Climate engineering-or global climate control-may soon be a fact of life.

more

There is an art to breaking bad news to children

Last year, a girl at my son’s school primary school – let’s call her Susan – had a headache. The next day she collapsed and since then has been in a wheelchair from spinal damage caused by a benign tumour.

more

At 50, the Material Girl is Not to be Pitied

Madonna turns 50 this year. Like every wheeze and fart in the entertainer’s life, this one is attracting comment. From some, it sounds like this. “50? She looks 30! If she really was a taboo-breaker, she wouldn’t have smooth skin and pert breasts. She’d be strutting her stuff on the cover of Vanity Fair with a wrinkled décolletage and baggy arms hanging out.”

more

The Dubious Morality of Women

My speciality area of ethics is reproductive technologies. What this means is that I spend much of my working life face-to-face with the suspicions that religious men, political leaders and journalists have about female morality.

more

What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us All

What does independent research, shield laws and whistleblower legislation have in common, and why should we give a rats?

more

Why Parental Leave is a Moral Issue

The government has ordered yet another inquiry into a paid leave scheme for working Australian parents. This one, by the Productivity Commission, follows two similar ones by HREOC and a Senate Committee in 2002. What is left to examine, for heaven’s sake! It’s a leave scheme, not the first signs of life on Mars.

more

We Thirst for Justice, but Beware the Unforgiven

What is unforgiveable? Are there some acts that cross the moral line in the sand dividing the venal from the inescapably evil? Are there some things, and some people, we cannot forgive?

more

The Bill Henson Affair: Shame on Adults for Paranoia over Adolescence

For a friend of mine, adolescence was no time of innocence. It was the worst and most confusing time of her life; made all the worse by the insistence of the adults she knew that the pain would be useful later.

more

Feel Good, Do Good - The Merry Makers

OK, I admit it. I cry easily. My eldest’s grade 6 graduation ceremony provoked a flood. Even k.d. lang’s version of Hallelujah can do it. When the face of the little fella in the Worksafe Victoria ad lights up because his Dad is safe and home, I break down in sobs.

more

Hating Gays is a Choice, Not a Biblical Dictate

Their strength is waning, but there is still a depressingly large number of powerful men in the west, spread across a range of denominations, spewing raw hate and naked prejudice at gay people. All in the name of Christ.

more

Don’t trust politicians with your human rights

You might think I am the sort of person who has always favoured a charter of human rights, but it isn’t so.

more

FairtTrade is Fair Enough

However cynical, petty, ideological and pathetically out-of-date it may be, the attack by right-wing “think-tanks” on fair trade just won’t go away.

more

Teaching our Kids the Difference Between Science and Faith

Moral Maze: Teaching our Kids the Difference Between Science and Faith

more

Hey girls, be ladies and enslave yourself to men

Are you a foul-mouthed, domestic disaster of a young woman who cares more about footy than fashion, enjoys sex and can drink a bloke under the table? Then you should know that the Australian version of the British reality TV show, Ladette to Lady, is looking for you.

more

Ethical Carnivores Care for Animals Too

Have you heard about Lucy? The intensively-farmed sow with the intelligence of a three year old who, in a series of Australian radio ads, tells of a life so miserable that she wishes she could “close [her] eyes and not wake up.”

more

Men, Abortion and the Sin of Moral Arrogance

Abortion is back in the news, with a bill now before the Victorian parliament that, if it becomes law, will give women with problem pregnancies of less than twenty-four weeks the right to decide for themselves.

more

Beware, it’s a bitter pill we swallow

They’ve done it again. For the third time, scientists have found evidence that the contraceptive pill may be inhibiting women’s capacity to conceive in more ways than one. Worse, it may be playing havoc with their love lives.

more

Who’s the Father? Rethinking the Moral ‘Crime’ of ‘Paternity Fraud’

Published 2008 in Women’s Studies International Forum 31: 249–256.

more

Heavy Cross to Bear for Gay Donors

Political activism is often a thankless task. It’s worse when the cause is not just controversial, but shrouded in stigma and shame. Yes, a lot of hard work goes into raising cash for breast cancer research or to send disabled athletes to Beijing, but at least it’s easy to ask your colleagues and friends to donate, and to get VIPs to sign on as patrons to the cause.

more

PM’s Cheap Answer to School Problems

The education revolution promised by Federal Government continues to piss me off. First it was a computer for every secondary school student; then it wasn’t. These days, the so-called digital revolution means that at some point in the next five years two students will share one computer, if the money to actually install the things and pay for the cost of running them can be found.

more

Conscience Votes Entail Responsibilities, Not just Rights

Lord help me, here comes another conscience vote. This time, it’s about whether our Federal MPs think it’s OK to spend our taxes on the cost of an abortion necessary to save a woman’s life, or to evacuate her uterus of a fetus that is already dead, or affected by “gross” abnormalities. In 2006, Parliamentarians were allowed to exercise their moral judgment on the acceptability of therapeutic cloning techniques to explore cures for diseases like Parkinson’ disease and help for those confined for life to wheelchairs. RU486, and before this, the Northern Territory’s euthanasia bill.

more

Conscience Rights Must Be a Two-Way Street

Denying another’s freedom while exercising one’s own is hypocritical

more

Whose Time is it Anyway, Peter?

Peter Bloody Costello. Thank heavens the man is about to exit the national political stage because, quite frankly, I’m not sure I could take another minute of him.

more

Domestic Violence is a Two-Way Street

In the early 1990s I worked as a researcher for an organization dedicated to finding accommodation for young, homeless women. Many of these young women were escaping violent homes and, if they were lucky enough to get a bed in a refuge, they often found more violence there.

more

The Bill Henson Debate: Looking After Our Children Without Hysteria

Yesterday was a big day for my child. The start of term at the primary school he has attended since kinder, and the first day of work for the principal. Oh, and the day he had to fight through a media scrum to get through the front gate.

more

To Make a Difference, Stay Don’t Go

I love a good resignation. The drama! The flounce! The sense of moral superiority! Better then a day at the races to watch, and to be the one resigning! I feel giddy just thinking about it.

more

Grace A Measure of Our Moral Fibre

“That was very gracious,” a friend of mine whispered at the conclusion of a speech I gave recently. We were at a function that my organization-which had done a lot of heavy lifting to achieve a shared goal-had arranged to thank other individuals and groups who contributed to a successful outcome.

more

Organ Donation Can Pose a Conflict of Interest

For millennia, religious authorities have defined death as the stilling of the heart and the absence of breath. But all that changed in the 1960s when organ transplants became medically feasible. In the wake of a Japanese surgeon being charged for a double murder for a failed attempt to transplant a heart, the medical profession put its foot down. It wasn’t long before dead patients were redefined from those without beating hearts to those who might-or might not-have cardio-respiratory function, but whose brain stems had definitely gone to God.

more

Church and State Should be Separate

This week, in a rare moment of bi-partisanship, the Federal Government and Opposition joined forces to reject Speaker Harry Jenkins’s call for a debate on whether the Lord’s Prayer should continue to be said at the start of each parliamentary day.

more

Leslie Debates Abortion on SBS Radio

Hear Leslie and medical doctor Brigid Mckenna, the policy officer for the Sydney Catholic archdiocese’s Life, Marriage and Family Centre on SBS World View Forum.

more

Climate Change: It’s about the economy, stupid

Catastrophic climate change is the moral issue of our time. If we flub it, it is our children who will be denied their most basic inheritance – a habitable and sustaining planet.

more

Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Courage

The Bali Bombers are dead. When news of the executions came over the wireless I found it hard to shed tears. These men were murderers and tears are evidence of compassion. My opposition to the death penalty is motivated by more principled and practical concerns.

more

Beyond the Nuclear Family

Catch Leslie and a whole range of diverse families in this new educational DVD by the Victoria Educational Association. More information about this resource might be available on their website http://www.vea.com.au/. Or contact vea@vea.com.au.

more

Dumpers and Martyrs and None of Us Saints

There were a lot of contenders for this week’s column. The inevitable arrival of paid maternity leave on the list of scuttled government initiatives because of the global economic crisis was one. Minister Stephen Conroy’s decision to capitulate to the demands of the religious right and censor everyone’s internet access was another. And there’s a piece inside me just screaming to get out about what former government leaders must really think about the quality of reporting on the ABC given their decision to participate in The Howard Years, the first episode of which screened on ABC TV this week.

more

Leslie talks abortion rights

Leslie discusses the recent decriminalisation of abortion in Victoria in an article by Stephen de Tarczynski on the Inter Press Service News Agency

more

Let Women Speak for Themselves

For years, we’ve been tied up in knots, unsure how to protect the rights of women in male-dominated religions and cultures.

more

Should We Let the Gene Out of the Bottle

How much do you know about your genes? Does your genetic profile match that of a sprinter, or is it more like an endurance athlete? Are you lactose intolerant, malaria resistant, possessed of wet or dry ear wax or at an increased risk, compared to others with similar ancestry, of breast cancer, Crohn’s or Parkinson’s disease?

more

Torturing Others Does Most Harm to Us

Defenders of torture are fond of the ticking bomb scenario. It describes a terrorist who has planted bombs around a city that are set to blow, but who refuses to tell authorities where they are. The implicit claim of the scenario is clear. That in some cases, in particular where lives are at stake and time is running short, torture may be justified.

more

Lars and the Real Girl Show Us the Way

It’s that time of the year again. No matter what we believe or commemorate, December offers most of us a few days off work. A chance to reflect on what really matters in our complex, crowded lives, and how it can be nurtured so more will grow.

more

Women’s Forum Australia is “Faking it”

Tune out or wise up. Late December and January is the season for think-tanks and institutes. The time where the lack of action on the government and university fronts leaves a hole in the news agenda that third-party mouthpieces for political, industrial or religious interests are more than happy to fill.

more

Natural Earth Burials: Should our last decision be environmental?

Ethical talk about the dead usually focuses on rights. The rights of the dead to have their last wishes carried out, and their bodies treated with respect.

more

All’s Fair in the Battle of Ideas

On Tuesday, Crikey broke a story about conservative magazine Quadrant’s publication of an essay on scientific criticism by Sharon Gould. Gould is described as having a PhD in Applied Science (biotechnology) and being employed as a biotechnology informatics consultant.

more

Why We Must Sometimes Refuse to Help

A while back a reader-let’s call her Sharon-contacted me for help. Her story was confusing and hard to follow, so she directed me a website she had set up to publicise her cause. She also sent me some documents, which I committed to read with the view, if I could possibly make it work, of writing a column on her case. I wanted to help.

more

Whats Wrong with Adults Paying for Sex

This summer, Norway has quietly joined Sweden in outlawing paid sex. Men who have sex with prostitutes working in brothels or on the street face hefty fines or six months in gaol, while the women involved will be offered assistance to exit the industry. “We want to send a clear message to men that buying sex is unacceptable,” said the Norwegian Justice Minister, echoing the sentiments of Swedish detective Kajsa Wahlberg. “We don’t have a problem with prostitutes. We have a problem with men who buy sex.”

more

Centennial Warriors by Elizabeth Kehoe

In the wake of the passage of the Abortion Law Reform Bill here in Victoria late in 2008, Elizabeth Kehoe sent me this beautiful tribute.

more

Should We Play Big Brother with our Kids?

British and American parents are about to get it, and Australian parents may want it too. Electronic babysitting, using a hard-to-remove wristwatch device with a GPS chip, is coming to a retail and online outlets soon. Want your tubby daughter to walk to primary school, but need assurance she’s arrived safely? Have reason to doubt your year 9 son’s insistence he is spending Saturday night at a friend’s house? Child location devices offer peace of mind to any parent with a mobile phone or computer.

more

Global Gag Leaves Blood on Our Hands

For Labor, the problem seems grim. Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith can either follow the lead of the Obama administration in lifting Australia’s version of the global gag rule, or ensure we remain the only country in the world that limits its foreign aid in this way.

more

This Valentine’s Week, a Few Thoughts About Love

Philosophers struggle to define love, little less explain it in ways we all crave. Ways that allow us to find and to nurture it, so as we journey through life – with the same lover or someone different – it will continue to flourish.

more

Ethics in a Time of Media

We expect a lot of our media. Not more than we should, but a decent amount, often without either acknowledging the importance of a free press to democracy, or the structural factors that can get in the way of well-meaning journalists doing the right thing.

more

Read Leslie’s Expert Comments on Modern Contraception in The Sunday Age

Jill Stark interviewed Leslie for her article in the Age.

more

Give Us Better Biking Infrastructure, Please!

I was centimeters away from death or serious injury. Millimeters, even. The woman in the car hadn’t meant any harm. She had only just parked and was now hurrying on her way, probably wondering if she had enough coins in her wallet for the meter, if the space she’d just backed into was truly legal, and if she still had time to avoid being late.

more

In the AFL and NRL, Booze No Excuse for Sexual Assault

The rugby and footy season have begun. I know, because allegations of sexual violence are in the news.

more

Stop Conroy’s Great Australian Firewall

Fond of kiddy-fiddlers? A friend of the porn industry? You must be, if you oppose a mandatory filter on the net. Or so says Senator Stephen Conroy and his allies in the Christian Right and Authoritarian Left.

more

Parallel Imports and Copy Wrongs

Australian publishing is a success story. In contrast to the uneven product of the heavily subsidized film industry, publishing continues to go from strength to strength. Around 45% of general audience books sold in Australia have been published here, and 40% of the top 5000 trade books have Australian authors. Not bad for an island at what Former PM Paul Keating reportedly described as the universe’s arse-end.

more

Private School, Public Shame

Australia has come a long way-some might say the wrong way-when the Education Minister dismisses debates about equity in school funding as a diversion from what she laughably calls Federal Labor’s broad and deep reform agenda.

more

Collaboration Takes Sting Out of Separation and Divorce

A kindler, gentler divorce may be a contradiction in terms, but the means to achieve it has arrived in Australia. Just a few weeks ago at a conference in Sydney, a group of good-hearted, specially trained lawyers met to discuss the ways a marriage in this country could be dissolved using a process called collaborative family law.

more

We Need a Population Policy Debate

Tuned into the boat-people debate this week? If yes, you’ll know that the stress and disagreement that has long characterized the debate about migration is over. We all agree now that it’s the people-smugglers we love to hate. People smugglers, the PM said, are “the absolute scum of the earth.”

more

We Must Respect the Wrong Decision

Should pregnant women smoke? OK, that’s a no-brainer but here’s a harder one. When pregnant women do smoke, what should we do about it?

more

Stand Firm Against Race to the Bottom

An Open Letter to the Greens and Senator Nick Xenophon on Australia’s Emissions Trading System

more

Sex Test Engenders a Skewed Reality

The Mother’s Day press release was cloying. The innovation it heralds is unnecessary at best and, at worst, a sexist menace.

more

Sexual Freedom Won’t Spare You Regret

Here’s how a 15-year-old West Australian girl described a sexual encounter she had with three boys at a party after too much drink: “It felt really good at the time but afterwards I felt cheated and used.”

more

You’re Off to a Party? Its no Laughing Matter, You Sick Swine

Why would someone hold a swine flu party, a celebration intended to help you catch the virus? If you are invited to one, should you attend? Should viral socialites be shunned and pilloried, or are they providing a much-needed warning to those in charge of public communications about H1N1 that they need to think again?

more

Where Rights, Medicine and Law Collide

Last year an Australian woman undertook a medical procedure. This week she and her boyfriend will face court because of it, charged with a crime. If found guilty, the 19-year-old and her 21-year-old boyfriend could get 10 years’ jail.

more

What we Have is the Failure to Communicate

We have a problem. Despite broad and sustained scientific consensus about the growing incapacity of the planet to sustain us and the threat posed by climate change, our elected decision makers and key corporate players seem incapable of doing enough of what is required, to avert the coming crisis.

more

There’s no Rule Book for Families

“I was upset by what happened. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever felt so humiliated in my life. I understand that the president made a ruling based on the current rules. But as any mother knows, sometimes families don’t play by the rule book … I hope this allows us to have a discussion about how we balance these things and respect the work of working families regardless of whether it’s mothers or fathers …”

more

Labels Rarely Go More Than Skin-Deep

The recent rallying of Indian migrants in Sydney and Melbourne, and last Monday’s Four Corners about the death of Aboriginal man Mr Ward, are just two recent reminders that racism is alive in Australia.

more

Leslie’s Idea on Childless Make the Australian Women’s Weekly

In the July 2009 editorial, the high circulation Australian Women’s Weekly, quotes Leslie’s ideas from her book What, No Baby in its comments about their cover story exclusive on TV personality Sonia Kruger’s decision to have a baby with the help of her gay best friend and co-star, Todd McKenney.

more

Gene Patents Violate Civil Liberties

There’s a question that’s been around for about 30 years: whether private, for-profit companies should be allowed to gain exclusive control over knowledge about our genes.

more

When Giving Cuts Right to the Bone

Years ago, when I was doing a Masters of Bioethics under renowned philosopher Peter Singer at Monash University in Melbourne, I signed up to the newly founded Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

more

Leslie made Dying with Dignity Ambassador

Ambassadors say Let’s Get on with It and call on parliament to bring the dying with dignity issue to a vote

more

Leslie Interviewed by Fairfax’s Sunday Life Magazine

In the 9 August 2009 Body Issue Leslie, Federal Minister Kate Ellis, Ad man Russell Howcroft and plastic surgeon Howard Webster chat with Libby Gorr about “The Future Perfect.”

more

One Step Forward, Two Back, in Fight for Reproductive Rights

RU486 is available, but in Queensland a teenager is charged over an abortion.

more

Circumcision - Who Decides?

Circumcision used to be the done thing. Now, only around 10 per cent of Australians circumcise their male infants. But in Tasmania, they are trying to find a way to stop them. A recently released Tasmanian Law Reform Institute issues paper makes no bones about its desire to use the criminal law to prosecute some hapless Jewish, Muslim or Aboriginal parents for circumcising their boys.

more

Pulling Out the Racist Tag is a Lazy Way to Argue About Policy

There is little evidence to support racial motives behind criticism of Obama.

more

We Must Say “Know” to Abstinence-Only Sex Ed “Choices, Decisions, Outcomes”

Your children have a right to sex education. This right is a component of their sexual rights, themselves a subset of the human rights guaranteed to them in international laws, human rights documents and other consensus statements.

more

Betrayal and the Shocking Lies of Rex Crane

“From Hero to Zero” ran the headline, a nice one to describe the fall from grace last week of the Federal President of the Prisoners of War Association of Australia, Rex Crane.

more

Something Mad About Refugee Policies

Even if we eliminate people smugglers, the people needing smuggling won’t disappear.

more

Can it Ever be Ethical to Let Women Die?

A disturbing trend is emerging in the writings of those opposed to legal abortion. Since the passage of Victoria’s Law Reform Act last year, they have been campaigning against the limits the new law imposes on the rights of healthcare professionals to conscientiously object to involvement in abortion.

more

Women Failed by Catholic-Run Hospitals

With no room at the Women’s, patients are at the mercy of religion

more

Leslie Talks to 4BC Morning’s Host Greg Carey About The Capacity for Consent

A district court judge has questioned the fairness of convicting a man who pleaded guilty to rape, for continuing to perform sex acts on an unconscious woman. Was the man really treated unfairly, or is the judge confused about what consent is all about?

more

Leslie Talks to 4BC Morning’s Host Greg Carey About Matthew John’s Scandal and Sex Lies and Relationships

Rugby league star Matthew John’s infidelity has raised the issue of staying with a partner who has strayed. Greg Cary talks to author Ruth Simons, about the thought processes behind cheating.

more

Desperate or Deadbeat Dads?

In recent weeks, I seem to have become a bloke magnet. Two weeks ago at the State Library cafe and one night last week at my usual watering hole, I’ve had men in my ear. Sweet men, sad men, vulnerable men – some recently divorced, others single for years – crooning variations on the same tragic tale. A tale about children they love but no longer see.

more

Kissing a Friend Goodbye

A new friend of mine recently told me a story about an old friend of hers. I use the term “friend” advisedly here because friendship is what this story is all about.

more

Do We Really Need to be Polite to the Family Pedophile

A reader seeks advice in resolving one of the most distressing dilemmas ever tackled by this columnist. The mother of two daughters, aged one and three, habitually finds herself in the holidays in the company of a child abuser. This, at least, is what she has been told about the elderly father of her brother’s wife, who arrives each year at Christmas from interstate.

more

Good Parents Send Their Kids to Private School, Don’t They?

The Bankwest press release was crafted to provoke controversy. “More Australians Choose a Good Time over Kids Education.” It had the same flavour as the bank’s offering when it released similar market research last year. “Aussie families prefer holidays and Botox to private school education.”

more

Pregnancy and Job Seeking. Is it Time to Lie?

A reader seeks advice on an acutely female ethical dilemma. She has just landed a much-wanted interview for a nine-month job, but discovers herself pregnant. The child, if born, will be her third. If she miscarries, it will be for the third time, too.

more

Support for Dying Friend our Final Gift

A READER – a qualified scientist I’ll call Ron – asks for my view on a dilemma that pitted his personal and professional integrity, and belief in absolute truths, against his love for a dying friend.

more

Catherine’s Shout on Q & A

Leslie got a shout from Catherine Deveny in this segment of ABC TV’s Q&A Read the transcript or have a listen. Key moment 33 minutes in.

more

The Age reviews The Global Atheist Conference

“Broadcaster Phillip Adams and Melbourne ethicist Leslie Cannold urged atheists not to be too strident or fundamentalist as it could alienate moderate believers who shared their aims for a more secular society.”

more

Role of Big Pharma in question after half a century of the pill

An independent study is needed of the pill’s impact on women’s lives.

more

Get Religion out of Government Schools, Please!

A mother writes to me, torn with guilt about a decision she made about the education of her daughter, who began kindergarten this year. The family doesn’t believe in “structured religion”, preferring instead to raise their children as “tolerant of all religions but followers of none”.

more

Likes Heels, Hates Housework

New Matilda asks Leslie Cannold twenty questions, including what’s lurking in the back of her fridge

more

Catherine Deveny wants Leslie on air

In a broadside at the new all-too-male radio station MTR 1377, Deveny names Leslie as one of Melbourne’s many mouthy women who deserves to be on air

more

The Skinny on the Ethics of Dating

When does an impolite boyfriend become unethical? Chronic rudeness on this or other fronts may indicate the presence of more serious moral disorders.

more

Patently Absurd. Why Corporates Shouldn’t Profit From Our Genes

How can human attributes be deemed corporate property?

We tend to think of patents as good, or at least necessary, legal tools. Patents provide legal protection for innovations on which inventors rely to recoup the investment of time and money they made to develop a new medication, or bring a product to market.

more

Leslie talks to Australian Doctor

Is it ever OK for a doctor to break the law to help a patient. Medical journalist John Kron talks to Leslie to find out.

more

Why We’ve Stopped Trusting Science

The 1950s was the apex of scientists and scientific credibility. My parents, like most of their peers, were taken in by heroic media depictions of Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, and the outpouring of scientific ingenuity in the cold war race to the moon. Like many of the children of this doctor-knows best generation, I was formula-fed, fully vaccinated and dosed with antibiotics at the first sign of sore throat.

more

Corruption Is Never Harmless, in the Church or State

Corruption is the most serious moral scandal of our time. Why? Because corruption is a double-edged sword, a moral evil that may turn one chump’s decision to bribe, extort or otherwise abuse his power for personal gain into destruction of the very systems that order our society and make this country great.

more

What Public Infidelity Has to do With Me

At a press conference after his resignation, the former NSW Transport Minister David Campbell has this to say about revelations he had visited a gay bathhouse:

’I made some personal choices which have put me and my family in this situation…I’ve apologised to them for it. I apologise to the community."

more

The Patenting of Human Genes Must Be Stopped

Craig Venter is back in the news. The entrepreneurial geneticist recently announced he has created a new form of synthetic life. The new microbe, which thrives and replicates with only a man-made genome, paves the way for a world full of organisms that are built to order rather than evolved.

more

Shape your Online Image or Others will Shape it For You

For better or worse, internet profiles affect real-world reputations

more

When Difference of Desire is Sold As a Deficiency

Why can’t a woman be more like a man? Henry Higgins posed the question in My Fair Lady and ever since Viagra began earning Pfizer more than $US1 billion ($1.2 billion) per year, the big pharmaceutical companies have been asking it, too. Why can’t women’s sexual problems be cured as simply and profitably as men’s?

more

Does NSW Labor need to go?

In the wake of yet another scandal and ministerial reshuffle in the NSW government, Leslie joins other ethical opinion leaders to answer the question, is it time for the NSW government to go?

more

Leslie Talks Men and Abortion on Radio JJJ’s Hack

Leslie talks to Kate O’Toole about men and why you can’t have half a baby or half an abortion

more

Leslie Talks to Kate O’Toole on ABC Youth Radio Triple J’s Hack

On child support and whether men have become reproductive slaves

more

Leslie Talks to TokenSkeptic About Big Pharma

Leslie and science educator Michael McRae ask how industry-funded research and marketing influences our health.

more

Protect Our Kids from Scripture Teachers and Junk Food Advertisers

It’s easy taking candy from a baby. That doesn’t make it right.

more

Leslie Comments on 5 Day Morning After Pill

European women have it and American women will soon. But when will Australian women get the Ella morning after pill?

more

What the First Female PM Means for Australian Women

What does Australia’s first female PM mean for Australian women? Nothing. And Everything.

more

Leslie Nominated for Big Bang Blog & Tweet Prize

The Big Blog Theory Click here science blogging competition celebrates National Science Week 2010 by acknowledging Australian bloggers who contribute to the communication and understanding of science online. Finalists will be posted online on 9th July when public gets to vote for the winner.

more

A Few Good Men and Stephen Milne Rape Allegations

Important stories can hit-and develop-at the wrong time. Like in the days leading up to a coup that delivered Australia its first female Prime Minister. Such losses are an inevitable part of an unpredictable news cycle, but sometimes they must be resisted. Some stories are just too important to let fall off the radar.

more

The National School Chaplaincy Program Is an Accident Waiting to Happen

Around one in five young Australians suffers from mental illness. These include anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as complex conditions like anorexia and bulimia. Some 10 per cent of young Australians suffer abuse or neglect while one in five has a parent with poor mental health (21%) or a physical disability (19%).

more

Backhanded Compliment?

Leslie has been noted as an “immodest celebrity” for her regular Twitter appearances on Q & A.

more

Australia’s Hung Parliament and the Governor General’s Moral Dilemma

Last week questions were raised about whether Quentin Bryce should excuse herself from the Governor-General’s role in the event of a hung parliament because of a conflict of interest. Bryce’s son-in-law, Bill Shorten, is a Labor MP likely to have a senior role in the Gillard government if it retains power.

more

Leslie Best Science Tweet Finalist

2010 Science Week’s Search for Australia’s Best Science Tweets

more

New Problem With No Name

The first problem with no name was uncovered in the 1960s by a feminist named Betty Friedan. Once named, the problem had a chance of having its parameters defined and negative consequences addressed.

more

Leslie in the Hot Seat on ABC TV’s Q & A

Watch Leslie chat with Presenter Tony Jones, the Chaser’s Craig Reucassel, Women’s Weekly editor Helen McCabe, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne on one of Australia’s most watched TV current affairs shows.

more

Talking About Rape

It’s the end of the footy season, so everyone’s talking about rape. Or, more specifically, about the young women who were so stupid as to put themselves in a position where they’d be raped, or be able to claim later that they were.

more

Why Women Don't Report Rape on The Circle

In a week where sexual assault allegations dogged yet more AFL footy players, Leslie chats with the panel about her own experience of sexual assault and what it taught her about why women don’t always report rape

more

Flu Jabs - Australia Needs to Do Better

A report into what went wrong with this year’s seasonal flu vaccine for kids deserves our attention. The West Australian Health Department’s Ministerial Review into the Public Health Response into the Adverse Events to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine sought to uncover the reason for “an alarming rise in adverse events following immunisation” that included vomiting, diarrhoea and febrile convulsions. Four weeks after the vaccination program began, Australia’s chief medical officer advised doctors across the country to stop giving the shot to children under five.

more

Who Has the Courage to Stand Up for State Schooling?

Are there big ideas in Australian politics any more? Or big politicians with big principles and the wit and courage to stand by – and for – them?

more

Can Doctors Say No to Providing Abortion Care?

The religious rights of a small group of medical professionals do not trump those held by the remainder of the citizenry.

more

Small-L Liberals Skewer Progressives on Horns of a Dilemma

Should progressive voters act to ensure the right side of politics is liberal, not conservative?

more

Tim Wilson Gives Leslie a Shout in The Age

He’s wrong, but that’s OK.

more

Why Negative Ads Don’t Work, but Sticking to Principle Does

It all comes down to Bentleigh, a Liberal strategist told me on Saturday night.

more

What the Lindy Chamberlain, Patsy Ramsey, Kate McCann & now Keli Lane Case Says About Us

Last week journalist Michael Duffy wrote that there was “a great disconnect” between “what we know [Keli Lane] did – even putting aside the murder allegation – and the fact that by literally all public accounts she was a normal, happy and sociable northern beaches girl with a supportive and loving family, a passion for sport, and a healthy social life”.

more

Did Jesus Have a Sister?

History is distressingly silent on the subject of the women in Jesus’ life

more

There’s No Shame in Being Too Posh to Push

Informed women have the right to choose their delivery method

more

Leslie Part of Twitterati?

The use by the Adelaide Advertiser of this image says they think so.

more

The Book of Rachael Eagerly Anticipated in 2011

Leslie’s first fiction work among those cited by the Sydney Morning Herald in what the paper says will be a bountiful year for book lovers.

more

Peter Carey & Leslie Cannold Among Draw Cards for Bellingen Writers Festival

Peter Carey agrees to be patron as excitement over inaugural Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival grows.

more

New Zealanders Eagerly Anticipating The Book of Rachael

The Sunday Star Times spruiks The Book of Rachael as one that “will intrigue those who enjoy a mix of speculation and spirituality.”

more

Good Review of the Australian Book of Atheism in the Oz

Check out the review, and the book, to which Leslie has contributed a chapter

more

Pre-Publication Review of Book of Rachael Just In …

… and it’s good! From Heather, at Fairfield books on Station.

more

Should Parents Allow Mixed Sex Sleepovers?

Mixed-sex sleepovers? Help!

more

Retrospective Legislation and Donor Conceived People

The danger with retrospective legislation, which some seek to identify sperm donors, lies in its potential for injustice.

more

Religiously Defending the Right to Remain Secular

This column is about lawlessness, and what your government is doing in your name. Or, more accurately, how it’s spending your money while dodging the oversight of Parliament in direct contravention of the law.

more

Shout from ABC Media Watch (the good kind)

Leslie breaths a sign of relief as her first appearance on Media Watch is for no more serious infraction than a mild case of bleeding heart. For details, you have to download the 21 February 2011 episode.

more

Memo Mr Baillieu: You're Not in Favour of Discrimination

In a piece in The Sunday Age, journalist Melissa Fyfe wonders whether conservatives or “archetypal left-wing” feminists like Leslie have much to celebrate in the early months of Victorian Premier Ted Ballieu’s reign

more

Why Women Don’t Always Support Other Women

A few months back I was a guest on a morning talk show. “Dr Cannold,” one of the hosts asked, “Why is it that older women often don’t support younger ones?”

more

Across Australia, Law Reform is Unfinished Business

The Age prints an edited version of Leslie’s Pamela Denoon lecture, delivered at the Australian National University 7 March 2011

more

We Can Only Wish Teen at Heart of Dikileaks Scandal Our Best

We are now entering the second year of the DikiLeaks scandal. The story began in February last year when St Kilda AFL player Sam Gilbert and other players attended a school clinic in Melbourne where they met a 16-year-old student. A month later, in another city while competing in an athletics competition, the girl hooked up with the players at a hotel. She had sex with one player and soon became Gilbert’s girlfriend.

more

Leslie's Q & A Tweets "Intelligent Missives"

Or so says The Big Issue. Check out their cover story on The Twitter Revolution

more

No Non-Violent Political Action Please. We’re Australian

Over the long weekend just past, there were several breakouts from the Christmas Island detention centre. Also, a 300 strong protest that officials said was a riot and quelled with beanbag rounds. Labor’s Immigration Minister Chris Bowen accused some of the asylum seekers of waging an “orchestrated campaign.”

more

Rave Review of Book of Rachael from The Bookshow

The Book of Rachael “captures the imagination”

more

ADF Facebook Racism Scandal - Leslie talks to 7News

Despite all their training, ADF soldiers old enough to know better have posted racist and insensitive comments on footage of them in Afghanistan.

more

Medical Refusal Rights Must be Regulated Before More Women Die

At best, unregulated conscientious objection is an accident waiting to happen. At worst, it is a sword wielded by the pious against the vulnerable with catastrophic results

more

Leslie’s Twitter Contribution to #DikiLeaks Scandal Noted by Sheenal Singh

A 17 year old girl posts nude photos of St Kilda Saints players, and Twitter – including @LeslieCannold – ask the hard questions.

more

Leslie One of a New Generation of Australian Public Intellectuals

They’re rare in Australia, but former minister and Victoria University inaugural vice-chancellor’s fellow Lindsay Tanner names Leslie as one of the new generation of Australian public intellectuals.

more

Readings Give Book of Rachael a Big Thumbs Up

The Book of Rachael is “Essentially a love story about courageous people. It is fastpaced and the narrative is superb.”

more

Mia Freedman & the Debate about Fat Acceptance

Mia Freedman’s ‘'If you have to ask, your bum does look big in that #rulesforlife’ set off a Twitter spat where many hurtful things were said. Leslie weighs in on what’s fair and foul in the controversy about body image

more

Book of Rachael Goes on Sale

Seven years in the making, The Book of Rachael went on sale today across the nation

more

Four stars for Book of Rachael from Oz Booksellers + Publishers

Hard to score, even harder to score well, the March edition of the influential Australian Booksellers + Publishers gives The Book of Rachael four stars

more

Eloise Keating's 5 Questions for Leslie about The Book of Rachael

Bookseller + Publisher’s intrepid reporter asks Leslie about the novel that imagines the life of Jesus’ youngest sister

more

Some Hard Questions from Readings about The Book of Rachael

Leslie Cannold, author of the critically acclaimed The Abortion Myth (2000) and What, No Baby? (2005), talks to Readings Monthly editorial assistant Phoebe Bond about her third book, and first work of fiction, The Book of Rachael. (Text, PB, $32.95, Ebook $19.95)

more

Panorama Reviews Book of Rachael

The Canberra Times magazine reviews The Book of Rachael.

more

Resurrecting the Lost Sister - Profile in the Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Novelist & journalist Jane Sullivan goes looking for the author The Book of Rachael

more

Live on 3ZZZ with Michael Zylberman

Leslie chats with Michael Zylberman about Atheism, Secularism and The Book of Rachael

more

The Courier Mail Reviews The Book of Rachael

Novelist and Adair Jones commends Leslie for “creating a rich fictional world in which her characters search for justice, love, and the way to forgiveness.”

more

ABC Darwin - The Guestroom

Leslie chats to Kate O'Toole about life, the universe and The Writing of The Book of Rachael

more

MTR Radio - They Don't Hire Women But They Interview Them

Leslie talks to MTR’s Steve Vizzard at 10:30 about *The Book of Rachael *

more

What If Jesus Had a Sister? - Sunday Herald Sun Review

Rachael of Nazareth is an extraordinary young woman. She is brave, independent and strong and lives in the world of 30AD.

more

Are Christians Really the Source of Oz Values?

It has become commonplace for the Australian Christian Lobby and some right-wing churches to claim Christianity is the source of Australian values. Tolerance, equality of opportunity and between genders, the fair go – yep, when it comes to these and other values Christians claim to have got there first.

more

ANZ LitLovers Compares The Book of Rachael to Atwood's Handmaid's Tale

This is, unquestionably, the best book I’ve read in ages. As you, my readers, know, I’ve read a lot of terrific books lately, but The Book of Rachael is splendid.

more

Lithograph in The King's Tribune

Circular Quay on a sunny autumn day is a thing of great beauty. The harbour ripples diamond azure like a silken sheet, framed by icons at every angle. For all the cheesy postcards, the clichés and fatigued promotional footage, on the right day and with the right brain it is hard to imagine there is anywhere on Earth more sublime. Add to that a great big fuck-off platter of fresh seafood and the presence of an utterly enchanting media celebrity ethicist and your humble scribe is elevated to a plane of nirvana that losers like the Dalai Lama will never reach.

more

Life Matters Interview on The Book of Rachael

Whether you’re religious or not, the life and times of Jesus Christ is a fascinating subject

more

Vogue's Required Reading Includes Rachael (and that bad boy Judah Iscariot)

What if Jesus of Nazareth had a sister? And what is she were a bright girl forced by virtue of her gender into a life of servitude? And what if she hooked up with the wrong bloke? Many years ago Leslie Cannold a watched a BBC documentary about Jesus which arguee that he may have had a sister (and not a brother called Brian). The Book of Rachael (Text Publishing, $32.95) took seven years to write and imagines that Rachael siter of “Joshua of Nazareth” falls in love with bad boy “Judah of Iscariot”.

more

Sydney Writer's Centre asks Leslie to Advise Developing Writers

Listen to the podcast or read the transcript of an extended interview that offers developing writers tips on getting published

more

I'm Supporting the Hotels with Heart campaign - are you?

Leslie joins hotel workers to celebrate their win against unfair working conditions at the Hilton. Next stop, the rest of the hotel industry in Melbourne. But the workers can’t win without you.

more

CityKat Talks about Abortion and Gives Leslie a Nod

Sigh. Somebody give me a martini and a room full of drunken celebrities and then we’ll see whose ‘private’ lifestyle choices are actually worth reporting.

more

Leslie Co-hosts Jon Faine's Conversation Hour

Tune in to hear Jon, Leslie, Andrew Fowler, the author of The Most Dangerous Man in the World and Stephanie Alexander talking about a new grant for the kitchen gardens.

more

Age Review - The Gospel According to the Long-Lost Sister

The writers who come to mind are David Maine and Frederick Buechner as well as the New Zealander, C.K. Stead, whose find book My name was Judas moves in territory close to that of Leslie Cannold. This kind of creativity is precisely what sacred texts invite…

more

Values of Easter and Passover Go Beyond Faith

Passover and Easter are upon us. While the precise timing of each festival is dictated by different calendars (Passover the lunar one and Easter by the Gregorian one) both commemorate emerging values in an ancient world. Values like liberty and equality that are also hallmarks of secular ethical frameworks in the contemporary western world.

more

Leslie talks to Stu in China about Rachael

Leslie talks to China-based Stu about Rachael The line sounds like an intestine but a great chat nonetheless.

more

Leslie's Acceptance Speech for Humanist of the Year Award

The Age’s Michael Bachelard covers Leslie’s acceptance of Humanist of the Year Award.

more

Leslie made 2011 Australian Humanist of the Year

In selecting Leslie Cannold for this year’s award, The Council of Australian Humanist Societies are expressing their admiration for Leslie’s forthright views on such controversial issues as advocacy of abortion rights for women, family planning and access to assisted reproductive technologies.

more

Melbourne Weekly Profile on Leslie & The Good Book

AS a social commentator (among the many other caps she wears), Leslie Cannold doesn’t shy away from controversy – she welcomes it. So it’s no surprise that her first novel, The Book of Rachael, is about the women of Nazareth – in particular, the sister of Jesus. Spend five minutes with Cannold, best known as an outspoken commentator on women’s reproductive rights, and it becomes clear that her passion for giving a voice to worthwhile causes extends to those who lived 2000 years ago, a time when she says women ‘‘were treated like animals’’.

more

Leslie talks to Father Bob and John Safran

Listen to actors Kasia Kaczmarek and Zahra Newman, discussing ethnic casting in Australian theatre and to Father Bob talking to Leslie & raving about The Book of Rachael. Chat with Leslie starts at 57 minutes 20 seconds in.

more

The Weekly Review on The Book of Rachael

Leslie Cannold was perplexed. Among all the documents, internet sites and books she read about the life of Jesus, there was no mention of his sisters. Even the New Testament gospels proved unhelpful.

more

She was a Q & A Tweet Screen Star

Q&A attracts up to 20,000 tweets an episode, more than ABC staff can read.

more

Leslie is there as #Osamadead story unfolds on Twitter

Read how the story of Osama bin Laden’s death unfolded on social media and the small role Leslie had in it

more

Fighting for the Right to be Equally Mediocre

A feminist is a person who believes the world should be gender-blind. Feminists believe that women – 51 per cent of the population – should be distributed throughout all levels of society in proportion to their numbers.

more

The Truth about Random Acts of Corporate Kindness

Leslie tells The Age that the profit motive is behind random acts of corporate kindness

more

It's Time to Deny ACCESS to our Children

Last week, Victorians were rocked by explosive revelations that ACCESS Ministries – the group that provides around 97 per cent of school chaplains and scripture volunteers in Victorian schools – has been using its privileged position in governments schools to “make disciples” of children as young as five.

more

Verity La Unearths The Hidden Books

Alec Patric interviews Leslie for this gem of a literary blog

more

The ugly face of child beauty pageants

Do an internet search on “child beauty pageant” but be prepared. Not just to be depressed by images of overblown, cap-toothed, heavily made-up under-fives but the obvious yet rarely commented upon fact that all these kids are girls.

more

Book of Rachael Compared to Red Tent & Year of Wonders

Mamamia reviews The Book of Rachael. And the verdict is well good.

more

The Best Episode of 2011 of Australia's Top Rated Show Q & A

The panel at the Sydney Writer’s Festival on Q & A – one of Australia' top-rated shows – was widely seen as the best of 2011. Leslie in her role as author of The Book of Rachael joined Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Hours; Brendan Cowell, writer and actor Howard Jacobson, winner of the Man Booker Prize for The Finkler Question and Pornland Author Gail Dines for a feisty and enthralling episode covering everything from pornography and sex to Israel and the power of words

more

The Joy of Conversing with Richard Fidler

He’s perhaps the nicest man on radio, and Leslie had the pleasure of chatting to him for an hour about The Book of Rachael and all other manner of things

more

Leslie on Catholic Hospitals refusing contraceptive advice to cancer trial participants

Doctors at Newcastle’s Calvary Mater Hospital recruiting patients into clinical trials involving a drug derived from thalidomide, a drug known to cause serious birth defects, have been prevented from giving patients information about contraception.

more

Leslie Wins an EVA for Reporting on Rape

The EVAs’s reward reporters who report responsibly on violence against women. In 2011, Leslie won the EVA for Best Opinion for her piece “There are many reasons women don’t report rape” on the media coverage of sexual violence by elite athletes in the AFL and her own experience of sexual assault.

more

Perilous Adventure a fan of The Book of Rachael

Historical fiction is a curious genre. In some sense, the pleasures of reading historical fiction are similar to those we gain from reading fiction set in exotic landscapes. The thrill of seeing men and women living lives in such different circumstances to our own. At times, historical fiction can become a kind of decorative art: more concerned with the mise en scene of bodices and buckram than the exploration of characters and lives, either fictional or non-fictional. Not all historical fiction is alike: some works use history as a backdrop, inventing characters and stories, like the hugely successful historical works of Sarah Waters (Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet). Others take historical figures as a leaping off point, imagining into the gaps in the record, such as Geraldine Brooks (Year of Wonders, Caleb’s Crossing), or A S Byatt, whose The Children’s Book is something of a reimagining of the life of children’s author Edith Nesbitt. Still others seek to place more or less well-known historical figures at the centre of their stories, humanising and particularising their lives while aiming to stick, more or less, to the facts. Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, for example, or Philipa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl.

more

The Book of Rachael

What if the man you loved betrayed your brother? Two thousand years ago, as a charismatic young preacher from Nazareth was gathering followers among the people of Galilee, his sister swept floors and dreamed of learning to read. In Leslie Cannold’s story, it is the women of Nazareth who take centre stage.

more

The Myth of the Lying Victim - The case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn

By anyone’s estimates, the rate of sexual assault in Australia is high. In 2010, the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recorded 80 victims per 100,000.

more

Leslie discusses The Myth of the Lying Victim with Louise Maher

The real fall-out from the Dominique Strauss- Kahn affair won’t be known until the matter is resolved in court.

more

Leslie Co-Hosts The Conversation Hour with Raphael Epstein

Rafael Epstein was in the hot seat today, filling in for Jon Faine, and he was ably assisted by co-host Dr Leslie Cannold, ethicist, author of The Book of Rachael and columnist.

more

The Opinionator Rides Again - Leslie returns to Vizzard Show on MTR

Leslie takes to the air again with Vizard fill-in Luke Grant to talk about News of the World and the facebook beat-up about hijabs

more

Time for a Reality Check - It's not all about you

WE WANT it all ways and we’re terribly entitled. Yet many of us want to be inspired, and led, to something better. How else to explain that we, or political pundits on our behalf, cry out for political leadership yet – in the same breath – wax indignant that politicians aren’t doing what the majority demands.

more

News without Ethics: Media the Murdoch Way

Fish rot from the head down. So do unethical businesses and corrupt societies. This is as true when the fish is an unethical business as one of the arm of liberal democratic government – executive, judicial or legislative. It is also true of the fourth estate or free press, the often forgotten power-centre that is the key to a functioning democracy.

more

Gender-Bending on 774 Melbourne with Alan Brough

The role of masculinity today, can it stretch beyond loving the car and drinking beer? Can you be a home father and a ‘masculine’ provider? Damon Young starts off the conversation, which adds Leslie in at the point where Alan tells the story of a woman at his gym who has recently become a man and a number of people are uncomfortable with him going into the men’s changing area because he doesn’t have a penis but he identifies as a man.

more

Would we judge Top Cop Nixon any differently if she were a man?

I admired Christine Nixon throughout her nine-year tenure as Victoria’s chief commissioner of police and then head of Victoria’s Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority. Recently, we were on the same flight to Queensland. While disembarking, I tapped her on the shoulder, introduced myself, and told her so.

more

Harry Potter and the Courage it takes to be that First Follower

As anyone who has followed my writings over the years knows, I cry easily. Which is why to those folks it will come as no surprise that the latest and final instalment of the Harry Potter film epic – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – made me cry. Not shuddering sobs but tears of joyful satisfaction. Here’s the reason.

more

NZ Herald on Sunday cheers The Book of Rachael

The Book of Rachael By Leslie Cannold (Text NZ$40)

more

Lip Mag gives Book of Rachael a "strong woman" shout

Most readers could name a book that changed their life. For many women, it will be a book that got them thinking about the kind of woman they wanted to be, and they probably read it during a time of major change in their life. These are the books that are more influence than entertainment.

more

Leslie Talks Women and Media Ethics at Byron Bay

If you missed the festival, listen to Leslie discuss

more

According to some, the problem with the media is YOU

Last weekend I chaired a session at the Byron Bay Writers' Festival in which ABC Radio presenter and newspaper columnist Phillip Adams, Network Ten’s Charlie Pickering and Fairfax columnist and ABC presenter Richard Glover gave an overflowing audience their views on the future of an ethical media. I was also privy to the thoughts and occasional confessions of three other journalists on this issue. Here are some points on what I was told:

more

How Women Stood up for Themselves and Changed the Law of Abortion

Watch a good yarn about what Leslie and other activist, providers, medicos, the media and politicians of all persuasions did to remove abortion from the Victorian Crimes Act in 2008, and learn what you can do to reform the law of abortion in your state or country.

more

Leslie's Big Ideas on Abortion Law Reform and Unregulated Conscientious Objection

Watch Leslie’s Pamela Denoon Lecture at ANU, recorded by ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas

more

A "Radical" Look at Female Power

The Hume Weekly covers Leslie’s upcoming talk for the Hume City Council.

more

Don't Let Disability Scheme Be Yesterday's News

Just more than two weeks ago, the Australian government announced its commitment to introducing a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

more

Why Women Have "Late-Term" Abortions

Late-term abortions are sought for many reasons – rarely ones that are trivial, despite what the pro-life lobby says.

more

Leslie joins Chaser's Dom Knight and John Barron on The Drum

In this episode, John Barron speaks to former Liberal adviser Richard Muller, The Chaser’s Dom Knight, novelist/ethicist Dr Leslie Cannold, as well as the author of An Unwinnable War, SBS correspondent Karen Middleton.

more

The Tweeting Truth (according to Leslie) in the ASA Mag

Forget the cliches. Twitter is an essential tool for Writers because it is the easiest way to raise one’s profile and engage with readers.

more

Line between censors and sensibility a clear one

You cannot learn from books you’ll never read or be inspired by ads you’ll never see.

more

Time to weigh anchor on Australa

The most compelling argument for bipartisanship on boat arrival policy is that we could finally stop talking about the issue and deal with something else.

more

What Does Occupy Wall Street Protesters want? Listen & you'll learn

Occupy Wall Street – a street rally of disenfranchised Americans in New York City’s financial district – is going off like a frog in a sock.

more

Court takes stand on decency in Bolt Racial Discrimination Case

The Federal Court finds Australia’s shock jock of the written word guilty of violating the Racial Discrimination Act.

more

The Fat And Skinny Of Desiring Your Spouse

My Fat Spouse is the brainchild of an American body-builder named Chris. As the title suggests, the MFS website is a space where presumably slim spouses can bitch and worry about fat ones, as well as trade practical tips for “coping”.

more

Crikey's Charles Richardson's Election Shout for Leslie

In his wrap of the 2010 Victorian state election, Richardson cites Leslie in his look at Baillieu’s future

more

Leslie Notes the Gender Inequity of the Tourism Australia Beauty Contest

A beauty pageant pitched as a tourism promotion has been described as an inappropriate way of selling our country.

more

We ought to worry about Australia's Democratic Decline

There’s been much talk recently about a decline in the ‘'civility’‘ of our public debate. This follows a long period of anxiety about ’‘values’‘ and disgruntlement about ’‘spin’‘, and – if I’m reading the tea leaves right – will soon give way to sustained fretting about what our Prime Minister recently called the ’‘Americanisation’‘ of Australian politics.

more

We need to reform Australia's rape laws

Judicial processes that are fair don’t always deliver fair outcomes

more

What do Occupy Sydney and Melbourne Want?

What do Occupy Sydney and Occupy Melbourne want? Now in its 65th day, the protest against corporate greed and its effects on the 99 per cent is under pressure. Some dismiss the Melbourne movement as a front for the ‘'Trots’‘ – socialist and Marxist splinter groups that have been around for yonks. Others see their preoccupation with legal skirmishes over the right to occupy public space as a distraction from articulating the movement’s aims to a sceptical public.

more

That Poor Little Israeli Girl & the Cost to Secular Democracies of Religious Extremism

Last week in Israel, a news story shocked the nation. It concerned Naama Margolis, an Orthodox Jewish girl, who was shown crying and quaking at the prospect of taking the 800-metre walk from her home to school.

more

Melinda Tankard Reist Sues (#MTRsues) A Hot Hashtag on Twitter

Leslie was oft-quoted in the news media when academic and blogger Jennifer Wilson made public a threat by conservative Christian activist Melinda Tankard Reist to sue her for defamation.

more

Philosopher Damon Young Agrees with Leslie that Gender Equity Matters

In the wake of Leslie’s controversial article on the unacceptable concessions made to the religious of women’s rights, Philosopher Damon Young concurs with Leslie’s views that gender rights must prevail

more

Leslie gets shout in Sydney Morning Herald piece on The King's Tribune

They said it couldn’t be done, but Jane and Jazzy are doing it – making a new Australian magazine sing and fly. Leslie gets a shout in a well-deserved piece on the surprising success of *The King’s Tribune *

more

Leslie's ideas on Democratic Decline feature on ABC TV's The Drum

Leslie joins fellow guests and former Liberal and Labor politicians Bruce Baird and John Della Bosca with Steve Cannane on ABC TV News 24’s The Drum.

more

Chris Brown "Slap Tweets" Announce Next Gen of Victims

THE tweets were reactions to Chris Brown’s appearance at the Grammy Awards. All were variations on a theme: domestic violence.

more

The Name Game Leaves Many Men to Blame

Why do women take their partner’s surnames when they marry? Why, even where a woman keeps her own name, does she follow tradition and give her offspring his surname instead of hers?

more

In China or the West - Look for the Power in Industrial Matters

“Look for the power.” I don’t know if this was the first lesson my sociology professor taught me but it’s the one I most remember. If you want to know why the world looks as it does, follow the power.

more

Legal bind mean no decent end to suffering for incurably ill

SARA MONOPOLI, a non-smoker, was 34 years old – and 39 weeks pregnant – when diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Alan Rosendorff, 56, was a successful lawyer and strapping bloke who swam kilometres in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay to keep fit, when he learnt his recently diagnosed stomach cancer had metastasised.

more

Barking Mad - Puppies and Toddlers in an Intolerant Land

This is the full text of the column, with my farewell and thanks to Moral Maze readers

more

Disappearing Act of the Soul That's So Hard to Bear

A column about Dying with Dignity in memory to Hilda Abramson, Leslie’s grandmother

more

Regulation, Consultation and Divergent Community Views

Peer Reviewed Article co-authored by Lyn Gillam published in Journal of Law and Medicine

more

Leslie on the 7:30 Report talking fetal birth certificates

In a cynical move, anti-choice party Family First in SA is backing one woman’s quest to amend a law in ways that could have negative repercussions for every South Australian women’s right to choose.

more

Leslie has tea with Libbi Gorr on ABC Radio 774

On Easter Sunday Libbi and Leslie chat about Dads, the Craig Thomson affair and drug decriminalisation.

more

Leslie on Weekend Sunrise talking ethics of IVF & Sex-selection

Britain’s trailblazing gay dads make their desire of for child number six to be female – and their intention to use IVF/PGD to achieve it – public. In this segment on Weekend Sunrise, Leslie raises concerns about the consumerist frivolity of sex selection, until equality of access has been won for less well-off, single and gay couples to IVF/PGD to do what is was created for – help infertile couples have kids and avoid the birth of children with hereditary health problems.

more

Fairfax Covers's Leslie's Speech at The Celebration of Reason

JERRY deWitt ‘'came out’‘ a few months ago. It cost him his job, and nearly his house, but he could not be happier because he feels he has regained his integrity.

more

To Publish - or to e-publish?

Years after this piece was published, Harvard has joined my call for academics to reclaim their scholarship.

more

Crikey! Leslie on Media Ethics in Slipper-Ashby case

Slipper, the staffer and the journalist: how close is too close?

more

Leslie, Aly & Wright Feature as Celebrity Academics

Celebrity academics – on the rise or the wane? And is that term fair, or is a better one public intellectual? Clare Wright, Walid Aly and Leslie feature in The Age’s feature piece by author and freelance journo Liz Porter.

more

Leslie joins IPA's Patterson & and Mumble's Brent on ABC TV's The Drum

In this segment, Leslie and Peter question the Institute of Public Affair’s Patterson’s view that the society = the economy, and that what’s good for business is what’s good for society.

more

Leslie on the Life-Changing Value of Contraception to the World's Poorest Women

Leslie writes in The Age about her experience “live tweeting” the Family Planning Summit, one of the modern world’s most important development initiatives.

more

Young Women Shocked by Chivalry? - Leslie explains why

Is chivalry so foreign to Gen-Y women that they can’t recognise it when they see it? Apparently so.

more

The Answer to Pay Equity - Cross Dressing!

Leslie in Jenna Price’s wicked column on the Pie Problem

more

Why you need to know what you don't know to write well

In the lead-up to the Mudgee Writer’s Festival, Leslie chats to Dugald Saunders on why you need to know what you don’t know to write well.

more

A mature debate is OK - Leslie quoted on the Second Sexism

DAVID Benatar knew what was coming. In the preface to his new book The Second Sexism, the South African professor attempted to get in first. ‘'It is worth pre-empting the joke that a book about discrimination against males must be a very short book,’‘ he wrote.

more

Hoopla Splashes with the "Let's End the Stigma" Flashmob 2012 Campaign

Leslie explains what the registration of RU486 means, and invites those in Melbourne to join the “Let’s End the Stigma" Flashmob.

more

Leslie on Weekend Sunrise with Rev Bill Crews & Marion Maddox

On the day after violent protests in Sydney over the Innocence of Muslim videos, Leslie & other moderates talk about the limited popular support enjoyed by the Australian Christian Lobby, and the importance of acting to protect the secular state.

more

Leslie's Courageous & Inspiring TEDx Video Goes Live

“I had an abortion, or maybe I didn’t”. In this challenging talk, given to a sold-out audience at Tedx Canberra on 8 September 2012 , Leslie takes us on a 360 around shame. She asks us to question our most deeply held assumptions and prejudices about one of the world’s safest and most common medical procedures.

more

How Sexist is Australian Politics? Melanie Tait & Leslie discuss on ABC Overnights

This week Federal Parliament erupted with claims and counter claims of misogyny and sexism after Prime Minsiter Julia Gillard’s speech on the subject. As Gillard’s slap-down the misogyny speech went global, Melanie Tait spoke to Dr Leslie Cannold, a bioethicist and Senior Lecturer at the Monash Institute of Health Services Research and an author and columnist about what it all means.

more

Leslie on Alan Jones vs the Cyber-bullies in The Drum

The power of the internet has let David have his day with Goliath in the Jones affair. But power corrupts no matter who wields it – a media mogul or a citizen group,

more

Lance Armstrong & Why Cheaters Shouldn't Prosper

Leslie’s Opinion piece in ABC Online’s The Drum

more

Gillard's Misogyny Speech - What Have We Learned?

The dust may finally have settled on the gender debate sparked by Alan Jones’s ‘'destroy the joint’‘ comment and the viral spread of the Prime Minister’s misogyny speech.

more

Dangerous Remedy & the Heroism of the 1st Abortion Rights Activists

Last week, I sat down with an activist colleague to watch the latest dramatic offering from ABC1, Dangerous Remedy.

more

Making Decision About Fertility in Australian Family Physician

Peer reviewed article co-authored by Danielle Mazza, Cate Nagle, Fiona McKay, Bianca Brijnath

more

Leslie Warns Against Commericial Surrogacy

Australia should legalise commercial surrogacy to stop the exploitation of poor women and protect the legal status of children caught up in the booming overseas surrogacy trade, according to the Chief Federal Court Magistrate.

more

Women, Ectogenesis and Ethical Theory in the Journal of Applied Philosophy

Published 1995 in the Journal of Applied Philosophy 12(1): 56-64

more

Making the Wrong Moves on the Rights of the Unborn

Leslie quoted in Punch piece on relentless pursuit of fetal manslaughter laws by anti-choice Oz pollies

more

Catholic Hospitals Put Human Rights Push at Risk

CATHOLIC hospitals fear patients will use new anti-discrimination laws to demand abortions, vasectomies and IVF treatments now banned for religious reasons.

more

Does Australia Need A National Integrity Day?

Two young Australian reporters refuse to reveal their sources and face jail for contempt of court. A former customs official is convicted for leaking reports about security breaches at Sydney Airport to the media. Allegations of undue interference in a police investigation of a young woman’s rape by an AFL footballer are vindicated, but still no charges are laid.

more

Uncovered Meat Moments and Prisoner X

The Prisoner X case has raised questions about where Australian Jews' loyalties ultimately lie. Jewish leaders shouldn’t let a teachable moment go to waste.

more

"Is it right to Judge?" Friday Talkback on ABC RN Life Matters

Join Leslie, Michael Jenson and academic Patrick Stokes on ABC RN’s Life Matters Friday talk-back with the sparkling Natasha Mitchell to look at the rights and wrongs of judging others, and why being judged – but not judging – tends to hurt.

more

Leslie joins PM Julia Gillard on list of Melbourne's Most Influential Women

As the world acknowledges the triumphs and tribulations of women on International Women’s Day 2013 this Friday, Alana Schetzer shines the spotlight on Melbourne’s most influential females

more

What "Miracle Babies" Might Mean for Abortion Rights

Premature babies may now have a greater chance at life, but we shouldn’t let this welcome development be co-opted by anti-choice legislators & campaigners

more

Topless Bars - Should there be a law?

Catch my chat on 2ser on whether topless bars really do attract tradesmen and whether – and how much – the oppress women.

more

The "Droolia" Dog Toy: Sexist Attack on PM Gillard or Just A Laugh?

In the wake of Leslie’s contribution to this Daily Telegraph piece on the Droolia toy, Leslie spoke to several 2UE presenters throughout the day – among them Sara and Dicko on the morning show, on the double-bind faced by women leaders across the globe.

more

Abortion Law Reform in Tassie - Leslie on Triple J Hack

Leslie talks to Triple J about Tasmania’s flawed attempt to decriminalise abortion and the admirable effort of Labor Health Minister Michelle Byrne to pass the first law reform bill that provides a harassment-free exclusion zone around clinics.

more

When 17 yr old's refuse life-saving treatment - Leslie talks to Mamamia

A 17-year-old Jehovah’s Witness – known only as ‘X’ – is being forced to have a blood transfusion, after the NSW Supreme Court ruled that the teenager must undergo the potentially lifesaving procedure.

more

Sexist Men & 30 per cent

Check out an excerpt in Crikey from Leslie’s contribution to to Destroying the Joint, edited by Jayne Caro and published by QUP.

more

Should medical abortion be subsidised on the PBS - Leslie on ABC Radio

Leslie spoke to 3 ABC Radio at 9:05 and The Drive Show with Raphael Epstein at 3:05 about the expected recommendation by PBAC that the Government place medical abortion drugs on the PBS for public subsidy

more

Paid Leave for Organ Donation Needs Monitoring

One of Australia’s leading medical ethicists says the Federal Government’s trial program of paid leave for organ donation will need to be carefully monitored.

more

Leslie speaks on Future Politicians Segment of SYN FM

Leslie speaks to Broede on SYN, a youth-run media org that provides training & broadcast opportunities for young people.

more

Leslie Guest-Tweets Lateline

Leslie is a regular Guest-Tweeter on one of ABC TV’s flagship news programs – Lateline.

more

Women, Leadership & Gillard's "Murderous Rage"

Leslie chats with Join Leslie as she talks to Joseph Thomsen on ABC North East about the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and team-building approaches to supporting women to gain the support they need to be effective and inspirational.

more

Leslie tells SBS online: 23andMe Patent Huge Worry

Leslie talks to SBS Journalist Chiara Pizzano about the coming dystopia of “designer babies.”

more

Why the Man who said Sheryl Sandberg's Vision of Diversity is Unachievable is Wrong

Last week, Women’s Agenda published an article titled ‘Why this man says Sheryl Sandberg’s vision for diversity isn’t achievable’. The author, Chris Golis, is a London Business School graduate who spent 30 years as a company director. In what might have been a ham-fisted attempt to promote his “third career as professional speaker and workshop leader on practical emotional intelligence,” Golis took aim at what he described as the “genetic” unsuitability of women for leadership. In reply to Sandberg’s question about why women are still not running “half [the world’s] countries and companies”, Golis proffered what he acknowledged was his opinion on how one “become[s] a leader in a large organisation.”

more

Sunday Extra with Leslie, Chris Berg & Alistair Sinclair

Damien Carrick sits in for Jon Green to discuss Green Pollie Adam Bandt’s Tweet and when it’s OK to talk about Climate Change and Bob Carr’s not-so-surprising resignation

more

Why Oz Pollies Need to Manage Their Conflicts of Interest

In the wake of newly elected businessman Clive Palmer’s comments about conflict of interest, Leslie weighs in on The Drum.

more

Leslie Co-hosts Conversation Hour with Jon Faine

Leslie helps Jon interview author and columnist Peter Fitzsimmons and utterly delightful Jordan Lang.

more

The Well: Will There Always Be Outcasts?

Leslie’s piece on making outcasts and the importance of belonging published in The Well

more

Cosmos: Climate Science and Why Fear Didn't Work

Scientists need to listen to marketing professionals on how to get across the message on climate change and effect real change, writes Leslie Cannold.

more

Every Book Deserves a Soundtrack. Now, the Book of Rachael has one

This backing track feature appeared on the Large-Hearted Boy website.

more

Prestigious US Publisher's Weekly raves about The Book of Rachael

If Jesus had a sister, what might have her story been? Australian Cannold (The Abortion Myth) turns her attention to an obscure corner of history: the role of women in patriarchal Roman society and Jewish culture during the early years of Christianity. Foreshadowing Jesus’s anti-establishment views, Cannold imagines that he has a sister, Rachael, a tomboy who tries to defy social restrictions on women. Readers accompany her through her successes and failures navigating the patriarchal world that seeks to define her as a wife and mother. Cannold develops Rachael as a well-rounded, independent, and morally complex character who is not solely defined by her relationships with men. Even though the second half of the story revolves around her brother Jesus (as Joshua) and her husband Judah (as Judas), Rachael remains the focal point of the familiar story as it plays out. Rachael’s tragedy is not merely the fact that her brother was martyred and that her husband the Messiah’s traitor, but also that she was not allowed to be what she wanted to be. Cannold offers a thought-provoking, heartfelt, and tragic but redemptive tale about the difficulties of discovering and defining one’s identity in a world that seeks unendingly to take that decision away. (Dec.)

more

If The Book of Rachael was a movie, who should play Rachael?

A speculative blog by Marshal Zeringue to coincide with the novel’s US debut

more

We will be able to reverse the ageing process, but should we?

It’s only a matter of time before we can reverse the ageing process. Question is – should we?Leslie talks to ABC Victoria about scientific boons and quandaries at 8:50am.

more

Leslie on Gene Science: Society Must Regulate What Happens in Lab

Bioethicists have raised the red flag over an American patent for a method that could allow people to choose genetic traits like eye colour in children sired from donor eggs or sperm.

more

Leslie and her Labrador Learn about Judging & Being Judgemental

Many unsavoury items wash up along the foreshore. I know because my Labrador decided to sample some on a recent trip to the beach. She then proceeded to vomit and excrete them on what turned out to be a long walk home.

more

Leslie, Paul Sheehan & Cassandra Wilkenson on ABC TV's The Drum

On this first episode back after the 2013-2014 holiday period, Leslie, Paul and Cassandra talk about alcohol-fuelled violence; another major security breach leaves American shoppers exposed and Christian conservative Senator Cory Bernardi’s book.

more

Leslie' Advice to Australia's Next Female PM

Leslie joins Jane Caro and Natasha Stott-Despoja among others in considering the take-aways from Julia Gillard’s tenure as Australia’s first female PM and suggesting ways forward for the next generation of women leaders.

more

Leslie on the BBB Executives who turned a blind eye to Saville

Leslie speaks to ABC NSW Statewide Drive’s Chris Coleman on BBC Executives turning a blind eye to Saville.

more

Bonchek Adams Controversy a Tweeting Shame

Now is the time for informed debate on patient choices.

more

Leslie in The Age: How to Smooth the Way for Australia's Next Female PM

This weekend marks six months since Julia Gillard stepped down from the highest office in the land. With International Women’s Day on the horizon, it is timely to reflect on Gillard’s rise and fall.

more

Leslie Talks to ABC 720 Perth about Assisted Suicide

An older man with cancer kicked off a nation-wide debate in Perth about the right to die. Presenter Geoff Huchison followed up with Leslie the next day and the story of Lynda, whose young daughter struggles with bi-polar and also wants the freedom to access medical assistance to end her life.

more

Mental Health Reform - Why Victoria is the State to Watch

Victoria’s new Mental Health Act will move it from the back of the human rights bus to a leader in individually-empowering patient care

more

Opting-Out? Off-Ramping? Why women are really leaving paid work

Words like “desire” and “choice” might be poor ways to describe circumscribed career moves that mothers make when trying to factor in childcare, writes Leslie Cannold.

more

A Grand Example of a Perfect Role Model

A FEW years ago a child I know walked into an interview for a coveted scholarship place at a competitive high school. Things were going well until the panel asked the 13-year-old to name a person she most admired. ‘'But,’‘ they stipulated, ’‘it can’t be either of your parents.’'

more

Live Below the Line or Wear a Dress - Making a Difference & Development Aid

We don’t have to wait for Australian governments to act in the national interest when it comes to foreign development aid. We can do something to help our nearest neighbours now

more

Do you want to help overweight kids, or just insult them?

We need a positive message to give children the gift of good health, writes Leslie Cannold.

more

Leslie talks vaccination, reality and Rolf Harris on ABC TV Moral Compass

Geraldine Doogue debates the hot-button moral, ethical and religious controversies of our day in this smart and entertaining Compass series. Joined by a panel of experts they’ll work out which way their moral compass is pointing on the controversies and dilemmas of our time – big and small – through the prism of faith and ethics.

more

Egg Freezing - Workplace Revolution or Throwing up the White Flag?

In the wake of Apple and Facebook’s decision to fund egg-freezing for female employees, Leslie urges men to pursue active fatherhood and help women catalyse the workplace revolution we have to have.

more

Medical Refusal Rights: Why pregnant women have them, too

A pregnant Sydney woman died after refusing treatment that may have saved her unborn baby. It’s a distressing choice, but the alternative could be just as troubling

more

The Time for Women is NOW

The campaign for gender equity needs bold ideas, powerful technology and the potent rage of a new generation

more

Leslie and Professor Peter Singer on ABC Radio's Nightlife

In the wake of The School of Life Melbourne and the NGV’s sold out conversation between Professor Peter Singer and Leslie, the two appear on the ABC to discuss Effective Altruism.

more

"Baby Steps to be Welcomed": Leslie on Pope's Forgiveness of Women who Have Abortions

Leslie tells The World Today that while she doesn’t believe women who have abortions require forgiveness as they haven’t done anything wrong, the Pope’s decision to allow Priests to forgive Catholic women who have abortions in the Jubilees year, could be meaningful to some Catholic women. For that reason, it is to be welcomed.

more

How do you like your Eggs? Leslie talks to 3CR Breakfast about Egg Freezing

Leslie speaks to Mitch on 2CR’s morning show about how a young, healthy women’s decision to freeze her eggs is an understandable response to an imperfect world.

more

Is Malcolm Turnbull the Next Lady MacBeth?

The ambitions of men and women in politics are still treated differently. Look at Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop

more

Divorce - Because you deserve it

I caught up with a girlfriend in New York recently. She gave me a rundown on the lives of those with whom we’d gone to school. “She’s divorced”, was a description attached to many, though I was struck by the implicit judgment that came with my friend’s sad face and sigh. As if divorce was evidence of a failure of character and proof of a life lived less well.

more

Ugly selfies are all about girls trusting other girls

*When girls meet feminism in a toxic culture of appearance, ugly selfies are the result *

more

The Law Ain't Enough to Stop Cheaters from Prospering

The scripture debate is distracting us from the simple truth that all kids need to be taught ethics at school

more

Leslie's Tedx Talk Passes 30,000 views

As Leslie’s Tedx Talk on abortion stigma nears 30,000 views and has been featured on Speakola, and in the run-up to her 6 minutes on stage in Copenhagen at the Global Women Deliver conference, she provides the transcript and the link to the video here.

more

Abortion is still "technically illegal" in New South Wales

Back in 1900, a group of politicians sat down and drafted up a set of laws to govern the Australian state of New South Wales. One can only assume they were wearing wigs. And there were, of course, things they decided weren’t acceptable in polite, turn-of-the-century society. Probably a lot of stuff about stealing another man’s horse.

more

Protesting Oz Census 2016: What Legal Experts Say

I spoke to some people at Liberty Victoria and a number of civil liberty, human rights and non-governmental organisations about the law in regard to Census 2016 and the potential ramifications of boycotting or protesting the threats posed to individual privacy. The advice I got is below. I hope this helps you to make an informed choice about whether and how to protest the Census.

more

What if Men Got Pregnant - Leslie Live in Denmark at #WD2016

If men got pregnant, would abortion be a sacrament? Spend 9 minutes with Leslie and find out.

more

Was the Ancient Persian Queen Vashti the 1st Feminist?

Join Leslie and a range of Jewish writers and feminist academics interviewed by the wonderful Hannah Reich on what Queen Vashti’s story reveals about how women are written in and out of history and how we we can make best use of the power and choices we have.

more

Email: leslie@cannold.com Mobile: 0417 114 859 Fax: +61 3 9348 2015 - PO Box 1337, St Kilda South VIC 3182 Australia