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.
Is vegetarianism and veganism about animal welfare or moral superiority?
*Leslie Cannold for the Ethics Centre*
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
Ugly selfies are all about girls trusting other girls
*When girls meet feminism in a toxic culture of appearance, ugly selfies are the result *
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.
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*
The Time for Women is NOW
The campaign for gender equity needs bold ideas, powerful technology and the potent rage of a new generation
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
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.
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
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.’’
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.
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
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.
Bonchek Adams Controversy a Tweeting Shame
Now is the time for informed debate on patient choices.
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.
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.
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.)
Every Book Deserves a Soundtrack. Now, the Book of Rachael has one
This backing track feature appeared on the Large-Hearted Boy website.
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.
The Well: Will There Always Be Outcasts?
Leslie's piece on making outcasts and the importance of belonging published in *The Well*
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lance Armstrong & Why Cheaters Shouldn't Prosper
Leslie's Opinion piece in ABC Online's The Drum
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,
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.
To Publish - or to e-publish?
Years after this piece was published, Harvard has [joined my call](http://bit.ly/I4SSHe) for academics to reclaim their scholarship.
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We need to reform Australia's rape laws
*Judicial processes that are fair don't always deliver fair outcomes*
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leslie Wins EVA award for Column on Sexual Assault
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
No Non-Violent Political Action Please. Weâre 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.”
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.
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
Why Women Donât 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
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.
Retrospective Legislation and Donor Conceived People
The danger with retrospective legislation, which some seek to identify
sperm donors, lies in its potential for injustice.
Should Parents Allow Mixed Sex Sleepovers?
Mixed-sex sleepovers? Help!
Thereâs No Shame in Being Too Posh to Push
Informed women have the right to choose their delivery method
Did Jesus Have a Sister?
History is distressingly silent on the subject of the women in Jesus’ life
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
Why Negative Ads Donât Work, but Sticking to Principle Does
It all comes down to Bentleigh, a Liberal strategist told me on Saturday
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?
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.
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 -
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
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.
Leslie in the Hot Seat on ABC TVâs 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.
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.
Australiaâs Hung Parliament and the Governor Generalâs 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.
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%).
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.
What the First Female PM Means for Australian Women
What does Australia’s first female PM mean for Australian women?
Nothing. And Everything.
Protect Our Kids from Scripture Teachers and Junk Food Advertisers
It’s easy taking candy from a baby. That doesn’t make it right.
Leslie Talks to TokenSkeptic About Big Pharma
Leslie and science educator Michael McRae ask how industry-funded
research and marketing influences our health.
Leslie Talks to Kate OâToole on ABC Youth Radio Triple Jâs Hack
On child support and whether men have become reproductive slaves
Leslie Talks Men and Abortion on Radio JJJâs Hack
Leslie talks to Kate O’Toole about men and why you can’t have half a
baby or half an abortion
Leslie Explains to the 7Pm Project Crew Why Corporations Shouldnât Own Our Genes
Leslie can be found 6 mins 55 seconds in.
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?
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?
Shape your Online Image or Others will Shape it For You
For better or worse, internet profiles affect real-world reputations
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
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."
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.
Why Weâve 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.
Patently Absurd. Why Corporates Shouldnât 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Good Parents Send Their Kids to Private School, Donât 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
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
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.
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.
Women Failed by Catholic-Run Hospitals
With no room at the Women’s, patients are at the mercy of religion
Leslie Talks to 4BC Morningâs 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?
Leslie Talks to 4BC Morningâs Host Greg Carey About Matthew Johnâs 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.
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.
Something Mad About Refugee Policies
Even if we eliminate people smugglers, the people needing smuggling
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.
We Must Say âKnowâ to Abstinence-Only Sex Ed âChoices, Decisions, Outcomesâ
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.
Pulling Out the Racist Tag is a Lazy Way to Argue About Policy
There is little evidence to support racial motives behind criticism of
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.
One Step Forward, Two Back, in Fight for Reproductive Rights
RU486 is available, but in Queensland a teenager is charged over an
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.
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.
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.
Thereâs 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 …”
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
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.
Youâre 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?
Sexual Freedom Wonât 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.”
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.
Stand Firm Against Race to the Bottom
An Open Letter to the Greens and Senator Nick Xenophon on Australia’s
Emissions Trading System
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?
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
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.
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
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.
Stop Conroyâs 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.
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.
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.
Read Leslieâs Expert Comments on Modern Contraception in The Sunday Age
Jill Stark interviewed Leslie for her article in the Age.
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.
This Valentineâs 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Allâs 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.
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
Womenâs Forum Australia is âFaking itâ
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Climate Change: Itâs 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To Make a Difference, Stay Donât 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.
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.
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.
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.
Conscience Rights Must Be a Two-Way Street
Denying another’s freedom while exercising one’s own is hypocritical
PMâs 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.
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
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.
Beware, itâs 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.
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
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.”
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.
Teaching our Kids the Difference Between Science and Faith
Moral Maze: Teaching our Kids the Difference Between Science and Faith
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
Donât 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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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
- What is left to examine, for heaven’s sake! It’s a leave scheme,
not the first signs of life on Mars.
What We Donât Know Can Hurt Us All
What does independent research, shield laws and whistleblower
legislation have in common, and why should we give a rats?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Cash is Always the Currency of Loveâs Labours Lost
It’s always about the money. Or is it?
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.
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.
In Death We Donât 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Letâs 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.
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.
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
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
Look at Yourself, Before Itâs 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?
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
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.
A Man Worth Emulating
In our society, who best reflects Jesus’ compassion and sense of
Education is not about being a good or bad parent - itâs 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.
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.
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.
Laws on Sex Work Must be Framed to Protect Womenâs 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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
Australian Governmentâs Pregnancy âHelplineâ - Help or Hindrance?
Leslie talks to Richard Aedy on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters about
the Federal Government’s “Pregnancy Support” measures.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leslie talks about the ethics of sex selection on ABC Radio Nationalâs PM
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.
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.
On Changing the Way We Deal with Child Obesity
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Kovco Case: Motherâs 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.
Beyond the âyuk factorâ
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.
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?.
Women can still say ânoâ
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
There Shouldnât 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.
Multiculturalism and Feminism: Do they Mix?
Do multiculturalism and feminism mix? What about feminism and
Legal Safeguards Can Make Euthanasia A Legitimate Option
People should have the right to make choices about their own deaths.
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.
Steve Irwin: Why we admired the boy who wouldnât 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.
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.
Transparency in Advertising
Hear Leslie discuss the lack of regulation prohibiting deceptive and
misleading advertising from anti-choice pregnancy counselling agencies
Contemporary callenges to womenâs freedom to choose
Leslie joins Jo Wainer in a discussion of her book Lost, and
contemporary challenges to women’s freedom to choose.
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.
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.
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”.
The recent “Camilla” incident streamed from the Big Brother house
several weeks ago renewed controversy about the show’s suitability for
Accusers, Abusers and Excusers: The Dreyfus Affair Revisited
Download an MP3 encoded recording
of the event.
Positive Family Planning Letter
Leslie’s letter to the
editor on “Positive
Family Planning” in the .
Progressive Social Movements: Is the end nigh?
The challenge for feminists is to beat a system that still stifles
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
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
Stem cell dilemma
Ethical dilemma from Virginia Trioli’s ABC Australia Radio Program.
Download an MP3 encoded
recording of the interview.
Time to Break the News to Your Children
Should children be told they were conceived by sperm or egg donation?
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.
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.
To tell or not to tell
Ethical dilemma from Virginia Trioli’s ABC Australia Radio Program.
Download an MP3 encoded
recording of the interview.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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).
Beslanâs Terrorists Show the Dark Side of Human Emotions
Damaged children grow up to believe that only violence can change
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.’
Book Review - Wonder Woman
By Virginia Haussegger, Allen & Unwin, $26.95
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?
Why We Will Resolve the Conflict Between Work and Family
Workers are demanding better working conditions, and conditions for
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.”
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.
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.
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
Choice? What Choice?
Women academics under-achieving has nothing to do with biology or
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.
The bald facts
WINSTON Churchill said that a fanatic was a person who couldn’t change
his mind and wouldn’t change the subject.
In Search of the Gorgeous Aussie Bloke
In the great debates about family/work balance and fertility rates,
let’s not forget men.
Why are Young Women Welcoming the Return of the Bunny?
The Playboy symbol is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. What does
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.
No Sister, Feminism is Not About Choice
Airing a dream is to criticise and negate the opposing vision
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
A Pregnant Pause for Waiters and Watchers
The budget will encourage single working women to have children - but
more needs to be done
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.
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.
Misconceptions in the Blame Cycle
Women must play and active role in protecting their sexual and
Deadly price of decency
WE still don’t know exactly what sparked the terrible flurry of violence
that cost David Hookes his life.
Fathers look after their children, but seek more thrills for them
USUALLY he amazes, but this time we were appalled.
Book Review - âThe End of Equality: Work, Babies and Womenâs Choices in 21st Century Australiaâ
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?
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.
Staying mumâs a cop-out
Feminists expect fathers to do domestic work, so how can they tacitly
exempt mothers from paid work?
The disappearing father
Women don’t turn to IVF lightly. Men are fleeing fatherhood.
Child-care dinosaursâ time is past
Dated views about women and work are deservedly dying out.
The Horrible Dilemma of the Pregnant Woman
She is pushed to have all the tests, then damned if she terminate late
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.
A motherâs birthright
A woman-centred approach to birth includes the right to choose drugs.
It didnât start with a kissâ¦
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.
Itâs his baby too, give him paid leave
Both new parents, not just mum, should get time off work.
Calling all single childless womenâ¦
A new ruling may end discrimination in access to donor sperm.
The population debate we have to have
It’s easier to talk about immigration than about why we’re having fewer
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.
School hours: did feminism drop the ball?
Working parents may not be able to rely on the women’s movement to help
Do nice guys finish last?
The latest theory out of America about rape is not just wrong, it’s
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.
Identity deficit disorder - itâs 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.
Charity begins at home, morally speaking
Protecting our loved ones is only natural in a world of un-met misery.
The anti-choicersâ real target is women
Late abortions are emotive fodder for those who deny women moral agency.
Raising a brood of IVF commodities
Knowing the identity of their biological parents gives children a sense
of who they are.
When more choice means less freedom
IVF advances may make the working lives of women harder, not easier.
For the love of Jeff
Victoria’s intellectuals are blind to the Premier’s popular appeal.
Will making women equal change anything?
The issue: Will making women equal change anything?
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?
Good parents or good citizens?
Taking a tiny risk can serve overall community interests.
Why women need a workplace revolution
Reproductive technology will never provide the answer to inequality.
Laborâs man of the â50s
Just like John Howard, Martin Ferguson wants to take us back to the
Women are being ripped off, but not by feminism
Don’t blame the movement, blame the system.
Why men hold the key to the new feminism
All workers, not just parents and not just women, need a life.
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.
Letâs 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
A role model? No thanks
First Diana, now Monica. They became superstars, but that doesn’t make
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
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.