Friday Feminist – Kaz Cooke

Cross posted

…if someone tells you that all the fights are over, and nobody needs to bother about being a feminist any more, think about these questions.

- How come, on average, girls do much better than boys at school and uni, yet women are more likely to be in lower paid part-time or casual jobs with fewer benefits and worse conditions?
- Why are most managers, bosses and politicians men?
- How come the average full-time wage for women is still less than the average weekly earnings for men? (In most cases, less than or around 80% of the man’s wage.)
- What is the ‘glass ceiling’ – and why do women keep talking about it?
- Why is it that in many countries women who have been raped are arrested and punished because they are no longer ‘virgins’?
- Why is it that in some cultures girls’ genitals are mutilated? And why are girls in some countries forced to cover themselves entirely with fabric or risk being insulted or assaulted in public or legally punished?
- Why is it that in many cultures young girls are ‘promised’ to older men and forced to marry against their wishes?
- How come so many guys in our own society don’t respect girls and women or their achievements?
- Why do some people persist in behaving as if girls are just toys for guys?
- Why do some girls feel they need to know ‘What guys want’ and ‘Will guys like it if I…’? Wouldn’t it be nice if girls more often thought, ‘What would a guy have to do to impress me‘?
- Why is it that radio stations and music channel;s play songs in which guys call girls ‘hos’, bitches and other brutal, disrespectful things, as if it was nothing – as if it was okay to do that?
- How come more girl singers can’t sing their own songs dressed the way they want, instead of having to look as if they’re practically in a porn video?
- Why do some religious leaders say that women who have their period can’t enter a place of worship?
- Why is a teenage girl who gets pregnant sometimes asked or pressured to leave school, but the father of the baby isn’t?
- How come most of the sports reports (and sponsorships) are for men’s sports?
- Why do large corporations sponsor only (or mainly) men’s sports, not women’s?
- Why do so many radio and TV shows have lots of men but only one woman, never the other way round?
- How come male newsreaders and actors are allowed to get old and look ‘distinguished’, but the women have to try to ‘look younger’ by using cosmetic surgery?
- How come the mostly male politicians in the national government haven’t fixed the child-care problem?
- How come the mostly male politicians in the national government, many of them with a religious bias, make the rules about abortion when they will never be pregnant? And when most male politicians leave the raising of their families to their wives and disappear for weeks at a time?
- How come even the women who work full-time with children usually do a lot more of the housework than their partners?
- Why do so many children’s stories have male heroes, rather than female ones?
- How come women writers often write dramas and comedies with equal roles for guys and women, while most male writers tend to write interesting roles for guys but not so many good roles or lines for women? …

Being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t wear girly clothes, or you hate guys. Being a feminist means you support girls and women have equal rights with guys.

Kaz Cooke, “The F-word – Isn’t everything okay now” in Girl Stuff: Your Full-on Guide to the Teen Years, Viking: Melbourne, 2007

8 responses to “Friday Feminist – Kaz Cooke

  1. I love Kaz Cooke. She was a big part of me growing up to be a feminist and feeling OK about the way I looked and the way I wanted to act as a young’un. I was thinking about her this morning as I examined my hairy legs.

  2. I’ve just been reading Girl Stuff, prior to giving it to Ms Eleven, and I am very impressed. There are some bits I wasn’t so fussed about, but overall, it was great. I’m hoping to get a review up sometime over the weekend.

  3. I really like the way she has written appropriatley for the age group. I think she asks questions that maybe teens would not have thought of – I know I hadn’t! It’s nice that this kind of stuff is becoming a little more ‘mainstream’.

  4. Try and get your hands on her published columns, like Get a Grip. Laugh? I nearly shat. That woman is funny, and incisive to boot.

  5. She’s funny alright and is so right. That first one – I always say it when I hear those reports about boys not doing well at school because the system is apparently biased toward girls – but no-one ever seems to hear me.

  6. Good grief. I cross-posted this at The Hand Mirror as usual, and the comments there are all “But what about teh menz?!!!”

  7. Her book on pregnancy was also wonderful and should be a must-read for anyone having a baby.