Make a Difference

Women Are Cool, And Betterer Than Men

From Quadrant Online:

From the editorial of Island magazine, Autumn 2009 edition:

Ruth Sunderland discusses the gender issues she feels are being ignored in the endless analysis of our current economic crisis. She writes: ‘This mess was made by men’ and goes on to argue that women should be vitally involved in the development of solutions. In this issue of Island I have invited activists and radical thinkers, Susan Hawthorne and Ariel Salleh, to engage in a conversation about this very dilemma. It seems timely for us to listen seriously to those who think outside the square, especially when it is clearly inside-the-square thinking which has precipitated these disasters.

Extracts from “Thinking Beyond, Thinking Deep” by Susan Hawthorne and Ariel Salleh in Island magazine, Autumn 2009 (not available online):

… in a time of global warming it’s crucial to spell out the links between ecology and women, North and South.

Australian commitments under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism may cause Indonesian women to lose their communal livelihood as forests are turned into externally financed carbon sinks. This kind of policy is neocolonial and regressive.

The European study on men’s consumption choices causing more global warming than women’s, reminds me of very fine US research by Pat Hynes in which she found that when men spend, they buy luxuries – cigarettes, alcohol, petrol, pornography and women’s bodies for their individual use. Whereas when women spend they buy survival goods – food, shelter, medicines and schooling for themselves, their children and others who depend on them, including male partners.

This, of course, is why women’s personal items, fashion, perfume, make up etc, typically occupy seven times more space in shopping malls and retail centres than men’s personal items. And women don’t drink, smoke or drive.


  1. Betty McLellan

    You just don’t get it, do you Peter? Why are women’s rational arguments so often trivialised by men like yourself who are threatened by the idea of equality with women? Thankfully, there are men today who are quite relaxed about exchanging ideas with women who they see as their equals. It’s a new day Peter. Try to keep up!

  2. Peter

    I have no problem with women as equals. What I have a problem with is assertions of moral superiority by either gender. Those assertions sometimes reach the point of self-parody. The Island magazine story, with its claims of selfish, environment ruining spending by men, compared with noble, environment saving spending by women, was an example. Such nonsense does not do women, or men, or relationships between the two, any favours.

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