I posted this image, above, on the socials a little while back. It voiced my thoughts perfectly.
You see, somewhere out there in The World there is an Authority speaking from some Almighty Tome that tells us that if you’re a woman, and if you enjoy some level of fame, and if you are known in a particular finite realm for contributing content/product/thoughts on a particular finite topic then you’re not entitled to opine on politics.
Kid you not, every time I wade into anything beyond bloody chia seeds and slow cookers I get a talking to from folk who, frankly, are confronted by someone with my kind of image and “celebrity” status having an original thought (and please realise I don’t consider myself a celebrity; my detractors do). They hit me with an outraged “unfollowed”. Or take time to tell me I have no idea, but provide nothing to back their point. I invite them to share their opinion, excited by the notion of a good cerebral challenge, but nada comes.
What is the issue? It’s hard to tell. I guess mouthy women in public are problematic in general. They challenge a number of status quo markers. So we dump them in the basked marked “They Must Be Dumb” so we can all feel better.
But I ask, what if notoriety and success came as a result of their ability to coherently and intelligently communicate important opinions in important realms? What if they’re celebrities because they have leadership qualities? Tara Moss, Kate Ellis and Geena Davis immediately come to mind as I write this.
But I will now share a few things for those who reckon I’m not allowed to opine politically (and I should declare that I’m writing this post so I can steer such folk here in the future). Just so we’re clear and I can get on with giving a shit about The Good Stuff:
I studied politics and women’s studies at university. As well as law (not complete) and philosophy.
I have worked previously as a speech writer for the Australian Labor Party.I started my journalism career at the Australian Financial Review working from the Press Gallery at Parliament House.
I completed a journalism cadetship at News Ltd.
I wrote opinion columns in newspapers for a total of eleven years. Yep, mostly opining on politics.
I now opine on my own platforms. I’m allowed. I explore, I question, I get things wrong sometimes, I correct myself and explore further. I’m transparent about my qualifications.
And I’m cool if you don’t want to follow.
I now give Alyssa Milano, clearly someone who’s also been told not to speak above her standing as a Famous Person, the final word:
Have you encountered this? On other sites? Do you have a good cerebral argument for why people like me shouldn’t opine?