Author: Catherine Marshall

  • AUSTRALIA

    What Tony Abbott owes working mothers

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 06 February 2015
    18 Comments

    The rewards of parenthood are immeasurable. But the price that women pay when they become mothers is unjust. This includes lost opportunities, gender wage gaps, and sparse superannuation savings. They really need an efficient and fair maternity leave scheme to support them as they transition from worker to working mother. Tony Abbott's 'signature' policy is now gone, and the 'replacement' families package has a big gap to fill.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My Christmas cake friend

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 12 December 2014
    10 Comments

    On Christmas Eve I will deliver, for the twelfth year in a row, an iced, naively decorated fruitcake to my oldest and dearest Australian friend, Enid. I will pull up into the driveway of her brick home. She will open the front door before I have even knocked, and before she’s even kissed me hello will tell me how beautiful the cake is and how she couldn’t possibly cut into it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    There's no such thing as a free blessing

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 14 November 2014
    2 Comments

    I looked at the Brahmin and felt a cackle rising in my throat. 'You said this blessing was free,' I said. 'The blessing is free, but you must pay for the maintenance of this place,' he insisted, sweeping his arm up towards the ghats and the temples surrounding it. I wondered briefly what the consequence would be of defying the Brahmin's demand.

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  • CONTRIBUTORS

    Mrs Clooney chooses patriarchy

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 17 October 2014
    27 Comments

    It came as a surprise, in our apparently post–feminist world, to hear that human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin had adopted her husband George Clooney’s surname upon marriage. By deleting her own birth name, Amal Clooney is buying into the Western tradition of coverture, established with the express intention of legally constituting women as possessions of their husbands. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kashmir's majestic allure

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 19 September 2014
    2 Comments

    Peace has come to Kashmir, but it’s a tentative, fragile peace. My guide Younis swiftly apprises me of the virtues of his homeland: ‘Pakistan wants Kashmir, China wants Kashmir, India wants Kashmir. It is a very beautiful place and here we have [so much]: electricity grids, land, fruits.’ He pauses, then says, ‘But nobody likes Kashmiris.’

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A daughter's life rekindled

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 22 August 2014
    8 Comments

    My daughter's depression is a dark and inhospitable valley in which she has lost her way, but it is also a mirror held up before me, forcing me to acknowledge the deep troughs into which I myself have fallen, and to recognise the needlessness of having clawed myself out of them alone. 

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  • MEDIA

    What makes a girl beautiful

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 25 July 2014
    8 Comments

    There's something satisfying about subverting society's idea of what constitutes beautiful: female-led campaigns that flood the media with images of representative faces and bodies reinforce the absurdity of current 'beauty' standards. But this isn't really liberating. No longer is it only the physically exquisite who can pose naked; the plain and the imperfect must be welcomed, too, into the sacred circle of female objectification.

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  • EDUCATION

    Harvard professor defies Australian class warfare

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 27 June 2014
    13 Comments

    Amidst a whirl of media interviews and meetings, David Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard University and one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world for 2014, paid a visit to his alma mater: a state school in suburban Sydney. State schools aren't the repositories of children too impoverished or unintelligent for the alternative; they're the living manifestation of democracy, egalitarianism, multiculturalism and ecumenism.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Refugee family suffers Cambodian curse

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 30 May 2014
    4 Comments

    It had been a long journey for the family gathered in the Cambodian office of Jesuit Refugee Service, but their search for a safe environment amidst people who would treat them kindly was not yet over. Genuine refugees set their compass for Australia expecting to find the democratic, resourceful and accountable country of which they have heard. The Coalition's reprehensible 'Cambodia solution' shows just how wrong they are.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kidnapped Nigerian girls put the lie to Western freedom

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 12 May 2014
    7 Comments

    It would be foolish to believe that female liberation can occur in a vacuum: as long as there are girls and women being brutalised in the DRC, schoolgirls being sold into slavery in Nigeria's border regions, girls around the world are being subjected to female genital mutilation and women being supressed by religious ideology, then the acquisition of our own freedoms — flawed as they are — is a hollow victory indeed.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Don't let plane panic paint all men as paedophiles

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 02 May 2014
    15 Comments

    For feminists who have fought for generations against sexism, the argument that men should be excised from children's orbit lest they commit the same atrocities of which a small percentage of other men are guilty is chilling. It rubber-stamps the notion that people's character and behavioural choices are determined by their gender, and presupposes that individuals can be judged on the basis of their group's collective history.

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  • MEDIA

    Golf mag's slice of sexist misery

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 10 April 2014
    7 Comments

    I got into an argument on Twitter yesterday about Golf Digest's use of a model on its cover rather than a female professional golfer. My opponent assured me that a 'gorgeous girl who modelled for a magazine is no harm' and that it must be 'miserable' to be opposed to every magazine that presented women this way. It is miserable. For most women, objectification is so commonplace that they have learned to live with it as one would a disability.

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