Recommendations from a feminist Easter

March 28 2016

What could be more indulgent than succumbing to a weekend of chocolate eggs? Well, for me, having enough space to devote several uninterrupted hours to catch up on reading, watching and listening to a variety of exceptional women during some well-overdue alone time.

My work and passion intersect at women and equality and as a result there’s constantly a back log of things taking my interest I wish I had consumed. Now I’ve spent a couple of days screaming through the back catalogue, I thought I’d share some thoughts and takeaways with you – definitely some sublime finds in here.

Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast by Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb


Best podcast going: Chat 10 Looks 3

I’m putting it out there early – I have become wholly obsessed with Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales (as will shortly become obvious from my list). As you’re likely aware, both are primarily political journalists for the ABC as well as authors, podcasters, mums and off-air pals. After meeting when Crabb joined the ABC, they hit it off and long story short started a podcast together nearly a year and a half ago to give them the opportunity to chat about all the things they enjoy that their day jobs don’t enable them to talk about; books, tv, movies, articles and cooking. (One carefully following along may note this is what I too am doing with this post…).

Of the podcast I can say this: nothing as ever made me want to be something other than myself as much as these two. They are so widely read it is a treat to hear their views on what stands out to them. Their unassuming witty banter and inability to not laugh at themselves (plus the futile attempts of Leigh’s husband Phil to get them to market the podcast properly) keeps you coming back for more. What is most remarkable to me is that both women are so extraordinarily accomplished in their fields yet if you didn’t know their day jobs, you’d easily be forgiven for thinking they were any two ladies (with exceptional vocabulary) who love to read, chat, take jabs at each other and laugh it off. I’m still working through the back catalogue – well worth a listen.

Download the Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast here.

The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb

I’d started reading The Wife Drought before listening the podcast and am glad to have finished the book with Annabel’s voice in my head. In her book, Crabb examines the role of ‘wives’ (used as a gender neutral term to describe the home-keeping support people to busy professionals) in enabling career progress and success.

Annabel_Crabb_The Wife Drought

Essential Reading: Annabel Crabb: The Wife Drought

Citing a good deal of history and data the book unveils the research behind what we know to be true; on average, working men enjoy a great deal more support on the domestic front than working women. Crabb proposes and I wholeheartedly agree: until we see work inside the home shared equally, we’ll struggle to achieve equality in the workplace. A must-read.

Buy The Wife Drought for kindle here or in print here.

Also delightful – Leigh Sales interviewing Crabb about the book here!

Anne Summers interviews Annabel Crabb

Anne Summers’ conversation series brings exceptional guests to the stage in Sydney for a live interview style discussion that’s impossible to turn off. Anne’s interview with Annabel is the third of five I’ve watched from last year (Elizabeth Broderick and David Morrison the others). Anne gave us the opportunity to hear about the woman that is Annabel Crabb, a relatively untold story when we’re so often on the receiving end of Crabb’s journalism. From politics to parenthood, career, cooking and everything in between (including Annabel having baited Summers into producing a pudding to enjoy when it came to questions from the audience) this interview – like all those by Anne Summers – was a delight.

Full interview here:

Canberra Al Desko

While I was aware Annabel hosted the show Kitchen Cabinet (in which she visits politicians houses and they cook for her while being interviewed in a less-formal setting) I did not realise ’til watching the interview that she has a new show Canberra Al Desko – 6 minute bites formed on the basis that most people, politicians included, eat lunch at their desks. She visits politician’s chambers and they make food for her and they have a chat. Episode 2 with James McGrath filmed a couple of days after Turnbull took the leadership is unmissable.

Canberra Al Desko on iView here.

When I Get a Minute

Following the success of the Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast, ABC iView has/is producing a series of 8 x 15 minute segments with Crabb and Sales in which they chat on-the-go about what they’re reading and watching.

When I Get A Minute

Lols ahoy: Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales on When I Get A Minute

All the appeal – and ribbing – of the podcast with extra production value (can’t decide if that’s good or bad yet) and the loveliness of seeing Crabb and Sales chitter chat out and about in Sydney.

When I Get a Minute available on iView here.

Leigh Sales on Mamamia’s No Filter podcast

Not wanting to favour only the curly-haired half of the Chat 10 Looks 3 pair, I downloaded Mamamia’s No Filter podcast hosted by Mia Freedman with Leigh Sales. An amazing insight into the life of a prime-time TV host and parent on work, politics, birth, family and where to next. Honest and down-to-earth, well worth 45 minutes.

Download the No Filter podcast with Leigh Sales here – it’s no 9.

Anika Wells’ opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald

Deep in the midst of my Crabbsession (Crabb-obsession, do you see what I’m trying to do there?) my very dear, very talented friend Anika wrote an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald – published smack bang next to Crabb’s column this weekend!

Anika Wells Annabel Crabb

Wells and Crabb intersect in the SMH opinion pages

Earlier this month, Anika in her role at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers partnered up with The Parenthood to do a ReachTEL survey of more than 1,000 working mums to examine the impact of our national employment laws on the rights of people with caring responsibilities. The results suggest there is much work to be done and Anika in her piece outlines why this is a critical election issue.

You should absolutely read it here.

Anne Summers on how to boost GDP by 13%

Anika isn’t the only one spying the lady-shaped hole in the government’s focus – in a piece very much in the same vein, Anne Summers talks about the untapped resource to boost our economy that exists in Australia’s females.

Another worthy read here.

Q&A from 7 March: our Minister for Women isn’t a feminist #facepalm

One thing I’d mentally bookmarked to return to was the Q&A from International Women’s Day eve on the 7th of this month. Typically the Q&A close to International Women’s Day focuses on matters of lady-relevance and in this one Michaelia Cash, our Minister for Women, declines AGAIN to call herself a feminist. It’d been bugging me the last few weeks and I wanted to watch it before commenting further.

Sadie Sue and Feminism

Sadie Sue aptly sums up my feelings about Our Minister for Women refusing to call herself a feminist. (Also – could this be the worst picture I’ve ever put on the blog?! Washing in the background and finger over the lens? Good lord.)

Michaelia won’t deny she’s a feminist, in fact fellow panelist Mia Freedman rightly identifies ‘if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then usually it’s a duck’ and Cash doesn’t disagree – but continues to claim she doesn’t label herself and therefore won’t call herself a feminist. (One tweet displayed onscreen suggests she has previously labelled herself a Catholic, so there goes that theory.)

The thing that irritates me the MOST about this is that I think Michaelia is a feminist as Mia suggests. I also think there’s some hack hidden in the shadows telling her than being feminist doesn’t poll well for women and it’d be a mistake to call herself one – another teeny tiny way we suggest that being for or in support of women is a mistake. That is what irks me.

Julie Bishop also won’t self-identify as a feminist. Turnbull however, has been calling himself a feminist since 1988. Even Alan bloody Jones called himself a feminist. Lets stop hating on the term, people.

Watch the episode here.

Jane Caro’s article: can Justin Trudeau call himself a feminist?

On the same topic as politicians calling – or not calling – themselves feminists, equality champion and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau sprung back into headlines again recently for saying “I am going to keep saying loud and clear that I am a feminist until it is met with a shrug.” #swoon

Jane Caro explores the opinions of some that a man cannot, in fact, be a feminist – only a woman can. An interesting think piece (that *spoiler alert* ultimately ends with Caro concluding men can and must be feminists, I wholeheartedly agree).

Read it here.

Roxane Gay’s TED Talk: Confessions of a Bad Feminist

I’ve been plugging away at Roxane Gay’s book ‘Bad Feminist’ for a little while now (I have started and not-yet-finished an appalling number of books lately, I get so excited about reading the next thing that I just start) but found her TED talk of the same name this weekend.

Skip the book and watch the talk. 12 minutes well spent here:

Kel Campbell’s blog: Sexism is Hard to Explain

Huffington Post reposted a blog written by Kel Campbell on Medium in which Campbell attempts to explain the very delicate intricacies of sexism. What was more interesting than her article was the fairly excessively hostile comments she received from men and women alike telling her how to feel. This one resonated with me and reminded me of a time early in uni when I said at the dinner table that the excessive chivalry of a fellow student had been making me a bit uncomfortable. My wonderful Dad told me to listen to my gut and take myself out of the situation if it made me uncomfortable. Another relative tore strips off me, suggesting I didn’t know how to take a compliment which saw me leave the table in tears.

I note the author has now removed the article from Medium. An interesting look at what happens when women say that something men regularly do makes them uncomfortable.

Still available on Huffington Post here.

Jimmy Bartel’s interview with the Herald Sun

This weekend, the Herald Sun published a deeply personal interview with AFL star Jimmy Bartel on his childhood experience with domestic violence. Bartel has vowed not to shave or cut his hair this AFL season to raise awareness around domestic and family violence stating, ‘If I  can get kids asking their father why I have a big dirty beard and long ratty hair, I will be achieving something.’

Jimmy Bartel

Jimmy Bartel opens up about his experience with domestic and family violence. Picture: Jason Edwards – source

Not a piece of journalism you come across often, the interview is long but provides a spine-tingling view into childhood with family violence.

Read it here.

He Named Me Malala

He Named Me Malala

A beautiful film for young and old alike: He Named Me Malala

In an attempt to finish on an inspiring note – the last piece I’ll mention from my feminist Easter roundup is the documentary He Named Me Malala. I’ve had this on my iTunes wishlist for ages, and loved it every bit as much as I thought. Shining a light on the story of Malala Yousafzai, our youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, it will make you laugh out loud AND cry for how exceptionally remarkable this now-18-year-old is.

Rent or buy on iTunes here.


Any other Crabb and Sales fans out there? Have you read/watched/listened to anything I listed above? What did you indulge in over Easter? Love to chit chat with you below in the comments! 

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