Officially scheduled to talk about cracking into journalism, Clementine Ford spent the 40 minutes she was projected upon the walls of the Haydon-Allen Tank talking about her time at Adelaide University, the Sunday Mail, and why she thought Emma Watson’s UN speech was so darn insipid.
Ford began by speaking fondly of her days at Adelaide University’s student rag, On Dit.
Reminiscing on the cycle of dynasties these publications seem to have, she indicated that she managed to enjoy a fruitful one, before eventually finding full time work in an unlikely place—theSunday Mail.
Her message here was a simple but terribly useful one for budding journalists—even if it’s Rupert Murdoch’s henchmen who offer you full time work coming out of university, take it!
After this pep talk, Ford opened the floor to questions and comments. Enter the Young Liberal stooges…
One well-intentioned but misguided neocon tentatively asked Ford whether she thought she would be generally considered more “credible” if she was to adopt a more “informative” approach to her writing.
Well holy shit, I thought to myself…how was Ford going to act?
Leading with a subdued chuckle, Ford craftily posited that regardless whether Andrew Bolt’s columns are advertised as sober feature pieces or indeed right-wing propaganda, he’s unlikely to ever to be a bastion of “credibility” in her books.
And thus the audience was treated to a master class in the professional dispatching of Tory trolls.
Following this, the discussion inevitably arrived at Emma Watson’s UN speech.
In a recent article for the SMH, entitled “Emma Watson speech hardly a game-changer’”, Ford commented that gender inequality comes as direct result of the enforcement of patriarchal structures. Although men are impacted negatively by it, “they are not impacted in the same ways or to the same drastically violent extent as women.”
Additionally, she wrote, men are “overwhelmingly the beneficiaries of these patriarchal structures, seeing themselves reflected broadly across society as change-makers and power brokers.”
“Whatever benefits Watson’s speech may have in regard to inspiring a new generation of young feminists (and that is unquestionably an achievement), it is offensive and farcical to suggest that equality and change will come for women “as a natural consequence” of men being supported to get their feelings in order.”
Touching upon this sentiment again at the Woroni session, Ford argued that her beef with Watson’s speech essentially lay in the fact that men shouldn’t need to be presented with this more “palatable” version of feminism by nice, well-educated white women like Watson.
There should be no need for any sort of invitation, she argued. This is a centuries-old discourse, and as thoughtful humanoids, men should come to the table of their own accord.
All in all, despite having to Skype in from Melbourne, Ford proved to be a delightfully engaging speaker and thoroughly wholesome person.