SAMPLE FROM MARCH, 1953
GIVE WOMEN A BREAK
women were having fun with childbirth. Letters from them kept popping up in
the papers, asking for sensible changes to their status. These did not indicate
a widespread agitation for the “Liberation” that
was so earnestly sought in later
decades, but it did signal that thoughtful writers were starting to push for deserved changes.
T J Ryan, Epping. Reference to the fine achievement of Miss
Jean Austin in gaining prizes for general proficiency in third-year law prompts the question, has not the time come when talented
women lawyers should be raised to the Bench?
To regard this as absurd would itself
be absurd, because the only reason against it would be their sex. Legal knowledge
and character alone qualify for the Bench, to which women would bring just as much legal learning and distinction as men.
Letters, Irene Connelly, vice-president, United Associations of Women. T J Ryan poses a question often asked by visitors from countries where women Judges are a commonplace.
These visitors are equally amazed that
rarely are our women barristers entrusted with briefs.
The answer that our association has
always had to give to these questions has been that in Australia the highest qualifications are no match for prejudice.
In reply to the question: “Are
we lacking in women who achieve distinction in their professions?” we can quote with justifiable pride such achievements
as those of Miss Elizabeth Evatt and Miss Jean Austin.
In another column of the same issue
the experiences of a woman doctor are related. They tell a similar story of
sex bias – of applications for positions received with eagerness until it is revealed that the applicant is a woman.
Only when Australia can be induced to
relinquish its custom of calling only upon the talents of half of its people, and when appointments are made on the qualifications
and not on the sex of the person, can we claim to be a true democracy.
Letters, Alice Murphy, Brighton-le-Sands.
Sydney is shabbily treated as regards the provision of public telephone booths.
I have lived in five suburbs but the position is always the same. There may be three or four boxes in one district, widely scattered from one another. Or, in the rare event of there being two together, you may be sure one is out of
Each box has its queue, which can overhear every word spoken by
the hapless person using the instrument. Quite often, overcome by the publicity,
the impatient jingle of pennies, and the loud imprecations, I have come away from a box leaving my real reason for telephoning
unspoken. And it is just too preposterous for words to hope to make more than
one call. A person would have to be very thick-skinned to be so venturesome.
The general idea seems to be that women who use public phones are
just wasting time chattering. Why should they be regarded as nuisances if they
do? Housewives’ horizons are limited enough, goodness knows. Why should it be considered so shocking if they spend some minutes on the phone talking to friends?