Gender Relations and Diversity

2011 August Gender Relations and Diversity
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Professor Georgina Tsolidis

Gender relations are fundamental to identification, including that linked with the nation. What it means to be Australian is tied up with particular enactments of femininity and masculinity and a consequence of this is the policing of what is considered unAustralian expressions of gender.

This dynamic is complex and can bring to the fore paradoxical understandings of ‘Australian’. She explores Australia-appropriate gender relations through the Cronulla Riots because these provide a stark example of backlash politics—a case of challenging ‘our’ capacity to tolerate ‘their’ difference.

She also addresses the aggressive displays of bad behaviour towards Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab or burqa and asks how this fits with ‘Australian-ness’; why the way some women dress causes such discomfort in a country that prides itself on its multicultural approach to society.