A Prize of One’s Own: The Case for an Aussie Orange

Last year, Triple J presenter and comedian Tom Ballard raised something on Twitter I’d been thrashing around in my head for a while too.

“Is the concept of having male/female awards in the arts outdated?” he asked. In sport, separating sexes has always seemed logical (although athletes like Caster Semenya complicate that idea nicely), but how do sex-specific awards in the arts make any sense? If gender has no influence on artistic merit, then why award men and women separately?

Think about it for a while and your brain might just melt. Besides the excellent fashion photography opportunities, why do categories like Best Female Artist and Best Actress exist? Is there really a need for the Orange Prize, the annual UK-based literary award given to a female novelist? My favourite response to Ballard’s question came from former Triple J newsreader Emma Swift. “It’s complicated,” she tweeted back, pointing out industries like music and film are still male-dominated. “Drop categories [and the] awards will become cockforests.” Continue reading

Pauline Hanson, redux

People of New South Wales,

Well, that was close.

First of all, I think we should start with an apology. On behalf of mypeople — the tanned, tropical and slightly sun-stroked natives of Queensland — I would like to offer a genuine ‘Sorry.’ You know, for the whole Pauline Hanson thing. We breathed political life into her before passing her your way, and today, we nearly saw things get out of control. Continue reading