Cover Girls

It has been more than a year since The Monthly featured a woman pictured alone on its cover – and she was dressed as a man (Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan). Before that, there was Maxine McKew on the cover of the September 2007 issue; yet since that date we’ve seen the rise of Australia’s first female governor-general, as well as that of our first female deputy prime minister, elected premier, and deputy leader of the federal Liberal Party. The July 2009 edition featured an image of Jack Thompson holding a gun, from Wake in Fright. But, in that month, the Fair Work Australia Tribunal was launched by Julia Gillard. Others who have participated in this tribunal and in the dramatic debates over workplace relations include Julie Bishop, ACTU president Sharan Burrow, and Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout. I doubt there could have been a better opportunity to combine two of the biggest political issues: industrial relations and the status of women. Why does The Monthly have this gender bias?

Daniel Fleming
Newtown, NSW