Getting on with it

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  • Published 20130424
  • ISBN: 9781922079978
  • Extent: 288 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IT IS 1953. In Paris, Simone de Beauvoir launches the term ‘women’s liberation’ in her groundbreaking The Second Sex, the UN adopts the Convention on the Political Rights of Women in New York, and Margaret Mittelheuser quietly refuses to make tea for the men in her Brisbane office.

For the young graduate who’d grown up in the lush canefields around Bundaberg, this refusal has nothing to do with the early stirrings of a new women’s movement around the globe. Years later, when her own list of firsts and achievements has been noted and acclaimed, she will be asked if she’d seen herself as a feminist, back then. ‘Oh no,’ she’ll say, in a tone that leaves no doubt, ‘nothing like that. Never.’

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