Lisa Annese: Don't let chicks up front fool you | Women's Agenda

Lisa Annese: Don’t let chicks up front fool you

You may have seen the article we published a while back on our partnership with TwitterAU and the soapbox event we hosted with them.

12 women spoke for 140 seconds on their position of strength.

We’ve already shared our Editor Jane Gilmore’s speech on secrets and shame

Susan Mclean on achieving in a men’s space

Kate Ashmore on refusing to give up.

Today we’re bringing you Lisa Annese CEO of the Diversity Council of Australia on Chicks up the front (which was the inspiration for Jane Gilmore’s All the girls to the front article last week).


Lisa’s #PositionOfStrength

I’m the CEO of a workplace advisor to business.

Chicks up front is my topic, it’s a term I came across a while ago.

I found it when I was readying about the protests against Vietnamese war. All the guys marching in line, and then when the TV cameras turned up, they’d yell “chicks up front”. What it meant was all the pretty girls get to the front of the crowd, then they’d increase the chance of making it on to the news.

And it worked.

It’s a strategy that still works today but in a completely twisted way.

Chicks up front.

It acts as an enabler and an authenticator for bad behaviour. Sometimes very bad male behaviour.

Chicks up front is the reason Kyle doesn’t lose his job, he has his chick up front every day, in the form of Jackie O.

El James, who wrote the 50 Shades series, is a chick up front and makes her books ok. But she doesn’t understand the nature of consent.

The issue with those books is consent, not whether a woman writing it makes it ok.

If we look at our parliament, our businesses, we always see women positioned up front, and that is an enabler.

When people have this unconscious reaction, well if the woman’s there, then it must be ok.

I can tell you there’s three things you need to think about,

Firstly, you don’t need to be female to be a feminist or a misogynist.

Women are not automatically the best voters on what is generally acceptable.

And let’s turn it around and understand that for every chick up front saying it’s ok, there are a huge amount of people left out of the equation.

We would not be having a crisis in terms of domestic violence, in terms of sexual abuse, and gender pay equity, women in leadership, we wouldn’t be having this if we actually had gender equality and true female representation.

Don’t let chicks up front fool you.

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