Why are ‘feminine’ crafts like basket weaving disparaged by politicians?

We don’t see such sneers at woodwork, metalcrafts or other "manly" pursuits.
[This is archived content and may not display in the originally intended format.]

Image via Shutterstock

Basket weaving. It doesn’t sound much of an insult does it? But Education Minister Simon Birmingham appeared to use the term in this way in an interview following opposition leader Bill Shorten’s budget reply speech. Birmingham reacted disdainfully to Shorten’s commitment to fund fees for TAFE students, sneering at Labor’s “disastrous VET FEE-HELP program that subsidised everything from energy healing to basket weaving.”

Unlock Padlock Icon

Like this content?

Become a Member and unlock unlimited Access today

Sue Green
About the Author
Sue Green is Deputy Co-ordinator, Journalism Program, Swinburne University of Technology. She has more than 40 years journalism experience, including holding senior writing and editing positions in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. As well as journalism qualifications Green has a degree in textile design and is a Swinburne University PhD candidate by artefact and exegesis. Her project combines both her journalism and textile expertise – she is writing Disruptive Knitting: How knitters are changing the world, about politics, gender and knitting in Australia.
Unlock Padlock Icon

Support us to keep providing
Arts news and jobs

Become a member and unlock access to jobs and all premium articles and news content