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The Age

Saturday March 12, 2011

WOMEN'S DAY The gains were remembered but equally the disparities between the genders were highlighted around the world. There are still people who scratch their heads and ask: what do women really want? The answer: women want what men have. The freedom to choose whatever life they want not to be confined by ideas of what they should or should not be, what they can or cannot achieve.Editorial, Malaysia StarIn the industrialised world, job opportunities for women are already shrinking, equal pay does not exist, promotion opportunities are not the same for men and women and the unasked question in the interview "You're not thinking of starting a family, ARE you?" can easily be avoided by asking the same thing in other words.Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, PravdaWomen have always been caught in various cultural contradictions of capitalism . . . On the one hand (or foot), there is renewed interest worldwide in closing the gender gap . . . On the other hand, fashion designers are competing to elevate heel heights to four, five, and even six inches off the ground, which resembles stilt-walking in a circus hardly an aid to women's advancement in business. If the developed world has moved beyond the notion of keeping women barefoot and pregnant, why are women leaders expected to use their talents with instruments of torture on their feet?Rosabeth Ross Kanter, Harvard Business SchoolJULIA GILLARD The PM addressed the US Congress, met political leaders and debated with Barack Obama the merits of Vegemite. The beginners error with Vegemite is to put too much on a piece of bread or piece of toast. You dont put it on like jam or anything like that. Youve got to do it very lightly, spread it very thinly. And its good. Obama, who made some incredulous faces during Gillards analysis, wasnt convinced. The Oval has to go with the President. Sorry,Madame PrimeMinister (though were with her on the virtues of Australian rules football).David Jackson, USA Today, (The Oval column)Barack Obama and Julia Gillard couldnt say enough about the close friendship between their two countries. But on one issue there was no common ground: Vegemite. Obama winced at the mere mention of the Australian food paste. Its horrible! Gillard displayed some diplomacy befitting a world leader on her firstWashington tour, calling the issue a little bit of a division between the President and I. I love Vegemite. Erica Werner, Associated Press Over and over, she praised American optimism even in these bleak times. She said that ever since she was a little girl, she had always believed that Americans could do anything. To Australian ears, the flattery seemed heavyhanded. A bit desperate. Aussies might have called it crawling or sucking up, but to Americans, there are few things more welcome than an admiring ally.Katie Connolly, BBCCHARLIE SHEEN Recently fired, he says he's from Mars, though many wonder what planet he's really on. He has now brought in the lawyers. Nothing says "I'm responding to losing my job with a calm and positive attitude" like climbing atop a Beverly Hills office and waving a machete around. That's what Charlie Sheen was doing as he "celebrated" getting fired. Accompanied by Natalie Kenly, one of his so-called "goddesses" (porn stars on hire), Sheen appeared waving a machete and drinking a red liquid from a bottle labelled Tiger Blood.Randy McMullen, San Jose Mercury NewsIf there was any doubt that Warner Bros did the right thing by firing Charlie Sheen the actor himself made his former bosses look like they had no choice. He went on the internet and looked like a lunatic. Sheen's behaviour was beyond bizarre. It was downright scary. He was ranting. Incoherent. Indescribably strange. This kind of stuff certainly can't help him in his battle to regain the right to see his twin sons. If this is winning, I'd hate to see losing.Scott Pierce, Salt Lake TribuneAt this point, there's nothing particularly newsworthy about Charlie Sheen's rants. But his new video is so dramatic and striking in its pathos, it's hard not to comment on how utterly sad and unprecedented it is. Never in the history of Hollywood has a celebrity downfall been so meticulously publicly documented initially to our stunned amusement, then to our growing horror.

© 2011 The Age

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