Getting on with it

Featured in

  • Published 20130604
  • 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.’

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

Invisible histories

Non-fictionIMAGINE YOURSELF A bird, huge, flying out of time through a smoky sky, back, back through millennia. Further than your own memory, deeper than...

More from this edition


MemoirTRUTH IS AS truth believes. When the piano needed tuning and the blind piano tuner came to the house, and sat down, and tuned...

Mothers know best

EssayKOWANYAMA'S FIRST CANTEEN opened in 1973. It was little more than a window, with a noisy throng of men outside, all flashing cans and...


FictionI HATED JUDY'S first boyfriend, as expected. He was oddly shaped, like a sweet potato. His clothes were exactly wrong. Judy had arranged for...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.