Yesterday I wrote about the death of Colleen McCullough, the brilliant, feisty, wonderfully outspoken author and scientist. She wrote a novel that sold 30 million copies. She deserved an obituary in her home country that highlighted her many accomplishments.
Instead, the Murdoch-owned waste of trees, The Australian, led off her obit with this shockingly sexist paragraph: “Colleen McCullough, Australia’s bestselling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was nevertheless a woman of wit and warmth.”
The New York Times, on the other hand, led off with “Colleen McCullough, a former neurophysiological researcher at Yale who, deciding to write novels in her spare time, produced The Thorn Birds…..”
Deserved outrage was swift. Would a world-famous bestselling male author have his looks and weight described in the second sentence of his obit? I don’t think so.
The Australian has since said that the obit had been written years ago by a staffer who had since died, and that it should have been edited before being published. How lame is that? No other eyes at the paper bothered to realize what a ludicrously sexist insult was being made?
Colleen earned the respect she should have been accorded. She deserved better.
All women do.