Your say: Is Colleen McCullough’s obituary sexist? 497



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Celebrated Australian author Colleen McCullough passed away on the 29th of January on Norfolk Island, sending shockwaves through the book industry and her beloved readers.

One would think that her obituary in The Australian would be a touching tribute to her life, but instead social media has gone in a flurry about the “sexist” and “revolting” message.

The Thornbirds was Colleen McCullough’s best known work and it went on to sell 30 million copies worldwide, but that accolade seemed lost on The Australian, who wrote this about her:

“Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: ‘I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men.’”

It makes you wonder if the same thing would be written about a male author. Other world newspapers, such as The New York Times, talked about her neuroscientist beginnings, but it was our own country’s rag that delivered a hurtful remark.

Take a look at some of the tweets that have been circulating and tell us, is it really sexist? Or is it tongue-in-cheek? Should more respect be paid to those who have contributed so much? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Typical of the Murdoch press attitudes

  2. Such a shame… She was a woman who loved life… Her laughter came from the heart..I loved her interviews with Ray Martin… Just a beautiful person…

  3. It’s an obituary. If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything. It was rude, insensitive and disrespectful.

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  4. I think it is cheap and nasty and so typical of a Murdoch Newspaper, Colleen had achieved more in life than the tacky journalist who wrote that ever will. I will miss her wonderful books

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  5. I am sure there were many great stories about her writing they could have spoken about. Some journalists need to go back to their classes and learn the art of respect.

  6. Disgusting. Her weight and looks had nothing to do with her interesting and vibrant writing. Not to mention her feisty personality and intelligence.

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