A woman called Le Marquand on Q&A called me ‘anti-woman’ and said, in front of perhaps two million people, that the best thing to do about me and my vile misogynist opinions is not read me.
Can you or Tony Jones apologise to me publicly for this?
In the last eight weeks I have published essays in praise of Doris Day, of the wonderful feminist films Le Weekend, The Invisible Woman, and Tracks, the pro-woman series The Paradise and Downton Abbey, an essay on sexual love and, in the piece that inaugurated my new website, apologised on behalf my gender for how we treated women, and especially pregnant women, in the twentieth century. This first appeared a day ago.
In the year before that I praised in my columns without caveat the actresses Mia Wasikowska, Lindsay Duncan, Meryl Streep, Amanda Bishop, Essie Davis, Judy Davis, Cate Blanchett, Isabelle Huppert, Fannie Ardant, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Julia Moore, Kristin Scott Thomas, Robyn Nevin, Kate Fitzpatrick, Emily Blunt, Emily Mortimer, Emily Watson and the late Wendy Hughes, and the late Penne Hackforth-Jones, as well as the politicians Anna Bligh, Tanya Plibersek, Natasha Stott-Despoja (who launched two books of mine), Carmen Lawrence, Nicola Roxon, Jane Lomax-Smith, Vini Ciccarello, Penny Wong, Lara Gidding, Kristina Keneally, Shirley Williams, Glenda Jackson, Anna Lind, Clare Martin, Aung San Suu Kyi and Maxine McKew, and listed among my favourite authors Penelope Lively, Penelope Gilliatt, Joan Didion, Iris Murdoch, Olga Masters, Doris Lessing and Charmian Clift.
I have portrayed in my various dramas Rose Lindsay, Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh, Bea Miles, Anna Murdoch, Edith Florey and the heroines of Newsfront, Goodbye Paradise, The Nostradamus Kid, Man of Flowers, My First Wife, Perhaps Love, Down Under, Neon Street, Fatty Finn, Opening Night and The Legend of King O’Malley and received not one complaint or request for rewrites from any of the actresses portraying them.
I have been with the same wife for forty-eight years and cannot, on most counts, I believe, be said to be ‘anti-woman’ or ‘misogynist’.
I ask that you, or Tony Jones or, preferably, Ms Le Marquand apologise in a public way, please, very soon.
It is only fair.