My first non-fiction book, The Fictional Woman, was launched last month at the Sydney Writers’ Festival and has since become a #1 non-fiction best-seller. At the launch, guests were invited to share the fictions that have followed them through their lives.
In order to address the fictions about other women, I had to also address the fictions about myself. One of those fictions is that I am ‘Teflon Tara’ and nothing has chinked my armour; my life has been as smooth and unmarked by pain and loss as one of those shiny advertisements I posed for over the years while making my living as a fashion model.
Not so long ago, in a studio in Sydney, we shot the cover of my first ever non-fiction book. The experience was unexpectedly cathartic, and for the photographer, makeup artist and crew, a touch confronting, I was told.
Throughout history many – if not most – cultures have perpetuated the myth of the evil woman. Television presenter, journalist and bestselling crime novelist Tara Moss discusses evil women, female criminals and the demonisation of the female gender: from Eve and Pandora to Elizabeth Bathory and Paula Broadwell.
“Those that cannot budget to procreate – shouldn’t! ” Indeed. Let’s make sure women decide the exact right moment to reproduce. If they get it wrong, or chose a partner who dies, leaves them, abuses them or makes them deeply unhappy, screw ‘em. It’s their fault for choosing to carry, give birth to and raise the next generation, right?
On this election day, I am grateful to be a working, voting citizen of Australia, a democratic and lucky country. I owe thanks to the women before me who made this possible. Edith Cowan believed that if you wanted something changed, you had to run for parliament. I’ll be raising a glass to her today.