It is International Women's Day today, fellow travellers, which is obviously cause for great celebration! You'll all be pleased to know that I danced a dance of empowerment and joy to that Helen Reddy classic with my feline, feminist fellow traveller Jocelyn.

But there was sadness too. My cat and I wept about the fact that blonde jokes are still being told in the workplace in this country, sometimes even by women themselves! And our tears flowed over the tragic dearth of the gentler (and also stronger) sex on corporate boards in Australia.

Really, this lamentable situation is of the most pressing concern to all Australian citizens, both human and non-human. Of course, those on the right say that gender balance at the helm of big business is a minor issue, since there are so few men in such high places also.

But they just don't get it as usual. Society can and should be structured from the top down (and I don't mean that in an elitist way). Without the female (and necessarily feminist) perspective in the upper echelons of government, academe and particularly business there will never be equality for women. There will also be no respect for Gaia.

As ecofeminists so sassily proclaim, women are in harmony with nature; men are against it. As long as peenie-waving testosteroids dominate Western economies, Earth-rape will continue at the same terrifying pace. Quite simply without a strong affirmative action policy in place at the big end of town, the planet is doomed.

Considering this context, last night's Q&A was compelling viewing, since it revealed what we who struggle for social and ecological justice are still up against. One of the guests was the appalling Janet Albrechtsen. I'm sure she wasn't asked, but bullied her way into a position on the panel. Through her position on the ABC Board of Directors she has shifted that whole organization to the right. You'd think she'd be satisfied after inflicting such damage upon it. But no, she had to come back to have another gloat, didn't she!

Thankfully, there were voices of reason. The sassy Kate Ellis was there, applying her searing intellect to the issues at hand. Gail Kelly was also present. However, it must be said that while she is an empowering role model she did let the side down a bit. When Tony Jones asked if she had to endure sexism as she ascended the corporate ladder she said:

Yeah, look, in a subtle way. Because, remember, my career started in the late 1970s and all the way through the 1980s and in those days the kind of language and behaviour at workplace that was tolerated was very different from what's tolerated today so the kind of sort of throw away remarks and the clothes that you're wearing today and, you know, those sorts of things were quite overt. I tended to ignore it all though and just sort of get on with doing what I was here to do.

But Gail, that's not what you're meant to say! You had a great opportunity to aggressively condemn those evil male co-workers who no doubt put you through hell with their deep-rooted misogyny and you didn't take it! You really are far too forgiving. Clearly, that's due to the sexist conditioning you suffered as a woman.

Hearteningly, though, the brilliant Mike Carlton was in fine feminist form. He came out with all non-phallocentric guns blazing, shooting down all those blow-hard reactionaries in radio-land and Canberra:

The radio shock jocks have behaved abominably, to wit Alan Jones's insolent ledger to the Prime Minister on punctuality and manners, which I thought was one of the most abominable things I've seen in radio in all my years. So there is an attempt by the Opposition, I think, to whip up, to ferment, discord, fear and loathing. It's long been a Liberal Party tactic when they're in Opposition. They believe they have a God given right to rule and they don't like it when the Gods rule against them and so we are seeing exactly what Abbott is doing: trying to wreck parliament and to create this sense of rising tension.

It's true, the way Alan Jones treated our elected helmsperson Julia Gillard was utterly appalling, and sexist. And the way he condemned her for "lying"! She has made a truly courageous decision that will be crucial to the long term health of the planet, and all Jones was worried about was the great unloofahed and their belief they were betrayed.

And on the subject of those feelings: Yes, Abbott and Jones and others on the right have certainly whipped them up. If there's one thing we know about the great unloofahed, they just aren't smart enough to know when they've been lied to anyway. If Jones and Abbott et al had said nothing, there'd be absolutely no anger about the carbon tax at all. Shame on them for provoking it.

But back to Q&A, and in particular, Albrechtsen: Every time she opened her mouth I just wanted to throw up. Whenever she heard some sensible socialist opinion she kept saying: "I get frustrated by this."

You could just feel that the audience was on the verge of collectively saying: "No Janet, we are getting really frustrated with you!" (And considering just how right-leaning the Q&A audiences are, that's saying something.)

And of course she trotted out her usual argument about how women don't want to succeed in their careers as much as men:

Again, you know, I get so frustrated by this. You know, we know that for every many who regards work as the centre of his life, there are many more women who focus on family and work. You know, this is often a choice by women and yet we never talk about this. We only talk about, you know, the fact that females are being discriminated in the workplace; that there is a pay gap between the sexes. We don't talk about the fact that often women are choosing to work less. They want to work less.

Really, this is right-wing propaganda at its most brazen. What she's saying is that it's women's nature to prefer bringing up children to working in an office. Can you think of anything more vile, sexist and just flat out insane?

She also took a really nasty swipe at feminism itself, with this spray:

Let me come to it from this direction. A few days ago at a Sydney girls' high school, the girls were asked whether they were feminists. Of 90 girls, 30 girls put their hands up. Now, I think that's quite unfortunate. These are girls who are obviously in favour of female suffrage. They're in favour of equal pay and yet there is something going on here that a lot of young girls are not finding feminism attractive.

She just loves saying that feminism has an image problem. You know, it's become "the f-word".

That is just so false. Not only are there lots of sassy, feisty and empowered women who proudly call themselves feminist, there are also a lot of attitudinally reconstructed males who do too. With visionary activists like Mike Carlton and myself as (non-capitalist) advertisements for feminism, how could it possibly be unattractive to young women?

Janet Albrechtsen you are appalling. Just appalling.