Welcome to this website on social justice. I’m Joan Beckwith, and one of those people who have Ideas in the middle of the night, many of which seem less amazing in the light of day, but some of which take hold. This website was one of those ideas, and came about when I realised that most of the work I have done as a psychologist and most of the issues I care most about involve social justice.

I decided to call this website 2020socialjustice because the cherished ideals are a bit like 20-20 hindsight, or 20-20 vision, representing a state of perfection that is unlikely to be achieved and yet is still worth working towards in whatever ways are possible. At this stage writing is possible for me though being on the front line is not.

2020 is also a time in the future, far enough away for substantial change, and near enough for realistic commitment. With this in mind, I decided to write this blog until at least 2020, produce at least 20x20 relevant posts by the end of that time, and complete at least 20 of those in any half-calendar year (including those on this website as well as those on the facebook page).

So, welcome to 2020socialjustice where you can:

The 2020socialjustice motto is that ‘thinking is important, being an expert is not, being right is unlikely’. Comments are very welcome through this website, through the facebook page, or by email to Joan Beckwith at 2020socialjustice@gmail.com.


Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this site may include images and other references to people who have passed away. It may also contain links to sites that may use images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased.



In brief ...

Is feminism anti-science?

April 11th, 2014   

I first wrote about the tension between feminism and science some years ago, after a conference dinner at which the person next to me asked what sort of psychologist I was – probably expecting to hear about my ‘specialty’. My response, no doubt naive, was to describe myself as a feminist psychologist. The effect could not have been more dramatic…Joan Beckwith.

Read the whole post »


Whose freedom? What speech?

April 8th, 2014   

The current debate on freedom of speech in Australia, as I see it, is a struggle to own the right to determine whose freedom and what speech we are talking about. We, as members of community, need to make sure our voices are heard by those who are making the decisions…Joan Beckwith.

Read the whole post »


It is SUPPOSED to be Harmony Day

March 21st, 2014   

It is supposed to be Harmony Day; a day of cultural respect. But it’s not very harmonious, given the treatment of asylum seekers. It is also International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination. But our government is looking at repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. We are heading seriously off-course…Joan Beckwith.

Read the whole post »


What has sexuality got to do with parenting?

March 16th, 2014   

Guest post by Brett Allen, winner of student award.
Children raised by gay and lesbian parents develop in much the same way as children raised by a mother and a father. So, why does the law discriminate? Same-sex parents and their children would be better placed if they did not have to deal with prejudice and stigma and could choose to marry, argues Brett Allen.

Read the whole post »


Society’s portrayal of ‘boat people’

March 15th, 2014   

Guest post by Katie Webster, highly commended student award.
Those “who’ve come across the seas” over the last couple of decades, as asylum seekers, have not been given the “fair go” the country prides itself on. We need to be social justice advocates, Katie Webster argues, and “stay strong in working to restore compassion across Australia.”

Read the whole post »


Six ways political protest is more than self-indulgence

March 4th, 2014   

I lost faith in the power of political protest on 19 March 2003 – when millions of people out on the streets across the world failed to avert allied invasion of Iraq. At the same time, I do not see rallies as purely self-indulgent, and so diverge from a recent critique of protest in Australia. I still occasionally attend rallies, and here are six of my reasons for doing so…Joan Beckwith.

Read the whole post »


Playing with words to play with lives

February 16th, 2014   

Words come with baggage; some more than others; “sinful” more than most; and “illegal” is fast catching up, at least in its application to asylum seekers in Australia. This, anyway, is where my thoughts wandered as I watched “Philomena” at the cinema recently … Joan Beckwith.

Read the whole post »


Bullied out of life

February 14th, 2014   

Guest post by Michael John Dennis
Bullying has diminished my life, and for a very long time I turned sharply inward. I was going to use a pseudonym in writing this guest post, but silencing and self-silencing are part of the problem, and so I decided to use my own name instead…Michael John Dennis.

Read the whole post »


Human rights are more than individual rights

February 8th, 2014   

Australia’s new Human Rights Commissioner believes human rights are universal and can be undermined when “particular groups receive special treatment”. The problem, I argue, is that this belief assumes a level playing field…Joan Beckwith.

Read the whole post »


Social Justice Calendar

January 2nd, 2014   

I have drawn the 80+ entries in this social justice calendar from several sources over the course of 2013 and 2014. Your comments, corrections, and suggested additions are most welcome and can be made at the end of the full post…Joan Beckwith.

Read the whole post »


Go to all posts »