Hoyden about Town http://hoydenabouttown.com HOYDEN (hoid'n): woman of saucy, boisterous or carefree behavior Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:45:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Media Circus: Blaming/Shaming Women Edition http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140901.17177/media-circus-blamingshaming-women-edition/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140901.17177/media-circus-blamingshaming-women-edition/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:45:53 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17177

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In just the last week Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn and over 100 female showbiz celebrities brought it all on themselves, doncha know.

Also in the last week our current Federal LNP government has kept on working to push its ideological agenda through Parliament, against what seems horribly likely to be insufficient opposition despite the best efforts of the Greens.

The PM and masked minions are raiding the Universal Entitlements Bank of Australia, while Nick Minchin tries to revive the engine of getaway vehicle Joe Hockey.

Orderly and methodical (The Canberra Times, 26 August 2014)

As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).

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All those people giving Lego the benefit of the doubt? http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140827.17168/all-those-people-giving-lego-the-benefit-of-the-doubt/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140827.17168/all-those-people-giving-lego-the-benefit-of-the-doubt/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 03:13:42 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17168

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Screw that.

The news has come in that the “female scientists” Lego set, produced after a huge grassroots campaign and petition from parents who wanted more variety in female minifigs, will not be produced beyond its initial run. Despite selling out almost immediately, it will only exist as a limited edition set. The company does not plan to release it as a standard line.

Here is the summary from Margot at Reel Girl:

“So instead of launching a major marketing campaign for the scientists, the way they did for Friends, for example, showing non-stop ads on TV and creating mini-movies featuring the figs all over the internet, these scientists will be hidden from kidworld. The figs won’t be seen on T-shirts, shoes sold at Stride Rite, lunchboxes or cereal boxes. There is no upcoming blockbuster movie where the chemist, archeologist, and paleontologist are a team of brilliant, brave heroes fighting evil. No, instead, LEGO’s female scientists are destined to a similar fate as female superheros, possible to find if parents scour the internet, but missing from your children’s daily life, not present in stores that sell kids clothing, books, and toys, a venue where our children will mostly likely have to settle for slave Leia.”

My previous grumble on this topic.

So can we please dispense with the argument that this is not really the company’s fault, because their job is just to make money? They could make money with this product, they have proof of demand. They’re choosing not to pursue it.

At least it gave us @LegoAcademics

3 Female Lego minifigs. Text: Cheers everyone! The @LegoAcademics are totally listing this as 'impact' on their next grant proposal.

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Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi’s first episode discussion thread http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140823.17149/doctor-who-peter-capaldis-first-episode-discussion-thread/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140823.17149/doctor-who-peter-capaldis-first-episode-discussion-thread/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 13:25:07 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17149 Once the ABC and BBC broadcasts begin, this thread should be assumed to contain spoilers. ]]> My bio for Hoyden still reads:

This page is the only place in the entire Hoyden community where Mary dares to confess that she is not especially interested in Doctor Who. She hastens to assure Hoyden‘s dedicated readers that she has nothing but affection for otters.

Twelfth Doctor in the Tardis

This is no longer quite true: I now watch the big events. I saw the 50th anniversary episode, the last Christmas episode and I have every intention of watching the first Capaldi episode and seeing how it goes. Thus, a thread!

Note on times:

In Australia, the ABC will simulcast the episode with the BBC. This means it will screen at 4:50am AEST on Sunday August 24 (4:20am ACST, 2:50am AWST). It becomes available on ABC iview at the end of the screening and will also repeat at 7:40pm in local time.

No spoilers before broadcast please. Once the ABC and BBC broadcasts begin, this thread should be assumed to contain spoilers.

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Otterday! And Open Thread http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140823.17143/otterday-and-open-thread-297/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140823.17143/otterday-and-open-thread-297/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:00:40 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17143

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Both sea otter and river otter lovers will be happy today – it’s bonus Double Otter Day! Our Open Thread this weekend is hosted by these whispering Asian Short-Clawed otters, courtesy of Tim Dutton on flickr:

closeup of the faces of two fuzzy Asian Short Clawed Otters. One appears to be whispering into the other's ear.

And this sea otter, cuddling a clump of kelp. Why? I have no clue. This is by J. Maughn, also on flickr.

Southern Sea Otter floating on its back in calm waters, eyes closed. It is cuddling a large clump of kelp to its chest.

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

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Media Circus: No Snappy Title edition http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140820.17141/media-circus-no-snappy-title-edition/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140820.17141/media-circus-no-snappy-title-edition/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 23:07:55 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17141

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I have been mostly speechless/typingless at the latest goings in local/federal politics, taking refuge in offline activities. Elsewhere the police brutality in Ferguson MO and egregious overreaction to peaceful protests, and the continuing atrocities perpetrated by the expanding Islamic State essentially makes me want to vomit rather than write. And there are stilling missing girls in Nigeria, and other horrors happening all over. But I should still put up a post for the rest of you to vent/rant or even ideally substantively discuss these issues, because disengagement is never going to be a solution, even if it’s sometimes temporarily necessary for some self-care. Go for it.

As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).

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Otterday! And Open Thread http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140816.17133/otterday-and-open-thread-296/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140816.17133/otterday-and-open-thread-296/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 20:00:19 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17133

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Our Open Thread this weekend is hosted by these two gorgeous otters, snapped at the Exmoor Zoo by Mark Ferbert.

two adorable mid-brown river otters lazing about in autumnal leaves

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

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Friday Hoyden: Emma Goldman http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140815.17111/friday-hoyden-emma-goldman/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140815.17111/friday-hoyden-emma-goldman/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:22:33 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17111

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At a time when the Australian government is doing its best to behave like a blend of Dickensian villains and French aristocrats, without the compensatory good taste in cravats of either, we are more than due for a genuine revolutionary for a Friday Hoyden. Emma Goldman was a Russian (or technically Russian Empire, from an area now in Lithuania) Jewish immigrant to the USA, who spent her life being persecuted for her work campaigning for the rights of workers and marginalised groups of all kinds.

Goldman classified herself as an anarchist. Throughout her life her campaigns were always against state control of people’s lives and people’s voices, and against the exploitation of the vulnerabilities people incur through being poor, ethnically marginalised or female. She was one of the earliest campaigners for women’s reproductive rights. An idealist who never let that cloud her judgement, she immediately reversed her hopeful stance on the Bolshevik state in Russia when she saw that it involved curtailing people’s right to freedom of speech, ostensibly for the good of greater, long-term goals. She was absolutely strict in her belief that you could not win ultimate freedom by denying any person along the way their individual humanity. She never denounced violence as a tactic, which was used by critics as a reason to dismiss her philosophies and deny the value of her influence. She was jailed numerous times, including for giving public lessons on the use on contraceptives, and would come out and get right back on with the work.

B&W of elderly woman standing at a dest speaking into a microphone, surrounded by people.

Speaking in Barcelona, 1936. I love how active and determined she looks.

Reading her autobiography, I was reminded (this is going to sound absurd, but bear with me) of the impression given of Jesus, if you read the bible with the mysticism stripped away. That is, she doesn’t just preach goodwill to all, she sees herself as in no way above being the person to wash someone’s feet, if that is what the situation requires. Nurse the sick, shelter the outcast, no judgement offered except of the powerful and the decadent. She was just as likely to give a prostitute a bed in her home while she treated her for venereal disease, as to go out and address a rally of thousands from a podium. Unlike many other leaders of movements for social change who have avoided getting their hands dirty, Goldman could be the patron saint of those who walk the walk.

Here is a more detailed biography, with mentions of her many published works, but I recommend her autobiography Living My Life, which is an an engaging and insightful read.

B&W police profile & full face of woman in Victorian blouse and glasses.

Goldman in her New York mug shot.

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Life at 9: discussion thread http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140812.17117/life-at-9-discussion-thread/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140812.17117/life-at-9-discussion-thread/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 03:58:47 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17117

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Here we are at Life at Nine already. How quickly they grow up!

The ABC’s documentary series tracking the growth and development of a sample cross-section of Australian children only appears every two years. The two episodes of this edition are designated ‘Independence’ and ‘Creativity’. Both episodes are still available to watch online and on ABC iView.

Watching the different responses of a range of children to classic cognitive development experiments is always fascinating, but it’s also great to have a couple of broader issues about raising children highlighted. I do find the questions asked are often exactly the ones I puzzle over. How much independence is the right amount? And how much responsibility? And how much structure? I noticed that the childhood experts seemed almost shocked to find that none of the nine year olds were walking to school unaccompanied, and concerned that they were all being supervised too closely to be healthy. And yet this is exactly the age of the little girl in the USA whose mother was actually jailed for letting her play in a nearby park on her own. So, some cultural variables worth discussing, there.

The documentaries started showing eleven children, but one (LouLou) had stopped participating by Life at 7, and this time two more (Haleema and Jara’na) were not present. No mention was made of whether it was a permanent decision by the families to leave the project. Unfortunately, this means that there are now only three girls shown. Also, as Jara’na was the only child identifying as Aboriginal and I think Haleema may have been the only Muslim, we are seeing less diversity among the participants.

One thing that struck me was how very tiny, and rather endearing, acts of rebellion are at this age. Declan taking himself off to drumming lessons, for example. I adored the moment when free-thinker Shine put a yellow dot in the bottom corner of her painting, despite being told to only use black and brown. The other children were scandalised! From little things big things grow.

So who has seen it, and what did you think? How does what was discussed intersect with your own parenting.

The general discussion thread on Life at 1, 3 and 5 is HERE.

The Life at 7 discussion thread, HERE, is especially interesting because of the contribution from one of the parents participating in the study, Michelle, who generously shared some fascinating insights into the process.

The British equivalent began in 2000, and is called Child of Our Time. There are some clips and snippets of information HERE.

8 children around a long table. Text: Life at 9

 

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Otterday! And Open Thread http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140809.17112/otterday-and-open-thread-295/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140809.17112/otterday-and-open-thread-295/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 20:00:30 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17112

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Our Open Thread this weekend is hosted by this very cool otter.

otter standing up and leaning against a tree, a la James Dean

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

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The 75th Down Under Feminists Carnival is up! http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140805.17105/the-75th-down-under-feminists-carnival-is-up/ http://hoydenabouttown.com/20140805.17105/the-75th-down-under-feminists-carnival-is-up/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 23:30:11 +0000 http://hoydenabouttown.com/?p=17105

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the logo for the Down Under Feminists Carnival - the international symbol for 'female' with the Southern Cross in the centre

The industrious Rebecca of Opinions @ bluebec.com presents us with DUFC #75! Go have a read.

The next edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival is planned for 5 August, 2014 and will be hosted by Scarlett Harris at The Scarlett Woman. Submissions to scarlett.harris [at] y7mail [dot] com for those who can’t access the blogcarnival submissions form.

Submissions must be of posts of feminist interest by writers from Australia and New Zealand that were published in August. Submissions are due on 2 September at the latest, but it’ll be easier on Scarlett if you submit sooner rather than later. So submit early and often, please, and spread the word!

Leave a comment if you’d like to host a carnival yourself. We are in great need of hosts.

Check out the Down Under Feminists Carnival homepage for more information.

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