A veritable smorgasbord for you!
1. “Intimate Politics: A Roundtable”: a downloadable podcast of a panel of feminist scholars and their reactions (not book reviews, but further musings) to the book Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel, by Bettina Aptheker.
2. “Who hates to hear they look great?”: amandaw on the “But you don’t look sick!” phenomenon and invisible disabilities.
3. “What are we doing here?”: magniloquence muses at length on the femisphere, its characters, and the dynamics of blogwars. Meta upon meta, lots to unpack here.
4. “Students use sex to promote healthy foods”: Two students in Canberra come up with the absolutely ground-breaking new idea of presenting scantily clad women’s bodies in order to promote a food group. Somehow, this is “Innovative!” national news.
5. “unnecessary surgery”: la doctorita finds an article placing hysterectomy and episiotomy in the top five unncessary surgeries list. We wonder why C section isn’t in there, and I wonder further why breast implants and genital cosmetic surgeries aren’t in there. Why are so many unnecessary surgeries related to reproductive organs?
6. “Safer Than a Known Way: The express route from elective repeat cesarean to homebirth”: the personal narrative of a woman toward homebirth after caesarean section:
[after reading some “evolutionary obstetrics”] I was an inadequate pelvis who shouldn’t be alive, my line only to be sustained now by the miracles of modern medicine. As a bonus I wouldn’t have to suffer the vile indignities of normal birth and become a disgusting and incontinent middle-aged woman with a large, loose, flapping vagina.
The small door to my tiny, useless pelvis closed quietly, but with finality.
“Of course we must keep in mind, the desired outcome from all this is a live birth,” was his closing observation. Was the only difference between Dr Case and the Dr Darwins of this world that when he played his “dead baby” card, he did so with finesse?
I cried in front of Dr Milton Case’s awful desk as I related my anxieties about monitoring, about how it had been last time when all I had wanted was to get into a warm shower. “Well, you obviously still have some unresolved issues around the last birth”¦”
“Monitoring: v. anxious” he scrawled on my card.
I just love the ending. Read all the way.
7. “And then there were none…”: Langguj Gel notes that the last fluent speaker of Jawoyn passed away last week.
8. “The doctor’s story”: Transcript of the Dr Mohammed Haneef interview on Sixty Minutes. Haneef, unjustly detained in a bungled, overpoliticised terrorism investigation, is now free and has returned to his wife and new baby daughter in India.
9. “” Community Development Employment Project, 1977-2007”: And lastly, more on CDEP scrapping from “Aboriginal Art & Culture: an American eye”:
Fifty years ago and more, Aboriginal stockmen worked cattle stations for clothing and rations, not wages. The rationale was that Aboriginal people weren’t “ready” to participate in a cash economy, as Tim Rowse detailed in White Flour, White Power: from rations to citizenship in Central Australia (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
Today, Mal Brough is saying that Aboriginal people still aren’t ready for the cash economy: whatever money can’t be quarantined to pay rent, mortgages, or grocery bills, has to be outright taken away before people gamble or booze it away. And thus tolls the bell for the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP). The demise of CDEP in towns and urban areas was announced back in February. Now it’s to be demolished in remote communities as well.
As noted on the CDEP website, the program was instituted “at the request of several remote Communities as an alternative to receiving unemployment benefits (“the dole’). ” Indiviudals [articipate in CDEP on a voluntary basis: it’s the opposite of passive welfare. Until the Federal Government saw fit to undo its benefits, CDEP accounted for a quarter of indigenous employment in Australia.
But, as each passing week makes increasingly clear, the destruction of remote communities is the real agenda that the Howard government is pursuing. Once the economic basis of remote community life has been dismantled–and the abolition of CDEP won’t be the last salvo in that battle–Brough expects people will have to abandon their homelands to find employment. And what can they expect once they’ve moved to the fringe camps?
Only by abolishing land rights for the benefit of mining companies can the Territory hope to achieve a viable economy, and you can bet your last dollar that such wealth would never be used to pay for services for its indigenous residents. Because Brough has made it clear that indigenous people can’t be trusted with money, can they? Here are the man’s own words, from an interview with Leon Compton on Darwin ABC Radio from July 23, quoted on Transient Languages and Cultures:
Compton: Are you saying that money from CDEP is the problem in child sexual abuse and alcoholism and violence?
Brough: Absolutely, there is no doubt that there is a contributing factor beyond the CDEP payments and because for all intents and purposes they are a welfare payment – it is the cash that is being used to buy the drugs and alcohol that have caused so many … so much of the pain for these children. There is just no doubt about that.