Hoyden About Town is proud to present the first edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival! I hope you enjoy this spectacular buffet of feminist writing.
The Down Under Feminists Carnival is open to feminist submissions from any blog based in Australia or New Zealand. You can submit your own posts or those of others, and you can submit as many posts as you like. Please spread the word amongst your feminist networks, and keep the carnival going.
Violence Against Women
Hell On Hairy Legs is frustrated with high school teaching about The Role of Women:
We who scream those words until our throats bleed. A rape here, an honour killing there, we take notes and sigh. A couple tears fall, making the words “oppression”, “patriarchy” and “humanity” indecipherable, except we know them so well, having written them so many times before. Women’s pain has become the norm.
Audrey Apple discusses the infuriating shortcomings of the justice system with regard to rape cases in “How to get away with rape”.
There has been a stunning series of posts in the Kiwifemiblogosphere about a victim-blaming advertisement being run by Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council (ALAC) “Had Enough” campaign, and supported by Family Planning NZ.
The other advertisements in the campaign feature men getting hammered, then doing stupid, violent, blameworthy things. The “Lisa” ad, however: Woman gets drunk, woman gets raped by a stranger in a dark alley, therefore woman shouldn’t drink, because it’s her fault that she got raped. Bad woman! Don’t do it again! You know all the tropes. The ad’s tagline is “It’s not what we’re drinking, it’s how we’re drinking.”
Julie summarises the issues and rounds up the blog responses at The Hand Mirror: “Quick Update on the “Lisa” ad, ALAC and the ASA decision”. She and several other women, have made complaints to ALAC, and to the Advertising Standards Authority. The responses from ALAC have been ghastly cut and paste jobs that don’t even begin to acknowledge the problem.
Queen of Thorns at Ideologically Impure has an thorough account of the ad, and of what women have been doing in response to it: “Just fuck you, ALAC. Fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on“:
Is she honestly meant to sit and muse over a cup of tea in iambic pentameter,
I really must admit that it was I
Who went and drank and ended up like that
The Drink left me so vuln’rable and weak,
Yea, truly I shall not binge-drink again!
C.C. at Charlotte’s Crazy has also talked about the ALAC ad in “Blame the Victim”. Joanna at Hubris has a personal response, reflecting on her assault as a young teenager, “Motivated by fury, not despair“:
Should I have been in that bar? No. Was it therefore my fault? No. Did I deserve it? No. It’s the last two Nos that have taken me more than ten years to accept.
Anna McM at The Hand Mirror also offers her personal story in “Nobody likes a smart ALAC”. Anna was re-victimised by a sexual assault counsellor:
The counsellor asked me to describe what had happened to me, and I duly did. ‘That is very upsetting’, she said, then honed in immediately on the drinking. Did I drink regularly? How much? All I’d really wanted from a counsellor – from anyone, really – was to sit with me, without judging, while I cried. That was the moment at which I decided to hide the incident away inside myself, and let it corrode me with guilt and unhappiness.
Health and Disability
Meganat Craft is the New Black exclaims “Oh, for goodness’ sake!” What prompted this? An article in the New York Times implying that the high injury rates and poor technique in teenage girl athletes is due to inherent weakness, not substandard coaching.
Lauredhel (that’s me!) at Hoyden About Town has a problem with the pinkpornification of consumer breast cancer awareness marketing, in “Save Second Base!”: The Reaction responds”.
Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony points out the flaws in evolutionary psychology justifications for rape fiction in “Soon, though, Julia realises that she’s more free as a slave than she ever was as a sheltered Roman virgin”. Cupidsbow has also been having fiction troubles, foiled in her attempt to find non-misogynist novels at a bookshop: “WTF, I’d rather read slash forever!”:
Am I speaking some strange and exotic language? When I say, “No misogyny,” does it come out as, “Blah blah blah Fido blah blah sex”?”
Bluemilk examines the furore over Bill Henson’s photography of nude adolescents, the role of the media, and the limitations of the artistic defence in “Art and the sexualising of children”.
Umm Yasmin at Dervish takes a controversial stance, arguing that Sam Newman’s leering Caroline Wilson mannequin stunt on the Footy Show proves gender equality, in “Equality for women in Sam’s Footy Show stunt”. I disagree vehemently with aspects of this post, but hey, make up your own mind! For video of the event and the followup, see Youtube : 1, 2, 3, 4 (out of sync, sorry); Wilson’s column on the matter is at Real Footy. You don’t even need to venture into the Youtube comments to get Bingo: Sam will give it you twice over all on his own.
And Kim at Larvatus Prodeo posts as part of an LP series on Big Brother Australia: “Big Brother eats its own (princess): a cautionary tale of the S word”.
Race and racism
The paper should at least be honest and have the tag line read “what are waikato men wanting from the budget tomorrow?”
Alison Tuck at Woman and Child First highlights Tania Major’s humour in “It Means I’m 6 foot 2, I’m Intellectual, I’m Bullet Proof”. Major was interview by Andrew Denton on Enough Rope:
TANIA MAJOR: A Kokoberra woman means I’m from Kowanyama in a right Aboriginal community, in Cape York. I’m from a particular tribal group. It means I’m six foot two, I’m intellectual, I’m bullet proof.
ANDREW DENTON: Mhm.
TANIA MAJOR: And it means, don’t mess with me Andrew Denton. Cos I can see on your head.
Family & Women’s Work
Blue Milk hosts a discussion subverting the perfect competimummy movement in “What we can tell you about the Slacker Mum Movement after two glasses of wine”. She continues her look at hyper-parenting in “If you were the parent you want to be, who would you be?”.
The Ex-Expat takes a look at the flipside of the mothering guilt machine: Because women are just baby machines…..
At Personal Political, Suze Oz‘s kid is learning about sexist “humour” in “a joke”.
Bluemilk gives us some home truths about the paid maternity leave debate, at “Let’s get something straight about maternity leave”, taking on the “not on my taxes” arguments against extending paid maternity leave to include some government contributions. Penguin Unearthed also has “Paid Maternity Leave” on her mind:
If maternity/paternity leave should be an employment right, economic and behavioural arguments about the impacts almost seem irrelevent – the main question is who should pay for it and how long should it be.
Deborah In A Strange Land puts a Family Court judge under the lens, skewering the judge’s argument that the more talented and wealthy partner should get more in divorce than their partners who do everything else in the partnership so that the talented can concentrate on honing their talents. It’s only fair: “Dinosaur sighted in Australia”.
Lauredhel notes some damaging approaches taken by control-freak OBGYNs in “Birthplans and Expectations”. Queen of Thorns at Ideologically Impure is also disgusted at the state of medical ethics, commanding doctors: “Physicians, Heal Thy Attitudes”
Emma at Emervents discusses the forced-birther letterbox propaganda in “Tell The Truth and Pro-life lie dissemination tactics”. Keri James at This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours campaigns for choice, asking the world, “Please don’t make this harder than it has to be.”
Emma at Emervents looks at the intervention-means-a-perfect-baby myth in “Just one more reason our OBs are so “caesar happy”.” Looking Glass Alice gives up on forgiveness in the birthing-choice warzone and urges us to get angry: “Forgiveness?? Who fucking cares.”
Craft and Creativity
Sajbrfem at Fifty Two Acts releases into the wild: “The Real Open Source Boob Project Pt II – Boobie Hat! a Flickr tutorial”. She also invites readers to join a feminist knitalong at “Welcome to Knit Club” at One Row Purl, One Row Plain: Craft Is A Critical Practice.
Julie posts at The Hand Mirror about the family name she and her partner chose for their newborn son, in “By any other name…”. Lyn at the Grey Lynn Singles Club takes a look at naming also, but it is blog names and gender identity online that have caught her interest: “What’s in a name?”
Deborah at The Hand Mirror schools pollies on regressive anti-woman tax plans: “How not to get women’s votes #1”.
At Show Your Workings, Littlegemsession discusses how women’s blog politicking is happening in places where it doesn’t get seen, such as craft blogs: “Politics and me”. Lyn thinks that exemplars and role models may help tip the balance on women’s involvement in the political blogosphere, looking across the Pacific in “Presidential campaign illustrates my point”.
Hell On Hairy Legs finds mathematical formulae in the flavours of feminism in “Formulae in Feminism”.
Richie at Crimitism goes hungry in the name of feminism, in order to analyse a “game” called Man Laws and Woman Rules which is even worse than you might expect: “This post cost my entire weekly food budget”.
Anna McM asks “SEX SELLS – BUT WHAT’S FOR SALE?” at the Hand Mirror, critiquing Massey University’s celebration of one of its students coming 3rd in the Miss Universe New Zealand competition. A View From Elsewhere also looks at sex for sale in “fries with that”:
In which our heroine finds herself seated at dinner between a ‘firey’ (i.e. fireman) and a man from Angl#care in Adelaide sent to work at Angl#care in Alice, and the former tries to find her a mail order bridegroom from Venezuela:
Firey: That’s how I met my fiancee. Sparksey said, All you have to do is enter the details you want — age, height, weight, size. Whether or not you want to breed.
Me: But what if you entered “five foot five, fifty-five kilograms, size ten” and true happiness was to be found with “five foot seven, sixty-one kilograms, size twelve” How would you know you were entering the right details?
Julie at The Hand Mirror is annoyed at people commenting about her post-pregnancy body: “I’m sorry, is my body not conforming to your stereotyping?”
And last but not least, The UWA Institute of Advanced Studies still has places available at “Vision, Memory, Spectacle: The Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association International Conference”, 9-11 July in Perth. Perth is a great spot to visit in winter! The blurb:
Feminism’s reputation for excess and spectacle persevere in media images and popular memory, but how do we remember the vision(aries) of earlier feminisms? How is feminism screened? Is there agency in spectacle? How do current shifts in visual culture affect gender relations (does feminism have a SecondLife)? And does it matter, if women are still spectacularly poor in the corporation of the world? This conference is intent on pursuing the visual, memory and spectacle in diverse forms, as well as any topics that further understandings of gender and sexuality, race and class, historically and in contemporary everyday life. It is for everyone interested in contemporary work in women’s studies, feminist activism and gender research.”
That concludes this inaugural edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival! I hope you enjoyed it.