Single issue petitions on websites like Change.org, and others of their ilk, tend to be focused on the simplest messages one can extract from an issue. The hardest line and most sensational language is encouraged to guarantee two things: the most possible signatures, and bountiful media coverage. On first glance that seems like a good thing, but what is missed with this push?
My understandable, human and heartfelt response to the tragedy of the Sydney siege was all of those things, but only those things. It was informed by my own past trauma, which are legitimate parts of the conversation but not the whole of it. It was not nuanced or critiqued, and it did not engage in community consultation. I simply said aloud and formally what many were feeling, before the facts had come into play. Swept into a maelstrom of commentary and an unanticipated furious public response, I was left reeling and scrambling to begin the consultation that should have been the foundation of any campaign.
…mutual support, community service, skill-building, learning about issues facing women both locally and overseas, and advocacy on behalf of women. So far so good! So why is it that, on the whole, the Country Women’s Association is so ossified?
From work I’ve been doing for a forthcoming book on new media and Australian politics, I have some useful data that may partially inform this discussion in the form of Facebook wallposts from 600 Australians collected before this recent debate took off (late 2011). In recent days I’ve reanalysed this dataset to shed some light on the treatment of women in the social media space.
Guest post from Tansy Rayner Roberts: Joanna Russ is one of the mighty legends of the science fiction field that everyone needs to know about. As well as writing many important novels and short stories, she was a brutal literary critic, a brilliant academic, an unflinching feminist, and a devastatingly articulate commentator on gender, not only in science fiction but in the history of culture.
I’m interested in addressing it as an instance of popular culture that again has kids tearing through books, hungry for more, at the controversy and ‘moral panic’ that it seems to be creating, and in looking at the elements of what, for me, made it something out of the league of the ‘Twilights’ of the world.
Being an ally means talking to people about asexuality and accepting their identity as they describe it. It means asking questions only when you’re genuinely interested in hearing the answer. If your mindset is already fixed at “I don’t quite understand x, therefore asexuality cannot be valid,” then do everyone a favour and just walk away.
The Ada Initiative, a group promoting women in open source and open culture, had their first AdaCamp in early January. In order to save some money, and because I like food to be inclusive for everyone, Brianna and I volunteered to do all the baking ourselves.