“The Nice Guy syndrome arises from men who are really conflicted about women’s equality. They get angry real fast when, after being “nice,” they don’t get rewarded, or they are rejected. … Guys are oblivious to the fact of their entrenched privilege, the very notion that women are there as available eye candy for them. It is unnerving and uncool.”—
Amanda Marcotte, in an interview with the Austin-American Statesman about her new book, It’s a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments (via seagull) (via jessicagoldharalson)
The one saving grace, for me, of the Australian electoral system is that we have preferential voting, unfortunately it is an under used, misunderstood tool for the electorate that the parties are able to manipulate to their advantage.
Viva la Republique!
UPDATE: If Americans had preferential voting then Gore would have won in Florida with or without any hanging chads.
I love preferential voting. When I was in Las Vegas, I explained how it worked to some delighted shop assistants in Anthropologie. You know, instead of drinking or gambling. ‘Cos that’s how I roll.
One thing I come across a lot in feminist circles in regards to the ridiculous controversy surrounding the Open Source Boob Project is the Choice Feminsist Defense. As in, “But she had the freedom to make her choice! So that means, no matter what the woman decides, it’s not sexist at all! How could you demean her decision is she made that decision freely? If a woman makes her choice, well that’s feminist! *Harrumph*
“The experience of having lived at varying weights in different places is in my mind almost like the experience of having been different women. I could pretty much tell you my weight at any point in my life, and it would be a reliable guide in terms of what I was doing, where I lived, whom I was sleeping with, and how I felt about it all.”
- Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires, which I couldn’t get through but you might like, in the April issue of Vogue.
So says A Current Affair, which took to the streets last night to find out what the public thought of Rein’s sartorial choices during her recent world tour with husband Kevin Rudd.
Responses ranged from “just not stylish” to “very frumpy for a first lady” to, from Sydney hairdresser Joh Bailey, who styled Anita Keating, “[Her hair] definitely needs to be blowdried straight and smooth. It’s just not an appropriate look for the world stage.”
More appropriate for that stage, apparently, was Nicholas Sarkozy’s wife Carla Bruni, who was “papped and praised” during her recent visit to the UK. Bruni, if you’re not familiar with her, is a former supermodel.
But not even she escapes criticism in ACA’s online slideshow, which includes a photo of the newly minted French first lady naked, declaring it “a far better look than Bruni’s Soviet Bloc factory worker ensemble when she decides to venture around with clothes on.” At least Bruni fares better than Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and Imelda Marcos, who is described as “the vain witch who gave Snow White the poison apple”.
Washington Post fashion editor Robin Givhan said in a recent speech to the International Museum of Women that “the combination of politics and fashion is a natural one. Politicians are more concerned about the messages they convey, the way in which they’re coming across to their constituency and the way in which they’re perceived, than any other group of people I can think of, except perhaps for entertainers.” But there’s a big difference between paying attention to one’s appearance and the very shallow misogyny displayed by ACA last night and online.
ACA, unsurprisingly, was quick to distance itself from its own story, host Tracey Grimshaw commenting on its conclusion: “Can you believe it? This woman has founded and run a multimillion dollar business while raising three kids and supporting her husband to the highest office in the land and everyone’s talking about her clothes.”
Well the weekend is over and hopefully the 884 participants (plus super-sub Marcus Westbury!) have finished cramming. A funny thing happened when the 2020 list was announced. Many of the ‘winners’ quickly spoke of ‘honour, opportunity & expectation’ but also selflessly asked stakeholders, peers or the blogoshpere for feedback, suggestions and YOUR ideas to take to Canberra. Oh geez, stop the earnestness!
If you aren’t already sure what to put on the table or what your fellow travellers want – why are you going? There have been quite a few mass emails and posts from attendees re-assuring the populace they will be, ‘reading up on things and formulating ideas’.
This correspondence smells a bit like that lovely celebrity trait, ‘I don’t want to talk about me, what do you think about me?’
We’re all a bit obsessed with 2020 over at newmatilda.com - which is, of course, exactly what Rudd’s media department (the people running the Summit) want. Click here for the outcomes of the Youth Summit this weekend.
In other news, it’s kind of amusing to see three of your friends on the front page of the publication you work for.
1. Good blogs develop organically out of a genuine passion for covering a particular issue in a particular way. When mainstream media outlets set up blogs, it’s less because they want to cover a particular issue than because they want to have blogs on their website, because people like reading blogs. (I can already pick holes in my own argument here: one of the most loathed Australian mainstream media blogs began because the person writing it really really really wanted to blog on that topic. You know which one I’m talking about.)
2. In the blogosphere, people flock to the best, most interesting writers on any given topic. Mainstream media bloggers are generally not the best, most interesting writers on their topic. In print, this doesn’t matter so much, because publishers have an effective oligopoly, but online, weaknesses like this can be deadly. (As someone who has been far more successful in the mainstream media than as a blogger,* I’m really just insulting myself here.) Take Gala Darling, who does the women’s mag beat far better than any women’s mag in Australia. (Which is why Cosmo hired her as a columnist for a while.)
Which brings me to…
3. The qualities that make a successful blog or blogger are not the same as those that make a successful magazine or newspaper. Thus, Gala’s blog did not translate to the page, just as Marshall Herskovitz’s online Quarterlife did not translate to the television screen.
* Probably because my blog has no coherent strategy or subject matter.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.”—
I think this is true of all (well, I can only speak for myself - so maybe “a lot of”) highly intimate relationships, though. The most intimate relationships I’ve had have both opened me up to new (often good) things about myself that I hadn’t known existed, and also led to the deepest soul searching and positive personal growth when encountered trouble.
“Pretty soon my kid’s going to understand what I’m saying and be able to access it on the computer. I screwed up something a few months ago and I was like, ‘You know who wouldn’t do that? Tom Hanks. You know who would keep his mouth shut? Tom Hanks. I should try to be like Tom Hanks.’”—Tina Fey
With news of the Coalition’s online ineptitude all over the papers and the blogosphere, it’s worth turning our gaze to Labor’s post-election internet strategy.
Specifically, why hasn’t Kevin Rudd updated his Facebook profile since the election last November?
Sure, he does have the pesky business of actually running the country to attend to now, but that image of Kev and Therese staring into each other’s eyes as they dip a single white Senate paper into the ballot box, no matter how patriotic or romantic it might be (and I’d argue it’s off the charts on both), is starting to look, well, old.
Besides, we all know (or at least suspect — Malcolm Turnbull might be an exception here) that politicians don’t maintain their own social networking profiles. And even if the PM can’t spare 90 seconds to change his profile pic to an image of him hanging out with Hu Jintao, surely someone on his staff can spare the overtime.
It’s less superficial than it sounds. Social networking websites are an excellent way of getting political news and information out to people who would never visit a political party website, or don’t read a newspaper.
Rudd’s lip service venture into Facebook, MySpace and YouTube may not have won Labor the 2007 election, but it did help to bring politics back into the realm of popular culture and conversation. And post-election, having the words “Kevin Rudd is in London” or “Kevin Rudd secretly regrets saluting George Bush” pop up on computer screens over breakfast would be a low-effort way of keeping otherwise disengaged voters up-to-date and interested in the Government’s activities.
Not that the Libs are doing much better. In a sign of willful self-delusion, John Howard’s page still lists him as Prime Minister. Little wonder Bush was so calm when Rudd announced he was withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq last week. Peter Costello is still Treasurer. Brendan Nelson’s page has been updated post-election, but that’s because he got a promotion (kind of).
What all this shows, unsurprisingly, is that neither the ALP nor the Libs has caught on to the idea that online campaigning isn’t like a television ad blitz — you can’t just roll it out in the month or three leading up to the election. It needs to be an all-electoral-cycle-round thing.
In the meantime, I’m still awaiting that new profile pic, Kevin.
It occured to me that as Tumblr continues to grow and these regional Tumblr groups form, you’ll have a network of people you know you can tap into all over the world when you travel.
This is incredibly exciting.
I agree, someone should develop an little site like a Tumblr Pod Hotel, where you say where and when you’re travelling and what you’d like to do with other Tumblr users while you’re in their city.
There are sites like TripHub and TripIt but these are for sharing your itineraries with people you know.
A Tumblr travel site would be different because even though the people are strangers, since they had a Tumblelog you could be at least 65% certain you would like them, “trust them” and have something in common with them.
This is true in theory and at present, but as the service grows it might cease to be. You wouldn’t say, for example, that you would like or “trust” someone purely because they had a blogspot. I suppose there’s always the option of actually looking at the person’s blog before you decide if you want to meet them, though.
It’s easy to read this as being a result of Nelson’s ineptitude as a leader, but I don’t think that’s the case.
It’s not that Nelson is doing a particularly dismal job (given the circumstances - it’s obvious to everyone that the Libs don’t really see him as a potential PM; he’s just there to fill the Opposition Leader slot in a period where it’d be pretty much impossible for anyone to do well in it), it’s that people were so drained by eleven and a half years the Howard Government that they don’t want to even think about the Coalition at the moment.
That, and as Annabel Crabb put it on the weekend, a lot of us are busy Rudd-snuggling (for now).
“At undergraduate cocktail parties, people say, “Oh, you write? What do you write about?” Your roommate, who has consumed too much wine, too little cheese and no crackers at all, blurts: “Oh, my god, she always writes about her dumb boyfriend.” Later on in life you will learn that writers are merely open, helpless texts with no real understanding of what they have written and therefore must half-believe anything and everything that is said of them. You, however, have not yet reached this stage of literary criticism. You stiffen and say, “I do not,” the same way you said it when someone in the fourth grade accused you of really liking oboe lessons and your parents really weren’t just making you take them.”—from Lorrie Moore’s “How to Become a Writer, or, Have You Earned This Cliche?”
“I work with underprivileged girls, mostly minorities, who hate themselves because they don’t look like Lauren Conrad. Who the fuck wants to look like the girls on The Hills? They’re complete nitwits. Success is about more than acquiring a Hermes bag.”—