This week’s edition of ‘The best of the rest of the internet’ is given over to the June 5, 2010 edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival, a monthly collection of blog posts by Australian and New Zealand feminists.
This month features writing on motherhood, men’s magazines, the EFA’s “tell your mum campaign”, Jason Akermanis, slut shaming, and much, much more.
Clifton Evers considers how Tony Abbott uses racism and masculinity to reinforce one another in Tony Abbott: Xenophobia Action Man.
Mim at Mim’s Muddle wonders why a certain Facebook meme frames domestic violence as being “bad” mostly because “there might be another man who will take your woman away by being nice to her”.
The Black Cat at Heroine-In-Training condemns the brutality of the Maguindanao Massacre in the Philippines on 23 November 2009.
Race & Racism
Stargazer at The Hand Mirror offers a comparative review of The Blind Side (the film Sandra Bullock won her Oscar for) and Precious with Saturday night at the movies. She also tackles burquas and the “boobquake” with “only human”.
Here at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, guest contributor Monica Tan looks at the intersection between race and gender with ‘In defense of (sometimes) dutiful Asian daughters’.
Media & Popular Culture
Aussie expat Chloe Angyal argues at Tiger Beatdown that Miley Cyrus is not Betty Friedan, and nor should we expect her to be:
But whether or not Miley’s new song and video are feminist or not isn’t really the issue here. The issue is why, every time a pop star comes out with a song that’s even vaguely feminist, we try desperately to position that person as a potential feminist flag bearer in popular culture. We did it when Christina Aguilera released “Can’t Hold Us Down.” We did it when Pink released “Stupid Girls.” Hell, I did it myself just a few months ago, when I first heard Lady Gaga’s “Dance in the Dark.” It’s tempting, when there are so few openly feminist celebrities out there, to latch on to any glimmer of girl power hope that comes our way. It’s tempting, but ultimately misguided, to try to make feminist mountains out of girl power molehills.
Kylie Sturgess at PodBlack Cat calls our attention to a horrifying ZOO UK story, advising men to slash their ex-girlfriends’ faces for revenge, while Doctor Pen at Pondering Postfeminism ponders purchasing men’s magazines for the gender studies course she teaches.
Why say “Time to Tell Mum” if what you really meant was “time to tell everyone/families/people who wouldn’t take an interest in technical things”? Sky addresses a point by point rebuttal to sexism and defences of sexism in the Electronic Frontiers Australia anti-net filter campaign at witty title pending. Meanwhile, over at The Red Pill Survival Guide, Michelle argues that when you use sexism and gender stereotyping in your advertising, you’re going to offend the people who you’re trying to reach, and Mary at Hoyden About Town wonders if there’s “some kind of bingo card for ‘getting mothers involved’ yet”?
“It’s exhausting being defined in terms of one’s sexuality,” writes Helen Razer in The Right to the Closet, while Senthorun Raj argues that “in a society that still demands people’s sexual identity be placed on the table if they are not heterosexual, coming out has become a double bind“ at Men and Feminism Online.
Also at Men and Feminism Online, Griffen Jones talks about hir relationship to feminism as a trans masculine person.
Family and Women’s Work
A shiny new coin talks Mothers’ Day, and wonders how “mothers all over the world, throughout time and distance and race and culture [could] be reduced to a homogenous group”. Meanwhile, bluemilk writes about reconciling abortion with her motherhood at Hoyden About Town, and Deborah at In A Strange Land wonders why children are often treated with suspicion in Children are people too:
People assume that the particular children they see right in front of them will do something that disturbs the adult, before even giving the children a chance. It’s a nasty prejudice. And yet it’s one that many people, seem to embrace. It seems that it’s okay to say, “I hate children.”
It is obviously not just white middle-class privilege to have a thriving home garden, it’s for anyone who cares about their own, their families’ (if they have one) and the planet’s well being. It is also not just drudgery, and a new way to chain women to the kitchen sink. Our culture’s sense of entitlement to a life of convenience and uber-consumerism is neither making us happy nor providing our children with a future.
Kylie Sturgess at PodBlack Cat ponders the lack of female representation at paranormal research conferences - and at conferences more generally. Meanwhile, Nic Heath at The Dawn Chorus examines the underrepresentation of women in the Australian cultural elite.
Giovanni at Bat, Bean, Beam considers the complex history of Rosie the Riveter and women in the workplace:
[J]ust as quickly and meticulously as the image of virtuous Rosie was constructed, it was deconstructed. Suddenly the women in overalls depicted in the reels started being asked by the man off screen if they had plans to continue working after the war. ‘I should say not. When my husband comes back, I shall be busy at home,’ replied one. ‘My job belongs to some soldier. When he comes back, he can have it,’ said another. Women belonged in the home, and jobs didn’t belong to women.
Sex and Relationships
Shame, shame, go away: Chloe Angyal reflects on her experiences at the Rethinking Virginity conference. She writes:
If you can be called a slut without so much as kissing another person, then it stands to reason that your slut status must be based on something besides your level of sexual experience or activity. And often, it is. It’s based on what people assume about you just by looking at you - at your body, your clothes and the way you move through the world. Once you realize that, it becomes obvious that the slut label isn’t just about controlling how much sex women have: It’s about controlling how we dress, how we walk, how we talk, how we dance, how much we drink, who we talk to, how we feel about our own desires and so on and so on. And crossing the invisible, culturally-determined “slut line” in any of these arenas is enough to earn you a label that, no matter how much we denounce and detest it, no matter how well we understand its purpose and its perniciousness, somehow manages to seep into our brains and eat away at our certainty and self-assurance.
Meanwhile, I argue that the ‘s’ word slut equally stems from a sense of feeling personally and directly threatened by another woman’s behaviour, in Slut Shaming: it’s not about how much sex you have.
Still on slut shaming, Helen at Hoyden About Town ponders the very different media treatment of male “sex addicts” and female “slutty sluts”.
And she talks about the most important thing women should think about when they get a tattoo - I’ll paraphrase for you: Oh my God will my man like it? Will I still be able to get married and have one boy and one girl and have a white picket fence? Where’s my lip gloss?
Because why would a woman get a tattoo if it wasn’t to attract men? Why take the risk of getting a tattoo if some men won’t want to date you?
At Musings of An Inappropriate Woman, I consider the intersection between romance and consumerism with ‘Romance, domesticity and the myth of female weakness’ and ‘Love means buying a whole lotta ‘stuff’’.
Katrina Fox argues that it’s not the pornification of society that’s the problem, it’s what’s considered “sexy” at The Drum.
Health and Disability
lauredhel at Hoyden About Town challenges mainstream perceptions of what constitutes “health care” with a powerful account of a murderer, a victim, and a tattoo.
Kylie Sturgess talks female genital mutilation at PodBlack Cat, and Mel Campbell ponders the outrage in response to such practices in “a country where it’s becoming increasingly mainstream for women to pierce, bleach and surgically reshape their own genitals” at The Dawn Chorus.
While all animals suffer under the system of intensive or factory farming, the females of the species usually experience the most heinous and prolonged abuses.
Meanwhile, Steph at Vegan About Town reports on Hear Me Roar: a forum to consider the parallels and intersections between equal rights and animal rights, society and law.
Here at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, guest poster Sarah Jansen argues that the real scandal isn’t the lack of representation of diverse body types, but “the belief is that women’s perceptions of their bodies are indelibly linked to their perceptions of their worthiness as human beings.”
Boganette attacks and obliterates a list of 53 “secrets” girls don’t want guys to know.
And at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, I argue that “we are all bad feminists, really” (or at least, we are all politically imperfect human beings).
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