Redefining Professionalism: bringing the post-patriarchy one step closer

Does this look professional to you? feminaust co-founder MsElouise at the official launch of feminaust.org

What do you imagine when you think of professionalism. What does it look and sound like to you? Dark suits and ties? Nice language? Good education? Handshakes and jugs of water? Good reporting and accountability? Until a few recent events culminated in a radical change in me, that’s pretty much what I had in mind. Professionalism was about having the answers, good research, well written reports and measures of accountability. It looked like a dark suit, maybe a few touches of colour. It sounded well educated, well thought out and respectful. I’m not so sure anymore though.

What if professionalism could be whatever we wanted it to be and more importantly, as women, what if we could redefine it entirely? In feminist studies we sometimes talk about the post-patriarchy, the promised land of gender equality and the redefinition of traditional patriarchal values. I think that post-professionalism is one step on the road to the post-patriarchy and I’m excited about exploring what that means, particularly for young women. Continue reading

Review: No Such Thing as Normal, Off the Wall Youth Circus Troupe at the Melbourne Fringe Festival

News Flash: Off The Wall Troupe will be performing No Such Thing As Normal at the Adelaide Fringe Festival from the 25th Feb to 4th March 2012. Get your info and tickets now! And meet the cast at Festival Fishbowl.

I just got home from the Melbourne Fringe Festival with my brother and had to write about the show I saw IMMEDIATELY.

Those of you who know me will know that I’ve been involved with Westside Circus through my work for a while now. Those who don’t should check out the work that Westside does straight away and everyone should grab tickets to go see the newly formed Off the Wall youth troupe’s Fringe Festival performance: No Such Thing as Normal.

From what I understand, Off the Wall is a new troupe, consisting of former Behind the Wall performers. I also understand that the troupe is entirely organised, directed, produced, planned and everything else by the young people involved. Very impressive, not least because the show was absolutely awesome. Continue reading

Representation: children in art.

Most Australians will probably remember the Bill Henson debarkle back in 2008 when a number of photographs of children were removed from an art gallery and labelled as “disgusting” and pornographic, despite having no intent to arouse and there existing no evidence of abuse of the children.

The debate that followed was heated, often ill informed and caused a great divide among the community. There were those who believed that whether abuse was present or not the images could arouse some viewers and should therefore be removed. There were those that said this was censorship gone mad, that children were a legitimate artistic subject and should be allowed to be so. Many people felt torn by a desire to protect children from abuse and an understanding that this was not such a case, that it really was art and that the pictures really were beautiful and not at all pornographic. The debate sort of reminds me of the sex worker debate that has been raging on feminaust over the last few weeks. The conflict between people who want to protect trafficked women and do so by vilifying the entire industry to “rescue” them and those who recognise that it is not the industry that is evil or immoral but individuals and groups within the industry, much like any other. The gut reaction to want to protect children from abuse is noble and justified however the censorship of legitimate art is not the solution. The Bill Henson case is not the first and will certainly not be the last. Continue reading

Welcome to Monday ~ September 5 2011

Dear Monday, you suck. Please go away and send Saturday back in……now! Damn it, why are my time traveling powers failing me now when I need them most! Here’s some links to what the feminaust’s have been reading this week – hope you enjoy them! And remember, these links don’t necessarily reflect the views of the feminausts, in the name of objectivity I’ve included some really, really irritating links.

Article of the Week!

The good men project was on a roll this week – here’s a post by Jason Sperber about what it means to “be a man”. The radical basis of second wave feminism was the way in which the concept of what it meant to “be a woman” was investigated and analyzed (or at least, that’s what I think).  It’s great to see the same kind of analysis being applied to the masculine gender roles  in a serious way.

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Panther Responds ~ Fatness as a Feminist Issue

Why is the fat all that we are?

The funnest bit about writing the Monday Round up is that I get to rant about a lot of things. The annoying bit is that I can’t rant for very long. So welcome to the first of a (hopefully) regular event; Panther Responds, in which I write a response to something I linked on Monday.

This past Monday, I linked to a a particularly awesome post by Skeptifem on weight loss surgery (WLS) as a feminist issue, and it got me thinking about how we understand fat in our modern culture. I find this a complex issue, for several reasons. I am on the heavier side myself, so occasionally this stuff can feel a little too close to home for me; more than that, however, the aim of feminism should be to give women and men space to make decisions for themselves in all areas of their life, including appearance. To this end, I feel uncomfortable commenting on something that I traditionally understand as totally private – if it makes someone feel better, be healthier and look snazzy in a skirt, why not have surgeries do it? Or starve for a year? Or work out for 8 hours a day?

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Welcome to Monday ~ August 29 2011

Are we really still meant to be paying for Eve's mistake?

Another Monday, another set of interesting links for our brilliant readers! Some are irritating (ye olde “can you be a feminist and sexy” debate) some are mind bendingly ridiculous (did you know the Catholic church is more feminist than the rest of us?) and, thankfully, the usual selection of intelligent thought-provoking articles. Let’s get into it!

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Welcome to Monday ~ 15 August 2011

What a week! This Welcome to Monday includes tampons, some potentially big changes in the comic book world, war heroines and of course the big one down under, Fred Nile being an idiot about the general awesomeness of Australian finance minister, Penny Wong.There’s so much news I’m minimised the commentary on them, which obviously took an unprecedented level of self-control. Enjoy the links, tell us what you think, and remember we aim to include an overview of feminist news this week; these articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the feminausts.

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Amy Van Den Berg ~ e-interview

Amy Van Den Berg

Name: Amy Van Den Berg

Date: 25/7/11

Title: Director, Melbourne Rainbow Grrls & Guys

Bio

How did you come across feminaust?

Feminaust contacted me via email asking if I would like to be interviewed. They had found one of my business cards at Hares and Hyenas, which is a gay book shop / café

What does feminism mean to you? Is it different from your mum’s?

For me feminism means a woman’s freedom to express herself without being bullied or stifled and her freedom to love what ever person she chooses as well as equal rights in the workplace.

To be honest, I don’t know what my mother’s view on feminism is, we have never talked about it. Continue reading

Empowering or Confusing? Voting at YWCA World Council 2011

A group of diverse workshoppers at the YWCA Australia delegation's session on Relationship Things

I’m sitting in the plenery room of the Kongress Haus in Zurich attending the final sessions of the World Council of the YWCA. The last three days have been a combination of official business sessions (presenting, debating and voting on resolutions, constitutional amendments and electing office bearers etc) and breakout and visioning sessions giving delegates opportunities to share and discuss programs, ideas and visions for the future of the YWCA movement.

I will talk about some of the aspects of the breakout and visioning sessions at another time, but now I want to consider the process of voting at YWCA World Council. Over the last two days a few aspects of voting at the council has concerned me. Most importantly the high number of abstentions that are taken from voting.

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Welcome to Monday ~ 25 July 2011

Happy Monday dear feminausts! We’d like to take this chance to welcome Flora to the feminaust team! She has joined us to help with the ‘Welcome to Monday’ weekly round-up. How lucky you are!

So, without further ado, please see below to discover the feminist articles that have tickled our fancy this week. Enjoy! Continue reading