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.

Penny Wong and Fred Nile

The biggest story down under has been the reaction of Fred Nile, a conservative Australian politician, to finance minister Penny Wong’s announcement that she and her partner (OHMYGOD ANOTHER WOMAN) are expecting their first child. Here’s a collection of links that seem to me to give a decent overview of the situation; interestingly enough, I can’t find any blogs or articles support Nile’s views, and I looked! I’m not sure what to make of that, but if you do….write for us! Obviously there’s a lot out here, this is just what caught my eye.

Mia rolls her eyes and declares Fred Nile is an idiot

The idiocy of the argument that same sex love is “unnatural” here and here

Nile’s Christian identity does not excuse his hatred. Amen.

American coverage


Nancy Wake, an Australian woman who took part in the French resistance to the Nazi’s died this week. She didn’t get the support she deserved from the Australian government, so lived her last days in Britain. The “White Mouse” was trained as a British spy, was high up in the French resistance, and targeted by the Nazi’s because of her effectiveness.

Are you an unmarried woman? You’ll die younger. So says this ridiculous article that relies on very dodgy evidence. So sad that this is the follow up to the above story that kicking Nazi butt is the key to living to 98….

Incidentally, ladies, much as your marriage status is to be scientifically investigated, your choice on childbirth continues to be the business of everybody except you.

There’s a brilliantly funny and furious article from becauseimawhore about how women cop all the blame for sex, the responsibility for getting pregnant, and the social stigma of enjoying it.

The first gay and lesbian retirement village in Australia has gotten planning permission.

Chally provides a round up, and analysis, of a conference at Macquarie University about women and work in her usual insightful and intellectual style.

Emily Maguire has a great article on how if you teach your teenage girls that they are strong and they’ll be happier and better able to protect themselves. Simple but true.

Sex work

Kate Holden has written a piece in the rather fabulous Aussie journal Meanjin that explores the current politics around sex work in Australia. Its an interesting follow up to feminaust’s own mselouise’s piece on the language of sex work.

I’m feeling a lot of love for Chally this week. She’s has written a typically thought-provoking piece on the history of the persecution of sex workers, reflecting on the experiences of Esther Abrahams, a British woman tried under prostitution and then shipped off to Australia. Once down under, Abrahams continued to live an unconventional but arse-kickingly awesome life.If they had had Nazi’s in the 1800s she would have totally taken em out.

Reporting of the intersection of crime, government officials, and illegal brothels in Australia.The reporting on this particular brother has also been coloured by the Australian media’s reactions to the Asian ethnicity of those arrested, and those who engaged in sex work in the brothels. I don’t know the details so I don’t want to comment on the conditions they faced, or the legality of what they did, but you don’t have to read hard to encounter some pretty pathetic Asian stereotypes particularly about the assumed submissiveness of Asian women.


A sad but essential piece on the experience of abuse, and the challenges of admitting to yourself what you are experiencing.

Speaking of abuse, #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend trended on twitter a while ago. This is a great article on the pathetic, misogynistic cultural assumptions that give rise to such “funny” and “lighthearted” “jokes”.

Great piece from Ms Magazine on how useless political responses to the debt crisis have been in the US.

Bi-racial, female, transsexual, homosexual, Latino and African American superheros in the mainstream comic world? About time.

In defense of a woman’s right to sometimes not feel like a superhero.

The Crimson Campaign has a great article on menstrual taboos across religions and culture. Take a few minutes to read through their archives (or, if you’re me, take a few hours) because they have a lot of interesting stuff on this topic.

“Fat and sexy” should not be a revolutionary concept.

Neither should “lesbians who don’t love cats”

Women nag, men get on with the real work. This study proves what we have always known – men do just as much housework as women, women just complain about it more! There are some really obvious issues with article, including that its relevant only to married, full-time employed couples, not to mention the suggestion that men do less housework because employers are less inclined to give them parental leave. I also find it pretty insulting that the headline to this is not “Study Suggests Greater Equality in Household Duties”, but tells us ladies to stop complaining. Which certainly reassures me, how about you?

Women enjoy sex. Society doesn’t collapse.

A ten year old is the next big thing in modeling. There’s been a lot of discussion about this lately, here’s a good look at it from the Australia perspective.


Slutwalk has been a rather polorising phenomenon in the countries it has  occurred in, even ‘progressive’ societies like Australia. Here’s a perspective from India. Oh and if you want coverage of the Melbourne event, see our coverage here and here.

Scarlett Harris has a good piece on why women call other women sluts and skanks.


Two links to Ghana came across my desk this week. The first kind of sucks, as the Presbyterian church is going to open three centers to “rehabilitate” gays and lesbians. The second is pretty cool, though, as a series of NGOs are working hard to help organise and coordinate feminist and gay rights workers in Ghana. Guess which side I’m on?

Just for giggles

A collection of vintage tampon ads. Hilarious

There’s a web campaign to let Bert and Ernie get married. Which prompted Sesame Street to come out (hehe) and say these muppets (puppets? cunningly disguised face washers?) have no sexuality at all.

Phew, well, that should keep you going for a while! Remember we’re always keen to hear from you if you come across a great link, or if you want us to link to something you have written yourself!

Image taken from ookaboo.com’s collection of stock photography under the Creative Commons license.

8 thoughts on “Welcome to Monday ~ 15 August 2011

  1. Thanks for the love, Aimless Panther!

    ‘If they had had Nazi’s in the 1800s she would have totally taken em out.’

    Particularly as she was Jewish :D. Just to clarify, she wasn’t tried as a sex worker, she was tried for stealing, but doubtless her being, or being perceived, as a sex worker had something to do with it!

    • Thanks for the clarification Chally! I really loved the story of Abraham, she seems to have triumphed over some really tough circumstances.

    • Thanks Scarlett! Always great to have new readers, and there will be a lot more links to your writing I’m sure

    • There was a huge amount of awesome stuff in my googlereader this week! I’m really glad to have found your writing Rebecca, I just read “How much do you trust” which was wonderful and will be appearing on the round up next week!

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