Welcome to International Women’s Day 2012

Ok, so I’m aware IWD was yesterday. However we had, with all good intentions, planned a Welcome to IWD round-up for you all and then we got distracted by all the colour and light surrounding the exciting day (plus I was tidying my room, which can result in my disappearance for many days so just be glad I’ve emerged at all!).

For those of you who are regular feminausts, you’ll remember back in August we started awarding weekly “article of the week” style awards for the best of the best that week. SO, in order to make this process as painless as possible. I’m going to remind you all of what we thought was super hot in feminist rantings over the last year (or 6 months as it happens). Whoop Whoop! Here we go!

August 2011

Aimless Panther awarded this article about Feminism, Colonialism and Islamaphbia the first ever Panther Award. In it, author Leila Ahmed explains the impact of 9/11 on feminist working towards greater autonomy for women in Island, the burqa as justification for war and much more besides. It was and remains a poignant piece articulating the challenges of protectionist attitudes towards any group of people.

September 2011

Ahhh, back with the Good Men Project was actually good and not an opportunity for men to talk about who good they are… at everything. Here Jason Sperber demands for a redefinition of masculinity.

Now we all know that women’s brains catch fire when we educate them and that our menstrual blood attracts bears, but did you know that if we touch flowers when we have our period they will wilt and die from the toxins in our sweat?! Yes, read all about it at Scientific American!

Also in September we celebrated the Australian Government accepting that people have gender diversity without surgery and that fact should be recognised on our passports! EXCITEMENT!!!

And here is an eternal favourite. Destined to remain in our hearts forever, Camilla from Girls are Made From Pepsi Hit the nail square on the head with her feminist hammer when she pleaded with us all to get some more girl love in our lives (and not in a dirty lesbian way). The importance of being positive is the essense of so many great relationships and was the basis of my rather controversial article about leggings and not critisising each other for our clothing choices.

October 2011

In October we were feeling the weather warming up and the fabulous articles on all manner of subjects just kept flowing. First cab off the rank was this one by Tits and Sass writer, Lolo de Sucre, discussing the language of sex work. A topic close to my heart as I believe language can always have a strong impact on the way we view things.

Slutwalk generated a lot of discussion in feminist and sociological circles in the 2011; and feminaust linked to many posts in favour of the movement and its message. Slutwalk attracted criticisms from many sources, some full of crap but some important and interesting as well. Here is Autumn’s take from October, on why she finds it hard to connect to slutwalk.

October also hearalded YWCA Week Without Violence and the feminausts helped set up an event titled Feminists are better in bed! where participants had the opportunity to speed date the feminausts! Keep your eyes open in October 2012 for a repeat of last year’s incredibly successful event bringing attention to the realities of respectful relationships.

Scientific American came through with some more gold in this EXCELLENT article on stupid things famous people have said about science; especially Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly saying that “you can’t explain why the tide goes in”. Excellent. Dunno exactly how its feminist, but its definitely on the side of reason and science.

November 2011

In November we got a bit narcissistic with the new and fabulous young feminist website SettlePetal. Brought to you by the Young Women’s Advisory Group (YWAG) of the Equality Rights Alliance (and edited by MsElouise). SettlePetal is a new space for young Australian men and women to have their voices heard on gender equality, feminism and related topics.

2011 saw another new face on the feminist web-scene: Lipmag got up and running! So we told readers to get over and check them out, especially this piece on why owning scales can be harmful to any attempt to be healthy…

Then Aimless Panther admitted her girl crush in lipmag’s review of Marieke Hardy’s autobiography. The Panther still misses her columns in … the Age, was it? She remembered reading them along with the awesome Kaz Cooke in high school. Sigh.

Finally, we rounded out November with explaining how you can help find a cure for drug resistant malaria. Yes. Seriously. You.

December 2011

As December pressed on and we all started to freak out about how we were going to buy Christmas presents on the no money we had and decided as we were sitting around with our legs in the air after a nasty circus accident we may as well do loads of knitting (or was that just me?) we found this little beauty from Dream, Delight, Inspire (via Girls are made from Pepsi) about intra-girl-blog-love something I’ve found to be a really beautiful part of editing this website. We all heard about #mencallmethings. Well after reading this I felt like starting a #womencallmethings with all the amazing, supportive, positive, beautiful things that fellow women bloggers, webbery peeps and writers-on-the-interwebs have said and posted.

December was a short month for the round-ups as we all really did have better things to do, but not before we got massively excited about (and this has got to be my favourite title for a feminist protest event ever!)… MUFF MARCH! On 10 Dec (Saturday morning) in London, a group of fabulous people marched against ‘designer vagina’ surgery. The protest is marching against the growing (and terrifyingly fast at that!) trend of women having cosmetic surgery on their lady bits due to dissatisfaction at what it all looks like – or doesn’t look like. For a fabulous documentary about this very issue please don’t hesitate to watch The Perfect Vagina. And if you’re still enthused, check out MONA (down in Hobart) for some more work on the diversity of everyone’s map of tassie.

January 2012

January hit us like a wet fish and we rushed to re-establish the old favourites of friday feminausts and said goodbye to the Panther who moved to Canberra to write about potatoes instead of feminism….. we’ll leave the judgement up to you. IsBambi loves any post that makes it obvious that in most mainstream discussions about gender equality it is men who are absent from the discussion – and that is a major factor for why we aren’t going towards the Feminist Mecca very quickly. While men are absent in these conversations in many ways, the most damaging way is when they are not discussed as solutions/agents for change to solve the gender inbalance. It puts the emphasis on solving this gender equality thing on women. I.e., how do we fix gender equality in boardrooms? Quotas for women (not caps for men), or, make it easier for women to work longer hours through childcare, flexi time (not ask men to provide equal support in the domestic sphere), or my favourite – maternity leave (not paternity leave).

So the first Award for 2012 went to News With Nipples who points out that “she who must not be named” is actually a “he”. (And no, she doesn’t just mean Voldermort, though he could start cleaning up after himself once in a while).

We all know and love Jezebel and what they write/publish, so it wasn’t surprising that 2012 started with a pretty awesome piece published on that site. This fabulous article about female agression and how it’s an entirely natural and normal response to douche-baggy behaviour, and not some fatal feminine flaw. Litsa Dremousis admittedly first published her article on Nerve, however “I’m mad at you because you’re an idiot, not because I’m a woman” deserves to be published and republished until every man (and woman for that matter) on the planet has read it, so thanks Jezebel for making this a little more possible!

No words. Just amazement and hope, this young woman has revived my feminist heart with her 13yr old ‘tude. Watch it.

Then we had a dude with a mouth that says cool stuff. Spoken word poetry completely astounds and amazes me and fitting dicktatorship into this particular ditty almost made me turn straight. The bit about fighting to the death to defend her honour was a bit macho for my taste, but the sentiment was correct and in the end, if he’s referring to violence and slut shaming (as he is) then I can respect a guy who will stand up and be counted in the battle for equality. Be prepared for a little tear if you tend to get swept away by beautiful lyricism and cute dogs. xxx

February 2012

February started with a rush and no time to think. So we went with the obvious and made our own profile on LipMag where we were ‘feminists of the week’!

We all loved Margaret Cho and her vitriolic attack on Karl Lagerfeld, who apparently called Adele fat. I have no background to this story, I’m not even sure if I know who any of the players are, however the sentiment expressed in the blog post had so much passion, so much anger and so much ferocity I just had to love it. Plus, there’s a liberal drizzle of humour and a touch of Australian content!

Unfortunately the love didn’t last after Bettina Arndt opened her mouth again and the Age caught what dropped out. Luckily Jezebel was there to disinfect it with some good ‘ol feminist wisdom from Hugo Schwyzer – take that BA, irrefutable evidence that you have let everyone down.

In an age when too often, discussion about sexism runs on a simple dichotomy, the men (and sometimes women) who defend it and the women (and sometimes men) who deride it, this editorial deals cleanly and efficiently with the issue of acceptance without getting hot under the collar. Calling on a oft’ used sporting analogy “play the ball, not the man”, Too Many Men Just Keep Playing the Woman, deals with the absurdity of the acceptance of blatant and public sexism in a widely read, traditional medium. YAY to The Age for having editors with good sense and vision (even if last week you published that drivel by Bettina Arndt about cleavage).

And last week IsBambi admitted that she, too, was confused by Beyonce’s ‘Run the World’ video clip. Please, Stop it I love it, explain to me why. Ahh that’s right, in order to rule a patriarchal world we have to conform to patriarchal expectations of how we should act. And then, only then, can we pretend like we rule the patriarchal world. At least we’ll feel like we ‘have it all’, another patriarchal confusion.

And that was it for the best of the rest from August to today.

Hope you all have a fabulous IWD feminausts. Keep up the rage!

Image taken from maude_au’s photostream on Flickr under Creative Commons License

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by MsElouise. Bookmark the permalink.

About MsElouise

MsElouise is a community programs worker and feminist from Melbourne Australia. She likes to travel, write, rant and make people feel uncomfortable about their assumptions. She hopes to one day be remembered for changing the world just a little bit. Right now she does this by proving that teenage girls are a higher order of beings.

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