A feminist awakening in India: By Justin Fitzherbert-Smith

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When Paula and I decided to move to India, I thought it would be just another in the long list of places we’ve happily experienced together. We have both been to multiple developing countries – she has been to India before and also worked in Afghanistan – and I expected New Delhi would be much like what I’ve already seen of the third world; busy, noisy, dirty and dysfunctional. What I didn’t expect is that the experience would become an object lesson in a contagious social disease: misogyny.

Of course, I was aware of India’s struggles with sexual violence, and Paula had told me about the time she slapped a tout in a market for grabbing her bottom. I was ready for this and, as a qualified urban planner, I was intellectually prepared for the ways in which women might be excluded from the public realm. But I did not anticipate that it would make me see my own relationship in a completely new light. Continue reading

Fourth Birthday Celebration Film

Hi feminausts.

We’re planning another low key birthday party film screening and are looking for suggestions for films to screen! Please comment with your favourite feminist film.

And if you don’t live in Melbourne and keep wishing we would have our parties somewhere else, please get in touch. We would love to celebrate all that is feminaust where you live too!

MsElouise

Welcome to Monday ~ 4th May, 2015.

Counting dead Aussie women: 34 thus far this year.

9% to 12% of those have been Aboriginal women, which is way above their 3% representation in the general population.

Inspired by Gay’s musings on the topic, Ruby Hamad expands on Australia’s lack of racial diversity in commercials.

Leisure time is a feminist issue. I know it certainly is for me. I hate cooking so I make sure I’ve got enough food to last me lunches and dinners on the days I work ’cause the last thing I want to do is come home and prepare food. On the work front, I’m really busy with three jobs (day job, freelancing, Outback Championship Wrestling) and I was recently offered at (paid!) internship but I had to turn it down because I’m already burning the candle at both ends. And that’s the reason I won’t have kids: I don’t want to be an angry, resentful mother like my own mother sometimes was because I don’t have enough time for myself and no one appreciates me. So in a nutshell: I can relate.

Women’s website The Hoopla has folded, while News Ltd. and MamaMia release new ones.

Junkee came up with some headline ideas for them in case they ever run out.

Disability is a feminist issue we’re just not paying enough attention to.

A bitch is an opinionated woman who’s not especially beautiful while doing it.

How the way we speak about Hillary Clinton may influence her presidential bid.

The men’s rights movement doesn’t help men at all.

Calling out racism is great, but we need to be mindful that we aren’t perpetuating stereotypes and speaking for minorities when we stand up for them.

Why are Aussies so shit at dating?

Australia’s outrage over Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran’s executions illustrates this country’s hypocrisy.

A Gay Old Time.

Bad Feminist and An Untamed State author Roxane Gay was in Australia in March, and Readings has a conversation with their staff members who went to see (hear?) her speak at The Wheeler Centre with Maxine Beneba Clarke.

Here she is, along with Jane Caro, talking sense into the other panelists on ABC’s The Drum.

Speaking with Margaret Throsby on ABC radio.

Junkee compiled all of Gay’s tweets about her observations of Australia and they are pretty on-point.

With Clementine Ford, Celeste Liddle, Tara Moss, Anita Sarkeesian and Germaine Greer at the All About Women festival talking about what it means to be a feminist. Some meaty stuff that often doesn’t get talked about at these kinds of events.

Shameless Self-Promotion Corner.

There’s nothing revolutionary or fantastical about 50 Shades of Grey: men abuse women in unequal relationships all the time.

Does Shonda Rhimes have a mistress problem?

Gender inequality and valuing abusive men who happen to be good at their jobs means World Wrestling Entertainment will never #GiveDivasaChance, the fan-driven hashtag that’s been dominating social media urging the biggest wrestling company in the world to give their female talent more air and wrestling time.

Animal welfare goes hand in hand with feminism, so I wrote a guide to making your beauty cabinet cruelty free.

Why are we obligated to celebrate people who take the well-traveled path?

Further to that, why are those who don’t take that path assumed gay?

The bonding ritual that is menstruation.

Some thoughts on Bruce Jenner.

Welcome to Monday! ~ 27th April 2015

Loving this that our British friends are up to.

Event with Anne Summers and Elizabeth Broderick.

Women in Silicone Valley rocking it!

First Dog on the Moon – ANZAC Day

Flowers of Hope

What about the war on women?

Writing While Female at this year’s Emerging Writers Festival

Can utility companies help protect women experiencing family violence?

The future of ageing for women? Crisis and Cat Food

To reduce family violence we need to look further than the inner city.

Support this Indigogo campaign to get Solomon Islands disability activist to a world conference.

Feminist cycling!!!!!

Welcome to Monday! ~ 13th April 2015

micf

Hi everyone!

So, I’m back from my walk in the woods and I have a few minutes to throw together some link love for you and considering that I’m spending most of my evenings at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at the moment I thought I’d just let you know who I think you should be seeing in the last week of the festival (if you’re in Melbourne).

Tessa Waters: WOMANz

Review here from Adelaide. Book tickets here for Melbourne.

Nicolette Minster: Inanimately

Review here from Australian Stage. Book tickets here for Melbourne.

Celia Pacquola: Let me know how it all works out

Review here from SYN. Book tickets here for Melbourne. (ONLY ONE SHOW LEFT)

Sarah Pascoe vs History

Review here from Edinburgh. Book tickets here for Melbourne.

Anne Edmonds: You know what I’m Like!

Review here from Squirrel Comedy. Book tickets here for Melbourne.

Geraldine Hickey: Listen Out for the Castanets

Review here from BrisbaneBook tickets here for Melbourne.

And, if you’re not in Melbourne. Look out for the MICF Roadshow, coming to your town!

Editors note: Please be aware that I am not a comedy reviewer and I have a personal connection with many of the performers mentioned here so these recommendations could not be considered “independent”. That said, I stand by all these women as brilliant, either because I’ve seen them myself or because they’ve come highly recommended by people I trust.

 

 

 

Welcome to Monday ~ 2nd March, 2015.

Vale Lesley Gore, she of “It’s My Party” and “You Don’t Own Me”, feminist and LGBT activist.

Brocklesnitch on periods.

And while we’re on the topic, an oldie but a goodie from Ms.Elouise about the necessariness of periods.

I wrote about body image on Total Divas.

Cripface Oscar bait reigned supreme at this years’ Academy Awards.

Calling women “girls” hints at an infantalisation and undermining of women and their accomplishments: me at TheVine.

Meet the Feminist Fucker: a guy who sees feminists as the ultimate conquest.

Bitch Flicks had an unlikeable women theme week: here‘s their roundup featuring a piece from yours truly on the feminism of Cristina Yang.

Welcome to Monday! ~ 2nd February, 2015.

An interesting perspective on #askhermore and the capitalism of the red carpet.

Both Jezebel and Cosmo are talking vaginismus and vulvodynia, or painful sex.

I’m sick of consuming media about men.

Speaking of, why is some media given a free pass while other media is expected to be all things to all people? And usually there’s a gendered element.

How menstruation affects female sportswomen.

And while we’re on the topic, WTF was up with #twirlgate?!

I wrote about the choice to be a Total Diva, the reality show centered around women wrestlers.

What happens when your feminist heroes let you down?

Further to that, Germaine Greer puts her foot in her mouth again when speaking about trans women.

The Australian’s obituary for our highest-selling author Colleen McCulloch was a sexist shitstorm. Here’s how Twitter reacted.

Rosie Batty was named Australian of the Year this time last week, but will her crowning do anything to change the way we see domestic violence?

Here are all the abusive tweets feminist gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian receives in one week.

And this is what happened when Lindy West confronted her troll.

Instead of insisting that everyone’s beautiful, why don’t we work on placing less emphasis on beauty?

Saved by the bell hooks.

The Edna Ryan Awards 2014

10814374_10202086783930866_444405036_nThe Edna Ryan Awards…a feminist event not to be missed, held annually since 1998 to honour a great and much loved feminist activist. Edna Ryan ( b 1904 – d 1997 ) was a passionate advocate for equality and workers’ rights. After her death a group of friends set up the Awards to honour her memory and to encourage women to continue her work.

Awards are given to women of NSW or ACT who have made a feminist difference in their own area of work, expertise, or interests. The women nominated do not have to be famous, just passionate and involved in bettering society for women. Many quiet achievers are put forward to the Ednas Committee. The awards rely completely on the feminist community sending in nominations.

2014 EDNA Awards :

Media/Communication

Hawzin Azeez, a Kurdish refugee who created “The Middle Eastern Feminist” Facebook page

Zoya Patel the editor-in-chief of “Lip Magazine” and creator of the “Feminartsy” website.

Mentoring

Bronwyn Culling, a WIPAN mentor and role model

Lin Cooper who devoted 26 years to the “Lillian Howell Project” supporting victims of family violence

Leadership

Roxanne McMurray who stands up for the most vulnerable through countless feminist organisations

The Bush Lemons, a bush walking support group for lesbians. Continue reading

A young man’s view of feminism

04302004_boystooI’m sure we’re all aware of the new anti-feminism movement, a line of thought among usually young women and powerful, successful older women which sporadically captures the mainstream press, the internet and the interest of both men and women. It goes without saying that come each generation they benefit from the trials and tribulations of the last and of course the wish to see a better tomorrow for those younger and yet to come is a key element of the feminist movement.

One of the first and continuing social media forays of such a concept to come to the world’s attention was the Women Against Feminism (http://womenagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/) photo-post trend. It features mainly young women holding signs saying “I don’t need feminism…” followed by a number of reasons- reasons which may seem a thing of the past for most women due to feminism. It’s ironic. One common caption is “I don’t need feminism because I am not a victim”. Well feminism is not about victimhood it’s about empowerment and if you’re a young woman and are being told that you’re empowered enough and that it’s as good as it’s going to get then you’re probably being lied to by somebody living in a state of delusion.

But you know, like any good social worker ideally a social rights campaigner such as a feminist would like to work themselves out of a job or cause, however feminism still has far to come in what it can be successful in addressing and changing.

Margaret Thatcher was seen as a non-feminist but people fail to place her upbringing in the context of which it was. She came into womanhood in a time before feminism or even before the notion of women being equally successful as men was a thought within let alone throughout society. Instead she was a determined and driven woman, who didn’t need feminism to get to where she did because like with most trail-blazers they are before their time, before such issues are acknowledged for people to become organised in addressing them. However were she to have come of age after feminism took shape and became organised I’ve no doubt she would have found solace in the cause. Continue reading