Personhood = Patriarchy

2011 was a strange year for American uteruses. I’m hoping that 2012 proves more fruitful (in an entirely un-fertility pun sense) for the rights of women to make basic choices for their sexual and reproductive health and rights however in the mean time I want to have a little think about the concept of personhood (an attempted constitutional amendment which would legislate that human-ness starts at conception) and how it equates to not only bullocks-iness but also massive patriarchy-ness.


Because if a human begins at conception it means that the MAN is responsible for life, not the WOMAN. Conception is the moment at which the sperm enters the egg and voila! human-ness. At this point, all the woman has had to do is sprout a little egg out a folicle (oh and of course spread her legs, willingly or unwillingly). While I would never support any similar legislation that suggested life begins at implantation or at foetal heartbeat or any other meaningless moment in time that the woman’s body has more control over, I feel like the concept of personhood beginning at the moment of conception is particularly rancid precisely because it takes away all control from the woman. Continue reading

Redefining Professionalism: bringing the post-patriarchy one step closer

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

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

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


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.

Continue reading

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

The 38th Down Under Feminists Carnival

In case you missed its launch on the 4th of July…. go here for the 38th Down Under Feminists Carnival!

The next edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival is planned for 5 August, 2011 and will be hosted by Mim at Mim’s Muddle. Submissions to mimbles2 [at] gmail [dot] com. They’re having technical issues with the blogcarnival submissions form, so they’d rather you not submit there just now, but, if you do, they’ll pass them along to Mim.

Submissions must be of posts of feminist interest by writers from Australia and New Zealand that were published in July. Submissions are due on 2 August at the latest, but it’ll be easier on the charming hostess if you submit sooner rather than later. Don’t forget to spread the word among your networks! (From the Down Under Feminist’s Carnival website)

friday feminaust ~ Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis is our friday feminaust

What is my feminism?

I’ve always been an activist from leading a protest to the Headmaster’s office in grade four, to Amnesty and Clean Up Australia Day, and ten years volunteering for a queer community radio program, to being an ardent letter to the editor writer and talkback radio caller and the family member who is guaranteed to generate powerful dinner table discussion.

Looking back, I realise I have also always been a feminist but my feminism truly arrived along with the birth of my daughter and I learned a vocabulary for it when I began working at a women’s organisation. Continue reading

YWCA World Council ~ Women, Peace and Security

No women, no peace

Tuesday was the last day of the International Women’s Summit in Zurich, Switzerland as part of the YWCA World Council. The theme on Tuesday was Women, Peace and Security. This is a theme that I’ve been interested in since university, where I studied international relations.

The speakers were all fantastic and mainly spoke about Security Council Resolution 1325 which mandates women’s involvement in peace and nation-building, while denouncing violence against women during war-time. It also calls for peace with justice.

I’ve heard people speak about why SCR1325 is important but I’ve always wanted to find out what the next step is. Continue reading