Welcome to Monday ~ 2 January 2012

The Spire on Fire - bring on 2012 (Photo: Michelle Griffin)

Oh. My. God. It’s 2012! Welcome to the new year feminausts, we hope you had a great NYE and are looking forward to a fulfilling year ahead.

She who must not be named Award

I love 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).

And the Award goes 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).

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Panther Responds ~ Fashion, Beauty, and a Wee Nerdsplosion

Beauty...no high heels. Hmmm

Recently, the Good Men Project published a piece by Tom Matlack, one of the founders of the fabulous Good Men Project, questioning if “women are addicted to beauty”, which initially seemed odd to me. He wasn’t talking about beauty so far as I could see, but rather, if women can be addicted to fashion. And that set me off thinking – why do we accept the fashion industries argument that fashion is at its base about beauty? Why do I disagree so much with that assumption? And does it lead us up any interesting paths if we detangle the two?

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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

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 8th 2011

Welcome to the Monday round up, my fellow feminausts! I bring you a list of articles that caught our eye over the last week, from falsity in advertising to scientific proof that the clitoris is nice. Yes, its been a week of revelations here in the world of feminism.

As always, don’t shoot the messenger; we don’t necessarily agree or disagree with these articles, we’re just interested in the debate. If you violently agree or disagree, why not write a response and send it on in to us?

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Super Ted made me a feminist

Super Ted!

It’s often hard for people to pinpoint exactly when they became or rather, realised, they were a feminist. Reading some of our friday feminaust pieces reflects that. Usually becoming a feminist is more like a journey of discovery, evolving out of certain events or experiences.

Personally, for me there are two clear events that define my ‘feminist journey of discovery’ (don’t worry, this piece won’t start talking about ‘yonis’, though I sense your trepidation). The second event was one of confirmation and horizon-expansion: my first Sheila Jeffrey’s lecture on feminism at the University of Melbourne. “Ahh, yes, Sheila” I hear you murmur. It’s hard to be a student of Melbourne Uni and not have something to say about Sheila. And mostly people say that she gave them their feminist ‘lightbulb’ moment – even if they don’t agree with everything she says.

However, this post is actually about my first memory of being unfairly limited by my gender. It was a definitive experience, and it started with SuperTed. Continue reading

Welcome to Monday ~ 6th June 2011

Welcome to Monday is a bit underfed this week. The feminausts have been CRAZY busy preparing for interviews and attending the Roller Derby and getting ready for trips to Europe.

This is what we did read this week though!

Nigella: Baking is a feminist act

On women and humour… an interesting analysis

Gay men create shit storm  if you haven’t noticed this public issue you’ve clearly been asleep. By the time this post goes live it will probably have blown over but I think it’s worth noting that as of 11pm Wed 1st June, nearly 70,000 had joined the FB group canning Adshel for taking the ads down and they had already reversed their decision. Well done people!

Nigerian baby factory raided. 32 teenagers freed.

Not racist but… Now we need “Not feminist but…” “Not an arsehole but…” ahhhh, the possibilities!

Support has a new website!

Not one, Not two but THREE plus sized models on the cover of Italian Vogue (if you consider a size 12 plus sized!)

Rhianna on rape and violence. Man Down

Looking like Senator Barbie takes a whole lot of effort

Welcome to Monday! ~ 16th May 2011

Welcome back to another Monday of insightful, interestings, engaging and thought provoking articles, content, letters and comment that we at feminaust were reading this week. With the global movement SlutWalk that’s been making ripples and WAVES all over the world, this roundup is pretty SlutWalk heavy. Enjoy it ladies and gentlement, whether you subscribe to reclaiming the word, or just living your life free from violence SlutWalk is for everyone. My dad’s basketball team are marching and one of my colleagues is taking his wife and children. This isn’t just for the short skirts and thigh high boots girls, it’s for everyone who believes in a woman’s right to live free from the threat of violence.

Used under Creative Commons License from Flickr user sijeka.

Remember we’re just putting the info out there and don’t necessarily endorce the content. Please feel free to comment if you have something to say!

SlutWalk Melbourne and the SlutWalk Melbourne site

You should all buy this cushion

Ethical debate on deserving what you get

Plug for a friend: The Victorian Roller Derby League 

Sex, lies and SlutWalking by Melbourne’s own Lauren Rosewarne

It’s been shown before but I’m in this Age article about SlutWalk. I’m the one in the back in the orange… no not the orange beard, the orange cardigan! Oh and we may as well throw in the HS one too. Actually worth checking out the journalists blog on this issue. Some good debate… well HS readers saying stupid things followed by the journalist (and me) telling them they’re wrong.

What DFAT says about not getting raped in a foreign country… very handy… maybe?

In honour of SlutWalk and Eve Ensler, here’s the fabulous verse MY SHORT SKIRT wear it!

Canada’s in for a long four years

Girl’s Report on gender as a lived experience

Peace Corps volunteers speak out about rape

No justice on earth until there is justice for women

You thought it was bad here? 1,100 women raped EVERY DAY in DRC

Why we need more women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics

Are you having Amelie Sex??

On being relevant: Sexuality Gender and Nationalism in Palestinian Society

How Jane Austen taught me to be a man

Gender in Islam: It’s not just about women

Anne Summers address to the National Labour Women’s Conference

Most Mentally Sexy Dad competition Support men who are great in the bedroom AND all the other rooms of the house.

Image taken from Flickr user sijeka under Creative Commons Licence

Slutwalk ~ Coming to a town near you!

On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the Force’s view of sexual assault by stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.

As the city’s major protective service, the Toronto Police have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of ‘the slut’, and in doing so have failed us. With sexual assault already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim. Text taken from SlutWalk Toronto’s website

SlutWalk is an opportunity for women and men of all ages and persuasions to come together and say loud and clear that what we wear, bears no relationship to our risk of assault and is NEVER an excuse for violating our safety, privacy and personal space.

Now, SlutWalk is coming to Australia.

SlutWalk Melbourne

May 28th

Facebook invite here.

Adelaide SlutWalk

JUNE 11th

Facebook invite here.

SlutWalk Sydney

JUNE 13th

Facebook invite here.

Image of protestor by Rick Carroll, taken from Flickr under Creative Commons Licence

Welcome to Monday! ~ 9th May 2011

Happy Mother’s Day for yesterday to all the mothers reading this. We hope you had an inspirational day.

Below is what we, at feminaust, were reading, listening to and watching this week. There’s some interesting stuff so please feel free to comment and get the conversation started on any of the topics we’ve brought up. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Topical from the NYTimes; Mothers we could save

Julie Zeilinger at the New York Endangered Species summit

Women’s suffrage in Saudi Arabia

Deaf not Dumb: muslim girls “speak” out

100 years of sex ed posters

Think rape jokes are just jokes? Think again.

The story of a survivor contacted by her rapist 20 years after the event.

How to be a public feminist: and we here at feminaust can take heed too

US Girl Scouts censored on environmental activism

Is the real reason women struggle to hold high office in the workplace, men’s struggle to exit it?

Top 10 most powerful women in the UN

Child beauty pageants in Australia?

Damon Young shows us his feminism (look out for Damon’s contribution coming later in May to feminaust)

Thanks to Jenny from YWCA Australia for bringing this article about women in movies to my attention

Is feminism about lipstick and fashion now? An insightful article on missing the point from The F Word

The “forcible rape” debate continues in the US

Women behaving boldly

Hilary photoshopped out of Situation Room photo