Welcome to the June 2014 Edition – the 74th – of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival! A feast of fantastic feminist ‘frightbat’ awesomeness. Grab yourself a cuppa and get reading.
There’s such a breadth and depth of feminist writing and criticism out there. It has been an absolute pleasure collating this edition of the DUFC. Hope you enjoy reading these great pieces as much as I have.
GENERAL FEMINISM & SOCIAL JUSTICE
In NSW many women’s refuges are under threat due to changes in funding to homelessness services. It is an appalling state of affairs, to put it mildly. There’s lots of campaigning under way to save these important services. Read about them at Hoyden about Town, where tigtog writes: Signal Boosting: Mass Closure of Women’s Refuges in NSW.
* At Global Comment, Chally Kacelnik writes about this urgent and important issue: New South Wales Decimates Women’s Shelters.
* At xterrafirma Ann Deslandes writes about the problems of the policy context of the women’s refuges and homelessness shelters in the light of the recent funding changes in NSW: Did Elsie get it right the first time?
Also check out the SOS Women’s Services Facebook page for more info about how you can get involved.
* At Writehanded, Sarah Wilson shares a fantastic ‘Feminist Treehouse’ image created by one of her friends in response to an anti-feminist commenter: Welcome to the Feminist Treehouse.
* At The Travelling Unicorn, Ebs writes about the whiteness of Australian feminism in the light of the ‘Frightbat’ poll at the Daily Telegraph: #Australianfeminismisforwhitewomen.
At the Daily Life website, Celeste Liddle argues strongly for more support for young Indigneous women: We need to do more for our indigenous girls.
Right now, there are only a handful of programs that focus on the unique circumstances of young Indigenous women. Initiatives like Girls at the Centre by The Smith Family and the Multi-mix mob (a playgroup catering for children and their mothers) are few and far between. And most seem to be offered through not-for-profit groups or foundations with limited governmental support. A programme like Clontarf, by using sport as a way to reach them, also gives our young men so many other options by teaching them to aim high and value education. Couldn’t our women also benefit from such a well-rounded approach?
The issues faced by Indigenous girls are diverse and their needs are wide-ranging. There is a demonstrated need for a range of programs geared around educational empowerment, health and well-being, parenting support and skills, sports and recreation and general leadership.
Her article refers to a recently released report from The Smith Family which can be found at the bottom of this page: “Improving educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls”.
Somehow I don’t think Australia’s “Minister for Women” (I’ve put it in quotes because I don’t believe he can or should be in that position) has young indigenous women anywhere near the top of his priority list. Earlier this week our increasingly offensive and ignorant Prime Minister (is it even possible for him to get any worse!?!) declared to an economic conference: “I guess our country owes its existence to a form of foreign investment by the British government in the then unsettled or, um, scarcely settled, Great South Land”.
There are so many wrong things about this statement I don’t know where to begin. Argh, just…no.
* Celeste Liddle writes at Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist about racism in Australia and how tired she is of the whitemansplaining: I’m just so damn exhausted.
* Ebs at The Travelling Unicorn writes about Blackface fatigue, after trying to explain why blackface is racist to a bunch of young people from the Gold Coast.
* At Writehanded, Sarah Wilson shares some tips about mindfulness, something I think we can all benefit from: Walking down the other street.
* At No Place for Sheep, Jennifer Wilson writes movingly about losing her husband, in: The House of Widows.
* Avril e Jean writes beautifully about the first experiences of menopause: The Hot Flush
* Angela Priestley suggests that women delete the cost of childcare from their partner’s salary instead of their own: Should mum or dad pay for childcare?
MEDIA & POPULAR CULTURE
There’s lots of great writing about Orange is the New Black. It’s a brilliant show, currently in second season. I wish it had been around when I was writing my thesis on postfeminism and pop culture. I probably should blog about it, except that I’m too busy just enjoying it.
* Scarlett Harris discusses the second season of Orange is the New Black, a television series that features a large cast of diverse and interesting women: Physical & Mental Health in Orange is the New Black.
* Brocklesnitch writes this hilarious piece in response to a male journalist who totally misses the point about OITNB by arguing that it doesn’t have enough men in it. Yep, someone actually wrote that. Check out the smackdown here: Orange is the No Ah No.
If you’ve not seen OITNB yet, I suggest you get your hands on season one and start watching.
* Tasha Robinson writes scathingly about the problems with ‘strong female characters’ and the lack of them, in: We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome
“Strong Female Character” is just as often used derisively as descriptively, because it’s such a simplistic, low bar to vault, and it’s more a marketing term than a meaningful goal. But just as it remains frustratingly uncommon for films to pass the simple, low-bar Bechdel Test, it’s still rare to see films in the mainstream action/horror/science-fiction/fantasy realm introduce women with any kind of meaningful strength, or women who go past a few simple stereotypes.
* Continuing with the Orange is the New Black theme, at The King’s Tribune, Rebecca Shaw discusses OITNB and argues that bisexuality is routinely diminished and dismissed: Safe spaces in the LGBTQIA alphabet.
* Julie at The Hand Mirror’ writes about access to abortion in Aotearoa New Zealand: Not what abortion ‘on demand’ looks like, folks
* blue milk writes about the way we police teenage girls’ bodies in: My latest column is on dress codes and teenage school girls. Link to her Daily Life article here: Fighting against dress code sexism at school.
* Rosanna Stevens writes beautifully about the culture of shame surrounding menstruation: The right kind of blood
* Kath at Fat Heffalump writes wonderfully about: Unruly Bodies…
I learnt that instead of focusing on what my body is not, I need to focus on what it IS. And what it is, is wonderous. Flawed and weird yes, as are ALL bodies, but also amazing.
Why must women be small, tidy, contained, unobtrusive? Why must we spend our lives trying to disappear, be invisible, to not take up any space, to keep out of everyone’s way? Why can’t we inhabit our bodies as they are, find comfort and joy in them?
* At The Hand Mirror, Scuba Nurse writes: ‘Why I think you are creepy’. She quotes some twitter conversations about rape and ‘rapey behaviour’. [trigger warnings apply]
And I suddenly thought… why the hell they are fighting SO HARD for their rights to someone else’s body.
* Jennifer Wilson at No Place for Sheep asks: Should Uthman Badar’s talk “Honour killings are morally justified” have been cancelled by the Festival of Dangerous Ideas?
* At A Bee of a Certain Age Deborah discusses some of the myths about domestic violence: “On the radio, talking about domestic violence” (There’s a link on the page to a recording of the radio show).
* Over at Ramp Up, Stella Young talks about the lack of agency young women with disabilities have over their bodies: ‘Life skills’ program teaches wrong lesson
* Jane Gilmour writes about the whole Frightbat fiasco in “Bat Country for Old Men“.
* Jenna Price, co-founder of the feminist action group Destroy the Joint also wrote about this issue: Be very worried, Tim Blair – we are all fright bats now.
* Over at Geek Feminism, there’s an interesting discussion about What would a feminist payment/funding site look like?.
* Anita Heiss writes about the end of Australia’s cultural cringe: Is the cultural cringe over? YES IT IS! |
And that just about wraps it up for June. Thanks to everyone who submitted links, it made hosting that much easier.
Edited to add: The next edition of DUFC will be hosted by Rebecca from bluebec.com. If you can’t access the submissions form, email: rebecca [dot] dominguez [at] gmail [dot] com to submit a post.