Kia ora! Welcome to the 86th Down Under Feminists Carnival. This carnival has been running for over seven years now, and I’ve hosted it three times before. This fourth time around, I’ve been delighted to find some of my old friends still blogging and still engaged in feminist writing, delighted to find some old friends in new incarnations, and delighted to find some voices that are new to me.
At Hoyden about Town, tigtog remembers Joan Kirner, the first female premier in Australia: Vale Joan Kirner
At Histories of Emotion, Julie writes about a performance of Hildegard of Bingen’s Ordo Virtutem in Canberra, in ‘Arousing sluggish souls’: Hildegard of Bingen and the Ordo Virtutum.
Exactly who is Tony Abbott promising to keep safe? No Place For Sheep has an idea, and it doesn’t include women.
Women know this. We are never safe. And the biggest threat to our safety is not ISIS, or terrorism of any kind, but the other humans who share our lives. Will Abbott, our ministerial saviour, call on every fibre of his being to keep us safe from them?
More from No Place for Sheep, on Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, Women, Sex Why?
Women cannot do that, for christ’s sake. Men can coup. Women can only be behind the man who coups.
At Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist, Celeste Liddle gives us her full speech to the Constitutional Recognition Debate.
I believe that a transformative approach when it comes to Indigenous Affairs is long overdue in this country. Australia has a lot to gain from a more educated and collaborative relationship with the First Peoples of this great landmass. The statistics highlighting our disadvantage as a people, year in and year out, prove that things cannot continue the way that they are. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the life expectancy gap, the incarceration rates, infant mortality rates. We cannot continue to deny land rights. We need to strive to achieve a more equitable future.
Later on, Celeste writes about the ways she has been represented and misrepresented in a complex discussion about representation among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Jane Young writes at Pundit about the Canadian general and his wretched excuses for sexual harassment.
Ever wondered why sexual harassment is alive and well in the armed forces?
The Chief of the Canadian Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson seems to know, but once the full horror of his explanation was pointed out to him, he quickly apologized…sort of.
The man in charge says there is sexual harassment in the armed forces because people are “biologically wired in a certain way”.
Right to Life is attacking access to abortion again in New Zealand, trying to whittle away at our limited rights to have control over our own bodies yet again. Alison McCulloch describes what’s happening on the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ blog: Abortion access goes back to court.
Violence against women
At The Hand Mirror, Julie writes about the pervasiveness of violence, even in places that ought to be full of tender, nurturing care.
On Feminist Frequency, Amy writes about the costs and ripples and far reaching impacts of domestic violence.
From the centre of a violent act is the ripple of physical, mental, social or economic strain, lives under duress and generations caught in the repercussions and cycles of violence. … I estimate a global wall of remembrance of those women dead by a violent male hand to stretch far beyond the lives of soldiers lost in conventional state run wars.
Parenting while feminist
I’m loving Boganette’s new blog, Emily Writes. I especially recommend it for parents of young children, and for everyone one else too. In Not even close to perfect she writes about not being a perfect parent all the time.
I managed to get both kids to sleep at the same time today. It’s difficult to describe just how great I felt at this momentous achievement. I am guessing (obviously, I mean look at me) that it feels exactly the same when you reach the summit of Mount Everest. Euphoric. Slightly out of breath. Sweaty.
I was so smug about it I felt like I deserved a glass of wine – but I didn’t have one since it was only 1pm and even though it has been a hard week I can’t quite justify 1pm wine. Maybe tomorrow.
Women still (still!) have to defend their having a space of their own. The University of Queensland’s Women’s Collective writes about why they need a space of their own.
We see the Women’s Room as a place to escape from unwanted cat calls and advances by men – a place to exist in peace and quiet that isn’t a toilet cubicle. It certainly isn’t a “a breeding ground of misandry” or whatever other bizarre misconceptions people might have about it (it might be hard to grasp, but not everything women do is centred on men…)
Friend of Marilyn writes about fat women in photographs.
It took a year of having a photograph of a naked fat body hanging on my wall before I learned to not be disgusted by the image; another couple of months to acknowledge the curves, and the softness. And another before I arrived at a place of appreciation for the beauty. Now I love fat bodies, including my own.
Gender, sex and sexuality
In the news recently, arguments that the easy availability of porn is shaping young people’s sexuality, especially young men’s sexuality, in worrying ways. No Place for Sheep responds that porn is a symptom, not a cause.
What struck me most forcibly about the role of pornography in this impoverished notion of sexuality is that it is a symptom, not a cause, and what it is a symptom of is the entitlement some human beings feel they have to use and abuse the bodies of other human beings for their own gratification.
Ms Burkett’s version of who counts as a woman is little more than old school transmisogyny, with the smattering of race, class and sexuality privilege that feminism has always wrestled with.
Brocklesnitch writes about getting a letter of acceptance into Hogwarts. Oops. Homosexuality.
i knew that one of my main tasks ahead would be to learn how to promote sexuality, and how to turn as many people queer as possible. It would bring with it a deep and satisfying emotional satisfaction knowing that i had the power to lead people away from a life of heterosexuality.
The Fat Heffalump responds to a bloke who is really sorry, but he just doesn’t find fat women attractive.
There are plenty of men who value us and treat us as their equals, not living sex dolls. If you want to expand your options for a relationship, try improving yourself, not demanding others perform for you.
Women and work
Kate at Things we hold dear laments and rages as yet another woman is driven out of academic science.
She has been failed by those whose positions within her institution mean that they are responsible for the pastoral care of staff. … She is not leaving science, but she is leaving academia, and academia’s culture is fully culpable for this.
Stephanie writes about the sexism that is still rampant in our assumptions about paid work at Boots Theory.
It’s 2015, and we’re constantly told that sexism is over, feminism has had its day, and would you nagging witches please just simmer down already?
And then this happens:
An Auckland mother was told that having her kids in daycare could affect her job prospects because she would need too many sick days to care for them.
The thing that fascinates and baffles me is that – at least in my little corner of the world – a woman having the default state of armpit hair is seen as a political statement; it baffles me that it is even remotely noteworthy.
The Scarlett Woman worries about crossing lines in blogging and memoirs in Writing about Taylor Swift ruined my friendship.
It’s always felt like an action movie couldn’t be made without at least a fair dollop of casual sexism. It wasn’t until the MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) started banging on about this latest installment of the Mad Max franchise that my interest was piqued enough to go out of curiosity and because it pleased me that the mere act of me seeing a movie and enjoying it might really piss those bastards off. Just to rub salt in the wound, I’ve been to see it twice now.
But… as No Award points out, there’s a hell of a lot of appropriation in Mad Max: Appropriation Road.
Quokka, forgive me if this is getting repetitive but this is an Australian movie that’s telling an Indigenous narrative without Indigenous actors or characters.
At Flaming Moth, Anna writes about Shakespeare’s Aptronymic Ingénues.
Instead of the insipid naïfs who usually inhabit this role [Miranda], I would dearly love to see a properly bookish Miranda on stage, the product of years of careful tutoring in logic, philosophy and alchemy.
The very best thing about Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is how there are so many ladies, and they all are awesome and they mostly support one another. Mac is awesome, and there’s so much time spent at the Women’s helping ladies. Dot catapults into a life of awesomeness by helping out some ladies, pretending to be up the duff. Jane is so great. Ladies, ladies, ladies.
For some light relief, Dimsie has gone back, back, back to the the 1970s, and she’s blogging the early episodes of Coronation Street. Check it out – Coronation Street of old: watching a decades old soap opera so you don’t have to.
Many thanks to the people who sent me links for the carnival, and to all the fabulous women writing feminism.
Ka kite ano.