Down Under Feminists Carnival #86

dufclogoKia 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.

First up, a call out to Muslim women in Australia to participate in a research project.

Notable women

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.

Sexual harassment

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”.

Reproductive rights

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.

Public spaces

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.

At The Hand Mirror, LudditeJourno rejects Elinor Burkett’s analysis of Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance in Call me feminist, but not the Burkett kind

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.


Jessica Hammond defies the patriarchy and (drum roll please…) stops shaving her armpits.

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.

Personal dilemmas

The Scarlett Woman worries about crossing lines in blogging and memoirs in Writing about Taylor Swift ruined my friendship.

Popular culture

Chelle Walmsley review Mad Max: Fury Road at The Ruminator.

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 fabulous ladies of No Award deconstruct Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

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.

Forty-third Down Under Feminists Carnival

I’m delighted to be hosting the Down Under Feminists Carnival for the third time. It’s a great carnival, still going strong. I think down under feminism has a different flavour to feminism in other places, and I enjoy the company of down under feminists. I suppose it’s because we are quite a small group, so we tend to know each other and hear about each other quite easily. We are a community spread across two countries, and across the world, and I love being part of that community.


To start the carnival, please welcome some new, or newish, down under bloggers.

LessonsToBeLearned has joined forces with new blogger Ursa, at Smile: It Confuses People. Check out what Ursa has to say about a weight loss pill: Nightmare come true drug. She also looks at some Unimportant headline information.

At her own blog, LessonsToBeLearned has A conversation with her 13-year old self.

Can you be a feminist without knowing what a feminist is?

(I know both of these young women in real life, and it is a great pleasure, and an honour, to be part of their lives.)

Another newcomer to the carnival, Friend of Marilyn, who is also someone I happen to know in real life, as a colleague and friend. She is a fat studies scholar and blogger and broadcaster. Also, she sings fabulously. Check out her Tumblr too. And her blog post about Fat travel in Asia.

Joannie has recently launched a website as part of her doctoral work. On her blog, Rethinking Care, she writes about what she means when she says care.

Annanonymous has returned to blogging at The End is Naenae (for people outside New Zealand, “Naenae” is pronounced, “nigh-nigh”). She writes about her daughter choosing to study St Mary Magdalene:

M has chosen to research Mary Magdalene. She told me very earnestly that Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of sexual temptation, penitent sinners and – wait for it – hairdressers.

Liliana at Speculum de Lis writes about her great-grandmother who went to the altar and said no. Her name was Grace. Grace as an attribute is more than the light and air it connotes.” Thinking and writing some more, she wonders whether the story ended happily?

Jo has been writing at A Life Unexamined since the middle of the year. She looks at food ethics and food costs in The ethics of food shopping.

A new project in Australia, Settle Petal

s an online space for young feminists and our allies around Australia. It was created by the collective brain of a group of young women passionate about feminism, with the aim of furthering conversation and debate among young women around feminism and its future, and being a safe and respectful space to have those debates.

Settle Petal has a blog and an on-line forum. Check out their post on Reclaim the Night. (Trigger – assault)

Pohutu, Wilbefortis and Friagabi started Three Wise Women in September. Pohutu’s post, Mixed Up About Motherhood, points out that we, meaning society, and feminists, are all over the place about mothers and motherhood and Wilbefortis notices that the media might be even more sexist than Parliament.


At Hoyden about Town, Jo Tamar focuses on Rarely used laws. As it turns out, if you are indigenous, those laws are not rarely used at all. Also thinking about rules, Chally wonders In whose favour are the rules of politeness made?

While you’re thinking about rules of behaviour, consider the subtexts when people reach out to touch another person’s hair. Especially white people touching people of colour’s hair. Chally lays it out in her open letter to white people who like to touch my hair.


Fat Heffalump wonders how is it that designers can make fabulous clothes for Miss Piggy, but can’t possibly make clothes for fat people? And she writes an open letter to the medical profession, making a point that should be obvious, but isn’t: fat people are people.

We are human beings with lives, loves, emotions, needs, aspirations and value in society like any other human being. We deserve to be treated as such and allowed to advocate for ourselves.

In a guest post at Fat Heffalump, Foxie writes about fat hatred and discrimination on public transport. The post has reports of fat hatred and abuse in it, but it also has some amazing stories about people simply refusing to take it, and other people sticking up for the people being abused.

(TRIGGER – pictures of emaciated children) At Fat Lot of Good, Bri writes about people who starve their children because they are so scared of fat.

At lecta, Mary sets out the rules for talking to a very tall person about being tall. Clue: Don’t.


Trigger – all of the posts in this section discuss violence and assault.

tigtog has a datapoint on rape culture

This indifference regarding actual incidents of sexual abuse/exploitation/coercion is not an exception to the rule. People prioritise their existing relationships over justice for victims time after time after time after time, all over the world. This indifference towards the victims and the “standing by” the accused is actually the status quo.

WTF doesn’t even begin to capture this pearler:

Eighty-four per cent of people arrested for family violence are men. Half of all violent crime in New Zealand is family violence. The statistics go on. Perhaps the way to give men a chance is for women to appreciate their own femininity more.

The Queen of Thorns deals to it: Are you fucking kidding me, Naomi Madelin

At The Lady Garden, ColeyTangerina talks about what Zac Guildford has done well, and what he has done not so well, in apologising for his abusive behaviour while drunk.

Hexy is blogging at Feministe (go Hexy!). She writes about the White Ribbon Day oath and the problem of silence.

In New Zealand, Bob McCroskie had a “But what about TEH MENZ?” wail about White Ribbon Day. At The Lady Garden, Tallulah deals to the nonsense: In OMG WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ??!!1? news.

Scuba Nurse analyses Twilight and White Ribbon Day: An Ironic Jutaposition.

Megan has been travelling in the South Pacific for work. She writes about privilege.

Because while we whinge about Alisdair Thompson’s stupidity – not that that doesn’t reflect deeply held and offensive views – we forget that just a few hours in a plane ride away are women, quite literally, fighting for their lives.


The Hand Mirror devoted to a week to pro-choice posts, to coincide with NZ’s annual release of abortion statistics. Posts from that week include Maia on what it means to be pro-choice and support disability rights, Julie on Being a pro-choice mother, and Pohutu on Abortion as an act of love.

anjum was asked to speak to Pregnancy Couselling Services about Muslim perspectives around unwanted pregnancy.

if i’m going to be asked for advice, then this is what i’ll say: err on the side of compassion. provide support and safety for the living women who find themselves in difficult circumstances, and be slow to judge. that is all.

Smkreig argues that minors deserve a choice as well.

QuietlyQuestioning focuses on the Mississippi personhood amendment.


At The Hand Mirror, LudditeJourno talks about coming out as bisexual.

HighlyEccentric at The Naked Philologist writes about the phenomenon of being straight until proven otherwise, or a post with too many footnotes, drawing on research by scholars of medieval literature.

It’s that Ailes seems to think by carefully going down the list of “most likely to be queer” historical figures and ticking them all off as “not queer”, one can write the homosexual completely out of the history of homosociality.


Civil unions for gay and lesbian couples are on the agenda in Australia. Chrys at Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear wonders how history will remember Julia Gillard, and in a guest post on the same blog, Phil Browne describes the progress of the campaign: Browned off by bigotry: a campaigner’s insight into the Queensland Civil Partnerships Bill.


Time Magazine has a piece on the chore wars. Blue Milk takes it apart: Before we call a truce on The Chore War.

NwN at The News With Nipples talks about the difference in these equations:

Men + work + family = completely normal.

Women + work + family = wanting to “have it all”. Followed by “probably selfish”.


At a friend’s prompting, I wrote about the occupy movement and Christianity: On cathedrals, occupations and Machiavelli. (Many thanks to Bec for nominating this post.)

Dumpling at Mellow Yellow says that it’s time to take your individualistic ostrich head out of the colonial sand.

“What is colonisation all about? I mean that kinda stuff happens all over the world, it’s just what people do, it’s always happened. And it was so long ago.. You can’t really do anything about it.”

This was part of the conversation I had with a young gay asian man while a small, staunch and chipper group marching for decolonisation up Queen St, to the (re)occupy Aotea campsite. And it’s been on my mind ever since.


LudditeJourno discusses Diversity and MMP.

The Queen of Thorns writes about being told yet again to stop critising Labour because “you’re hurting the movement.”

Steph at Lady News is fed-up with the national sport of dumping on society’s “losers. And she’s had enough of the fetishization of BLOKES. Blokes in charge of New Zealand. While being manly.

Anne Else focuses on child poverty in New Zealand.


Blue Milk reports her mother’s experience of parenting as an ex-pat in Iraq.


An airconditioner salesman gets it just a bit wrong with Mim: How to very nearly not sell an airconditioner.

Jo Tamar, writing at Hoyden about Town, has some numbers on the number of female tradies.

Anne Else, at The Hand Mirror, describes Some advertising she received recently – it’s straight out of the 1950s.


FeminAust writer MsElouise thinks about powerful women, and her mother, and different ways of being feminist.

At Hoyden about Town, orlando pays tribute to Camila Vallejo, a prominent Chilean activist.

Sandra in Wetville writes about her mother, and someone that so many of us in NZ feminist blogging admire, Julie Fairey.


BlueBec on Being angry and her changing responses to her own anger.

Rachel Hills on Being a Bad Feminist.

To finish up, go listen to tigtog: It speaks! Podcast: Sexism, Skepticism And Civility Online.


Many thanks to the people who submitted posts for the carnival, especially Bec, Chally, Julie, and Helen, who all kept an eye on blogs about the place and sent in links, and also to the people who sent in links from their own blogs, and the new bloggers who made themselves known.

The forty-fourth edition of the carnival will be hosted by Mary at Hoyden about Town in early January. Submissions to mary-carnival [at] puzzling [dot] org. The carnival submission form doesn’t seem to working at present, alas.

Reminder – submit some posts for DUFC

I’m hosting the December Down Under Feminists Carnival here. I’m hoping to get it up by Sunday 4 December, so I would be very much obliged if you would submit some posts before then. Any feminist post, broadly interpreted, by any down under blogger, also broadly interpreted, is eligible for the carnival.

The carnival submission form seems to have gotten out of sorts again, so it’s probably best to send submissions direct to me at my hotmail account. I use the handle dfr141. Or you could leave submissions in comments on this post. One link per comment would be good, or WordPress’s spaminator might devour it.

I’m especially keen to highlight posts by new bloggers, or by bloggers who haven’t been in the carnival previously. But I’m keen to hear from established bloggers too. I’m going to have a limit of two posts per blogger, so that the carnival remains manageable.

Many thanks to Bec and Chally for the links they have sent me already.

Down Under Feminists Carnival

I’m hosting the Down Under Feminists Carnival for November. So I’m looking for posts by Down Under bloggers, broadly construed, on feminist issues, also broadly construed. I’m especially keen to hear from people who are new to blogging, or who haven’t had a post featured in the carnival previously.

But…. it seems that the carnival submission form is doing a jiggery-pokery thing again, and if you submit posts via the form, they may not get to me. So… if you try using the form, and you DON’T get a confirmation e-mail, then you might like to send your posts, or posts you have seen that you like, directly to me at my hotmail address. My handle is dfr141 at hotmail dot com.

It would be especially nice if you would give your posts a title starting with DUFC, but not to worry if you don’t remember.

Ka kite ano



The 42nd Down Under Feminists Carnival is up at Pondering Postfeminism. Lots of good reading for your Sunday morning.

And I’ll be hosting the next one in early December! So when you have read the 42nd carnival, send me some links for the next one. Carnival co-ordinator Chally is keen for us to work on highlighting work from new and not-so-prolific down under feminist bloggers, which I thin is a great thing to do. So even if you’ve just started out in this blogging game, or *especially* if you have just started out, send me some links to your work, either through the carnival submission form – Down Under Feminists Carnival submission form – or if the form won’t work for you, then send them directly to my hotmail address, where I use dfr141 as my handle. Any feminist post (broadly interpreted) by any down under writer (broadly interpreted) is eligible for the carnival. Per the carnival rules, I’ll be limiting selections to two post per blogger, and yes, that does mean two per person, not two per blog, for group blogs.