Thursday, 5 February 2009

9th Down Under Feminists Carnival

Kia ora! Welcome to the 9th Down Under Feminists Carnival.

The Hand Mirror is a team effort, and so is this carnival. So if you think that the writing style is changing all the time, that's because it is!

Hah hah hah hahs (or not)

Julie says:
I loves a bit of the ol' humour, and this month Hellon from Hellonhairylegs features some fantastic Jacky Fleming cartoons, while Jo Tamar of Wallaby examines what makes a joke work, and what makes it a feminist joke? Meanwhile anjum from The Hand Mirror wrestles with bad jokes that aren't jokes at all, provoking an interesting discussion from readers.

Women taking action

Deborah says:
Mikhela of Fly My Pretty, feminist, documentary maker, and mother of twins, reports on the work she and her partner are doing on getting her partner recognised as the other mother of the twins, for themselves and other same-sex parents.

SAHM Feminist Demelza reviews her 10 years of political activism.

Logansrogue has a lively rant about the the obsession with Jessica Simpson's weight, and she has a suggestion to about something to do.

Sex and relationships

The Ex-expat says:
Let's start this section off with a topic close to my heart, travel. Audrey, Audrey and the Bad Apples ponders what the cross-over point between cheeky flirtation and sexual advances / harassment is while on the road in Morroco.

Meanwhile the topic of marriage seems to be the topic of the month. After 17 years in a relationship Lucy Tartan at Sorrow at Sills Bend ponders the organisation of her nuptials without the help of the Wedding Industrial Complex.

Julie from the The Hand Mirror ponders why marriage matters to her while Anita from the new and sparkly Kiwipolitico makes the case against legalising marriage.

At the other end of the spectrum anjum from The Hand Mirror ponders why you have to wait two years to get divorced after the marriage breaks down.


Julie says:
Blue Milk considers the desire to have children, to be a mother, and how that doesn't have to be a problem for feminists. Barvasfiend of Kiwi back in Sydney points out that pregnancy can be pretty damn hard and the workplace expectations that the gravid be superwomen is not doing anyone any good. Emervents looks at an issue I find particularly perturbing: the banning of breastfeeding pictures on Facebook, and back to Blue Milk again, as she struggles with the pressure to name the first son of a first son of a first son.

Be careful clicking through on these links - they could be triggering.

Deborah says:
There was a vicious assault on a girl in Sydney, and the reporting of it was bizarre. Lauredhel of Hoyden about Town points out that the story in the Sydney Morning Herald doesn't once mention the words rape or assault, but talks about 'sex', and writing about the same story, Mel Campbell of The Dawn Chorus wonders how much detail the public really needs to have about sex crimes. On the same horrible case, FuckPoliteness points out that Forcing someone into sex" is rape, and the Queen of Thorns at Ideologically Impure writes about the SMH story and a similar one in the Dominion Post, where the victim disappears.

Then there's a post from Anita at Kiwipolitico, calling out men and pleading with them not to support a culture that enables rape. The discussion thread is ... interesting, and extensive, and possibly triggering.


The Ex-expat says:
Helen from the Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony takes on the institution of football (AKA as Aussie rules) and its role in perpetuating violence against women after a senior star gets clobbered by young men assualting a young women.

Sophie, 2 B Sophora, grits her teeth as she recollects all the helpful 'advice' that little girls are given in order to avoid male violence while the Queen of Thorns gnashes hers at the appalling grammar and magical sexual assault fairies that emerge the minute young women imbibe in a bevvie.

Mynxii, Mynxi recollects a stranger invading her space at midnight and wonders if her lack of fear makes her a little nutty.

And finally Caitlinate at the The Dawn Chorus ponders why the deaths of 400 women in Juarez, a Mexican town on the border with the United States are not being investigated.

Domestic violence

Deborah says:
The new National government in New Zealand has very speedily introduced a domestic violence bill. The bill sets up police orders, which will enable police officers to remove alleged offenders from their homes for up to five days. But Idiot / Savant of No Right Turn has concerns about possible conflicts with the Bill of Rights. I'm not so concerned - I think that men's right to be at home needs to be balanced with women's right to safety in their homes, but I am concerned about resourcing. Anita, at Kiwipolitico, thinks that the court processes around the orders need to be substantially improved. Maia is concerned about giving the police yet more power, and even more concerned that the power might be misdirected, against the abused person.

And there can never be a national conversation about domestic violence without someone saying, "but what about teh menz?" Bill Ralston steps up to the mark, but his nonsense is ably taken apart by Sandra, the LudditeJourno.


Julie says:
Anna, of The Hand Mirror, has been thinking about the horror in Gaza, and Maia of Capitalism Bad riffs on the theme of women, children and innocence, arguing that if we justify assistance on the basis of innocence then we deny women agency.


Julie says:
NZ's proud history of giving teh ladeez teh votz is somewhat of a fraud, as joanna spratt of Fibracious discovers when she looks at the exclusion of Chinese immigrants. Placebogirl of Randomnymity asks why isn't Harvey Milk in the pantheon of American civil rights heroes?.

And there's a trio of links about our own Anjum Rahman's views on the hijab and the burqa, starting with her inital thoughts on being approached to write an opinion piece countering an Australian talkback host's blurtings about how offensive he finds the burqa. You can read Anjum's column in the Sydney Daily Telegraph here, and a discussion of it at The Hand Mirror over here.

Women's Work

Deborah says:
The economic news is worrying, but there are some gleams of light. Mel Campbell of The Dawn Chorus was fascinated to find that when the Courier Mail predicted the return of the 1950s houswife, commenters said "No!" Meanwhile, our own Julie was fuming and fuming again, first when guess who was asked to fill in for the receptionist, and second when she was criticised for being annoyed about it.

And as Cactus Kate points out, the men at Fonterra got a woman to take the fall for them.

Women of Substance

Deborah says:
Much more cheerfully, there have been some great posts about women of substance. Chally, guest posting at Hoyden about Town, has a tribute to Nancy Bird Walton, Australian aviator and hoyden of note. Penguin Unearthed writes about her great-great-great-great-grandmother, a many-times published writer and reformer. Johanna of Radical Cross Stitch reminds us about the work that bell hooks has done.

Special snowflakes

Deborah says:
There's the special snowflakes (TM Hoyden about Town), those poor wee darlings who just can't handle teh wiminz. Mindy, writing at Hoyden about Town, is oh-so-sympathetic to the young man who thinks he has been damaged by dating older women. It turns out that Diddums can no longer speak to women of his own age. Hoyden Lauredhel marks out the snowflakes in the Catholic hierarchy, who have been getting into a delighted tizzy about a chemist who contributed to the original synthesis of the pill now thinking it is a bad thing. And the ex-expat at The Hand Mirror wonders about the kind of snowflake who pays $7m just to have sex with a virgin.

A "who'd've thought moment" - Hexy at Hexpletive is astonished that researchers have finally worked out, at last, that women of size suffering from ovarian cancer have lower survival rates because oncologists don't adjust the dosage for weight.

As for the snowflakery of the Australian ISP filter trial - the ComicStripHero recasts it all as The Crucible.

Books, TV, Media

Deborah says:
Penguin Unearthed has some interesting things to say about some recently published feminist books: The Great Feminist Denial by Monica Dux, and The F-word: How we learned to swear by feminism, by Jane Caro and Catherine Fox. Kitsuchi returns to the 1950s to look at The Art of Being a Woman by Amabel Williams-Ellis.

Wildly parenthetical has two absorbing posts on fictional prostitution, analysising the character Inara in Firefly: fictional protitution I and fictional prostitution II. Chally, writing at her own place, Zero at the Bone, talks about the tension between lust and bloodlust in the Twilight series.

More from Chally, this time on the treatment of female reporters and presenters and a confluence of oppressions in a Channel 7 ad for Desperate Housewives.

Pavlov's Cat, from Still Life with Cat, got involved in the on-line discussion of the Quadrant hoax, and made the seemingly innocuous comment that of course, Quadrant publishes more men than women. Herewith the evidence. Case closed!

Julie of The Hand Mirror grumbles about Tim Selwyn's post on the inadequacies of "lady journos", and headdesks when she finds a story about cars illustrated with women, of course.

Bits and pieces, odds and ends, pieces that defy categorisation

Deborah says:
Some bits and pieces to finish off. Kate Kennedy at Motueka News On-Line has some poignant New Year' wishes (scroll down to find them). And fittingly for a section that lacks an easy lable, labellementeuse resists being categorised as this wave or that - she's just a feminist.


That's it for this carnival. The fabulous Queen of Thorns, at Ideologically Impure, will be hosting the 10th carnival. This is the second time she is hosting it (you're a champion, QoT!). If you're a keen carnival reader, perhaps you could consider hosting the carnival yourself? Contact carnival founder, Lauredhel, at her gmail address. She uses Lauredhelhoyden as her handle. Or use the contact form at Hoyden about Town - go to HaT's About page and click the "contact" tab.

Ka kite ano!


Jennifer said...

What a great set of reading to look forward to! It almost makes me ready to take a day off tomorrow as a NZ passport holder.

Thanks for the mentions also.

Chally said...

Goodness me. Thank you for all the linky goodness (although if you meant to link to my Desperate Housewives post, it didn't work). What an interesting carnival and a great range of topics. I shall read it as soon as I have some time for it all!

blue milk said...

Hmm everyone wrote a lot more than you'd think at that time of year... and well done you collating it all.

Carol said...

Yes, a lot of great links.

I'll comment here on this very interesting, Aussie-focused entryMore from Chally, this time on the treatment of female reporters and presenters and a confluence of oppressions in a Channel 7 ad for Desperate Housewives.
as I want to take an NZ slant on the issue.

Chally says:

here’s an article from Variety talking about how female voiceover artists have difficulty finding work because the male voice is thought to be more authoritative - “right” or “normal”.

A few years back I used to complain a lot to many people about the use of only male voices on TV promos. This was particularly the case when the credits for a show or movie were rolling, while a male voice would promote some future programme. In response to my complaint, most people just looked at me blankly. Some (including women) said a female voice would't have the same authority & just wouldn't sound right. Yet, sometime in the last few years, there's been a shift to using female voices in such promos on NZ FTA TV - and no-one seems to have commented on the change. More importantly, the sky hasn't fallen, the authority of such promos doesn't seem to have been undermined, & TV and life generally goes on much as before.

In news, we do have some substantial female reporters on TV and the radio - though why Guyon Espiner has seniority over Fran Mold (spelling?) is beyond me.

Also I watch AlJazeera on Triangle (Auckland) TV most mornings. They have a substantial number of authoritative female anchors, reporters and members of panel discussions. AJ IMO gives the most in-depth coverage of international news available on NZ FTA TV (much more multi-perspective and serious than any NZ-made TV news), and women are at the fore-front on it. It really shows how, women can be every bit as "authoritative" as men, and that employing a lot of women in this way doesn't detract from the "authority" of the content, or the success of the programmes/channel.

So basically the continuing inequality of women in any serious news/media coverage, just seems to me to be to preserve the power/control of the guys at the top, rather than for any rational reason related to perceptions of male "authority".

PS: I've seen a couple of significant reports on Al Jazeera recently by NZ's Anita McNaught - she's doing pretty well as an international news reporter.

Anna said...

Love it - both the wonderful reading material, and the way you've put it together. Sorry that my lack of time and general technological inadequacy prevented me from helping. xo

Deborah said...

Thanks, Chally. I've fixed that link. We had some extraordinary html gobbledegook in there, and I would love to know how I managed to do it.

Chally said...

Hi Carol. I'm glad you took an NZ slant there as it's very interesting. I think it goes to show that the perception of male voices as more authorative is indeed not rational at all. If male voices being in authorative positions is all you experience, you're going to think of female voices as less than, which works to preserve the power and control of men. It's a sort of microcosm of wider patriarchal society, isn't it? Oh, and please feel free to come on over to my blog and discuss it if you have more.

No problem, Deborah. And you and your fellow bloggers obviously went to a lot of effort with the carnival. :)

Julie said...

Deborah this is so awesome! Thanks for your hard work on this, you totally rock!

stargazer said...

thanx deborah and others for an awesome carnival. sorry i wasn't of more help...

Emervents said...

Wow, fantastic carnival, and so much content despite the silly season (read: christmas and school holidays) impinging on everyone's quiet time!

Thanks to whoever nominated me, I've been a bit quiet lately and it has spurred me on to be more active for the next one.

Now for a cup of tea and some lovely feminist comfort food...

The Amazing Kim said...


*Lobs soft cushions*

Great bunch'o links.

wildlyparenthetical said...

Aww... thanks for including me, Carol! And to whoever nominated me. It was a bit of a surprise to find clicky-throughs occurring, and it's a definite spur to get back to blogging! :-)

fuckpoliteness said...

That's a really interesting layout - I love the cross sections of readings you got having more than one person researching/reading. I've been thinking about that, about potentially co-hosting (??) as it seems a really big commitment - though I'm yet to figure out how that would work.
You have my admiration, an excellent carnival and thanks for including me.