Welcome to the 82nd Edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival!
The DUFC is a collection of writing on broadly-defined feminist issues by Australian and New Zealand bloggers. It encompasses everything from political commentary to topics like race, gender, sexual inequality, queer issues, disability, human rights and social justice, sex and relationships, fat politics, feminist theory and more.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition! I hope you all enjoy.
Let’s start off with the least satisfying stuff – that which goes on in our own political system.
- At Hoyden About Town, Orlando writes about Gillian Triggs as Friday Hoyden. Nice to see someone not demonising her for simply speaking truth to power.
- And on that topic, Jennifer Worthing at lip magazine takes some time to look at the report of the Commission into children in immigration detention, and what it actually says. Instead of blindly condemning it like some (unfortunately powerful) people.
- Robyn Oyeniyi of Team Oyeniyi writes about needing politicians with vision, who will actually do the research needed to inform policy stances on things like domestic violence and medicare, instead of just blurting out useless rhetoric.
- Noely of YaThink? writes about the shock QLD election result, and how it was actually social media and personal experiences that changed people’s minds, not having the same slogan yelled at you a million times.
A collection of posts on race, mostly on how how politics is getting it wrong. You know, just for a change.
- Ana Steveson from the University of Queensland writes about how Barak Obama has been characterised as Uncle Tom (from Uncle Tom’s Cabin) and what this means for race, history and politics in and beyond the United States.
- Amy McQuire writes for New Matilda on the mainstream media’s blatant disregard for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy protest outside parliament house. Because apparently all the journalists congregating there that day didn’t care about anything except the Liberal leadership spill motion. (Hint: it wasn’t even that exciting.)
- On a similar theme, LudditeJourno of The Hand Mirror on the fixation the media seems to have with rich white men talking about race and colonisation on Waitangi Day. Who really need to stop.
- Celeste Liddle has a piece at the Guardian thanking the MPs who walked out of Shorten’s Closing the Gap speech for their honesty. It epitomises the attitude towards Indigenous affairs by the current government.
- Kelly Briggs, writing for The Hoopla, also has an excellent take-down on the whole Closing the Gap affair and the shameful treatment of Indigenous Australians (especially women) by the government.
- In the sub-section of Australians living abroad, Aaminah Khan writes for The Progressive on what it is like to be an Australian Muslim of Turkish and Pakistani descent trying to gain permanent residency in the US. (I really recommend this one!)
- And finally, Tanya of Platonic War reflects on anti-semitic violence in Copenhagen, and shares her confusion about what race really is when it comes to violence and terrorism.
Domestic violence has been at the forefront of the media lately, if not at the forefront of politics, prompting some great responses.
- Rebecca Shaw writes about her own experiences witnessing domestic violence and its prevalence.
- Jennifer Wilson of No Place for Sheep writes about what men can do against domestic violence, starting with listening and foregrounding women’s experiences and not speaking over them.
- Amy Gray writes at the Guardian about the Q&A domestic violence special which featured lots of men talking about and over women, rather than giving women the opportunity to speak. She also writes on White Ribbon and the sacking of ambassador Dr Tanveer Ahmed, who obviously isn’t getting the idea that men need to start taking responsibility for their actions.
A hodge-podge of posts about casual sexism, privilege and stereotypes.
- Deborah of A Bee of A Certain Age writes about talking about male privilege on NZ Radio. This is a great post to bookmark and send to those people who need a bit of privilege-checking!
- Kath of Fat Heffalump writes about the ‘not like other girls’ phenomenon and the internalised misogyny that drives it, especially among young women.
- And while we’re on the topic of girls, Scarlett Harris questions why we insist on calling women girls in the first place, drawing on examples from pop culture (like that TV show about women… called Girls.)
- Tigtog writes at Hoyden About Town on how boys are shamed for reading books about girls, while girls are expected to relate to books with protagonists of any gender. Because you know, boys shouldn’t be encouraged to be feminine, or something.
- Stephanie of No Award pokes fun at 1950s Wedding Etiquette. I particularly enjoyed the section on the role of the best man (to prevent the bride from running away). Though perhaps enjoyed is the wrong word.
- Jennifer Wilson at No Place for Sheep writes about how women are sucked into the managerial role at the expense of creativity.
Health, Bodies and Sexualities
- Carly Findlay of Tune into Radio Carly writes about making fashion accessible for people with disabilities, both in terms of runway representation and store accessibility. She also writes on the joys of unsolicited health advice – can I have some of those magic healing moon fossil implants, please?
- Rebecca Shaw writes at Kill Your Darlings about the social stigma that is menstruation, especially in relation to *that* scene in 50 Shades of Grey.
- Liz Mutineer of Sergeant Polly has a really excellent post on female nudity – especially on nude pictures and the victim-blaming that goes on when private photos are leaked online. As Liz points out, it all comes down to power and shame and the idea that women’s bodies are public property.
- Robyn Kenealy of Square Planet Comics writes about the horrific treatment of a queer, Māori trans woman at Auckland Pride by the police. This makes me so sad.
- And unfortunately, Rebecca of opinions@bluebec didn’t have a very good experience at Melbourne Pride either, thanks to some nasty biphobic abuse.
- LudditeJourno at The Hand Mirror gives her thoughts on diversity and the GAYTM debate, pointing out that it kind of equates giving queer people shiny things with workers’ rights.
- Robyn Oyeniyi of Team Oyeniyi has some really interesting analysis of medicare statistics, including questioning why women between 25 and 75 are disproportionately high users of medicare services.
Literary, Musical and Visual Things
- Jo Tamar at Hoyden About Town continues her series on the Australian Women Writers Challenge by reviewing Every Secret Thing by Marie Munkara. I love the sound of this book!
- Celeste Liddle of Black Feminist Ranter points out that people were right to be pissed off about Two Broke Girls‘ racist joke, but that that the joke is really on Australia for the way it normalises stereotypes and abuse of Indigenous people every day.
- Scarlett Harris writes at Bitch Flicks on the TV show Total Divas and how it basically fails at body acceptance and positivity, showing that even women wrestlers aren’t free of pressure when it comes to their appearance and weight.
- Emma Robinson of lip mag reviews Reese Witherspoon’s film Wild, which I had the pleasure of enjoying myself a few weeks ago. (I really loved it!)
And a couple of strays that didn’t fit elsewhere
- Here is a post from Boganette on how incredibly condescending and patronising it is to be constantly told to be grateful as a parent of young children. Because sometimes you just want your bed to be yours.
- And here is a link to the first 2015 edition of wom*news, the zine of the UQ Women’s Collective. Some great pieces!