Tagged: beauty standards

Talking about labiaplasty

I was emailed the link to this article on the NZ Herald about the rise of labiaplasty.

It’s actually not the absolute-worst article in the world and contains some really good input from Dr Virginia Braun of the University of Auckland and George Christy Parker of Women’s Health Action Trust.  They cover concepts like a lack of good sex education and understanding that our bodies are diverse and unique things.

But.

The only person who’s actually saying labiaplasty is on the rise is Dr Murray Beagley.  Who makes a living performing labiaplasty.  He’s quick to talk about not being judgemental and not enforcing beauty standards … but then he turns around and says “of course if I wasn’t doing labiaplasty there’d be plenty of other surgeries I would be doing” – as though pretty much all of those aren’t part of the same set of beauty standards.

He also keeps slipping into body-judging phrasing, like when he talks about “whether we should prioritise [people] with protruding labia over [people] with pendulous breasts” – i.e. treating protruding labia and pendulous breasts as inherent problems to be solved.

As a person with pendulous breasts:  go fuck yourself, Dr Beagley.

But the thing which most pisses me off, dear readers?

Headline of video: “Labiaplasty: creating the perfect vagina?”

Headline of article: “Vagina surgery on the rise in NZ”

Herald subeditors may find the following diagram helpful.

labia are not vagina

I mean, can anyone actually quantify the amount of irony involved in the Herald publishing a report which talks about a lack of information about what genitals look like without managing to work out that the labia ARE NOT THE SAME FUCKING THING as the vagina?

And why do I have the strangest feeling that an article about testicle-related surgery wouldn’t be headlined “Penis surgery on the rise”?  Or that such an article would never be written in the first place?

[Ill-fitting] bras are tools of the patriarchy

This is a great post on some of the basic reasons that bra fitting is a feminist issue.  It predominantly affects women, but not all women have breasts and not all people with breasts are women – and those people thus outside “the norm” have an even worse time of things!

I just want to take one teensy-tiny issue with this bit:

Unsupportive bras mean bouncing and ligament pain, which discourages women from physical activity, thereby keeping them less fit. Putting it like that makes it sound like a huge conspiracy, but

Let me stop you at “but”, friend.  No, I’m not saying there literally is a smoke-filled room somewhere where former Skulls & Bones members twirl their moustaches with glee over blueprints for The Most Uncomfortable Bra Ever, slapping each other on the back and saying “they’ll never be able to jump rope in THIS!”

But let’s think about it this way.  Capitalism requires a steady stream of workers.  Workers have to be born and raised.  Currently, a lot of the birthing and raising is done by people who are firmly identified as “women”.

(Just look at how much of the kerfuffle around marriage equality was that same-sex couples “can’t” make babies, or how men who choose to become pregnant are, well, [insert transphobic hatespeech here].)

That birthing-and-raising of productive little workers is unpaid work.  It’s not even viewed as work.  It’s considered completely demeaning for the non-birthing class (“men”) to perform it (though they will be lionized as heroes for making the “sacrifice” of taking time out to raise their own children).

Why the fuck would a group which makes up just over half of the population put up with this?

Enter bras.  Enter beauty standards.  Enter conflicting, YET VERY VERY IMPORTANT messages beamed into our brains daily about the “right” way to behave, to look.  Enter a situation where skilled, educated people are walking around with Impostor Syndrome because it’s so ingrained to believe that they’re doing something wrong.

(Enter also rape culture, which reinforces the idea that you can never ever feel safe; enter antichoice rhetoric, which is one facet of a whole system dedicated to telling you you don’t really know your own mind and need others to make decisions for you; enter economic disadvantages which push you towards heterosexual cohabitation.

Enter a neverending roundabout of diet advice, childrearing advice, all underscored with the notion that if you’re doing it wrong – and believe me, you ARE doing it wrong – you are basically a completely worthless individual who’s letting the entire species down.)

To completely appropriate/paraphrase a wise thing I read somewhere, you can’t politicise people who are starving, because they’ve got more important things on their minds.  Modern capitalism/patriarchy has worked to make sure that even when women aren’t starving, even when they’ve got huge amounts of privilege, their minds are on things which they’ve been convinced are more important.  They’re getting depression and eating disorders … not rocking the boat.

Why do you think the good old chestnuts about hairy-legged lesbians have such currency?  Because the people who refuse to shave their legs and enter heterosexual relationships and produce the next generation of good little productive workers are threatening the whole system.

It’s not a conspiracy of moustachioed men in a bunker.  But what other word do we have for such a complex, deliberate system of coercing an entire population?

Original link via Good Bras are a Feminist Issue.

The Christchurch Press and Stuff.co.nz: transphobic asshats of the day

[TW: every square on the transphobia bingo board]

Via Coley Tangerina on Twitter, a truly fucked-up article is currently on Stuff about a trans woman who works as a beauty therapist in Christchurch and is getting shat on for her identity.

Stuff and the Christchurch Press decide to go to her defence by:

  • Headlining the article “Big Hands ‘Bad News’ for Christchurch Beauty Therapist” (address bar) / “‘Man hands’ bad news for beauty business” on the page
  • Referring to her as “Transsexual Stephanie Dixon” in the first sentence
  • Referring to her as “Born a man” in the second sentence
  • Mentioning the size of her hands three times in under 300 words

… all of which basically says “the problem is her identity and her hands, not the bigotry of people in her community.”

Let’s marvel at the particular beauty of the second sentence in full:

Born a man, Dixon is New Zealand’s only post-operative beauty therapist, something she says is her passion.

… which kind of implies not that beauty therapy is her passion, but that her surgical history combined with beauty therapy is her passion.

The thing is, if you take out all of that bullshit, the article could actually be a really thoughtful, powerful piece about a very normal woman living a very normal life facing social backlash because of the bigotry and gossip of others.  It could have been headlined, “Christchurch beauty therapist faces backlash from transphobic gossip”.

But for some strange reason, before we can get to her own words and her own experiences, we need to have it ABSOLUTELY EMPHASISED that Stephanie Dixon is a trans woman.  We have to have it absolutely taken for granted that her hands are a problem, not just a bog-standard transphobic stereotype.  And of course the idea that the size of her hands is in any way relevant to her ability to buff your nails, wax your legs or apply a facial is never rejected.

All I’m saying is, if so-called “journalist” Charley Mann wants to keep talking about Ms Dixon’s “man hands”, they could at least do us the honour of posting a photograph of said hands so we right-thinking people can judge for ourselves, am I right?  If we’re going to make it clear that the problem is “people are scared of your big manly hands”, let’s just go the whole nine transphobic yards, shall we?

(It should be noted that the comments on the article are largely supportive, which is highly refreshing.)

~

As a side note: at least one spa in Wellington offers the services of a (presumably) cis-male beauty therapist (for male customers.)  Just so we’re clear that the only reason for the bigots of Christchurch, and “journalist” Charley Mann, to keep talking about Ms Dixon’s hands is because they’re trying to undermine her femininity.

Tired old misogyny in the House

Forever and ever, until the ozone layer disappears and the oceans evaporate and the mountains crumble into dust, the following shall be recorded in the history of New Zealand’s Parliament:

Hon MAURICE WILLIAMSON (Minister for Building and Construction) : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I have been fortunate in the last hour to have been in my office with the Miss Universe New Zealand contestants. They are in the gallery, and I think this House would like to acknowledge them being here today

Oh ho ho, how droll.  But it gets puke-inciting when you see how the Speaker of the House, the dude charged with keeping order and seriousness and dignity among our elected representatives, responds:

I am not sure how that is a point of order, but either way it seems a very pleasant visitation for the House to have. I think I recognise the Wellington representative among them—a good surf lifesaver.

Naughty Maurice, says Lockwood.  Stop playing up in class!  Still, totes jealous, amirite?

Green MP Jan Logie, a frontrunner for an eternal place in my heart as a bolshy badass, decided that what was good for the sexist gander must be good for the goose:

I have been fortunate in the last hour to be in my office with the feminists of the year contestants. They are in the gallery, and I think this House would like the opportunity today to acknowledge them.

Lockwood was clearly in less of a good mood for this one:

Could I perhaps suggest to the House that, rather than see this practice continue indefinitely, where members do wish to acknowledge visitors in the gallery, perhaps the appropriate way to do it would be to seek the leave of the House. All members know they are not meant to refer to visitors in the gallery. …

Right, let’s break that one down:  it was OK, nay funny, for one person to do it [when hot chicks were involved], but when two people have done it [and the hot chicks have left] suddenly it’s “going on indefinitely”.

And all members know that they shouldn’t do this, but Jan Logie, first-term MP who might be a little shaky on the procedural side of things, gets the scolding – and Maurice Williamson, in Parliament since Adam and Eve 1987* gets no such reminder – instead the Speaker just expresses “confusion” as to “whether” Williamson’s blatant “look at me, I’m the manly man” showboating counts as a point of order (I’m guessing not, but I’m not the one in fancy robes here).

I want to be sympathetic to Lockwood, here.  Obviously you don’t want this kind of thing getting out of hand.  Maybe he’s even embarrassed that he acted like such a pathetic, desperate juvenile, making a sly little comment about “pleasant visitations”, and now someone – damn us stroppy feminists – has dared to call him on that shit.

It’s like being the teacher who doesn’t want to be constantly telling the kids off all the time.  You let a little thing through – and in this case, it’s one of your own cohort doing the pranking and all the social narratives are lining up to say it’s cool – and then suddenly the classroom is rioting, and you know it’s kind of your fault, and you end up sending the smart kid who was rightfully pointing out your mistake to detention.  While the original kid just gets to keep going through life saying “Yeah, I hung out with hot chicks and even Mr Smith totally said I was cool.”

But Lockwood isn’t a spring chicken either.  He’s the Speaker of the House.  He brought it into disrepute and he opened the door to Jan Logie’s counteraction by being a sexist wanker.  Sad, man.

~

A sidenote:  this isn’t about the inherent sexism of Miss Universe and it isn’t an attack on the contestants.  The fact is, treating those contestants like pieces of meat to bolster Williamson’s ego, and Smith going along with it to prove he’s One Of The Blokes, is shitty, cheapening to our Parliament, and misogynist.

~

*People born nine years after he was first elected can vote next election.  Just saying.

Fighting the patriarchy in lipstick vol. 2

Part 1 of this post was published yesterday.  Check it out, ’cause it’ll probably make this post make more sense.

3.  A life lived in stress is a life half-lived

Let’s assume, for this section, that one completely rejects the notion of “reclaiming” or “subverting” patriarchal norms, that all sexiness is collaboration and all nail polish is Giving Aid And Comfort To The Enemy.

It is pretty fucking difficult spending all one’s time enraged at the strictures and oppressiveness of kyriarchy.  It is pretty fucking stressful, at least for me and I have no doubt for others as well, to be constantly analysing my every thought and preference and decision against the context of social narratives.

Do I like these shoes just because patriarchy says I have to look pretty for men?  Do I enjoy Game of Thrones just because I’m presented with no other options in terms of racist, sexist medieval fantasy tropes?  (I’m going to come back to this shortly …)   And let’s not even start on my sexual preferences.

I like a lot of things that are problematic.  I dress in a way which is very patriarchy-approved, albeit in a fat body so I can’t really win there (I’m either wrong for daring to look conventionally-sexy while fat, or I’m wrong if I stop trying to l0ok conventionally sexy despite being fat).  I enjoy medieval fantasy, the Saw films, corsetry, etc etc.  I know these things are problematic, and I know that a lot of the reason I like these things is due to being raised in a white, Western, patriarchal society.

(There’s a hell of a lot of other contributing factors, but let’s not let the complexity of human existence get in the way of judging people now.)

But, and here’s where y’all can start selectively clipping quotes to back up your stereotypes of a “choice feminist”, I still like those things.

I still like those things despite being aware they’re problematic, despite knowing that a lot of my choice is not fully of my own free will.  Because none of us are making choices of our own free will.

Put it this way:  if you’re a radical feminist who hates society’s treatment of women as a sex class and never wears high heels?  In a world where patriarchy completely desexualised women and demanded they be entirely unnoticeable, $5 says you’d be breaking out the mascara and fishnets.

Mascara is not, in of itself, patriarchal.  Our ingrained responses to it are.

Here’s my main point:  I choose to not fight against every single patriarchy-approved preference in my head.  I choose to prioritise other things to spend my mental energy on.

I understand how my conforming choices can benefit me, can make my life easier, can allow me to pass under the radar in some aspects of my life.

I acknowledge that it’s utterly shitty that our society demands such choices of us and rewards us for going along.

But my mental energy is my own to spend.  My stress is my own to decrease or increase.  And if I choose a type of activism which isn’t about standing as a personal refutation of patriarchy, if I choose to balance up the number of areas where I will challenge my programming and decide that I can’t live a full and happy life worrying about every last little thing I do … that’s how I will survive.  That’s how I will make the best fight I can of this, and achieve a hell of a lot more than if I worry myself into a death-spiral of self-criticism.

And you can fuck right off judging me for that.  You can fuck right off dictating that I put stress and pressure on myself to conform to Real Feminist Approved non-conformity.  It’s simultaneously tragic and fucking hilarious.

4.  Guess what, conforming doesn’t make life easier

Because, and this might be a slightly off-the-wall idea, we live in a patriarchy.  So as women, we’re already the lesser, the other, the object.  (Extend to kyriarchy and other oppressed identities as necessary.)

So even if we pucker up and make up and dress up, we’ll still be at the bottom.  Even if we’re given a modicum of influence/status (see every painfully poorly written article of the past year entitled something like Why I’m A Smart Enough Girl To Reject Silly Feminism And Love Men), there’s still no getting around the fact that we only hold influence/status by the grace of The Man.  And that can be taken away with the merest flick of a Leaked Nude Photos magic wand.

Conforming does grease the rails.  And for those of us who can conform (remember, the majority of women are never going to be equally considered sexy or attractive or permitted a little autonomy as the most privileged, white/cis/hetero class) things get a lot less stressful.  Bully for us.  It’s still patriarchy, it still dumps on all of us (though, yes, less so on some than others.)

The point

Sure, choices aren’t feminist just because a woman chooses them.  The act of choosing isn’t inherently feminist and isn’t distinct and exclusive of kyriarchal programming.

But.  Hate the game, not the player.  Kyriarchy/patriarchy puts us in these positions and gives us these non-choices and labels all our actions in line with its own priorities.  And it’s pretty much just massively uncool to take a superior attitude and judge individual women who for all you know are navigating life as best they can in the face of massive pressures to conform.

Even when – no, especially when these “choices” aren’t just about lipstick and heels, when we’re talking about sex-selective abortion or surname-changing or participating in sex work, how fucking cruel do you have to be to tell a person, “you have to suck it up and take whatever violence or deprivation is going to be thrown at you, it’s your job to represent our entire struggle against [insert problem here] because choosing anything else is UnFeminist”?

Fight sexism.  Fight discrimination.  Fight the norms and standards and assumptions.  Don’t fight the people who you’re presuming to defend, and try not to act too fucking smug about how much better you are than the rest of us.

Related reading: amandaw at FWD/Forward.

Fighting the patriarchy in lipstick vol. 1

This post got a little long, so tune in tomorrow for part 2, in which I reserve the right to manage my own spoons, we note that a life conforming ain’t perfect either, and I get to the point.  Kinda.

I always end up describing the concept of “choice feminism” to other people in two ways:  if someone’s using it as a serious term they probably mean some variation on “people who pretend every choice they make is feminist because they make it.”  If it’s me arguing against that idea, it’s “let’s stop shitting on other women from orbit just so we can prove that not shaving our legs makes us Superior Patriarchy-Fighting Machines.”

Because no choice is perfect in a society which narrates and interprets our actions against an evil spirit level of power dynamics and biological essentialism.  We can never win; all our choices are, on some level, wrong because we are women making them in a patriarchal society.

Wearing high heels?  You’re just superficial and obsessed with shoes, like a woman (and sucking up to the patriarchy to boot) (and are probably stupid because omg who would ever like shoes which hurt your feet unless they were brainwashed???)  Wearing “sensible” shoes?  Prepare to be marked down as a dyke, as a square, as “not well-presented”, and all the attendant harassment and employment discrimination that comes along with it.

And that’s one of the most trivial examples (albeit one which I, as a very-privileged heel-wearer, take a little to heart).

What the anti-”choice feminist” people want to say, though, is that my wearing of high heels might be fine and dandy, oh, they might be magnanimous enough to tolerate my collaborator’s footwear, but don’t I dare claim that wearing high heels is a feminist action.

Because you know, I do that all the time.

And of course I’d better be okay with being called “stupid”, and I’d better be okay with people questioning my feminist credentials because I’m obviously too selfish/superficial to understand that High Heels Are Tools Of The Man.

To me, this is not only demeaning, and a tad misogynist, it’s also a refusal to even consider that the spectrum of our actions and choices is a bit more extensive than (a) Conforms to patriarchal standards ergo Is Bad vs (b) Doesn’t conform to mainstream patriarchal standards ergo Is Good.

So, a couple of points about why I’m frankly just fine with the label “choice feminist”.

1.  Patriarchal standards aren’t uniform.

Sure, high heels are a great go-to for Things Approved Of By Patriarchy.  If the only role women were ever forced into was that of “sex kitten”.

But there’s also “mother” or “teacher” or “nurse” – the unsexy woman held up for her Nurturing Qualities, her understanding of Her Place, her utter lack of autonomy and an identity focused entirely on being a helpmeet to others.

Betcha she wears “sensible shoes”.

This is one of the ways patriarchy gets us coming and going (well, not usually coming, boom boom!).  There isn’t a perfect choice, even if your one goal in life is to conform (a goal which, I’m going to address later, does not actually make you an evil person.)

2.  That whole “reclaiming” thing

People can, and do, do things which are surface-level conforming, yet present a challenge to kyriarchy/patriarchy.

It is a challenge to conventional beauty standards when a fat person dares to dress, and act, like a sexually-aware being.  It is a challenge to people’s assumptions when a woman changes her name after marriage – and lets them know it’s only because she has no emotional connection to her “maiden” name.  It is a challenge if a sex worker chooses to call herself a whore.

A lot of people take issue with the notion of reclaiming.  I simply submit that shaking up the assumptions of others and causing them to rethink their immediate impressions of things is a form of activism in itself.

Part 2′s up tomorrow.  Tune in then, or comment now, as you like.

Down Under Feminists’ Carnival XL: bigger, better, more punnage

Welcome to the 40th Down Under Feminists’ Carnival.  I am your stunning hostess, Queen of Thorns, “QoT” to my friends and “single-handed destroyer of progressive NZ politics” to my trolls.

I’m entirely enamoured of the fact that 40 in Roman numerals is XL, so I’m putting our plus-size Antipodean bloggers up first:

New study shows correlation between fatness and selling one’s soul to Satan

Definatalie writes about re-learning her love of cycling.  sleepydumpling at Fat Heffalump talks about Why I Don’t Diet and Fixing the Relationship with Food.  Bri at Fat Lot of Good sees that fat-shaming is now getting aimed at four-year-olds to the extent some are developing a fear of food.

sleepydumpling is on a crusade, people.  A crusade for all super-fatties, deathfats, people who just cannot find clothes in their size for love nor money.  Warning: utter fuckwittery in the comments.  Remember, fatshion is activism.  And no, fat acceptance will not in fact kill you.

There’s been discussion lately about the role of the fatosphere on people’s perceptions and lives.  Dr Samantha Thomas has done a for-real ivory-tower-shaking academic paper on how the fatosphere proactively challenges fat stigma, and sleepydumpling covers the same topic in Breaking Down Fat Stigma: Shame.  Sonya at Lipmag was one of the interviewees for Dr Thomas’ paper.

The body plays a huge (BOOM BOOM!) role in a lot of feminist discussion, and things always get good and heated around one fact in particular: pregnancy and how you are probably Doing It Rong right this minute.

You read a book while pregnant?  You’re gonna DIE!!!

Feminethicist posts a quick note about double standards around scars – especially stretch marks.  Aussie MP Andrew Laming fights the good fight for homebirths.  Bluebec confronts the notion that any particular way of having babies is “unnatural”.

Pregnancy isn’t always wanted or continued, of course, and that’s why apparently I have to keep explaining that the “right to life” movement are a bunch of wanks with the intellectual honesty of a guppy.

And of course once Junior makes it out into the world it’s all downhill for progressive parents, who simply cannot win.  Ever.

Buy this Mozart CD or your baby will sprout wings!

Blue milk continues to post on her presentation on feminist parenting.  Part 4 covers “what is feminist parenting?” and Part 5 looks at the difficulties with being a feminist parent.  She also talks about the idea that some parents are too sexy to breastfeed – and provides a challenge with a follow-up post on glamorous images of breastfeeding.  Another post discusses pro-feminist fathers.

Breastfeeding also shows up as a really nifty shorthand for “crazy woman” in the Game of Thrones series, as discussed at Hoyden About Town.

Bee of a Certain Age talks about learning to love after having her children.

Our kids just aren’t getting a break:  Lessons to be Learned covers the Toddlers and Tiaras phenomenon and blue milk looks at high fashion’s role in sexualising girls.  Feminethicist has been having some fun challenging the heteronormativity when people play joke-matchmaker with babies.

Unsurprisingly, I did not take kindly to Family First’s insinuations that some families are just “obviously” worse than others.

For further reading, Mindy at Hoyden About Town has reviewed The 21st Century Motherhood Movement.

Where does a lot of this crap come from? Our wonderful media, of course.

This just in: reading mainstream media could be the reason you’re really angry all the time

Feminethicist is just thrilled by a camera app that makes your romantic partner look tolerable again. I have a slight issue with bra companies’ media releases being treated as scientific fact, with a sprinkling of obesity panic on top.

Rachel at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman takes on the latest theories of Bettina Arndt and the treatment of women who are famous for being pretty and throwing together a good outfit.

LudditeJourno, posting at The Hand Mirror, covers Michael bloody Lhaws’ preference for referring to poor brown people as “feral” and coleytangerina at The Lady Garden gets freaked out by news of a “cougar attack” … then a tad depressed.

Emma at Lip asks where the strong women are in literature.  Kate Barker discusses anti-feminist imagery.  Cara at Life is a feminist issue talks about our media ban on reporting suicide, and whether that’s really looking all that effective.

MJ at Kiwiana (inked) tells Stuff where they can shove their scare quotes when reporting on domestic violence.

Time for something a bit more positive:

Retrospective:  awesome women being awesome

Penguin Unearthed talks about Gudridur Thorbjarnardottir as part of her Travelling Feminist posts – here’s another on Norway.  The Hoydens share the news that Sensei Keiko Fukuda has become the only woman ever granted the 10th degree black belt in judo.  Double Antandre talks about Nancy Wake.

Another big issue of the past month has been identity, especially given Google’s being douchebags about what’s considered a “real” name (all the more aggravating because it’s based on needing “real” demographics to sell to shitbox marketers).

I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine

Chally talks about the kinds of history that go into building identity.  blue milk passes on information on the My Name is Me project created in response to Google+ being douches.  Giovanni talks about Google+, identity and cyberpunk.

Where does a lot of identity come from?  Our “race”, social construct that it is, and religion, and culture, and all other kinds of pretty touchy issues.

Nothing witty to put here

Mindmadeup asks if Australia is a racist nation.  Chally confronts racism at the bus stop.  stargazer discusses how the “default is male” concept extends to commentary about Muslims.  stargazer also posted about the start of Ramadan.

Chally challenges the notion that feminism and religion are mutually exclusive.  Bluebec talks about gender exclusion in the Freemasons.  Gladly the Cross-Eyed Bear covers freedom from religion.

Queen Emily at Questioning Transphobia asks “When am I trans?” and when trans people are “real”.

Love and Marriage

In happier news, Rachel is getting hitched!  Of course, planning a wedding doesn’t get any easier when you’re a feminist so she’s provided a handy Guide to Feminist Wedding Planning.  News With Nipples covers some tragi-comic anti-marriage-equality protests.  Hayley at Equal Love Equal Rights posts on marriage equality.

Mr Wainscotting is pleased to announce the launch of Legalise Love, a group looking to get some actual marriage equality happening in NZ.  Idiot/Savant has been taking an interest in our MPs’ views on the subject:  here he is on Hone Harawira and David Parker (and it’s not good news).

As Chally notes, though, we shouldn’t devalue single women.

Then there’s some perennial issues for feminist bloggers:

Poverty

stargazer helped produce a session on poverty at the Human Rights Commission’s diversity forum and also blogged her speech from the forum on needing an action plan on human rights.  Maia at The Hand Mirror dissects a “game” where privileged people get to pretend to be poor for a while and probably learn some Important Moral Lesson.

Deborah Russell discusses welfare in the Dominion Post.

Rape culture / violence

Blue milk on some truly grotesque rape-as-comic-device bullshit.  Deborah discusses the ridiculous “guidance” given to women around “keeping themselves safe”.

The Naked Philologist deals in two parts with the subject of teaching problematic material – Can you teach Chrétien without talking about rape? and You might be able to teach Chrétien without talking about rape, but I shan’t.

LudditeJourno posts about the Wellington Sexual Abuse Network and preventing sexual violence.  Idiot/Savant notes that domestic violence still gets excused if you’re rich and powerful enough.

Disability

A guest poster at Hoyden About Town talks about being a “border gimp”.  Joanna at The View From Down Here talks about building community.

Pay gap

Deborah talks about the gender pay gap and another Deborah’s predictable privileged attitude towards it.  Idiot/Savant covers the Greens’ and CTU’s calling of National’s bluff: if people can just ask labour inspectors to check there’s pay parity in their workplace, maybe we should just start doing that all the time.

And finally, a little collection of random items to fill out your reading.

We can’t stop here, this is bat country!

Blue milk on potentially-problematic vulva-themed art.  Geek Feminism on social media protest action.  Bluebec on trusting people to make their own decisions.  Maia at The Hand Mirror on the cost of being a woman in public.  Chally’s thoughts on being “born this way”.  A guest post on Geek Feminism about encouraging women’s participation in geekiness.  Blogger at the Cast Iron Balcony on how to help the Sylvia Creek anti-logging protesters.  Bluebec on polyamory and doing it right. Feminaust posts on listening to sex workers.

That’s all she wrote

Thanks to our lovely submitters, especially Chally and Rebecca who made my job a heck of a lot easier!

The 41st edition of the DUFC will be hosted at A Touch of The Crazy.  As we still seem to be having issues with blogcarnival, send your submissions directly to stef_thomp [at] hotmail [dot] com.  We’re four years in and going strong but we need your help to keep it awesome!

The list of DUFC contributors is woefully out of date, but feel free to peruse it in the meantime while I get some well-earned coffee.

You can has entitlement issues

I don’t want to get into Paul Henry’s predictably obnoxious comments about Stephanie Mills of Greenpeace and her physical appearance.  Gina has a [guest] post at The Hand Mirror about it, as does Tane at The Standard.

What I do want to point out, though, is how utterly oblivious some of the comments on that Standard post are (The Hand Mirror draws fewer Fungi from Yuggoth, but they’re there too).

There’s tsmithfield:

If she knew she was going on TV, then why didn’t she shave first?

[Same commenter further down] Facial hair can be sorted out in about two seconds.

There’s justthefacts:

MIlls DOES have a moustache, it DOES look ridiculous, and of course all Henry did was read out emails.

And there’s bingo-triggering concern troll Madeleine:

I felt for the woman as having a problem like that is embarassing and having it all over TV is not nice but its like any personal problem that is visible, if you are about to go on TV you pop that pimple, you wipe that snot, you clean your face, you do your hair, you put on makeup and tidy clothes, you wax/shave your mo.

And I have just one very simple question:

Why the FUCK does Stephanie Mills owe you wankers a hair-free upper lip?

Oh, that’s right. She’s an independent, autonomous human being who can set her own priorities and make her own decisions and look however the fuck she wants to look.  And especially when your fucking ilk are complaining over at THM that no one “has the right NOT to be offended”? It’s supreme fucking hypocrisy to simultaneously whine that you’ve been exposed to someone who clearly hasn’t had your specific aesthetic pleasure foremost in her mind.

I’m sorry to break it to you, guys, but societal beauty standards? Not actually laws. And while I’m sure you’re fucking thrilled that across the country hundreds of thousands of women are stressing the fuck out over invisible blemishes they’ve been assured are there by cosmetics ads, you know what? Some women don’t have the time, or the money, or the inclination (or they’re tweezing and curling and grooming according to their own damn aesthetics). And those women do not fucking owe you an existence without seeing a non-airbrushed human form.

Stephanie Mills can do whatever the fuck she likes with her appearance. At the end of the day, she’ll still be a fucktonne more dignified than you.

PS. GREENPEACE IS ONE FUCKING WORD YOU FUCKING IDIOTS.