Welcome to the December 3, 2008 edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival. I am your hostess, Queen of Thorns.
In the spirit of the very first submission I got, “5 Ways To Get Rid of Stretch Marks” from … oh dear, I appear to have misplaced the link! How unfortunate. In any case, in the spirit of a random bot deciding that this was the perfect venue for peddling body insecurity and implausible cosmetic “fixes”, allow me to present
Miss QoT’s Guide To Keeping Sassy In A World Gone Mad
The Next Generation
It’s also that time of the year, so what better time than to check out Girl Dolls That Look Like Actual Girls? As seen at Hoyden About Town, and also Miss Polly Had A Dolly (That Kicks Kangaroo Arse) posted at PodBlack Cat.
The proper care and socialization of one’s offspring is of course a matter of concern, and when you throw in a bit of capital-accrual-obsessed monopolization of the childcare industry, it’s Not as easy as ABC, skepticlawyer notes. Throw in “classy” all-boys schools teaching “Christian values” – only to have the rugrats go nuts on Muckup day – and really, Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony, it’s enough to make one want to retire to the conservatory with the G&T.
On the other hand, we are proud to present three shining examples of sassiness-in-development:
And Stef at The Hand Mirror blogs the FIFA u17 Women’s Final. Rumours that girls playing soccer may have attracted better crowds to Wellington’s stadium than most recent footy matches are highly exaggerated, we can assure you.
Body and Fashion
However, speaking of females* who have the audacity, the cheek, to think for themselves and make their own choices, can you believe the news, as seen at Hoyden About Town, that Salma Hayek “still” breastfeeding – world can’t decide whether to jerk off or prosecute? Who knew that motherhood could be so darn perturbing to the Powers That Be?
For those Aussies not paying huge amounts of attention to this side of the Tasman, have no fear; the ink wasn’t even on the coalition agreements of our new Government before The Hand Mirror and myself had to point out that the new PM’s wife, Bronagh Key, isn’t the First Lady and her wearing the same jacket twice will not, in fact, cause the end of New Zealand civilization. The silver lining was that the Kiwiblogosphere was so united in its disapproval of the media coverage that I had to invent a New Rule.
blue milk takes a personal look at body politics in My body is not a temple, Rachel Hills of Musings of an inappropriate woman wonders is Labiaplasty the last cosmetic surgery taboo? and Bek’s blog, in We’re living in a post-feminist world? Fat chance. points out that no, discovering that many of our young girls identify thinness with success and happiness is not, in fact, a surprise to anyone who’s had their eyes open over the last decade or so.
How does one channel sassiness into action? HellOnHairyLegs covers Reclaim The Night Sydney 2008. The Hand Mirror did some seriously awesome work canvassing candidates, checking up on party policies and even live-blogging the night over at The Standard. The THM’s round-up is now up: The Hand Mirror: Election 2008 Stuff.
On the artistic front, sajbrfem continues her Fifty Two Acts with Act 36: The New Feminine-Flickr group and tagging project, redefining “feminine” one flickr image at a time.
White Ribbon Day
25 November was White Ribbon Day. Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony blogged on White Ribbon Day; 2 B Sophora posted Dissolved In memory; Fuck Politeness noted White Ribbon Day report brings the MRAs and the ?What about teh poor MENS? dudes out of the woodwork; and The Hand Mirror reproduced extracts from a speech by Deborah MacKenzie, knowing is not enough. Part 2 here and part 3 here.
Over in Australia, Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon has decided to create the role of “Men’s Health Ambassadors”, a laudable thing. Unfortunately, Roxon’s new Men’s Health Ambassadors are frothing homophobes/misogynists note the Hoydens About Town; more on Men’s health ambassadors at Bek’s blog.
Bek’s blog takes on Monica Dux’ attitude to the right way to plan one’s impending labour and childbirth in Monica Dux tells women: yr doin it rong, lazy bitches; meanwhile, The Hand Mirror hosts a guest post on The Womanly Art of giving birth.
Two health-related rants from Lauredhel at Hoyden About Town:
On “The Obese” as Walking Dead and collective noun
“A change in attitude led to my CFS cure!” – a rant which, as a person with depression who’s been told far too many times to “just snap out of it”, I love.
In the wake of the NZ’s-own-Fonterra-affiliated-Sanlu melamine-in-milk-powder tragedy, Hoyden About Town reports Infant formula industry fights back in China, lies about WHO Code breaches
To all this we must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of our minds by extensive reading: Emma is taking inspiration from the Writers of Colour 50 Book Challenge on Livejournal. 50 Books by POC – Auntie Rita sounds darn interesting; and Rachel at Musings of an inappropriate woman is Still not that into He’s Just Not That Into You.
In TV and movies, HellOnHairyLegs reviews Sydney White. Because modern retellings of archaic/Disneyfied fairy tales can never go wrong! And Musings of an inappropriate woman considers Gossip Girl, Serena and “effortless perfection”.
Richie reads it so we don’t have to: Crimitism announces Zoo Weekly publishes most misogynistic article yet (probably). The logic behind the article is clear enough, one supposes, given the gutter press’ obsession with both “hot chicks” and “horrific murders”.
Fuck Politeness continues her noble and tireless campaign of recording just how vile the Sydney Morning Herald can get, especially when it comes to discussing sexy, sexy child prostitution, in Choke on your beers arseholes and No, it’s exactly NOT like cricket.
And on the magazine industry as a whole, at Musings of an inappropriate woman Rachel reprints an interview she did with Patty of Awkward Digressions – On feminism and the Australian magazine industry.
Daily Dose of Angry
Fictional doctors who live only in my head recommend experiencing a moderate amount of rage-inducement on a regular basis to keep the sassiness up. With that in mind, Hoyden About Town presents “Your only chance to get inside her”: disability and that Belgian transplant porn; yet another bloody ad campaign that tells young women that if they go around acting like drunken harlots they’ve only got themselves to blame for the consequences, covered in Women Are Always To Blame at The Dawn Chorus and Protecting their Virginity: Saving Girls from Sex at Girls’ Literature and Culture.
People Who Say Stupid Things
Not quite as mind-shattering but still enough to make you sigh/shake your head/scream ARGH at you computer, If women are “frazzled” they’re neurotic, says Tele’s Kevin Hepworth covered by Hoyden About Town, and Fuck Politeness is confused by Mumbai: the “real tragedy”?
The Hoydens About Town have been doing a cracking job following the proposed blanket mandatory Australian Internet filters, in posts like Internet censorship in Senate Question Time today as well as here, here, here and here, and a round-up here. If we reflect on the fact that early “anti-obscenity” laws in the US, for example, blocked a lot more information about contraception and controlling one’s own reproduction than it ever did porn, this kind of thing is definitely a matter for feminist discussion.
Righteous Anger Corner with Your Hostess, Fuck Politeness
These two posts are just so darn good I had to crowbar them in. When men complain that Western feminists “do nothing” about developing-world tragedies, Fuck Politeness throws it right back at them: What are MEN doing about it? Then thinks about language, gender, and “neutrality”, and asks if Nothing is neutral?
*I may have been watching a bit too much Deep Space Nine recently.