Tagged: australia

Down Under Feminists’ Carnival: I learned the truth at 17, that love was a patriarchal construct keeping me down

It’s that time of the month again – carnival time!*

dufclogo

Here it is, people, Volume XVII of the DUFC, containing the very best of Southern Hemisphere feminist discourse for the month of September.

Ten Simple Rules for Surviving Patriarchy

1. Mess Up That Dominant Paradigm Good And Hard

Boganette is leading the charge here with her sheer audacity in letting people know she isn’t going to change her name on marriage.  Gold star for the bonus cognitive dissonance caused by having a male partner willing to take her name!  It’s just not right!

Chally needs to you understand that you cannot actually be that progressive if you refer to things as “lame”.

In A Strange Land destroys Greg Sheridan’s reasoning why women shouldn’t be allowed in frontline combat positions.  I’m just amazed he didn’t raise the extra cost involved of shipping manicurists to warzones.  Then she takes on gender essentialism and what “woman” means.

2. Speak Truth to Power/Bigotry/Douchebags/Patriarchy

Just in case there were any concern that feminists just don’t talk about important issues enough …

Lauredhel reports on a Canadian study about the actual risks of injuries to mother and baby in homebirths vs hospital births.  Jo Tamar provides some analysis of why, despite the facts, doctors still prefer hospital births.

Spilt Milk writes an open letter to Kyle “Trigger Warning” Sandilands, whose work I am eternally grateful has never made it over the Tasman.

Chally reminds us that there are many different ways to be an activist.

Julie at the Hand Mirror reports on the Roundtable on Violence Against Women’s factsheet, released in response to the sentencing of Clayton Weatherston; and Anna takes on the odious CYFSWatch.

3. Break Down Controlling Narratives

shinynewcoin takes apart the notion of being “high maintenance” and the way it punishes women for doing what they’re supposed to.

Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony draws a fantastic comparison between men’s and women’s “risky” behaviour.

Richie dissects the good old “But I didn’t meeeeeeeeeeeean to!” line.

Lauredhel says yes, “these things” did happen in your day, you just said “boys will be boys”.

4. Don’t Forget The Men

Feminists are often criticised for making it all about the chicks and not caring about the poor oppressed suffering men.  There’s something in that.

We should definitely care about the men who get to have parental-celebration barbeques while women-parents shop, as documented by Fuck Politeness.  And we would be terribly remiss not to care about fathers getting governmental thank-yous for having the balls to financially support their own children, as brilliantly savaged by shinynewcoin.

Boganette has a Public Service Announcement about how it’s not your period that broke up your relationship, it’s the fact your boyfriend was an asshole.

5. Eat, Drink, Wear a Size Blah and Be Merry – or don’t

Chally links to an online feminist bookclub.

Boganette would be most delighted if you could not tell her she’s lost weight, asshole.  PodBlack Cat doesn’t drink, and has not been stripped of her Aussie citizenship for it.

Boganette and News With Nipples both cover the report which shows some women drink before sex due to self-esteem issues with their bodies.  Boganette is full of scorn, NWN wonders what the connection is with the study’s funders, Femfresh (for all your labia-deodorant needs),

6. Be Inspired By Women Who Rock

The Hoydens About Town presents an obituary of Barbara Moore:  Feminist, Lawyer, Writer & Grad Student of the University of Melbourne.  Bloody powerful stuff there.

Godard’s Letterboxes has the mighty Sarah Connor at #3 on their Top 100 Sci Fi and Fantasy Women list.  So far, so kickass, but if there ain’t a Servalan or an Ivanova showing up shortly there shall be a reckoning.

7. Have Kids and Consign Yourself to the Fight Against Gender Stereotyping and Societal Expectation

This is clearly a big issue of our times, and that’s just going by how often it crops up in the Australofemiblogosphere.  Heck, it starts before the bub even arrives!

Two posts on breastfeeding laws in WA: Lauredhel celebrating the likely law change, and girliejones explaining that yeah, she WANTS the freaking symbolism.

Godard’s Letterboxes has boys, not aliens.  blue milk has a boy and a girl – clearly the perfect sample for making wide conclusions about inherent gender differences.

Wildly Parenthetical wonders what’s so great about having a normal childhood.  Made in Melbourne sees people comparing the pole-dancing doll to the breastfeeding doll and is perplexed. Tor notes that the lovely paradox of performing femininity hits you good and young.

Lauredhel struggles with the eternal question, “How can feminist mums avoid being humorless childhood-ruiners?”

8. Celebrate Suffrage Day

September 19 was Women’s Suffrage Day in NZ.  Anne Else used the occasion to savage Chris Trotter’s waxing lyrical about the NZ Labour Party getting its manliness back on – apparently those 9 years in power under a woman leader were the worst thing to happen, or something.

In A Strange Land reprints the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s reasons why women should get the vote, and Homepaddock features a cartoon from the era – why my househusband isn’t in the kitchen cooking my dinner right now is my question!

9. Refuse to Give a Fuck About Artistic Careers

In A Strange Land looks at the concept of moral luck, and about sums up the Polanski argument for me:

I don’t care how great a filmmaker he is. The fact is that he was convicted of raping a thirteen year old child, and he fled from justice.

An Irritating Truth gives good tips on how to be a socially-acceptable sex offender.

10. Remember, Little-p Politics Matter

The policing of trans people’s gender presentationBeing a feminist in the open-source worldThe wider issues about “right to die” arguments – like the limited options people may be givenThe dominance of the male voiceThe wording of and assumptions underlying “scientific” surveysWhether privileged people’s “choice” trumps basic cultural sensitivity.  And why fear of genital mutilation doesn’t warrant refugee status in Australia.

That’s all she wrote!  Remember to submit your posts for the next edition of the Carnival, being hosted by Jo over at WallabyETA at Jo’s request:  The theme is Carers’ Week / Caring.  See her comment below for more info!

And if you’re ever at a loss for some good reading material, check out my own DUFC Contributors’ List (soon to be updated with this month’s new additions, I promise!).

Next time on Ideologically Impure:  savaging critique of the “posts” that didn’t make it into the Carnival, largely due to being horrible spam.

*Remember, boys, if you don’t actually want to know the details of my menstrual cycle, you are free to (a) not ask and (b) not ascribe my annoyance at you to it.

Drive-by posting

Because I am sleepy, and this one is for the Aussies out there:

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Men at Work’s Down Under ‘ripped off’ Kookaburra

Now, as unlikely as it seems, the classic children’s ditty Kookaburra and the Men At Work hit Down Under are set to go head-to-head in court amid accusations part of the rock anthem is a rip off.

Apparently this was first posited in 2007. 2000-fucking-SEVEN. Stop me if I’m jumping to conclusions, but I can’t help but think, given the cult-like status of Down Under and the so-common-even-KIWI-schoolkids-sing-it Kookaburra?* SOMEONE WOULD PROBABLY HAVE NOTICED EARLIER.

*It’s in an episode of Doctor Who, for fuck’s sake.

Karen Kissane can has transphobia, no can has journalistic integrity

Not sure if this has been covered elsewhere, as I just have time to post before din-dins.

Let’s start with a headline, courtesy of The Age via stuff.co.nz, which basically screams “let’s get some gratuitous offensiveness on”:

Court allows girl, 17, to have breasts removed

It can’t get worse? The hell you say!

An Australian court has allowed a 17-year-old girl to have her breasts removed so she can be more like a boy.

Or as we say in HaveAFuckingBrainistan, “An Australian court has allowed a young transgender man to have surgery so his external appearance can reflect his internal reality.”

… Admittedly, that requires both having a brain and believing in this crazy notion that transgendered people exist.

It’s your usual “denial of transgendered person’s identity, constant and deliberate use of blatantly incorrect pronoun in the face of clear stated preference” tail, only this one has two little twists, one almost funny and the other fucking sick:

First, there’s the fact that Justice Diana Bryant, who made the decision to allow 17-year-old Alex to have the surgery, always uses the correct, male, pronoun … which, given the introduction has already identified Alex as a girl, leads to this:

Justice Bryant told The Age: “In the end, it wasn’t a particularly difficult issue because the only real issue was, ‘Would he (Alex) have it at 17 or once he’s 18?’ Then, he doesn’t need permission…

The “journalist” feels the need to explain that the he Justice Bryant refers to is the same Alex referred to in the headline as a girl.

I mean, most people might have taken the hint when the Chief Justice of the Family Court is using a particular set of words to describe a person.

But not Karen Kissane, senior writer at The Age. Nope, she goes straight for the fucking sick twist:

But ethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini said mainstream medicine did not recognise hormone treatments and surgery as treatment for gender dysphoria. He said it was a psychiatric disorder qualifying under American guidelines as a psychosis because “it’s a belief out of accordance with reality“.

Well, he’s an ethicist, he would know, right?

And if there were anything about this ethicist that might possibly put his comments in context, Karen Kissane would have mentioned it, right?

Like how they stick little “XYZ ABC is a commentator for the Suchandsuch Thinktank and has previously written on the effect of lint on suit jackets” disclaimers at the end of opinion pieces.

I mean, if you’re just going to call someone an ethicist and then report their words with no criticism or questioning, they’ve got to be, well, credible, right?

You wouldn’t, for example, expect them to be Associate Professors at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, right? It’s not like that screams I have a certain and telling doctrine underwriting my statements on gender and identity or anything. It’s not like that might affect how people read this article, and interpret this ethicist’s statements, and how they reflect on the life and identity of a 17-year-old boy.

Karen Kissane, I might have raised an eyebrow over your illiterate inability to get the pronouns right. I might have just screamed FUCK at my computer screen a few times over that pathetic excuse for a headline.

But when you describe Alex’s identity as “longing to be the opposite sex”, when you quote someone like Nick Toni-Filippini and feel apparently no need to point out that his comments are hardly objective, when you discard the serious efforts Justice Bryant has gone to to reach the best decision for Alex because you want to treat a young transman as a circus freak to get you headlines?

There is a special circle of Hell waiting for you, Karen.

Letters to The Age: letters@theage.com.au

ETA: More at Hoyden About Town and The Hand Mirror.