For thirteen hours, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered a bill which would close 30 abortion clinics in the state, leaving only 5 to provide medical care to its 26 million inhabitants.
She couldn’t sit, or lean, or take a sip of water, or pee, or stop talking. She was challenged by antichoice Republicans for daring to go “off-topic” by talking about sonograms – which you’re forced to get in Texas before an abortion – and Planned Parenthood – who, among other health services, provide abortions.
She stood and spoke and shared the stories of people who needed abortion services, who are being ignored by the kind of blinkered fundamentalists who think female bodies can just “shut down” pregnancies caused by rape or that rape kits cause abortions.
And at the end of the day the bastards tried to cheat their way through anyway, claiming the vote on the bill was taken before midnight when hundreds of thousands of people watching live knew damn well they hadn’t.
They’d raised a point of order against her because she needed help with her back brace, and then they tried to pretend that 12:03 was really 11:59 to get their way. That’s the hypocrisy of the antichoice movement in a nutshell: one rule for women, another/none for themselves.
Wendy Davis, you are one badass state senator.
And lest you think this is just a Republican-heavy US state issue? See Coley Tangerina.
I’d like to shout out to a new member of the awesome Kiwi blogosphere, Rachel of Fat And Slutty!
What my internets needed was definitely more writing like this:
“HEY! HEY YOU! Your body is changing and it’s weird and uncomfortable but remember USE CONDOMS but don’t have sex and CUM ON HER FACE but don’t acknowlege or pay attention to any of that GROSS STUFF IN YOUR PUBIC AREA and SHAVE SHAVE SHAVE. What are you doing? ARE YOU MASTURBATING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! Sluts and bitches! See this picture? IT’S HERPES! Girls get periods and boys have MASSIVE WHITE COCKS. What’s a fat person? PENIS IN VAGINA.”
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
I may be a bit of a monster truck, and I may be a shrieking harpy, and I may be an utter, utter bitch. But I have some fucking wonderful folk in my bloglife and I’d like to just give them a shout-out or two.
Thank you to Octavia and Megan and Boganette and Steph and Robot Pie and – whoever obvious I probably missed out – for being a rocking coven of feministy awesomeness and the best drinking buddies a TOFO dress can buy.
Thank you to Lew, for occasionally doing this brilliant thing where he leverages being a Serious Man Blogger into an Anti-Tone-Argument Shield* in my defence.
Thank you to McFlock, whom I don’t know from a bar of soap but would happily buy a DB, or a real drink if that’s what floated McFlock’s boat. (Aaaand now I have “how many boats could a McFlock float if a McFlock could float boats” stuck in my head. Hopefully y’all do, too.)
Thank you all, peeps. From the bottom of my loud ranty fuck-saying heart.
+4 AC bonus, -10 comment check penalty, 50% chance of misogynist derail failure
MeganWegan tagged me, the flirt.
The rules of the game are thus: all ye who are tagged as stylish bloggers have to spill seven interesting beans about yourselves before passing the baton of nomination on to seven others. The world becomes a marginally happier, more knowledgeable place, blog friendships are developed and sealed and everyone gets a unicorn. Well not quite, but it’s a bit of fun at least, right?
- I have two tailbones! They didn’t fuse properly when I was a guppy, I mean infant. The technical term is occult spina bifida. For reals.
- I still dream of being a writer, which is a large part of why I blog. But I hate that living in a capitalist society means I only put value on my writing if I could get paid for it.
- I have never met my biological father, or “sperm donor” as he was always known when I was growing up. And you know, after a long time and a lot of therapy I think I can safely say I’ve got 99 problems but missing my “real daddy” ain’t one.
- I can’t abide people needlessly trying to maintain some kind of “dignity” in relentlessly silly circumstances. The typical example involves people being all “I don’t want to play, I’ll suck” during a massive drunken RockBand marathon.
- I’m an only child. Some say it shows.
- I do not believe there is an upper limit to the number of polka-dot items one can have in one’s wardrobe.
- I think I might be an atheist. I haven’t really given it enough thought to be certain though.
Family First NZ* is rejecting calls for a law which treats women like adults with decision-making capabilities from a badass gathering of awesome feminists this weekend.
“I and my boner support a law which forces women in emotionally fraught situations to view unnecessary ultrasounds and be fed bullshit about widdle babbie feets because we think women are fucking idiots. Parental notification should be mandatory because teens are filthy sluts and their daddies need to rule over them,” said Mr McCoskrie.
“While we acknowledge we already have “virtual” decriminalisation we don’t want to acknowledge that women and their doctors will always find a way to get the healthcare they need, because that would take away our ability to chip away at women’s rights.
“Abortion harms women by stopping them from being forced into motherhood for children they don’t want, which helps us keep them poor, uneducated and unable to actual determine the own courses of their lives,” McCoskrie continued. “Men and their boners can determine that for them.”
A University of Otago study showed a lot of women became depressed and anxious after having abortions.
“Obviously we’ve made great progress but we can do more,” said McCoskrie. “Family First wants to take personal responsibility for creating a culture of fear and stigma around abortion, and we will not rest until every woman feels ashamed and terrified of publicly acknowledging that she has taken control of her own fertility.”
“We want to protect unborn children. They’re the best tools we have for keeping the bitches down.”
Family First may be contacted at Bob McCoskrie’s basement. His boner is available for screwing basic human rights and children’s parties.
*Membership: Bob McCoskrie and his boner
I have been inundated with Real Life things today, so in my usual vein here’s some other awesome women’s writing on the subject!
Fuck Politeness: Happy fucking International Women’s Day
stargazer at The Hand Mirror: poverty – why we should give a damn
The Wellington Young Feminists’ Collective have a series of posts up by members:
And on the political side of things (and it sure does warm my heart to see at least some of our elected representatives talking good shit on women’s issues):
Metiria Turei on the Welfare Wrecking Group and Depo-Provera
On a more chipper note, I must highly commend a most excellent addition to the Kiwifemiblogosphere, my good meatspace friend Octavia, whose delightful missives may be acquired for a modest sum of time and bandwidth at Octavia’s Spitfire Emporium.
This charming blog makes an elegant addition to any boudoir blogroll, especially those sadly lacking in items sporting a fine “John Key is an arsehole” tag.
In honour of this most momentous event I present a brief glimpse through the veils of time into the far future, when the pair of us have become fucking amazing old biddies.
It’s that time of the month again – carnival time!*
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.
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.
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!
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 presentation. Being a feminist in the open-source world. The wider issues about “right to die” arguments – like the limited options people may be given. The dominance of the male voice. The wording of and assumptions underlying “scientific” surveys. Whether 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 Wallaby. ETA 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.
As Idiot/Savant puts it, and a loss to the entire fucking country, too. You’re going to be really sorely missed, Sue B.
Sue’s maiden speech from way back in the days of 1999 is here.
I am here on a mission. Unemployed people and beneficiaries have had enough of being treated like dirt, taking the blame for every problem in society. Previous Governments have institutionalised another form of apartheid in Departments like WINZ, where a culture of contempt underlines dealings with socalled customers as well as with hard pressed frontline staff.
I am here to do everything I can to turn this around. We need immediate relief of poverty in this country, including a radical overhaul of WINZ and the whole benefit system, and a commitment to progressive increases in the minimum wage. The compulsory work for dole scheme known as ‘Community Wage Community Work’ can and should end tomorrow. We should look at restoring the universal family benefit, acknowledging the needs and rights of those who have the courage to bring children into the world in an overwhelmingly child-hating society.
We should also start seriously researching the implications and possibilities of some form of Universal Basic Income which has the potential to replace the whole shattered and inadequate apparatus of the old welfare state.
It’s time that we put the blame for overdependency on the State directly where it lies – on those who use unemployment and inadequate income support systems as tools of deliberate economic strategies. And we should also examine why dependency is OK for some, and not for others.
In honour of this kickass woman,* get your posts in for the next Down Under Feminists’ Carnival!
Next time on Ideologically Impure: how angry will QoT get over attempts to drag her country kicking and screaming back into the Dark Ages an FPP electoral system? How many times will QoT headdesk over That Nice Mr Key being on Letterman? Will QoT explode with joy when Dexter season 3 finally premieres 4 October? Will any of these questions actually get answered? Tune in, same feminist time, same cussword-filled channel!