51st Down Under Feminists Carnival – Personal Positives

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Greetings all, I’m Ju Transcendancing and will be hosting the upcoming Down Under Feminists Carnival – the fifty first! How did we manage so many?! If you’re interested in revisiting some of the marvellous carnivals that people have put together in past months, there is a conveniently compiled list. The upcoming 51st Down Under Feminists Carnival will focus on Personal Positives. That is, how we go about our daily lives and the little things we do to make a difference.

I’ve been thinking my theme for this carnival, because I really like themes as an opportunity to draw attention to specific areas of thinking around equality, feminism and intersectionality. I notice that for myself, what I write about is my life, myself in the world and negotiating that as best I can, getting tripped up and stumbling clumsy through situations, sometimes getting it right, more often learning more about how there’s always more growing and more thoughtfulness to apply. I try and write things that are about putting goodness and more of what I want to see in the world, out there for others. I appreciate the amazing work that people do in applying a critical lens to society and the way that it is constructed and reinforced in ways that both help and harm us individually and collectively. I’m a cultural theorists amongst other things and that kind of space is always interesting.

However, when I think of the metaphor used for performing the work of engendering equality in the world that is ‘emptying the ocean with a teaspoon’ I think it is worthwhile to consider some additional aspects to the metaphor. It can be disheartening, the ocean is awfully big, and a teaspoon is a tiny thing. It can be uplifting: there are many, many teaspoons doing the work of emptying. In focusing on the emptying, I think it is easy to neglect the fact that for all the ick and muck that we empty out, we’re still left only with the status quo unless we consciously add the positives we want to see more of in the world.

I realise that this is a very subjective experience, what is positive through my eyes is not necessarily positive in another’s experience. But I do believe in the value of doing the best we can at any given point. And, I recognise that what constitutes ‘best’ is a flexible changing thing depending on the surrounds. Intentionality is sometimes considered the largest of ways in which we cause inadvertent harm, and yet it is also powerful in it’s collective form where the intention to give back, to put goodness in the world can be shared and what difference it makes can be appreciated – even if there are aspects that we find difficult or problematic on an individual level. Therein is the space for healthy critique and debate and for growing as individuals in our own thinking and feeling spaces.

Feminist and equality based blogging can often seem to be simply an issues based space, where the individual paths we all walk are obscured by our focus on these issues. If we are all doing the best we can at any given point toward equality and recognition for each other as human beings, there are stories to be told there. Individual moments captured from everyday lives, going about the ordinary and how our intentions for making a difference are enacted in the tiny ways we go about our lives.

So the theme that I’d like to put forward for this upcoming carnival is simply: Personal Positives.

Share with me the moments of your lives and the way in which you put goodness, positivity, back into the world, even as you use your trusty teaspoon in the ocean of ick and muck. How do you move through the world? What are you most confronted by in your experience of the everyday – where do you find that you compromise and when are you or aren’t you comfortable with that? Is there a practice or something else you’ve enacted that is entirely for the benefit of contribution to the world becoming a (very gradually) better place for everyone?

My intention is to draw attention to daily living, to daily intentionality toward making a difference, and to make visible the invisible daily lives of Australian and New Zealand women and feminist bloggers. We often remark that the everyday from history is filled with the experiences, fears and concerns of men – as is not unexpected in a heavily patriarchal society. My intention is to contribute to shifting that visibility to make the experiences and concerns of women inside their everyday lives in a contemporary 2012 visible and valuable.

Feel free to comment and begin the discussion on the everyday and feminism, what the idea of personal positives can mean and the value of visibility. This theme is simple in its heart but the surrounding context is multi-layered and spending some time looking into those layers would be most welcome, and perhaps beneficial to people considering contributing to the carnival.

Please consider contributing, especially if you haven’t before. If you’re unsure about your contribution for whatever reason, please feel free to contact me – I’m a conversationalist at heart and I will welcome the contact.  Submissions can be made via blogcarnival {link broken so removed} or by emailing me: transcendancing at gmail dot com and should be in before the end of July. If you’re having issues with the deadline, contact me and I’ll see what I can do.

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