Presenting the 51st Down Under Feminists’ Carnival

Welcome everyone to the 51st Down Under Feminists’ Carnival for the month of August. This month I undertook to highlight the theme ‘Personal Positives‘. I wanted to provide an array of posts that provide insight into our personal lives and stories as women.

To everyone who wrote for me for the theme, to everyone who wanted to or thought about it, thank you. Your stories and the difference you make is vital and important and this carnival is for all of you, and all of us. Because, we do make a difference just by being in the world doing our thing, the tiny ways we seek to make a difference… it all counts in critical and defining ways. Together, we wield our teaspoons, emptying our ocean of the ick and the muck. This month, I’m returning spoonfuls of positivity, visibility and perspective.

I’ve also collected with your assistance links on a range of other topics from various bloggers and I hope you’ll find something interesting, something thought provoking and something that moves you. Thank you to everyone who submitted, your investment in the carnival is what makes it thrive. I hope you enjoy this month’s carnival. 

First up, the collection of posts from bloggers who have all written about their Personal Positives, how they seek to make a difference in moving through their everyday lives. This is some personal and powerful writing and I hope it inspires you as it did me.

Chally from Zero at the Bone writes about Working Toward the Positive through support of bodily autonomy and boundaries. In Prime Number Modern Mama talks about being a parent, a wage-earner, and choices around maternity leave and bedtime rituals. Callistra discusses the evolution of self and choosing growth in her post Phoenix Arising: My Process of De-construction and Re-construction. Sky shares with us all the tiny ways she chooses her activism based on pragmatism and pleasure in her post My Trusty Teaspoon. Stephanie Gunn shares her experiences with depression and negativity and how she seeks to raise her son with a positive outlook in The Light in the Darkness is Always There: Personal Positives.

Flyingblogspot writes Swinging on the Spiral and talks about her relationship with curiosity as her way of making a difference in the world. And related, my own offering, Personal Positives: Love as Activism, where I share how love is for me, the way in which I try to give back to the world. Sunili gives us The Vagina Manifesto: #cunts {link broken so removed} and discusses reclaiming of the word as a key to the shift in her understanding and appreciation of women and ladybits. In Personal Positives: Experiencing My Mistakes, Steph talks about her time away from Melbourne in Beijing and how it has taught her so much about the making of mistakes and the good that comes from those experiences. Guest posting here at  The Conversationalist, Marianne de Pierres talks about wrestling her demons in Personal Positives: Marianne de Pierres on Defeating the Ego and the Importance of Mentoring. Also guest posting here is Maia, in her post Personal Positives: @agrrud on Day One she shares the changes in her life, her experiences of community, learning and being grateful

Thank you again to all who wrote or considered writing on this topic for me, I think that it is vitally important that we keep telling our stories, and keep putting good stuff back into the ocean as we clean out the muck.

On to the rest of the carnival!

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Race and Racism

My Scarlett Heartt {link broken so removed} shares her thoughts on the judgement of being black ‘enough’, particularly considering the experiences of her daughter in her post Am I Black Enough For You? {link broken so removed}

In her post In Defence of Radicals, Utopiana of Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist shares her thoughts on radical feminism and its relationship to Indigenous politics stating the radicals want to change stuff on a big scale. They believe that society, that structures, that laws etc have been built by those who have the power, to reinforce that power, and these need to be challenged and restructured.”  

Sarah at Brown to the Bone {link broken so removed} discusses that programs like Abstudy are not about creating further divisiveness in Australian society but instead providing opportunities to address inequality where it is vitally needed in her post Positive Discrimination Not Reverse Racisms Mmmkay. {link broken so removed}

 

Family and Women’s Work

Made In Melbourne of Maintaining the Rage Makes Me Tired talks about being a lactavist and breastfeeding and about seeking to affirm women’s choices for how they feed their children. In her post I’m Normal, she states that “There is no breast vs. bottle debate. There is just the fact that we need to feed our children. And that we do it as best as we can.”

Tamara guest posts at The Thesis Whisperer on The Foibles of Flexibility discussing the downsides of pursuing her PhD while being a parent to two small children

Jo at A Life Unexamined in her post Mothers and Whores: Women in Ancient Rome gives us rare insight into women from ancient Rome, “They are spoken for, but never speak; represented, but rarely for themselves.”

Deborah at A Bee of a Certain Age points out how citing childcare and family responsibilities as the reason women don’t advance in the police force necessarily draws attention to the fact that the same isn’t a problem for male officers. Her post Why Women Don’t Make it to the Top in the Police Force rightly asserts that “A woman shouldn’t have to be a superwoman to succeed” 

 

 

Life

Karen Healey makes a splash when she calls for the women around her to talk about why they’re awesome in her post I Mean You. This post is filled with brilliant and heartening comments from all kinds of women and it is well worth the read. Why are you awesome? Really… in a non self-deprecating way… go and share on Karen’s post

Bethwyn at Butterfly Elephant talks about Learning to Step Into Your Own Power in relation to dealing with chronic illness, needing to rest and wrestling with external demands and misunderstanding. 

Alisa of Champagne and Socks talks about learning to see the glass half full in her post The Halfway Mark is Still a Milestone. She shares about the goals she’s undertaken and the progress she’s made becomes clearer to her as she examines her thinking around success. (Note: discussion of weightloss.)

 

Social Justice

TigTog at Hoyden about Town makes an excellent point in her post Deleting Blog Comments: Exercise of Property Rights vs Free Speech. In reference to that tired defence against comment moderation, that “‘Free Speech’ does not oblige somebody who owns a press to give anybody else access to it. Just like one cannot force the owner of a house to let one come inside, one cannot force the owner of a press to publish one’s words”

Grans Lock On comes to us from Helen at Blogger On A Cast Iron Balcony sharing with us the activism by a group of grandmothers in Toolangi (Mt St Leonard) trying to prevent the logging of the rain forest in the Central Highlands of Victoria

In her post Trigger Warning: Trigger WarningsLudditeJourno of The Hand Mirror talks about the cultural reasoning behind using trigger warnings in the feminist blogoshere. She states, “for me, oppression is trauma in millions of micro experiences, all the time.  Trigger warnings help me monitor on what level I’ll allow myself to be exposed to oppression today” (Note: Trigger warning for discussion of trigger warnings, racism, oppression and rape culture.)

Sarah at Brown to the Bone  {link broken so removed} blogs about Legitimating Oppression {link broken so removed}, how laws that allow police greater powers disproportionally affect marginalised groups, how crises like the GFC that affect groups of people are used to justify further marginalisation against certain groups of people.

 

LGBTQIAU

The idea that by not being out about your queerness is deceptive comes under scrutiny by Chally of Zero at the Bone in her post Queerness and Deception. Partly what she highlights is that focus in this way hides the underlying fallacy that being heterosexual is ‘normal’ (and thus everything else ‘abnormal’). 

From Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist, in her post Why I Support Marriage Equality, But Not Marriage, Utopiana advocates for equal access for all to marriage. However, she also examines the institution of marriage and discusses her concerns with marriage in a contemporary setting with all of the historical and traditional baggage

LudditeJourno of The Hand Mirror posted Marrying for Social Change, talking about why the debate for marriage equality is still dangerous and painful for people affected by it and that there is still work to be done. 

 

Feminism

Ideologically Impure critiques the National Council of Women in New Zealand’s campaign about why feminism is necessary in her post, National Council of Women Acknowledges its Need for Feminism

The News With Nipples discusses the policing of women’s behaviour in her post The Mirabella Story is About How We Expect Women to Act. She states, if you think this isn’t about policing women’s behaviour, when’s the last time a male politician was criticised for not being warm or caring?”

Zoya at Lip Magazine writes about this bizarre notion that in identifying as feminist that we can in random acts or statements become ‘unfeminist’ in her article The Feminist Relationship. It is as though there is some sort of feminist police out to make sure we’re all following ‘the rules’. Missing one’s partner is as feminist as any other choices we may make about how to enact our desire for equality and to end oppression.

Nicole at Wom*news writes how The Second Wave Started in Brisbane, with Merle Thornton and Ro Bognor chained themselves to the bar in protest of women’s exclusion from public places in 1965. She talks about the impact of Thornton’s feminism on her life and about sharing a drink with her in the ‘Thornton Room’ at the Regatta Hotel

Tallulah Spankhead of The Lady Garden {link broken so removed} invited a guest poster to share about her experiences of domestic violence in a post bringing Women’s Refuge Week to our attention. In Guest Post: Women’s Refuge Week, {link broken so removed} the poster is candid and honest, her story is hard hitting. (Trigger Warning: discussion of domestic abuse and violence.)

 

Sex and Relationships

I continue my foray into blogging about relationships in my post Redefining Success and Failure in Relationships here at The Conversationalist.

Blue Milk posts about Altitude Sickness as a Metaphor for Relationships, talking about how having small children often necessitates closing parts of yourselves as parents down. She talks about how often the parts that get shut down are the parts that as partners fell in love with and that it is something of an endurance race to live on thin air

Ideologically Impure also critiques of John McCracken’s fear-mongering about the dangers posed by sex workers, in The Magical Sex Industry of South Auckland, with Your Host John McCracken

 

The Body 

Mindy at  Hoyden about Town draws our attention to the media sensationalism around the ‘obesity crisis’ that just won’t quit in her post OMG Zombesity Crisis, Again.

Chally of Zero at the Bone talks about the way in which privilege can be discerned through entitlement to touch and whose boundaries are respected in her post Which Kinds of Bodies Are Respected?

 

Media

Helen at Blogger On A Cast Iron Balcony critiques the mainstream media idea that blogs are all written by people writing trivial things about their lives and their opinions on the world in her post I Don’t Know Much About Blogs But I Know What I Like. It couldn’t possibly be the case that the stories people share and the things we learn from one another through blogs are valuable and different from what is served up by the media, could it?

Orlando at  Hoyden about Town  talks in Why I Would Rather Let My Son Watch X-Men than Bob the Builder about the importance of female character representation and that it was more important to be showing media that involved multiple women being involved, doing things in the story than to avoid media portraying violence and good vs evil. 

Blue Milk asks Are Princesses Bad For Girls? linking to an interview with Brenda Chapman as one of the main writers of the film ‘Brave’ after her daughter went to see the movie with her dad. With the overwhelming amount of princess influence out there, Brenda talks about wanting “to break the stereotype of the princess, as well as the princess plot.” (Brenda is quoted in Blue Milk’s post.)

 

Geekery and Creativity

Tara at Settle Petal {link broken so removed} talks with great excitement about the CERN discovery that could potentially be the Higgs bosun particle. Her post Particle This! The Discovery of the Higgs Bosun and Women In Science {link broken so removed} and particularly that Ms Fabiola Gianotti as lead physicist on the ATLAS project addressing the press conference and being recognised for her contribution to the discovery. 

 

Language and Literature

Charlotte of Wom*news writes about patriarchal language systems embedded in culture in Herstory in Language. She articulates how partriarchy in language becomes invisible in the “way that terms such as ‘chairman/policeman’ are the default while ‘female judge/ female engineer’ appear as necessary ‘extra’ distinctions could be examples of the way in which language transmits the endorsement of this system”

 

Where the Wonder Women Are

Finally, last but not least, a selection from Tansy Rayner Roberts, she’s been writing a blog series called ‘Where The Wonder Women Are’ about the female characters in comics. I’ve linked you to all her July posts, but she’s definitely still writing and the posts are definitely worth a look, even if you’ve only a passing familiarity with comics. 

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That’s it from me for the August Down Under Feminists’ Carnival here at The Conversationalist, I hope you’ve enjoyed the carnival and in particular the intimate and generous posts considering my theme Personal Positives.

The Fifty-Second Edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival is planned for 5 September, 2012 and will be hosted by the fabulous  Lip Magazine. Submissions for the carnival can be emailed to Dunja via dunja [at] lipmag [dot] com for those who can’t access blogcarnival. {link broken so removed}

 

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