Greetings all! I have sumptuous carnival for you to feast upon this month! You may remember that I said this month I was running with a theme where I wanted to do a retrospective of past DUFC posts, and posts from previous months and years that might have been missed. People have been so generous in their submissions to me both for this current month and the retrospective and I’m humbled and delighted. And now, onto the feast!
Chally of Zero at the Bone wrote in 2012 about working towards the positive and how feminism shaped her view to think of people individually and to try and avoid assumptions as well as being more conscious of people’s boundaries.
Shae of Free Range in Suburbia blogged in 2014 this great post titled Live Louder where she talks about the trolls that try to bring her down and that she’s actually enjoying being a happy person, raising her kids and being herself fully. Love it!
In 2011 Bluebec wrote about Islamaphobia, prejudice, and discrimination faced by Muslim people in the US at the time, it seems rather timely to share her post How to radicalise your population now.
From Lauredhel at Hoyden About Town in 2007, Parenting While Female: “It’s not about you”, on breastfeeding in public and the default male gaze.
Earlier this year, Stephanie of No Award wrote about China through the looking glass about the way Western approval for fashion, design and success is apparently necessary. This post is also about how Western interpretations of certain Chinese fashion particularly period pieces can be appropriative and offensive. The best bit: Stephanie highlights the work of some Chinese designers and wow, their designs are gorgeous!
From Bluemilk in 2010, a post looking at rape and responsibility: ‘But why shouldn’t she take some responsibility too for the rape?’ This post is powerful, it’s written to be confrontational, to paint a crude comparison that absolutely covers all the standard arguments for why women should take *more* responsibility, only when you change that context only slightly and place a man in that same similar kind of situation, it no longer makes sense that he too is to blame. Moral of the story: women need to take *less* responsibility, not more.
Deborah from A Bee of a Certain Age wrote in 2013 some pointed remarks about research and the pregnancy police and our tendency to infantalise pregnant women.
In February, Emily of Mama Said wrote about this idea that as a parent you’re supposed to be grateful *all the time* when sometimes it’s actually perfectly reasonable to want your own bed to yourself. Especially if that’s not likely to happen.
Earlier this year Liz from No Award wrote about Melbourne and Chinese Pirates courtesy of The Argus, once Melbourne’s premier newspaper which has apparently since been digitised for all of you whom are interested in history.
Also 2011 by Bluebec is this post Dan Savage is still biphobic – I’m sure he means well but given the authority with which he speaks after all this time, it’s not really good enough by a long shot.
An extended transcript of Scarlett Harris’ interview with The Sex Myth author Rachel Hills, originally featured in last month’s carnival (all very good links if you missed it).
Chally at Zero at the Bone in 2012 wrote about Nourishment and how food can bring us joy and connection, it’s not about being a good person or about denying and punishing yourself.
I love this semi-satirical post from Emily at Mama Said from July this year about how getting your baby to sleep. It’s all the things that you’re told from experts, and from every other parent and a few other things besides, it’s a spectacular rant, enjoy it and feel vindicated as needed.
No Award’s Stephanie on her own site back in 2014 about Sympathy for Lady Vengeance: Feminist Ghosts and Monstrous Women of Asia, in Stephanie’s own words: “8000 words on the monstrous women of Asia, feminism, and colonialism”.
This 2014 repost from Bluemilk, her Meanjin piece, is a beautiful reflective piece on reading and re-reading, on consideration of the self in situations and moving forward.
In 2013, Stephanie from No Award wrote about solidarity for white women and the (white) face of aUStralian feminism regarding interracial narratives and Australia. This is particularly in relation to Australian consumption of US media amongst other things. There’s no perfect way to be across everything, but as always it’s important for us to examine what we’re consuming and why. There are some great links in this post.
And finally, one last piece from Bluebec, The legacy we leave, on sheltering our children from the hatefulness in the world – not from all knowledge of, but the hatefulness itself in the hope that we do not pass this along to them, that they may be better than us.
In May this year, Kate Iselin wrote for Kill Your Darlings about that catch all phrase ‘women’s interests’ which signals to us as always that men’s interests are the public interest and that anyone else remains ‘other’.
Back in 2011 Chally of Zero at the Bone wrote about when resistance looks like capitulation, talking about this idea of the feminine and not refusing it altogether, but making it optional, being able to play with it. Honestly I’m a fan of any post that quotes Luce Irigaray…
Also from Liz of No Award and earlier this year, was this excellent post about attending the #loveOzYA event as someone passionately invested in Australian YA books.
In 2012, Blue Milk wrote a piece on 10 rules for women blogging about their relationship woes. It’s a little bit depressing how relevant these ‘rules’ remain today.
A momentary break if you will, for my favourite cute kitten picture:
And now a varied selection of headings under which the rest of our carnival resides.
Connection and Community
Brocklesnitch writes about how sharing of news when someone has died has changed, how you can seem to map the spread of the news through people’s reactions across different modes of social media, and how it’s unique and important and helps in its own way.
Deirdre Fidge writes for ABC’s The Drum about introversion and stereotypes, how it doesn’t always look like cats, naps and social stress.
Anna writes on Hoyden About Town calling for a brainstorming session on organising a festival to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, apparently the 300th anniversary coincided with the first ANZAC celebration but so far nothing is planned for this centenary.
Race and Racism
TigTog from Hoyden About Town posted a media circus about the use of Vegemite for brewing alcohol, pointing out that at best it’s incorrect and misguided and worst, is old fashioned racism. No points for guessing which localities would be affected by a ‘crackdown’ on shelves of Vegemite.
Writing in Water is a New Zealander living in the United States and writes about what New Zealand can learn from the United States about confronting racism. Writing in Water is a new voice to the carnival and very welcome.
Stephanie of No Award writes about fantasy worlds and real world commentary and how while she’d love to see less white-centric landscapes used in fantasy, she also doesn’t want to see non-white landscapes reduced to stereotypes or used to judge from an outside perspective.
A guest post from Daniel Jack on Celeste Liddle’s blog Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist talks about Adam Goodes and the racism that shows its ugly face when he dared to show his pride in his Aboriginal heritage, while also drawing attention to issues faced by Aboriginal people in Australia.
In Daily Life, Ali Benton looks at the personal cost to her family with the delay on marriage equality and the way in which Australian politics has generally handled the issue in recent years.
No Place For Sheep writes about the hypocrisy of Abbott saying that the same-sex marriage debate is a deeply personal issue, but then declined to allow Coalition MPs the opportunity for a conscience vote.
Rebecca Shaw writes for Crikey about how the blocking of marriage equality is frustrating, hurtful, incredibly exhausting and deeply personal.
Cristy Clark writes about the spurious arguments against marriage equality including our old favourite ‘won’t somebody think of the children?!’
Celeste Liddle of Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist writes about the Uluru Bark Petition how incensed she was that a small group of Aboriginal people who do not support marriage equality, claim to speak for all Arrernte people in this matter and how they do not speak for her. (This post is equal parts about marriage equality and racism but since the racism is reflected in response to marriage equality, I’ve placed it here in the carnival.)
Bluebec wrote about marriage equality in Australia and in particular about the five hour meeting held by The Liberal Party on whether to allow a Party conscience vote. It took five hours to decide to maintain the same position (a decision that surprised exactly no one).
Sarah Johnson writes for The Conversation about how a constitutional referendum is a ‘Hail Mary’ for those opposed to same-sex marriage.
Luddite Journo writes for The Hand Mirror about biphobia and Radio New Zealand on the subject of marriage equality. Bi-erasure continues to be a thing all over the place I’ve noticed, it gets so tiresome.
Gaby Baby Outcry
Maeve Marsden writes for Daily Life about being a ‘gaby baby’ and how her family is normal in response to the homophobic backlash against the Gaby Baby film which portrays same-sex families and is being screened across Australia as part of Wear it Purple Day.
Rebecca Shaw writes for The Age about how following the homophobic reaction to ‘Gaby Baby’ in NSW that tolerance is no longer the benchmark, and instead the LGBTIQA now requires acceptance. The time has past where society simply must ‘put up with’ queer people, they (we) are fully fledged members of society and should be included and treated as such.
Motherhood, Maternity and Childcare
Emily of Mama Said writes about how she’s saying no to experts because while it may be that as a parent she wants to do everything possible to do the best for her kids, no one knows them like she does and she doesn’t need a $150 consultation about how to love them and raise them better, she’s already doing an amazing job.
@datakid23 and @solovii wrote for Open Knowledge Foundation about childcare at Govhack and how it got done. So awesome!
Andie Fox (of Blue Milk) writes for Essential Baby trying to answer a range of common questions about extended breastfeeding. The post is personal, candid, honest and insightful about the topic.
Emily of Mama Said wrote this beautiful and insightful post about dealing with prenatal depression, there’s a content note for this as it’s dealing with anxiety and depression which may be triggering for some.
This anonymous guest post on Mama Said is sharp and to the point about being a lesbian parent and all the awful ways in which people assume they have the right to ask questions including and perhaps especially, offensive ones.
Blue Milk writes about conversations with children, different snippets and moments that are so lovely when shared. I love posts like these, they always make me smile.
Also about conversations with children, Emily of Mama Said writes about her two year old and the dreaded why stage – this too is lovely to read.
Jo from A Life Unexamined talks about her love for Legend of Korra and how glad she is that the way the show created the relationship between Korra and Asami left things open to interpretation and specifically didn’t push things in an obvious romantic direction.
Alayna Cole writes for Marianne de Pierres blog (there are many worthy reviews of all kinds of stuff here) reviewing Far from the Madding Crowd. Although the movie promises feminist themes, it instead overtly signals independence and empowerment without ever actually exploring or delivering on these elements. This review is insightful and highlights a common issue that happens when popular media tries to assert itself as feminist or diverse but doesn’t really deliver and seems surprised when people react as such.
Stephanie of No Award writes about The Prison Island of Sodor and how Thomas the Tank Engine is not nearly as innocent as we might have supposed. This is a brilliant post exposing the creepiness of a children’s television show with a dystopian flair.
Anwen Crawford writes in Kill Your Darlings about how the experience of watching television has changed dramatically for many of us – once a central and often social activity, it can now also be a private personal experience streaming directly to our laptops. She talks about how sometimes by screen light you can feel less alone.
Liz writes about No Award watching Glitch, which is apparently not bad, and even quite good in parts and involves dead people, a love triangle, the good of the people, a gothic Australian small town setting and all of the eye rolling that is Australia being afraid of media and the supernatural.
Women, Feminism and Meta
This post on comfortable misogyny by Kari Sperring is a special inclusion. This post is not a post from an Australian or New Zealand blogger, or from someone living elsewhere and is originally from around here. However, it is a post that speaks to an experience that is familiar to me, and familiar to many of the women around me in Science Fiction and Fantasy/Speculative Fiction circles. It’s about the insidious aspect of misogyny and the fatigue that goes along with trying to fight against it year after year.
Jemma from stuff.co.nz writes about the importance of normalising swearing for women as it is wrongly seen as the purview of men and that being a woman, credible, delightful and other things as well as swearing isn’t possible. I’m with Jemma because quite frankly, fuck that. (Fuck remains one of my favourite words to say).
Deborah from A Bee of a Certain Age spoke to Radio NZ’s The Panel talking about how what really matters is what a woman looks like. Jacinda Ardern, a highly regarded New Zealand MP was described as a “pretty little thing” on national TV.
Brocklesnitch writes this awesome succinct post about don’ts and do’s – the list of things we’re not supposed to do grows ever longer and an awesome response to that.
Also from Deborah of A Bee of a Certain Age is this discussion of diversity in prime time and how representation on prime time television and radio is very white, very male, and very middle class.
Stephanie of No Award writes about the role models of No Award, this is a little bit irreverent but there are some marvellous examples here to appreciate.
Kasey Edwards writes for Daily Life talking to a Melbourne based beauty therapist and the most sexist requests for beauty treatments, and how those often come from male partners and are accompanied by a distinct lack of respect, sense of entitlement with the desire to control women’s behaviour.
Scarlett Harris wrote In Defence of Cosmopolitan in the wake of the magazine being put behind blinders in some U.S. drug and department stores.
Georgina Dent writes for Women’s Agenda about Mark Latham’s resignation from the Australian Financial Review amid ‘controversy’ and how this victory is hollow.
Bluebec writes about mortality, not dying but also being aware of not being afraid of dying.
Fat Heffalump writes about how there are always experts, experts everywhere and they all have an opinion on others’ health.
Sonia writes for the ABC on Open Drum talking about career in transit and the difficulty in commuting and with transport generally if you have a disability and getting to work. This is an insightful piece and it highlights something often overlooked: the energy cost of travel that may be what makes employment difficult or impossible for some people, but that assistance and support for those who need it is limited.
Also on accessibility to transportation is this article from The Standard by Rachel Houlihan about how disability advocate Jax Jacki Brown was left hanging by V-Line after planning ahead for accessible train travel to Warnambool failed to eventuate and ended in an offer of a taxi. This was not the solution it pretended to be.
Over at The Hand Mirror, Julie is starting a series of posts encouraging women to run for local government in 2016 in New Zealand. The point is not only getting involved in your community, but working to make a difference and increasing diverse representation in local government.
No Place For Sheep writes about the bias and ethics scandal surrounding Dyson Heydon as head of the Royal Commission investigating trade unions and with them the Labor Party. Impartiality and ethical integrity appear to be concepts unfamiliar to Hedon or his supporters which include Abbott, Pyne and Brandis.
Also from No Place For Sheep is a great piece on government by distraction, The post criticises the failed Operation Fortitude where it was proposed that the Australian Border Force would saturate Melbourne CBD asking people ‘randomly’ for their identification paperwork seeking to specifically catch out visa offenders.
Violence Against Women
Please note that there is a content warning with this topic as it may be triggering for some people.
This month I wrote about domestic violence after my student midwife lectures on the subject stirred up a bunch of memories and feelings. Domestic violence is such a huge issue in our current society – for everyone and I don’t understand why we’re doing so little do change that.
No Place For Sheep wrote about domestic violence and the bourgeoisie, criticising commentary on the issue by Martin McKenzie-Murray and Mark Latham where they deny that domestic violence is an issue that affects women across all backgrounds, race, religion, age, socioeconomic status, and so on.
Rosie Batty writes from her blog at Never Alone about attending the Royal Commission on Family Violence in Victoria recently and how cultural change around this issue is imperative.
Books, Reading, Writing, and Reviews
On the 24th of October in Canberra, Marianne de Pierres is running a Writing Masterclass, it’s a paid event with concession prices available and bookings are necessary. The class will include how to address some of the key issues in writing speculative fiction, including how to build convincing worlds, maintain narrative drive, and effectively blend sub-genres. Perhaps seems like an advert, but part of feminism is maintaining that women should be paid for their work and their expertise and in the spirit of that understanding, sharing this opportunity to work with such an experienced author seems relevant.
Alex of Randomly Yours, reviews Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway describing a story of those who’ve come back from fairyland and wish they hadn’t. This story features a boarding school, a murder, explorations of trust and insecurity and characters who are not all heteronormative. Hopefully this review makes you want to read this novella too – I’m certainly hooked!
Another book review by Alex that I thought might be of interest is a review of Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti. This book is of an entire planet as a university with a story about a character whose parents don’t want her to go and study there. I’m really intrigued by Alex’s description of the world and it’s depth, not to mention this author has been on my to-read list for a long time.
I wrote two book reviews this month for books that I highly recommend. Firstly I reviewed Nalo Hopkinson’s ‘Falling in Love with Hominids’ which was such a pleasure to read. It’s my first time reading Hopkinson and I can’t wait to read more! Secondly, I reviewed ‘Cranky Ladies of History’ edited by Tehani Wessely and Tansy Rayner Roberts, which I am also proud to have helped crowdfund. It’s a gorgeous collection of stories about women worth remembering and appreciating, women who’ve been hard done by historical record keeping.
Stephanie of No Award wrote up a great post reviewing a bunch of anthologies including Phantazein by small press Fablecroft and Eat the Sky Drink the Ocean by Allen and Unwin, and Dead Sea Fruit a collection by Kaaron Warren that is great food for thought.
Bluebec wrote up two reviews which are of interest, the first a post-apocalyptic review of Coda by Emma Trevayne and another post-apocalyptic review, this time of Roger Zelazny’s Damnation Alley.
James Tiptree Jr.
There were a couple of posts about Alice Sheldon’s 100th birthday this month which coincided with a small press release honouring her alter ego James Tiptree Jr, so I’ve put these posts together in their own category.
Firstly Laurdehel from Hoyden About Town talks about her delight about the release of ‘Letters to Tiptree’, it’s a great overview of the book.
Secondly, Alex of Randomly Yours, Alex, one of the editors for the book has also blogged about the book and has shared several other links that may be of interest, including a selection of the letters published in the book that are freely available as a taste test.
And finally, Tansy of tansyrr.com shares her appreciation for Alice Sheldon’s other alter ego Raccoona Sheldon as part of her ‘Women of the 20th Century’ series.
Many thanks go to Chally of Zero at the Bone for her ongoing coordination of the Down Under Feminist Carnival. Maybe you’d be interested in hosting a carnival? It’s easy and people send you lots of links, plus new voices bring other new voices to the conversation which is always awesome. If you’re interested, you can contact Chally via the Down Under Feminist Carnival site. The Eighty-Ninth Edition is planned for 5 October, 2015 hosted by Rebecca at at Opinions @ bluebec.com. Submissions to rebecca [dot] dominguez [at] gmail [dot] com.