The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

The Twenty-Eighth Down Under Feminists Carnival

Posted by caitlinate on September 4, 2010

Oh my gawd, hi everyone. So this is the first time I’ve done a blog carnival and I put my hand up for it 6 months ago not realising that this was going to be like the busiest two or three weeks I would be having all year. So! There is no theme and things might be organised a little incoherently but I hope I’ve done a good job and you like…

WELCOME to the 28th Down Under Feminists Carnival!

I thought we could start with some General Feminism (for me these are the kind of things that just have to keep coming up again and again and again) kicking off with Rachel Hills and My Feminist Agenda. What’s your feminist agenda? What does your feminism look/feel/act like?

We have Lauredhel at Hoyden About Town on unequal pay and Steph at Lady News on gendered language:

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I dislike hearing gender-based generalizations like “men make decisions well”; “women air their problems with too many people”. Especially from a psychologist. Maybe I am hyper-sensitive, but I just loathe being told that I am a neurotic, catty, boundary-less insecure wreck; because that’s what you do when you make a generalization: you’re making that blanket statement about every member of that group. Guess what? I can make decisions pretty well, thanks.

More on gendered language from tigtog at Hoyden About Town and on rape jokes and how to judge whether or not they’re, you know, funny.

Also this month I’m including some how to’s – starting with how to not talk to women and how to talk to an angry feminist!

It was recently highlighted to me on facebook by the amazing Nevena / 2SHEE that “of the 25 bands announced for Meredith, only 2 are all-gal. There are roughly 76 male performers to 10 female performers.” Additionally, for Soundwave festival, there are “approximately 55 bands, 200+ male performers and 1 female drummer. Fucking bullshit.” Monster Girl has put up a list of awesome female musicians/bands.

Relationships & Relationships Abuse

Tiara the Merch Girl has some questions on the rights allocated to marriage, Blue Milk posts an open letter to Julia Gillard and News with nipples points out that, uh, sometimes hetero men cheat on their female partners.

On the darker and harder side Tiara wonders about words for the pain we can sometimes cause each other and Stef shares her experiences in an emotionally abusive relationship. We also have Kat Daley pointing out the obvious with Matthew Newton, you’re a dickhead. On this note, did anyone else read the Andrew Bolt piece about Patty & Bert Newton’s appearance on ACA? I still don’t really know how to emotionally deal with not vehemently disagreeing with Bolt on something.


Gauche Sinister has some words on femme shame and feminist solidarity:

Being a young, thin, femme woman who fucks men means that men talk to you like you might agree with what they think of other women, who they think aren’t you but who you know may as well be you — who you will be, one day. It’s not enough to call yourself a feminist, to provide your alternative viewpoint somewhere further down the conversation. You can be horrified, but most likely your horror isn’t palpable, because that’s not what’s on his mind. You have to say it: This upsets me, this is unacceptable to me. But often I don’t.

These are a little older but they’re such great posts I think it’s okay to bend the rules a little bit for them. Flagging opinicus rampant on maintaining femme integrity & fashion whilst flagging sexual preference and Max Attitude blogs about being defended in the face of abuse by strangers by femme friends or lovers:

When you stand by and watch someone being abused – verbally, physically or (in a longer term sense) emotionally – I do think you’re complicit in it. I think we all have a responsibility to defend each other. And it’s not without risk. I’ve watched so many men and women get high and mighty about their feminist cred; thinking they have all the knowledge (and/or ontological right) to put other people in their place without interrogating the ways they themselves are fucking people over.


Our Catastrophe vents on relationships between women and Leonine Claire shares some observations on activist crews and their behaviour and her relationships to them:

Moreover among the rad social justice folk, there is a way to show that you are being a ‘good ally’ (which always translates to being a ‘good person’; the good and bad person construct, one of the worst constructs ever which I do not adhere to by the way) or that you have all the answers. And ‘good allies’ fight to be the best looking ally in the weekly and sometimes daily I’m the Best Ally Contest. I sometimes think that some people practise being a ‘good ally’ through showing that they have all the answers.


Max Attitude on politeness:

I don’t think it’s ok that women and people with female bodies are forced to look a certain way in order to get by; that it’s not ok to look queer. I also don’t think it’s ok that maleness and (for the most part) masculinity are reserved for people with certain body types and/or assigned “male” at birth. Men should be able to be as femme as me; I should be able to be read as male. But feminist movement has shifted gendered expectations (rightly) so that women, too, should be able to look like me (and they do). So, really, what’s a boi (like me) to do?

3P on anti-trans feminists & Our Catastrophe on gender:

one time I heard someone say that assigned gender was like underwear: if what you’re given fits ok, you don’t notice it, but if it doesn’t, it’s always on your mind. made sense to me.

Bastian Fox Phelan on letting zir facial hair grow first as a bearded lady, and now as a bearded boi. Related podcast here. Sunny Drake on supporting trans women’s access to surgery (this is a facebook link so sorry if it doesn’t work for everyone).

Race & Intersectionality

Gauche Sinister writes Against Analogy

“I think there’s a multitude of reasons why people of colour might resist being compared to animals which don’t rely simply on disgust at being associated with animals because animals are inherently unequal to us.”

and on Nationality, Class and Linguistic Privilege. Ardhra on the term “people of colour”, Katrina Fox on Why white people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and In a Strange Land on Wearing the burqa. There is also a great feature piece by Maxine Clarke up at Overland: White Australia has a blackface history.


The Hand Mirror writes on being believed and makes parallels between her life and the ficitonal rendering of Sophie McKay’s interactions with a stalker. LC at Flagging Opinicus Rampant writes on “asking for it” and negotiating consent.

Bodies, health & medical practitioners

Dr. Samantha Thomas on what fat acceptance means to her and Spilt Milk on the same and why fat acceptance is not “giving up”.

Apparently, even though they may show in-principle support to any moves to end size discrimination, people simply must remind me that we Deathfatz are going to die sometime soon and that we shouldn’t be happy about our bodies. It’s almost as if when I say ‘it is wrong to prejudge or mistreat someone because of hir size’ it doesn’t come out like that at all, but rather is translated to some variation of ‘I want everyone to be as fat as possible because I think it’s better and healthier to be extremely fat than to be any other size whatsoever and give me half a chance I’m going to make everyone really really fat and terrifying like me, ROARRR!’ Or perhaps it’s just that, you know, people don’t have a good grasp of the issues.

The Hand Mirror on how jokes about women’s bodies aren’t funny – whether or not they’re fat, thin or in between, Lauredhel on Pap smears, fat-shaming, and the lithotomy trap and Ideologically Impure with Hey, where’d the goalposts go?

Pharoah Katt on being ignored by doctors because of how they look, Adelaide from Adelaide on geriatric dental care and The Hand Mirror on how class & poverty tie into discussions around food and nutrition.


Zero at the Bone On Centring Caregivers in Disability Discourse:

“Of course, it’s usually particular kinds of caregivers who get centred – who centre themselves – in these conversations: abled ones. As ever, it is those with multiple roles who are pushed to the margins, because their existence is held to be just too complicated to deal with.”

Audrey Savage writing at The Doll Rag about post natal depression:

Families who draw breath, overcome the feelings of guilt, shame and (as best they can) accept the very real loss that is their anticipated first year with their baby, stepping out into a void to ask for help. To ask (often to plead) for services only to be placed on a three month wait-list for a crisis mother baby unit. Clearly what will resolve this problem is if mothers simply plan their crises’ in advance (readers: please note my overwhelming sarcasm.) But women do in fact persist and form beautiful attachments with their babies.

Mothers, mothering and birthing

Spilt Milk on being fat and breastfeeding:

Is it any wonder that fat mothers, who’ve been led to believe by the media and wider society that their bodies are all wrong, fear that they will also fail to nourish their babies? Is it any wonder that fat mothers, who have probably already been subjected to greater scrutiny of their health and their behaviours and perhaps to a very medicalised pregancy and birth because of the size of their bodies find it difficult, then, to have trust in what their bodies can do?

More on Breastfeeding and Moral Outrage from Steph at ladynews, breastfeeding guilt from Nicole at Another Mother and Not Drowning, Mothering on Gisele Bundchen’s thoughts on breastfeeding

Stargazer on the privilege of birth & pregnancy, Cristy on the challenges of feminist mothering and Blue Milk on how it takes many unpaid women to raise and care for a child.


Nikki Elisabeth from Mothers for Choice Aotearoa blogs about a presentation at Auckland University in favour of a pro-choice law. The Hand Mirror also writes about law reform and the media’s approach to abortion, as well as the “Ick Factor” of talking about abortion and people’s bodies and abortion (and why it needs to be legal).

Just quickly as a note to tie up talking about bodies, birthing, pregnancy, abortion and mothers: Women aren’t the only people who are mothers, who get pregnant or who have babies. While the majority of people who experience pregnancy and childbirth – and have ovaries and a uterus – identify as women, not all do.

Here is everything else I couldn’t fit in to a category…

This fantastic piece from Maia at The Hand Mirror. ScubaNurse’s response at Well behaved women rarely make history to a hoax email, Ideologically Impure’s hilarious response to body policing, an interview with genderqueer porn star Jiz Lee, Pickled Think TIFIFY’s left me giggling for quite a while, Men and Feminism on the horribly bigoted Wendy Francis and what views like hers mean, In The Gateuax rallies against Steve Crow and his Boobs on Bikes event and Ideologically Impure brings us my favourite blog title of the month: One thing is clear: youth are just, like, evil for no reason.

And finally we have…. the Australian Election…

Maxine Clarke has an open letter to Julia Gillard.

Other than that all I can really say on this point is that…. I really don’t like Tony Abbott, Lauredhel doesn’t like Tony Abbott, Blue Milk doesn’t like undecided voters (and probably doesn’t like Tony Abbott), Kerry Goldsworthy points out that no one listens until a bloke says it and Jennifer Gearing has smart things to say about the minimising of politics into soundbites and the damage this does. Oooh, Lissy really doesn’t like Tony Abbott!!

Oh, and Steve Fielding is still making a grab at being somehow relevant or important. You know, less than 3000 people voted for him? I mean, really, who cares about that guy?

Finally for me it comes down to something like this. We may have a female [caretaker] Prime Minister and 20+ million people may have voted but it’s still four (old) white guys and this (transcript below) with the power to decide who’s running the country. I don’t see all that much to celebrate there.

p.s. For election updates, I find this quite helpful.

Wow! We’re done for the month! Yay! See you next time and thanks for coming right through to the end with me! I hope you enjoy!

p.s. Thanks soooooo much to Chally & tigtog & QoT for putting in lots of submissions! You’re amazing!

** Video transcript: “When Kennedy needs a strong politician, when a battle requires a man on a mission, when the roads are flooded and the cyclone’s blowing, when our farmers are down and the crops just ain’t growing, when there’s crocs on the loose or a cow’s gone astray, your property rights are being stripped away, when the fruit needs picking, when it’s dark in the mines, when it’s tight at the til or you’re stopped at the signs, when you need someone who can put up a fight, a voice in Canberra that stands up for what’s right, Bob’s on the job, all day and all night.”


17 Responses to “The Twenty-Eighth Down Under Feminists Carnival”

  1. liz said

    this is great! lots I haven’t seen. also best use of tags everrrrrrrrr (lolkatter)

  2. Sylvia said

    I know where I’ll be getting my reading material this month! Looks fantastic.

  3. Deborah said

    Fantastic carnival. Including lots of posts that I haven’t read: I’m going to have to expand my RSS a little further. Thank you!

  4. […] Posted on Sunday 5 September 2010 by Deborah| Leave a comment Caitlinate has posted the 28th Down Under Feminists Carnival at The Dawn Chorus. There’s lots of excellent reading in […]

  5. QoT said

    Awesome carnival, caitlinate!

  6. […] Twenty-eighth Edition @ The Dawn Chorus Posted on 5 September, 2010 by Chally 4 September 2010: caitlinate at The Dawn Chorus. […]

  7. […] of Australia and New Zealand have our linkfest! caitlinate at The Dawn Chorus has put together a rather spectacular edition. What more could you want a notice of in your inbox first thing on a Sunday morning, […]

  8. Chally said

    Astoundingly extensive work there, mate. Thank you and well done!

  9. berryblade said

    Just so you know, everything in this entry is repeated about three times :0

  10. berryblade said

    You have the same links and information posted several times in the same entry, it’s like someone copied and pasted it and accidentally pasted it twice. Read through and see what I mean 🙂

  11. blue milk said

    Thank you for including me. Happily you have quite a few in the carnival that I haven’t already read.. looking forward to the week ahead. What a terrific job you’ve done here.

  12. Rhiana Whitson said

    Amazing. Thanks Caitlin!

  13. […] This month’s DUFC is at the Dawn Chorus, hosted by Caitlinate. A Caitlinate would be a benign oligarchy made up of Caitlins, I imagine, which I reckon would be a good thing. […]

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