The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Quote Of The Day

Posted by Lee on June 26, 2008

“I am sick and tired of people referring to the hijab debate when speaking about being an Islamic woman. Get over it! It’s just a piece of material.”

Susan Carland, Salam Café panellist, Monash University lecturer, mother of two and 2004 “Muslim of the Year”.

Interesting how the argument is frequently played out in public (and by many feminists too I might add) that women who wear a hijab are seen as doing so by force or fear of religious or cultural persecution should they choose to not adhere to the scarf.

The hysterical ranting about the erosion of the rights of our sisters by a misogynistic and secular practice depicted in the Qur’an is, in my view, very often completely misguided and reeking of authoritarian hypocrisy.

Just as women have the right to seek out equal pay, equal work opportunities, equal access to the television remote control; is it not our Muslim lady-friends right too to have equal say in how they wish to express their religious freedoms?

Why preach of female liberties when neglecting to take into account that the vast majority of Muslim women choose to wear the hijab for their own cultural purposes? Many Muslim women who practice the hijab feel that it liberates them from body-image stereotyping and allows them to be closer to the truer version of themselves where they are valued for their intellect, social and family contributions and not on how they look.

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Jagged Little Pill

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 25, 2008

Currently being off the Pill (Yasmin) and watching my cycle do backflips has had me thinking about whether or not I can be bothered going back on; my ovaries occasionally have “polycystic appearance”, which means I get mid-cycle pain that is calmed down by the Pill. But as most women who’ve taken the Pill will have found, it has its pros and cons. So, in the spirit of psychotically pumping this first day full of content as we can, here’s a piece I wrote about Pill side-effects – specifically, its effect on women’s libidos – for Issue #9 of jmag:

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Your Daily ‘Daily Mail’ Groan: Ulrika Jonsson And That Pesky “Baby Weight”

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 25, 2008

For those of you who didn’t spend their teen years obsessively reading Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar, Ulrika Jonsson is a Swedish-born UK television personality, who has just had a baby. Let’s take a look at what the Daily Mail has to say about her, shall we?

“Highlights” bolded for your “enjoyment”:

Ulrika Jonsson

Real Mum: Glowing Ulrika’s Not Ashamed Of Her Baby Weight

Far from going on a crash diet to rid herself of her extra baby weight, glowing Ulrika Jonsson is in no hurry to lose her new curves.

The Swedish blonde happily showed off her bulging tummy as she was pictured out with three-week-old baby Malcolm – her fourth child by a fourth man – for the first time.

Wow, I know the Mail is a total smorgasbord of misogynist horrors, but really, where do you start with this? First of all, with the words “curves”, “bulging” and “baby weight”, which we all know are sub-editors’ magical codewords for fat fat fatty. Stories like this are the worst sort, because they seem to be embracing all sizes and not indulging in the hysteria that surrounds celebrity pregnancy these days, when in fact they’re far more pernicious. And secondly, “her fourth child by a fourth man”? Oh yes they di’id, and you know what they mean: loose woman.

As you get to know us all here at The Dawn Chorus, you’ll see that one of my personal bugbears is the way the media (specifically the “gossip” media and so-called “women’s publishing”) approaches pregnancy. Initially it was just celeb-specific, but through the trickle-down effect we now have Cosmo Pregnancy and women talking about their growing bellies as “baby bumps”.

And I don’t think you need me to tell you that Ulrika looks beautiful.

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