The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Archive for the ‘sex’ Category

Feminism Has Failed, not really, however, it will be debated tomorrow night

Posted by Rhiana Whitson on September 21, 2010

Don’t miss this event!

Tomorrow night! 6.30pm!

Feminism Has Failed

part of the Wheeler Centre’s Intelligence Squared debate series…


Author of The Feminist Denial Monica Dux, ABC journo Jennifer Byrne, journo Gay Alcorn and a few guys also…

I’ve gotta run, however, here’s what the Wheeler Centre has to say about tomorrow nights event…

After generations of effort, women still bear a disproportionate burden of domestic labour. Women are under-represented in the senior ranks of politics, business and the professions.

Women continue to be denied equal pay for equal work.

Perhaps more troubling still is the fact that the basic structures of power and influence bear the cultural marks of masculinity. In all significant ways, it remains a man’s world.

However, it could be argued that If feminism has failed, then it is because it has failed to mobilise women and that female acquiescence rather than male determination has preserved the status quo.

Or should feminists be celebrating a deeper victory in which a new generation of young men and women take equality for granted thanks to feminists who ushered in a deeper concern for justice – irrespective of gender?

Want more info? Check our Clem’s great interview with Monica Dux and Zora Simic posted here on TDC way back in 2008…


Tomorrow night 6.30 – 8.30pm


Melbourne Town Hall

90-120 Swanston Street
Victoria 3000

Tix are  $20 full and $12 conc.

and are available online


Posted in Dawn Chorus Library, Interviews, Politics, reproductive rights, sex, Uncategorized, women we love, Women's Health | 2 Comments »

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Announcements, Blog Watch, body image, domestic violence, Family, glbt, Interviews, law, Media Watch, music, Politics, porn, Relationships, reproductive rights, sex, Trans, violence against women, women we love, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Hey, That’s My Bush!

Posted by Mel Campbell on August 13, 2010

Sasha Grey is a 22-year-old alt-porn star. The ‘alt’ part means she looks like a fairly ordinary, doe-eyed hipster girl with no apparent silicone enhancements. She also has a tendency to intellectualise and aestheticise the extreme sex acts she has become famous for committing to film.

Grey has done non-pornographic acting as well. Having suffered through Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience, I can tell you there are planks of wood more likely to win an Oscar.

However, this week Grey appeared, as herself, in Entourage – Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) was dating her. The episode was called ‘Hair’, and by this the writers meant pubic hair. The episode whipped viewers into a Twitter frenzy of disgust because… in a full-frontal nude shot, Grey had actual pubes. Or, as Americans grotesquely refer to them, “bush”.

If you want to check out Grey’s hairstyle yourself, click here (NSFW).

Now last weekend I went to see the Carol Jerrems show at Heide. Jerrems was a Melbourne photographer who took lots of nude shots during the ’70s, and I can say that I found the luxuriant pubes on some of the women quite startling. So when I clicked through to see what all the Sasha Grey fuss was about, that was the sort of “’70s bush” I was expecting.

Instead, I thought it looked quite manicured. It annoyed and saddened me that the Twitter critics would consider this neat triangle to be ‘overgrown’, ‘enormous’, ‘wild’ or ‘disgusting’. Have these people never seen a woman who has a snail trail of hair down her stomach? Whose pubic hair continues down the tops of her thighs? Who has a hairy arse-crack? Have they seen Demi Moore’s pubes (really NSFW) from back in the early ’80s?

If Sasha Grey – a woman who makes her living from sex – is supposedly so repulsive, think of the shame that other women might feel, imagining how men might talk about their bodies behind their backs. I’ve heard some of my male friends talking openly about the body hair of the women they’ve fucked in ways that made me feel embarrassed for those women. Some poor chick had hairy nipples (“and not just one or two hairs – that’s normal – she had really hairy nipples!”), while another had trimmed her pubes rather than waxing or shaving, which my friend charmingly likened to a ‘toothbrush’.

On the other hand, think of women who enjoy grooming their body hair – who consider it part of their general beauty routine – and are told that having little or no pubic hair ‘pedophilises’ them and makes them dupes of a pornified culture, surrendering their womanly pubes in order to meet with men’s aesthetic approval.

In many ways, the arguments circulating in regard to women’s pubic hair remind me of the arguments around body shape and size. An artificial dichotomy is set up – whether that be skinny/fat or hairy/hairless – women are made to ‘take sides’, and both sides are made to feel ashamed, as if neither has a claim to be a ‘real woman’.

To anyone who feels moved to comment on a woman’s body hair, or tell her to shave it off or to let it grow… fuck off! It doesn’t belong to you.

Posted in body image, Film & Television, porn, sex | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

xkcd On ‘Porn For Women’

Posted by Clem Bastow on March 15, 2010

My rage at the abominable “gift book” (you know, those irritating little confections that litter bookstore point-of-sale areas) Porn For Women is still so white hot, years after its release, that every time I’ve tried to write something about it the keyboard combusts.

Thank god, then, for the wonderful xkcd, whose take on the topic I stumbled upon today:

Finally, I can breathe out.

Posted in art, Blog Watch, porn, sex | 3 Comments »

Female Ejaculation Doesn’t Exist

Posted by caitlinate on January 26, 2010

This news popped up on my radar last week and boy, is it news to me. From now on films that feature female ejaculation will now be Refused Classification (RC) by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC).

I did a little hunting around the OFLC website and found that films (or computer games) will be refused classification if they include or contain various ‘extreme’ forms of violence, sexual abuse and drug use as well as:


Depictions of practices such as bestiality.

Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:

(i) activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent;
(ii) incest fantasies or other fantasies which are offensive or abhorrent.

Elsewhere in the code a fetish is defined as:

“An object, an action or a non-sexual part of the body which gives sexual gratification. “

How broad. Do they have a list somewhere of which parts of the body are sexual and which are non-sexual?

The next classification category down from RC is X18+ (only available in the NT and ACT but, as wikipedia helpfully informs me, “these films may be legally purchased from interstate via mail-order.”) and applies to films that contain ‘consensual sexually explicit activity’. The classification guidelines here state that:

“Fetishes such as body piercing, application of substances such as candle wax, ‘golden showers’, bondage, spanking or fisting are not permitted.”

What does this have to do with female ejaculation? Well, according to the OFLC, female ejaculation doesn’t exist and what is actually being expelled is urine or a ‘golden shower’. Great! Another aspect of female sexuality disappeared by a powerful statutory body! I’m so glad the former Chairman of the ABC can inform me as to what fluid is coming out of my urethra at any given moment.

It’s disturbing to me that the OFLC board have the power to determine which bodily functions are real and what they mean. You’d think that just telling us whether they were bad or not was enough. Now, they can just make them be something else entirely! If someone in a film having consensual sex has a vestigial tail will that film be RC too because of it’s representation of bestiality?

It’s not only that female ejaculation has been rendered non-existent by the OFLC that bothers me – it’s the way it becomes condemned by default. Male ejaculation = awesome, female ejaculation = freaky, non existent, fetish.

As Ms. Naughty says:

“One thing all the censors seem to agree on is that semen is an above-board bodily fluid. It can be ejaculated anywhere – internally, onto a woman’s body or face, across the Russian wallpaper – and it can even be mixed into milkshakes and drunk. If 20 guys all want to ejaculate their semen onto a woman lying on the floor waiting – or onto each other – that’s A-OK, thanks very much. Nothing kinky about that, it’s just normal sexual activity.

If a woman ejaculates onto a man’s face, however, that’s a fetish. That mean’s in Australia it’s offensive, obscene and Australians should not be allowed to see it lest it corrupt our immortal souls. Or something.”

For those interested here’s a New Scientist article from last year that talks more about female ejaculation and recognises the fact that, you know, it exists.

Related – Apparently, the OFLC have also been banning films that have small breasted women in them. In case anyone should get confused.

Posted in law, porn, sex | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »