The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘disability’

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!

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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 »

Remember, This Man Won A Walkley Award

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 1, 2008

Those who’ve either followed the show or read the newspaper/blogs in the past few days will have heard that Kelly Knox – who was born without a left forearm – was the eventual winner of BBC3’s Britain’s Missing Top Model (our original coverage is here). So, you could forgive News Ltd (formerly Fairfax Digital) blogger Jack Marx for thinking it was newsworthy and, thus, worthy of being given the special je ne sais quoi that he dishes out on his blog, Jack Marx Live.

But could you forgive him for this?

She might have won a contract with a modelling agency and a photo shoot for Marie Claire, but the winner of Britain’s Missing Top Model will probably not be scoring commercial work from the following brands: Sterling; Malvern Star; Bullworker; Auclair Pittard; Lil’ Indian; Airfit; Crocket & Kelly; Steinway; Ringsport; Sea-Doo; Flygear; Moyes; Bally; Fender; E-Meter; Koastal; Taronga Zoo; The Clapper; Cheer Gear; Nippon Pedicabs; Kawasaki; Bodymaker; Jugglers World; Kelso; Sikorsky; Sherrin; Stanley Rogers; Callaway; Vic Firth; YMCA; Hohner; Rubiks; Semaphores R Us; Stradivarius; Spirit Poles; Musashi; Naughty Needles; Mixmaster; Precision Carwash; Rossignol; Swingaway; Redheads; Yamaha; Shredmate; Victa; Fiesta Music; Jetstar.

Note: that is the blog entry in its entirety. If you follow each of the links the “joke” quickly becomes clear.

This is precisely the sort of example of a media commentator doing something rancid and then being able to hide behind the old “Get a sense of humour, it’s just a joke” defense – you know, because it’s just “armless fun” (as one commenter put it). Because, geddit, she only has one arm! Champagne comedy there, Marx.

I can’t help but feel stuff like this (and this is only the ostensibly light-hearted tip of the discriminatory iceberg) is the reason – apart from ratings/controversy courting – that a show like Britain’s Missing Top Model was pitched in the first place.

Note to Marx: this isn’t comedy, or irony, or satire, and it isn’t “PC” or precious to say so.

Posted in Blog Watch, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Media Still Shocked To Learn That Short-Statured Woman Is Having, Has Had Sex

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 29, 2008

You know, there are times when you assume that there is a fair proportion of the world that is pretty screwed up, and then there are times when you know it – this has been one of those weeks. First there was the “ew gross” reaction to Verne Troyer’s sex tape (the “ew” coming presumably not because another celebrity made a sex tape, but because Troyer – who has achondroplasia – had the audacity to live his life as a normal, red-blooded heterosexual male rather than the sexless, infantilised and tee-hee-funny “Mini Me”), and now the Australian media – specifically, Fairfax Digital’s Brisbane Times (via the Sun-Herald) – has outdone itself again while dealing with Big Brother08′ contestant, Rima Hadchiti.

This article (timed to coincide with Rima’s re-entry into the House) makes its tone clear from the get-go with the gee-whiz title, “BB’s tiny dancer a ‘sexual being'” and gets worse from there, including describing the belly-dancer as “pint sized” (eee, don’t you just want to squeeze her tiny little cheeks?), and then standing back in hushed horror/awe as Rima, again, is asked to explain her motivation for “those” nude shots on

“I took them as a political statement that was meant to show that while I am short and different, I am still sexual,” she said.

“I knew they were going to come out eventually … I don’t mind because I am actually quite proud.”

Honestly, between this and Kyle Sandilands’ treatment of Rima on the BB08 launch night (talking to her partner as though he was some sort of sick weirdo, asking them to kiss goodbye and making an “ooh, weird!” face to camera, etc) and everything in between, it’s almost too much to bear.

Here’s a tip, media of Australia: lots of PEOPLE are having sex, possibly even right now! Men are having sex with men! Women are having sex with women! Short-statured people are having sex! Blind people! Deaf people! Old people! People who use wheelchairs! People from other countries!

And here I was, thinking only white, straight couples were allowed to “do it”. They sure showed me!

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‘Britain’s Missing Top Model’: Enlightening Or Othering?

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 26, 2008

Britain\'s Missing Top Model

BBC3’s ‘Beauty Season‘ programming (for July) features a number of shows dedicated to exploring and exploding the myths of “beauty”. One show features Mis-Teeq’s Alesha Dixon shining a light on airbrushing and retouching, another sees ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq taking a ‘when beauty treatments go wrong’ angle, but perhaps the most compelling of all the shows is Britain’s Missing Top Model, a six-part reality/documentary series that will track eight women of differing abilities in their attempts to convince “industry experts” that they can cut it in the modelling industry.

It’s not the first time the fashion industry has tried to pushed the boundaries of how we see “beautiful” – photographer Nick Night and designer Alexander McQueen collaborated with double-amputee Paralympian and model Aimee Mullins (amongst others) for their 1998 Dazed+Confused shoot, Fashion-Able. And on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 3’s Amanda (who is legally blind) and Cycle 9’s Heather (who has Asperger’s Syndrome).

But I guess what I find slightly uneasy about Britain’s Missing Top Model – apart from the title, which surely flies in the face of what the show is trying to achieve; if they’re trying to show that these women still have what it takes, why focus the title on the things they don’t have? – is wondering, in the end, to what extent these shows do help broaden the average viewer’s horizons.

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Posted in Media Watch | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »