December 23rd, 2011

I heart feminists on twitter – some Christmas dues

A lovely conversation on twitter has sparked me to dust off the old blog to talk about how twitter is a much more feminist friendly space than blogging ever was. It started when a Boring Man on an attachment parenting blog linked to a post of @bluemilk’s which suggested that given the massive demands that attachment parenting (AP) can place on women, it would be really helpful for AP types to have a bit of a think about engaging with feminist thought. The Boring Man thought this was scary, and it would send all the menz who were otherwise well disposed to AP to the fainting couch if some(woman) happened to mention that a bit of thinking might not go astray if they were going to suggest to their partner that this is how they would like to parent.

I started blogging in 2004, and it was entering the online space that persuaded me make my lifelong options virtual trading identification as feminist explicit, concrete and LOUD. I felt I needed to, because there was so much crap, misogyny, woman-ignoring and general bad form going on in the politics blogging scene which was where I first cut my chops.

I was brought up feminist, and didn’t really spend much time in “real life” around people who found the idea of women being strong, powerful, interesting and engaged a challenge. I was ignorant, I didn’t really know how much hate was still out there. It shocks me still.

I learnt fast. I learnt about my own massive blind spots. I needed to do a lot of listening about what it was like to live with race prejudice, with transgender prejudice and with ableism. (And later insert here – funny to speak of massive blinds spots and not mention any of the wonderful fat positive tweeters/bloggers whose insights help me every day). I will never be “finished” listening, but I’ve found it helpful to scope out the dimensions of my blind spots and I’ve found great joy in applying my attention and learning. In particular I pay respect to @iLauredhel and @TigTog, the first Hoydens, for making that learning accessible to so many of us.

I also pay respect to the literary critic feminists such as @adelaidebook for showing me the importance of patient and detailed analysis, the strength that it takes to keep going and the forebearance to front up for the eleventy millionth time to say “From your comment I can only conclude that you – and perhaps other male commenters here (at LP, for instance) – have not actually gone so far as to read the women’s comments in the thread. This is wrong and makes you look stupid.”.

I pay respect to @Lucytartan whose commitment to gentleness and whose suppleness of thought permeates all of her communication and has informed her valuable critiques of how feminists engage each other online, and has helped me start to imagine more clearly what a nonviolent world might be like.

I pay respect to @cristyclark who taught me a lot about gentleness in parenting, and what it looks like to live a life of principle.

I pay respect to @drnaomi, my first online feminist friend, for learn about options trading teaching me that solidity in ourselves is good for everyone around us.

I pay respect to @dogpossum, who has stood up to challenge her heart-community of dancers about sexism and has not backed down.

I pay respect to @bluemilk, for her curiosity, her energy and her sharp, sharp mind that is always bringing something new and valuable to my attention.

I pay respect to @herbalgill for her integrity, her humour and the way she wraps that biting wisdom with such options trading websites kindness.

And I pay respect to my darling @tammois, for making me remember why it’s so fucking goddam important that we riot against what is wrong and insufferable.

And to all my other sisters – to @katejclifford, and to @anti_kate, and to @amandarose, and to @mindyhoyden – thank you. You are my sisters, and I love you. I love that together we are making a beautiful place where Australian feminists can talk, and snark and debate and speak the truths of our lives to each other.

So rare. So fine. (There are bits of this song we need to ignore for present purposes, but I welcome alternative songs that are more sister-focused. Send me the name and I’ll whack it in :) Also, volume up, it’s way soft.)

I am sure that I have omitted some names that should be here, and I would like y’all to please feel free to share some love and respect for our wonderful community.


… Only very slightly later!

Already I realise my omissions – I pay respect to @frala_fontaine who has shown me that we are mistresses of our own destiny, and to @bellsknits who has taught me what resilience looks like when you live it every day and to @charlotteshucks who sees that what makes us beautiful and powerful is also what makes us hilarious.

Expect more updates :)

Here’s another update

@kissability for reminding me that poetry makes our spirit strong and that there is unutterable beauty in our face every day if only we would see it, particularly when we are in the middle of a fucking fight.

But wait there’s moar!

I’ve just had a realisation sparked by a tweetversation with @ilauredhel that I have not included some of the fantastic fat positive women who have really helped me inhabit my large body –

I pay respect to @definatalie for her commitment to being brave and to speaking truth.

I pay respect to @awesomefrances for living yellow.

and some radfatty love has come in from the awesome @yayforhome. Respect to her to and her beloveds – @Fatheffalump and @mymilkspilt. Respect also to the beautiful #fattylove nominees from @definatalie @52stations @lillianbehrendt @afrotitty @shecametostay @allygarrett @polianarchy

March 23rd, 2011

Two questions for Christopher Pyne

This photograph was posted by Julie Posetti (@julieposetti) on twitter, from today’s anti carbon tax rally at Parliament House in Canberra:

Here are my questions for Christopher Pyne:

1. I know you think language is important, because you have claimed it is offensive to call someone who disagrees with something a “denier” because that language effectively identifies them as a Nazi sympathiser. So how offensive is it to refer to a woman in public life as a “bitch”, and in particular, as someone else’s bitch?

2. Can you – or anyone else – show me a photograph of Sophie Mirabella, Brownyn Bishop and Tony Abbott on a stage together. Because it’s a little bit suss to get the ladies up front right now. Or do Liberal bitches just do what they’re told?

That’s three questions, isn’t it?

PS – I wondered why Christopher Pyne came into my head thinking about this – it’s because he’s got form.

June 30th, 2010

Where are all the feminist tweeters?

This post is prompted by two things. The first is a tweet by journalism lecturer and social media researcher Julie Posetti (@julie_posetti) asking where the women bloggers about Australian politics were hiding (hint:on the internet). Of course this brought back memories of the most spectacular recent version of this long lasting phenomenon, featuring Crikey’s Possum Commitatus, who blogs here.

The second thing is my great joy at the recent feministisation of my tweetstream. Because a lot of my tweetstream is food-related, I went off the whole “follow friday” thing because of its nauseating circularity. I’m over that because #feminstfriday has introduced me to some fantastic new writers, and some great conversations with writers whose blogs I already loved.

Here they are; please be aware quite a few of these accounts are locked, and you need to send a request to be able to see that person’s tweets. There are lots of good reasons why people might do that. Someone is more likely to let you see their tweets if you are known to them (online or otherwise) if you have a webpage linked from your twitter profile and if they can see you have nice manners – but then again they might not. Some people (like me) use TrueTwit to avoid spammers, which means you get a verification email before that person sees that you follow them.

@alegrya
@amandahawley
@angestyles
@antipodeankate
@ashinynewcoin
@badhostess
@BeeFaerie
@BiscuitCIB
@bitchphd
@boganetteNZ
@bluemilk
@castironbalcony
@catherinedeveny
@cathstyles
@ChallyZATB
@clarebowditch
@clembastow
@crazybrave
@cristyclark
@daiskmeliadorn
@definatalie
@dogpossum
@drkknits
@drnaomi
@elegsufficiency
@femswfsd
@FPoliteness
@fanny_fair
@fatnutritionist
@FEMINISTHULK
@fluffyasacat
@frala_fontaine
@frogpondsrock
@fugitive_sound
@gabfran
@georgh
@GrumpyYetAmusin
@heathred
@hellonhairylegs
@herbalgill
@hottest100women
@hoydenabouttown
@IAmDrTiller
@iasshole
@janecaro
@jessmcguire
@jezebel
@juliefairey
@julie_posetti
@kateharding
@katejclifford
@keepingmumsane
@kellyblainey
@kirsty_l
@kissability
@kittykittymraow
@kj401
@krasnostein
@LeslieCannold
@lissyblog
@lucytartan
@lscave
@margaretatwood
@mariekehardy
@Mary_Shelley
@miafreedman
@mischa76
@msmapes
@muliercula
@mymilkspilt
@naomieve
@nerdfish
@newswithnipples
@nomesmessenger
@offbeatceremony
@overingtonc
@pandragon
@PharaohKatt
@ProfPStrumpet
@quietriot_girl
@qot_nz
@raisingboychick
@saidtrash
@sarah_haskins
@shakirahussein
@SleeplessNights
@sophiec
@steampunked
@stinginthetail
@summersanne
@sunlightandsnow
@swingdag
@tagalongtess
@tammois
@theamazingkim
@thehandmirror
@themegangirl
@theotund
@tigtog
@tudorgrrrl
@ungoddess
@vaguelyspecific
@virginia
@virginia_hauss
@vodkandlime
@whatladder
@wildlyp

This list is by no means exhaustive. Leave a comment about yourself or someone else who should be on the list, and I’ll update it.

Updated: and as hoped, the additions are coming in! Yay! If you’re on the list and you’d rather not to be, comment or email and I’ll remove you.

December 11th, 2009

Come here, little doggy, come and see Abbott’s Army …

From Opposition Leader Tony Abbott:

“Obviously, if you are going to win the election you have got to secure the people who regard themselves as rusted on Coalition voters and then you have got to reach out to the middle ground,” Mr Abbott told Fairfax Radio today.

“And ‘Howard’s Battlers’, to use that phrase, were basically working people who respected John Howard because he thought that, in his own way, he was one of them.

“We can reach out and claim those same people … maybe this could become Abbott’s Army.”

I think I know what Abbott’s Army looks like already:

Photographer: Andrew Meares and others

December 1st, 2009

The little blog lives again!

And it’s all down to this guy:

PEOPLE SKILLS

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier on a Tuesday morning.

October 13th, 2009

Right up to the minute

Remember that plea from Crikey a while ago, wondering where all the ladies were? This is an answer written by my friend K8y, who I’ve just had a week’s holiday with. She’s been writing blog drafts but is yet to hit the “publish” button. I think this is splendid, and far too good to languish into a drafts folder:

Thanks for asking, everything’s fine at this end with the subscription.

My only comment on editorial matters is about your recent sally into… equal opportunity journalism: “Are the girls alright… are they getting enough stuff on childcare, frocks, etc?”

I didn’t say anything at the time and am still a bit wary of this universalising theory of ‘women’s interests’. If I believed that anyone could comment for all women, I guess I’d be reading Women’s Day, not Crikey. But since you asked, I am going to offer a comment: my idea of interesting articles involves seeing everyday, mainstream issues of politics, society, culture and economics challenged by perspectives other than those of the traditionally privileged or powerful (i.e. old white guy syndrome). Your subjects don’t really need to change much (except lose everything on what female public figures wear: really not funny). To impress more women readers, at least ones like me, you could seek out more divergent viewpoints.

To give you an example, economic analysis offered in Crikey might swing from Friedman to Keynes to the frankly loopy, but that’s not the division I think is significant. Read Marilyn Waring (or ask her to write for you): if your economics doesn’t recognise the significance of women’s unpaid work to Australia’s productive capacity, it is fundamentally and bizarrely skewed, and not a very useful analytical tool. You could use Waring’s economics to look at the value of child care (measured and not) to the GDP and society as a whole – a matter of current interest but addressed in a more interesting way than just talking about Eddy Groves and his pants.

While you’re at it, why not challenge some of the assumptions left lying around by floundering theories of economics or rotting capitalist structures that still reify the ‘smartest guys in the room’ (or shouty young Hugo Boss types on the trading floor) – but fail to respect size-16 women dressed by Rockmans, with part-time jobs, an elderly dependent parent, three kids with packed lunches, a clean toilet and husbands with ironed shirts. What the hell does contemporary journalism say to these women about their lives, other than “despite your best efforts, you’re not doing it right”?

Why don’t you question the effects of pressure from green, slow-food, grow your own mizuna, shopping-at-markets-n-baking-it-from-scratch, read the ingredients label on everything and look-15-years-younger-than-you-really-are articles for women who were already going quietly nuts on 5 hours of broken sleep a night? Why can’t I trust that the food I buy in supermarkets or the water out of my taps is actually safe for my kids? Why do I have to do home study in body chemistry and physiology to figure it out for myself? Why isn’t my government protecting me from rapacious greed? Why don’t I have any choices between the grocery oligopoly and spending $23 on 100ml of olive oil in a tent every fourth Saturday? These aren’t just women’s issues, dammit, so why isn’t journalism supplying answers, or at least asking better questions? Journalism just runs with the dogs: Look out for pedophiles! Look out for preservatives! Have more sex with your husband! Spend time on yourself! Discipline your child! Use sun block! Don’t eat cheese! Satin blouse! Julie Bishop! Babies in microwaves! Buy this! Lose that!

Ahem. Crikey could stop indulging the endless infighting that belongs on homemade blogs. If I’m paying for it (and I am), then I am looking for critical and professional journalism that pushes past the media release to ask tough questions and provide independent and well-researched background about how decisions by governments and other institutions are made and how they really affect our lives. Stop focusing so much on how government decisions affect other politicians or people in club lounges — which Crikey is a bit prone to. Don’t waste space and use up my day on people who just like arguing and who don’t care whether it’s about Israel or climate change. I can have a poorly-argued debate with a partisan nut for free on the weekends, thanks.

I was really impressed with your items on the scandalous termination issue in Queensland. And I like Eva Cox. BUT if she’s the only one doing this kind of writing (or being published), then all Crikey is really doing is creating a context that makes Eva and her subjects appear more “fringe” than they really are. And that’s the crux of it: despite your subscription numbers, women aren’t actually a minority and our many and various interests aren’t something to be considered as a monolithic issue now and then, in your spare time. Don’t worry so much about the ‘woman’s perspective’ – instead, just go out and get a lot more women’s opinions a lot more often. How about interviewing a female expert in every single one of your articles – just for a month – to see if it makes a difference?

(I wonder how pissed off the rest of your readership would get?)

Again, thanks for asking.

K8y

June 15th, 2009

Goodbye, malignant twerp

Peter Costello will not renominate for Higgins. ha ha ha hahhah ha ha

Somewhere right now, well out of sight, Tony Abbott is pouring himself a moderate glass of domestic sparkling …

June 9th, 2009

Some advice you didn’t know you needed

If someone comes home with new knickers in a range of jaunty colours, it’s neither necessary nor amusing to call them “high visibility undies”

Bad Behavior has blocked 4631 access attempts in the last 7 days.

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