Those Hoydens lauredhel and tigtog are always looking for ways to enliven the feminist blogosphere. Welcome to the latest instalment of one of their great ideas - the sixth downunder feminist blog carnival.
My feminist posts are often about the workplace, so that’s the main theme of this carnival. I’m invoking my host’s privilege to give you an old one to start you off – Why don’t women make Partner? giving my three top reasons why women don’t make it to the top in the workplace. And none of them are about motherhood either (which is often the conservative commentators’ excuse).
So some more feminism in the workplace? The Productivity Commission released its draft recommendations on parental leave at the end of September. There wasn’t that much blogging about it – we were probably all too preoccupied with the financial crisis and the US election.
WoLFi TaLEs gives a good summary of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations in baby steps to paid parental leave. Blue Milk is happy that the government seems positive in Bite the bullet. Mia Freedman asks whether 18 weeks is enough and is mostly shouted down by her conservative commenters. And Mark at Larvatus Prodeo has a bit of a fence sitting examination, in which he can’t quite decide whether paid maternity leave should be described as welfare or an entitlement of any employee.
“I’ve pooh-poohed quotas for years, but other strategies have not worked, and it’s time for a national debate on quotas for women,” she said.
Andragy gives her three swords.
Hexy posts about sexual harassment in the workplace, an issue that tends to get swept under the carpet – wasn’t that fixed years ago? Not according to Liz Broderick’s release of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s new survey on sexual harassment in the workplace (pointing out that it is still an enormously significant issue, with 22% of women and 5% of men having experienced it in their working lifetime).
Aztec Rose, who blogs at WoLFi TaLEs about work life interconnectivity has a post about part time work – The swings and roundabouts of part-time work – wondering if part-time work really achieves its aim of creating work life balance? Or does it just free mothers up to do more unpaid work?
Helen Squared talks about the challenges of making space for writing in Thoughts on being a mother and a writer. As one of her commenters points out, Virginia Woolf’s A room of one’s own is a polemic to the need for women to have their own space – and she didn’t have any children distracting her!
Following the recent release of the annual EOWA census of senior executive women, I post here about why it matters that women are at the top of companies.
One of my other obsessions at this blog is the challenge of being a feminist mother, and there were many great posts on that topic, too.
Blue Milk points out that the notion of “baby brain” has been analysed, and couldn’t be found in this post - ‘Baby brain’ bunkum almost as annoying as PMT bunkum .
I’m not sure if this post belongs in my workplace or parenting section, but lauredhel at Hoyden About Town finds a great example of non traditional parenting in a new-ish US soapie – Army Wives – showing a junior soldier being sent home with more breastmilk after the dad at home spills the supplies from the fridge, in a scene that would make any current or formerly expressing mother cringe in horror – Pick up that damn breastmilk! ‘Army Wives’ and Masculinity posted at Hoyden About Town.
Sadly, any feminist carnival has some horrific sexual harassement and worse stories, and this carnival is no exception.
Clem Bastow, at The Dawn Chorus spots an alarming report on Victorian police having “free” sex in exchange for turning a blind eye. As the post points out, it’s a short or non existent step to rape, given the power imbalance – Free Sex? Only If You?re A Corrupt Cop. In another post at The Dawn Chorus from the court records, Clem also finds a victim impact statement being described as the work of a “drama queen” – the victim, a 16 year old indecently assaulted by her 40 year old teacher describes the assault as having “ignited a loathing for my body” which made her want to “scratch off her skin” - Victim Of Indecent Assault Or “Drama Queen”? Don’t Ask The Defense! .
And lauredhel talks about new report on sexual assault and adults with a disability, which outlines some of the many ways in which justice is not available to adults with disability who are sexually assaulted, particularly due to many barriers to disclosure – amounting often to either blaming the victim, or not believing that sexual assault is at all likely. So often, sexual assault is not understood as the power crime that it is – Barriers to justice when rapists attack women with disabilities: new Australian report
Still life with Cat (Pavlov’s Cat in new digs) shows how a subeditor can subvert a powerful message in pointing us to the Age article about the gender based views of Britt Lapthorne’s death in Dubrovnik – How To Erase Women and Perpetuate the Dominant Culture
Sajbrfem is doing a PhD in cyberfeminist art. In this piece, she examines the common theme of disembodied parts in women’s photographs online, and combines it with the idea of “creatively misusing” technologys - Act 28: Cyber Flip Doll
In a month where the whole world (or at least the bits of it I pay attention to) is watching the US election, it almost seems odd to let it go with just a few posts. But there you are – any more, and we’d be into Sarah Palin, Saturday Night Live, and this carnival would never be finished.
So just one Sarah Palin post – Fuck Politeness has the rant I wish I had written about Miranda Devine complaining that “Establishment Feminism” (whatever that is) wasn’t supporting Sarah Palin – isn’t she a woman, after all?
And Lauredhel at Hoyden About Town pulls out John McCain’s air-quotes from the third debate about the “health of the mother” being a lame excuse for an abortion. Pre-eclampsia still is one of the leading causes of deaths of pregnant women in the first world (18% of US maternal deaths), as well as the third – Third Debate Thoughts, and Video of McCain’s air-scarequotes “health of the mother” .
Actually, here is another Sarah Palin post after all – I couldn’t not include this one – Beppie muses in a guest post at Hoyden About Town on why she does find herself more gleeful when Sarah Palin makes mistakes than John McCain. Go and read the post - Feminism Friday: Right Wing Women, Sarah Palin, and Me - but my favourite line was this:
Palin, to me, represents a part of myself that I’m afraid of, a part of myself that I don’t like admitting exists. She represents what I might have been, had I grown up in a conservative family, and she represents the person that I am anyway, every time I smile when I’d prefer to frown, every time I giggle when what I really mean is, “Get the fuck away from me,” and every time I close my mouth when I have the right—and sometimes the obligation—to speak out.
It’s another step in a long line of actions which reinforces the myth that there is an Ideal Beauty, and more damaging, that we should all be striving for it.
lauredhel at Hoyden About Town exposes another politician who is so anti any kind of abortion that he doesn’t bother with the facts Quick hit: Lying lies and the lying liars who tell them: “Abortion-for cash”.
Rachel Hills complains about Bernard Salt, who seems to revel in finding stereotypes about single women, rather than thinking about the issues that create them – Bernard Salt: no friend to women (or men, for that matter) and for good measure, uses a film review to muse on the reverse chick flick – even films which seem heartwarming, and involve a real female character, can turn out to be a projection of male fantasy – Elizabethtown, Garden State and the Alternative Flat Fantasy Female.
There have been many posts around the blogosphere about the major problems with the government’s proposed internet censorship rules. But hexy at hexpletive points out some consequences for some of the already marginalised parts of our society, such as sex workers, and GLBTQ youth – No Clean Feed!.
Stef at The Ex-Expat exposes the hypocrisy of foreign fever – which
refers to people (usually men) who go out of their way to date well, foreigners, because the women from their home country are fat/slutty/don’t use make up/shallow/angry/materialistic/drink too much/don’t look after themselves and mostly importantly don’t ‘look after’ (read sleep with, cook, clean and just generally worship) ‘their’ men (actually just one man, him). – Those ‘feminine’ foreigners .
And on a lighter note (or is it?), a look at shoes in the modern world:
Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate your own, or someone else’s post. It’s a great crop, and I’m privileged to have hosted this carnival of wonderful writing here.