Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Today, I am so grateful for having such great friends.  I have old friends, book club friends, bellydancing friends, and motherhood related friends. There's overlap in all these groups, but they have their own history, their own dynamic and their own way in making feel useful and wanted in this world. 

Their ability to help me synthesise my thoughts and create joy in my life is so important and needed.

I think having friends that are parents, and that are on the same vague parenting page as you, is almost essential to Motherhood.  The way society is set up at the moment, stay-at-home mums tend to spend the majority of their time with their children as the only adult.  Finding other Mothers who are on the same page makes connecting and hanging out that much easier, and the experience of Motherhood that little bit less lonely.   So today I am grateful for those friends, and for finding friends, old and new.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I think we need to stop using 'Stabby'

It's a great word, as it so accurately describes that feeling of rage that we got from douchecanoes, bad drivers and body police. It sounds kinda fun, lighthearted, with the -y ending.

But if we (progressives/feminists/equalists etc) are a community that is against violence, a community that is aware that violence and threats of violence are used against us, especially against women, I think it's a little lazy and crass for us to use such a violent term. Especially when usually we are just really fucking angry.

I know some of my very favourite bloggers use it, and those of you who do, I would love to hear from you. Am I completely off track? Is it something we should do, but meh, more important things?

Language, and the way we use it, is important. And something we should be aware of how we use.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Men, I am not against you, I am for you.

Dear Men
I am a feminist. I do not hate you.  I am not against you.  I am for you!

I am for you being shown as stronger than your sexual urges; I know you can think beyond skin, short skirts, fuckability, your dick.  I know you are able to think about whether your need for sex trumps other persons autonomy.  I stand with you against that shit.

I am for you being smart and capable.  Ads that show you as stupid, incapable of figuring out laundry are terrible.  You are smart and intelligent and adult.  I am for you being shown as capable in spheres outside your workplace, especially housework and parenting.  If you can build a house, run a company, balance the books, you can figure out how to change a diaper or run a vacuum cleaner.  I stand with you, sharing the load. 

I am for you being encouraged to show your emotions.  You are not less than because you cry, because you hug, because you kiss someone the same gender as you.  I am for you showing your vulnerability, I stand with you against stoic stereotypes.

I am for you having equal parenting rights, especially when it comes to part time work and work culture.  You should be able to have rights to part time/job-share work on par with your female counterparts who are parents. You should have equal leave rights when it comes to newborns. This should not only be enshrined in legislation but work culture as well.  I stand with you against father equalling full time working missing out on your children absentee.  Fuck that.

I am for you, I love you and the patriarchy fucks you over just as much as it does us.  I stand with you, strong and staunch.

NB: I apologise for the heteronormativity of the above - I did it delibrately to make an impact.  I apologise for erasing certain peoples and populations.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

32nd Down Under Feminists Carnival

Happy New Year Everybody.
I hope 2011 is full of awesome, stripey socks, kitty/puppy cuddles, yummy food and plenty of time for drinking/relaxing sleeping. Please replace any of the these with your desired relaxation/joy activities!

Welcome to the 32nd edition of the (dum, dum, de duuum)

the logo for the Down Under Feminists Carnival - the international symbol for 'female' with the Southern Cross in the centre

I've tried to make it as user-friendly as possible - I hope you enjoy!

Thanks to all those who have submitted, and a special thanks to the wonderful Chally for all her help and dealing with my last minute freak-outs!


The Hoydens share their love of the Sound of Music (Who woulda thunk Sound of Music was feminist!?) in BFTP Friday Hoyden: Top 10 reasons I love The Sound of Music


Over at Zero at the Bone, Chally talks about Constant Vigilance

Family/Women's Work

SAHM feminist gets on the soapbox.. breastfeeding in Public.

Spilt Milk talks on Maternity, from here

In a Strange Land, Deborah says Perhaps hitting children really is too horrible to contemplate

Blue Milk says - Quick, let's throw ourselves under a bus

Ariane shows how a woman's work is literally never done, especially at Christmas time: Christmas, brought to you by women

The Hoydens remind everyone that breastfeeding is BFTP: Parenting While Female: “It’s Not About You”

General Feminism/Social Justice

Jo talks about how Selley's have lost her business in I buy hardware supplies...

Over at The News with Nipples, Kim suggests that maybe feminists haven't yet achieved world domination - The F monster and world domination . It made me LOLSOB.

At The Fat Heffalump, we are reminded that It's OK to be 'Weird'? . And it really really is :).

The wonderful women over at at The Hand Mirror provide a list of Feminist blogging in Aotearoa New Zealand

Boganette on Why are you part of the women's liberation movement?

"Boganette resurrects a classic and the usual trolls show up to play!"

Mindy at The Hoydens is Bitter.


Chally, clever thing that she is, has written a series of amazing posts on women and Iconography at Bitch Magazine. I suggest that you make yourself your favourite beverage of choice, put your feet up and read them.

Iconography: Octavia E. Butler and Rewriting the Other | books, authors, science fiction | Bitch Magazine

Iconography: Ursula K. Le Guin, the Model of a Modern Mythmaker | Science Fiction, women, literature | Bitch Magazine

Iconography: The Peony Pavilion | books, literature, feminism, theater | Bitch Magazine

Iconography: The Woman No One Saw | James Tiptree Jr., Alice B. Sheldon, books | Bitch Magazine

Iconography: The Rather Extraordinary Astrid Lindgren and Pippi Longstocking | books, gender, children | Bitch Magazine

Iconography: Harry Potter and the Girls Who Weren’t Chosen Ones | Bitch Magazine


The Hoydens talk about Captain Bridget Clinch - In Support of Captain Bridget Clinch and Pharaoh Kat follows up with some awesome activism in Supporting Captain Clinch and Why Pronouns Matter

Rachel Hills talks about What gay marriage opponents have in common with gay French philosophers - more then you would think!


The Hoydens talk about Ethics classes to be offered in SRE time in NSW Finally, it looks like this ridiculous double standard is going to end.

Chally shows off her drawing skills at Chally and the uterine fistfight. Uteri and their aggressive natures, tsk, tsk!

Deborah talks about The Treacle in Adelaide.


The News with Nipples gets a surprise in - Diplomats have opinions? I'm shocked
and then discusses the tension between bloggers and journalists in Our own worst enemy

Today in Double Standards touches on the increasingly concerning story of the Melbourne teenager and those photos.


Blue Milk talks about costuming in Do Not Fuck with Masculinity. Coz being dressed as 'female' is totes the worst thing eva!


A really thought provoking series by Chally - Cultural Constructions, Part 1 .
Cultural Constructions, Part 2
Cultural Constructions, Part 3
Cultural Constructions: An Interlude

Tiara the Merch girl writes about how people only see her Otherness, which erases her queerness in Exotic Taboo [Love, Anonymously] .

Chally talks on Colouring Perception and how colour is subjective and cultural.

Repro Justice

At A Touch of the Crazy, Stef has a rant on The abortion law in this country needs to change now
The wonderful Hoydens dispel some abortion myths in BFTP: We knew it was bad for you, see!?!


The Hoydens strike again in Review: Radical Act


Ally talks about something that is not gross in Some Grossly Indulgent Self Promotion, And A Story Called Gross .

Breast Cancer

NZGirl started a highly inappropriate breast cancer awareness campaign. And it pissed NZ feminist bloggers off - and rightly so. Rachel Hansen asked Should we be asking girls to "get your tits out for the girls"? , followed by Queen Of Thorns says there is only one reason to care about breast cancer, rails against being a "prude" and discussing how the response from NZGirl was, well, less then stellar. At Pickled Tink, Amanda sums up and provides some links, and Boganette points out that it goes on and on and on. Scuba Nurse provides some actual education. At A lump in the road, a breast cancer survivor talks on her reaction to the campaign in Insensitive.

New blogger Annanonymous follows up with some thoughts about the pinkification of breast cancer .

The Body
Definatalie is Thirty and angry and fabulous, darling.

The Fat Heffalump talks about food judgement cliches in Food Judgement or The Post in Which I Make too Many Bad Food Puns .

Queen of Thorns writes on progressive and fat hate in You are actually part of the problem

Shall We Dance? - The Fat Heffalump talks about dancing and being fat, and a beautiful paragraph on muscle memory.

Spilt Milk writes Thanks, Doctor and then, amazingly, wonderfully and so truthfully in All of us (thoughts on fat acceptance) . Just brilliant.


Over at Geek Feminism they talk about how violence is not the solution to harassment, in “Why don’t you just hit him?” and continue with Harassment and bullying

On rape and rape culture, Blue Milk talks about Why most preventative strategies are set up wrong , News with Nipples provides some scary info on Police and rape myths, Stef talks about rape blame and Queen of Thorns does some signal boosting.

And last but not least, "Harriet J's call out against Naomi Wolf's Assange fuckery" in  Dear Second and Third Wave Feminists With Publicly Recognizable Names 

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

This concludes this edition!  Submit your blog article to the next edition of Down Under Feminists carnival using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Motherhood is a gift...or not

I was at a wedding earlier in the year, talking to a pregnant person in the line for the loos.  We were talking about when she was due and then talked about my daughter and the son that she had already. 

As the conversation continued she looked in to my eyes and said something along the lines of "It's just such a gift isn't it?  It's just the best thing in the world.  It's just a real gift".   I nodded and smiled, looking like I was agreeing with her, all the time thinking, "Is she really serious?  Does she really really believe that?"

I have heard a few people say this now.  And I don't...get it.  It does not resonant with me, but even more, it makes me feel squirmy.  Very squirmy.

I understand that just because it's true for me, it doesn't mean that it's not true for other people.

But a gift is free, without pain, effort, cost and comprise.  It comes to you with joy and doesn't take from you. 

And I love her, but the Strumpette is not a gift.  She comes with pain, effort and compromise. Confusion and frustration.  Tiredness, every-day-grindiness.  She is awesome, and smart, and funny, and oh-so-cute, but a gift she is not. Gifts don't snot on you and shit in the bath.

And it makes me squirmy - because by framing Motherhood in this way, we erase all that stuff that makes Motherhood and parenting so bloody difficult and consuming.  And that does no one any favours.  You can't complain about a gift, say you're struggling with a gift, that you need help with a gift.

And that is really problematic.  Because then people don't voice their problems.  Don't mention that they're having trouble coping.  Don't explain that sometimes it ain't all baby cuddles and soft skin. Because there is nothing wrong with a gift, amirite?

I'm not saying that there isn't a lot of awesome when it comes to parenting. Because there is.  It must be for the human race to keep breeding as it does.  But a gift it is not. So I think we have to be careful about the way we talk about parenting to others.  So we can leave the lines open to commiserate, share and debrief.  Which is really the gift now isn't it?

Maybe if I had struggled with fertility and really really went through hoops to get a baby, I might feel different.  For those of you in that boat, I apologise and allow you your feelings!

Monday, December 13, 2010

If you read one thing this year...

Make it this. In fact, given that we're almost at the end of the year, if you're only going to read one thing this finacial year - make it that. And, if, as I suspect, most of you are women reading this blog, show this article to the men in your life.

Why Profligate Promiscuous Strumpet?

Thanks Deborah for the idea.  I hope this answers your question!

I have a friend.  A great friend.  I don't see her often enough and I miss her heaps.  We came up with this fabulous name for ourselves, back in the day.  We were Profligate Promiscuous Strumpets.  And still are with any luck.

We both love words.  And books.  And dancing.  And being loud. And flirting. And somewhere in the deep dark past, we came upon this word.  Profligate.  Such a good word.  You can bite it. And let it dribble down your chin.  We liked the meaning of it, because at that point in our lives, we were all about the excesses. (I'm not providing the definition here, because I figure you're all really smart and know it, and if it's unfamilar to you, it doesnt mean you're not smart.  But it means you're here, on a computer, and can use google).

Promiscuous.  I probably wasn't as promiscuous as I could have been, or as much as I now wish I had been.  But we liked it - it was kind of a fuck-you to all the slut-shaming and good-girl lessons and being a lady. Fuck that.  We liked boys. And men.  And kissing them. A lot of them.  It was sooo much fun. 
So yeah... Promicsuous? Hell Yeah. Testify.  Hands up in there, wave em around like you just don't care. 

Ahem. Sorry, got a little distracted.  I was vogue-ing in my seat and I hope you were too (or maybe that's just me again.)

Strumpet.  We just liked the word.  It sounded fun.   And that implied sluttiness in the word, which I'm sure some people applied to us, it was another way of owning that judgment but also saying fuck you to it as well. To us, it meant sexy, and messy, and sassy and mischevious, and powerful. Which we were  And I hope we still are.

And when I was looking for a blog name, I wanted something a bit fun. And a bit fuck you.  And that meant something to me.  I think it's probably too long. And to complicated to search for.  But it's done now.  And it's mine.

So, my other Profligate Promiscuous Strumpet - thanks for the great times.  I miss you.  And Thanks for the name for my little space on the intertubes. 

N.B This posts hints a lot of the raunch culture I embraced as a young adult.  My privelege allowed me to indulge in it, nay, wallow in raunch culture, relatively unscathed.  One day, when I get the time, I'd like to unpack that time for you all.  But I just want to acknowledge it here, so that you're aware, that I'm aware that this post touches on it, and that raunch culture is not without it's problems.  All aware now? :)