Boys will be boys should be men

Eleanor Henry is a 22 year old law student from Melbourne who has just posted images on facebook to show the objectification women can be subjected to. The photos show a group chat she was “accidentally” added to, where fellow university students had referred to her as a ‘bike’ and encouraged one of them to pursue her with obscene tips like asking her for a picture to “show me where you piss from”.

And people still don’t get it. It’s not that they were talking about asking her out, it’s the derogatory way they described it.

Tell me that there is even a shred of respect or appreciating her as a person with those comments.

Enough of this ‘it’s just boys being boys’ crap. These boys need to grow the fuck up then because real men respect women. They see them as people and respect their sexuality. They do not treat them as sex objects. There is a difference and it’s about time boys understand what that nuanced but important distinction is!

Would the respectable men in your life ever speak about a woman in this way, even behind closed doors in the ‘men’s locker room’? I know all the men in my life and my friends’ husbands wouldn’t, and they are all very stereotypically ‘manly’ men. So don’t lump these sexist, misogynist boys into the same ‘boys club’ because you are doing the real men a disservice.

Read more >

Because we all know, don’t we, that women lie about rape.

Absolutely horrific and so so hard to read, but also so important to shed light on one of the many reasons why women ‘just don’t go to the cops straight after and get a rape kit’.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/the-story-of-louise-well-never-know-the-scale-of-the-rape-epidemic-in-sydney-20160221-gmzh62.html

One particular comment on the article articulates exactly where my frustrations lie:

Even in cases where a woman is gang-raped and beaten half to death, she still needs to defend her credibility. As though this is all just a bit of fun that got out of hand. And it’s no different in the courts. Cases abound where a perpetrator is convicted of assault and even grievous bodily harm, but acquitted of rape. In one quite famous Tasmanian case, the jury accepted that the perpetrator had fired a gun next to the victim’s head – there was incontrovertible evidence, after all, with a spent cartridge and a bullet hole – but STILL managed to conclude that the sex was consensual. Because apparently evidence that the perpetrator held the victim at gunpoint isn’t evidence that she didn’t consent.

Our system is grievously, grievously broken because it still appeals to the common knowledge of the totally uninformed. Because we all know, don’t we, that women lie about rape. – Lou

It is an absolute joke that Sydneysiders are punished with ridiculous lockout laws for a few dickheads who coward punch other men, but sexual assault and rape that us ‘feminazis’ have been screaming out about is something we ‘have to expect’ because we ‘acted/dressed/walked a certain way’. And God forbid anyone speaks up about it because they will then certainly be labelled a liar because ‘where’s the proof’?

Even after all this, it is still incredibly hard to get a rape conviction. Why?

Crimes against women never seem to get the same attention as crimes against men.

Look at the outrage and action from a few victims of cowards punches.

Yet women are being raped and killed in their own homes every week.

Victim blaming is still rife. – Steve

Instead of taking away the rights of the public, why aren’t we focussing on punishing the perpetrators of rape and assault? We created a specific sentencing for coward punches, but the justice system for rape, assault and domestic violence is still stuck in the dark ages where the victim (male, female or child) has to go through horrendous embarrassment (have you actually read about the rape kits? Would you want your rapist’s semen sitting in your body so tests can be run to prove you went through such an ordeal?) and relive the moment over and over in statements and in court with the likely outcome of their offenders not being prosecuted because of lack of evidence that it either happened or was consensual.

Our system is completely screwed when Luke Lazarus can anally rape a virgin but his sentence is overturned because of a technicality with the judge’s statement and so there could have been ‘reasonable belief’ that she consented to the sex. Even if she did consent initially, which is plausible, even if she then goes outside and goes ‘actually, I don’t think I’m up for anal as this is my first time’ (extremely plausible) there is no longer consent! Why are there not more processes put in place so these cases don’t become a he said/she said battle where the he always wins?

Why is the whole idea of women’s rights – to be equal to men, to be respected as much as men and to be supported by the government and society as much as men – so fricken hard for people to understand?

 

img_0037

Why I won’t jump for joy over Michelle Payne’s Melbourne Cup win.

It’s something I grapple with every time a female ‘wins’ in a male dominated sport or career. The thought that, while obviously this woman kicks arse, she’s beating the men but at their own game – by having to play how the men play. 

But is this the ultimate goal of feminism? To still measure performance by male metrics? Don’t we want women to win by playing the game how women want to play it?

This article is the best articulation I’ve read recently on that idea, that we shouldn’t just be striving for equality, but liberation.

Equality is a fundamentally conservative aim. Rather, it is liberation from a system that idolises money and power and demands women “act like men” to get ahead, that we should set our sights on.

Michelle Payne’s victory at yesterday’s Melbourne Cup… may indeed prove she is equal to the pinnacle of her male competitors, but it does very little to further the concept of liberation.

Now, the journalists main point is that the cruelty of the Melbourne Cup conflicts with her views of feminism because it “is inextricably tied to my passion for animal rights”. That whipping the horses and dominating them to perform to the jockey’s needs over their own is a violent activity linked with stereotypical views on male masculinity and dominance.  

So if a woman wins the Melbourne Cup, if she pushes her horse the hardest in training, whips it the hardest on the track, is that actually us winning the feminist battle? Surely reassessing the current practices of the sport with (again stereotypically) what’s seen as more feminine qualities like empathy and compassion, would see new practices being implemented that reduce the harm and violence towards the horses. 
I guess what it really does come down to is:

 In a world that consistently fails to recognise let alone reward us, should we celebrate every victory by a woman as a win for women?

Yes, there is something deliciously thrilling about a woman taking advantage of the spotlight to tell men off and proclaim that, “Women can do anything and we can beat the world.” 

But there is the contradiction. Perpetuating and celebrating violent spectacles like the Melbourne Cup isn’t beating the world; it’s joining it. And that is the difference between equality and liberation.

True liberation will be when typically feminine qualities are seen as strengths along with masculine ones; when a male can express empathy, openness, vulnerability and not be judged as weak; when domestic violence of any kind, both physical and mental is not tolerated to or by any gender; and when women succeed because they were themselves and didn’t have to ‘lean in’ and act like a man to succeed at what is still a man’s game. 

Read the article >

So I want to be liked, that doesn’t mean I’m bad at my job.

So so great, this is the problem with ‘The 9 Top Ways Women Give Away Their Power.’ and all those other articles about how women need to ‘lean in’, stop apologising, stop using passive words like ‘just’ (a word I use in probably almost every email, just to soften it):

See, the problem with these sorts of guidelines is the insistence that if women would just assimilate and act more like men, the entire mechanism of misogynistic bias against them would collapse.

Germaine Greer decried this type of feminism; the idea that freedom is found in mimicking men.

I’ve always found it interesting that the qualities that are supposed to make a good manager, qualities like empathy, are the ones that women naturally possess, but are told to tone down in the workplace.

Promotion of authentic power, the kind that doesn’t “leak” out of a woman means valuing not just quotas of women at top levels, but their own way of doing business, as well. In practical terms, this means not demonising a woman for wanting to be liked.

It means accepting that, when it comes to emails, the word “just” or the use of question marks or even an exclamation mark (or four) does not automatically denote powerlessness.

Argh I wish this post would go viral so that this kind of thinking would be encouraged at work.

Let’s stop telling women to modify their behaviour to “get ahead”. Because the quagmire is not with women’s behaviour at work, but the denial and repression of it. Excuse me, I was modifying my language. I meant to say that the way women do business, with humility, empathy and feelings, is already powerful, it’s just that most people are scared s–tless of it.

Read the full article >

Seven anti-feminist headlines you won’t believe were published.

This is brilliant! In this article Clem Bastow takes the stock-standard, idiotic anti-feminist responses to female writers and turns them into clickbait headlines!

She won me over with our mutual dislikes (I can already tell we’re going to be BFFs):

There are two things on the internet that make me descend into an apoplectic fury without fail: witless responses to feminist commentary, and clickbait headlines.

And then shines light on a truth that all female writers know to be true:

If you call yourself a feminist… a guy with a Lars Von Trier-related username will let you know exactly a) what he thinks and b) why you’re wrong.

And then drops in this absolute gem of a reference:

It’s such a widespread and depressingly common occurrence that in 2013, an ‘internet law’, Anita’s Irony, was stated: “Online discussion of sexism or misogyny quickly results in disproportionate displays of sexism and misogyny.”

And this then follows on to her reworking common responses to her feminist musings into clickbait. And my-oh-my would I click (fricken click-bait gets me every time). My favourites below, recognise any familiar sentiments you may have read or unfortunately experienced yourself?:

14 Great Egg Recipes That Celebrate The Anonymous Twitter Accounts That Called Me A Stupid Whore.

This Man’s Story About The Second Cousin Of A Friend Of His From College Will Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Intimate Partner Violence.

Violence Against Women Statistics Are No Match For This Link To A Niche Men’s Interest Blog That Features Animated GIFs Of Fire.

25 Ways In Which These Women Were Definitely Asking For It.

Here’s What Happens When A Dude With No Hobbies Is Given A Laptop And Wifi.

Why Is A Woman Who Claims To Be Single So Determined To Ignore This Unsolicited D–k Pic?

She Deleted His Defamatory Comment On Her Facebook Page, So He Surprised Her With A Fifteen-Message Screed. What Happened Next Will Amaze You.

The only thing I disagree with, and not that it’s explicitly written but implied due to the constant references to men, is that it is only men who write these witless and often aggressive responses. I’ve read some pretty disgusting comments directed to females by females, not to mention the number of female public figures that just say some honestly damn stupid crap that then reaches out to the masses.

Can’t we all just get along?

Read the full article >

Diversity Barbie raising her voice.

So Mattel has just announced that it will model a doll after Zendaya Coleman (the awesome chick who had this cutting response to Giuliana Rancic’s dig at her dreadlocks looking like they smelt like weed):

zendaya quote

This is a huge leap for a brand that has been squarely seated in the white privileged blond space for many decades. Hopefully this is the beginning of diversity in the Barbie range and not just a short term fix for a lack of relevance with today’s multicultural and aware society.

I’m excited to be a part of the new direction the Barbie brand is headed, specifically how they are celebrating diversity in the line and encouraging kids to raise their voices.

When I was little, I couldn’t find a Barbie that looked like me. My… how times have changed. Thank you @barbie for this honor and for allowing me to be apart of your diversification and expansion of the definition of beauty. Can’t wait to keep doing amazing things with you.

zendaya barbie doll

Read more >

Rewarding progress.

Diversity was the theme of the day at the 2015 Emmy’s. A few small steps add up to make positive change on female, racial and transgender rights.

  1. Viola Davis: “The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
  2. #AskHerMore meant less ‘who are you wearing’ and more ‘who do you admire’ questions on the red carpet
  3. Andy Samberg called out Donald Trump on his racism
  4. ‘The Amys’ called out the ‘Worst Dressed’ coverage for what it really is
  5. Jon Hamm told it like it was: “People look back on those days through a thick veil of nostalgia, but life was hard if you were anything other than a rich, powerful, white male.”
  6. Uzo Aduba wins for OITNB, again!
  7. Jill Soloway: “People need to make an attempt to find identify and nurture people of colour, women, trans people, queer people, and include them in the creative process.”
  8. Jeffrey Tambor: “I’d like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for our inspiration. Thank you for letting us be part of the change.”

And here’s to more change.

Read the full article.

The medium is part of the point.

Not much needs to be said except that I absolutely love this quote:

Graffiti it’s a unique form of art — the medium is part of the point, and the point should be heard.

Read into them what you will.

equity

cairo

washington

western pop culture

Brazil

View more >

Discussion leads to change.

When Emma Watson is tweeting your response to a Tumblr question about how ‘white feminism’ might exclude women of colour and non cis/queer women with the comment “This is called ‘hitting the nail on the head’.” you know you’ve made a pretty solid point.

Actress Rowan Blanchard is a 13-year-old actress from Disney’s Girl Meets World and makes some very excellent points on what equality actually means:

…With as many issues as feminists have succeeded in adopting, many of us seem to have not accepted the fact that police brutality and race issues are our issues too.

“White feminism” forgets all about intersectional feminism. The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality. Likewise with trans-women and Hispanic women.

The fact that when Amandla Stenberg wrote this beautiful and truthful piece she was automatically labeled the “angry black girl” says enough. We are so quick to applaud white women for commenting on race issues/discussions like #BlackLivesMatter, and #SayHerName, but when a black girl comments on it- she is told she is overreacting or being angry.

To only acknowledge feminism from a one sided view when the literal DEFINITION is the equality of the sexes is not feminism at all. We need to be talking about this more. Discussion leads to change. 

Read the full post on Rowan’s blog >

Our differences are what make us unique individuals.

An insight into the daily life of someone with a disability is somewhat hard to find. While there are numerous chatterings online about feminism, gay and lesbian rights and racism, disability in all its forms is still somewhat kept behind closed doors. That’s why it’s so refreshing when people like Carly have the strength to be vulnerable and write about their challenges (both big and small) in everyday life.

Carly was born with a rare, severe, genetic skin condition called Ichthyosis which makes her skin red, scaly, itchy and painful. On her blog she explains how working in retail helped her take control of how others react to her appearance.

It was so hard being different. I wasn’t disabled enough to get the assistance I needed at school (which was a private space to apply my creams and to be able to sit indoors and read or do craft while the other students swam or played sport). But I was just disabled enough for my peers to call me names, leave me out of activities and avoid sitting on the seat I’d just sat on.

But it was when I turned 17 that things changed… It was the year I got a job, working at a department store for six hours a week after school. It was the year I learnt there was a wider world out there – and people were nicer than I’d experienced at school. Most importantly, I learnt how to handle questions and comments about my appearance in an assertive yet professional way.

And so today, I don’t think I need to turn every question, comment, stare or taunt into an opportunity for education. I don’t like how strangers feel they can intrude on my life by needing to know “what happened?” or why my face is red. Sometimes they ask me about my appearance before they even say hello. I get asked if I’m sunburnt, told I should use aloe vera and I notice people staring metres away.

I only wish they taught this kind of strength and self awareness at school:

My difference is a gift. It’s afforded me so many opportunities – and I’ve met some amazing people. And now when I look in the mirror, I am so happy with the way I look. I almost never want to blend in.

Read the full piece on Carly’s blog >

Like a girl.

So it was almost a year ago that this amazing advertising campaign hit our social media walls but as it has just recently won at Cannes I thought it was worth sharing again and seeing how the campaign has developed.

Definitely one to take over the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ campaign in the history books, ‘Always’ (P&G owned feminine hygiene brand in the US) uncovered in research that puberty is when a girls’ confidence begins to erode. They came up with the start of the #likeagirl campaign that breaks through unconscious gender bias and shows how an everyday term society just accepts, is a sexist and derogatory concept that’s placing limitations on young girls.

This one is the next social experiment in their campaign. While not quite as strong in terms of highlighting young girls’ perception of the world compared to older women, I’m still really excited as to where this is going and how it is influencing other brands to empower females.

Your voice, your body.

I love visual representations of equality. Photographer Liora K started the project, ‘Feminism’,  in 2012 to after she moved to a Republican state and wanted to speak out against legislation that was against women’s rights.

I wanted to create a body of share-able and instantly understandable work that people could connect with and use to continue to spread the word: ‘women’s rights are being sabotaged, but we are fighting back.’

I am a human first

birth control

promiscuity

Read more > 

Racism? That’s a dirty word, no it’s certainly not that.

Being in a position of power where you are able to broadcast your views and opinions to national Australia is something that should require great delicacy, respect and critical review and consideration of all perspectives.

Unfortunately with this current treatment of Adam Goodes, those in power are not highlighting and educating wider Australia on our deeply-rooted racism, and are instead trying to sweep it under the rug.

Charlie Pickering’s review below sums it up quite nicely, thank you Pickering for using your voice for awareness and education.

This saga is entirely racially motivated. To pretend otherwise is to deny that racism against Aboriginal Australians exists; it’s to deny the wounds of our racist history and how the scars continue to fester into the present.

Read more >

Who run the world?

This article shows 20 images taken by a Berlin photographer of India’s ‘Kingdom of Girls’ – part of the Khasi culture of India’s Meghalaya state.

Families in Khasi culture are matrilineal: Children take their mother’s last name, the youngest daughter in the family gets the inheritance and men move into their mother-in-law’s home after marriage.

I decided to make a portrait series of the girls because I was so impressed by their self-assured appearance and thought that this must be how matriliny becomes visible. I also wanted to show the girls’ everyday physical environment — where they live, how they play.

Girl 2

girl 3

girl 4

girl 5

girl 6

Read more >

I am Cait, hear me roar.

I haven’t seen the first episode of ‘I Am Cait’ – yet. But from everything that this review reports on it I can’t wait, not just to watch it myself, but to see how this will normalise and educate the public on transgender people both in the US and globally.

Firstly, though tough but legitimate question is asked:

Will a network known for Keeping Up with the Kardashians and other, lighter fare handle this story properly?

And the answer is…

At least for the series’ first episode, I Am Cait is a smash success, both in spite of its reality show format and because of it.

It is simultaneously educational and informative, gentle and transgressive. It takes time to teach its audience about trans issues, through the conduit of Jenner talking to her family.

The show is so soft, you can forget how revolutionary seeing a trans woman’s story being told on TV really is.

Read more >

The rules of feminism and the fear of getting it wrong.

British journalist Polly Vernon’s new book Hot Feminist certainly raises the eyebrows with its title alone, but is not so much about being exclusive as inclusive, to those women who may think that just because they like pink, high heels and dresses means they can’t be taken seriously as a feminist.

It was getting to a point where it seemed like there had to be a feminist angle on absolutely everything and in quite a negative way. I think that was making people disconnect from feminism almost, because they felt it was prescriptive and narrow, that there were all these rules in place. I was talking to women in their late twenties who were feeling angry and tired and bored with it. It didn’t feel like this exciting, joyous, fun thing, which it really should be.

She explores in her book the though that traditional concepts of femininity and feminism are mutually exclusive.

I think it’s an inherently sexist idea. It amazes me that a man is allowed to be a very passionate football fan, that makes him more masculine and interesting and sexy. It doesn’t in any way detract from his intelligence, his work, his morals. Whereas if a woman cares about fashion or pop music, she’s assumed to be lesser, a bit daft, a bit shallow. It basically says the things girls and women like are stupid. That’s hugely sexist. Incredibly girly women can also be incredibly feminist.

I do think we have become increasingly hung up on the minor details, like whether your shoes are too high or your hair is too long. If you shave your legs, if you wax your bikini line, that in no way stops you being angry about the bigger issues of equality.

Feminism is about women earning the right to be as idiotic as men are, quite honestly. I do really silly, messy, immoral, ridiculous things all the time, but none of that means I don’t care about women having equal rights.

Read more >

Fuck all other types of forests.

Matt McGorry – aka, Officer Bennett from Orange Is The New Black – has posted a great response to the attack of the ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ hashtag with ‘#AllLivesMatter’.

#BlackLivesMatter – was launched to bring attention to the number of black men, women and children who’ve died as a result of police brutality, and to condemn the systemic racism in America’s law enforcement.

In recent months, the ‘#AllLivesMatter’ response has bandwagoned on the original hashtag’s momentum, under the guise of some truth-telling inclusivity.

Matt McGorry

Some people think they are being more inclusive by saying #AllLivesMatter in response to #BlackLivesMatter but in reality, they’re (un)consciously undermining the purpose of the movement. Because this PARTICULAR movement is about SPECIFIC issues, as any decently effective movement is.

Read the full Twitter and FB post >

The audacity of normality.

An Italian sports magazine has a groundbreaking cover, showing two gay rugby players in a passionate kiss.

 
The players are a couple who both play for Libera, ‘Italy’s first gay-friendly rugby club’. 

The magazine says the cover is an effort to challenge homophobia in sports, which it describes as the ‘last taboo’

LGBTI Italians have few protections from discrimination – and Italy is the only country left in western Europe that provides same-sex relationships zero legal recognition. But that could be about to change, with the Italian parliament recently passing a motion that could see civil unions introduced in coming months.

Read more >

Victoria welcomes LGBT champion of rights.

A round of applause for the Victorian state government who have appointed a gender and sexuality commissioner to fight LGBTI discrimination.

Rowena Allen will “champion the rights” of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Victorians.

Only 5 per cent of transgender people kept their jobs after changing gender, Ms Allen said. “I’m looking forward to increasing that number,” she said, adding that she planned to work with company boards to create workplace policies and cultures to help transgender people retain their jobs.

In May the state government announced it would commit $3.2 million to establish Australia’s first equality portfolio within cabinet.

Equality Minister Martin Foley said Ms Allen’s appointment to the role was a “first for Australia”.

Well done Victoria for leading the way.

Reported on Daily Life >

Make-up artists, please carry Bobbi Brown skin foundation ‘Espresso’.

You may have seen the beautiful Nykhor Paul, a fashion modelfrom South Sudan, fill up your news feed recently. She has called out makeup artists for being ill-prepared to work with dark-skinned models and with many brand now catering for women of colour, there’s little excuse for professional makeup artists to not carry make-up for darker complexions.

Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don’t have to do anything but show up wtf! Don’t try to make me feel bad because I am blue black its 2015 go to Mac, Bobbi Brown, Makeup forever, Iman cosmetic, black opal, even Lancôme and Clinique carried them plus so much more. there’s so much options our there for dark skin tones today. A good makeup artist would come prepare and do there research before coming to work because often time you know what to expect especially at a show! Stop apologizing it’s insulting and disrespectful to me and my race it doesn’t help, seriously! Make an effort at least!

I’m tired of complaining about not getting book as a black model and I’m definitely super tired of apologizing for my blackness!!!! Fashion is art, art is never racist it should be inclusive of all not only white people, shit we started fashion in Africa and you modernize and copy it! Why can’t we be part of fashion fully and equally?

Read the full article >

Bitch better have my money.

Rhianna’s new film clip for Bitch Better Have My Money (better know as BBHMM) is graphic and disturbingly confrontational with its sexualised violence. But is it purely the content of the film clip that has people so riled up, or is it that a female could create such controversial content stylising violence against women?

The feminism of Rihanna, the feminism of black women in general, is consistently scrutinized and policed in a way it isn’t with white women. It’s important to be aware of that in any discussion about the video’s feminist merits or failings.

It’s the kind of video that, quite simply, would be lauded and never questioned if a white man (a man like Tarantino) made it. Does the discomfort some are feeling, the discomfort even I initially felt (and still do, faintly, with every rewatch), really have only to do with an aversion to violence? Or does it stem from this idea that a black woman could not only take ownership of this kind of stylized cinematic violence and rage, but also execute it in a way that rivals and challenges the mostly white men who are usually praised for it?

Read the article >

To all my Queens in the house.

So I saw Magic Mike XXL on the weekend and have been scouring the web (and by that I mean I clicked on the second page of google results) for a well constructed review of the feminist and racial undertones of the newest Magic Mike.

I struggled to find anything that articulates my thoughts on the movie in this context – that both celebrates it for its racial, age and ‘all body types’ inclusiveness with a focus on the deeper level of sexuality that many (not all) women need to be turned on,  but also acknowledges that it does feel a little superficial in its exploration; let’s go to a strip club that’s full of all African American women, and give lap dances to several overweight women (by hollywood standards), but ensure the main female love interest is a skinny white female (but having said that is bisexual in the film soooo again is inclusive, ugh I’m confused).

Some quotes from one review that stood out to me here:

I think it’s appalling that for a long time only women were objectified, but I think if we really want to advocate for equality, it’s important to even things out. Not objectify women less, but objectify men just as often as we objectify women. – Chris Pratt

No one does sex for women well — not in film and not on TV. Women are accustomed to seeing distorted images of themselves reflected back by way of the male gaze, but media that operates from the nexus of a woman’s desire is still so rare – Jill Soloway

You begin to see that “the female gaze” may not just consist of the camera panning down the male body, or putting women in traditionally male roles, but also about embracing aesthetic preferences that disrupt linear, conflict- and violence-ridden storytelling structures with lingering romantic awkwardness, offbeat humor, earnest themes, and occasionally fanciful song and dance routines that defy reality.

But hey, how much less realistic is solving a plot problem via choreography than solving one through blowing things up, after all, and walking away casually? The point is, the doorway is widening. And the more diverse ways we have of telling mainstream stories, the more likely audiences  will find something that speaks to them, irregardless of gender expression or identity.

I also aligned with some elements of this article in terms of encouraging men to watch these kind of videos to address the whole ‘teach men not to rape’ argument.

Too many men, I fear, do not know what the face of a joyfully turned-on woman looks like. Moreover, too many men do not care. “Smile,” they leer at her, as she walks by on the street. Not because she looks sad, but because she is not pretending to be happy. Because she is not outwardly focused on presenting an appealing facade.

Perhaps these men have been told, too many times over by too many movies, books, stories, rock songs, that their own desire is paramount, and that women are the ones who must strive to stroke, as it were, their egos. Perhaps they’ve been told that “sexy” is something women do at men and for men, but never for themselves.

I am tired, so tired, of the onus being put on rape and sexual assault victims and survivors to prevent their own abuse and harassment. I believe, as deeply as I believe anything, that the solution to rape culture is to teach men to treat women like people, and not only to value their enthusiastic consent but to derive their own incredible pleasure from it.

But I have (too) often wondered: How? How, when so many stories we tell about romance and sex fail to show this version of empathetic, differently empowered masculinity to the men who need to see it most. Magic Mike XXL is the narrative I’ve—we’ve—been looking for.

And in case you think I live under some sort of feminist rock, I of course read Roxanne Gay’s review and while a fabulous read (alert, spoilers!) I do still feel if we’re critically analysing the film, it was a little 101 (hello, Mike just happens to drop into conversation he believes God is a woman? Is this really necessary for the plot line or more likely a conveniently dropped in feminist stance to win over all the women in the audience [and it worked]?).

And just because it appeals to Roxanne (and myself, and millions of other women’s) ideas of sexuality, doesn’t mean it’s all encompassing for every woman’s desire or pleasure (and the movie doesn’t need to be condemned for this but it’s important this is acknowledged). Still, I for the most part agree with Roxanne, namely:

Jada Pinkett is flawless in this movie. She is utterly flawless and sexy and charismatic and I hope she gets the bigger roles she deserves.

And most certainly:

Rome warns the audience at the convention that women not on birth control should proceed to the nearest exit because some grown woman shit is about to go down. She ain’t never lied. Grown woman shit is exactly what goes down. I feel like I got a little bit pregnant (quadruplets, probably) from what happened next.

In summary, go watch. You’ll likely enjoy it (just don’t focus on the storyline too much, the gyrating and stimulated sex by Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello to music like Nine Inch Nails ‘Animal’ makes up for it, I promise 😉

Calling male feminists.

In the words of Louise Brealey: ‘I’d like every man who doesn’t call himself a feminist to explain to the women in his life why he doesn’t believe in equality for women.’

Friend zoning is like a terrible thing. The idea of it is like a terrible male thing. Have you ever heard a girl say they’re in the friend zone? I definitely think the idea of the friend zone is just men going ‘this woman won’t have sex with me’. – Daniel Radcliffe

If you look up feminism in the dictionary it just means someone who believes that men and women have equal rights. I think the reason that so many people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture now people think that feminist means like, some woman is gonna start yelling at me – Aziz Ansari

I feel like, whether it’s a woman or a man, that you don’t have to be defined by your gender. You can be whatever you want to be.You don’t have to fit into the boxes that someone might tell you you have to fit into. That’s what it [feminism] means to me. – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

And number 24. Dustin Hoffman. Read it now >

A reminder inequality is still everywhere.

With the celebrations of the last few days, it’s easy to forget that there is still a giant, treacherous mountain in front of us when it comes to equality for all.

While Friday’s ruling for same sex marriage is a giant win in a long and tiring fight for equal rights, there are still big fights to fight:

Whether I am legally married or not, the rainbow flag of LGBTQ equality will never shield my black body from a reckless police officer’s bullet. I cannot summon enough pride to prevent my black, gay body from being the target of white racial supremacy. I cannot selectively choose which fight I can show up for, because mere survival requires me to fight for racial, sexual, gender, economic and social justice at once.

I slightly disagree with the below – I think even with the passiveness of the ‘slacktavist’, clicking a button to change their profile showing their support and celebrating what is a major win for equality spreads awareness and acceptance – however, I think it’s important to point out that this can’t be seen as the end point of our fight, merely another tick on a long list of changes that must happen in our society.

LGBTQ celebration should not overshadow the tragedy of black death and inequity. Not while white LGBTQ people refuse to confront the anti-black racism within their liberal communities. Not while marriage equality work can amass more money than programming for trans women of color and LGBTQ youth. Not while undocumented LGBTQ people continue to be detained and abused by the state. Not while I must daily argue for the mattering of black lives.

Read more >

Spread the rainbow of love.

What a great, great, last few days this has been. Rather than include another announcement of the Supreme Court ruling on Friday making gay marriage a constitutional right – the rainbow waterfall that was my newsfeed over the weekend thanks in most part to facebook.com/celebratepride shows me majority of my social circle are pro-equality – instead I thought I’d share this beautiful article of  landmarks around America rainbowing it up!

Enjoy!

http://mic.com/articles/121446/10-photos-of-historic-landmarks-proudly-going-rainbow-for-yesterday-s-scotus-ruling

Apologies for my pregnancy #sorrynotsorry

Once again, our favourite Zoe Saldana is fighting the good fight in hollywood, this time, highlighting the inequality and discrimination against working mothers.

Let me tell you something, it will never be the right time for anybody in your life that you get pregnant. The productions I was slated to work on sort of had a panic. I heard through the grapevine there was even a conversation of me being written off of one of the projects. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, are you kidding me? It’s this bad?’ Right when I just feel super-duper happy, is that inconvenient for you? That me, as a woman in my thirties, I finally am in love and I am finally starting my life? And it’s (screwing) your schedule up? Really?

And then when trying to negotiate a nanny or childcare into her contract, she was met with more discrimination.

[Studio] spend more money sometimes ‘perking’ up male superstars in a movie, a really phat penthouse or them staying in a yacht instead of them staying on land.

But then a woman comes in going, ‘OK, I have a child. You’re taking me away from my home. You’re taking my children away from their home. And you’re going to make me work a lot more hours than I usually would if I was home. Therefore, I would have to pay for this nanny for more hours — so I kind of need that. And they go, ‘Nope, we don’t pay for nannies.’

While Saldana has the means in which to pay for her childcare, it is the principle that she wants highlighted. If a celebrity of her status can’t negotiate childcare into her contract, how on earth are any of the rest of us meant too?

This has been my issue for a long time. Until they find a way for men to incubate a child in their bodies for nine months, women are always going to get pregnant so let’s stop using that as justification of the gender pay gap and start providing more childcare options in and around the workplace.

Read more >

Teaching the next generation.

Kids are impressionable, we all know this. And while it can sometimes be cute when a little one repeats a swear word they heard a family member utter accidentally in frustration, what is not cute is a child repeating racist thinking they’ve been taught by intolerant parents.

This is what happened to sweet Samara Muir, a three-year-old Aboriginal girl who has been all over social media for an incident in Melbourne last month where she was dressed up at a Disney event and was racially abused.

The lady in front of us turned around to Samara and said ‘I don’t know why you’re dressed up for because Queen Elsa isn’t black’

I asked the woman what she meant by the comment and then one of the woman’s young daughters screwed up her face, she pointed at Samara and said ‘you’re black and black is ugly’.

Apparently Samara then tried to scrub her skin white and refused to go to her Aboriginal dance classes.

But in tolerant and multicultural way of most of Australia, her story has raised huge support and she is now proud of who she is and is encouraging other little girls and boys to be proud of who they are too.

Read more >

Swiftly apply water to burn.

Taylor Swift has called out UK’s ‘OK! Magazine’ after they tweeted the below misleading headline which clicked through to an article that was actually Taylor Swift posing with fans who were announcing their pregnancy.

Ok Magazine

As if that click-bait headline wasn’t enough, the article then referred to Swift twice as a man’s property – first as ‘Harry Styles’ ex-girlfriend’ and second as ‘Calvin Harris’ rumoured girlfriend’. She wasn’t referred to as a musician in her own right until after they discussed her love life.

Well, Taylor was quick to issue a burn of her own in true Taylor style:

Taylor Swift call out

@OK_Magazine this misleading headline and your choice of words in labelling me are why we need feminism in 2015.

BURN

Read the article >

When age matters.

I’m not a morning tv person, have never really watched the Today show and anything I hear about it in the media is always something to do with Karl. That’s why I found this article so interesting on Lisa Wilkinson. She calls out ageism and sexism and isn’t afraid to challenge senior leaders in politics, media or any other field.

At 55,  she’s one of the more mature women on commercial tv (disappointingly), but it is her maturity and life experiences that ‘Today’ show Executive Producer partly contributes to her success, because she’s relatable.

We’ve got a crisis in this country when it comes to domestic violence; our figures, shamefully, are that one woman dies every week at the hands of a partner. We need a minister for women who is not also our prime minister. And we have a gender pay gap that’s the largest it’s been in 20 years. We need to focus on these issues.

[I made] a decision that never again in my life would I allow someone else to determine who I was and what I was capable of.

Read the article >

Not a girl, not quite a man.

ruby rose

ruby 2Swoon, swoon, swoon. I have a massive girl crush on Ruby Rose (as do now most heterosexual women thanks to OITNB) and have admired her courage to talk openly about being gender fluid (not identifying with either gender) and her commitment to using her exposure to educate people on gender fluidity, with awareness and education helping to breed acceptance.

I’m not a guy; I don’t really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I’m somewhere in the middle, which – in my perfect imagination – is like having the best of both sexes.

I have a lot of characteristics that would normally be present in a guy and then less that would be present in a woman. But then sometimes I’ll put on a skirt.

Only adding to her achievement list of positive influence on the transgender movement, Rose and her fiancee Phoebe Dahl are launching a gender fluid, gender neutral clothing range called Scallywags.

Read more >

Fucking outrageous.

Don’t you just love Helen Mirren? She has commented on Hollywood’s sexist, ageist casting with an accurate and succinct “It’s fucking outrageous.”

Mirren spoke at women’s breakfast in New York and when asked to comment on Maggie Gyllenhaal being told by a casting agent that at 37 she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man, Mirren responded quite simply:

It’s fucking outrageous. It’s ridiculous. Honestly.

We all sat there watching, you know… as James Bond got more and more geriatric and his girlfriends got younger and younger.

And she has something to say on being labelled as ‘sexual’ at 69 years young:

I don’t like the word sexual. There are people who are sexual, and who are less sexual. But there’s got to be another word. Sexual is so limiting.

Being powerful is so much more interesting than being beautiful.

*applause*

Read more >

My stealthy freedom.

You have to love a social awareness campaign that promotes equality through powerful imagery. Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad has created the “My Stealthy Freedom” campaign in which women in Iran take photos of them removing the the hijab in a protest for gender equality. 

Men in Iran are educated and cultured. They are reacting positively because they support women having the freedom to choose. It is only the government who claims a woman who does not cover her head is bad.

My Stealthy Freedom receives support from women who want and don’t want to cover their head alike; it is about the right to choose, not about insulting Islam.

 Islamic veils 101: 
View the beautiful images here >

Feminism in the age of Miley Cyrus.

An older article but still appropriately relevant and I thought worth highlighting a few choice quotes.

There is space for all women, for all identities, within the feminist movement. Fellow musician Amanda Palmer put it brilliantly when she said, in her own open letter,

“…there needs to be room on the vast playing field for Adele to wear a conservative suit, room for Lady Gaga to do naked performance art in the woods, room for PJ Harvey to wear high-collared 18th-century jackets on stage, room for Natasha Kahn to pose boldly naked on the cover of her last record, and room for Miley to rip a page out of stripper culture and run around like a maniac for however long she wants to.”

We are too complex to be placed into boxes. We understand that there is no right way to “do feminism.” We are allowed to pick on each other. We are allowed to question the ways that other women express themselves. But we are not allowed to disrespect them.

Miley’s feminism may not be yours, but it is one of ours. Feminism has changed. It is intersectional. We are people. We are women. Some of us want to beat the system, some of us want to change it, some of us want nothing to do with it, but the point of the women’s movement was to ensure that we have that choice.

Read the full article at Bustle >

Bikinis and power suits.

Jessica Alba ForbesTalk about girl power! Jessica Alba not only kicked butt on tv show ‘Dark Angel’ and movie ‘The Incredibles’, but she’s also kicking butt in the business world and has made it onto the cover of Forbes magazine.

Speaking at Forbes’ third annual Women’s Summit in New York – where female entrepreneurs and leaders work to change the power imbalance in the business world – Alba spoke of the challenges she face when launching The Honest Company, which sells a range of non-toxic household products and turned over $150 million in revenues last year.

People just saw me as this girl in a bikini in movies kicking butt — maybe not the brightest bulb… It took three and a half years of condescending nods and pats on the back of ‘good luck’, or ‘go back to endorsing things or go do a perfume.’

Well the jokes on them, after only 3 years The Honest Company is currently valued at US$1 billion.

Read more >

That’s Mr Saldana thank-you-very-much.

zoe saldana

Zoe Saldana has questioned the buzz surrounding her husband’s take up of her last name. Here is why, Mrs Saldana, your husband taking your last name is so damn newsworthy. Because:

63% of men would be upset if their wives kept their maiden names, and a whopping 96% of men wouldn’t take their wife’s last name

I would say being in the 4% makes your husband ‘newsworthy’ wouldn’t you? And for good reason. Because:

Many millennial women are changing their names not based on some ideological preference, but seemingly by default.

So many women I speak to respond to the question of taking their husband’s last name with ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ well here is a reason for you:

Changing a name is, in many ways, a change of identity. We associate our names with our heritage, family, childhood, career and even our personal brands. Switching over when we sign a marriage certificate is saying goodbye to one aspect of our life and adopting a new identity; in heterosexual marriages, that often means sharing one with a man.

I am glad Zoe Saldana, not that your husband taking your last name is something that’s newsworthy in the 21st Century, but I am glad given the huge number of men that refuse to even consider taking on their wife’s name that your husband’s choice and your empowering words may just start to affect change.

Men, you will not cease to exist by taking your partner’s surname. On the contrary – you’ll be remembered as a man who stood by change. I know our sons will respect and admire their father more because their father lead by example.

Gentlemen, I implore you to think outside the box- remove the box altogether. Let’s redefine masculinity. A real “man” leads alongside his partner. A real man accepts his mortality. A real man acknowledges that nothing can be done alone.”

Read more >

*2013 Women’s Health survey of Men’s Health’s male readers

We are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.

beyonceAnother awesome illustrated feminist blog post, this one by illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw – “We Are Entitled To Wear Cowboy Boots To Our Own Revolution“.

It was a great opportunity, then, to depict women of colour with their own words. It’s incorrect to separate feminism from racial equality as though they were unlinked. I can’t divorce a woman from her race any more than I can divorce her from her femininity; both are part of her identity and together they affect how she is treated in this world.

I can’t personally represent the voice of a woman of color, but in my artistic depictions of diverse women (and men!) I can make an effort to show empathy, respect, and dignity.

I hear you sister!

View more of Crenshaw’s illustrations >

Kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.

mark-ruffalo

Man-oh-man this is so brilliant. Mark Ruffalo has re-blogged a post on his blog which responds to to the frustrating “Women Against Feminism” Tumblr.

Check out his blog or read it below.

“My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.

Thank you Mr Ruffalo *swoon*

For the youngest people in the room.

Tavi Gevinson

For those of you #killingit in your careers at a (comparatively) young age, the next time some ageist sod makes a dismissive comment on your abilities – because you’re younger than everyone else in the room – remember how eloquently Tavi Gevinson (The Style Rookie) responded to ageist remarks regarding her talents:

That young people don’t have valid thoughts about the world because they haven’t been alive long enough is sadly a very popular and, frankly, unoriginal sentiment.

When I think about that time, I was just responding to the world around me. And I was perceptive enough that I felt like I could make connections to things in my life.

I don’t think it was abstract. And I am basically skeptical of any adults who have those kinds of things to say about young people because it seems to always very transparently stem from fear and insecurity.

Bazinga!

Read the quote that instigated this response  here >

I do not belong to anyone but myself.

ariana grande

In an open letter on Twitter and Instagram, Ariana Grande has written an epic response to the constant inquiry into her love life stating:

I’m tired of needing to be linked to a guy, I’m not Big Sean’s ex, I’m not Niall’s new possible girl. I’m Ariana Grande.

What I meant when I said what I said about not being Sean’s ex is that I am tired of living in a world where women are mostly referred to as a man’s past, present or future PROPERTY / POSSESSION. I… do not. belong. to anyone. but myself. and neither do you.

I have come to the realization that I have SO. MUCH. MORE. to talk about. I’m currently making the best music I’ve ever made in my life.

If a woman has a lot of sex (or any sex for that matter)… she’s a ‘slut.’ If a man has sex… HE’S. A. STUD. a BOSSSSS. a KING.

Echoing Taylor Swift’s thoughts on the sexist double standards:

I’m not allowed to date for excitement, or fun, or new experiences or learning lessons. I’m only allowed to date if it’s for a lasting, multiple-year relationship. Otherwise I’m a, quote, ‘serial dater’. Or, quote, ‘boy crazy’.

Here’s to women everywhere being their own, independent selves.

Read more here >

Ambivalently yours.

This is simply brilliant. Ambivalently yours is an annonymous blogger who creates artworks articulating the feelings many of us experience with reconcilling our feminism with our love of girly pink things. 

Here are some of my favourites.

 
  

  

  

  

   

  

  

  

  

The real reason why Caitlyn Jenner is so beautiful.

caitlyn-jenner

I am so impressed with society’s positive response to Caitlyn Jenner. What she has achieved for the trans community by opening her heart to the world is beyond amazing. Much more worthy of breaking the internet than a nude photoshoot…

But our favourite trans activist Laverne Cox does highlight in her blog that we as a society still have a long way to go. Not all trans people have the money and means to turn themselves into Jessica Lange and Lana Del Rey’s love child, or want to, and we need to love and support these trans people as well.

I love working a photo shoot and creating inspiring images for my fans, for the world and above all for myself. But I also hope that it is my talent, my intelligence, my heart and spirit that most captivate, inspire, move and encourage folks to think more critically about the world around them. Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful but what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul, the ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities.

I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people. No one or two or three trans people can. This is why we need diverse media representstions of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities. I started #TransIsBeautiful as a way to celebrate all those things that make trans folks uniquely trans, those things that don’t necessarily align with cisnormative beauty standards. For me it is necessary everyday to celebrate every aspect of myself especially those things about myself that don’t align with other people’s ideas about what is beautiful.

Approaching sexism responsibly.

Thoroughly recommend watching this short TEDEd speech by gamer Lilian Chen on how she has addressed and raised awareness of sexism in gaming.

The entire panels point was to raise awareness [of sexism in the gaming community] in a way that did not shame male gamers.

As a woman, I was sexist; even mysogynistic, against my own gender. Sometimes when you’ve been immersed in an environment long enough it can be hard to differentiate between harmful behaviours and normal ones.

While some gamers are intentionally malicious, some may not realise they are perpetuating sexist behaviours in the first place. Empathising wi these gamers is more productive than outright dismissing them.

Please, leave the accusatory tone behind… People are willing to change and they want to help.

My silence only further enabled sexism within gaming… By being vocal, you force yourself and those around you to reevaluate their actions and perceptions.

Watch it here:

Women in comedy.

women in comedy

I don’t have much to say on this other than watch, just watch. You won’t regret it.

If you’re short on time, I recommend watching Lena Dunham and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Watch them here >

Happy Birthday Laverne Cox

Our favourite transgender activist Ms Cox has celebrated her recent birthday by launching the #TransIsBeautiful campaign to help address transphobia and elevate trans identity as beautiful.

 

Trans people and their supporters are taking to Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr to show their support with the body-positive #TransIsBeautiful campaign. 

 

Laverne herself has posted a makeup-free selfie to support the cause. Check out the gorgeous shot here > 

Chess Grandmaster responds to sexist comments.

A female chess legend takes down sexist remarks from Chess master Nigel Short who believes we should simply accept that men’s brains may be wired better for chess than women’s.

Read the take down here >

A carefully curated wall of light and positivity.

Luna-Lovegood-Wallpaper-luna-lovegood-25518129-1024-768

Wow this is great! So eloquently put. Evanna Lynch (the actress who plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films) wrote what is essentially an essay schooling homophobic followers and banishing them from her social profiles.

Some choice snippets below.

I don’t want your poison all over my carefully curated wall of light and positivity.

It is possible to not like the idea of homosexuality, to find it a wholly alien, uncomfortable concept and to not impose this view on the people it affects and above all to not shame people for the way they are.

I encourage you to read more here >

Luna Lovegood

Two small steps for women and LGBT, two giant leaps for humanity (hopefully).

It’s been an exciting 24 hours in Australian politics with two movements for equality slowly starting to gain some traction for change:

  1. Joe Hockey (Federal Treasurer) has agreed to lobby the states and territories to make sanitary products exempt from GST thanks to an online petition with over 90,000 signatures (originally shared on this blog two and a half weeks ago at which time their were approximately 12,000 signatures). While this is a great first step in the right direction, historically similar past campaigns have not resulted in change. Let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed and keep sharing and encouraging sign ups to the petition here.
  2. Bill Shorten (Opposition Leader) has confirmed Labor will move a bill to legalise same-sex marriage next week after the Greens stated they would bring marriage equality up for debate in the Senate later this year.

Exciting times, it’s just about a decade late. Read more at ABC.net.au on the tampon tax and marriage equality.

Female celebrities speak out against hollywood sexism.

celebrity feminism

celebrity feminism

For a long time they thought the only things we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies. They don’t see us as a powerful force, which is an incredible ignorance.

View them all in DailyLife

No chance of Australia playing copycat to Ireland.

As Ireland celebrates the legalisation of same sex marriage, our Prime Minister continues to stick his head in the sand with his ancient ideals and has dismissed the idea of Australia following suit.

Ireland is the 19th country in the world to legalise gay marriage and the 14th in Europe.

Australia is now the only developed, English-speaking country that doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry.
– Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome

Read more here >

Celebrating same-sex love through traffic lights.

vienna lights

I love this! Vienna has installed same-sex couple pedestrian lights! Disappointingly they will only be up until June for a host of events including Eurovision, but these are so cute let’s hope we see them pop up somewhere again soon!

 Read the full article here >