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 >

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 >

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 > 

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 >

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

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 >

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 >

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*

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.

 
  

  

  

  

   

  

  

  

  

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.

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 >

Inspire with words.

Age is not important

Some inspirational quotes I thought worth sharing…

equalityRaise your voiceMan adviceAge is not important

Sourced from Debrief Daily

Stop taxing my period.

CR_tampon_330pxX184px_v6This is something I’ve been frustrated about since its inception. The fact that pads and tampons incur GST, meanwhile condoms and lube are considered a health necessity and are GST free. Mmm…k, nothing sexist going on here.

I was so excited when I found out that student activist Subeta Vimalarajah has started a petition to remove the discriminatory tax from female necessities and I encourage everyone who believes in removing this unfair and discriminatory tax to sign.

The Australian Government taxes every menstruating Australian 10% every time we get our period. It is estimated that our periods earn the government a whopping $25 million each year.

Sign the petition and tell Mr Hockey loud and clear that a period is not a luxury or societal burden, it is an aspect of reproductive health.

Sign the petition >

Laverne Cox poses naked for transgender empowerment.

Isn’t she gorgeous? Initially rejecting the proposal to pose naked on the cover of Allure magazine, Laverne Cox then changed her mind…

“I’m a black transgender woman,” she told Allure. “I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent.”

“Black women are not often told that we’re beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we’re beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks.”

Adding to her credentials, Laverne Cox has also been named one of TIME MAGAZINES‘s 100 Most Influential People.

‘The Good Wife’ weighs in on religious freedom when it comes to gay marriage.

I love the good wife, and last week’s episode was absolutely on point.

This episode centers around a case of a , the legalities around where religious freedom ends and anti-discrimination laws begin.

The most impressive thing about the episode, however, is that Diane never preaches from a bully pulpit or turns the courtroom into a soapbox. Instead, and with just the slightest glint of gay rights-crusading twinkling in her eye, she works through a logical, irrefutable legal defense that uncovers the hypocrisy of commercial enterprises that cite religious accommodation as justification for what is so clearly bigotry and unlawful discrimination.

Read the full review of the episode *spoiler alert* here >

Abortion legislation. Because men should decide what happens to women’s bodies.

A rare mamamia article that actually makes some solid points on the situation where a Democratic Ohio State representative felt she had to share her own experiences of rape and subsequent abortion in order to counter the arguments to those proposing a new bill on abortions.

Because when it comes to women’s rights, women shouldn’t have to put their grief on display in order to be heard.

…it makes women’s participation in these debates conditional on their willingness to reveal sensitive information about themselves first.

…women who do not have, or are not prepared to share personal experiences, are instantly demoted or excluded from discussion.

…the act of disclosure acts as a double-bind, because as soon as a woman is done revealing an intimate aspect of her life, she is immediately at risk of being accused of being biased because of her personal connection to the issue.

…when women are expected to offer their personal narratives, they are often only seen and engaged with on an emotive level (as either a victim or a survivor), while the authority roles of expert and judge remain preserved for men.

The paradox here, is that this only enables men to continue to dominate the conversation, while women are kept on the sidelines.

Read the full article >

The motherhood penalty.

While some women certainly opt for more ‘family-family’ roles and hours, this social norm impacts those women who want to be the breadwinner and are committed to their career. Such a balenced, well-written article.

Both women and men still expect women to take on the lion’s share of care-giving when children are small, and to take on family-friendly work through the school years. Having fewer women in senior management reinforces the stereotype. Even when couples intend to share parenting, reality bites. Recovering from birth and breastfeeding keeps many women at home longer. There’s even less incentive to rush back to work if the male partner earns more money.

Changes in the corporate landscape have had little impact. Experts say there is an insidious bias against working mothers. “I hear lots of stories of people going on maternity leave and coming back to different roles that are less senior or with less scope.”

“We have a long tradition through the industrial relations system in Australia of protecting the male-breadwinner model,” she says. “That’s breaking down with the need for both parents to work, but we still haven’t fully come to terms with the fact that mothers are working, and how we should to respond to that.”

“…younger women to establish their careers first and have their babies second. “But the truth is, neither sequence is optimal and both involve trade-offs that men do not have to make.”

A senior manager at Origin Energy, with two young children says she has slipped behind her male peers even though she took less than 12 months’ leave and returned to work four days a week. “Motherhood is not a stamp that you’re stuck with,” she says. “The penalty comes when you choose not to go foot to foot with the hours and the travel and the commitment.”

Men who want time out to co-parent are met with raised eyebrows. “The situation traps men as much as it traps women,” says Feenstra. “Many more women in senior management roles would normalise the look of the workforce, which would then make it easier to have the conversation at home.”

“Companies assume that when a woman comes back to work, her commitment is to her family,” O’Reilly says. “But women say, ‘If I am going to come to work and leave my son at home then I want to do something meaningful and that will advance my career.’ It’s a really easy fix. You have to have communications both ways.”

“No one has the perfect solution,” says Marian Baird. “But if men take the same sort of family leave as women, we will see a change. We have to make men as ‘unreliable’ as women.”

Read the full article here >

Sometimes you’re the caterpillar.

the snail and the caterpillar

A simplistic look at privilege through animation. A good one for teachers and parents to share with kids, but this type of simplistic view is probably very relevant to certain adults as well.

Read article >

White is always in fashion.

A great article in Daily Life that highlights the lack of racial diversity in Australian advertising and media.

The exclusion of people of colour renders them so insignificant that advertisers need not bother acknowledging their existence at all.

Read article >

Everyday inequalities highlighted through satirical illustration.

These satirical illustrations by Polish artist Pawel Kuczynski highlight inequalities in everyday life. Sometimes we are so engrained in the day to day we just accept inequalities without question.

Illustrations sourced (and more available) from Truth Seeker Daily

Celebrity call outs on gender inequality.

Kristen Schaal

Kristen Schaal

A Daily Life gallery of celebrities using their star power to call out gender inequality.

Kristen Schaal’s quote is my favourite:

We’re going to print human hearts out of Xerox machines 30 years before women get pay equality. At this point, we’d be better off printing a 3D penis, slapping it on the bank counter, and saying ‘Hey society, f–k you, pay me!'”

Read article >

Can the privileged white women please stand up.

Everyone should be an advocate for equality, in all its forms. It should not just be left up to those discriminated against to be the ones to highlight injustice, and often when they do their situation is used to discredit the argument – “they’re too emotionally involved, they’re not being objective”.

Jane CaroIn this article for Debrief Daily, Jane Caro explains why she’s using her privileged white woman status to shed light on inequality and speak up for those, who due to circumstance, may not have a voice as loud and why she is urging others to do the same.

Read article >