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.

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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 >

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 >

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 >

‘Mad Men’-level sexism coming to an office near you.

mad men

This article dissects the sexism Peggy and Joan experience in the first episode of Mad Men’s last season and overlays a similar experience of the writer to highlight and explain the subtle sexism that goes on in offices still today. To the untrained these comments might seem throw-away and not inherently sexist, but to those on the receiving end the true meaning comes across loud and clear.

The slights are usually much subtler, the kind that are hard to explain to anyone who doesn’t inherently understand. The sexism appears in everyday conversation, like last season, when Pete said Peggy was “every bit as good as any woman in this business” — meaning she was participating in some women-only side competition in advertising, rather than competing with everyone in advertising.

By casting the nature of our confrontation as one in which he said something to hurt my feelings, he’s working behind the scenes to make me look emotional and sensitive. More “female.”

Read the full article here >

Mx. and Mx. Smith.

Mx pronoun

Mx pronoun
A small but positive step in the right direction for transgender and gender nonconformists. Mx the gender neutral honorific (pronounced mux), may soon be added to the Oxford English Dictionary as an alternative to the traditional Miss, Mrs, Ms and Mr.

Sweden are already ahead, recently adding the pronoun ‘hen’ to the official Swedish language dictionary as an alternative to the male and the female pronouns ‘han’ and ‘hon’ respectively.

Read more here >

A number doesn’t define you.

I was so excited when I stumbled across this article as I thought it would be an in-depth and comprehensive exploration of ageism with experiences shared by Christie and how she overcomes this type of discrimination.

Unfortunately, it’s quite superficial coverage of a serious issue, with the focus of the article on Christie’s long career and her current Peter Alexander shoot.

Nevertheless, ageism is something that doesn’t get enough media coverage, so I still feel it’s relevant to share.

Read the article here >

“I am not here for you, that is not what my existence is about.”

A video on an artist uncovering women’s thoughts on street harassment in New York city. Choice quotes below.

It’s an everyday thing…they’ll get mad if you don’t respond because you’re supposed to be so grateful. And if I pay attention to all of you I’m a whore, so what am I supposed to do?

The entitlement people feel, they feel you owe them something.

I am not here for you, that is not what my existence is about.

Watch the video here >

stoptellingwomentosmile.com

‘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 >

Real Australians say “Welcome!”

An Adelaide street artist has created a project in Adelaide CBD to encourage positive discussions on asylum seekers and was inspired by the second verse of our national anthem:

For those who’ve come across the seas / We’ve boundless plains to share / With courage let us all combine / To advance Australia fair.

Read more here >

This is one to share with the men in your lives.

That Guy Who Isn’t You‘ is the winning piece in a creative writing contest. It’s a bit of a read so some choice quotes are below.

Part that resonated most:

I am out dancing with my friends and men are imposing their way into our evening uninvited, and they don’t back off until we lie and say our boyfriends are coming, because they will respect an imaginary, made-up man before they respect us.

Key take out to share with your men:

You didn’t speak up. You minded your own business. You let it enter your mind that she deserved it. You looked at pictures not meant for your eyes. You believed him because he’s a nice guy. You looked away. You felt uncomfortable but not enough to say anything. You dismissed it as a joke. You ignored all of those times you saw things that you knew weren’t right and you didn’t make it your problem. Instead you made it mine, and you’re not listening to me now, you’re just waiting for your turn to talk – so yes, you are right it was not you.”

One call out – there is a section where it’s implied that prostitution is violence against woman. This mindset is not supported by Dirty words as feminism means supporting a woman’s right to make her own life choices. Apart from this, it’s worth a read.

Street harassment, it’s a compliment right?

A very sensible article on an issue that needs more prominence.

What happens to women on the streets is not seen as a critical issue – it is certainly not taken with the same level of seriousness as the safety of young men at risk of coward punches (where laws were changed, new terms coined). “Street harassment” is not even specifically referred to in the federal government’s much trumpeted national plan to reduce violence against women.

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 >

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 >