Posted by Anji on Sunday 20th April 2008
Hi there and welcome to Shut Up, Sit Down! I’m Anji, British radical feminist, single mum and bookworm, and I’m really excited and proud to be hosting the thirteenth Carnival of Radical Feminists! There have been some cracking submissions which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed so I’m really eager to share them with you. I wish I had been able to write more interesting and worthy introductions – I shouldn’t make excuses but I will say I have mental health problems and a toddler son, so the week between the submission deadline and now has been rather hectic! I’ve been working on this every evening after the wee man went to bed, and my best friend is very kindly watching him for an hour or so right now so I can finish off and get this posted. So – make yourself a cuppa, kick off those shoes and settle down for the Carnival!
The first submission I got for the carnival made me giggle, so I figured it was a good thing to kick off with. Madeleine Begun Kane presents Ode To Eliot Spitzer posted at Mad Kane’s Political Madness. At the same blog, and in the same vein, An Ode To Lefty Bloggers Who Hate Hillary Clinton and Ode To Randi “Queen of Obscene” Rhodes, both of which should raise a giggle and have you nodding your head in agreement.
Next, Nine Deuce presents I don’t give a shit about chocolate at all. posted at Rage Against the Man-chine. I loved this post as soon as I read it, and I was really happy to see it submitted for the carnival. I feel like she took my feelings about food and wrote them down a million times more eloquently than I could ever hope to. One of the biggest truths I have read recently: “There is nothing immoral about eating something that tastes good, even if it does become apparent that you’ve done so after the fact. There is nothing ethically unsound about nachos (they make vegan ones, you know). What’s ethically objectionable is harming your health and removing all the joy from your life in order to increase the number of Coors Light drinkers who want to pork you. Feel guilty about eating meat, or buying gas, or listening to house music, or liking Family Guy, but eat the goddamned cake and tell the world you aren’t signing up for the starvation plan.”
Being in the UK, the concept of ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ is not one I come across in my day-to-day life. However it drives me batty that they are allowed to exist in the USA, even more so that they are allowed to lie. So I very much enjoyed Holly Ord’s Crisis Pregnancy Centers Having to Tell People They Lie? Hells Yes! posted at Menstrual Poetry.
Heart shows us Global Day For Darfur at Modern Musings, a collection of “all the conscious bloggers who have expended their time and effort to educate, motivate and activate for our Darfurian family.”
One of the things I feel really strongly about here in the UK is stem cell research and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Cruella clearly agrees, and makes a wonderful argument in favour of the Bill in Before I Forget. Says Cruella: “I propose that the atheist scientists get on with the research and if the Catholic Alzheimer’s sufferers of the future prefer not to use the resulting treatments on principle – fine.” You can’t say fairer than that.
Kitty Glendower writes an excellent article about women taking on men’s behaviours and the current trend of ‘girlfight’ videos. Heart shows us Raunch Culture Is Reaching Fruition At The Expense of Women at A Room Of Our Own. “Nevertheless, my first thought when I read yet again how young girls are beating up other girls in order to make videos for the Internet, was, how the behaviors that are more open for appropriation are the ones that do not favorably benefit women.”
By now I think the entire world, or at least the feminist blogging world and the parenting blogging world (the only two I inhabit) has heard of the abomination that is the online game Miss Bimbo. Nine Deuce writes a wonderfully scathing criticism of the game and the messages it is sending young girls (its target audience) in You’re never too young for implants posted at Rage Against the Man-chine.
Hollaback Australia appears to be pretty new. It takes the idea presented by Hollaback NYC of empowerment through the photographing of street harrassers with your mobile phone and subsequently publicising them on the blog, and offers it to the women of Australia. Lauredhel shows us “Back Off!”: Why Holla Back Works.
One of the ‘big issues’ at the moment is the way in which prostitution should be tackled. Lauredhel presents Prostitution: regulation, exploitation and death posted at Hoyden About Town, which provides an excellent and well-researched argument against legalisation and reasonings for the introduction of the ‘Swedish model’ of tackling prostitution. As Tigtog quotes from a comparison between Sweden (the Swedish model) and Holland (where prostitution is legalised), “the bottom line is that if you want to rape a 13-year-old girl imported from Eastern Europe, you’ll have a much easier time in Amsterdam than in Stockholm.”
Allecto gives us a great deconstruction of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, and how it really isn’t so ‘feminist’ and ‘empowerful’ as he and his fans would like to have us believe. Heart shows us A Rapist’s View of the World: Our Mrs. Reynolds: Part One at Gorgon Poisons. “Mal the captain of the ship finds out that he has married a woman when he finds a stowaway on his ship. The stowaway, whose name is Saffron, was traded to Mal as a gift because he helped the inhabitants of a planet to get rid of some bad guys. The most disturbing reading of this particular episode is as an endorsement of male terrorism in the home.”
Holly Ord has much admiration for Angela Shelton, and for good reason. She is, in Holly’s words, “a motivating and inspiring woman to countless survivors. On a personal level, after watching her documentary and after some time reading up on her and getting involved myself with activism efforts to raise awareness about sexual abuse, she had given me the motivation to speak up about my own abuse in early 2007.” She presents an article about Shelton and a recommendation of her film with Watch Searching for Angela Shelton – For Free!, and gives a review of her book in Finding Angela Shelton, both at Menstrual Poetry.
As a parent, a feminist and a happy fat woman I was pretty outraged by the publication of the new book “My Beautiful Mommy”, written to explain cosmetic surgery to kids. So this article, presented by Heart, warmed my cockles. “So here’s the deal, kids: Mom gained a few pounds and stretchmarks giving birth to you. Yes you, and in a world where size 0 is the new size 6, that means that every day Mommy is subjected to a gazillion messages telling her that her body is no longer beautiful. Therefore, Mommy is going to subject herself to major surgery in order to feel good about herself again but really it is no big deal, getting a new belly is just like getting a new dress or new lipstick except you get a big bandage…” Check out Mommy Gets A Tummy Tuck–Sure To Be A Children’s Classic at Feminist Peace Network.
I recently read Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, and then Debs submitted Judging Women’s Choices, posted at Littoral Mermaid, which says much the same thing as Wolf’s book but in one concise blog post. Having also recently blogged about body hair, the first chapter about hair removal also cheered me greatly: “The beauty industry judges women’s choices. Obviously, it – and its billions of dollars and outlets – puts out an image of idealized femininity. Idealized femininity means removing body hair. Having body hair… is unfeminine and absolutely unacceptable. Since the only beautiful women in the widely available mainstream magazines have no visible body hair, the message is obviously that hair removal is a good thing and will make women beautiful.” Well said, and the rest of the post is no different – I thoroughly recommend it.
Why do so many men seek out prostitutes? Holly Ord gives an explanation of society and what men feel is expected of them while also battling selfish desires and sexual needs with The Psychology Behind Men and Prostitutes posted at Menstrual Poetry.
Heart presents The Swarming Offense from Black Women Vote. “We must understand that the movement to demonize black women was NOT a random, accidental decision. Black women are maligned on BET for the same reasons that we said that
Marcella Chester says “Most of the common safety advice for women depends upon victim blaming. Here is advice which focuses on the behavior of rapists and could-be rapists.” as she presents Advice For Rape Survivors: Personal Safety posted at abyss2hope. One line above all stood out to me: “Making sexual decisions for someone else is rape.” So simple, yet so difficult for so many people to understand.
Holly Ord is bemused by reports that men today are feeling ‘emasculated’. “You would think that with men feeling the way they apparently do, they would begin to see what women have gone through to get where they stand today and that they would understand and appreciate the activism and determination in which we have fought for our rights and have a better understanding of equal rights. However, men believe that they are deserving of all power in all aspects of life and in society based purely on their possession of a penis.” Read her outstanding criticism of these ideas at The World is Now Dominated by Women, Where Have I Been? posted at Menstrual Poetry.
Another scathing rant, this time against the beauty and pornography industries, from Nine Deuce with There is NO REASON to bleach your butthole posted at Rage Against the Man-chine. Her rage is contagious: “The fucking ARROGANCE of these motherfuckers expecting women to not only let their bodies be used like objects, but to endanger their own health to make the experience more aesthetically pleasing to the person doing the using makes me so fucking angry that I want to start a nu metal band or something (OK, I can’t get that angry).” And she even manages to raise the occasional smile. Great stuff.
And that’s all, folks! Thanks to everyone who submitted posts, and to all the wonderful women who wrote them. The next Carnival will be on Monday 19th May at Maggie’s Metawatershed. Click here to submit a post (your own or someone else’s) – deadline for submissions is Monday 12th May. You can also check below for the previous carnivals if you’ve missed any.