Apparently women’s underwear should be sold by torsos only – because women don’t have faces. In this picture (screen capture taken from Trixan Body’s website), you need to see a woman’s bra and underwear to know that is the icon you need to click on, but don’t for men, girls or boys.
Seriously Trixan Body, you fail at appropriate gender depiction… though you do get points for the girl being the only one of the four icons to be looking straight at the “camera”.
So Trixan Body, I won’t be shopping at your site any time soon, even though you have items I want to buy in sizes that will fit me. When you’ve stopped believing that portraying women as objects/not people then I might come back and look at the items you sell.
Hello everyone and welcome to the 38th Down Under Feminists’ Carnival. Thanks for all the fantastic submissions and to everyone who wrote all the fantastic articles I’m linking to.
If at any point I have misnamed, mislabled, or misgendered someone, please let me know immediately so that I can correct my error. If I have included a post of yours that you would not like included, please let me know and I will remove it. Should any of my links be broken, just let me know and I’ll attempt to fix it.
Triple J are running a poll to vote on the hottest 100 Australian albums of all time, and I highly recommend that you go and vote if you’ve ever listened to Australian music ever and enjoyed it. I’d really appreciate it if when people voted that thought long and hard about their choices.
I voted for:
Clouds – Octopus
Crowded House – Woodface
Divinyls – Desperate
Kate Miller-Heidke – Little Eve
Love Outside Andromeda – Love Outside Andromeda
Machine Gun Fellatio – Paging Mr. Strike
Midnight Oil – Blue Sky Mining
Regurgitator – Unit
Tripod – Box Set
Yothu Yindi – Tribal Voice
The “Hottest 100 Of All Time” has since aired, and audiences have been shocked to find that only two songs in the top 100 – two! – were sung by women. Only six female-fronted songs made it into the second batch of 100, so it wasn’t as though the men just edged women out in the final vote – women are just overwhelmingly absent. This sort of discrepancy doesn’t happen by accident; we can quibble about the locus of the problem till we’re blue in the face, but it’s a clear sign of entrenched, largely-invisible sexism in action. Quibbling about the locus is pointless because the locus is everywhere. This is the Matrix. (from Hoyden About Town)
It is possibly the modern music industry’s greatest tragedy and shame that it has, collectively, worked so hard to exclude women, keep them to the margins or, at best, channel them into narrow moulds. Given everything that worked against them being acknowledged as musicians it is a testament to the astonishing talent, dedication and sheer strength of will of women that any managed to break through and be heard. But break through they did, and they did amazing things, and now Triple J erases them all over again. (from Hoyden About Town)
The Hottest 100 is a major Triple J brand, and I guess I’m coming at this from a branding and marketing perspective. It’s a major plank of the station – of the network’s promotion, and to hold it up and say ‘Here’s what our listeners think are the greatest 100 songs of all time’ when there’s no women, I think is a major problem for the station, in terms of its representation of diversity and the diversity of views among youth in Australia. It suggests that Triple J is perhaps playing to, or certainly in the case of this poll, is attracting a very narrow sort of white male oriented audience. What it says about the audience, what it says about the station, what it says about the relationship between station and audience, I think is of concern for Triple J as the – let’s face it, the Government, the ABC’s youth broadcaster, and one that’s funded by all Australians. (from Hoyden About Town)
I wasn’t going to blog about this, I really wasn’t. Of the three topics I had handed to me on Friday (swearing fines, Penny Wong being miaowed at, and Rip Roll), I decided to focus my efforts somewhere other than this topic – as it had been covered very nicely in the media as well as elsewhere. But then the ACL stuck their head up again today, and I can’t not smack them for it.
A TRANSPORT Department list of the most dangerous railway level crossings has been ignored by the Baillieu government, which has instead directed millions of dollars towards upgrading crossings in Liberal-held seats.
Well thank the FSM that the Baillieu government has it’s priorities sorted out. It’s much more about rewarding those who voted this current government in, and far less about saving the lives of Victorians. I mean really, I should have guessed, it’s quite obvious when you think about it… no wait, it’s not.
THE Baillieu government has adopted a target to have women filling at least half of all positions on state boards, but has ruled out imposing quotas because ”positive discrimination” won’t always lead to the best person being picked for the job.
The Coalition has adopted a statewide target to get women into 50 per cent of government board positions, which are often regarded as a stepping stone to senior roles in the corporate sector, where women are largely under-represented.
”Targets can be very effective because it focuses the mind in making sure women are actively considered, and that their merit is taken seriously … rather than say, ‘well this spot has to go to a woman instead of the best person for the job’,” Ms Wooldridge told The Sunday Age.
I considered blogging about this when the last discussion of women on boards hit the airwaves, but I ran out of time and energy and brain. Positive discrimination/Affirmative Action/whatever you’re going to call it does have it’s place. Because if your colleagues on any given board are male, then actually thinking outside that typically “white male is the best for the job” box is rather hard. And if you are presented with two equally qualified candidates, one male, one female, then far too often the individual selected is the same as the rest of the make-up of the board – which in Australia is generally white men.
So why not put a quota in place? It won’t hurt, it will give you good quality candidates that you didn’t think of to start with, and if it all falls into a heap, then you can reverse it. Ah, the joys of being able to change your mind.
I was at slutwalk yesterday, and as I’d volunteered to be a marshall at the Melbourne event, apparently I was a “slut wrangler” – thanks The Age. It was a fantastic event and the organisers did a great job liaising with the police and the city council regarding the march, getting great speakers and keeping everything together. This post isn’t about the great signs, fantastic people, great speakers and the courage that everyone showed by marching or attending yesterday, no, this post is about the protesters to the march who just don’t get it.
Two lone Christian protesters holding signs saying ”Rape is horrifying but so is immodesty” and ”God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” were the only visible opponents.
There was perhaps a third protester on the steps of Treasury House at the top of Collins Street. I heard that there was someone there with a sign that was very close to illegible due to the amount of text on it, who ended up being surrounded by people who were marching before the police took them away (the sign holder, not the marchers). I have no idea what was on that sign, so I’ll leave my commenting to the ones reported in The Age.
Rape is horrifying but so is immodesty
So, apparently being immodest, is as bad as being raped. I take it that the author of this sign hadn’t:
a) thought for more than 5 seconds;
b) been raped;
c) know anyone who has been raped (though if they do, they probably think that it was the victim’s fault); and/or
d) listened to the experience of someone who has been raped/sexually assaulted and asked why/how the rapist could do that.
The author of that sign also clearly missed the entire point of the march. The fact is, that regardless of what women wear, rapists will rape. I was (sadly) briefly friends with a woman at university who was raped at knifepoint when walking home from school one day. She had her throat slit during and was incredibly lucky to survive. She was wearing her school uniform and carrying her school bag – she was not dressed immodestly. I was raped by my then boyfriend. I was partially naked at the time, which I suppose is considered immodest, but given I was in a relationship with him, then again no – any more than I’d be immodest if I was raped today by a partner (which wouldn’t happen).
Before I started reading this post I thought I’d do a little bit of reading about modesty (on wikipedia of course), to make sure I understood what the protesters were talking about. There are some very interesting quotes in the wikipedia article on modesty which I thought I’d share.
Modesty may be expressed in social interaction by communicating in a way exhibiting humility, shyness, or simplicity. The general elements of modesty include:
Downplaying one’s accomplishments;
Behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency
Standards of modesty vary by culture, or generation and vary depending on who is exposed, which parts of the body are exposed, the duration of the exposure, the context, and other variables.
Proponents of modesty often see it as a demonstration of respect for their bodies, for social norms, and for the feelings of themselves and others. Some people believe modesty may reduce sexual crimes. Some critics assert that modesty reflects a negative body image, and there may be a correlation between repressive body attitudes and undesirable outcomes such as sexual crimes, violence, and stress.
Most discussion of modesty involves clothing. Issues of modesty and decency have arisen especially during the 20th century as a result of the increased popularity in many countries of shorter dresses and swimsuits and the consequential exposure of more of the body. This has been more pronounced in the case of female fashions. Most people consider the clothes that they are wearing to be modest. Otherwise, they would not wear the clothes. What is considered “modest” in this context will depend on the context when the clothes will be worn and can vary between religions, cultures, generations, occasions, and the persons who are present. [emphasis added]
Modesty is such a fluid concept, it changes year to year, and what is considered modest now, would be considered highly immodest 100 years or more ago. The fact that modesty has different rules depending on which gender you present is also incredibly suckful and unfair, and good reasons for it to be ignored. Immodesty is not as horrifying rape, I’d happily walk naked across the CBD of Melbourne, but I’d not happily be raped.
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble
I’d just like to laugh at the irony of this statement. Humility is nicely defined as:
Humility (adjectival form: humble) is the quality of being modest, reverential, even obsequiously submissive, and never being arrogant, contemptuous, rude or even self-aggrandizing.
I’d like more Christians to be humble, and to not attempt to dictate to others what they should and should not do.
Bec, it’s just an ad… get over it.
They’re not playing into anything, they’re doing a good job at selling their product.
I’m sure if you were trying to sell lots of your over-priced flowers you’d be trying to do whatever it takes to get people to buy them too.
[ok I now have a fever and am sick, so if this post doesn’t make all the sense that I intend, apologies]
The stories above are just the Government actions taken against US Muslims. They do not detail in any way the daily prejudice, discrimination and bigotry faced by Muslims in the US. Islamaphobia is in full swing.
From where I’m sitting (sick and fuzzy headed), the Islamaphobia in the US (yes, I know it exists in Australia too, and is equally problematic) can lead to some very bad outcomes. The estimated number of Muslims in the US is around 2.3% of the US population (Australia’s Muslim population is 1.71% of the overall population). There just are not enough Muslims in the US (or Australia) to rise up and protest against the oppression they’re suffering (unlike the peoples in many Middle Eastern nations currently – which has nothing to do with Islam and all to do with oppression, lack of opportunities, etc). The research on stereotype threat also suggests that Muslims may feel that they have to conform to the predominant sterotype held of them, which doesn’t do anyone any favours.
If we look back at history, we can see many many examples of groups that have been vilified and terrible results (clearly we are very bad at learning from history and are doomed to repeat it). The news media played a large part in the Rwandan Genocide.
According to recent commentators, the news media played a crucial role in the genocide; local print and radio media fueled the killings while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued events on the ground. The print media in Rwanda is believed to have started hate speech against Tutsis, which was later continued by radio stations. According to commentators, anti-Tutsi hate speech “…became so systemic as to seem the norm.”
From late October 1993, the RTLM repeatedly broadcast themes developed by the extremist written press, underlining the inherent differences between Hutu and Tutsi, the foreign origin of Tutsi, the disproportionate share of Tutsi wealth and power, and the horrors of past Tutsi rule. The RTLM also repeatedly stressed the need to be alert to Tutsi plots and possible attacks. It warned Hutu to prepare to “defend” themselves against the Tutsi. (Source: Wikipedia – link above)
We can also look at the internment of Japanese people (definitions on who was Japanese or not was interestingly broad) in the US during World War 2.
Many concerns over the loyalty of ethnic Japanese seemed to stem from racial prejudice rather than evidence of actual malfeasance. Major Karl Bendetsen and Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Command, each questioned Japanese American loyalty. DeWitt, who administered the internment program, repeatedly told newspapers that “A Jap’s a Jap” and testified to Congress,
I don’t want any of them [persons of Japanese ancestry] here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty… It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty… But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.
Internment was popular among many white farmers who resented the Japanese-American farmers. “White American farmers admitted that their self-interest required removal of the Japanese.” These individuals saw internment as a convenient means of uprooting their Japanese American competitors. Austin E. Anson, managing secretary of the Salinas Vegetable Grower-Shipper Association, told the Saturday Evening Post in 1942:
“We’re charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons. We do. It’s a question of whether the white man lives on the Pacific Coast or the brown men. They came into this valley to work, and they stayed to take over… If all the Japs were removed tomorrow, we’d never miss them in two weeks, because the white farmers can take over and produce everything the Jap grows. And we do not want them back when the war ends, either.”
The Roberts Commission Report, prepared at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request, has been cited as an example of the fear and prejudice informing the thinking behind the internment program. The Report sought to link Japanese Americans with espionage activity, and to associate them with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Columnist Henry McLemore reflected growing public sentiment fueled by this report:
“I am for the immediate removal of every Japanese on the West Coast to a point deep in the interior. I don’t mean a nice part of the interior either. Herd ’em up, pack ’em off and give ’em the inside room in the badlands… Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them.”
Other California newspapers also embraced this view. According to a Los Angeles Times editorial,
“A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched… So, a Japanese American born of Japanese parents, nurtured upon Japanese traditions, living in a transplanted Japanese atmosphere… notwithstanding his nominal brand of accidental citizenship almost inevitably and with the rarest exceptions grows up to be a Japanese, and not an American… Thus, while it might cause injustice to a few to treat them all as potential enemies, I cannot escape the conclusion… that such treatment… should be accorded to each and all of them while we are at war with their race.” (Source: Wikipedia article linked above)
Again, the same sort of language is used to vilify a group, which then results in investigation and restriction of that group’s ability to participate in society. I worry that the Muslims in the West (particularly in the US and Australia) are going to be increasingly targeted and that is going to end up being really bad. I don’t really have a solution, just fears that the situation is going to get worse, but I hope I can stand up against Islamaphobia whenever I encounter it.
Propagating this fear runs the risk of radicalising the general population against those who follow Islam, and that crimes against Muslims may not be reported or may not be fully investigated by the authorities. Discrimination and prejudice will continue to rise, people may feel obliged to recant their faith in order to face less bigotry, to hide their culture and act white, to remove their sense of self to find some safety. This sucks.
I’d like to be quite clear straight up, I loath Danny Nalliah and especially loath his god (and by that I mean his interpretation of god). This is a man who claimed that Victoria decriminalising abortion resulted in the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 that killed 173 people and wounded 414, because he had a dream about fire and brimstone.
Now he’s come out saying that the floods in Queensland, specifically Brisbane, are the result of our former Prime Minister (now Foreign Minister), Kevin Rudd, being mean to Israel (don’t read the comments on that piece unless you’re prepared for a dose of scary). Apparently asking Israel to to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open all its nuclear facilities to UN inspectors is mean, and Australia/Queensland/Rudd needed smiting as a result.
I can’t (and even when I was Catholic struggled really hard with this) worship or believe in a god that would happily kill (or make miserable) hundreds or thousands of people because of something that someone else did (or even that they did). I don’t even get how that makes sense. I never liked the whole fire and brimstone methods used by some ministers and hate the rhetoric of fear (which is something that Nalliah uses all the time).
That Fleming Gent posted a comment on Nalliah’s press release/blog post/thing and unsurprisingly that comment was not published, because it disagreed with the message that Nalliah was pushing. PZ Myers also had some good commentary on Nalliah:
Kevin Rudd has been insufficiently zealous in his support for Israel, and Rudd is originally from Queensland, so God is making it rain great buckets in Queensland to send him a message.
It’s a rather opaque message, O Lord, and it seems to be causing far more suffering to other people, rather than Rudd. Wouldn’t it have been far more effective and efficient if, say, the Lord God Almighty made the plumbing in Rudd’s upstairs bathroom overflow? I should think it far more persuasive that something mysterious and ominous was going on if every time Rudd flushed, he ended up with a gusher of feces and urine on his shoes. Taking aim at the whole of Queensland is just a bit sloppy.
I also don’t understand, if god is loving, forgiving and understanding, why ordinary, regular sinners are being punished for their representative’s alleged sins (I refer to Queensland (and bits of NSW and Victoria) for Rudd and Victoria for the decriminalisation of abortion). That doesn’t make any sense to me, and I’d hope it doesn’t make much sense to those Christians who actually critically think about things.
And then, Nalliah and his “church” took credit for the Brisbane flood not peaking as high as it did, because they prayed for Queensland, filling the gap between Rudd’s actions and god’s wrath… or something. Seriously, they gathered on the steps of the Victorian Parliament (because they’d get publicity there) and prayed loudly and publicly (you know, something Jesus recommended against):
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5 (NIV)
Prayers such as Nalliah’s are great thing, it’s not like you can test them scientifically, and discover whether or not the prayers had any effect (they didn’t), and when things turn out well you can say that your prayers had the right effect, and if things turn out badly, you can say it was clearly god’s will, and that you tried. It’s a win-win situation and really does nothing for anyone. It’s not like someone, who claims that god speaks to them, would ever admit that their prayers were not heard.
I honestly would like Nalliah and his Ministry to stop receiving publicity, to go away and be on the fringe where they belong. I’d love Nalliah to stop being so afraid and infecting others with his fear. I’d love him to recant his hateful and prideful ways and to be humble and listen to the stories of those he currently considers sinful and learn that there is more than black and white in the world. I’d love him to actually love, unconditionally as Christians are called to love, and to stop judging as he should really know better.
I’m Australian, and consequently value real-estate quite a lot (housing is in short supply and consequently rather expensive). I’m also, I guess, an intellectual, and value knowledge and books quite a lot too. So when I see photos, like these of Detroit, I am unable to comprehend why there is so much derelict property lying around (not to mention books, and police files). I do understand that Detroit is in the process of being abandoned and that there are many (apparently) insurmountable social issues, as well as being part of the rust belt’s decline, but I am staggered by the decay and abandonment of the property in these photos. Every time I see photos of abandoned real-estate in the US (without good reason like it being riddled with asbestos or unsafe to live in), I wonder how a nation can have such a glut of what is/was perfectly serviceable property that could be turned into residences or something else useful.
This photo (above) disturbs me for the wanton privacy breach. Because the people represented in the photos here clearly don’t deserve any privacy.