The impostor syndrome, sometimes called impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. It is not an officially recognized psychological disorder, but has been the subject of numerous books and articles by psychologists and educators. The term was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978.
Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. (Wikipedia)
A long time ago, when I was at primary school, I was selected to be part of an extension project run by the Northern Territory Government (I was living in Alice Springs at the time). The program was developed for gifted students and was to help accelerate their education, or something. I never really understood the program, especially as it only ran during primary school and didn’t continue into high school. I certainly enjoyed it though, because we learnt problem solving, puzzle solving, team work, an early introduction to algebra (still one of my favourite maths subjects), and had options to undertake external school activities like languages (I learnt some French), screen printing, photography and others.
I was catching up on Australian news today, now that I’ve returned from Malaysia, and stumbled across an article about the Freemasons in Sydney as their election of a new Grand Master.
The journalist thought that this was an appropriate comment to make:
Some may have looked like cardinals, while others sported more bling than a man really should.
Clearly, thinks whichever anonymous journalist for the AAP that wrote this article, there is an upper limit on how much jewellery a man can wear before his manliness should be called into account. As men should never have their manliness called into account (they might be wearing enough jewellery to be mistaken for women!), they should be careful how much jewellery they wear.
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 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.
There was this joke I read on a website (which isn’t known for being friendly to women), and it wasn’t at all funny. Here it is (emphasis all mine):
A woman, wearing a sleeveless sun dress, walked into a Bar in Dublin.
She raised her right arm, revealing a huge, hairy armpit as she pointed to all the people sitting at the bar and asked, ‘What man here will buy a lady a drink?’
Down at the end of the bar, an old drunk slammed his hand down on the counter and bellowed ‘Give the ballerina a drink!’
The bartender poured the drink and the woman drunk it. She turned again pointed around at all of them, revealing the same hairy armpit, and asked, ‘What man here will buy a lady a drink?’
Once again, the same little drunk shouted ‘Give the ballerina another drink!’
The bartender approached the drunk and said ‘Tell me, Paddy, it’s your business if you want to buy the lady a drink, but why do you keep calling her a ballerina?’
The drunk replied, ‘Any woman who can lift her leg that high has got to be a ballerina!’
This joke relies to two things to make it funny – the confusion suffered by a drunk man about what he was looking at – armpits and pubic mounds totally the same, and the fact that women with hairy armpits (or “huge, hairy armpit[s]”) are gross and revolting and no one but a drunk man would buy such a woman a drink.
The joke isn’t funny as far as I am concerned. Hairy armpits are fine, there is nothing wrong with them, and how they’d be huge… can you have huge armpits?… I’m not sure. This joke is one in a million others which reinforces crap beauty and gender myths about what it is to be a beautiful woman. This joke is one in a million of others which reinforces gender conformity and beauty conformity.
I call bullshit.
Be beautiful. Love your body for it is beautiful. It gets you from here to there (most of the time), helps you feel good (much of the time) and is gorgeous. Be beautiful in your own way. Don’t ascribe to society’s fucked up view of what makes a woman beautiful. You are gorgeous.
I think I might write a series of articles over revisiting various things I loved during my childhood, and going back and finding if they have any appeal to me as an adult. I don’t know how frequent they’ll be, but I thought I’d start with a series of books by an author I adored (one of many) when I was growing up in Alice Springs.
Given my mother’s love of Science Fiction, and the religious viewing of Doctor Who, it isn’t all that surprising that as soon as I discovered that I loved to read (which would have been when I was around 10 years old or so) that I found the science fiction books at the public library.
Today’s post is on the Last Legionary Quartet by Douglas Hill (now out of print, but available second hand on Amazon and in second hand bookshops (where I got mine)), a typical space faring adventure but with some really interesting tweaks. First up, the first book of the series, Galactic Warlord was published in 1980, a time I certainly associate with bad science in science fiction, however Douglas Hill has gone out of his way to ensure that the science in the books is as accurate as it can be. Space is three dimensional and a vacuum (so no noise in space), and performing sudden manoeuvres in space will result in g-forces being applied to the craft and pilot. Some future technology is incredibly similar to 1980s technology with tapes and keyboards in use, but there is a large array of energy weapons, faster than light travel and different worlds, so that certainly makes up for it.
The next best thing about the series is that it is not sexist. Yes the main character is male, but it is clearly stated from the beginning that he is from a world where the entire adult population could be turned into an army, where everyone is trained to be a warrior from early childhood, and that his squad’s gender make-up was secondary to its capability. So the main character could have been a woman. Women are not written as sex objects, nurturers, princesses needing rescue or victims of circumstance, they are strong, capable, leaders, agitators, aggressive, good, evil, wise, and just like men. At one point the hero hesitates in attacking a woman, not because she is a woman but because he thought she was on his side and his friend.
Another positive in the series is that there are humans who settled on other planets in the galaxy (it turns out that humans are the only sentient life form in this galaxy), and who have developed beneficial mutations to survive on those planets. Those planets are collectively known as the “altered worlds” and the emotive word “mutant” is rarely used throughout the book. The inhabitents of those planets are referred to coming from the “altered worlds”, but no value judgement is made about any difference that has developed in that group of humans. Additionally, any individual who comes from those planets (and this holds true for all individuals in the book regardless of where they have come from) is taken to not be a representative of their race/planet/home world system/type. So if someone is evil in the book, that person is evil, not all people like them.
That last positive that I’d to note out of this series is that the hero can’t always win the day on his own. He has a non-human companion – an alien from another galaxy, who is female and non-humanoid – who comes to his rescue, shields him when required (she’s a telepath), and who is completely capable on her own.
This series really lives up to my memories of it – in fact I’d forgotten how awesome they were. I’m enjoying it immensely and only have two books to go before I’m done. They’re quite short – so all four books is normal novel size. I was sad to find out recently that Douglas Hill had died just after submitting the final manuscript for the last book in another of his series (one I haven’t read in its entirety), but given how good The Last Legionary Quartet is turning out, I’m going to go and hunt down all the books of his I can, and enjoy them all.
Of course I get spam, I have a blog where comments can be left, but what amuses me is the spam I get. I (so far) have managed to avoid abusive or unpleasant comments, but I have some amusing comment spammers who leave spam comments, and me scratching my head attempting to figure out what on earth they mean.
I use Akismet and AVH First Defense Against Spam in my blog to trap spam (and it’s VERY successful for me), but I still go through my spam folder to make sure that legitimate comments aren’t trapped as spam, and determine which block IP addresses to block from sites that are spamming me (I also refer to Project Honeypot to determine comment spammers).
I thought I’d share some of the more WTF spam I get for a laugh:
NOTE: This post will be discussing female science fiction characters and their roles. Therefore they may be spoilers for those who haven’t seen these shows/films. It will also be discussing violence which may be triggering.
I was thinking today about Kara Thrace, better known as Starbuck, from the remake of Battlestar Galactia (of which I’ve only watched the first season), and the episode Flesh and Bone from season one in which she oversees/participates in the torture of a Cylon spy. And I was thinking that typically women tend to fill the same gender roles in science fiction as they’re expected to in current day society, and those that don’t tend to be on the receiving end of a lot of hate.
I don’t condone violence, but I know that I’m fully capable of it if I thought that it was required. I don’t think that torture is actually a way to get information from anyone, but I can understand the desperation that existed in that episode for another woman (the President) to order the Cylon to be tortured. I do not condone torture in any way, I want to make that REALLY clear.