“Mama; feminism is just so 70’s”

February 25th, 2006

I recently found myself discussing whether young women define themselves as feminists or not with a fellow blogger. It was not long after the RU486 vote came down and the country was reminded of the power of four women.

My theory is that feminism is a historical term that defines a time when women’s rights had to be fought for inch by inch. That said, not all our rights have been won, or will be won. However, instead of gen X and Y seeing issues as being structural, related to gender, young women see them as individual issues. They respond with individual rights and micro-collectivism.

Girls from a Melbourne school recently did just that when one of their friends was asked to remove a t-shirt that said:

“Nobody knows I’m a lesbian”

Not only did this young woman not comply, but her friends wore t-shirts that read:

“Nobody knows I am bulimic”

“Nobody knows I’m pregnant”

“Nobody knows I’m on steroids”.

As I observe the girlchild, her girlfriends and her peers (be they straight, lesbian or bisexual), I believe they don’t need the term to differentiate from non-assertive women as they take their rights as given. These include sexual and reproductive rights. They don’t need the term to differentiate themselves as assertive women as young men have also been exposed to feminism and equality and behave accordingly. The girlchild’s boytoy is typical of his peers. He is is non-predatory and shares (as a given) the power dynamic within the relationship. They earn similar incomes and both have cars.

Perhaps it is only as our girls age and enter the workforce with a view to a career, attempt to balance work and family and sense that the barriers are broader than the individual, will they need to gather as a greater collective and change the status quo. Or, perhaps me and my generation sit in the last remnants of patriarchy, with our bitterness and our cynicism.

Our girls will command the earning power and just buy what they need.

I’m choosing to believe that four women in government can continue to make a difference. Those of us who are just so 70’s worry too much and the girls who are not noting this as an historic event are busy asserting their individual entitlements.

“Oh Mama, all that feminist shit is just so 70’s”- so sayeth the girlchild.

I take comfort in the knowledge that she can be dismissive because she does feel equal.

Image from here

Planes, brains and commonsense

February 24th, 2006

From Henry Rollins’ journal/blog.

#30. 01-30-06 Melbourne Australia: 2139 hrs.

Henry writes:

"I just got a letter from a nice woman who told me the man I sat next to on the flight from Auckland to Goldcoast Australia reported me to the Australian Government because of the book I was reading."

This is what alert and alarmed wrote:

"I hope this finds you before you leave Australia as I think its something that won’t surprise you but might give you a smile when you are sitting in a hotel room. I work in one of those Government areas that deals with anti terrorism matters. A fine service is provided but unfortunately we get to read a lot of things submitted by lunatics. The Australian Government set up the National Security Hotline to report terrorists.
The person who sat next to you on the flight from New Zealand does not agree with your politics or choice of reading and so nominated you as a possible threat. As they were too cowardly or stupid to leave their details I can’t call them to discuss their idiocy with them."

Henry writes:

"Interesting that he and I exchanged nothing but polite hellos. I was reading Ahmed Rashid’s book Jihad: The Rise Of Militant Islam In Central Asia. He’s a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and the book is on the Yale University Press. Didn’t Bush drink beer at Yale? Didn’t he not seem to learn much at Yale? Of course I wrote the nice lady back."

In a letter to alert and alarmed, Henry wrote:

"I was reading a book called Jihad by Ahmed Rashid which is a history of Central Asia. I didn’t speak to the man next to me past how do you do. I think Ahmed Rashid is published by Yale University Press. Bush’s alma mater. Please tell your government and everyone in your office to go fuck themselves. Tell them twice. If your boss is looking for something to do, you can tell him I suggest he go fuck himself. Baghdad’s safer than my hometown and your PM is a sissy. You have a nice night."

I hope my copy of The Assassins Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer arrives in time for my next plane journey. If not, I’ll re-read Andrew Wilkie’s Axis of deceit

HoWARd’s Australia- Read a book and draw attention to yourself.


Image from here  

Cable and country

February 21st, 2006

Last night, on channel 27, on my cable TV, I watched part one of a six part series called "How to Start Your Own Country."  It was such a bold, refreshing, silly delight that I was completely hooked. 

It’s a show created by Danny Wallace who thought about starting his own country after spending a year living by his manifesto…

‘I, Danny Wallace, being of sound mind and body, do hereby write this manifesto for my life. I swear I will be more open to opportunity. I swear I will live my life taking every available chance. I swear I will say Yes to every favour, request, suggestion and invitation. I SWEAR I WILL SAY YES WHERE ONCE I WOULD HAVE SAID NO.’

I have been inspired and will attempt to ‘Say yes more’.

Image from here 

latte blogging

February 18th, 2006


Just about to head off for Leichhardt for today’s gathering of bloggers, commenters and friends. I’ll be giving a ride to a fellow blogger. 

Attached is my smile and his. We hope to meet you there. 


Moving air around

February 18th, 2006

My MP for the House of Representatives is Mr. Alan Glyndwr Cadman.

This is how he used his 16 minutes when offered a conscience vote regarding the Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Repeal of Ministerial Responsibility for Approval of Ru486) Bill 2005.

Let me know if you can spot a conscience.   

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