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the logo for the Down Under Feminists Carnival - the international symbol for 'female' with the Southern Cross in the centre

Welcome to the fifty-sixth month of Down Under Feminists Carnival goodness. I am your host, Chally, and I am glad to have you at Zero at the Bone. It’s nice to be hosting again. Settle on in and we’ll see what December had to offer in the wonderful world of New Zealand and Australian feminist blogging.

Economics and the workplace

  • At Geek Feminism, Mary wonders Why is someone’s entire adult life relevant to their job application? Employers routinely point to resume gaps as a reason to not hire a particular job candidate, which doesn’t bode well for, say, stay at home parents and disabled folk.
  • Oh, it is such a pleasure when blue milk unleashes her feminist economist smarts. From The ‘damaged women’ vote: ‘The gross over-simplification of women and the issues we care about is something I am seeing a lot in Australian media discussions of women voters at the moment. […] let’s be clear here, the problem isn’t that ‘damaged women’ aren’t and weren’t hearing your message, the problem is we heard it and we really, really don’t like it.’ Bam. blue milk also has a piece called Education is a political issue. This is why., which is a gut-wrenching look at systemic disadvantage for low-income kids pursuing education, disadvantage that goes beyond income and into a lack of social capital and some dangerous gaps between policy and reality.
  • In The Ambition Gap, Jo at A life unexamined brings together two narratives about women in the workplace that really needed bringing together. ‘I’m steadfast in my opinion that we need to openly and cohesively tackle workplace bias and gender inequality in high-powered positions. But we also need to re-think the way we conceptualise what work is valuable and what work isn’t.’

Sexual violence

  • There’s really nothing to be said about Michelle’s post at Woolf Woolf, Why I Didn’t Report My Sexual Assault, because Michelle deserves a listening ear rather than people to speak for or over her, as her post amply demonstrates.
  • LudditeJourno of The Hand Mirror writes Consent at the Ivy Bar: ‘It’s hard enough to name queer experiences of sexual violence, and that work, world-wide, is only just beginning. We could do with insiders in the queer community not shutting it down.’


Shifting thinking

  • At Hoyden About Town, tigtog writes Ninjaed! Links debunking the pseudoscience of alpha status and social dominance, which is a self-explanatory title.
  • Rebecca of Opinions @ bluebec.com talks about The privilege of “gay”: ‘If you are a writer, please do not use gay to refer to the entire queer community, find another word or phrase or acronym.’ Pretty much, yeah.
  • Jennifer Wilson at No Place For Sheep writes On apologising: respect the sorry!: ‘I want to treat the sorry with the respect it deserves. I want to honour the sorry, and only use it when I mean it. The sorry is a thing of great beauty, to be used sparingly and always with consideration and intention. It is a sad thing, to see the sorry reduced to a meaningless convention, used to blackmail, bully and humiliate.’
  • Josephine Mandarano of Lip Magazine is getting married, but Don’t Call Me Mrs and don’t expect any name-changing, thank you very much.


Between the leaves

  • At The Conversationalist, Ju Transcendancing reviews The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood, which features a protagonist with non-normative gender presentation and sexuality living in a post-pandemic Melbourne. That’s going straight on the to-read list, especially as it won the Tiptree Award!
  • I received a kind nomination for a post of my own, a review of Leila J. Rupp’s Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women. Rupp’s a great historian, and it was interesting to see the gaps this history fills and those it leaves.
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts has written a fabulous post called Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy. Let’s Unpack That. This is my favourite bit: ‘Treating female characters as people will make your fantasy more interesting. Not just to female readers. To readers who are people. And, let’s face it, most readers are.’
  • Eleanor Rosie at Settle Petal writes Team Austen or Team Bronte??, about the very gendered tendency to ask people to choose between a love of one or the other.

Politics of a governmental nature

  • LudditeJourno tackles the questionable Trans Tasman ranking of NZ politicians in Ranking full stop. ‘White men working for public institutions which value them giving positive assessments to white men working for public institutions which value them is one of those-not-so-invisible-ways our world works to privilege whiteness and masculinity over people of colour and women.’
  • Jennifer Wilson at No Place For Sheep writes The diversion of aid: Carr’s false comparisons, arguing that the domestic funnelling of Australia’s foreign aid for asylum seekers cannot be justified by comparisons with other national policies, because Australia’s conditions placed on asylum seekers are unique, and not in a happy fun times way.

Viewing feminism

In the news

  • anjum at stargazer writes the loss of an artist, on the death of Ravi Shankar: ‘one thing that has been annoying me about the coverage of his death in western media are the western markers. he brought indian music to the attention of the beatles, and therefore to the attention of the west. that is the first thing that is said about him in almost all the news reports i’ve seen – as if a western audience couldn’t appreciate his greatness without reference to a well-known western band or what he means to the west.’
  • Chrys Stevenson at Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear writes Daily Telegraph sportswriters deserve Horse’s Ass of the Year Award because they named a horse, Black Caviar, Australian Sportswoman of the Year.
  • At The Hand Mirror, stargazer questions the idea that Jacintha Saldanha’s death was not foreseeable? ‘they could not have foreseen the suicide. but they could have foreseen the shame and the pain. and they didn’t care.’
  • Also at The Hand Mirror, two posts reflecting on the common tendency to assign autism and mental illness as the causes of violent crime. Julie writes There is no depression in New Zealand and anthea writes Secondary Effects.

I want to end on a note of useful resources. Emma and Rosie at wom*news have book together a Women’s Hotline and Website Resources List, mostly for the Brisbane and general Queensland areas. There’s everything on there, from sexual health to counselling services.

That’s it for this month. Next month, the carnival will be hosted by Bri at My Scarlett Heartt in early February. Submissions to scarlettheartt [at] gmail [dot] com for those who can’t access the blogcarnival submissions form. Perhaps you yourself would like to host a future carnival? You can volunteer for any hosting slot not listed on the future carnivals page, and you can do this by leaving a comment below or emailing me at chally [dot] zeroatthebone [at] gmail [dot] com.