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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 97th Down Under Feminists Carnival! Both as this edition’s host and the carnival’s coordinator, I am so pleased to be a part of this monthly community initiative in which we share the best of New Zealand’s and Australia’s online writing of feminist interest.

We need volunteers to host the carnival from November onwards. Check out the future carnivals schedule. If you’d like to share in the love, please leave a comment below or contact me at chally.zeroatthebone [at] gmail [dot] com. It’s not hard and it’s always interesting!

Okay, here we go.

The workplace

Nova Peris didn’t ‘let the team down’, she blazed a trail says Celeste Liddle in a tribute at Daily Life.

At Puzzling, Mary writes Tech interviews, too much homework, and the motherhood question, about the rising trend of take home exams as a part of the recruitment process in the tech industry – yet another barrier to the industry for those without endless free time, such as those with parenting responsibilities.

At Daily Life, Jane Gilmore writes The gender pay gap isn’t just ‘real’ – it’s even worse than statistics suggest. ‘This is the real gender pay gap in Australia: 52%.’

Rachel Browne of the Sydney Morning Herald writes Disability discrimination still rife in Australian workplaces.

At Hoyden About Town, tigtog writes WTF OTD: Me-me-me-ternity leave, responding to the idea that maternity leave is simply paid time off rather than ‘sheer hard work’.

Pushing back against narratives around LGBTQ issues

At SBS, Elizabeth Sutherland writes Why I don’t want to come out anymore: ‘We don’t want to come out anymore, so stop putting us into the closet. Shelve those heteronormative assumptions, instead.’

Aaminah Khan, writing at Harlot Magazine, says Don’t Tell Me, A Queer Muslim, About Homophobia In Islam, about zer confronting dealings with white LGBT activists.

In response to Cate McGregor’s opposition to Australia’s Safe Schools program, Margot Fink writes Why ‘acceptability politics’ is the wrong approach for transgender advocates at Daily Life.

Arts corner

I really enjoyed Holly Walker’s interview with Patricia Grace at The Spinoff. Grace, the first Māori woman to publish a book of short stories in English, has released her first novel in a decade and granted Walker a rare interview.

Flip That Script writes And the winner is…Mr Man Pants, asking who controls the images of women in the music industry.

At The Conversation, see The sound of silence: why aren’t Australia’s female composers being heard? The authors, Sally Macarthur, Cat Hope, and Dawn Bennett, lay out the problems and some solutions.


Jo of A life unexamined writes Book Review: Rachel Hills, The Sex Myth. ‘The Sex Myth is all about the role that sex plays in our lives and our society – and critiquing the way that sex has become so all-encompassing, so fundamental to our identities and self-worth and ideas of success, that is has become more powerful and more elevated than all other things we do.’

Liz Barr at No Award writes a book review: Hugos 2016: Uprooted by Naomi Novik. ‘I found it hugely derivative, with an unpleasant hero and more rape attempts and general rapeyness than the book actually needed. (Content warning ahead.)’

Violence against women

Changing the face we value, by LudditeJourno at The Hand Mirror, is a truly excellent piece. It’s about the importance of decentring Tony Veitch’s narrative and valuing that of the woman he abused, within a wider context in which it’s common to take abusers’ statements at face value, but not victims’. Consider that description a content warning. Likewise for A point-by-point rebuttal of Tony Veitch’s terrible column by Delaney Mes at The Spinoff.

At Daily Life, Clementine Ford argues that Johnny Depp’s career will be fine, and that’s part of the problem: ‘The truth is that this is much bigger than Amber Heard, Johnny Depp and what the public may or may not believe about their relationship. This is about what it’s like to be a woman who comes forward about abuse in a culture which refuses at every turn to believe that abuse might actually be real.’


Emily at Mama Said writes The mother of assumptions, on the ill-informed comments she sometimes gets from other mothers online. ‘I remind myself what happens when you close yourself off, only see the worst. Make assumptions that put someone into a negative light so you can’t see any good in them. That darkness we created keeps us from each other.’ Speaking of, Emily has also written We built a village, about how it still “takes a village” to raise a child, something that has not disappeared with contemporary life, but rather has found new avenues.

An anonymous author, guest posting at Mama Said, writes Mother’s Day as a single parent – Delight not disappointment. It is, well, a delight.

Sheryl Sandberg and the struggle of single parenting is a stunning piece by Andie Fox at Daily Life. It’s about grief, autonomy, dependence, and single parenthood.

Tasha at Wondrously Other has some lessons On Having a Child In Hospital.

At Lulastic and the Hippyshake, Lucy has some thoughts on love, being present, and connection in 5 Tips to Boost the Connection in Your Parent Child Relationship – including thoughts that you may find useful for all kinds of relationships.

Tasha offers reflections on When Breastfeeding Comes to an End at Wondrously Other.

cescasp at myflatpacklife asks us to Stop. In the name of love. ‘What I don’t understand, what makes me angry, is how the mother of a four year old boy is now public enemy number one’ as a result of the events at Cincinnati Zoo.


Sarah Burnside’s The pudding club: on pregnancy politics and writing at Overland is deft and lovely.

With regard to asylum seekers, katgallow writes Government accountable for care of pregnant women: ‘Hold all politicians to account for failing those in their care, but especially and immediately, the particularly vulnerable: pregnant women and babies.’

At the ABC, Amy Gray writes Social infertility: Can we blame women having IVF for delaying pregnancy?. ‘It’s a label that tells us so much about the rise of older mothers: women delay pregnancy because society makes it damn hard to be a mother at any age.’


highlyeccentric at Australian Medievalists writes She doesn’t need makeup to be attractive: or, what a load of bollocks, about ‘about perceived and performed professionalism’.

Rachel Hills asks Have we busted the Beauty Myth? at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman.

Class, poverty, and intersections thereof

Stephanie of No Award writes white flight, australian schools, everything is terrible, because Australian public schools are segregating and why is this real.

Kathy at Too Fond of Books writes On being who I am, on the legacies of childhood and a discomfort in the presence of excess. I feel like I’m going to be coming back to this one.

Stephanie at Boots Theory writes How we got here: ‘A long time ago in New Zealand we all, through public services run by the government, ensured every family had enough money to feed their kids and a safe house to live in. We used to make people’s jobs secure and support people who weren’t able to work […] We lost that. But we didn’t lose it by accident.’

Sarah at Writehanded talks about The “deserving poor”: ‘New Zealanders are guilty of believing there is such a thing as the deserving and undeserving poor. There’s nothing better to do around the dinner table than a good ole bit of beneficiary bashing. Do I sound bitter? Good, because I am.’


blue milk has an announcement: Launching the Feminist Writers Festival. Amazing stuff.

Cynthia Hancox shares some Home Education Success Stories and is seeking more such stories from New Zealand.

At No Award, Stephanie writes things australians can do to support asylum seekers. It is a very useful post!

Elephant’s Child writes Homelessness, on an excellent support service for people experiencing homelessness and some ideas you might like to keep in mind.


Cat of Friend of Marilyn writes On Why I Don’t Care About Health. Cat’s done using health as the lens for talking about fat.

Prince did not die from pain pills, says Sarah Wilson of Writehanded, but from chronic pain, and we need to talk about the difference.

Shifting some viewpoints

Thalia of Sacraparental has collected 122 Subtly Sexist Words About Women (and What to do About Them). It is a useful, thoughtful, constructive read.

At the Melbourne Theatre Company website, Rebecca Shaw imagines what she’d do if she could experience Life as a Straight White Man.

John T. Patten writes Were Aboriginal Australians Nomadic: Fact or Fiction? at KooriHistory.com. ‘We are a continent of many nations, and our cultures are presented on television, on the internet, and in classrooms in a typically narrow view, based only on the cultures of desert peoples.’

‘The experiences of women who choose not to have children play a key part in understanding how our choices as women have the power to define who we are. And our degree of freedom to make those choices tells us something about who we are allowed to be.’ Some really interesting thinking from Zoë Krupka at The Conversation in Child-free: why women who choose not to have kids are given such a hard time.

Flip That Script writes I’m not in your shitty club. I’m a lightbeamer. It’s about refusing to allow yourself to be co-opted by bigots.

Thank you for reading this month’s Down Under Feminists Carnival. Don’t forget to:

  • Submit to the Ninety-Eighth Edition, planned for 5 July, 2016 and hosted by Rebecca at Opinions @ bluebec.com. Submissions to rebecca [dot] dominguez [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Volunteer to host a future carnival. Check out the future carnivals schedule. Please leave a comment below or contact me at chally.zeroatthebone [at] gmail [dot] com