Good Morning Feminartsy Community,
Welcome to the first edition of our new weekly newsletter rounding up some of our favourite feminist reads and news articles for the week.
In the week following the horrifying attacks in Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been roundly praised for showing leadership and compassion in a manner that has been tellingly lacking from other world leaders in similar situations. Our thoughts are with all those associated with the Al Noor Mosque, the Linwood Islamic Centre, and with Muslim communities around the world who have long had to contend with leaders playing politics with their lives, beliefs, and culture.
Closer to home, a photograph of AFLW star Tayla Harris in full flight is set to become an iconic image of Australia’s national game – and of Australian sport in general. But the image will unfortunately be forever associated with the vile and abusive trolling which followed its posting on the Seven Network’s social media feed, and with Seven’s misjudgement in deciding to pull the image. Harris has stated the comments were tantamount to sexual abuse – and an indicator of a broader culture of patriarchy and violence. An inspiration in more ways than one.
In city news, bathrooms and gender is again raising questions of equality and access. In Pune, India, old buses are being turned into ablution facilities. A move that addresses a number of health, access, and safety issues. But questions of gender, safety, and access can work the other way too. In Brooklyn, New York, a kink collective’s presence has angered many older residents, and created a tension between questions of sex work and empowerment on the one hand, and class and gentrification on the other.
Turning to questions of body image, performativity, and acceptable boundaries of femininity, Savannah Sipple’s memoir piece in Salon speaks of being a women who is simultaneously successful and fat in a culture which generally celebrates neither. The Jane Austen diet argues that bread is the key to happiness. While, perhaps less inspirationally, girls as young as 8 are turning to professional hair removal in the wake of comments from their peers.
And, finally, stories passed down through generations of Gunditjmara women continue to inspire, to build strength, to celebrate culture and country, and to map identity and selfhood.
Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!