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Posts Tagged ‘gender myths’

Apologies for the extended silence. It’s been a rather busy couple of months. I’ll try to get back to regular blogging soon.

Anyway, one recent activity that has kept me away from my blog (and from generally participating in the blogosphere) has been supporting a good friend and her husband in the final few days of pregnancy and first few days of their child’s life.

It was an enormous privilege for me, as although I’ve now got a few friends with small children, I’ve never been particularly involved with the process.

My friends live in a city that is not the one where I live, so I’ve been out of town for a little while. This has meant that I’ve needed to explain my absence to a few people. The conversation often goes something like this:

“I’ve been out of town supporting some friends while they had a baby.”
“Awwww. Was it a boy or a girl?”

I’ve had a great deal of trouble with this instant reaction. Is that really the most important thing you could think of to ask?

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I was going to write a warm fuzzy post about what a wonderful milestone it is to have, for the first time in Australia, a woman elected Premier of a state (yes, we have had female Premiers before, but apparently none of them have won elections as leaders).

That was a fact I didn’t know until I read the first couple of paragraphs of this article. Which are actually really lovely, so I’m going to extract them here just so that I can smile about them again:

ANNA BLIGH recalls that when growing up on the Gold Coast in the 1970s, choices available to young women were pretty limited. “The prospect that one day I would be premier of Queensland was not even a distant possibility,” she said.

But that prospect became a reality at the weekend when Ms Bligh made history as the first woman in Australia to be elected premier. The Labor leader’s victory – which defied the polls – is a symbol of the state’s transformation.

However. (more…)

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Ohhh, the hatred of young women. It burns, it BURNS!

The “Heckler” column in the Sydney Morning Herald is a reader-written column, where readers are encouraged to write about things that annoy them.

A few years ago, there was a 750 word limit (maybe it started at 700), and then it went through a period where it seemed to have lost another 50 words every time I looked. It’s now at 450.

This means that there’s not really enough room for someone to say anything other than: “This thing that other people do really pisses me off”, but then, I guess that’s the point of the column.

Sometimes, they can be really funny. Sometimes they just fall flat.

At other times, they expose the writer’s biases beautifully. Like today.

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Man advertises wife.

Misogynistic, stereoptyical statements? Check! Here’s what the ad said:

Nagging Wife. No Tax, No MOT. Very high maintenance – some rust.

Treating wife like a possession? Check! He advertised her “along with some of his fishing tackle”.

[For a bonus point: people actually responded! Cannot believe. Cannot fucking believe. Head exploding now.]

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Or horrendously expensive luxuries, for that matter.

I’m trying to work out how I feel about this article.

Pros:

    → It acknowledges that the “women spend more money than men do on pointless things” myth is a myth.

Um, yeah, that’s about it for the pro side.

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I recently saw “I’ve Loved You So Long“. I’ve been hearing about, and wanting to see, this movie for months, and I’m very glad I finally got around to it, as it was fantastic. And heartbreaking. And fantastic.

It’s also rather feminist.

It’s not in-your-face feminist – it doesn’t shout “up with women” or “down with men”.

It just, very softly, very gently, tells the story of two women (sisters) and their relationships with each other, their children, their parents, their partners, their friends and their jobs.

As a result, I’ve been thinking about why I think that’s feminist.

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Feminists do so have a sense of humour! When the jokes are funny, that is.

Some women on an online discussion group I’m part of were sharing some jokes today. The group has a slight feminist bent, as it is for women who travel independently. The heading of the topic was “A feminist joke”, and the joke posted by the topic author was this one:

This is about the holidays which just passed in the Catholic world.
One women spoke with another and said: A virgin birth I can believe, but finding three wise men?

Maybe I really am a humourless feminist, but after the first momentary giggle, I find that grating, rather than funny. And yet, the following four jokes, posted by someone else, I find hilarious:

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Now I know they are.

The program, called Shine, was created by the Hillsong Church. It is being run in at least 20 NSW public schools, numerous small community organisations and within the juvenile justice system.

Hillsong describes Shine as a “practical, life-equipping, values-based course” and its website is awash with glowing testimonials from young women whose lives have been improved by learning about “being a good friend” and “learning about myself”.

“Through skin care, natural make-up, hair care, nail care girls discover their value and created uniqueness,” the material says.

Ugh.

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