Month: January 2011 (page 1 of 2)

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Map of Tasmania

Thoughts on this song? Mine are:
1. The Young Punx/Peaches/Amanda Palmer combined are the embodiment of super cool
2. Ace design
3. I immediately want to draw a big triangle on my face
4. But wearing an artistic sculptural merkin would probably be quite uncomfortable
5. Like the pro-bush ‘grow that shit like a jungle’ message in the lyrics BUT THEN –
6. Why are all the merkins on obviously shaven/waxed skin?

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Women, Masculinism and Democracy

Throughout the centuries when the political project that has resulted in “modern democracy” was developing, women were excluded from decision making processes. The development of “modern democracy” – from ancient Greece to the French Revolution to the Constitutional Convention in the USA – had no meaningful participation of women, and took place in the context of profound gender norms. Therefore, I use quotation marks when referring to “modern democracy” to indicate that it is neither unquestionably democratic nor modern. The  existence of differences in gendered behaviour means that the political ideas, practices and structures developed were complementary to dominant gender norms of privilege men- masculinism with an elitist and racist edge. This has resulted in political systems which, although now legally open to women to vote, run for office, etc, are still not a place where most women can thrive because these systems still privilege masculine norms, and gender norms continue to be deeply embedded. Continue reading

Powerlessness and the Politics of Entitlement

The right-wing media frenzy over ‘violent student protestors’ of late is an issue that is, for me, tied inextricably to the oppression of women in our society. The voice of neo-conservatism that questions what right women have to be angry about gender inequality in the current ‘post-feminist’ landscape is the same voice that characterises students attempting to escape kettles and raising their voices against the coalition government as militants bent on stirring things up rather than having any base for their actions. The pseudo-liberal project of being anti the ‘extreme’ is the recurrent trope, and the power relationship implied in the notion of telling someone to ‘calm down’, is made all the more powerful by the mitigating culture of being falsely ‘moderate’, and law-abiding. This is a discourse drafted and promulgated by a white, male, cis-gendered, middle-class patriarchy. Women are, of course, often complicit, but they are one of the largest sectors of society to be censored by this masculine liberalism, which all too often appropriates the language of oppression to further bolster a societal status that has become hegemonic. Continue reading

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