reappropriate

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Carnival of Feminists: Issue 6

Welcome, ladies and germs, to the sixth edition of the Carnival of Feminists. We've got quite a show for you tonight, so sit down, take a whiff of that sawdust, break open that bag of buttery popcorn, and enjoy the show! The Intersection of Race and Gender: Feminism of Colour To start things off, Woman of Color Blog eloquently mourns for the invisibility of women of colour when the plight of their male counterparts are repeatedly touted in the national media. She compares the high profile execution of Tookie Williams with the thousands of women of colour whose stories still remain unheard to this day. In an arena in which women of colour are visible to a fault, blac(k)ademic of black lesbians say what? records her disgust for and argues against the racism of pornography. Interspersed with search terms that have been used to pull up her blog, blac(k)ademic deconstructs the racism of the sexual fantasy that fuels those seeking pornography featuring women of colour. Speaking of sex and race, it seems that the hypersexualization of women of colour comes with another heavy price. Mad Melancholic Feminista insightfully considers the targeting of African American and Hispanic neighbourhoods with billboards promoting abstinence to be just a "wee bit" racist. In South Korea, Silverfish cleverly wonders what South Korean feminists have to say about the inescapable overrepresentation of White women in South Korean advertising and toy products. On a related note, over at Egotistical Whining, shannon credits the diversity of her childhood reading -- beyond the usual literary "classics" -- for helping her avoid internalizing white supremacy and female inadequacy. Meanwhile, erin, over at Hyphen Blog, recounts how she lost a little of that holiday spirit after picking up a David Sedaris holiday collection of short stories only to be confronted by a truly despicable caricature of a Vietnamese whore in one of the stories. Erin explains how she had believed that Sedaris, as a gay man, would be sensitive to issues of stereotyping and caricatures -- turns out facing discrimination and bigotry doesn't prevent you from turning around and giving as good as you got. Ink and Incapability airs out her issues over this edition's call for feminists to blog about gender and race, writing that she, as a White woman, does not feel comfortable writing about feminism of colour. Instead, she argues, it's all about sympathy and support. Impetus Java House takes a different tact, identifying herself based on many factors not limited to race and gender. This identity, though not unusual in Canadian diversity, is, she writes, nonetheless unrepresented. Speaking of diversity, in an act of shameless self-promotion, reappropriate loudly muses about where all the Asian American female political bloggers are? And last, but certainly not least, feminists of colour not only embody a unique intersection of identity and experience, but are also sources inspiration: consider this incredible and worthwhile interview with Serap Cileli, conducted by Redemption Blues. This interview was repeatedly nominated for inclusion in this edition of the Carnival -- and deservedly so! Cileli is leading the revolution for Muslim women's rights in Germany. Here is a short excerpt:

What I am interested in is women’s rights, the next generation of young men, that they should think and live in a different way to their forebears, that they grant their wives and their daughters and their mothers these rights, that they acknowledge and regard them as individuals with equal rights, that they then put this into practice in everyday life, not just on paper, but in everyday life. There is a long way to go before we achieve that here in Germany or in Europe for that matter.
Please take the time to read this unique and empowering interview. For more information on Serap Cileli, her movement, and what you can do to help, please see Cileli's website ( in German) and look for her book to appear later this year. How They See Us: Media Imagery in Hollywood and Pop Culture Christina (aka, blndsnnts) raises questions on her LiveJournal about femininity, desire, 'love', dominance and the female character as a sexual subject in 2001's film adaptation of The Piano Teacher. Meanwhile, Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty (all of us Whedon fans are just swooning over that blog name) discusses the cross-class relationships within Joss Whedon's Firefly (and subsequent movie, Serenity). The post also explores whether Whedon's Firefly universe is truly gender-equal if Inara "chooses" to fulfill the role of Companion. While we're on the topic of Joss Whedon, those of you who follow comic book news might know that he is slated to direct the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. Over at Written World, blogger, Ragnell, contends that Wonder Woman should always be gloriously, overwhelmingly, femininely tall. Let's hope Whedon is listening! Speaking of the appearance of celebrities (comic book and otherwise), FluffyDollars wittily explores Hollywood's obsession with the weight of female celebrities. In her post, she characterizes the hypocrisy of tabloid headlines that at once glorify weight loss and criticize overly-thin celebrities as the "Beast of 2005". I Blame the Patriarchy wryly indulges in some delightful sarcasm in discussing Maxim's recent invasion of Indian culture. But who can blame them -- after all, Maxim plans to save us all from sexism! Who'd'a thunk it? Striking another blow to the patriarchy by being just as sexy as they want us to be are the Pussycat Dolls. Who, you ask? CultureKitchen ponders the parallels between our favourite Hollywood strippers turned burlesque dancers turned pop divas and the disgusting Real Doll. From sex dolls to kids' dolls, Mommybloggers takes a minute to reconsider our beloved Barbie -- and more importantly, why Barbie mutilation has reached a new and dizzying high amongst the younger generations. Tapas of the Feminists Tapas arise out of a Spanish tradition and have come to encompass a style of eating in which many small dishes are presented on a bar or counter and are each sampled by diners. Though each taste of an individual dish may be minimal, the overall meal is very substantial. In today's Tapas of the Feminists, we present a small sampling of posts by feminist bloggers. Though you may be satisfied by today's presentation, I encourage you to return to these and other blogs for future readings, as this Carnival provides only a taste of what their writing has to offer. For starters, Evelyn Rodriguez of New Communications Blogzine persuasively deconstructs the reason why so many women are attracted to blogging. Amidst the carefully collected statistics is a moving recount of the author's own relationship with her blogging and a ventured redefinition of the role of the blog in modern culture. Unfortunately, the blogosphere is not a gender-blind world. Hugo Schwyzer notes the greater pressure placed on female bloggers to exhibit their physical appearance online in the form of photographs. He also calls into question the disparity in importance placed upon physicality that he faces as a male blogger compared to his female counterparts. Nonetheless, New Communcations Blogzine's post reminds us of how rich the lives of women are -- and, sure enough, spotlights on artistic women abounded this last two weeks. The Rhine River shines a spotlight on Else Lasker-Schüler, the unique and ground-breaking poet who forged her own path and defied almost all of the social conventions of her time. Composite: thoughts on poetics by liz henry provides her thoughts on Chilean born poet, Olga Acevedo. As for female artists, Ellen and Jim Have a Blog, Too, also have something to show us! More recent stories celebrating the lives of women include Feministe's Lauren who documents some random thoughts of her own on expectation as it pertains to family and education. At the beginning of a new year, when we're all busy making New Year's resolutions, it is relevant to remember Lauren's advice not to succumb to low expectations! This post sparked some great response posts! Lawyers, Guns and Money is inspired to describe why he self-identifies as a feminist. The Happy Feminist also weighs in with her own story of the educational expectations she experienced from her own family. In a post sure to strike a chord with all the Carnival's female readers, Fugu-sashi curses the puberty gods and compares her own first period story with the recent first period experience of her 12-year-old daughter. A Lucky White Girl defies the behavioural expectations of women when she talks about her excursions into gender-bending when she was younger and how, in the present, she uses the expectations of her engendered by her current tendency towards a feminine appearance to defy them with her political stances. Speaking of expectations, what woman doesn't face the expectation of procreation? The powerful phenomenon of "mommyblogging" can be considered a response to that societal expectation. And yet, despite her personal objections to the term "mommyblogger", Surfette embraces the spirit of self-determination and comments on the ongoing debate over that identity. While we're talking about motherhood, Echidne of the Snakes quips about the Japanese government increasing childcare options for working mothers -- but not for the reasons one would think! On a larger scale, volsunga questions what happened to bottom-up, self-determining feminist activism. In her post, she implores the feminist community to stop expecting top-down social change and to become more active in grassroots campaign. Over at the Official Shrub.com Blog, tekanji outlines why she believes the activism should include an end to chivalry. Being nice? Okay. Treating women like fragile, delicate little princesses? Uh-uh. Speaking of women being treated as delicate little princesses, a question that plagues us all: why do women earn less? Frugal Wisdom from Wenchypoo's Warehouse solemnly suggests that it has more to do with women not fighting for what they deserve than any lesser ability or skill. Everyone could use this advice! Speaking of workplace discrimination, in a workplace of a different sort, Philobiblon astutely chronicles Britain's recent adoption of a zero tolerance policy towards prostitution. The post then goes on to address how female violators of that policy are more stringently "zero-tolerated" than their male clients. And yet, when it comes to history, in Britain, it seems it's hard to imagine women as being on the 'naughty' rather than the 'nice' list. Cruella-blog believes it's time for a change -- there are two women on the Top Ten Britons List, but none in the 10 Worst Britons! We can be bad, too! Switching gears, somewhat, in a shocking reminder that ignoring injustice, too, makes you morally complicit in a crime, indianwriting is aghast not only to read how often women are gang-raped in the general compartments of trains but to find out how few people stepped in to protest. Meanwhile, The Religious Policeman helpfully clarifies some of the "99 Traits a Man Would Love to Find in his Wife", a 'guide' for Saudi women. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. Also, bardseyeview brings literature to life in a post that juxtaposes Honour Killings with the story of Titus Andronicus. Still, if you wanted to believe that Americans are more sexually liberated, The Bloggin' Bizatch implores us to think again. She is outraged at the Liberator and exactly how much it doesn't live up to its name. And lastly, on a more sober note, Lingual Tremors movingly remembers American AIDS activist and poet Tory Dent who passed away on Tuesday. Says Lingual, Dent "didn't ask for our attention; she demanded it with a language that inspired, chronicled, philosophized, and disrupted our expectations." We can only be inspired by Dent's life and how she chose to live it. And that's it, folks! Thanks for reading, thanks to all those who submitted or nominated posts and thanks, especially, to Sour Duck for catching my numerous SNAFUs over the course of hosting this Carnival edition! The next edition of the Carnival of Feminists will be on January 18th at Feministe.

16 Comments:

Blogger fugusashi said...

Thanks, Jenn! I've read a couple of the articles already and plan to come back to do more reading later.

Fugu-sashi

1/04/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Winter said...

This looks amazing! Well done.

1/04/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Melinda Casino said...

Issue 6 is a very well put-together issue, written to a high standard.

Fantastic job, Jenn. (Thanks for the thanks.)

1/04/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger amanuensis said...

What a treasure trove of thought-provoking posts. Thanks for doing this!

1/04/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous blogginbizatch said...

i'm happy to be included in the carnival. how i was included i do not know. i believe my satirical approach was confused, my post was humor in regards to an advertisement for a particular product. i tend to focus many posts on what i like to call "idiot advertising".

1/04/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ragnell said...

She's not the only one wondering how the hell she ended up here, but I'm also glad I did. I just spend the most enjoyable evening reading these posts, and others I found on those blogs. Thank you so much for that!

1/04/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Techunter said...

None of the articles I read here tonight show true feminism. Feminism should be about making sure women are protected from exploitation and murder. For a real femisism story, go here.

1/04/2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Techunter, the killing of the teacher that you cite above is truly tragic, and many feminists will have something to say about this, I'm sure. However, don't confuse the Carnival of the Feminists with an excuse for liberal-bashing. This latest edition of the Carnival had a deadline for post submissions on January 3rd, meaning most posts were actually written prior to that date.

The beheading of the teacher occurred on January 4th. It unfortunately happened too late for its inclusion in this edition of the Carnival (i.e., no posts could be submitted on the topic since the deadline had already passed). I know because I actually was proofreading this edition of the Carnival as the news broke on CNN.

I expect that there will be an abundance of commentary in the next edition of the Carnival. You can watch for it on January 18th at Feministe. Check out The Carnival of Feminists homepage for more details

Thank you for visiting the Carnival and for your input. Again, however, I think you haven't stopped to consider the details of the two events and have mixed coincidence with deliberateness.

BTW, I suggest that you take care in trying to define for others their feminism. The whole point of the feminist blogging and feminist discourse is to bring together different ideas of what feminism is, not impose one's understanding of feminism unto another. That's why every Carnival edition works hard to include a diversity of thought and opinion.

1/05/2006 01:20:00 AM  
Blogger That Girl said...

Thanks for the host!

1/06/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Ahistoricality said...

Nicely done! I like the typographical distinction between bloggers and posts: I may steal that for my next hosting duties.

Also, the content rocks.

1/06/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger yellowbaby said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/07/2006 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger yellowbaby said...

(I posted this comment after the Asian American sisters entry but thought it was relevant here too. Sorry for taking up your space)

I think this is the best carnival yet because of the variety and the interesting content and not just because I'm an Asian American woman. Thank you for doing this. I'm thrilled about this and the new radical women of color carnival. I would have submitted but have been too tired and pissed off lately not coincidentally about the white privilege in a young feminist community I've been lurking. There is either nothing to say besides how it absolutely sucks that women of color are marginalized in communities of color and feminist communities or there is too much to say. With the tiredness and anger that comes with being a woman of color, I can sometimes only shake my head. I've found very few Asian or Asian American female political bloggers.

Thanks for the carnivals, ladies. I have alot more quality material to bookmark and read now.

1/07/2006 02:13:00 AM  
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