After a bit of a gap from the last one, the 46th Carnival of Feminists is here, as always, celebrating feminist writing (not necessarily only women’s) from around the world. Hosting the Carnival is lovely, first of all, because it led me to so many blogs that I didn’t know of, previously. I suppose it reflects the way blogging is today, that the bulk of entries came from UK and US bloggers. Language issues eliminate the large section of people blogging in languages such as Mandarin, Japanese, German or French. Nevertheless, given the limitations, I’ve tried my best to be as inclusive as possible. For ease of reading, I’m dividing this up into a few sections dealing with different things.
Section One, is posts to do with Feminist Theory, where, I don’t mean theory in the strict sense (not being an academic!), but posts that deal with issues relating to women, the underlying theories of behaviour, factors, solutions…
1. Is Reading Cosmo sexist - Joseph Orosco’s post on women participating in objectification/ perpetuation of stereotypes about themselves.
2. Greta Christina writes on the increasing amount of dominant-male-submissive-female porn that she is seeing, enjoyed by both men and women. She uses this to construct some very interesting arguments on how a fantasy about prescribed roles can sometimes be an escape from the constant struggle to reverse those roles, in reality!
3. GrrlScientist goes in search of her rhetorical penis, as she wonders what caused The Scientist to exclude (well read) female science bloggers from their list of “top” science bloggers. In true scientific fashion, she postulates a number of hypotheses, though the answers are not that easily found.
4. Another Science blogger, Dr. Signout offers some theories on what makes people so uncomfortable around breastfeeding women.
5. Alex Remy at Writing Evolution has a very logically built up piece on why she supports the right to abortion and why pro-choice advocates need to do more to counter myths and fallacious arguments.
6. Deborah from In a Strange Land analyses coverage of a research paper which suggested that women’s happiness is not as high as it should be, and wonders why people were so quick to include the Feminist movement as one of the likely causes.
7. Bridget Crawford at Feminist Law Profs dissects some popularly held beliefs including that feminists of different times don’t understand each other, and that young feminists have abandoned the law as a means of change.
8. The Hoyden about Town tears up a paper that seemingly applauds feminism, but then, only ‘because its not all lesbians, and does have attractive women, you know’.
9. Lina @ The Uncool Blog talks about “grey rape” cases and makes a case for giving these a name, that allows the victims to talk about them, even if they don’t recognize it as rape. (as commonly understood).
In Section Two, I bunged in pieces that deal with specific events, programs, actions and relating to activism as well.
1. Cara at The Curvature talks about a case where parents tried to force a young woman into having an abortion – and while this may end up becoming fodder for anti-choice supporters, it really goes to show that control over women’s bodies is wrong, in any form it takes.
2. Matttbastard has a really detailed piece on how previous attempts to provide a more equal space for women in Zimbabwean politics, are being unraveled.
3. Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Profs discusses the single-sex schooling experiments underway in some American states, whether they indeed foster better learning or simply reinforce gender stereotypes. She also provides links to other resources on these.
4. Blue Milk has a very simply worded but really thoughtful post on a recent bill introduced by Australian senator Natasha Stott Despoja, to provide paid maternity leave.
5. Sabrin Chowdhury at Adhunika, A Bangladeshi women’s blog discusses the domestic violence below the surface, the cases of South Asian women in the US who may never speak up and never be heard.
6. The Blog Document the Silence wants to raise support for more action against crimes being perpetuated on women of color in the US.
7. Jason at Gorilla Sushi writes to talk about his support for a local Planned Parenthood Clinic, and this is interesting – even though he defines himself as being against abortion.
8. In a related post, Holly at Menstrual Poetry gives a highly factual and balanced view of what Planned Parenthood clinics actually do, as opposed to the blindly held view by many that they exist solely to perform abortions.
9. Debs at FeministFire writes on the domestic abuse help programme in the UK which is well meaning and does offer help to affected women, but perhaps not enough.
10. While civil rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi is well known, Kyaw Zwa Moe highlights the contribution of various ordinary women to the pro-democracy movement in Burma, often at very high cost to their lives.
11. Jaymi at the Feminist Pulse has a lovely interview with Erin Weed, founder of Girls Fight Back, an organizations that helps women to counter violence.
12. Payal Saksena at Ultraviolet, an Indian Feminist Colla-blog, writes on the new Domestic Violence law in India and how it could bring about change.
Section Three deals with popular culture and media, including blogging.
1. Louise has an alternative view on Tarantino’s Death Proof, where she cogently argues why its not necessarily misogynist even if it shows violence against women.
2. The indomitable Tamil Punkster takes on all those cretins who troll feminist blogs and leave mindless comments
3. The Plain(s)Feminist talks about why its disgusting to be calling Britney Spears fat, and what it says about the name callers themselves.
4. Chelsey Clammer review’s Nima Naghibi’s ‘Rethinking Global Sisterhood’, a book on the relationships between Western and Iranian feminists, that examines how Iranian women have been appropriated for the ends of other factions, be it Islamists or Western feminists.
5. Kate Smurthwaite dashes any pretensions Dove may have of saving the world, with its campaigns for “real beauty”.
6. Kestrell compiles a list of 100 feminist and queer movies, book and personalities.
The last one, Section Four, deals with personal experiences that bloggers have written about, relevant to feminist issues.
1. Emily has a story about her grandmother, and goes on to talk about pregnancy and childbirth related deaths around the world.
2. Roy answers a reader’s question on what’s in it for him in being a male feminist.
3. The Saudi Stepford wife has a lightly-written yet heartbreaking post on why even though her own personal circumstances may be good, any woman in Saudi Arabia could end up being just chattel.
4. Bombay Dost talks about a small act of standing up to harassment, which makes her feel wonderful.
5. And here, I also place my post on worshipping the Goddess, a festival of great importance to me (and millions of other Indians…)
Researching pieces for this Carnival certainly showed me how much of good writing there is from various perspectives. And while not everything is well yet, the efforts of women and men from around the world, to change things, either in their own lives, or in the communities around them, was so heartening. I hope all the visitors to the Carnival had an equally good time reading. Thank you!