Petals! It's been a long time between Link Loves, we know. We've sorted ourselves out and decided to replace the sporadic, if-we-can-coordinate-it weekly link love and go for a monthly wrap up instead. So this is it: what you may have missed, or wish you had, in May. It was the month we celebrated those born under the sign of Taurus (like two of the strongest young women I know are. Both are like little sisters to me and their strength still freaks me out sometimes - happy birthday lovelies). It was also the month we learned, courtesy of any talking head or mainstream media outlet that covered the Craig Thomson debacle, that it is still totally acceptable to refer to legitimate sex workers as 'tarts' or 'hookers' in polite conversation (seriously, David Marr: wtf?), and that the new Queensland Government is indeed even worse than we'd feared it would be.
In Queensland, the new government is really shaping up to be the gift that keeps on giving for misogynists north of the border. It should surprise nobody that our illustrious Premier hasn't appointed an official Minister for the Status of Women - that will now come under the jurisdiction of the 'Department of Communities, Disability, blah blah blah and Women', a department name that's sure to look great on a letterhead. Nor should you be surprised that one of our new top bureaucrats claimed a few years ago that an LGBTI support group was 'recruiting' children to the gay and lesbian community, or that the new Premier has already axed the state's literary awards in order to save a measly $245,000. I wish I was joking. More of my disgust at the results can be found here for your reading displeasure. This month they've announced that they're stripping funding for a counselling and rehabilitation program for women prisoners in Townsville - to save the state budget the princely sum on $120,000 - and for an LGBT sexual health promotion service because HIV notifications are rising. Yes. Really. There are online petitions set up here and here which could really do with your support. Living in this state is really starting to give me the fucking pip.
In better news - it's Reconciliation Week. Read about it here. I also came across this gorgeous story about the rediscovery of an Indigenous language from far north Queensland that was thought to be lost.
May was also the month that bishops belonging to the Catholic Church in the US said 'we'll let people starve, because contraception'. There are also a group of nuns in the US who are in trouble with the Vatican for, quote, "focusing too much on social-justice issues such as poverty and not enough on abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia." The great about it is that people see it for the farce it is. There's an inspiring story on communities pushing back against the conservatives' war on women in the US as a great antidote to this depressing news from the States. There was also this fascinating look at Mary Magdalene and the perceived role of women in Christianity. Well worth a read.
Slutwalk was on again in a couple of Australian cities. We saw one perspective from a member of a feminist network here, and another from a sexual assault survivor here. If you went this year, or even if you didn't, we'd love to hear your views on the Slutwalk movement - email us your thoughts.
Ought women not to be abolished? This ridiculously amazing letter from the then-26 year old Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston, made me do some feminist fist pumps in appreciation. Mad props to one of my besties, Eliza, for giving me the heads up on this one.
Why AREN'T there women on Facebook's board? Bloody good question, I reckon. Especially considering women are more into social networking than men. Also, the majority of US opinion writers are still men. Why?
The Australian Gliders, our women's wheelchair basketball team, won silver at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester! Woohoo!
Lip mag spoke to Melbourne writer and mad femmo Catherine Deveny about atheism, bicycles and other things. There's also a great interview with Emily Maguire on all things feminism.
Apparently, women should ignore sexism in their workplaces. Eh? On a related note, network television show The Project had a conversation about sexism in the workplace last week where they seemed very confused about the difference between sexism and sexual harassment - ie, that there are none. Dudes, 'a pat on the bum' is not sexism. That is sexual harassment, pure and simple.
Finally: Straight White Male privilege explained - in a way straight white men can understand.
'The Second Sexism'? Oh please. It doesn't have to be a competition, guys, explains Clementine Ford.
"Your body, not mine": a man's explanation of being pro-choice. LOVE.
The Australian Lesbian Medical Association's DocLIST has expanded to include mental health professionals. The list names healthcare providers recommended by lesbian and bisexual women as being LGBTI-friendly, and includes over 50 GPs and a number of other specialists.
In South Australia, female MPs are introducing bills to decriminalise sex work, and there are concerns about how changes to laws on stillbirth may affect South Australia's abortion law.
The Hoopla looked at the top ten insults levelled at the PM (and by 'top' ten, we mean they are tops only if you think women don't belong in politics and they deserve everything they've got coming to them), and this OLO piece took a look at women as political leaders.
Verbal attacks on women set an ugly precedent: how political attitudes towards women engender a culture of gender violence.
Corporate women and dress codes? The 'code' should be 'professionalism' says Nina Funnel.
'The Unfuckables'. Just read it.
Clem Bastow asked 'does Bettina Arndt even like women?'. My answer would be 'it seems bloody unlikely'. Bettina's answer would be probably be 'but won't somebody think of the poor mens?!'
Also on women and sex, Petra Beuskens wrote this article for Online Opinion, on the effect of heavy pornography use by men on their female partners:
"Are porn stars - and sex-workers generally - the new wives who must put out and shut-up? We might also ask, since we seem to think it is fine to question women's "low libido", why it is that men want - and in some cases expect - constant sexual access to women?"
A look at how the treatment of women worldwide is an indicator the world is not as 'peaceful' as some people may think [Disclaimer: this is actually an April article but I didn't find it until May, hence its inclusion in this month's wrap]:
"In countries where males rule the home through violence, male-dominant hierarchies rule the state through violence. This was most poignantly expressed by male Iranian dissidents who, during the ill-fated 2009 Green Revolution, explained their decision to wear headscarves as a sign of protest against the regime -- and an act of solidarity with the women long oppressed by it. As one supporter of the protests explained it, "We Iranian men are late doing this.… If we did this when rusari [the headscarf] was forced on those among our sisters who did not wish to wear it 30 years ago, we would have perhaps not been here today." " BLESS HIS COTTON SOCKS.
Female condom giveaways in New York have been assessed as 'expensive but still cost-effective'. If you're scratching your head in confusion over what a female condom is, stay tuned: there's an article on this coming to a great feminist website near you VERY SOON.
Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi has been sworn in to the national parliament after an historic vote in the country's recent elections.
I'm sick of hearing about 50 Shades of Grey, but if you're not and you're interested in pre-50 Shades erotica, here's the list for you.
Do employers have a role in ending domestic violence? DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS.
Turkey's prime minister compares abortion to a botched military operation last year that claimed 34 lives. Huh?
Grrrrrrrrrrrr Lingerie Football grrrrrrrrrr. Just read this and sign this.
THIS. ABOUT. THE. HYMEN. Glorious. Give this woman a gold star.
Analysis of the budget and what's in it for women, over at the fcollective blog. Noice.
Feelgoods of the month:
Gratuitous clip of cats with flowers on their heads, in baskets hanging in trees. YES.
This clip from the ever-fabulous JD Samson's MEN has kept me company all month.
I also found this gem: a cover of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance', with the words changed so it's all about women's suffrage. I'm no Lady Gaga fan, but this is fucking awesome.
Did you know the collective noun for a group of ducks is a 'paddling'? TRUE STORY. I love collective nouns.
I went to this rally, along with over 2000 other people protesting the Queensland Government's decision to strip the funding from a gay sexual health service and their proposal to roll back civil partnerships legislation for same sex couples. There were some fabulous signs.
There's footage of recent talks at the Opera House by my two favourite authors in the whole wide world (honestly not much of an exaggeration), Janette Turner Hospital, and Jeanette Winterson. YAYYYYYYYYYYY!
'Bake your thesis': the most nerdy-fun blog post I've seen in a long time.
Coming up in June:
· Women in Letters comes to Brisbane. Hurrah! Featuring lovely local songstress Seja and others. I. Can't. Wait.
· The Festival of Sex Work concludes on 2 June with a Red Umbrella Rally on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne.
· Also on 2 June and also in Melbourne (but at night, so you can probably go to both this and the Red Umbrella Rally!): a fundraiser for an international women's circus outreach program. Looks hell fun.
· Now it's getting cooler again, get your knitting out (and no, that's not a euphemism). Or your sewing machine. Or some sort of indoors craft-based activity. Get some inspiration here or here or here.
· If you've got any other events going on, let us know!
Image taken entirely without copywrite approval from an unknown source because Simone de Beaver begged me... sorry whomever owns it, it's really not my fault!