Most of these links I have already posted on twitter but just in case you missed them and are looking for something recommended to read…
You know what’ll be an awesome way for Kate Langbroek and Dave Hughes to celebrate Hughesy and Kate’s 10th anniversary on breakfast radio? For Hughes to see a personal trainer to lose that embarrassing eight kilograms, then get waxed and spray-tanned, and then leap from a giant cake wearing a bikini!
Despite professing himself “terrified” to perform the stunt, Hughes will do this because it’s important to encourage other men to be body-confident. ”It’s never going to be perfect but it’s mine, it’s beautiful and it does a really good job,” he will tell the Herald Sun.
One woman who can’t wait to see Hughes in all his glory is his breakfast “wife”, Kate.
WHAT next for women and work? Women have made huge progress in the workplace, says Barbara Beck, Special reports editor of The Economist, and the author of our special report on the subject. But they still get lower pay and far fewer top jobs than men. Why does this disparity continue? How much should it worry us? And what can governments, companies and individuals do about it?
On Tuesday, December 6th Ms Beck will be answering your questions on Twitter. Starting at 4pm in London and 11am in New York, the discussion will appear in the space below, and on Twitter via @econdiscuss. If you have a Twitter account you can pose a question (or add a comment) now using the box to the right. Just remember to add the hashtag #askeconomist to make sure your question reaches us.
There’s this balance when you’re a parent of limiting and literacy. I really do think we do a lot of discussion and pointing out. I prefer to read the old-fashioned children’s book because they’re less materialistic, but then they have lots of stereotypes about girls and women. When they come up we have this thing where my daughter and I look at each other, roll our eyes and shake our heads. So we recognize them and point them out. But at the same time, I really do limit her exposure…
I don’t want the media raising my kid. I don’t want them deciding for her what it means to be female… And people have this bizarre idea, I see it all the time on blogs and hear it often, “My daughter was just born this way and I like her to have the choice. [re: princess culture]” Really? You really think that a four billion dollar industry beamed at your daughter is giving you a choice? You really buy that? Because that’s exactly what you’re supposed to believe, and that is not true! And the only way to give her true choices is to offer her choices and to limit the choices that people are calculating selling her that will look like cotton candy and ice cream to her. Of course she’s going to go for the ice cream.
I was suddenly furious. This was Sydney, not Singapore. Sure, there was an ABC crew filming our exchange for Big Ideas but weren’t we free to speak in this country? Hadn’t Lloyd earned the right to be absolutely candid by enduring six unnecessary months in Tanah Merah Prison? Yet here he was, as wary of talking as if he were still in the dock.
Journalist Peter Lloyd, arrested in Singapore in 2008 for possession of a small quantity of ice.
“I’ve had a lot of fun on drugs,” I answered. “I’ve had a lot of marvellous experiences. I’ve danced a lot. I’ve had a great time. I’m not ashamed of it. And I don’t see what’s wrong with it.”
I was a very poor young black boy in New Orleans, just a face without a name, swimming in a sea of poverty trying to survive. Forget about living, I was just trying to exist. I was enduring a lot of the same things that you’ve come forward and said happened to you, and it was awful. I felt so powerless. I knew what was happening to me, but unlike you, I couldn’t speak about it because no one saw me. I was invisible and my voice was inaudible.
So to think that you, when you were only 11 years old, spoke up—you are my hero! I’m so proud of you. You have nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to know you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault. Please know that you were chosen by a monster. You didn’t choose him. You didn’t ask for it and, most of all, you didn’t deserve it. What a huge lesson that was for me to learn. Your 11-year-old self was no match for wicked, evil tactics of this kind. You were hunted like prey. A pedophile looks for the young boys he thinks he can manipulate. The ones who have daddy or mommy issues, the ones who are broken, and the ones who are in need. But this wasn’t you.
LB: There’s an old blog post out there that I always think of when someone asks me about my experiences as a teen mom. The way the author phrased her thoughts really helped me understand the context in which this stigma happens. She said, “The only reason having kids young is ‘bad’ is because the social stigma and economic disadvantages are quite strong, and mutually reinforcing.” And more broadly, she points out that people can’t “get past the idea that… any proposal to benefit kids and/or their caregivers is somehow unfair”, or that when it comes to teen parents, that doing anything to benefit our families will somehow encourage our peers to get pregnant. These were criticisms that I heard a lot, that it was always going to be harder for me, that I’d never be successful, and that whenever I got a leg up my benefactors were just encouraging my sinful ways.
Which is why I like how you put that — that “young moms are encouraged to accept failure.” To many, pregnancy and parenthood is the punishment teen moms should bear for becoming parents before it’s socially acceptable. We’re set up to fail, and when some of us do fail, we are used as object lessons to scare our peers into not getting pregnant.
To me, that’s a terrible way of looking at a parent-child relationship. A child is NEVER a punishment. Parenthood is NOT punitive. Our relationship with our children is one of the most important and sacred relationships we will ever have. To mar that relationship with a wish for emotional trauma or psychological punishment because the mom in this equation violated some social contract is really, truly messed up.
What helped me when I was down and I felt like the world was on my shoulders was understanding that all of this was happening in a particular context, where not only young mothers face judgement and derision, but mothers in general do as well. In other words, it wasn’t about me. This wasn’t *my* failure, or a failure at all. Women have children in less than ideal circumstances ALL THE TIME and everything turns out fine for all involved. ALL THE TIME. All the time.
In Deborah’s telling of the story, she was the pursuer and her teacher the pursued. That she was a preteen and he in his 30s was irrelevant. As she insisted to my friend, “sometimes girls are stronger than grown men.” Deborah seemed to remember the relationship with a mixture of pride and shame, noting that her teacher seemed powerless to resist her. “He always told me it would never happen again. But it always did.”
I’ve told my friend to refer Deborah to therapy. But I wanted to write about this story because it fits in well with one of the most troubling aspects of the myth of male weakness: the idea that adult men might be powerless to resist the charms of a seductive teen (or even pre-teen) girl. Deborah isn’t the only person who believes that girls might be responsible for seducing adult men. Listen to the chorus of complaints about how provocatively teens and tweens are dressed, and you’ll hear at least a few notes of concern that adolescents might be sending the “wrong message” to adult men. Call it the “Lolita Myth”: the idea that pubescent girls have the power to cause men many times their age to lose all sense of right and wrong.
As some of you would know, I am writing a book for Scribe publishers on social media and politics, policy and journalism. As part of the project I thought it worthwhile trying to come up with a list of all Australian political blogs. Such a thing is actually rather difficult to accomplish. The fleeting and fluid nature of the blogosphere means that many blogs come and go, some will will about politics but then drop it as a topic…
.. This brings me to my call for help. Given I am a mere blogger, I have no doubt made a few errors – either in terms of political leaning, sex, and possibly even the title of the blog. I present this list asking for help pointing out errors or mine and importantly errors of omission.
Now what is a “political blog”? Again this is a subjective thing. Obviously there are the obvious ones – like this blog or like Catallaxy Files or Poll Bludger. But many blogs write about many issues. Many blogs for example will write about feminist issues or human rights issues or climate change science. Are they political? As a very general guide for me a political blog needs to discuss politicians. If you are writing about sex discrimination in the workforce then yes the issue is political, but if you are not referencing politicians then I have likely left you off this list. As a very loose rule if I’m typing “Abbott” or “Gillard” into a blog’s search engine and I’m getting no responses or perhaps only one or two during last year’s election, then I have left it off this list.
Here’s her latest limp defence of Sandilands: “I don’t think I could ever work with someone who ever was a woman hater. I think that you treat women, especially here at the station, what I see the interaction with you and women, is nothing but the most respect. I think your biggest fault is that you don’t like anyone criticising you because then you attack back, but it’s certainly not reserved to women.”
Jackie O RLY? Well, bully for the co-workers at 2Day FM who have managed to escape the worst of his wrath: it’s clear from the rest of his sprays that to describe Sandilands as anything but a woman hater would be hugely misguided. In fact, they are almost exclusively “reserved to women”.
What’s up, Jackie? Do you hate women, too?
I’m delighted to be hosting the Down Under Feminists Carnival for the third time. It’s a great carnival, still going strong. I think down under feminism has a different flavour to feminism in other places, and I enjoy the company of down under feminists. I suppose it’s because we are quite a small group, so we tend to know each other and hear about each other quite easily. We are a community spread across two countries, and across the world, and I love being part of that community.
For one thing, there is the basic assumption that angry women only exist, music wise, in the area of rock music – we presumably don’t have angry pop stars because there is a credibility issue that goes with being mainstream and angry (ie people would assume you aren’t really meaning it, see Alanis Morrisette as a case in point) but also people don’t talk of angry dance music, angry urban music, angry folk music… Why is that? Why must anger be equated with an electric guitar? I can think of a number of quietly scathing, not to mention incandescent at times folk or country ish songs (Laura Cantrell’s ‘Conquerer’s Song’, Laura Veirs’ ‘Cannon Fodder’, Laura Marling ‘Your only doll’… Is it something about being called Laura?) not to mention the oblique Iraq war references in Broadcast’s weird electronica in ‘America’s Boy’, and I have to confess to being perhaps oddly attached to the scathing black humour of Nerina Pallot’s ‘Everybody’s going to war’, however pop it is.
One of the points I raised at the time, in a somewhat nervy garbled way, was that anger had gone into areas like folk, and that whilst someone like Laura Marling isn’t screaming in your face, she does display aspects of being angry. Just perhaps not noisily angry.
This versatile toy is a real classic — chances are your great-great-grandparents played with one, and your kids have probably discovered it for themselves as well. It’s a required ingredient for Stickball, of course, but it’s so much more. Stick works really well as a poker, digger and reach-extender. It can also be combined with many other toys (both from this list and otherwise) to perform even more functions.
Stick comes in an almost bewildering variety of sizes and shapes, but you can amass a whole collection without too much of an investment. You may want to avoid the smallest sizes — I’ve found that they break easily and are impossible to repair. Talk about planned obsolescence. But at least the classic wooden version is biodegradable so you don’t have to feel so bad about pitching them into your yard waste or just using them for kindling.
My introduction was through a friend of my daughter. She arrived on the doorstep one morning bearing a jam jar and a note, which I stuck on the sideboard and promptly forgot about. A little while later, sitting in my kitchen, alone, I heard a loud, alarming, slurping sound, as if an invisible Homer Simpson was sitting with me, sucking through a straw. It happened again. I got up and looked around, half expecting to find a frog had come in from the garden (it sometimes happens). Then I discovered the embryonic Herman was frothing away on the side, making human masticating sounds.The instructions that came with “him” tell me this is because “he” needs more space. Already Herman is no longer just a pot of yeast. He’s a living, breathing part of the family, and as soon as my daughter comes home from school he must be moved to a more spacious home – that’s a bowl to you and me. And, he must be stirred and engaged in rather one-sided conversation over the next few days until he’s ready for his first meal (milk, flour and sugar) on Day Four
The character of Elaine Benes was loosely based on Monica Yates, who dated Larry David some years before he created “Seinfeld.” Monica Yates’s father is the novelist Richard Yates, the author of Revolutionary Road, a classic of the last American century. This scene was inspired by a real evening out with Richard Yates in the 1980s. Fun fact—but here things start to get less amusing.
This is not a post I ever wanted to write, but I feel it would be somewhat irresponsible for me not to. I tend to be relentlessly positive about this city and all of the things we’re able to do here, and that’s probably annoying and unrealistic so I feel compelled to follow up on a couple of ongoing stories to give the full picture.
If you know even the littlest bit about the theme of this book-turned-movie, you know that this isn’t a film about sex. It’s not a movie about a hot chick and her dude. The book and the main character of Lisbeth Salander are about so much more on some serious topics, including violence against women. But I can only conclude from this poster that Hollywood wants us to think this is a sexy, smoldering story about a man and his woman, rather than one about political intrigue and extreme violence against women, out of fear that they otherwise wouldn’t sell tickets.
I carry a lot of personal maps inside my heart. There are places I avoid, and places in which I am hit with a strong memory. Sometimes, when I return to a place, multiple strong memories are built on top of each other, and there’s a discordance. My heart is as much in the world as in my chest.
And some final quick hit links: