Monthly Archives: April 2013

A love letter to Robin Klein (children’s author) – purveyor of girl role models and bard of the banal ‘burbs.

487509_211521215645610_1514042654_n

 

Since childhood, I’ve always admired the proud, funny and independent girls of Robin Klein’s books. Some of her characters, such as the feisty Penny Pollard, were outrageous to me, thumbing their noses at the stifling expectations of “girlhood”, not so much to be rebellious, but in order to just be themselves. Others were quiet, the Un-Noticeables, who were kind and quirky, toyed with loneliness, and were alternately crushed and buoyed by the waves of both good and bad friendships. We know all those girls. We’ve been those girls. At times, we probably still are.

For me, no one quite evoked the childhood of ‘80s Australian suburbia as well as Robin did. Reading her books often felt like home, like being surrounded by people I knew except that by the end of the story, some clarity would be reached and I would be reassured in a way that rarely happens in life. The sounds, the sights, the accents… the blare of the telly, the chops ‘n’ sausages in the fridges, the camaraderie and enmity of siblings, and the casual authority that could be held over you by the tuckshop lady, your Mum’s boyfriend or an old woman on a crowded bus. Robin’s books explored this carousel of people, those who slot in to our young life, for brief or extended times, and who form the strange fabric of childhood worlds that sometimes destabilised us and yet provided security.

We needed to know that that world can make sense, and her books showed us that someone like ourselves could achieve this. The stories were usually told by someone a little bit like me. Or at least, someone else who was also a bit odd, and on the wrong end of the girls’ popularity tussles at school. Or someone I would secretly like to have been, or hoped I would become, or at least meet one day! As kooky and driven as Erica Yurken, as wild and unstoppable as Penny Pollard, or as self-possessed and content as all of her beautiful Un-Noticeables became. Robin’s books taught me that whatever you love – do it. Just be your true self and be compassionate towards others who are trying to do the same thing.

Creative. Proud. Thoughtful. Hilarious. Active. Compassionate. Clever. Adventurous. Unique. Independent.

Good words for girls to be. Maybe they’ll grow up to be Strumpets! Thank you Robin.


Russel Brand does seriously good strumpeting…


  1. Telegraph.co.uk
    1.  

      Remembering Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Unmaternal National Matriarch

       

      Huffington Post (blog) ‎- 1 day ago
      When I was a kid Margaret Thatcher was the headmistress of our country. Her voice, a bellicose yawn, somehow both boring and boring — I
       
      Thank you RB for reminding all that individualism and feminism are not the same thing.

Mother Shaming…at a supermarket near you.

50eda4ab90f2c

Last week I was at a non-duopolistic supermarket near me, when I witnessed a roughly 2 year old human child exhibiting the spectacular seismic event often refereed to as ‘chucking a wobbly’.  I tell you, it was like someone was running 240 volts through this kids body, it was a screaming convulsion, a nuclear bomb of preverbal anguish and body-wracking despair. But quite aside from the flinging of the many components of the Kinder Surprise toy across the aisleway, and the abject horror of the satanic thrashings and shriekings, what was TRULY excruciating was the tortured embarrassment and shame of his mother, who was desperately trying to cajole, blackmail, bribe and beg her son to please stop the public humiliation.  But apparently he didn’t want that Kinder Surprise toy…. like he REALLY didn’t want that one.

Now, ‘The Books’ say that you are meant to remain calm, present and attentive and wait for the tantrum to resolve itself, which they assure you, it will.  Which is great advice if you are a Cyborg, or if you aren’t being assaulted by eye rolling, glares, sneers, eyebrow raisings and the awful judgment of a hundred strangers. ‘You should smack that child’. ‘You shouldn’t have brought him out’. ‘Why are you letting your child behave like this?’  ‘Can’t you just drug the little fucker?’ ‘For fucks sake, give him another bloody Kinder Surprise!’ ‘Clearly you are a really crap mother’. ..etcetera etcetera ad infinitum….  Basically, any failures you experience in making sure your children behave in a completely unnatural fashion at all times when out in public are nothing short of your own moral failure.

Well guess what? Tantrums are a healthy, normal part of human development.  And believe it or not, children are humans too. Contrary to popular belief, tantrums are NOT caused by bad mothers. Unfortunately, children, being only new to the planet, require at least 10-15 years to integrate and understand the culturally specific behavior codes known to us as ‘good manners’. A normal healthy child with an excellent mother can also be a messy, unpredictable, noisy, moody nightmare of needs and feelings. Heaven forbid that she inflict her normal child on society at large, god help her if she allows anything messy or noisy to happen outside the walls of her home.

The amount of judgment a woman receives when she is out in public with her children and/or pregnant and therefore declaring her motherhood, is really something. She will be judged for what she is wearing (too slutty, too casual, too formal, too revealing, too unfashionable, not fashionable enough)…she will be judged for what she has in her shopping trolley (oh my god, she is feeding her children white bread, can you believe she is buying cigarettes, look at all those frozen pizzas/fizzy drinks/icecreams)…she will be judged by how her children behave, whether they are quiet or screaming, sitting peacefully in the trolley or climbing around it like orangutans. Heaven forbid her child have a snotty nose, or be too chubby/ skinny/noisy/grotty/ thus proving her neglectful/lazy/selfish/slovenly mothering.  And oh my god, she better make sure she stays on the right side of the ‘yummy mummy’ line…a little too sexy and she quickly goes from ‘totally hot MILF’ to ‘skanky ho who’s child is on the fast track to 14 year old crack whoredom’.

Mother Shaming is just as toxic, and as epidemic as Slut Shaming in our culture. There is a widely held belief that that your work as a mother isn’t work it is a ‘labour of love’ and its doing is its own reward. That your sacred mother love will magically create little cherubs who smile sweetly and never behave ‘badly’. Demonstrate anything other than this and you will immediately feel the wrathful judgment of a vile and misogynistic culture.  Nevermind that you probably are struggling with loneliness, boredom, depression, isolation and financial disadvantage. And if you have, through your own stupidity, selfishness and/or baby bonus greediness ended up as a single mother, then you can multiply your disadvantage by several times.  Being a mother in this culture is a tough gig. Really tough. Its about time we gave women who choose to have children the respect and support they deserve. Now there’s a radical feminist notion….


A hairy scapegoat and cyber misogyny….

Take a stroll around Facebook and you will be sure to find a plethora of pages overflowing with exploitative, misogynistic and pornographic images of women and girls. In fact, so ubiquitous are these representations, that  it all becomes a kind of mind and soul numbing experience of ad porno-nauseum. Try ‘Slut Paradise’, ‘My Whore Wife’, ‘Sex Slut teens’,’Suck my Pink Pussy’, ‘White Sluts for Big Black Dick’, ‘Cum Swallowing’, or ‘Fuck My Pussy Hard’ for starters. Depressingly, these pages often have ‘likers’ numbering in the tens of thousands. And so it came as quite a shock, when our little page The International Lady Garden Society, (with a following of around 250 at that time), was relentlessly being reported and the Facebook censors were punishing us with ever increasingly long sits on the naughty no-facebook-for-you chair. For what kind of images you ask? For images like this one…..

tumblr_lv3i0npNDJ1qz6f9yo1_500

and this one……tumblr_lxx042Vdt11qz6f9yo1_500

Apparently these images violate community standards. Apparently these images are offensive.

Meanwhile, on other less poetically named pages,  genuinely offensive, pornographic and sometimes downright frightening images and their legions of  knuckle-dragging fans are multiplying like ingrown hairs 3 days after a brazillian…..and yet they seem to remain invisible and largely unharrassed by trolls or  facebook censors.

And so, as an experiment, we found a generic image…you know the ones, the ubiquitous g-string-up-the -arse-come-fuck-me-doggy-style crack shot, of which there are about a guzillion tediously available for your viewing on any number of  porno-aesthetic-infested facebook pages…..

All we did was add a sprinkling of pubic hair.

480967_308772772565467_178864835_n

And vagina-voila! Overnight we copped a 30 day ban for violating community standards….

Sooooo, let me get this straight. Suddenly it is offensive? But take away the hair and it is just ticketty boo? So, pubic hair is disgusting but de-individualised women sticking their arses into cameras for a strangers imaginary penetration isn’t?  Have we become so desensitised to the sight of the stylised female body in these anonymously sexually receptive, plasticised, smoothed, pornographised poses that we dont even see them anymore? But throw in a handful of pubic hairs and suddenly it is the hair that is violating community standards?

I dont know about you, but i think that something is going wrong……and it actually has very little to with pubic hair, and a whole lot to do with the rampant misogyny that is flourishing out here in cyberspace.


The International Lady Garden Society and FB Bush Bashing

http://blogs.abc.net.au/tasmania/2013/04/facebook-blocks-lady-garden-fear-of-a-female-planet.html

Facebook blocks Lady Garden – fear of a female planet?

04/04/2013 , 10:26 AM by Ryk Goddard

Facebook is the biggest meeting place in human history. The rules around what can and can’t be shown raise questions about how the rules of the platforms we use shape us.

Mari Cain and Darielle Brunton are mums who set up The International Lady Garden Society to promote… well the natural look. Its a gentle, humerous and tasteful page. But its been shut down three times.
Hear Mari explain to Hobart ABC’s Ryk Goddard just how surprised she was…..

what a lot of fuss about a tiny bit of fluff!!!

Comments


Swan talks turkey.

wayne-swan-mckew-620x349

…”a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work with a decent social safety net for the vulnerable, that had served our nation so well for so long”.~ Wayne Swan.

In Wayne Swan’s essay published March, 2012 in The Quarterly ‘The 0.01%: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia’, Swan asserts that he’s sharing the benefits of the mining boom “to the most vulnerable in society”. In fact, this is what he said in conclusion:

To me, the most significant question in politics when I started out in the late ’70s, when I wrote Postcode, and when I go to work tomorrow, is what we use our prosperity for. It’s not just about putting dollars in people’s pockets, but about building a better society; a society that creates wealth and spreads opportunity, a society that lifts up the worst-off and gives everyone a decent shot at a decent life.

So how has he gone about walking the talk? Let’s look at a vulnerable group in Australia today: sole parents. What has Wayne Swan done for sole parents since he wrote his Opus Magnum on going to war on vested interests and providing a decent safety net?

There are 630,000 Australian lone parent families with dependents – 84 per cent are single mothers and 16 per cent are single fathers. 54 per cent of these single parents have a youngest child less than nine years of age. Of the parents with a child less than 9 years of age 59 per cent were in some form of employment end of June 2011 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics(2011). On January 1 Federal Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin announced that 80,000 lone parent families with dependents would be affected with payment reductions and many moved on to Newstart payments and forced to look for work – the Newstart payments would be less than the Parenting payments. The Government continues to defend its decision but peak advocacy groups have condemned the decision. Condemnations have also come from the United Nations.On March 4, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) called on the Australian Government to detail its response to a United Nations request for it to explain the decision to cut the payments of over 80,000 lone parent families.The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights wrote to the Australian Government raising concerns about the $100 a week payment cuts to lone parents. These cuts took effect on January 1. Courtesy of The Stringer – http://thestringer.com.au/cuts-to-single-parent-payments-lead-to-hardshi…(Gerry Georgatos) Projected savings for the Labor Government by declaring single parents of children over eight years old are now sole individuals on the dole are expected to be $700 million.

That’s right, just after Christmas when its impossible to find work or childcare. When the kitty is empty and the bills are piling up. If that’s a safety net then sole parents and their children are drowning in a sea of risk. However it seems the UN are a mob of pinko lefties who have no idea what jealous bludgers sole parents are:

Let’s get through the class warfare smokescreen, we need to regain our roots and encourage people to invest and build. There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain; do something to make more money yourself – spend less time drinking, or smoking and socialising, and more time working.” ~ Gina Rinehart

Rinehart also suggested lowering the minimum wage and taxes. Rinehart is the richest woman in the world. Her wealth is inherited from her father, Lang Hancock, who died in 1992. “She could buy two iPads for each of her fellow 22.9 million Australians, or eliminate world hunger for a year. If that should not appeal, she could play her own game of Monopoly with all the mansions in the nation’s most expensive address, Wolseley Road, Point Piper. Gina Rinehart has just become the richest woman in the world with the BRW Rich 200 list estimating her wealth had nearly tripled in the past year to $29.17 billion”. (www.smh.com.au) Rinehart is also a single mother, whose children don’t seem to share the same appreciation she does in valuing work and the accumulation of wealth, over nurturing children, and, finding a work-life balance to allow for adequate parenting.

Politicians have a choice: between exploiting divisions by promoting fear and appealing to the sense of fairness and decency that is the foundation of our middle-class society; between standing up for workers and kneeling down at the feet of the Gina Rineharts and the Clive Palmers.
~ Wayne Swan

So let’s see what Swan’s labor Party have done to stand up to miners…The Australian Conservation Foundation examined fossil fuel subsidies and found:

“The biggest of these are the diesel fuel handouts to the miners – called the fuel tax credits scheme. This is a tax payer handout to big miners worth $2 billion per year this equates to $182 per taxpayer every year, and worth a staggering $9.4 billion over the next four years to some of the most profitable companies operating in this country. This is a much greater cost than the carbon price will have on households.These wasteful, inefficient handouts will continue to promote fossil fuel use at a staggering rate of $4,480 of taxpayer dollars per minute, day in, day out.The politically powerful mining lobby has got its way in Australian public policy at last year’s may Federal Budget – again.This equates to $182 per taxpayer every year, and worth a staggering $9.4 billion over the next four years to some of the most profitable companies operating in this country. This is a much greater cost than the carbon price will have on households. While the rest of us pay 38c a litre in taxes at the bowser, these companies are mining the public purse and in the process they are making climate change worse”.

$2 Billion dollars a year in subsidies to a vested interest group, partly funded by cutting sole parent payments to people who are now categorised as sole unemployed individuals, even though 59% with very little children are working parents on low incomes. The working poor, who have no voice. The working poor whose hard work as parents is seen as nothing of value to society at all.

Yeeeepp…Swannie is on his knees to miners, standing up to sole parents. What a classy warrior.


Class warfare is the mode du jour for western governments.

 

  1.  

    Minimum wage could be frozen or cut if it starts to cost jobs or damage economy, Government suggests

     
    Telegraph.co.uk ‎- 1 day ago
    The minimum wage for millions of people could have to be capped or ministers want the Commission to consider when setting the annual