August 6th, 2009


today's feminist thoughts brought to you by the letter F

I'm still in discussion with a couple of people in the last post I made on the topic. And something that springs to mind is what is meant by the word "privilege". People don't like the word, I guess, cause it's been used as a put down around the traps lately or as a way of dismissing someone's thoughts. But the way I see it is ... some people get to not have to think about this stuff when they don't want to, if they don't want to. And that really does sound nice.

Someone commented that when he first came across my blog he thought I was obsessed with this topic, and he didn't really understand the obsession. And I think that is such an important thought to have focalised because ... of course to him it seems like I am obsessed with this stuff. He gets to not think about what it's like to be a woman in the world when he doesn't want to. I don't. Every day the world reminds me that I am a woman and that in some (usually specified) way that makes me less than. Not everyone and not in every situation but actually, I think I experience it at some point in my day, every day.

I am an intelligent, articulate woman who has excelled at her job, has lots of friends, has seen a lot of the world, has started her own business, is loved by a lot of awesome people. And yet still, every day, something happens, somewhere, at some point that reminds me that women are not considered equal or as valuable or as good as men. It's not an obsession, it's a reaction to the way society interacts with me.

And it's not in the sense that there's a sign that says "No Women allowed" (anymore). It's much more subtle now, and it might be just one word, or one way a thought is phrased or an assumption that is made. In the last 30 days, first there was the fact that women don't write/perform Hottest Hits. And then this week there was the bit where women don't write Mammoth Mindblowing science fiction. There was the Kyle and Jackie O business which, in the "best case scenario", was going to humilate a 14 year old girl for being a slut and there was that judge in Adelaide who considers sex with an unconscious women to only really be rape on a technicality since she was unable to revoke consent but had previously given consent (presumably to having sex with her whilst conscious) and the guy doesn't really deserve to be called a pervert for the rest of his life for it. There's stuff today but I don't want to write it here.

I don't get the privilege of hanging my boobs and vagina on the hook next to my front door, whacking on a hat and boots and just ... going out into the world and not thinking about it today.

What was interesting was that in responding to people in the last post, I realised that even here, on this blog, I don't call people on it everytime. That whole just not expressing when my feelings are hurt or not wanting to be seen to overreact, or not making a "big deal about it" everytime. It doesn't mean my feelings weren't hurt. It means I didn't tell you how the way you phrased something echoed something bigger to me, or was read to mean x or y, or felt like you stepped on me. Or whatever. And I think this not calling it everytime means that when we do, and the subsequent "flame wars" etc happen, people get shocked. Those are by no means the only cases of sexism (I won't speak for race here), they are just the ones we are calling on. Just because noone ever picks you up on something you say, or assume or a behaviour that you do, doesn't make it ok, inoffensive or acceptable. It just means noone picked you up on it. And to assume that that means your behaviour is ok, is a false assumption.

But I think I need to step away from this discussion. It's hurting a lot right now. And it's giving me a headache. And coupling it with watching Mad Men is a lot of stuff to think about right now - Mad Men Season 2 is great, and I am enjoying it both for the feminist issues it is presenting but also for the insight into my previous long term relationship. All of which will get another post, at some point.

And on top of all this. I am still All Hands on Deck and Bracing for Impact at Twelfth Planet Press headquarters as we have gone into emergency mode. And I should really be focussing on that.

Twelfth Planet Press Announcement: Robot War Espresso

Robot War Espresso
Robert Hood
A young adult novel

Coming 2010

The exciting news is that we have decided to develop Robert Hood's awesome YA novella "Robot Espresso War" into novel-length, so the publishing date is now going to be 2010.

This frees up a slot in our 2009 schedule which is being filled with one of our 2010 projects - expect an announcement about this very soon!