Friday, 15 November 2013

Friday Feminism: go forth to the internets

the thing that's really got me back on track with blogging, and more specifically feminism, is that old chestnut, The Internet. they'll let any old crazy on there, and if you want proof of that, look at the comments section of pretty much any feminist post ever. Inevitable Stupid Men (actually, some of the stupid ones are women, too, to be fair), commenting away. it's a thing, look it up.

the fact that they'll let any old crazy onto The Internet (ok, i'll stop capitalising that, it just amuses me today) is not only a curse, it is a blessing. for i am also a crazy who is allowed on there. I, Me. i can crazy around on there with the best n worst of 'em.

internetocracy? everyone has an opinion, it's just that some opinions are better than other ones. i am right about this, truly i am. there are some spectacular idiots online, trolling away at their things, but there are also the geniuses of the online world, and it is those people i will be giving my air time to today.

let's start somewhere, shall we?

1) one of the bloggers i started following very early on is the belle jar (see what she did there, with the sylvia plath reference?) because of this post featured on the outlier collective. it's basically a bit of a list about how to be a feminist, by listing 10 signs that feminism might not be the right fit for you. it's a clever way of pointing out the human tendency to be idealistic in some areas and then fall down in others. there's a few diamonds in there, including things like: "feminism isn’t anti-man – it’s anti-patriarchy, which is completely different" and a quote of Zooey Deschanel which goes: “We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?”. nice use of 'fuck', Zooey (marry me?).

she who writes for the belle jar also talks about women judging other women, or really feminists judging other women on their bodies: "But you know what? Bodily autonomy. Bodily autonomy means that you get to do whatever you like with your body, and other women get to do whatever they like with their own body. End of story."

it's a great piece to start with if you're already of feminist leanings, as it real beats home the fact that feminism is not a special club or a fashion statement or a competition of oneup(wo)manship.

2) hollaback! is an online organisation that has websites & people in charge of them for a great collection of cities on the states. i find myself keeping up with hollaback! boston, because one of my sometime-favourite bloggers britni, who writes for herself at fiending for hope also works with them. this piece on women taking up space in public transport inevitably led me to 'move the fuck over bro' which creates quite the controversy by publishing photos from people's phones on public transport when a guy takes up ALL the space and leaves none for the rest of us - we all know this guy, right?

taking a few steps back there, hollaback! is encouraging women to feel able to share their stories about everyday harassment in a safe situation with sympathetic ears awaiting. as a woman, there is no way i can emphasise enough just how important and calming a receptive pair of ears can be when you have a street harassment story to share. it's important to be heard, and that's what hollaback! is all about.

3) so, i've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to do social media part-time for, who i will now proceed to spruik here, just a little bit. lipmag is a free online magazine (well, they're also all papery as well, when it's possible) with heaps of new content, every single day (except maybe Sundays, but even feminists need a day of rest). since starting to work for them a few weeks ago, i have been blown away by the quality of the content, and its consistency and regularity. plus, there's something there for everyone, because there's the inevitable feminist issues that the rest of the online feminist world are talking about, but there's also a feminist take on many things of popular culture, including dr who, thor 2, all of the books and movies and musics, events, things! one of my favourites is the 'feminist of the week' segment, like this one, because it's nice to hear things about other enthusiastic feminists who are going to be changing the world.

a thing you should do, for giggles and whatnot, is to follow Lip on Facebook. that way, things will pop up into your life on your newsfeed, and you can click on and read the things that sound interesting to you without having to remember to visit a website on the regular. so if you like, do that.

4) tired yet? just one more to recommend, for today anyway: Daily Life. it's an Australian site built with women as its target audience (but it's for everyone! all the everybody! c'mon now!) and aims to blend news and lifestyle issues of relevance to women. i love today's front page, for example: the rise of the blow-out bachelorette party, the reason there's not more female heroines in video games, is eyecream a real and effective thing or just a tiny jar of moisturiser? (i have often wondered this very thing myself). my all time favourite writers of all time for this site are the Clems - Clementine Bastow and Clementine Ford. Clem Ford, in particular, is probably my favourite Australian article writer (what do they call those? columnist? writer of news? what?). she is brave and smart and good with her words, and fucking unapologetic, which makes me love her. read this article on 'how to spot a misogynist' to get her at her best. best best ever. bestest.

the important thing about that internet is to take every little thing with a grain of salt. i feel there's a lot of beauty in the world. blogging opens things up for each of us to stake out our little piece of opinion piece, and i've been really enjoying the sense of connectivity i feel when reading a particularly amazing blog, a piece of literary brilliance or bravery where the writer has made you feel feelings that wake you up and make you strong with anger or pride or the need to incite change.

happy internet, everyone. go forth, and be a feminist. it's not just for girls, it's not.


  1. You're hitting my buttons Helen and I love it. I was looking forward to Friday to see what you'd be writing about, (will be back to check out some of your links.)

    1. aw, so lovely of you to stop by! i'm easing myself into being the one that hits the buttons... so i hope i'm hitting buttons that promote recognition and not angry buttons. angry buttons are the worst! x

  2. Definitely not angry buttons, thinking buttons. That quote, "feminism isn’t anti-man – it’s anti-patriarchy, which is completely different" stuck in my head afterwards and I've resprouted it a few times.

    1. yes, it's pretty close to my own philosophy, i have brothers and i love men! mostly. the most rewarding thing for me has been opening up conversations with my brothers and dad, as well as some male friends, about the tricky bits about the society we live in... turns out they hate parts of it just as much as i do. warm fuzzy feelings... :)