Philobiblon: The Carnival of Feminists No 1

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Carnival of Feminists No 1

Welcome! to the first Carnival of Feminists. In this show there are no captive animals or "freak" displays, but plenty of passion, lots of fun, and more than the odd bit of juggling of life.

Since there's no sexism here, I'm going to begin the carnival with a post by a man, Bora, aka Coturnix, on Science and Politics. He attended ConvergeSouth and here reports on a session on blog hierarchies, which got into that inevitable "where are the women bloggers" question. The temperature rose, fast.

And while I'm on gatherings of bloggers, I have to include a post setting out plans for next year's BlogHerCon, on Surfette.

Gold-star polemic

But if that's all a bit moderate and reasonable for you, I'm going to proceed quickly to the gold-star "get into 'em and tear 'em to pieces" section, where no punch is pulled. Those carrying twin copies of the "I'm easily offended" gene, you've been warned.

Feministe deconstructs the life plan of a "single Christian girl", who's realised "what a silly mistake her autonomy was". Kameron on Brutal Women, meanwhile, gets into the real meaning of advice to women to think about babies today.

I Blame the Patriarchy is not letting some adversity get her down in "Die Barbie", about a new wardrobe, for adults. (Really! I mean who would?!) In the "other commercial matters" category, Green Fairy reports on a new service, marketed to men, that sends flowers to your girlfriend, so you don't have to remember her birthday.

Jessica on Feministing, meanwhile, notes how encouraging girls to study science and math(s), and to develop leadership skills, has got a company labelled "pro-abortion and pro-lesbian".

Personal Political - in a post not suitable for rabbit-lovers - notes how one word in what is supposed to be a news story (not an opinion piece) is there to denigrate a feminist and her theory. Still on the media, Nella on Feminist Rage tackles a one-sided article about how women are leaving it 'too late' to have a family'.

Political politics

In the world of traditional politics,
Antonia of Antonia's Blog had the misfortune to have to attend the (British) Conservative Party annual conference, where she tried to find a place for social policy between the DD T-shirt wearers. (That's for David Davis, one of the contenders for the leadership, for those who missed the excitement but note the clever double entendre). It's the first feminist wrap-up I've seen, and a very solid one it is too.

Also on British politics, Emma on Gender Geek explains what's wrong with the law on women trafficked into prostitution.

I've deliberately restricted the number of US Supreme Court posts, for fear of them taking over, but I'll let Bitch PhD set out the case for why its composition matters, particularly for women, and particularly for pregnant women. Then Pseudo-Adrienne on Alas, a Blog, sets out the feminist case against Harriet Miers, while Amanda on Pandagon suggests the Right can't trust any woman it can't ruin.

Then, proving that feminists can be critical even of their icons, What Do I Know? describes her disillusionment with Judith Miller. And Moorish Girl explains why a female advocate of a Moroccan republic shouldn't be held up as an human rights advocate. (The sort of republic she wants is an Islamic one.)

On the positive side, Luighsearch on Feminist Forum sets out the good news from Norway. Also, Miss Mabrouk of Egypt reports on a scheme helping poor women in Cairo and Black Looks reports on a campaign for women's rights across Africa.

Personal politics

Heading into the "personal is political" category, Ms B. on Volsunga asks: If we were truly equal to men, considered by men to be worthy partners, would it matter if we had hairy legs?

Carla on Pre-emptive Karma is tackling the difficult issue of how to prepare children for relatives with restrictive belief systems. Growup_blowaway on Feminist Rage, meanwhile, tells the tale of a boy who at age five has all "girly" things torn away from him. On the same site, Conuly asks why all the toddler girls she sees are dressed in pink?

Deepa on Teashop on the Moon wonders if the limitations applied to girls in the books of Enid Blyton should disqualify them for modern readers?

Still in the wardrobe department, Vanessa on Feministing asks if breasts can really replace CD racks? The Countess, meanwhile, wonders about men who can only deal with relationships with plastic dolls, and Emmy on Gender Geek confronts the popular stereotypes about male sexuality.

Getting more serious, Noli Irritare Leones looks at the issues around possible childhood vaccination against the virus that causes cervical cancer. I can only hope common sense here, after hearing a debate, on Radio 4!, in which a woman was arguing that this shouldn't happen, because it would encourage girls to have sex!

Earmarks in Early Modern Culture looks at an advertisement by a Dutch insurance company designed, so it said, to promote men's involvement in childcare. The Dad got to go abseiling, the mother to wear an apron. How does that work again? she asks.

Office politics

On 11D, a plea to allow tears in the workplace. (I sympathise - I cry when I'm angry, not when I'm sad. I've often been angry at work.)

Scribblingwoman reports on the case of a female editor sacked from an "alternative" magazine for putting a breast on the cover. It seems the fact that a baby was attached, and the associated article was trying to reduce hang-ups about breast-feeding, was no explanation.

Then in the computer world, Jill/txt wonders why the component, and the game centre, are called "mother"?

Political philosophy

On Mind the Gap, Winter Woods asks the vital question how do we counter anti-feminist rhetoric? Still on a philosophical bent, on Wee Hours, TW sets out why feminism matters, but individualism does too.

Biting Beaver, in her Den, has a close encounter with the spirit of Andrea Dworkin. Didn't Hillary do something similar, and doesn't this mean Biting Beaver is now in line for the US presidency?

Hugo Schwyzer - yep, another bloke - offers "a Caffeinated Musing on Christianity and Feminism". Morgaine, on The Goddess, meanwhile, sets out in historical terms the damage Christianity has inflicted on women.

On A View From A Broad, an explanation of why arming women wouldn't deal with the problem of rape. In a related post, Sour Duck claims the right for feminists to be angry, even on their blogs.

Remembering politics

Regular readers of my blog will know that one of my favourite questions is: why do women seem to keep disappearing from history? But many bloggers are doing their part to recover forgotten women and ensure those in the public eye stay there.

On Clews: The True Crime Blog, Laura writes about an essay by Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835-1894), "in her lifetime one of the most famous women poets". Yet a famous factual essay she wrote has come to be labelled "fiction", and is mined by other writers.

Pinko Feminist Hellcat, meanwhile, looks back to the Iceland women's strike of 1974. And it could be about to happen again!

Then, using the host's right of one link, I'll point to my post on Hille Feyken, a 15-year-old who came up with her own plan to save the embattled Anabaptist stronghold of Munster in 1534 and carried it out with considerable elan. She was betrayed, however, and met her death with the same fervent courage.

And since Sharon on Early Modern Notes was my first blogging mentor, I'm going to bend the rules for her to go back to the delightful tale of the upper-class female highwaywoman.

Finally, and a fine note to finish on, Uma on Indian Writing records awards honouring social activists, including a seven-year-old girl campaigning against child marriage.

So that's it, the carnival is over, until next time - which will be on Personal Political in two weeks' time - that's November 2 - email (at) gmail (dot) com. (And any time you want to know what is happening with the carnival, check the home page. I'm particularly looking for an American blogger to host the edition of November 16 - any volunteers? After that maybe India or Africa or the Middle East?)

Thanks very much to all who sent nominations and to those who spread the word.

I've done my best to get writers' names, blog names and posts' intentions correct. If I've failed, please email and I'll fix it as soon as possible.

And if you don't think you should be here at all, perhaps you're one of those people who say: "I'm not a feminist but ..." The news is, YOU ARE!

(The Carnival is listed on the Truth Laid Bear ubercarnival. You can find other carnivals at The Blog Carnival.)


Blogger Mapo said...

This is great. Thank you!

10/19/2005 04:07:00 am  
Blogger coturnix said...

Great inaugural!

10/19/2005 05:04:00 am  
Blogger Angie said...

Wow! Excellent!! Going to take me a while to go thru it all, but excellent!! :)

10/19/2005 05:12:00 am  
Anonymous karpad said...

I lost count at 14 stunning posts I had to read.

damn it all. it's midnight. I have a flu. I shouldn't be awake and reading this. I should be asleep, trying to recover.

10/19/2005 06:00:00 am  
Anonymous The Heretik said...

A fine start. Best to all.

10/19/2005 06:01:00 am  
Blogger Alun said...

Thanks for putting this up, I'm reading a lot of stuff that I wouldn't have known about.

10/19/2005 11:03:00 am  
Blogger Jessica said...

wow! great selection of links, natalie -- so much food for thought -- can't wait for the next one!

10/19/2005 11:06:00 am  
Blogger Amardeep said...

I was happy to see Uma of Indian Writing here. She is one of my favorite blogger/journalists.

10/19/2005 12:17:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Thanks all!

10/19/2005 01:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Lynsey said...

I'm a mod over at feminist_rage, and I'm so proud to see our little community featured here :) Hope this wont be the last carnival!

10/19/2005 02:26:00 pm  
Anonymous AndiF said...

This was an excellent round-up. Thanks for making such a great effort.

Just wanted to add that I really admire your regular blog entries. Your point of view, your subjects, and your writing are always really interesting and well-thought out.

10/19/2005 03:03:00 pm  
Blogger Trish said...

Thanks so much for the link. I'm definitely going to participate in Carnival of the Feminists from now on.

Great bunch of links. I have lots of reading to do now.

10/19/2005 03:30:00 pm  
Blogger Hugo said...

Thanks for the link!


10/19/2005 04:16:00 pm  
Blogger Another Damned Medievalist said...

More temptation! Thanks!

10/19/2005 10:09:00 pm  
Blogger Kate said...

Fascinating and inspiring reading. Thanks!

10/19/2005 10:09:00 pm  
Blogger Disillusioned kid said...

Cool. A much needed addition to the blogging-carnival-osphere methinks.

10/19/2005 10:14:00 pm  
Blogger Winter said...

A tour de force! Thank you.

10/19/2005 10:26:00 pm  
Blogger DemiOrator said...

Thanks for this wonderful post! I put a plug in my blog for your carnival. Go go, you.

10/19/2005 11:01:00 pm  
Blogger TW said...

Beautiful, excellent job! Thank you!

10/19/2005 11:12:00 pm  
Blogger Pseudo-Adrienne said...

Thanks for the link! Looks like your Carnival of Feminists is off to a great start.

10/20/2005 12:02:00 am  
Blogger Melinda Casino said...

Nice round-up - or "carnival". I didn't know what a carnival was until I read about this over at What She Said!

(How did this term originate? I don't suppose it has anything to do with Mikhail Bakhtin and his carnivalesque theory...)
Thanks for the inclusion.

10/20/2005 03:04:00 am  
Blogger coturnix said...

Carnival of Vanities started about three years ago and others followed soon afterwards. Follow the links (and links within links) here for more comprehensive information about the whole carnival phenomenon.

10/20/2005 06:33:00 am  
Blogger Melinda Casino said...

Many thanks coturnix! :)

10/20/2005 06:53:00 am  
Blogger TP said...

Great idea. Thanks for this

10/20/2005 09:33:00 am  
Blogger ScroobiousScrivener said...

Wow indeed, and this is going to keep me busy for days, but what I had to comment on was: thank god someone else out there cries when they're angry. I do that too, and it's the most frustrating thing to have my reactions inevitably so misunderstood. Plus, I'm that much more likely to spout tears in inappropriate situations - like work. Grrrr.

(I also find that when I'm angry, but trying really hard not to be so that I don't cry, I end up laughing. You can imagine, that's even more misleading, and harder to get anyone to take me seriously.)

10/20/2005 12:29:00 pm  
Blogger No Blood for Hubris said...

Great idea. Check us out, too.

10/20/2005 02:24:00 pm  
Blogger That Girl said...


10/20/2005 04:30:00 pm  
Blogger Sheelzebub said...

Thanks for the link, and for introducing me to some blogs I hadn't heard of!

10/20/2005 05:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Passed it along.

Very much look forward to more - thank you!

10/20/2005 07:13:00 pm  
Blogger Sandy said...

What a fascinating collection of blogs and issues. Kudos to you for puttting it all together, and I'm looking forward to reading more in the future.

10/20/2005 07:47:00 pm  
Anonymous CE Petro said...

Great carnival. Cant wait for the next one.

10/20/2005 09:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Chameleon said...

I too must add my voice to the chorus of praise. My time budget severely limited, I only have gratitude and admiration for your excellent initiative. I will certainly be linking to several of these posts when completing my own pieces, you really deserve recognition for providing such an indispensable resource.

10/20/2005 10:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah. Where do I start?

10/21/2005 12:38:00 am  
Anonymous Jade said...

This is awesome, I am enjoying the read =) Will be coming back regularly here

10/21/2005 06:40:00 am  
Anonymous ae said...

Wonderful job, Philobiblon! I look forward to reading through these posts. Happy to see that there is a feminist carnival.

10/21/2005 06:43:00 am  
Anonymous Sakshi said...

Amazing stuff here.

Hopefully you guys won't be attacked by the guys spreading 'anti-women' sentiments over entire blogosphere.

Sadly, me wasn't too lucky.

If you get time check this out,

10/21/2005 01:47:00 pm  
Blogger ding said...

wow. this is too excellent. and it's perfect reading for a long, empty weekend. thanks!

10/21/2005 06:12:00 pm  
Blogger cristy said...

Thank you, that was great (although it did completely destroy a day of study...).


10/24/2005 09:35:00 am  
Blogger Twisty said...

Hey, this kicks butt! What a fabulous idea.

10/26/2005 12:05:00 am  
Anonymous Online Wong PoKér Hu said...

Feminists are getting prominent nowadays. They are getting a lot of attention from people who usually ignore them. They have gregained power and are slow climbing the echelons of the society.

11/24/2005 11:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Jinx said...

Haha, awesome idea.

1/07/2006 11:52:00 am  
Blogger cristy said...

It is fantastic to see how well the Carnival has taken off.

Congratulations Natalie. You have done an amazing job of this.

4/21/2006 05:25:00 am  

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