Philobiblon: The younger generation

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The younger generation

'Midst all the stories of Botox, make-up, fashion etc in the Observer Woman, a proper story, shock horror, about a "Michael Moore-style feminist", Periel Aschenbrand, author of The Only Bush I Trust Is My Own:

Aschenbrand, who made an unscripted appearance at the 2005 Republican Party Convention dressed in vest, knickers and a handmade 'Fuck Bush' necklace, says she was originally inspired by a group of young women to whom she taught philosophy one summer vacation. 'I couldn't believe the apathy. They were not at all politicised. They'd come into class wearing idiotic T-shirts advertising garbage. "Mrs Timberlake", "Team Aniston". It was absurd. I told them: I think we should put our tits to better use. This is prime advertising space wasted on vapid slogans like "Princess". We should use them to make people think about things that no one else is making them think about.'
When the T-shirts took off, Periel, the rebellious daughter of upper-middle-class parents from Queens, suddenly had both an income and a message. As she succinctly puts it, 'I'm on a mission to change the world - one pair of tits at a time'.

It turns into the inevitable "future of feminism" debate, but is a bit more informed than many such articles.
And a further retort to all of those who bemoan the "lack" of activism among young women, one of the victims of a rape gang in Sydney, aged just 18 now - 14 when she was hideously attacked - has spoken out about her ordeal, and her refusal to be destroyed by it.

Standing in the NSW Supreme Court last week after MSK and MAK were sentenced, Wagner yelled: "F--- you, go to hell, mate."
"I'd like to say, 'Have fun in prison, boys, I won," she told reporters, as she waived her right to anonymity.
"We're not telling people so they know we've been raped," she told Channel Nine's A Current Affair on Thursday night.
"We're telling people so other victims know they have support . . . to just show that you need to be confident if you're a rape victim, especially from these boys. You need to come forward. We all need to be strong and stick together and convict these people."
Sitting alongside Wagner was Cassie Hamim, who was 13 in 2002 when she was lured home by the brothers and raped. It was just a month after Wagner's ordeal.
Inspired by Wagner last week, Hamim, too, waived her right to anonymity. "Tegan's grown stronger," she said. "I'm proud of her. I realise I need to be strong and move on."

And showing what campaigners really can make a difference, Burger King is bringing in a new healthy menu prior to a stock market float in an attempt to assuage market fears. And the story reports that the campaigners are preparing a book and other materials directed at children - to try to at least partially match all that fast food advertising, which sounds like a great idea.

Mr Schlosser's 2001 book revealed in gory detail the nutritional paucity and health risks of junk food, galvanising opposition to the industry.
Now Mr Schlosser is promising a transatlantic tour to promote a children's version called Chew on This. And executives at McDonald's and Burger King are nervously awaiting the premiere of a fictionalised film version of Fast Food Nation, which could be ready in time for next month's Cannes Film Festival.


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