The next feminist blog carnival is on the way

Hoyden About Town have put out the call for Down Under Feminist Carnival submissions at Penguin Unearthed, who is hosting this month:

I’m particularly keen to have posts with a workplace focus, so all workplace submisions gratefully received.

But all feminists posts are welcome, and if you don’t have your own blog, don’t be shy, feel free to send me a post that I can put on my blog for you.

The submission form is here, but it’s down right now, so feel free to email me on penguinunearthed at gmail dot com instead. Submissions due by 31 October.


I had a deprived childhood

I was born in 1978, (why yes I did just celebrate a significant birthday) which puts me at the tail end of Gen ‘X’.  Sometimes I don’t feel like a ‘real’ member of my generation because it feels as though I missed out on some of the shared cultural experiences of the ‘X’ers.  I grew up the eldest in a very conservative (maybe slightly right wing) Christian family.  I have four younger siblings, three of whom are quite close to me in age.  As a consequence my parents had a ‘one for all and all for one’ rule about what we could watch when we were kids.  This basically meant that we could only watch G and some PG rated movies – definitely no AO’s (now I’m showing my age)!  So I remember not being allowed to watch a lot of the popular movies and shows that were around when I was kid (and I’m not really complaining -despite the title of this blog I had a really lovely childhood).  I didn’t watch Gremlims, or Ghostbusters, things like that.  My youngest sister suffered from nightmares, so we were banned from watching anything which could give her scary dreams.  (As a consequence of one of her nightmares we were banned from watching Dr Who-halfway through the season).  In my teens I didn’t watch Dirty Dancing or Grease, movies which seemed to have a big influence  in the cultural milieu that I was a part of – if the reaction of people to the music from these movies is anything to go by.  People went nuts in discos, nightclubs and parties when the Grease medley came on and an awful lot of my females contemporaries know all the words to “I had the time of my life”.  At times, particularly during my teenage years, I felt like I was missing out.  Ahh, the eternal appeal of the forbidden. Everybody else was watching these movies and in some ways not watching them made them seem larger than life.

So it was with much interest that I watched Grease the other night.  I missed the beginning but caught most of it on television.  Perhaps, when one has anticipated a thing for at least twenty years, it has rather a lot to live up to.  Suffice to say I was disappointed.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, there is perhaps much to like about the movie.  Charismatic leads, bright shiny colours, catchy songs and amazing choreography (particularly in the dance-off scene and the last song) mean that I can see why the movie has enduring appeal. (As a reflection of this enduring appeal the 30th anniversary double DVD set has just been released).  But I thought the movie was appalling.  Perhaps a decade of feminist critical theory has shaped my thoughts but I just didn’t love this movie.  After all it revolved around a ‘pussy wagon’.  Maybe I didn’t get it, but I can’t abide movies in which the heroine capitulates to male fantasy in order to achieve validation.

The swimming pool

The swimming pool

So what about you?  Any childhood experience that was denied to you that you attempted to capture as an adult?  For example, a friend of a friend got her much longed for ‘Woman’s Weekly’ Birthday cake as a 24 year old.  And, did this experience live up to your hopes and wishes?  Or was it, like my Grease experience  – a big let down?

I didn’t want to get all political on you

but now is the time for a you tube clip guide to the US election.  So we have:

A song for Sarah Palin

(from Looky Daddy)

Or some of the Tina Fey satire that has been making news.

(from Audrey and the Bad Apples). (Hey you like that? You can join the Tina Fey for VP facebook group.)

From Lavatus Prodeo, this kind of people vote for McCain

Or from Hoyden About Town: (and Tigtog who says the US election campaign is descending farther and farther into black farce)

Ok so this isn’t a balanced look at the election – I have a bit of an anti McCain camp slant, but even Rolling Stone mag is asking serious questions about McCain’s history, and Naomi Wolf is questioning his health. If you what some pro- McCain or even pro- Obama info, google is good and the internet is a big place.

In the News

Sometimes I read the news and I get angry.  This evening I read the news and thought that I had to share. From the ABC news:

The author of a musical comedy about the 2006 Beaconsfield mine disaster has made changes to the production following public outrage about the title.

Playwright Dan Ilic earlier said he hoped the production’s original title, Beaconsfield: A Musical in A-Flat Minor, would gain media attention but has since re-named the musical Beaconsfield: The Musical.

I am constantly amazed by humour.  People will make jokes about anything, and it can be something that unites us.  But when good jokes go bad it can also be something that divides us. For example, I really enjoyed this post, but if you read the comments thread you can soon see that not everyone got the joke.  And the joke in the news story, it can be seen as sick and inappropriate and the author sensibly bowed to public pressure and changed the name. Yet it makes me wonder how much of our humour is a coping mechanism in the face of bleakness.  Any thoughts?