Saturday morning links

Note: Links may not actually be posted until Saturday afternoon

Stuff Stephanie has been doing

Writing!  She has a series of posts about Chinese-Australian identity at Peril, and has written a piece on voluntourism, ethics and actually making a difference for The Toast.

Australia (is terrible)

Australia Day has more violence than any other public holiday!  What this article doesn’t mention is that very few of this violence is directed at white people, which means the current HARD LINE LAURA NORDER stance currently being adopted by New South Wales isn’t going to help in this instance.

This might be time-sensitive, but comedian Aamer Rahman has been retweeting some of the racist hate he gets.

Feminisms

Group dynamics on a female podcast – a bunch of my friends do Verity, an all-women Doctor Who podcast.  Now, I am terrible with podcasts, so I don’t listen to it regularly, but it’s clever and interesting and often very funny.  However, some people (male people) think Team Verity need to be a bit … nicer.

New blog: Intersectionality Times, “a place that hopes to provide a safe space for those of us who are ‘othered’ by mainstream Australian feminism.”

Stealing sexy calendars isn’t Jesus and it isn’t radical – “If your activism involves turning over tables and then leaving them there for minimum wage workers to clean up, please rethink. If your feminism involves “breaking glass ceilings” and leaving other women to sweep up the glass, stop.”  I really couldn’t put it better.

Dear James Delingpole: You are the problem – “Little boys are not universally sociopaths in training: nurturing and love are not exclusively feminine traits. But that’s what they can sometimes become, if, as so many people do, you assume that boys are naturally monstrous, and consequently neglect to teach them the empathy, kindness and respect for others you’ve already decided they’re incapable of learning.”

Media

A Chinese space opera trilogy is coming to the US Anglosphere – this isn’t new news, but I’m reblogging it mostly so I remember.  Also, it looks like some of Liu Cuxin’s short fiction is available in English on Amazon, so note to self, get into that.

I’ve been re-watching Star Trek: Voyager for the first time since … well, since I stopped being a Trekkie, back in the early 2000s.  I’d like to say that I’ve been inspired with meaningful and clever thoughts about the series, but … well, apparently nothing has changed since I was 14.  Except that I’m playing a fun game of, “Did I actually watch this multiple times, or did I just memorise Jim Wright‘s review?”

But in the same universe, Grant Watson has been watching and blogging about the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Economic injustice

Why your shoes won’t save the world – the problem with “buy one, give one” charity.

Race

Not your Asian sidekick – the fight for diverse identities – an Australian account of the recent hashtag, and why it’s important.

Why I prefer “black” – On identity, race, nationalism and more.  Of note:  I don’t use the term “person/woman of colour” for myself because, from an Aboriginal perspective, this phrase does not carry the same political weight and indeed, to be “of colour” to me is to also be comfortable with people defining my background by those old blood quanta percentages, which I reject.

This is something I try to keep in mind:  although “person of colour” is widely accepted, and generally not considered offensive, it is by no means a universal phrase.  (I had to explain this to an American recently.  It was … challenging.)

Food

How did toast become the latest artisanal food craze?  This article covers a lot of ground, but the answer is basically “intersectionality”.

Also, I am kind of touched by the notion that $4 is a lot to pay for toast.  Bless you, America, but your prices are artificially low.

(It’s not just America.  Mel from Subversive Reader was ranting on Twitter … yesterday?  About $2 baby shirts, and the fact that the fabric alone costs more than that.  As she said, someone isn’t being paid their due, and you can bet it’s not the Australian retail worker at the final point of sale.)

Frozen

Last week, Melbourne experienced a record-breaking heatwave.  I coped by hiding out in an air-conditioned cinema and watching Frozen.  

I had initially planned to give Frozen the old boycott-by-ignoring-and-basically-forgetting-it-existed, because of that animator’s comments about it being sooooooo haaaaaaaaaard to animate women, because they have to have facial expressions but still remain pretty!  I was like, dude, you work for a company that’s fairly well-known for its animated female characters, I’m pretty sure you can figure it out.

However, increasing numbers of my friends were seeing it, and coming away talking it up as totes feminist and progressive.  My curiosity was piqued!  Also, it was really hot.

And I enjoyed it!  I thought it was a decent movie in its own right, but played with Disney tropes in an interesting way.  And if you  had told me that Disney would do a movie about an agoraphobic princess, I wouldn’t have believed you.  AND YET.

Okay, I don’t think Elsa is actually agoraphobic, or has any other condition that maps to contemporary psychology.  But the way her fear of her magic, and hurting people with her magic, manifests is so close to agoraphobia (and other things — Anna hints that she assumed her sister was obsessive-compulsive) that it felt quite right to me.  Likewise, in finally embracing her abilities, she displays a hint of the femme fatale, making her possibly the most knowingly sexual Disney princess queen yet.

Also, Anna is basically me, if I was a Disney princess.  Except that I wouldn’t go haring off after my sister in a snowstorm, wearing a summer dress.  (Sorry, sis.)

With that in mind, here are some interesting and useful Frozen posts:

7 moments that made Frozen the most progressive Disney movie ever – I try to avoid that kind of hyperbole, because it’s nearly always wrong/oversimplified/ALSO WRONG.  But these were good features!

How Ariel became Disney’s bad woman: a look at Frozen and The Little Mermaid – so I completely disagree with this post’s taken on Frozen, but I really love it for reclaiming the feminism of The Little Mermaid.  IT’S COMPLICATED.

(Having said that, as an adult, I now find it quite sad that Ariel is only 16 when she makes the irrevocable decision to change species and get married.  That’s so young!)

Here I Go (Despair of an Alto) – I can’t actually hit a note or hold a tune, but if I could, I’d be an alto.  So this speaks to me on a very profound level.

 

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4 thoughts on “Saturday morning links

  1. We had a lot of discussions at one of my old schools about using the terms Indigenous or ATSI or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander – it was very important to us both in how we taught history and culture and in how we worked with students who were Aboriginal (we didn’t have any Torres Strait students at the time). I think our discussions, both in and out of the classroom would have benefited from remembering that there are different people and preferences within a group. As a school who also had a large group of students from Pacific Island backgrounds, I’m not sure “black” would have worked for our students, though. Something to ponder on further . . .

    1. Oh, thank you! I wanted to link to that, but hadn’t kept the tab open.

      And yes, that’s a complex issue, and I don’t think Disney’s portrayal of Saami culture was especially sensitive or thoughtful. I’ve seen disagreement between different Saami bloggers on the merits or otherwise of Frozen, and I know absolutely zilch about the context, but that post certainly put paid to my vague idea of cosplaying Anna in that particular outfit.

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