A tumblr thread discusses how all work that is feminised becomes devalued, and it’s a good discussion about the evolution of various fields such as chemical engineering, biology and teaching, and how they became undervalued as more women moved into the fields and they became known as ‘female’ fields. It makes Steph think about her own work in sustainability and climate change mitigation, and the professional workshop she attended last week where of 19 attendees, all sustainability professionals and experts, only 3 of those attendees were men. And sustainability and climate change are controversial, soft topics, and how much does that have to do with how many women are in the field?
(Liz notes that Lois McMaster Bujold has written about this for a long time — her novels are often dismissed as “soft” sci-fi, or not “real sci-fi” at all, because the primary technological innovations she writes about are biological — uterine replicators, social implications of genetic engineering, adaptive surgeries for people with disabilities. You know, lady science.)
Not Australian, but as Terrible Young People, No Award is especially interested in this article at Treehugger: More proof that millennials are ditching the car. Please note that 100% of No Award contributors do not own a car (50% of contributors have current drivers licenses valid in Australia).
(Liz wishes to point out that her learner’s permit is current and valid in the state of Victoria, and she can totally go, um, forwards and around corners. SO THERE.)
Following on from the Great Potato Cake War (aka the Potato Scallop Police Action aka WHY AM I NOT EATING POTATO RIGHT NOW), The Guardian looks at regional variations in Australianisms. Liz, having moved from NSW to Queensland during primary school, prides herself on never having used the terms togs” or “port rack” except in conversations where she expresses pride in never having used these terms. Internalised Queenslandophobia? Ponder that while we wonder why Far North Queensland and the delightful regional language of Katter Country was excluded from this study.
New Matilda reveals that English professor/curriculum reviewer Professor Barry Spurr is a deeply unpleasant man who yearns for a time when — we quote — “Abos, Chinky-poos, Mussies, graffiti, piercings, jeans, tattoos, obese fatsoes or darkies“ formed no part of the Australian landscape. In addition to the ugly, racist language, the link above includes misogyny, transphobia, victim blaming, the violation of a disabled student’s privacy, and also he’s bigoted against Methodists, which is small cheese compared to the rest, yet somehow impressive.
Liz notes, however, that as much as she sympathises with the people who’d prefer to see him summarily dismissed from society in general and the University of Sydney in particular, there’s a lot to be said for organisations taking their time to follow procedures and conduct investigations. Mostly because, if that doesn’t happen, they tend to get sued, and Liz would rather that Professor Spurr doesn’t ultimately walk away with a taxpayer funded windfall.
In any case, next time someone says something about ignorance and lack of education being the cause of racism, we can trot out Spurr as proof that education is no help if one is determined to be a dipstick.
‘Am I Being Catfished?’ An author confronts her number one online critic. Or, Kathleen Hale is a terrible person who demonstrates exactly why people use pseudonyms online, even for something as innocuous as book reviewing. Since the reviewer wasn’t threatening Hale with violence or saying she should be raped and/or murdered, there’s no reason at all to link her online identity with her real life.
Smart responses to Hale:
Liz adds here: I have a lot of sympathy for authors who feel that their books are being misrepresented or misinterpreted by reviewers. Not that I’m a published author, but I’ve kicked around fandom long enough to be declared The Worst Person In Doctor Who Fandom by an anon meme. It’s hard to resist the urge to explain yourself, or at least ask for clarification.
(Once I posted a fic which, although it was rough due to a deadline, basically said what I wanted it to say, though not as well as I’d have liked. One reviewer described it as nihilistic and politically regressive. I was going for realism and bittersweet hope mixed with angst! Which other reviewers said I achieved! But it’s always the awful reviews that stick in your head, right?)
But I think most of my author friends know that the appropriate response is to vent in email or in person, or in a forum where the public can’t see. And maybe basing a future villain on your reviewer. (Liz, uhhhh, may have inspired a villain in a popular author’s contemporary mysteries. She regrets nothing.) Stalking: not the answer. Did we really have to say that? Seriously?
In important shark news: a 13 year old surfer dropped in on a wobbegong shark while surfing at Avoca, and then facebooked about how it wasn’t the shark’s fault. THIS IS CORRECT. She dropped in on the shark, as it was minding its own business and she was gadding about on a giant fucking board, and the shark just did what it had to do! Killing sharks for being in their own environment is never the answer.
Sidenote from Liz: this girl is EXCELLENT, and is welcome to come and catsit any time. House o’Squid: over a year since our last cat mauling!
BookThingo, linked above, is an Australian book blog that mostly covers romance. We here at No Award don’t read much romance, not out of any disdain for the genre, but it’s not our cup of tea. Here, blogger Kat highlights the link between a publisher’s lawsuit against a blog that discussed its shady business practices, and Australia’s ongoing refusal to protect whistleblowers.
At the Guardian, Top 10 Female Power Dressers. Steph notes: If I had the time I would compose a post to Miss Parker (from the Pretender), who is the Power Dresser Hero of my youth. Also she would include Dowager Empress Cixi, and Fan Bingbing.