Showing posts from November, 2018

STEMinist – Sexism in the Workplace

13 years ago, as I prepared for college, my father (a mechanical engineer himself) warned me that mechanical engineering won’t be easy, that I would be working out in the field and getting tan, not the most desirable look for a good Asian woman, and I pish-poshed – silently, as would a good Asian woman – because that is precisely where I wanted to see myself in a few years’ time. What he meant is that I would be overlooked, second-guessed, objectified, undermined, spoken over, spoken about like I’m not right there, maybe even underpaid, and explicitly told at some point in my career that I was surely a “diversity hire.”  Being in a field of work that is infamously rampant with toxic masculinity isn’t the only reason he was right. Women struggle on a daily basis to be considered as qualified as men in every field. The gender pay gap is a commonly quoted example of this. Based on the Workplace Gender Equality Agency under the Australian government, statistics from gender pay gap d

Not All Men. But More Than Enough

If you've spent enough time in feminist circles and enough time engaging with allies, you are practically guaranteed to have heard the term "not all men!" If you had an automatic eye-roll reaction, I'll understand, and if not I'll explain. It's the sentiment consistently expressed by men in the face of stories about problematic male behaviour. Not all men, they will say. Not all men are rapists. Not all men are misogynists. Not all men are violent. All of these sentiments are true. But the expression itself is toxic - and I for one will no longer engage with anyone who employs this diversionary tactic any longer. The reason is simple: it's not rhetoric that signals someone is a legitimate ally, it's a logical fallacy designed to derail an important conversation back to a topic they feel is more deserving - namely, men's problems. You might remember something similar in the #alllivesmatter response to the Black Lives Matter movement. There it was

Tales of a Former “Edge Lord”, or, “I Went to Anti-Feminism and All I Got Was This Crappy T-Shirt”

It feels like a lifetime ago that I was supporting my best friend in leaving an abusive relationship.   It had honestly never occurred to me that the battle would begin after she had moved out. I should clarify, though, that she was the abuser, and he was the abused. Prior to that point, my feminism had already been waning. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I had been misinformed in my feminism from the start, to the point where my beliefs and actions had begun to feel quite extremist. There was another part, though, that was rooted in the fact that my male friends had started to consider me a sort of safe space, and an overwhelming number of them had been approaching me to describe relationship situations that were causing them significant harm. With these revelations, I became more and more disillusioned with what it meant to be a feminist. I started to notice the way domestic violence helplines were gendered, so that the only helplines targeted to men had already assu

Forgotten Femmes - The Great Women in Australian Art

The common rhetoric blasted across our societal landscape is “The future is female”, but what if the past already was? When you think about the art world, across a myriad of artistic movements, the main majority of modern artists were men. Whether it’s Duchamp, Matisse, Picasso, Dali, Warhol or Da Vinci himself, it’s clear that the mainstream rhetoric alludes to the masters of the art world’s past being predominantly male. Yes, there are the few outliers such as Frida Kahlo, Marina Abramovic who have managed to make a name for themselves over time but they tend to be the exceptions. For every master of the art world, there is more than likely a female equivalent working within the same time period who is creating equally as innovative work yet has managed to go practically unnoticed as time has gone on. One classic example includes the previously neglected works of the Swedish artist known as Hilma af Klint. Klint was an abstract painter who was creating paintings within this v

NSW Law Reform Commission - Have Your Say!

Calling all feminist activists!! The NSW Law Reform Commission is reviewing the law surrounding consent in relation to sexual assault. They have released the Consultation Paper , which you can have a look at. To review the law, they are seeking feedback in the form of actual, formal submissions and from a survey they have created. You can remain anonymous. I urge you to respond to this review. T his is a way to get your voice heard, and we must collectively shout our displeasure with the current law. The current consent law has a blind spot, which I’ve written about before but to save your clicks, I’ll summarise: In NSW, when someone is on trial for sexual assault, the crown has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the complainant did not consent. Anthony Whealy QC, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, explained what effect this phrasing has within trials: “(this creates) the unfortunate consequence of focusing almost exclusively on the complainant .