Apologies to those in different time zones for whom this Carnival is actually coming on or close to December 8. I have divided the posts selected for inclusion into several broad themes (in no particular order), although of course many posts could be placed in multiple categories -- which means you should read them all! They are well worth it. UPDATE: I have posted on Diversity and the Carnival here.
HOW WE BECAME FEMINISTS
In "Warrior Wombs and Radical Training Wheels," the author of Lingual Tremors recalls her feminist upbringing (including the "Sunshine Family," an alternative to Barbie!) Jenn (the self-described "angry little Asian Canadian Girl") at Reappropriate explains how BLOGGING transformed her from an anti-feminist into a feminist. Dave at The Galloping Beaver describes the responses that raced through his head when someone first told him he was a feminist. For The Woman in Comfy Shoes, birkenstocks cause feminism. Clare at Ink and Incapability tells us how she came to realize that the "ladette" culture of 1990s Britain (in which "ladettes" matched men in crudity, aggression and drinking) was not in any way a manifestation of real equality. Alas, a Blog provides a thoughtful piece on the meaning of the terms "feminist" and "anti-feminist."
Holly at Self Portrait As . . . considers how power is understood and distributed when it comes to courtship and sex -- and she gets some bewildered responses when she poses this issue to a group of male Mormon feminists. Fear of discussing sex permeates even Women's Studies departments, as Aspazia at Mad Melancholic Feminista reveals, as she describes (with frustration) how her department declined to include the term "Sexuality" in its name. Lis Riba of Riba Rambles debunks in great detail the common myths about Female Sexual Dysfunction (in one of a series of excellent posts about FSD). The Purple Elephant critiques the statement in Patricia Dalton's Washington Post article that, "Women once complained about being reduced to sex objects. Now, their daughters are volunteering to be sex objects." Alice at Pants that Fit ain't volunteering for nothin' -- she just wants to eat her banana in peace.
At Composite, Liz Henry examines the powerful response of early 20th century poet Magda Portal to the observation of Peruvian literary essayist Jose Carlos Mariategui that women poets of his day were hampered by an "idiotic modesty--" and how, missing her point, he then went on to single her out as an "exception" to the rule. At Altalk Blog, Liz also tells us about how conceptions of Sappho have evolved over time. At Buzz, Balls & Hype, Dr. Susan O'Doherty counsels a woman author who sometimes receives the supposed compliment that "even men would like your book." In her new blog, My London, Your London, Natalie Bennett reviews women's self-portraits from the Renaissance to the Contemporary era, all displayed at the National Portrait Gallery. Sour Duck tells us about an art exhibit entitled "Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia and Deco," which had as its theme the "moga" or "modern girl." Shakespeare's Sister looks at the criteria commonly used to categorize films as either "chick flicks" or "guy movies."
In the November 22 entry at Frog in a Well, Alan Baumler explains why Manchu women did not bind their feet. The Daily Troll tells the life stories of her ancestors in the early days of the American South, including her forgotten female ancestors, and explains why knowledge of their real-life struggles and accomplishments is more valuable than their descendents' idealized view. Natalie Bennett at Philobiblion discusses the cultural history of menstruation and asks why we are still afraid to say the word. The-Goddess responds to my post on Elizabeth Gould Davis's theory of an ancient matriarchy as described in her book "The First Sex." I write about the life and legacy of Mary Lyon, who, in 1837, founded the first women's college in the United States.
The Sugared Harpy recounts how her teachers and advisors marginalized her as a student and conveyed to her a message of hopelessness when she was a pregnant teenager. In "No One CanTake That Away from You," Vernice Jones shares the experiences of her friend Alisse as a woman of color who obtained a Ph.D in engineering. Jim Sullivan of Suldog-O-Rama writes a tribute to his "hero" -- his 100 year old grandmother who did not let the loss of an eye during infancy stop her from starting her own dancing school, becoming a marvelous artist, or serving as a very active community volunteer, among other many other accomplishments.
WOMEN'S POLITICAL REPRESENTATION
Anne at Fernham reflects upon the invisibility of Congolese women who, elderly by 35, are routinely weighted down with huge loads of firewood while their husbands walk ahead unencumbered -- and she draws some surprising connections to newly elected Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Shirleaf, the Sex and the City crew, and women at elite universities in the first world. The U.K.'s own GenderGeek takes issue with the Tory leadership's refusal to consider an all-woman shortlisting even as Britain slips from the top 50 nations for women's political representation. (Also check out The Sharpener which crossposted this piece and regularly features others like it.)
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND RAPE
The Countess (aka Trish Wilson) argues that the attacks by fathers' rights activists upon a PBS documentary about abused women and children mirror the tactics abusive fathers use in court. Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money explains how resilient myths about rape impede the enforcement of Canada's rape shield law, including this lovely quotation from one hostile judge who noted that the complainant did not present herself to the defendant "in a bonnet and crinolines." Ally at Ducking for Apples provides a very personal account of rape, including how she herself internalized the belief that she must have "led him on." Lindsay at Makjikthise tells us about the troubling case in which reporting a rape became a crime. The Evil Li-brul Overlord rants about this case too (as well as the notion that everyone must get married or civilization will collapse and John Derbyshire's contention that women are only attractive for a brief period after puberty) Laurelin in the Rain describes the Reclaim the Night rally in London. The folks at Mind the Gap collect signatures for a petition to the Welsh Assembly for specific measures to help fight rape and domestic violence-- and they provide photos of their efforts.
LisaB at Feminist Mormon Housewives starts a discussion with her readers as to how to interpret scripture when it is not written in a gender-inclusive fashion. The Atheism/Agnosticisim Blog at about.com critiques the assumption in Islam and fundamentalist Christianity that women must bear responsibility for men's virtue as well as their own -- and that men are "victims" of their failure to do so. While "raising children, lettuce and hell in Texas," Redneck Mother brings attention to the frightening anti-feminist agenda of the Christian Reconstructionists.
Muse over at Me-Ander in Israel points out that young mothers need, but often don't get, rejuvenating breaks from their responsibilities, even while their husbands take such breaks for granted. Jill at Feministe tackles the "daughter track." Hugo Schwyzer reminds us that the burden of performing mundane tasks for office parties falls on women employees all too often.
Antonella Pavese discusses, in terms of her own life story, the ambivalence women often feel about their own ambition and need for recognition. At Goddess Musings, Roni highlights the L.A. Dodgers' consideration of Kim Ng for the General Manager position and the New York Times's inaccurate characterization of a feminist bookstore as hostile to children. Ginmar, in A View from A Broad, tells us about the heroism of Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester who, when ambushed in Iraq, led others, exposed herself to hails of grenades and machine gun fire, and saved countless lives along with Spec. Ashley J. Pullen and male members of their unit. (Scroll down to November 16.)
Many bloggers have responded to Linda Hirshman's Alternet article on Stay-at-Home Feminists. Bitch Ph.D supplements Hirshman's advice with her own Radical Married Feminist Manifesto, and Amanda at Pandagon observes that it ain't necessarily all that easy. Sandy at The Imponderabilia of Actual Life offers the perspective of one of those over-educated stay-at-home mothers whom Hirshman appears to blame for the failure of feminism. (This post also links to a number of other responses to Hirshman.) Check out another response from self-described "radical feminist" and "stay-at-home soccer mom," L., at Homesickhome.
THE NEXT CARNIVAL OF FEMINISTS
The next carnival, No 5, will be Scribblingwoman on December 21 Send submissions to jones AT unbsj DOT ca by December 18.
FOR INFO. ON OTHER CARNIVALS:
Check out the ubercarnival site.