Friday, October 31, 2008

My Feminist T-shirt Idea !

Is 'box' a specifically australian slang for cunt? Or is it just very 70s?

Does anyone remember "The Box" a classic Oz sex and soap opera like "Number 96". I can't believe I was allowed to stay up late and salaciously watch those shows at such a tender age!

Saw some other great feminist t-shirt ideas at ....

The Dawn Chorus
Ariel Gore and the infamous "got breastmilk?" shirt saga

of course you can just search Red Bubble, Zazzle, CafePress and others for 'feminism' or some such but you'd be surprised how many "I support Sarah Palin" shirts that turns up!

I think my other favourite all purpose t-shirt is.. "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!"

Thank you Zazzle for your t-shirt designing tools. If I get round to making an account I'll post this shirt for sale.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Women Hold Fewer Top Jobs Than Before - POST FEMINISM AT ITS WORST

I've been arguing this for quite a while and no one believes the figures. Australia is resting on its laurels. (Hi Laurel) Although, I still argue that this is a global problem. Things haven't significantly changed for hundreds of years, feminism not withstanding, aside from women having the vote and better financial protection in law (better than nothing).

We permit a few women to operate in the top levels of power in a token way. These are often positions gained through connections, sometimes through utter uber bloke bloodymindnedness and usually at the expense of other women.

Even if not explicitly keeping the sisters down to protect your own job, then if you are a successful woman then you are used to excuse the lack of affirmative action that is now espoused by the head of the Business Council of Australia.

Katie Lahey … called for a national debate on quotas.
Photo: Quentin Jones

Katie Lahey, the chief executive of the council, which represents the heads of Australia's top 100 corporations, said promotion of women on merit had not worked.

"I've pooh-poohed quotas for years, but other strategies have not worked, and it's time for a national debate on quotas for women," she said.


The rest of the SMH article follows...

THE proportion of women on corporate boards and in top management in leading companies has fallen, and the head of the Business Council of Australia has called for affirmative action quotas.
Katie Lahey, the chief executive of the council, which represents the heads of Australia's top 100 corporations, said promotion of women on merit had not worked. "I've pooh-poohed quotas for years, but other strategies have not worked, and it's time for a national debate on quotas for women," she said.

The 2008 census on women in leadership, to be published today, shows Australia has gone backwards in the promotion of women to executive management positions in top corporations and to boards.
The number of women coming through the pipeline in "feeder line" management positions is back to pre-2004 levels. Women who make it to senior roles are clustered in human resources and legal services rather than in operations, sales or finance, the usual routes to the top.

Where Australia once ranked second behind the United States in the number of top companies with a woman senior executive, it now ranks last in a list of comparable countries, including New Zealand, Britain, South Africa and Canada. The census is the fifth undertaken for the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency to measure the progress of senior women in the top 200 publicly listed corporations.

It shows the proportion of women senior executive managers - who directly report to the CEO - has declined to 10.7 per cent from 12 per cent in 2006 and is lower than in 2004. The number of women in these positions has fallen to just 182, down from 246 in 2004. While the size of executive management teams has fallen, women's representation has fallen faster.

Naseema Sparks, the incoming president of Chief Executive Women, which promotes the development and use of leadership talent, said "it's disgraceful". At the time of the census on February 1 there were four women CEOs. Women comprised 8.3 per cent of board members, a decline from 8.7 per cent in 2006, and barely higher than in 2004.

The number of top companies with no women executive managers had risen sharply since 2006, from 39.5 per cent to 45.5 per cent. And more than half the ASX200 boards had no women directors. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, said the most disturbing figure was the decrease in women in line executive management from 7.5 per cent to 5.9 per cent.

"This figure is particularly discouraging for younger women trying to climb the corporate ladder. Are we sending a message to women waiting in these feeder positions that their opportunities for advancement are drying up, and if so, why?"

A number of male-dominated mining, materials and energy companies have joined the ranks of the ASX 200 since the last census.

But Wendy McCarthy, a feminist business woman, said women had been graduating with first class honours degrees in geology and engineering for 25 years, "not in large number but with outstanding results, but they go back to academic life because the culture [in these companies] is unsustainable".
NOTE: my sister was THE top geology student in Australia when she graduated but eventually left both industry AND academia due to the harassment and lack of career path. She continually saw much less able male geologists getting offered better positions or promoted over her.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Robot Nation - coming to your screens soon

Personally, we already have a robot vacuum cleaner and I LOVE IT AND ALL THINGS ROBOT! I was a scifi geek girl from conception. We also have a robot mop and many robot toys. Note.. my mother bought a 'robot' appliance but was very disappointed in the product. Anything can call itself 'robot' and frequently does. However Korea has forecast robotics as the social and industrial growth area of the next decade and is pouring in as much money as it did into broadband, and everyone has broadband in Korea.

clipped from
We honestly haven't kept up with the television documentary Vanguard or its sponsoring Internet/Cable channel Current TV, but this trailer for their upcoming show Japan: Robot Nation has our interest piqued. We're digging all of the robots, the ties of said robots to evolving Japanese culture and the overly dramatic score supporting the whole thing. The show doesn't air until December 10, 10PM EST & 10PM PST on Current TV. But if you've got the channel, now might be a good time to set the DVR. Otherwise it'll probably be viewable on the web at that time, too.
blog it

"Japan, the world's No. 2 economy and important global player, is experiencing the steepest peacetime population decline in history. A combination of low birthrates, changing lifestyles and strict immigration policies may be cause for the fall of a nation once expected to challenge American supremacy on the world stage. Japan's government is looking at several ways to stem the tide; encouraging and providing incentives to couples to have more sex -- and more babies. However, because Japan's insular and xenophobic society will not tolerate the admission of greater numbers of immigrants, Japan's tackling the population problem in a way only it can -- by creating a robot nation.

Japan's issues aren't isolated ... Many European nations, especially & old; countries like Italy, are experiencing the same population contraction. And even though Japan is unique in its problems and solutions, there's a sense that it simply reflects a future much of the rest of the developed world will soon see.

Tune in to watch me interact with Japan's latest robots: Wednesday, December 10, 10PM EST & 10PM PST"

Quotes From Adam Yamaguchi on Current

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Every surface can be a computer - Wii Whiteboard

Warning: this post has a high drool content.

I was put to shame at the P&C meeting. The subject turned to helping the school keep up with the better funded cluster of primary schools across the road in the new digital learning environment.

What the teachers wanted were smartboards or interactive whiteboards. The skeptics wondered if they were worth the money. The heads turned to me.. yours truly geek girl.. and my opinion on how useful they were.

I've never used one. We don't have them in the community sector. I haven't paid much attention and I haven't seen it coming in the tech zone. I asked my tech gurus.. what's the buzz? they didn't know, cause they didn't use them. Was there a flaw?

The flaw is that this technology has done an end run, marketing wise, around the corporate technology sector and the bleeding edge adopters have tended to have their own tablets and iphones and other similar personal devices. Interactive whiteboards are seen as redundant or competitive with remote access and group collaboration software and systems.

Whoever markets whiteboards has done an Apple and infiltrated the education sector. Is it really the ipod, apple technology and advertising that is driving the increase in apple computer sales to 40% market share? Or is the figure similar to their school share.

Whiteboards are, in the learning environment, turning surfaces into computers. As Bill Gates forecasts, in the future, every surface, every object, will be a computer.

Well, it should be no surprise that Johnny Chung Lee, from Carnegie Mellon, has already turned a Wii remote into the way to do it.

I searched high and low and couldn't find non-educational information about whiteboards. Cnet and techcrunch had NOTHING that I could find! Thanks ZDnet for that great video.

Ella Morton, please add whiteboards (and wiis) to the cnet consumer electronics portfolio! Geeks and nerds.. stay posted. This is my new DIY project.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

W-League Launch - i have man crush on matildas!

Well, it sounds pussy to say 'i have a crush on the matildas!' - why can't i have a big old 'man crush' to go with my man bag and my man hawk. enough of me, eh.

Girl power … Central Coast's Kyah Simon (front) leads yesterday's W-League launch.
Photo: Brendan Esposito

AUSTRALIA'S leading female footballers are heading home for the new W-League kick-off this weekend. Eight teams, representing the seven Australian A-League clubs plus Canberra, will compete in the first national women's league for four years.

All the leading Matildas from last year's historic World Cup quarter-final campaign are expected to participate in the 43-game competition spanning 10 rounds and a two-week finals series ending in January.

With the salary cap at just $150,000 per team, the women will be earning far less than their male counterparts. When the new pro women's comp in the United States starts next year, some of Australia's stars will be plying their trade in three different countries inside a year, as well as undertaking national team duties.

Star striker Lisa De Vanna will make a late start to the W-League with Perth Glory because of her commitments in the Swedish league, then head to the US next year.

"This is not only an exciting new era in women's football, but it's also another landmark for women's sport," said Football Federation chief executive Ben Buckley. "The women's game globally is growing in popularity and stature and is one of the few sports available for talented women athletes to represent their country from an early age.

"From a football perspective, the Westfield W-League will help in eliminating a competition gap for our top women players and better prepare them for international competition."

this SMH article is one of many this week featuring women football players. LOVE!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Matildas win ASEAN Championships 1-0

A tense final culminated in a 1-0 win to the Matildas against host nation Vietnam in the ASEAN Championships. We expected a great result from the side who made the quarterfinals of the World Cup and they delivered.

Lydia Williams, pictured above, had a very tough time in goal but kept a clean sheet! according to articles on The World Game site and other sources.

Seeing the players in action in the forthcoming W-League will be a treat! As far as I'm concerned, all Matildas, young or otherwise are worthy of 3 SWORDs. They deliver every day (for very little pay).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roomies vs Wordle .. tech fun time ..

Thanks Michael, for sending me this artwork for the exhibition blog! I haven't done a tech post for weeks and am feeling very excited by all things electrical. Bring back the good vibrations!

I've had a play at, where this blog cloud was generated, and it's lots of fun.

You can enter any text or the link to your blog. That was the Roomies blog entry newsflash style and here's a more eco feel.

If you use a screen-capture or other image representation of the Wordle on this page, you must attribute the image to Images of Wordles are licensed Creative Commons License.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Miranda Devine - No Sword Award EVER

This is a old response to a Miranda Devine opinion piece. I got over it. I decided that publicising idiots like the above and Sam De Brito was a waste of my life and gave legs to things that ought to be humanely put down. However, I've changed my mind. One should always object to stupidity and inhumanity.

Ms inaptly named Devine, You have trivialized feminism and all of the issues affected by gender power imbalances to such a degree and in such a way that i mistook you for a rabidly reactionary redneck male of the most ill intentioned and misinformed sort.

You have done exactly what Sarah Palin does that is so 'inexplicably upsetting to women!'. Your article turned a huge list of really bad things into the suggestion that 'we' were simply JEALOUS.

I should have stopped reading but I wanted to find out who the idiot behind the article was, Ms Devine, so I could avoid you in future. I won't link to it. I don't think anyone needs more crap in their lives.

I think that you like starting fires but I wouldn't even piss on you in public to put this fire out, lest you get some kind of perverted pleasure from it.

You can always come see me in private.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Roomies Art Exhibition for Anti Poverty Week

Poverty is about more than money. There is poverty of opportunity and of resources. Roomies artists are poor in life but rich in art. "Roomies" is an art group for boarding house residents in inner Sydney.

Roomies Artspace is unfunded and reliant on dedicated volunteers and donations, particularly from local restaurants, The Codfather, Oscillate Wildly and Perama through the Street Smart Project. Roomies couldn't continue without the ongoing support of Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Marrickville Sketch Club, the Addison Rd Gallery and Marrickville Council who funded our 08 exhibition. The Roomies Art Exhibition for Anti Poverty Week, is from 10 to 4pm Friday October 17th to Sunday October 19th at Addison Rd Gallery, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville. Opened by our special guests Sydney Street Choir.
"solar" by Janet Barker "it's a house i dreamt of living in"
as featured in The Glebe October 16th

In Australia, boarding houses are the main accommodation for people with a mental illness or disability.If you live in a boarding house you are well below the poverty line. You have no money for luxuries like pencils and paper, let alone good quality art materials. You share rooms and possessions. There are no locks on your doors, you have no privacy or peace and quiet.

Roomies provides an artspace, art classes, art materials and mentoring for boarding house residents, like the more established Arts Project Australia in Melbourne. Since the start of the project 10 years ago, several artists, like Mark Hood and Clarrice Collien, have developed sufficiently to be offered solo exhibitions.

Mark Hood says, "I now identify as an artist, not a person with a mental illness."

"angel in the garden" by Mark Hood

Leon Suchecki says, "I like art, it has a mystery. People often ask me about my art."

The term Outsider Art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for Art Brut (meaning "raw art" or "rough art"), a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by insane asylum inmates. (from Wikipedia)

Outsider art generally refers to creative works by people with no formal training. Their art is based on their inner experience, with no reference to mainstream art practice. (see essay 'Outsider Art and the outsiderish' by Professor Colin Rhodes)

There are obvious connections between poverty and being positioned outside of society. If you have no access to training, education, materials, then you are unlikely to be recognised as an artist, no matter how strong your inner vision and how appealing or stimulating your expression of it is.

If art is communication, as concluded in Wikipedia, then Roomies is the voice of the poorest artists speaking as loudly as they can, with vigour and joy. Are you listening?

"circus animals" by Clarrice Collien

"walk in the park" by Clarrice Collien

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

who said going home wasn't easy?

550 plants planted (not all in picture yet)
3 medium sized trees removed
1 large fence removed
1,147 sqm land weeded, raked, hosed, sprayed, planted and scraped clean inch by inch
10 sq centimetres of flesh missing from my feet where pressure hose missed paths, stairs, walls, showers, gutters, eaves etc.

500kg of rubbish personally taken to tip
500kg of rubbish taken out for council pick ups
300kg rubbish bagged ready to go next trip
300kg gone to the Salvos
200kg book fair books ready to go
the whole inside of the house now ready to be sorted...

1 mother having nervous breakdown
1 patient real estate agent
1 father away for the weekend
1 sibling prima donna departure
1 sibling long distance just let go

1 husband who'd rather be at work paying for it all
3 kids had fun helping actually!
1 once was grumpy me, now ...

1 beautiful house in new lambton for auction on november 22nd

Monday, October 13, 2008

Roseanne Barr - 2 SWORDS - and a write up at deliberately barren

 IN response to Deliberately Barren's recent post on Roseanne Barr - generally speaking a very cool site that is scratching my itch regarding women, what and why?!?

That's pretty cool! Roseanne Barr gets 2 Swords of Awesome on my rather tough scale of services to women warriors everywhere.

I enjoyed reading her capsule version of the appropriation of religion and the female. A book I loved back in the Women's Press days was 'The Wild Girl' (or the Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalen) by Michele Roberts - published by Methuen.

You raise an interesting issue. What is barren? Can you have had and lost or relinquished children to be barren? What does society hate most - barren women or bad mothers? By bad, I mean as mildly offensive as outspoken, angry, non child-centred, professional or passionate women.

I'm too daunted to tackle the really bad mothers issue - women who kill! although abortion is considered part of that spectrum disorder.

A couple of years ago, I was planning to start a 'bad mother' blog but discovered that assorted pornographic sites had appropriated the idea.

Back on topic, I see barrenness, like feminism, as the willingness to witness. To not be a slave to biology and gender, to speak out and not apologize.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Am I a feminist?

I never set out to become one. Did any of us?

But it's really hard to pretend that women are living the same life as men and not speak out in protest.

Sometimes feminism 101 needs saying over and over and over again.

Sometimes I wonder if we're really separate species.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This is a post punk post

I met an old punk bandmate, 
in playground of kids' school.
Needed photographic proof,
which was forthcoming.
Look scarily like my eldest is
... exactly right now.
Found old punk graffiti 
That's a whole nother story 
still to come.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No great female artists? stay posted

can't finish this one today but as i listened to the offspring harmonize at government house today, the evocations of baroque musicians sent shivers down my spine.

Perhaps it was the larger than life sized portraits of men staring over my shoulders, but I found myself wondering if my girls (who were attracting attention but more for their looks than their music) would suffer the same fate as Anna Magdalene Bach, or Artemisia Gentilischi or any other great female artist.

Appropriated, denied or destroyed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Saying - Female Politician Supporter NOT Palin Supporter per se.

Sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. To continue from my earlier posts about women in politics and women in the media, I do not support Sarah Palin, but I support her right to be seen as a politician not a gun-toting bikini modelling bad mother.

Although American presidential campaigns draw heavily on personality, there is a great difference between the portrayal of male and female politicians. I am a pretty unbiased observer and I know that Palin totes guns, wore a bikini or pageant modelled and has lots of kids and there's something wrong with that somehow. She's not a good mother. She's also not a good manager. Inexperienced and can't cut it.
Conversely, my Obama information is, he's black and very popular. Does he have a family? I figure he has a wife somewhere or else the absence would have been noted. Some say he is inexperienced and can't cut it.

It's driving me nuts, this morning, I have to google his family. Wow, multi-culturally, go Obama! In terms of family, you guessed it, one wife, 2 darling children. All kind of invisibly good.

I posted earlier about my disgust at the complete invisibility of family as a professional issue for men, whereas FAMILY IS ALWAYS A LIABILITY FOR WOMEN in Gartner's Elephant in the Room - I am woman, hear me trumpet!

Even worse. The bikini modelling gun-toting Palins are all hoax photos. Snopes. com . That this is news to me shows how much I don't care. ALSO see Huffington Post for YouTube video analysis of Obamagirl. Both hoax virals - helping or hindering?

GOOGLE CHALLENGE: the first 20 images for "obama" vs the first 20 images for "palin". This is feminist analysis 101:
  1. Obama: action shot - Palin: head shot
  2. Obama: head shot at whitehouse - Palin: family shot
  3. Obama: head shot w flag - Palin: action shot
  4. Obama: head shot at whitehouse - Palin: head shot
in summary, one wife shot for Obama's first 20 images, no family. for Palin, 1 family, 1 husband, 1 glossy magazine cover, 1 hate site, no Whitehouses, US flags or Supermen but a few Michael Palins for good measure. If you feel the need, try it yourself.

Julia Baird's book Media Tarts explores a myriad of the ways in which media differentiation works. An example, I like that I can use the surname only "Palin" and not qualify with "Sarah Palin". Unlike Hilary Clinton, although there are other reasons, for that one. In the papers recently Reba Meagher was more frequently referred to as "Reba" than "Reba Meagher" and hardly ever as "Meagher".

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hey Lolcats - get a job!

Tama the cat, stationmaster on the Kishigara line in Japan - world's first professional lolcat?

But it is not her labours on the platform which have seen the cash rolling in. It is rather Tama's irresistible charm which has brought tourists flocking in their thousands to the western city of Kinokawa to see the feline worker patrolling in the uniform of her office - a Wakayama Electric Railway cap.

With 55,000 more people having used the Kishigawa Line than would normally be expected, Tama's contribution to the local economy is calculated to have reached as much as Y1.1 billion ($A13.5 million) in 2007 alone, according to a study announced last week. from SMH

Tama's mother was a stray adopted by the station cleaner. So adopt a stray today. Cat Protection Society.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Is primate behaviour primitive? cont.

Kissing is fashionable. Lip kissing as opposed to air or cheek kissing. If we were all Madonna that would be just fine.

But we aren't. Why not adopt the hongi, or Maori nose rub instead?

from SMH... Australian body language expert Allan Pease has been lip-kissed by a stranger twice in recent weeks.

"I don't know where it started but it's certainly catching on. It's big in Britain and it's filtering through here too," Pease said.

Pease, who wrote The Definitive Book Of Body Language with his wife Barbara, said: "We're definitely becoming more comfortable with our sexuality. While the origin of human mouth kissing was for force feeding your babies - whereby the mother would masticate her food and put it into her baby's mouth with her tongue - the primary purpose these days of kissing on the lips is to stimulate the genitals. Lip kissers might deny it, but it has to be sexual."

That gets into an interesting debate about life giving origins of kissing and the number of cultures globally who use other forms... like the hongi. Note that the sort of kissing discussed here is the 'french kiss'. Hopefully, more informed discussion will follow while I garden today.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Republicans vs World and why homeland security reads my blog

I'm not paranoid. Not long ago, I only had 3 people reading this blog. Me, my partner and someone in Washington. I blame it on my post "Stop attacking Sarah Palin's character" and am contemplating changing it to "Stop assassinating Sarah Palin's character", just to see if it shakes loose more monkeys.

So, in your honour, here's the 'so funny it hurts' US Presidential map from Rachel Hills at Musings of an inappropriate woman, from the 5th Down Under Feminists Carnival hosted by Hell on Hairy Legs. Fabulous work!

Thanks to my statcounter, I was able to see that I am now being read by the Australian Department of Parliamentary Services in Canberra. Ever since I posted on the Hollowmen - Waste of Energy, in fact.

Is being clean modern or primitive?

I've finished a day's hard labour in my parent's garden. At least it is a garden now, whereas at the start of the week it was simply an obstacle. In the shower, as I scrub my fingernails I wish I'd had a bath instead. Nothing is shifting the dirt.

Why I wonder do I NEED to clean my fingernails. Is this being civilized? An artifact of modern life. Or is this a more primitive impulse?

I'm not the only person who wants clean fingernails. How do most people clean their fingernails? Baths work well but when did we evolve out of a bathing species?

Perhaps needing to be clean is something that we were once able to do more easily with thicker fur and stronger fingernails. And then again, clean might really mean, smelling more of me than of whatever else it was.

Is primate behaviour primitive for that matter?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Google pwns Zeitgeist

As per previous posts. I'm not happy that google pwns zeitgeist. I am a huge fan of TED, the Edge, Kiva, the Reith Lectures, Mike Wesch on YouTube, Philosophy4Kids, Science Meetups and all things that actually do some information sharing and inspire one to learn and grow.

But Google Zeitgeist is invitation only.
Thanks boys.
And you will notice that it is boys of course. Pictured above are, Google's Schmidt, Page and Brin holding court from the LA TIMES article of the same name.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Hollowmen - Waste of Energy

I love The Hollowmen - ABC Wednesday 8.30 - season finale next week. I just caught some of Season 2 Episode 5 "A Waste of Energy".. describing the PMs new strategy on promoting reduced carbon footprints and solar panels in schools.. or something similar.

They've been to our school under cover, I reckon. I thought it was Peter Garrett launching the Schools Solar Initiative AND opening the school garden... but wait there's more. We can't fund an OOSHC extension to give our kids more than .5m space each indoors, and yet we've just received another $50,000 grant to put more solar panels in or on.

I've suggested that we fund the whole OOSHC extension as a support mechanism for solar panels cause by now we must have run out of roof anywhere else. I haven't yet been taken seriously.

People in Glass Houses - Tanya Levin - 2 SWORDS

The best local cult book is by far, "People in Glass Houses" by Tanya Levin. Published in 2007, Tanya describes her slow path away from a fundamental (Hillsong) upbringing along with her attempts to understand the church. As she has an economics degree, it's scary reading.

You will never drink Gloria Jean coffee again. And do avoid the handmade organic twelve tribes produce at your local music festival aka Common Ground Cafe, but that's another story. Worse.

Still, Tanya, I take my hat off to you. That is one bad ass book you wrote. It is painful and personal and every bit gives a damn. You have pointed out all the things that are really really wrong with fundamental religions that are also so hard to pin down and examine.

I know i signed up for friday night youth club as a teenager and kind of went along with all the 'stuff' as long as there were cute whomevers... but after a while, it went from being a joke to ruling your life. And by then it's too late to turn around and back out.

Fortunately, I never quite stuck long enough... but it was close. I read your book and can feel the breath of hot demons down the back of my neck.

A more detailed and interesting review of People in Glass Houses is by Chris Saliba, WebDiary.