Tag Archives: gender

Feminist discussion group: Femme identity & femininity

13 Mar


Tomorrow’s FDG topic is femme identity and femininity. We want to talk about how we approach femininity in feminist and queer communities and in our own lives, and discuss issues of empowerment, autonomy, gender policing, internalised misogyny, and choice. We will be discussing whether feminine expressions can be reclaimed in a space of self-love and power and what it means to identify as femme.

As usual, all welcome, and it doesn’t matter how much you already know or don’t know about this subject!

1-2pm in Mary Cooke rooms (level 2 union house – next to Rowden White library & George Patton gallery)


  • Cosmoqueer: The Femme Issue (PDF)
  • Femme Wikipedia Entry
  • Zine “On Being Hard Femme”
  • “They’re not femme! OR Who has the monopoly on femme?”
  • Excerpts from that chapter from Nobody Passes “And then you cut your hair: genderfucking on the femme side of the spectrum”
  • http://queerfatfemme.com/about/why-queer-fat-femme/
  • some of my best friends are FEMME
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    Stop Violence Against Women Film Festival

    8 Nov

    Amnesty International’s Victorian Women’s Rights team presents the first Stop Violence Against Women Film Festival on the 26-27th of November at Melbourne’s Cinema Nova. Amnesty’s Stop Violence Against Women Film Festival is part of the internationally celebrated ‘16 Days of Activism‘, a global call to action for an end to violence against women.

    The event will showcase a number of highly acclaimed and important films exploring issues around gender-based violence and discrimination and celebrating female empowerment and the women who have stood up against significant political and social barriers.

    Speakers include: Karen Toohey, Acting Commissioner of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Kathleen Maltzahn, author of Trafficked and founder of Project Respect and Ming Yu, Demand Dignity International Campaign Coordinator at Amnesty International, with more to come.

    Tickets: $17.50 adult/$14.50 conc./festival packages available
    Starts: Saturday November 26 2011 1:00 PM 
    Finishes: Sunday November 27 2011 8:00 PM
    Where: Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon St, Carlton, VIC, 3053
    Twitter: @SVAWFilmFest
    Website: www.stopviolenceagainstwomenfilmfestival.wordpress.com
    Contact: cctintern@amnesty.org.au Continue reading

    Gender based violence and culture

    28 Oct

    In feminist and gender studies spaces, the advancement of women’s rights internationally often seems to be pitted against cultural relativism. Those advocating for women are accused of cultural imperialism or neocolonialism, while those defending traditional cultures are accused of turning a blind eye to harmful patriarchal structures. Gender Across Borders has just launched a series it is hosting, along with Violence Is Not Our Culture, entitled Culture and Human Rights: Challenging Cultural Excuses for Gender-Based Violence. This series explores the tension between these two positions with clarity and nuance. The pieces are linked to below.

    Please be aware that these articles contain discussions about physical and sexual violence.

    Street Culture

    What’s wrong with this picture? That depends on your perspective. The problem or lack of problem with this piece is not the work itself or the artist. The problem is with the viewer or with a particular viewer. The problem is when we participate in a culture that says there is something wrong with a scantily clad woman who smokes…

    The space between culture and women’s rights

    As a woman who grew up in Arab culture, studied and worked in societies governed by Arab values and customs, and later lived, studied and worked in Western culture, before returning to an Arab country, I’ve been left with two fundamental questions: what is Arab culture? And why are women oppressed in this culture?

    Remembering Eudy

    *MASSIVE trigger warning – extreme lesbophobic sexual/physical violence*

    “It makes me want to go back into the closet,” Sandra tells me as we lie in bed together, the lights dimmed. “Why should I tell anyone…”

    Conquering Culture and Creating Change: A Grassroots Level View from Morocco

    For the past ten years, we have worked in Morocco for gender equality recognition both in law and in Moroccan society. During this time we have traveled throughout the Northern African state and we have heard countless stories of abuse. But there is one story that stayed with us…

    No Excuse: Cultural Makeover Time

    There is one in every workshop.
    A male, usually, worryingly young, who crosses his arms, raises an eyebrow and speaks up. “What you call family violence, this is part of our culture. This is something we’ve always done.” Normally, after, there is a deafening silence as all eyes look to the front, awaiting an answer…

    Should gender play a bigger role in city design?

    24 Aug

    University of Melbourne students investigated how cities can be more gender ‘inclusive’, as part of a travelling design studio to Montreal, Canada in July/August 2011 (from http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/news/n-586):

    The sixteen Masters students from the Melbourne School of Design will join ten graduate students from McGill University & Carleton University in getting hands-on experience in how city planning can be utilized to take advantage of the different experiences of men and women.

    The students will immerse themselves in a rapidly changing post-industrial neighbourhood in Montreal, Pointe St. Charles, which is similar to Footscray in Melbourne.  They will also learn about the results of  the “Gender Inclusive Cities Program”, funded by the UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against women.

    Continue reading

    My Pie Town

    4 Aug

    My Pie Town is a project by Debbie Grossman, who reworks and re-imagines a body of images originally photographed by Russell Lee for the United States Farm Security Administration in 1940. Using Photoshop to modify Lee’s pictures, Grossman created an imaginary, parallel world – a Pie Town populated exclusively by wom*n (editor: only white wom*n though it would seem). The images are revised in subtle ways, making the reading of them very complicated and compelling. The sixteen images  in the series are both color and black and white, and are all based on Lee’s unpublished series on Pietown, a homesteaded community in New Mexico.

    The original  photographs are available either through the Library of Congress or through the Web. Grossman says of the project “I’ve begun to think of Photoshop as my medium – I’m fascinated by the fact this it shares qualities with both photography and  drawing… I enjoy imagining My Pie Town working as its own kind of (lighthearted)  propaganda”.

    Continue reading

    Farrago: Universities in trans-it

    28 Jul

    Farrago has a feature titled ‘Universities in trans-it’:

    “Some things are not easily defined.

    The word transgender, for example, can refer to people who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth, or to people whose identities may combine or move between traditional notions of male and female…”

    Read the full feature at http://union.unimelb.edu.au/farrago/features/universities-in-trans-it and post any comments you have.


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