Tag Archives: wom*n

Bluestockings Week

28 Jun

Hello everyone, and hope you’re enjoying your uni break! The website has been on a bit of a hiatus as we’ve all slogged through exams & essays, then got the flu, then kinda gone into holiday mode a bit, but also still working away in the background organising our NOWSA collective. Only a week until we go away to Canberra… can’t wait!

In the meantime, we wanted to let you know about a big Semester 2 event that is in the works. We’d love any interested people to get involved – you don’t need any special experience or knowledge, just some enthusiasm and keenness to meet new people! Run in conjunction with the National Union of Students, it’s called Bluestocking Week:

Bluestocking is a campaign which celebrates women in higher education. The ‘week’ will run from the 6th-17th of August. This year’s Bluestocking Week will focus on the original bluestocking themes of celebrating women’s intellectualism; advancing feminism through education; and rebelling against social constructs that prescribe roles for women’ including those of class, race, sexuality and culture, that restrict women’s freedom of expression and thought – and we will add a modern (or postmodern) twist. Bluestocking Week is coordinated by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Women’s Action Committee (which has representatives from each State) and the National Union of Students Women’s Department. Events are being organised at national, divisional and university level. The project will be launched by Jane Garrett MP and Jeannie Rea, President of the NTEU at La Trobe University, Eagle Bar (event details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/196702417124126/)

In terms of what’s happening at Melbourne Uni, that’s where you come in! We’d love you to be part of the organising collective. Please drop us a line at womyns@union.unimelb.edu.au if you’d like to be a part of making the week happen, and getting your thoughts and ideas about women & higher education out there.

Happy uni break everyone!

– bel


Cherchez La Femme: wanna join our posse?

14 May

Hi All,

If you haven’t heard of Cherchez La Femme, it’s a monthly salon/meet up to share information, hold discussions, and more: Melbourne’s monthly digest of current affairs and popular culture from a feminist perspective.

And the next event is happening soon! A group from the department is going so if you’d like to come along, drop us a line at womyns@union.unimelb.edu.au.

From organiser Karen Pickering (who kindly presented at Rad Sex & Consent Week):

I am thrilled to announce the next Cherchez la Femme will be presented in conjunction with Superlinguo – a community for those who like and use language. It’s run by Georgia Webster and Lauren Gawne, two linguaphiles from Melbourne who needed an online clubhouse for their… regular language geek-outs.

So this month, we’ll take a look at how language is gendered, both literally and sneakily, and how we can ask probing questions of this thing we do, every day, and what our verbal communication has to do with our feminism.

To guide us through the discussion I’ll be welcoming some excellent thinkers and speakers to the CLF stage:

Georgia Webster – broadcaster, communicator, linguist, feminist

Lauren Gawne – PhD student, teacher, linguist, feminist

Julien Leyre – polyglot, translator, artist, activist, feminist

The usual excellent food and drink will be available from our charming hosts at The Gasometer Hotel, on the corner of Smith St and Alexandra Pde. Here’s what you need to know:

7pm – 9pm Tuesday 5 June
$10 / $5 (or whatever you’ve got)
The Bandroom at The Gasometer
484 Smith St, Collingwood

Hope to see you there

What’s happening | Self defence classes | Rad Sex & Consent Week 2012!

7 Apr
Fight Like A Woman

(english: fight like a woman!)

We’ve had a great first half of semester one, and thanks to everyone who has been able to come along to WAC, stitch n bitch, Girlzone, Feminist Discussion Group, and FFFFILMS!. It’s been really busy and I hope everyone will enjoy a break (or some time to cram for exams and essays!)

So, some updates:

  • We have organised a wom*n-only self defence course starting Monday April 16. There will be four classes that cost an absolute bargain of $5 each, and run every Monday from 5:45-7:45. Click

    here for more information. Update: Classes now full, thanks everyone!

  • There’s a new computer in the wom*n’s room so it should be running a lot faster now – although there’s still the same old screen, but we’ll see what we can do about that!
  • We (the wom*n’s officers: myself and Amy, the queer dept officers: Luke & Katie, and a bunch of super awesome students who are just enthusiastic) are well into planning our big event for semester one in week 9: Rad Sex & Consent Week 2012! For those who weren’t around last year, this fantastic event is a week of talks, workshops, fun & performances centred around celebrating and learning about diverse, consensual, healthy and fulfilling sex and sexuality. Think of it as sex ed for grown ups that is wom*n positive, queer positive, body positive, and sex positive – since many of us received sex education that was at best unhelpful and at worst harmful… that’s if you had any sex ed at all! Check out www.radsexconsent.com for more info – we’ll be adding more details and resources as we confirm them. In the meantime, if you’d like to get involved – whether by contributing ideas, helping make a zine, running a workshop, or sticking up some posters, let us know!
  • There’s a new feature on the site called Spotlight, where we will post information about events, performances, and initiatives run by or for wom*n in Melbourne. If you have a tip for something to feature, let me know!

Well I think that’s it for now, so have a happy and safe break and see you all back at uni.

– Bel

Spotlight: Owl Eyes – Free gig at uni

2 Apr

Spotlight is a new feature on umsuwomyns.com where we’ll post info on artists/events/organisations/whatever to help promote great work that wom*n are doing around Melbourne and elsewhere.

What better than to start with something happening right on our doorstep: young female artist Owl Eyes performing a free gig at uni tomorrow.

Owl Eyes

1pm-2pm, Tuesday 3 April
North Court, ground floor, Union House

Come along and show your support of women artists!

From the UMSU website: A striking duality reveals itself when listening to Owl Eyes, talented 20-year-old Brooke Addamo. Her songs, on the surface lush and beautiful, evoke images that could only exist in the imagination of such a fertile young mind. Yet, underneath these surreal daydreams, something very real is happening. Addamo’s tales are underpinned by the innermost thoughts of a young woman trying to figure it all out, desperately seeking out human connection.


Link share goodness

18 Mar

Father and daughter in matching Wonder Woman-inspired outfits at a comics convention in the US. via bluemilk

Hey everybody!
Hope you all had a great weekend. Don’t forget, today WAC will be on (1pm), tomorrow is Stitch n Bitch (10am-12pm) then a special free mooncup/radpad workshop (1pm), Wednesday we’ll be discussing FEMEN & topless protesting, Thursday we’ll be screening Princess Mononoke.
Until then, here is some interesting stuff from around the web this week!

Free rad pad workshop – Tues 20 March 1pm

14 Mar

a rad pad

Many people don’t know that there are alternative menstruation products that are better for your health and the environment and also end up saving you money!

a moon cup with its cute bag

To spread the word, on Tuesday March 20 (week 4) at 1pm the Wom*n’s and Environment Departments are running a free workshop to teach everyone how to make their very own rad-pads (cloth pads that can be washed and re-used)! The workshop will take place in the Wom*n’s room and materials, instruction, tools, and fun will be provided free of charge. There will even be a prize for one lucky participant!

Email womyns@union.unimelb.edu.au or environment@union.unimelb.edu.au so we can save you a place!




Rad Pads are an alternative to disposable pads which are made of cloth so that they can be washed and reused rather than used once then thrown out.


Menstrual cups are reusable alternatives to tampons which are made of silicone and shaped like a cup, collecting menstrual fluid instead of absorbing it.



  • One women uses over 11,000 disposable menstruation products in a lifetime
  • Well over 700 million tampons and 1 billion pads are disposed of every year in Australia and New Zealand, contributing a massive volume to the demand for landfill sites. Many components of these products are non-biodegradable.


  • Unlike disposable menstruation products, reusable products such as rad-pads and menstrual cups do not contain potentially harmful pesticides and chemical residues. Unlike tampons, neither are known to cause toxin shock syndrome.
  • Because menstrual cups are non-absorbent, they do not cause dryness or disrupt your body’s natural pH levels (35% of the fluid tampons absorb is natural moisture!)


  • Menstrual cups can be left in for up to 12 hours (compared to tampons which can be left in for 8 hours at the very maximum)
  • Because there is no string, menstrual cups are completely discreet and you only need one so there’s no need to carry bulky spares or worry about disposal of used products or packaging.


  • Most women spend a minimum of $8- to $20- per month on disposable pads, panty liners and tampons, totalling a possible minimum $80-$240 annually.
  • For the same cost a woman spends on average for a few months of disposable menstruation products, you can purchase enough rad pads to last for years and/or or a menstrual cup which will last for up to ten years.
  • Over the average time that a woman may have her period throughout her life, using reusable menstruation products instead of disposable can potentially save over $2,400 – $6,500.
To read more visit http://www.rad-pads.com

Link Share Goodness!

7 Mar

Thanks everyone for a great week! I’m going to try and do a semi-regular Link Share Goodness (which is just a collection of links to awesome/thought-provoking articles, pictures, quotes, videos etc from around the web) post again in 2012. Starting with this one!

Do you have Uni readings to do but want more interesting (and shorter!) stuff to read? Want something to read with a Sunday morning cup of tea – but not the crappy papers? Want to find great sites on the web writing about issues that are important to wom*n’s lives? Then yay link share goodness!

If you come across an interesting link during the week, post it in the comments or email to me.

– Bel


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