DEBATE ISSUE 13 | SEPTEMBER 2017
For your student president. CHECK YOUR UNIVERSITY EMAIL TO VOTE. Voting runs between 18th September - 6th October.
Mama, I Love You :: Page 16
Poem :: Black Woman Magic Page 10
Mansplaining Page 14
Feature Artist :: Leaky Week Page 18
Revenge of the Follicle Page 12
C O V E R I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y G I U L I A R O M A N Ó / L E A K Y W E E K
EDITOR Janie Cameron email@example.com SUB - EDITORS Mya Cole River Lin DESIGNER Ramina Rai firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS Abigail Johnson, Cordelia Huxtable, Crystal Wu, Georgia Merton, Hope McConnell, Jake Kampkes, Jess Furmanski, Kelly Enright, Laine Yeager, Lydia Burgham, Makanaka Tuwe, Mary Delaney, Rhianna Osborne, Shivan Patel ADVERTISING Jess Furmanski email@example.com
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Editor's Letter Feminism is For Everybody
you’re probably a feminist, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s great. The world needs more feminists. This issue is a celebration of women being women, beautiful, brave, strong, sexy women. We’ve got some empowering illustrations from Leaky Week artist, Giulia Romeró, an ode to motherhood by Mya Cole, and a look into the role of celebrities in feminism by Abi Johnson.
Issue 13 is all about the big ‘F’ – that’s right, Feminism. A word that has the potential to be so powerful, if only we knew how to use it. At its most basic level, feminism is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes – put simply, it’s the belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities in all aspects of life. So, are you a feminist? When it comes to discussing the F word, I often hear these oxymorons like I’m not a feminist, but I do agree that men and women should have equal rights. Sorry to break it to you mate, but
We still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality in Aotearoa. Yes, women in New Zealand are afforded more rights than in many countries around the world, but let’s not let that make us idle. Go forth and smash the patriarchy. Ngā mihi. Janie
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GLORIA Janie Cameron talks to Katie Kerr, one half of GLORIA Publishing, about books, Berlin and boy’s clubs
Hi Katie, tell us a bit about GLORIA and how it got started. GLORIA is a publishing collective focused on the publication of art and photography books. It’s run by photographer Alice Connew and myself (an Auckland-based graphic designer). Alice and I studied Graphic Design together at Ilam School of Fine Arts in Christchurch. The 2011 earthquake took our homes and sent us off on separate journeys to the opposite side of the world. I recently returned from five years in London and Alice has resided in Berlin for the past five years. Recently, we recognised that we were both interested in the full arch of bookmaking; creating content, editing, designing, producing and promoting the book. This nose-to-tail process is fairly unusual in the publishing industry, so we banded together to bring GLORIA to life. Due to algorithms, our ability to access unexpected digital content has become narrower. The bookstore becomes one of the few places where this is disrupted – where you can find content that wasn’t chosen for you by a computer. But of course, bookstores are under threat, as is publishing, and the industry has huge pressure to put books on shelves that the public will buy. GLORIA wasn’t launched to make money (it’s more likely to do the opposite), but we believe
it’s important to offer an alternative to commercially-led art and photography publications. What challenges have you and Alice faced as women in what is largely a maledominated industry? I asked Alice this question and she replied that the photography world is a “boy’s club”, and she has encountered a prominent ‘vibe’ since first expressing an interest in the art form. She says, “Men don't think I know how to use a camera, use the word 'cute' when I explain GLORIA and self-publishing my first book, or don't take me or my work seriously.” For me, I found the commercial side of graphic design in London had a imminent glass ceiling – an unwelcome hangover from the Mad Men era. One of the reasons I enjoy freelancing is to actively be a girlboss and allow myself the freedom to choose my clients. Currently I am collaborating with some amazing, empowered women where there is none of that bullsh*t. Tell us about GLORIA’s latest books. The first two books published by GLORIA explore our experiences as artists living abroad — albeit in slightly different formats. Alice’s Forty Three is a series of photographs taken during a freezing day in the middle
of Berlin’s worst winter in forty-three years. This particular day of work (January 2013) developed into a project about the displacement and loneliness endured when one moves to a new country. My project, Between Two Strangers, is a paperback that explores the correlation between migration and artistic practice. The book contains stories, essays and interviews from twelve artists and writers sourced internationally, each offering a distinct perspective on the challenges of migrating as an artist, and the consequent effect of relocation on their practice. What's next for GLORIA? Alongside the launch of these two books, there are several others in the pipeline which are in various stages of production – watch this space! As a ‘collective’ rather than a ‘company’, we are interested in forming a community of practice around self-publishing and utilising our platform to encourage the production of artist-made books. So I imagine there will be more cross-timeline Skype meetings, more hunting for content, more rounds of editing, more wrangling of risograph machines, more begging for beer – but it is always worth it to see a lovingly-crafted book in our hands at the end of the process. instagram: @gloria_books
What's on? Cheap, free and koha events around town
The Cross Street Market
Where: Cross Street Gallery (4 Cross Street) When: Thursday 5th - Sunday 8th October What: An eclectic mix of artisanal wonders, old-fashioned vintage attire, bric-a-brac, food and coffee. Featuring two late nights with special guest DJs. For more information follow @the_cross_street_market on Instagram. How Much: Free entry
Where: Auckland Womenâ€™s Centre (4 Warnock Street, Grey Lynn) When: Wednesday 4th October, 7-9pm What: Do you love being around other women and talking about things that are important to you? Are you action focused? Have you ever thought: "It's time to reclaim feminism"? All women are welcome to be part of this monthly inclusive, fun, friendly and flourishing group. No need to enrol just turn up on the night. How Much: Free entry
Birds & Bees Launch
Late Night Art 2017
Where: Studio One Toi TĹŤ (1 Ponsonby Road) When: Tuesday 17th October, 7-10pm What: Bird & Bees is an organisation that provides wellness
Where: Auckland City When: Tuesday 10th October, 5-9pm What: A night devoted to all things art, with galleries open late, live music, incredible food, art pop-ups all around the city and so much more. Get creative yourself with live drawing classes, contribute to public art projects, commission a portrait of your own, and see the very best in local art. How Much: Free entry
and mind-shift education to students, talking to issues of consent and healthy relationships so that students are able to engage in intimate relationships founded upon respect and an acknowledgement that we are all connected. How Much: TBC
Everyday Sexism Jess Furmanski asked a bunch of women to describe a time when sexism slammed them in the face
My (male) friend and I both had an interview for the same job. When we sat down to talk about it afterwards, we discovered the employer had told him the salary was $5000 more than what they had told me it would be. I was offered the job (at the lower salary), but turned it down. I wish I had told them why.
I told a fellow musician that I got this cool gig and his reply was, “yeah, but only because you have boobs.”
I was recently chased at a train station by a group of guys while I was using the bathroom during a work shift. There was no security on when it happened, so I complained but was told by the security guard who was meant to be on shift that I was “all dolled up” and “dressed fancy”. I work at Mecca, so wearing makeup is part of the job and we wear pressed, black clothing.
I’ve been told by none other than my own parents that no one will ever love me if I “keep eating that way.”
I’ve been working at the same place since I was 15, and when I was around 18, the new manager would come up behind me and “accidentally” brush up against my ass. I’m not stupid, I know when someone is copping a feel, but I was the boss’s daughter, and this guy was smart about it so he wouldn’t get caught.
I had just landed my first job as a journalist, and my Dad’s friend said, “I’ll look forward to seeing your pretty little face on TV then.” (I was a newspaper journalist with no intention of ever being on television).
I was working in a guitar shop and a regular came in with his mate while I was restringing a guitar. He leant over to his friend and said, with genuine astonishment, “wow, you gotta check this girl out, she can restring a guitar”. This is a skill that takes about 10 minutes to learn, and something I should probably know how to do, given a) I work in a guitar store, and b) I’ve been playing the guitar for 12 years. I replied pretty bitingly confirming that yes, I could restring a guitar, and he said, “oh no, really, that’s a really great achievement, it’s such a male dominated industry, so it’s great to see.”
When I broke up with my boyfriend, he said something to me that still irks me today. He told me: “Since you slept with me on the first date, I always worried that you were out sleeping with every guy you met.”
My boyfriend and I went strawberry picking and the shuttle driver who took us to the fields made this big show of imparting wisdom on my boyfriend to the tune of, “whatever the lady wants, right?” Keep her happy, it’ll make your life a heck of a lot easier; pay for the dates, hold her handbag, and on and on. It was ironic given that I had paid for the date and I never carry a handbag.
I used to work in recruitment and I once overheard two male colleagues discussing who to hire for a new role. One said, “do we really want a woman in a managerial position? They can be so emotional."
Overheard at work: “Why would we need changing tables in the men’s bathrooms?”
Shake It Off? The role of pop stars in feminism Abigail Johnson ponders the question of when and how our pop stars became politicians. Illustration by Mary Delaney
Feminism is nuanced and difficult – all critical thinking is. Once you become aware of the sexism present in what we previously considered ‘the norm’, the scale of the issue can appear overwhelming. Think of the colour blue, now look around. Suddenly you see it everywhere. Feminism has also never felt so intertwined with entertainment. Do we need another think piece on Taylor Swift's feminism? Certainly not. Do we agree that her one buck lawsuit against Mr Ass Grabber was badass as hell? Shit yeah. Do we also understand that the Swift brand of feminism, which means little more than having girlfriends while being basically apolitical, demonising a black man while capitalising on black culture and continuing the most boring of pop feuds with another woman, is at least somewhat problematic? Let's. 'Feminism' can send you into a tailspin. Or rather, being aware of sexism can. When I find myself at the edge of what I think I can take — on the precipice of burning my computer, and perhaps myself, and catapulting the flaming mess out the window — I breathe. I remember my privileges. I remember my anger is, for the most part, on behalf of others, of womankind. Or, if I'm angry on my own behalf, that it's usually over a microaggression, like a slow-poisoning mosquito that's been circling my head for 24 years. Oh, hell, it's excruciating. But others,
in the past or in the present, have had it far worse. 'Rage, rage against the dying of the light' I tell myself. Sometimes, I have to say it out loud. Sometimes, a few times. Sometimes, I'm a hard sell on the fight. The truth is, of course, that feminism is not about pop stars. Feminism is about women. Indeed, many pop stars are women but, in the end, the movement is political. It’s about the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes. So, when did pop stars become politicians? I would wager it happened when politics, particularly American politics, became entertainment. I don’t know when that was, exactly. Was it the Monica Lewinsky scandal? Or when Obama charmed the socks off the world? Perhaps it started with JFK and Marilyn Monroe. I’m no historian. Sure, celebrities can make great fodder for late-night political discussions; why for example, do we find joy in taking down Swift, while Eminem gets a free pass? (I point this question squarely at myself). Entertainment figures should be a facet of our conversations; heightened examples of public consciousness. But, for the most part, they are not our thought leaders. By constantly asking Swift for her take on the 'big F', and then all but crucifying her in 2012 when she wasn’t completely on
board with the feminist label, we’ve told pop stars that their politics matter. They matter as much as a politician’s does. We’ve essentially told celebrities they are politicians. Swift caught a lot of flak for staying silent through the 2016 US election, for never once denouncing Trump, or supporting Clinton, for having a ‘feminist awakening’, while being a no-show at the Women’s March. I’m fairly certain this type of scrutiny is a new phenomenon. Did we critique the Spice Girls for screaming 'Girl Power' while having no real political agenda? And do we really expect a word from Swift would have changed the election result? Clinton was followed around the USA by a hoard of pop divas, and if anything, it hurt her. I don't think Swift was the missing piece of that uninspiring puzzle. I’m not a huge Swiftie, but I don’t have a hard-on for hating her, either. She wants to write songs about boys who (by her account) have wronged her. Shouldn’t we just let her be a pop star? If we keep on this path of treating our entertainers like thought leaders, and our politicians like pop stars, we’ll barrel our way towards... I don’t know, a reality TV star with no government experience sitting in the most powerful office in the world. Oh, right. Shit.
BLACK WOMAN MAGIC Black. Woman. Magic. Black, woman, magic. Melanin. Woman. Magic. Melanin, woman, magic. Majestic creator Majestic creation Majestic creature Bold, beautiful, powerful, mighty, fierce Black, woman, magic Warrior, nurturer, lover, keeper, strong Heavenly creation Oh behold! Black. Woman. Magic.
Poem by Makanaka Tuwe @nubiianphenomenon / @sesamathlo / sesamathlo.com Photo by Shivan Patel @gathum / gathum.co.nz
Revenge of the Follicle Rhianna Osborne talks to Revenge of the Follicle writer and director Samantha Dutton about embracing the beasts that come with growing up as a young woman
In a world where body image is everything, a group of young New Zealand women decided to put a creative twist on critiquing one particularly prominent social standard. Revenge of the Follicle is a comingof-age horror film that looks at the anti-body hair culture impressed upon women from adolescence. It explores the innate animalism of our bodies and their uncontrollable revenge when we desire to tame them. What’s Revenge of the Follicle about? The film is about an adolescent girl who struggles to fit in once she shaves for the first time and her hair keeps growing back. It explores how women look at each other’s bodies, and at that age – because there’s so much social hierarchy going on – how we look to other girls to figure out our own bodies. After [the protagonist] shaves, her body hair grows back and spirals out of control into its own being.
Where did the idea come from? It came from my own experience and struggle with body hair; when I was in high school, I was made aware that my body hair was gross to other people and that it was a problem. I became selfconscious of it and started to shave and constantly battled the idea of having body hair.
“I want the take-home message to be a positive view, that women shouldn’t feel pressured to let others tell them what their body should look like.” What message do you want viewers to take away from the film? I wanted to critique femininity and the body hair culture, so I want the takehome message to be a positive view,
that women shouldn’t feel pressured to let others tell them what their body should look like. Do you consider yourself a feminist? I do, because I think women should be treated equally – but I am also really passionate about female collaboration, and empowering women telling female stories so that women can see themselves represented by other women. Do you think the ‘standard’ of women’s body image will change in the future? I think it’s already starting to change because of online culture, and more mediums and platforms showing diverse images and representations of people in general. I think there needs to be a collaborative view, so that everybody sees women’s body image change, but on platforms for women and directed by millennials I think it will change in that way.
verb informal gerund or present participle: mansplaining (of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising. "I'm listening to a guy mansplain economics to his wife"
by River Lin | Illustration by Hope McConnell Mansplaining, a portmanteau of ‘man’ and ‘explaining’, has only somewhat recently entered the English lexicon, but the concept has been around for centuries, as women have fought for the right to be heard. From its early days within feminist circles, to its proliferation within the social fabric of our daily lives, ‘mansplaining’ announces to the world that, no matter how intelligent or experienced a woman is, she cannot possibly override a man’s natural authority over a subject — an authority he is awarded simply by being born male. Mansplaining punctuates the workforce and interactions with those who occupy the same space. Like actor Matt Damon explaining diversity in the film industry to a black female producer in Project Greenlight, or the former editor of British Vogue being relentlessly questioned by a man on the evils of the fashion industry, the internet offers countless examples of how men propagate their air of superiority over women’s brains and bodies. How women must see, feel, perceive or interact with the world around them — all laid bare to be picked apart and
pieced back together by people who cannot possibly know or understand their struggles. While mansplaining walks a fine line between knowledge and assumption, that isn't to say all men who explain issues or ideas to women are mansplaining — far from it. Men are perfectly within their right to explain things to women, just as women are to explain things to men. What I am instead suggesting is that mansplaining implicitly, or sometimes explicitly, denies women the autonomy to speak for themselves and know they will be heard. By denying women their voice, the message being perpetuated becomes clear. It is no longer a rallying cry for women to resist being shut out of conversations about their lives and bodies. Instead, it sends men a very different message — one that says, with enough persistence, women can be relegated to the sidelines of their own narratives. - River Lin
Five questions to ask yourself if you think you might be a mansplainer 1. Do you actually know how much the woman you're talking to knows about the same subject? 2. Are you using your supposed expertise to prove something about your manhood? 3. When she talks, are you listening to what she's saying or merely rehearsing your next line? 4. Are you talking about your own experience, or are you universalising about how everyone feels? i.e. are you explaining her experience to her? 5. Do you actually know what you're talking about? - Via jezebel.com
Mama, I Love You Mya Cole on why we need to start treating motherhood like the important job it is. Illustration by Hope McConnell
Mothers have the ability to change the world, so why do we undervalue them so much? Here in New Zealand, new mums are entitled to just 18 weeks 1 of paid maternity leave, though employers are not legally bound to pay this. After 18 weeks, unless the mother can afford to take unpaid leave or qualitfies for a Sole Parent Support benefit, she must return to work and find childcare for her baby, which can be expensive and traumatic for both mother and child. The legislation is based on the view that mothers are economic units. It is seen as better for the economy to have parents back in the workforce, rather than at home raising their children. But, the way I see it, this theory of economics doesn’t account for the potential future costs to society of children spending prolonged periods of time in childcare from as young as six-weeks-old. In stark contrast, mothers and fathers in Sweden are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave per child – the longest period of paid parental leave in the world (New Zealand ranks pretty low in comparison). Sweden also has a wide range of other policies that benefit mothers. These range from free schooling (right up to and including tertiary education), to parents being entitled to 80% of their pay when they need to take a day of leave because their child is sick. Concurrently, Sweden rates high in many studies of societal wellbeing, as well as having low rates of violence and suicide. Could this have something to do with Sweden’s children being raised by their own parents?
Sigmund Freud began the trend of blaming mothers, and parents in general, for abnormalities in a person's mind based on childhood trauma and general ‘bad parenting’. But how might Freud's studies have turned out if his patients had lived in a society such as modern Sweden? My conjecture is that Freud would have seen far less 'dysfunction'. Happy, healthy parents equal happy, healthy children. If parents are getting the financial and emotional support they need from their society, there is little to stop them from raising a generation of mentally and physically well children.
“It seems mothers are being punished for just being mothers.” Our current political environment sees a great deal of conversation around the devastating impacts of child poverty and ways to rectify it, which rarely suggest rewarding mothers. It seems mothers are being punished for just being mothers. They are not being valued, nor trusted to raise their own children and to just mother (which is, in fact, a highly-skilled, exhausting and complex role). We need to start taking better care of our mums in New Zealand. Motherhood is an integral part of our society. It has the ability to create revolutionaries, nurture amazing minds and change the world as we know it. Mothering has the potential to be a radical act. So, let’s treat it that way.
1 According to information from www.employment.govt.nz, and dependent on personal circumstances
Leaky Week Giulia Romanó graduated from AUT with a Bachelor of Communication Design specialising in Communication Arts in 2016. She created ‘Leaky Week’ as her final project in her third year of study to encourage positive discussion and views around women having their periods. “My desire to pursue this idea spawned from my belief that there is a shame factor surrounding the discussion of menstruation, which means that important issues often get pushed onto the back burner. “Although homeless women suffer indignities every month, and students are even skipping school due to lack of access to female sanitary products, tampons and pads are still taxed on the basis that they are a luxury items. Men’s razors, on the other hand, are considered basic health items and are therefore not subject to tax. “Through my work, I want women to be proud of their bodies in every way possible – and for the New Zealand government to wake up already.” Giulia’s family migrated to New Zealand from Brazil when she was a young child and have lived in West Auckland ever since. She loves her dog, Poppy, and vegan food. See @leakyweek for more illustrations.
Feminism: What do the men have to say? Georgia Merton asked some men to mansplain explain to her what they think feminism means and whether they support the movement. Like many social movements, the meaning of feminism has been muddied by the reputation of its most outlandish crusaders. To many people, the word 'feminist' conjures images of angry, man-hating women with shaved heads and slogan tees – which may explain why
many are still hesitant to stick the label on their forehead. Feminism, in its most basic form, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities – something most people will agree on. But does feminism need a makeover; a fresh wave of feminists with a good marketing strategy? Or is arguing over semantics a waste of time if we’re all working to a common goal anyway? Here’s what the boys had to say:
Blair, 27 What do you think feminism means? Equal rights for men and women. It's equality, but I didn't know that until my first date with my girlfriend – that was the first time I heard the definition. Are you a feminist? Now that I know what it means, yeah.
Arahi, 25 What do you think feminism means? It’s the idea that women and men should have equal rights. However, the idea has been tarnished by those who have used it in hate, towards both men and women. I think a real feminist wouldn’t even call themselves a feminist. Are you a feminist? No.
Jack, 23 What do you think feminism means? Standing up for the rights of all women in regards to men. I agree that women should be treated equally to men, however I disagree with feminism when it becomes bettering women at the expense of equality, meaning supporting feminism over and above the rights of men or anyone else. I think both genders should have equal rights.
Are you a feminist? I guess I could say that I am if that means wanting equal rights for both men and women, but with the current stigma of feminism being bettering women at the expense of men then I would have to say no. It all depends how you look at the term feminist, I suppose.
definition, I will support this fight, as a feminist. If the feminists will have me.
Gurnam, 50 What do you think feminism means? You guys have got it pretty tough. I support any regime that would bring [women] more equal to [men]. In political terms, I guess it's a struggle for equality.
What do you think feminism means? I’ve heard the word feminism all my life. But when you think about it, it’s actually very complex. It means different things to different people. I think even a group of women would have a range of definitions. Maybe the word has lost some of its meaning. I’m always wary of -isms and labels. But, keeping it simple, I think it’s a movement, or a belief, that women have exactly the same rights as men, everywhere, always.
Are you a feminist? Can men be feminists? Well, then yes, I suppose I am. I'm Asian in origin and from the UK, so I know all about discrimination, and it's not acceptable.
Are you a feminist? Am I a feminist? Another label. In some ways I think it’s unnecessary for me to say ‘I’m a feminist’, because the idea that women shouldn’t enjoy the same rights as men seems absurd to me. It does not occur to me that a woman is somehow ‘unequal’ to a man. Different, but not unequal. But unfortunately not everyone believes this. The fight for equality continues, and so, until there is a better
Are you a feminist? I wouldn't call myself a feminist because I think that term is misconstrued a lot. I'm all for equality, but I don't call myself a feminist because it often turns into a negative confrontation from the get-go in terms of having that conversation with people you need to have it with. But for all intents and purposes, yeah.
Liam, 22 What do you think feminism means? Having awareness and a motive to progress women’s rights towards everything actually being equal.
Treat Yo'self Student life can be tough, which is why we search the city for the snazziest stuff to give away. Like the look of something below? Check out the details and head over to our Facebook page (facebook.com/ausmdebate) to enter. Winners will be drawn Monday 9th October .
Durex When it comes to safe sex, many of us fail to rise to the occasion. Research has found that just 23% of sexually active Kiwis use condoms on a regular basis.* Pretty shocking, right? But thanks to Durex, you can get your hands on some great products to keep you safe in the sack. We’ve got four packs of Durex Intense Condoms and Stimulating Gel to give away, designed for a more intense experience. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘DUREX PLEASE’. *According to the Durex 2017 Global Sex Survey Summary.
Say Charcoal! Ever heard of brushing your teeth with charcoal? While it may sound contradictory, charcoal is a unique natural alternative to toothpaste without the nasty ingredients. Remove those coffee stains and restore your smile to its brightest white. We’ve got two tubes of inVitamin charcoal toothpaste to give away thanks to our friends at Forage. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘CHARCOAL PLEASE’.
The Navigators Three artists have been commissioned by the Auckland Theatre Company to develop ground-breaking new performance work. The Navigators marks the beginning of that journey, and we’ve got our hands on a three-show double pass to give away to one lucky theatre buff. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘THEATRE PLEASE’.
YOUR NIGHT OF “GUILTY PLEASURE” RETRO HITS
s y a d s r Thu A Bag of Sustainability We’ve got a beautiful hessian tote bag full of sustainability products to give away to one earth-loving Debate reader, including one of these amazing vertical wall-garden planters. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘SUSTAINABILITY PLEASE’.
with DJ Vincent Hanna & special guests. R18.
DRINK SPECIALS 10% Student Discount with AUT / AU student ID on Throwback Thursday specials. ID must be valid to receive discount.
Between Two Strangers We’ve got a copy of Katie Kerr’s new book Between Two Strangers to give away thanks to GLORIA Publishing. This beautifully-crafted paperback explores the relationship between migration and creativity with the stories of twelve migrant artists. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘STRANGERS PLEASE’.
Mrs Somebody Else Kelly Enright ponders the question of why many women still give up an important part of their identity in marriage
Even if you haven’t obsessed over the distant thought of your wedding day, I’m sure most of us have at least toyed with the idea of what it might look like. Some people want the whole barefoot on the beach thing, others want the hangover from the hen’s night to roll into white frills and coat tails the next day. Personally, I’m pretty enraptured with the idea of eloping in the Caribbean. But have you given any thought to the specifics of the wedding? Have you thought about the fact that you might walk out of the ceremony with a different surname than the one you entered with? Marriage is defined as “the legally or formally recognised union of two people as partners in a personal relationship”. If marriage is an equal partnership of two people who share a mutual love and respect for each other, as this definition suggests, why are there still herds of women taking their husband’s surname after marriage? If equal rights activist Lucy Stone could fight to keep a piece of her identity in 1855, a part of me feels ashamed that we still haven’t managed to make it a norm 162 years on.
Our names are the first things that are gifted to us, or rather, the first things that we own, as infants. They become a huge part of our identity: a label of family, a link to our culture or heritage, and, of course, how your Uber driver locates you on the side of the street. Yet almost every married woman I know has willingly dropped her surname and become Mrs Somebody Else.
Why is it not tradition to have your mother walk you down the aisle, when she may have been equally, if not more, instrumental in your upbringing as your father? So, I went to the ultimate source of my wisdom, and asked her for her thoughts on the matter. Mum told me she had never regretted changing her surname, as she was never a huge fan of her maiden name, Boag. In hindsight, I’m pretty thankful. But she also admitted that had she been an only child, she would have
considered keeping it. This is precisely why a friend of mine (with no brothers to continue her name) decided to keep her surname after marriage. She was determined that such a huge part of her identity would not be stripped from her and her children. So who’s to say either of these women are wrong in their approach? It comes down to personal preference — there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to take your husband’s name as a signifier of partnership, yet I implore you to identify some of the almost unnoticeable ways in which society has conditioned us to accept these seemingly tacit rules. Why is it not tradition to have your mother walk you down the aisle, when she may have been equally, if not more, instrumental in your upbringing as your father? And why does pop culture still like to imply that in a heterosexual relationship it’s the man who should be the one to propose? I understand that to some, this may seem like a trivial part of what is a much larger issue, but hey, equality wasn’t built in a day.
Five Feminist Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You To #smashthepatriarchy The presence of feminism in social media is stronger than ever. Debate intern and everyone’s favourite listicle
the gram to bring you five
“Feminism is for everyone”
accounts that will fill your feed
This gram posts an array of informative and educational (hence the name) photos – from facts about the female body to misogynist advertising examples and challenging social norms that women are alleged to follow. Great for the beginner feminist.
Fan of Orange is The New Black? Sophia Burset (aka Laverne Cox) is a strong LGBTQ+ advocate and campaign model for Beyoncé’s fitness clothing line, Ivy Park. Cool, huh? “It’s all about being free,” she says. “Listening and moving without any judgement or limitation.” You go girl!
writer Laine Yeager trawled
with a little daily empowerment from female artists, activists and influencers.
“I draw women and their demons”
“We’re a coven, not a sorority”
“Women supporting women”
Popular and powerful, Polly Nor is an illustrator whose work is best described as frank, devilish and equal parts vulnerable and strong. This is one 21st Century woman who isn’t afraid to show both her feats and flaws.
The Wing is a community work space for women based in central New York City. They post some lol-worthy memes and also sell feminist merch for all your marching needs!
All Sandy the Zine content is contributed by badass ladies and dudes from around the world. Postings include praises and recognition of well-known women, such as Michelle Obama, who promote feminism and fight for women’s rights.
FOUR TIPS FOR SELF-LOVING TO GUARANTEE GREAT SEX!!
Our Go Fuck Yourself columnist Cordelia Huxtable reminds us to love ourselves, no matter what Great, now that I’ve got your attention with the most Cosmo-esque title I can think of, this column is about love. When (if!) you decide to open up your own sexy bubble and include someone else in it – maybe you’re tindering/grindering/texting someone, pashing a stranger on a Saturday night, or bringing up a new sex idea in a long-term relationship – start from a place of love. What do I mean by this? Simply, if you don’t love and respect yourself, it’s going to be hard for you to show love and respect to others (if the word ‘love’ doesn’t gel with you, then replace it with kindness, friendliness, or compassion). Here’s my theory: People do shitty things to other people to feel good about themselves, to get their needs met in dysfunctional ways, or to feel powerful and strong. If you’re starting from a place of self-compassion and kindness – self love, then you’re 100% less likely to be a dick.
Tip #1: Loving yourself is learning what you want Know your sex, relationship and intimacy boundaries; what feels good, and what doesn’t? What do you want to do right now, and what don’t you? If this is hard for you to figure out, a good way to find out is to stop, breathe and check in with yourself. Let’s say you’re on a date, and your date goes to the bathroom. Rather than immediately reaching for your phone, take those few minutes to breathe deeply and think to yourself, what’s going on for me right now? What do I want to do with this person? It might feel messy and confusing and contradictory; sometimes we confuse what we want with what we think the other person might want. Can you listen to your intuition? What is it saying? Tip #2: Voice your wants and boundaries This is beyond the ‘hashtag-life’ version of #love #gratitude #soblessed. This kind of self love is mad and bold and unapologetic. In terms of sex and hooking up, it’s being able to say no and a big fuck yes. It’s being able to say, “I don’t know how I feel about this, so I don’t want to continue until I can figure it out.” It’s being able to say no without saying sorry. This is HARD. In many cultures, being good, compliant and saying yes is prized. Loving yourself is subverting this, and I hear you – it’s tough. Once, I wrote down all the different ways I could say no, and then practised saying them boldly. Every time I say no to something I don’t want to do, sexual or otherwise, it feels like I’ve won a prize. If someone asks you to do something sexy with them and you’re SO KEEN, then say yes
with all your enthusiasm. Don’t be coy, “oh, I shouldn’t be too greedy, I shouldn’t look too excited, I should be chill”, etc, etc. No More Chill! More Enthusiasm! More Love! If you can’t say no with conviction, you can’t say yes with conviction. Be bold in what you
However, bottom-line: If your needs aren’t met, take care of yourself. This doesn’t mean pushing, coercing, hounding, stalking or assaulting. This doesn’t mean lashing out in anger, calling them names, gossiping about them, insulting them behind their back. Go
want and need.
lick your wounds, and take care of yourself. You’ve taken a risk! How can you celebrate your bravery, rather than mulling over your rejection? Oh, and the plus side to asking for what you want? There’s also a 50% chance you might get it. What awesomeness is this?!
On the flip side, loving yourself is digging deep into your courage, making yourself vulnerable and asking for what you want. Let’s say you’re on this aforementioned date, and it’s getting to the end of the night, and you’re really into this person. You’ve checked in with yourself and yeah, your body wants them too. So, like a bomb-ass self-loving adult, you’re not going to wait until you’re both too plastered to have a coherent conversation (because folks, under New Zealand law, an adult cannot give consent if they’re drunk. FACT. Don’t play around with this, because that’s not fun, that’s assault). Instead, you’re going to voice all the wonderfully sexy things you’re thinking in a way that respects and gives them space to decline. A kind thing to do is to follow your ask with something that gives them an out, like “no pressure”, “you don’t have to answer me right away”, or “you’re totally entitled to say no.” Tip #3: Take care of yourself in rejection Now that your desires are out there, this is where your self love kicks in big time. It’s scary saying out loud what you’d like, and you’re probably feeling vulnerable because they might say no. In fact, there’s a 50% chance they’re going to. And, yes, this can feel crushing and rejectful and shameful. Hopefully, the person you’ve opened yourself up to will respond to you from a place of love, and if they do say no it will be clear, direct and not followed by an insult.
Tip #4: Know how freakin’ great you are If you’re sitting there reading this, scared of being single forever; being laughed at, teased, told you’re frigid or slutty or a manwhore, you’re too weird or too kinky, too inexperienced or not experienced enough, too queer or not queer enough – holy shit, all of the horrible things we call each other – I see you. And you are so fucking talented. Your capacity to love yourself and love others is infinite. Your screw-ups, your regrets and rejected attempts at getting what you want, your successes and triumphs, beauty and all the messy, dark bits of you – this is your humanity and it is real and imperfect and all the things that make you wonderful. (You are at least 100% greater than Trump, and you know how great he thinks he is? SO GREAT). Self love is compassion for all the things you get wrong, and cringe about. Self love is cutting yourself some slack, and giving yourself reaffirming pep talks. Self love is seeking what you want, without entitlement but with love, honesty and kindness. Go for it.
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
Billie Eilish :: Don’t Smile at Me
Play Reviewed by Rhianna Osborne
EP Reviewed by Lydia Burgham
As I walked into the dimly lit Basement Theatre, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve always been a theatre geek, but this venue was starkly different – alternative with a hint of chic.
A blind listen to this EP without knowing anything about the artist, and you would be forgiven for not believing she is just fifteen. The explicit instruction of the title is enough of a statement – announcing the LA teenager’s no-nonsense mentality.
We were led into a small performance space, big enough to seat around 80 people, with just enough room for an understated stage set up. At 8pm, the lights went down, the crowd went quiet, and I knew we were all gearing up for a very interesting 75 minutes. Set in The Bronx, New York City, two polar opposites have a chance encounter in a dingy bar. As guards are let down and emotions come into play, they spend the night together and a heart-opening relationship blooms. With no easy way out, both are forced to dig deep in order to find a forgiveness that offers the rare chance of a more hopeful future. To describe this play in one word would be moving; the depth of character, the vulnerability and sheer rawness of both actors’ performances was captivating. Although by no means a traditional girl-meets-boy fairytale, I fell in love with Danny and Roberta’s story of loneliness and desire. Danny and the Deep Blue Sea evokes waves of emotion, from joy to shock to sadness, as the dialogue between the two characters intensifies and the audience starts getting to know them better as individuals. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the play is the physical pain the actors put themselves through to bring their characters to life. Danny and Roberta are physical with each other right off the bat; slapping, punching, even strangling each other so as not to suppress any of the raw emotions they are experiencing and sharing with one another. Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is a wonderfully intricate piece that explores love, lust and insanity, and will no doubt leave you feeling emotionally exhausted, but just as moved.
The angst and tone of Billie Eilish’s work is clear from the first track. The femme fatale-like character she embodies is debuted with allcaps, attention grabbing COPYCAT. Beat heavy and moody, Eilish describes the song as one of her favourites she has written. The track, “my boy”, initially seems tongue-in-cheek, enticing and sickly sweet in its first verse. This is juxtaposed instantly with the line “my boy loves his friends / like I love my split ends / and by that, I mean he cuts them off (what!)”. The key change of the chorus flips the song into an anthem about a dishonest guy. She displays flashes of vulnerability in the tracks “idontwannabeyouanymore” and “watch”. The former gives visuals of Eilish staring at her own reflection, frustrated with her appearance and who she is. This is the strength of her writing; she can flip from fierce and guarded to vulnerable with ease. At times, the bluntness of her lyricism feels inaccessible, but upon a second listen, it serves an emotional purpose. Previously released “ocean eyes” and “bellyache” slot nicely in with her new material, although ukulele backed “party favour” is obscure in its intention, and may have served better as a shorter interlude. The final track “hostage” is new territory. It is a slow acoustic love song, but Eilish doesn’t stray from her character, portraying imagery of holding her lover captive. The true strength Billie Eilish possesses is that she can be alluring, longing, insecure and dangerous all in the space of a verse. This first body of work is just a taste of the skill set she possesses as an artist, and is yet more evidence that age is irrelevant in pop music.
The Handmaid's Tale: Season 1 TV Series Reviewed by Jake Kampkes
What’s the difference between a woman and a slave? That’s the question The Handmaid’s Tale asks, and by God does it ask the hell out of it. Offred is the handmaid in question and she owns half this tale. The other half is owned by the person she is no longer allowed to be. Her name, her family, her country, and even the free use of her body, have been taken from her by a new nation that reeks of blood and looks like a man in a fine suit. As one of the few women who is still capable of having children, Offred and her fellow handmaids are owned as chattel by the Commanders of the nation of Gilead. They are merely a means to the end of providing children to the wealthy and powerful. Fear of brutal repercussions keeps the handmaids in line, while the guise of religious ceremony lets the owners pretend that what they’re doing is right. The acting and direction throughout the series builds a canvas of fear and oppression tangled with a few, scant strands of hope. It builds tension like violin string; You hear it in the careful pauses before Offred speaks, and the loving words before a vicious beating; You see it in the contrast of light and dark. This masterful
build and release of tension draws you in and makes you feel both the aching pain of loss and the small embers of hope. The Handmaid’s Tale explores the small victories in the handmaids’ fight to keep both their humanity and their minds intact. A clenched fist. A note passed. A head tilted up to gaze at the sky. The show basks in those small victories. An occasional, glorious rock song breaks through the dark clouds that Gilead creates to punctuate a few seconds of freedom for Offred. The setting of an America fallen to religious fanatics leaves the viewer feeling more than a little disquieted. The writers seem to have taken it upon themselves to remind us at every turn that the world we live in is fragile. They remind us that the freedoms we enjoy today were not always free, that we need to stand up and fight for the things that we believe in. Conversely, they also show us exactly where blind, stupid, fanaticism gets us. The show begs the audience to be smarter, more determined and more empathetic by reminding us of exactly what happens if we are not. This series is not for the faint of heart. It brings you up against the worst parts of humanity with an unrelenting brutality. In return, it gives you one of the most emotionally intense viewing experiences ever caught on camera. Reviewer’s Postscript: I’m a 24-year-old man and I cried watching this. Do I cry often? No. Am I embarrassed by this? A little. For those wishing to keep any kind of staunch reputation intact, I advise watching alone.
Good Bitches Baking Crystal Wu finds out a bit more about the good bitches spreading a little sweetness in their communities
Good Bitches Baking is a network of people from all over the country who want to show kindness to those in their communities having a tough time. Every weekend, more than a thousand GBB volunteer bakers roll up their sleeves and get baking. Cakes, cookies, slices – you name it, they’re baking it. The freshly baked goods are then picked up by a GBB volunteer driver who delivers them to people in need in the local community. This might be families with children in hospital, residents in hospice and their loved ones, women and children fleeing domestic violence, or those having to rely on food banks and soup kitchens. ‘Founding Bitches’ Nic Murray and Marie Fitzpatrick had no intention of setting up a national charity when they sat down for a few glasses of sparkling Rosé one evening, but a few years on, that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Nic says despite the name, Good Bitches Baking also has a lot of male volunteers who love to bake, or volunteer as drivers or to coordinate events. “You don’t have to be a woman to be a good bitch. Good bitches come in all shapes and forms.” The youngest GBB volunteer baker is just nine years old! Women and men, young and old – all these bitches just want to make a difference, and they can. A few hours in the kitchen once or twice a month is such an easy, fun and non-threatening way to help a stranger in need of a bit of sweetness in their life. No matter how big or small the gesture, we can all make a huge impact. Go Good Bitches!
Recipe :: Sam Weaver’s Healthy Brownies From the Good Bitches Baking cookbook, Bloody Good Baking These fudgy brownies are the best sneaky treats – gluten free, high in protein, fibre and (almost) guilt free! They’re also pretty economical and only have four easy steps.
• • • • • • • • •
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
400g kidney beans, well rinsed 3 tbsp apple purée or canned sliced apples 3 eggs ½ cup cocoa powder 1½ tsp baking powder ½ cup raw sugar 2 tbsp honey (optional) 1 tsp vanilla extract 40g dark choc chunks, chopped
2. Blitz a ll ingredients except chocolate chunks in food processor until extremely smooth. Taste mixture and add honey if desired. 3. Pour mixture into a lightly-oiled baking dish and sprinkle with chocolate chunks. 4. Bake for 20 minutes, leave to cool and enjoy!
Famous feminists throughout the ages
Simone de Beauvoir
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Circle all the words in the wordfind, tear this page out and pop it into the box on the side of the red Debate stands. Do it and you could win a motherflippinâ€™ sweet prize!
All about the F word.