Tag Archives: Feminism

The Buzzcocks – Punk & Sexuality

19 Apr

Last week with the death of Margaret Thatcher, I found myself contemplating the punk movement and their opposition to the Thatcher government and its policies. See posts – and ___________. With this I was listening a lot to The Clash (my favourite punk band). One afternoon after work I stopped off in the city and picked up some local street press (free newspapers discussing music, movies and queer topics). I picked up Queensland Pride (a local Queer Street press publication) and I saw an articles about the British punk band, The Buzzcocks. It was an enlightening article!!

I had no idea about the band’s queer ness / support for the queer community and that the lead singer, Pete Shelley is bisexual. I had never listened to their music. I had seen references and articles to the band over the years, but I thought they were a macho (given that the term ‘cock’ is in the band’s name) male orientated punk band. I was rather wrong. The ‘cock’ in the band’s name in fact refers to the Manchester slang for mates/friends. And to discover that in their songs there were references to sexuality and bisexuality, was fascinating. Peter Shelley had also been “involved in student politics at college and campaigning for rights of women and gays and lesbians and bisexuals.” A marriage of campaigning for LGBTI rights, equality for women and punk politics. I loved this. I was inspired.

I mentioned this to my girl over the weekend and said I wanted to listen to some of their music. And low and behold, my girl bought me two of their albums yesterday! She is awesome. So I had a chance to listen to their music this morning on my drive to the train station. I like it. And there were a few songs that I liked straight away – great guitar, beat and lyrics. I will be listening to more over the weekend I suspect.

I am also going to try and listen to some female punk bands such as X-Ray Specs and some Queercore (punk that rejects the disapproval of LGBTQI people) bands.

Links –


Wom*news #9: Myths OUT NOW!

12 Apr

Issue 9 of Wom*news from the UQ Women’s Collective. Great local feminist writing and self publishing.



You heard right, folks! The UQ Women’s Collective is so very proud to present to you our ninth issue of our zine Wom*news: Myths!

You can read it online here 🙂

In addition to #9’s release, we’ve got a special announcement! Wom*news is now honoured to be hosted in the UQ Library Catalogue. You can even search for us – go on, try it! Our reference looks so puuuurty.

We’ll be sure to post details of a little “myths” release party, and to update you on our potential showing of Wom*news at the South Side Tea Room’s zine and cartoon fair in June.

Happy reading – and don’t forget to tell us what you think, at uqwnews@gmail.com or in the comments!

~ Emma

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“Femaleness” Instead of Femininity

4 Apr

As previously discussed in my post Femme Identity & Me, the term feminine doesn’t always sit well with me, as it seems to imply conformity with preconceived notions of “what it means to be a woman.” This also definitely applies to the term “femininity” in my eyes.

The term “femaleness,” was proposed by Feminist Spiritualists in the book Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America by Cynthia Eller. This term rejects the patriarchal, societal and traditional ideas around femininity and what it means to be a woman, and describes these things as female traits beyond conformity. I love this concept. The rejection of feminine traits and attributes as being a construct of patriarchal society and reclaiming these as female / woman traits from a female / woman perspective.

However, I have found myself using the term femininity in my blog posts around femme identity. Perhaps using the term femininity in the context of the femme gender identity, and the queered nature of femininity in this identity sits better with me. I have taken ownership of the word and I express it how I want to.

I am planning to explore Feminist Spirituality more.

Eller, Cynthia (1993) Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America, Crossroad Publishing Company, USA

Third Wave Feminism

4 Apr

I have been reading a paper on Third Wave Feminism and the defense of the concept of “choice” and “choice Feminism,” where the feminist movement gives women choice in how they live their lives and are not judgemental regarding these choices. The paper, entitled Third-Wave Feminism and the Defense of “Choice” by R. Claire Snyder-Hall, was published in the journal Perspectives on Politics, volume 8, in 2010. The paper was part of a symposium on Women’s Choices and the Future of Feminism.

I think of myself as a Third Wave / Sex Positive Feminist. I believe women, including feminists, are free to make their own choices regarding how they live their lives, express their sexuality, and embrace feminine traits, without judgement or patriarchal interference. That said, I passionately believe that women should not submit to male dominance, nor feel they “have to” be feminine to be a woman. In my belief system, the concept of “Empowered Femininity,” discussed in previous posts – Femme Fatales – empowered femininity? and Empowered Femininity, helps to define Sex Positive Feminism for me. Empowered, modern, feminist women embrace and perform femininity in their own ways or emulate and transform with confidence and assertiveness, femininity and female sexuality from past eras. I believe the neo-burlesque and neo-pin up movements, and modern femme and lipstick lesbian identities, allow feminist women (and non-feminist identified women) to embrace modern femininity, of their own choosing and purpose. And these women have control over their own identity and what being a woman, and feminine means to them, and not solely for the male or female gaze.

Feminism and Playboy Magazine

21 Mar

I have recently been reading a number of scholarly articles looking at feminism, Playboy Magazine and Playboy playmates. It’s very interesting to read academic journal articles discussing how Playboy is perceived and how the content and display of nude women is viewed and how this could be re-worked.

A Feminist likes Playboy Magazine

13 Dec

I was in two minds over clicking the ‘like’ button on the Facebook page of Playboy Magazine a few weeks ago. On one hand, I like how women are depicted in the magazine and its presentation. On the other hand, as a feminist, I am opposed to the objectification of women for men that appears to be presented by the magazine.

I like the style of photography and presentation of the magazine. There is a classiness to it as opposed to other more pornographic mens magazines. I am a big fan and greater admirer of some of the Pin-Up girl artists who have contributed to the magazine over the years (Alberto Vargas and Olivia De Berardinis). These artists speak of pure admiration and wonder at the beauty of the female form, and present their work in this way. No exploitation or degradation.

I also like the fact that when the magazine was first published in 1953 it represented sexual liberation and the changing of attitudes towards sex and sexuality. I am interested in Hugh Hefner’s story as he had a hand in modern society breaking free of sexually conservative values and pushed natural things such as nudity and sex into the mainstream. I think it is interesting from a females perspective that there have been female editors, pin-up artists (such as Olivia De Berardinis) and photographers who have contributed to the magazine over the years.

Another major factor for me is that the women featured in the magazine don’t appear in my eyes as being exploited or simply a sex object. There is sense of respect. How the individual model feels when she poses for a photo shoot for the magazine is important. Is she in control of how she displays her body and how she is presented? Is she doing it for herself? Does she feel empowered and confident? Is this how she wishes to present her own sexuality? A good an example of this is burlesque performer, model and entrepreneur Dita Von Teese. Dita certainly appears to be a very empowered woman who is in control of her career, her body and her sexuality, and she has graced the cover Playboy and been featured in the magazine. I strongly believe that the women depicted in the magazine are in control of how they are represented and they are not exploited nor degraded.

Moving on from what I like about the magazine, from a feminist perspective I feel strongly about is the objectification (or perceived objectification) of women for a mostly male audience. But is it solely objectification? I think it is a combination of presentation of the female form for admiration and for erotic reasons. Yes, there are elements that the women depicted are to there as erotic stimulants. Purely for a mostly male audience to get ‘their rocks off.’ I am still undecided about this. I think there is objectification, but it is done somewhat differently to pornographic, and particularly hardcore pornographic magazines. Additionally, I don’t like the embracing of plastic surgery enhanced beauty that appears popular in the magazine, and certain ways that female sexuality is presented.

These are the reasons why I was in two minds about ‘liking’ the Playboy Magazine Facebook page. I was uncertain how my ‘liking’ the page would appear to My friends. I wanted to say that I like this because of the depiction of attractive women and not the objectification and perceived sleaziness.

But since ‘liking’ the page and contemplating this further, I am no longer in two minds. I like it for the reasons above and my feminist (sex positive feminist) ideals don’t completely oppose this. There is a celebration of the beauty and sexuality of women, and although it is mostly from a male perspective, I myself as a lesbian and a sex positive feminist can appreciate and take what I want from it. Since then I have set about reading some scholarly articles on Playboy and feminism.


Sex Scribbled on my Skin: body politics and sexuality

3 Oct

A very good post form the UQ Women’s Collective zine – Wom*news

A life unexamined

Whether it’s in the way we dress, the gender we perform or the shape we are, our bodies shape the way we think about ourselves and the way that society thinks about us. Our bodies are texts to be read, with meanings and values and rules scribbled onto our skin. Some are personal, and some are political. Some are our own choice, while others are dictated by outside influences.

When it comes to sexuality, they way our bodies are read play a central role in what is seen as appropriate. Who is allowed to be sexual, or even required to be? Who is not allowed to show their sexuality? In what contexts are our bodies acceptable?

Despite sex being so naturalised in our society, there are still a multitude of rules imposed on different kinds of bodies, allowing them sexuality or denying it. Simple acts like kissing a partner in…

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