On shedding the patronym

Type
Polemic
Category
Gender

I think about the notable women who have chosen a mononym instead (Cher, Madonna, the French author Colette), but I decide unless I want to join the millennial poets of Instagram and Tumblr, the mononym isn’t the right move for me as a writer. Even then, I learn that Colette’s mononym was inspired by her father’s surname.

I start to wonder if I am reading too much into the whole thing, then decide that I am not seeking a name that is devoid of gender, just one that feels like mine.

33562984743_b2fdbca1df_z
9679814583_b1760ceced_z
Type
Polemic
Category
Labour rights
Sexual assault

A sex worker’s consent: solidarity, not sanctimony

I am still learning how to protect my own consent – sometimes the hard way – but I am grateful for the ways in which doing sex work has helped me to clarify and articulate my boundaries, at work and beyond. I wish I could share what I have learned with 16-year-old me. I would tell her that refusing to partake in sexual acts is an inalienable right that requires no explanation. I would tell her that for someone to deny your right to consent – whether it be through physical force, guilt, or discriminatory laws – is indefensible.

riffraff
Type
Article
Category
Long read
Misogyny
Music

Why do we love to sing murder ballads? Tradition, feminism and bluegrass

Songs about misogynistic murder, if sung by mainstream country artists, might be construed as indicative of the harsh patriarchal world of rural Australia. To the contrary, urban alt-country or bluegrass artists can afford to try on the persona of the violent male without any ramifications, and indeed, can accrue symbolic capital through their embrace of a song form considered gothic or edgy.

manus
Type
Article
Category
Diary
Refugee rights

A story of my 1516th day

Around 2 o’clock I join a peaceful protest walk. It is the eighty-seventh day of peaceful protest. Men are holding banners and cards with different slogans on them, like ‘Four years are enough’, ‘PNG is not safe for us’, and ‘Safety is everyone’s human right.’ The main purpose of the protest is to let people know that we don’t want to be resettled in Papua New Guinea. We are also asking for an end to this indefinite detention.

DNwk2zJU8AAoScw
Type
Polemic
Category
Refugee rights

Manus Island: building on the outrage

The crisis on Manus Island is a challenge to all of us. What can we do? The ALP offers no alternative. Both major parties support boat turn-backs and offshore processing with no resettlement in Australia for people who come by boat. The only differences between the two parties relates to Temporary Protection Visas (the ALP will abolish them) and the size of the humanitarian intake (the ALP will increase it).