Feminism and women’s rights

A call to feminists to remember the history and sex-based nature of women's oppression

This article can be read in German here, and in Spanish here. The real brilliance of patriarchy… it doesn’t just naturalise oppression. It sexualises acts of oppression. It eroticises domination and subordination. It institutionalises them as masculinity and femininity. So, it naturalises, it eroticises and it institutionalises domination and subordination. The brilliance of feminism is …

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Why is a man running the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective?

In New Zealand, 85% of people who are prostituted in the sex trade are women. By contrast, 99% of johns (who the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective refer to as “clients”) are men. Although NZPC is generously government funded, it effectively promotes itself as a union, existing to advocate for “labour rights” and safety. Since the …

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Grooming literature: Cosmo, Dolly, pimping and the "Sex Worker Starter Kit"

I don’t normally do content warnings, but this piece contains some pretty offensive material; I would certainly recommend sitting down for it with a hot drink. * In her online talk The Sexy Lie, Caroline Heldman discusses objectification, questioning the idea that “sex sells”. This is an idea that many advertisers and publishers leverage, but …

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Dear transactivists: stop no-platforming feminists

One of the key, stated motivations driving liberal transactivists is to end unjust violence and discrimination inflicted on a marginalised group: violence that should never be condoned. Many transactivists I know are community-minded liberals who want to make life easier for a minority group suffering discrimination – and that is fair enough. I would be …

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Public education: a women's domain, a feminist issue

Equal opportunity is a cornerstone of education. That all children have the same birthright to education – regardless of their background – is a fundamental democratic premise. Wherever a child is disadvantaged, then, schools should ensure that it doesn’t affect his or her opportunities for learning. Wherever patterns reveal themselves – for instance, if whole communities appear …

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Sisters (can't) Speak: A response to the Wellington Zinefest organisers from the Zinefest des Refusés!

Though I’ve never had a stall before, I love the Wellington Zinefest and look forward to it each year. I’ve got a pile of zines at home that I’ve bought, swapped, collected and enjoyed from markets over the years. Through the art supply shop I work at, I sponsored the Wellington Zinefest 2015 gladly, with free …

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Darkmatter should not be welcome in Wellington

Dear Meow, InsideOUT, New Zealand Portrait Gallery and Slow Boat Records,   I’m writing regarding your upcoming Darkmatter events on 9 and 10 October. Darkmatter have made clear statements that justify rape and pedophilia. They can be read here. The statements include calling little girls – children – “kinky” and “deviant”. They suggest that culturally, society places …

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Are you perpetuating sexism? An open letter to RainbowYOUTH and InsideOUT

Dear RainbowYOUTH and InsideOUT, I’m writing this letter in light of the influence your organisations have and work you do with youth in New Zealand, and in our schools and surrounding communities. The InsideOUT website states the organisation works to “make Aotearoa a safer place for young people”. RainbowYOUTH claims to “support queer & gender diverse youth in …

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#VinylBarHarassment: Wellington women speak out on nightclub rape culture

Two Wellington women have made news calling out Courtney Place’s Vinyl Bar, for its shockingly negligent response to sexual harassment earlier this month. Jay Thompson-Munn and Victoria Kershaw ran an inspiring ten-day campaign that is raising important questions about rape culture in Wellington’s nightlife. It’s a campaign that other bars, venues and patrons should take note of, before …

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