Writing

This is my writing portfolio.

In recent years I’ve written for a a number of student, online and print publications, have had my writing quoted in news pieces, and have written guest posts for other blogs. If you’re interested in hiring me as a freelance writer, email michellegarrett1992@gmail.com.

The Huntington News, “Letter: Australia native’s Northeastern observations” (January 2012)

Mooky Chick, “Calling friends out on their oppressive views” (November 2011)

Mooky Chick, “How to wear red lipstick” (October 2011)

Aussie on the Road, “Guest Post: Vintage Sydney” (October 2011)

Mooky Chick, “Where to Buy Vintage Online in Australia” (September 2011)

Sydney Fringe Festival, quoted in “Is Five Eliza Newtown’s Best Bar?” (September 2011)

Sydney Fringe Festival, quoted as reviewer of “Five Eliza” (September 2011)

Mooky Chick, “Reclaiming Feminism” (September 2011)

Mien Magazine, “The Semi-Colon: restoring the King of Punctuation to its throne” (September 2011)

Honi Soit, “In Memoriam: Bob Gould” (June 2011)

Honi Soit, “The Stage: College Edition” (May 2011)

Ninemsn, quoted in “Australian birds have cocky attitude” (April 2011)

Honi Soit, “Ibis? Ibis THIS” (March 2011)

Honi Soit, “Crash a Classroom” (March 2011)

The Bull, “Mirror, Mirror” (September 2010)

Viva Uni (now closed), various articles (June-August 2010)

 

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2 responses to “Writing

  1. The problem i have with feminism is since the sixties and seventies it has come to mean female suprematism. My mother was involved in WEL (http://www.wel.org.au/) and it’s quiet doctrine was that men were the enemy and that lesbianism the only valid female sexuality. I remember reading one of her books and being very surprised by the arguments in there advocating lesbian incestuous pedophilia as a way of vaccinating women against the evil penis! I vaguely recall that being in the Vagina Monologues as well, it wasn’t an isolated radical opinion.

    Since then Feminism has moved on to being a social theory that seems to have little to do with the real world. A recent example was the whole elevatorgate fiasco. In that situation, a man asked a woman for coffee, presumably as part of a sexual invitation, and a shitstorm was the response. Men, it was declared, were not to approach men sexually; they were rapists intrinsically, and could never be trusted. They shouldn’t even argue the point as they were intrinsically ‘privileged’. The men who grew up black in segregated neighbourhoods as the servants of white women had a very different view!

    But if you subscribe to that sort of dogma, you block your mind; any contrary opinion is the wicked whisper of the patriarchy…

    When I was at Uni, I was in a deckchair debating society. We tried to be very civilised about our disagreements, but i remember one time it nearly failed. We were discussing pornography and the conversation went something like this:

    “All porn degrades women, because of the male gaze” (which presumably was related to that of the basilisk and medusa)

    Ok, well, i can see how you would see that in pictures where men are dominating women, but there are plenty of the reverse. Are you saying that a picture of a woman digging her high heel into the testicle of a helpless bound man is one in which the woman is being degraded and not the man?”

    “Yes!” she said, as if it were perfectly obvious.

    I realised then that I was not a Feminist but i was an Egalitarian. It doesn’t matter what genitals, if any, someone had, to how they should be treated. If A doing something to B is wrong, then so is it if B does it to A, and vice versa. Sexism is sexism, whether it benefits women or not.

    Words have weight, words have baggage, and words mutate. Saying you were a National Socialist might have been perfectly reasonable at one stage; someone who believes in socialism but puts their country first? After all, wasn’t that what the labor party used to be?

    But what the National Socialists did has contaminated that term, and I doubt it will ever be reclaimed. Can Feminism? The loudest feminist voices definining it, and the ones controlling the education of what Feminism is in universities, seem to be anti-men, anti-heterosexual, convinced that society needs to be torn down, that female submissives are perverted, that there was some utopia in the past before the men ruined it (and conveniently erased any historical traces) and that the ‘male’ values of competition and debate should be replaced with a uniform consensus in which individualism is suspect.

    Now you can fight to reclaim the word, and it had a noble (if naive) history*. But how will you ever be heard over that din? Perhaps moving to another channel, starting with an inclusive term, Egalitarian, is a better strategy?

    *remember how utopian suffragettes were about the prospect of female leaders, who would never declare war because they were full of mother’s love? Yeah, that really worked out well. When I was back at Uni women were still spouting that dogma, and when i pointed out that Margaret Thatcher was a woman, I was told she didn’t count! So that group was able to exclude anyone who didn’t match their preconceptions of what a woman was, setting up a circular chain of logic; a woman leader will be wonderful and she will be a woman because what she does is wonderful…

  2. Brett,

    First of all, thank you for your response to my article.

    I take your point that there are some outlandish supremacist feminists out there in the world, giving feminism a bad name and frightening people away from it, but I don’t concede as you do that this is at all a majority.

    You say that “The loudest feminist voices defining [feminism], and the ones controlling the education of what Feminism is in universities, seem to be anti-men, anti-heterosexual, convinced that society needs to be torn down, that female submissives are perverted, that there was some utopia in the past before the men ruined it…”

    I’m not entirely sure which voices you are referring to here, because in my experience, the loud feminist voices in 2011 are in fact quite rational, and are in no way endorsing any sort of supremacism. Of course I don’t have any evidence for this, but then neither do you. I can at least say with some degree of certainty that “the ones controlling the education of what Feminism is in universities” are not “anti-men, anti-heterosexual…” etc as you seem to believe. These people (both men and women) are qualified academics, with many years of study behind them; they’re not exactly prone to advocating such illogical and senseless ideas that would vilify half the world population, and indeed a significant percentage of their own students.

    I feel like you have an outdated, or at least very skewed, view of modern feminism; you’re using isolated examples to represent the whole. I visted the website of “WEL”, and did not find the wild, radical ideas you described, but found a manifesto as follows: “WEL is a political lobby group, which aims to…improve the position of women in society. We focus on issues and policies that most affect women, such as childcare, women’s education, reproductive rights and violence against women.” No mention of female supremacism. I’m not declaring that feminists are innocent of holding such ideas, but by no means is it a majority, or quite as widespread as you imagine in 2011. In my experience, modern feminism is less about privileging women over men, and more about the very issues mentioned above.

    I do, however, understand that the reality of feminism is very different to that which is imagined by the public. No matter how rational and good feminism is, it is true that there is a very negative conception of it in mainstream society. Nevertheless, I disagree with you that any attempt to reclaim the word is futile, and that it would simply be easier and more productive to shift to “egalitarianism”. As has already been noted, I think that the word is important because of its proud history that it would be criminal to disown. But to add more fuel to my defence of “feminism”, I would also like to suggest that “egalitarianism” as a word does not express the essence of the struggle itself. Patriarchy disadvantages both women AND men, but the fact is that the movement of feminism concerns primarily women’s rights, so it makes sense to brand it in a way that points to this fact.

    You ask: “But how will you ever be heard over that din?”

    I don’t think the din is as loud as you say, and I also think that it shouldn’t matter that there is a din when you are fighting passionately for something in the way in which you see most fit. I don’t want to compromise the integrity I feel in using the word “feminism”. If people refused to struggle against the din, the women’s movement itself would never have succeeded at all.

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