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Remembering the Canberra Fires: Being there Posted by Bernadette on 23 Jan 2013

By: Julie Lewis

On 18 Jan 2003 Julie Lewis was caught up in the Canberra fire. There were no warnings and the fire took off in a built up area. I read this as an email on a list-serve several days later and have never forgotten the impact of the writing. When I saw the tenth anniversary of the fire on TV last Friday, I immediately thought of Julie's email. Fortunately, she was able to find it. Given the impact of fires on so many communities in Australia this summer, this is a reminder of how it feels. Susan Hawthorne, Publisher


My power only returned about 15 minutes ago – after 36 hours of no power, water, phone and sewers backed up everywhere ... I was about to go into my work, to get access to a hot cup of coffee and enough power to check to my e-mails etc, when the power returned.

The worst hit areas of the fires, were in my district – I live next-door suburb to Duffy – we evacuated along with everyone else in a calm controlled panic – one carload of several thousand fleeing for their lives – I'm still freaking in a quiet way.

I only saw TV news for the first time at my sister's place over north side late last night, it was much, much worse – worst in the nation's history, and no exaggeration, and a miracle that more lives weren't lost– as there were no warnings, there were no firemen ... (we found out later they had been caught on the other side of the fires when they jumped 5,10,15 km in a matter of minutes ...)

A cliche maybe – but it happened so fast...

All week, huge fires raging to the west of us in the mountains, about 50-60 km away – no great drama, pink/orange smoke haze casting peculiar light, eerie shadows – could look directly at the sun, a neon orange ball. Sorta alien and pretty in a way.  Saturday was no different – a bit windier perhaps, a bit smokier maybe – the shadows in the weird light and dimmed orange sun, maybe a bit more peculiar.

At noon – I was returning home from the nearby Weston RSPCA puppy classes and the car radio news mentioned briefly (about item number 3) – that the fires to the west of us had moved closer, about 25-30 km away and firefighters were stressed up in the ranges having been fighting all week to contain them.

At 2.30 pm – my daughter Kara returns home from work, we mention the strange eerie light as most people had done all week.  Still no concern – but we found out later, that some mild "alerts" had gone out at 2.30 pm – asking people in 23 suburbs to return home and make preparations, but no major panic – just a "precaution".

At 3 pm – I hear low-flying fire choppers and look outside and it is as black as midnight on a moonless night, the power flickers, the street lights come on – I wander outside to see what’s happening, its thick with embers, wind screaming – can't see a metre and start choking with the smoke – (I thought I must have blacked out or fallen asleep for about 8 hours it was so black, so sudden – there was no sun, there was not even so much as a pale spot where the sun should be) but at first I wanted to laugh at my neighbour panicking and soaking their house and hurrying their family in their car etc – we are relatively far in from the open bushland a few km away up the ridge above us – those up the hill backing onto the ridge behind us are in danger and then it will burn itself out – if it was a "normal fire" --- but it wasn't a normal fire ...

Until I turned around to look at the western ridge – that sight is burned onto my retinas ---- Holy F&*&*!!! I screamed – a huge wall of flames was racing down the ridge, less than a km away – and huge balls of fire - bouncing like a basketball down the hill...moving so fast ... bounce, bounce ... taking 5 houses here, bouncing another km to the north, then south, then east  – just bouncing and taking another chunk of neighbourhood on each bounce – just engulfing with a *whoosh*....then the explosions, one huge one like an atom bomb a few blocks away – (later found out it was a petrol station – that whooshed in less than 60 secs, taking a 4-storey block of flats with it) ... other explosions were cars, trees etc exploding.

Still there were no alarms – indeed, most of us were told to stay in our homes – I screamed at Kara to pack essentials in the car and we started hosing down the house – she called her fiance – he also lived nearby and was returning on the bus from his work after his workplace relayed an alert for his suburb.

He called to say he was dumped by the bus at a nearby shopping centre – and could go no further – so we were going to pick him up there.  My son and other daughter I thought would be safe on their side of town.  I rang my sister over north side and told her we were on our way just seconds before all the power went down, and phones and water. 

Still the radio was saying for people to stay home – but my entire street had all gone, and we joined the queue – only one road out still clear – and the fireballs were still bouncing, several kilometres inside the so-called "bushland outer suburbs" – then even the mobile phones went down – no signals, and network busy for the next 12 hours ... (the nearby mobile towers had whooshed) it quickly became clear that I wasn't going to get north side in a hurry – with only road out – but no phones made it impossible to get a message through to my sister – one road blocked – all street lights, traffic lights gone – unable to see more than a vague ember lit outline of the car in front or to the lanes each side – but the radio mentioned an evac centre nearby – so we headed there.

My son-in-law to be ... found his parents friends who he was living with at the evac centre – lost everything, so many, so many pouring in to the centre – people we know, families my kids have grown up with – 2 young women I've known since Kindergarten pour in – they had stayed in their house because the radio told them to, their parents at work couldn't call in or get their in time – they had run down the hill for their lives following fleeing cars when the fire-storm reached the house next-door –

5.30 pm – the light clears up – from midnight black to pinky/orange twilight – calls from my neighbourhood have said it’s eased, I choose to head back. Kara and Jessie are collapsed with his family – their whole street whooshed to ash in less than a minute –

I said I was going back to my place – by this stage I was frantic about looters as well – still no fucking phones to be had for love or money.  My son shows up however – he was on the bus to come over to my place to visit for the afternoon when the buses dumped him out at the nearby evac centre bus-stop! 

So my son and I head back to my house – my fence is scorched, and the entire neighbourhood is layered in ash – the bouncing basketball missed us – but still no phones etc – road-blocks everywhere – reports coming in of the bouncing basketball having moved further in to the east – shopping centres over 10 km from any bushland are exploding. The bouncing basketball has jumped 5, 10, 15 km across the city in each bounce flaring every ridge, hilltop and mountain to the south, and east of us. 

At 6 pm – I still can't get through by phone – my sister over north side must be frantic wondering where I am ... the traffic has eased. So Reubs and I head north to my sister's, since I can't call her I may as well tell her in person! She feeds us, but I head back and drive my son to his home which has power at least in a safe area.  Still can't get through to my daughter – but headed back to the evac centre to check with my other daughter and her fiance and his family.

The radio says the evac centre is being evacuated again to the east! The fires have jumped the freeway into the centre – the city-wide emergency defence force coordination centre itself is down! Also, 5000 people have poured into the centre in the hour I was away up north side! 

Couldn't get through on her phone, and thinking I'd never find them amongst a crowd of thousands either by 8 pm – and still worried about looters at my place, I finally get through a dozen road-blocks back to my place (Duffy the worst hit is next-door to me, and like hundreds of others I'm aghast at the devastation) – most of my immediate neighbours have returned by 8 pm, and so I went next-door to my friend and stayed with them glued to a tinny walkman radio until about 2 am, before trying to sleep.

Sunday – the neighbourhood is bad, – I meet up with many more driving around in a daze looking for a shop, a cup of coffee, fresh milk, bread –anything – power was out to about 10,000 homes over a wide section, and even those with power weren't open with so many in confusion and no communications – sewerage had gone, some backing up – no water – although some did – but filthy – phones are patchy – one house has a working phone, next-door doesn't ... mobiles are still all out over a wide section ...

I literally run into my other daughter at the nearest shopping centre with power – apparently, she had been freaking out and looking for me all Saturday afternoon/evening, returning to my house, obviously missing me on each pass through – and had stayed the night at a friend’s house nearby to mine! (I thought she would have been sensible and headed home to her place over north side which was safe, so didn't give her a second thought :) 

We spent Sunday buying some clothes for Jessie, crying with friends and neighbours, trying to find ice, petrol, cold drinks etc – but the entire district for many miles is down – and with so many affected, many workplaces even with power have no staff and are closed till further notice.

But anyway, power returned this morning, but its a sad place – there are still sirens and choppers screaming everywhere.

Mon, 20 Jan 2003

Julie Lewis, armchair feminist, Canberra


It took many years for much of the Canberra bushland to recover. Many parts of the National Park bordering the western suburbs remain closed ten years later as the damage was so severe, from exploded rock escarpments and mountain earth-slides from the extensive deforestation. 

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Eve’s Monologue undermines women’s movement Posted by Bernadette on 22 Jan 2013

By Farida Akhter


Every day we have to read or hear about some rape and also killing after rape occurring in different areas of the country. Rape and killings are direct physical attacks on a woman’s body but violence against women is more than that. These other forms of violence caused by social, economic and cultural factors and various development policies are often ignored not because that they are not directly physical or invisible but they must be made so to justify systemic violence. Injecting Depo-Provera into poor women’s bodies or implanting Norplant under her skin for population control and keeping garment workers under lock and key and burning them to ashes or burying them alive as ‘accidents’ are some of the examples. Dowry is one of the major social violence on women in all of South Asia. Trafficking in women for various purposes is happening at national, regional and international level. Women’s right to livelihood, seed keeping and food production is threatened by various so-called development interventions and introduction of technologies. Violence against women, therefore, is not only or necessarily, limited to women’s body. It is affecting her entire life. Even when her whole body is targeted for systemic violence they are made invisible.

The women’s movement in Bangladesh has been very strong, although in recent years it has slowed down a bit. There are always protests against the occurrences of violence at local levels or among the groups closer to the victims, however nothing much is happening at the national level women’s movement. This was not the case before. We have seen in the past how the rape of 14-year-old Yasmeen by police on August 25, 1995 sparked outrage among general people and women’s organizations all over the country. Seven men were killed by police in the protest in Dinajpur where the incident occurred. In Dhaka, Sammilita Nari Samaj was formed to work together and termed it ‘state violence’ against women. Begum Sufia Kamal led the movement and brought all the people together. Sammilita Nari Samaj followed the issue for months and years till we got to have the perpetrators brought to justice. Nothing like that is happening now, although many more incidents like gang rape and killing after rape are happening. Yasmeen movement needs to be revisited and revived again.

At the regional and global level, the movement to stop violence against women is taking different shape along with the rise in the incident of rape and killing of women. To stop this, very limited actions are being taken. Recently the gang rape of Jyoti in Delhi has sparked outrage among all the people, including women’s organizations. In Bangladesh incidents of gang rape occurred before and after Delhi incident, but big human chains were organized only after Delhi uprising. In this context, American playwright, and performer Eve Ensler’s visit to Bangladesh has come to the forefront in the name of global action against violence against women.

On the occasion of her visit during January 2013, there were stage performances of Vagina Monologues and also performances by Bangladeshi theatre groups. I found it a very untimely celebration of a western and culturally alien perspective imposed on Bangladesh as a universal women’s issue. I also see in such intervention another form of cultural violence to silence the systemic issues relevant to women’s movements in Bangladesh. Women activists are trying hard to address and by sharing with their sisters around the world to make an indent in the global women’s movement in the era of globalization, war and multiple form of state violence around the world. Women are the main victims of these masculine adventures.

If Eve Ensler’s main contribution is theatre performances to break silence, it should not assume that Bangladesh did not have such events previously. For Bangladesh, it is not new at all. Let me remind all that in the late 1980s, theatre groups in Bangladesh felt the need to enquire into the notions of hegemonic masculinity, gender, and sexuality. In 1989, a Group Theatre ensemble named Theatre produced Kokilara, a monodrama in three parts written and directed by a male (Abdullah al Mamun) but performed by one of the most popular and versatile female performers in Bangladesh Ferdousi Majumdar. The play showed how a univocal and domineering ideology of gender, articulated through the institutions of marriage and divorce in the social field of Bangladesh, attempts to control and silence all women irrespective of classes.  

 earned much appreciation from home and abroad. The monodrama had hundreds of shows in different parts of Bangladesh and abroad. The play was over two hours long and divided into three phases. Ferdousi performed 16 different characters in the full-length play. This was an extraordinary achievement, as a humble activist I always cherish her contribution not only to the theatre, but addressing the women’s question in Bangladesh within the limits of the urban paradigm.

Yet even a home-grown Bangladeshi stage performance remained in the Bailey Road theatre halls of Dhaka city and could not reach the women who were suffering from such violence. If Kokilara [played in Bangla] could not reach the general women, how can we think that Eve Ensler’s book The Vagina Monologues is going to be relevant to women here in our country? Vagina Monologues has now turned into an international movement, featuring as a film Until the Violence Stops. This is a documentation of how The Vagina Monologues grew into an international ‘grassroots’ movement called V-Day to stop violence against women and girls. In 2002, eight hundred cities around the world participated in V-Day by staging performances of The Vagina Monologues. These are performances and there is no reason for me to undermine the personal achievement of Eve Ensler. But can it be an international movement? That’s too much to claim for a theatrical performance and directly undermines the achievements and the unique contributions of many other performers around the world and Bangladeshi women such as Ferdousi Mojumdar and others.

Eve Ensler is now known as the founder of V-Day in 2002, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Following V-Day the One Billion Rising campaign was launched in early 2012 and has been announced to culminate the year-long action on February 14 2013 – Valentine’s Day . It is also the V-Day’s 15th anniversary and therefore activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world will come together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. Are we celebrating the book or expressing our outrage against violence against women?

Eve Ensler has toured to raise awareness about V-Day’s One Billion Rising campaign  since last year in Australia, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Croatia, Serbia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, and the Philippines. Ensler and visited Trivandrum, Mumbai, and Delhi in India, and Dhaka in Bangladesh in January 2013.

It looks as though in Bangladesh this campaign of One Billion Rising will be celebrated with the same slogan of “strike, dance and RISE”. Nevertheless, if some women of Bangladesh think they should be part of it, that’s fine. But when it is set to culminate on Valentine Day – the 14 February, it becomes a cultural and political statement.

There are class issues and cultural resistance against Valentine Day in Bangladesh, which may be for both bad and good reasons from women’s perspective. Nevertheless, it is necessary for women’s movements to engage in these debates rather than impose or accept it uncritically. I am not a multiculturalist and do not intend to play on westerns versus Bangladeshi culture, but I engage with women who complain that V-day celebration is an insult to their culture and equally oppressive for women since commodification of human relations such as love is repugnant and has nothing to contribute to achieve women’s dignity. Such resistance complicates cultural politics in a post-colonial society and state which is also violently imposing development interventions and experiments. It is said in various announcements of One Billion Rising that the goal is to have one billion women and men "dancing, striking, rising" across borders to demonstrate their demand to end the global violence against women. The number 1 billion is also arbitrary and based on a computation from the United Nations statistic that one out of three women on earth will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. Deliberately or not it excludes systemic and developmental violence we spoke of earlier as well as war, commercial and technological manipulation and control of women’s reproductive biology and mutilation of bodies. The net political and cultural effect is to make other violence, no matter the degree of their brutality and virulence, invisible and thus provide a justification for the status quo.

In Bangladesh, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 as Bishwa Bhalobasha Diboshwith lovers greetings each other with roses, heart-shaped cards and other gifts. Mostly, it is celebrated in the capital city Dhaka and some urban areas, the majority of people, especially women, have absolutely no idea about this day? Globally Saint Valentine's Day, commonly known as Valentine's Day also called Feast of Saint Valentine, a Christian event which is observed on February 14 each year. According to Wikipedia, the day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offeringconfectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the wingedCupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-producedgreeting cards. In Bangladesh, it is essentially commercialization of love. Women become a ‘victim’ of love expressions by men and are commodified in the advertisements and commercials. One has to remember women become the victims of Eve teasing or acid throwing if they reject love-proposals as happened with Eden Girls college student. HowBishwa Bhalobasha Dibosh can be safe for women when it allows commodification of love and creates the condition to express love offer and thereby potentially lead to sexual violence to women?  It is really an insult to injury to have the One Billion Rising against violence against women on this so-called Bhalobasha Dibosh.

Lastly, I would like to mention that I was watching a talk show on a private TV channel with Eve Ensler and several theatre personalities and women’s rights activists in a programme called Jaitu conducted by a man who was asking questions of those women from a male perspective curious about women’s sexuality. It appeared in the discussions as if the cause of violence against women in Bangladesh is due to silence over sexuality issues, taboo of not uttering some words etc. This show represented a highly elite perspective. The show was essentially a promotion of The Vagina Monologues and Eve Ensler, as if she was going to show us the path with performances how should we act against violence in Bangladesh.

It’s utterly wrong to assume that women’s movement in Bangladesh does not address women’s sexuality but has always argued that it should be included within the resistance against systemic violence. We cannot afford to remain silent on the ground realities and ‘dance’ only to single focused issues.

Farida Akhter 


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The recent implant conversation missed the point. Posted by Maralann on 19 Jan 2013

 By: Helen Lobato

I matured physically long before my friends. The signs of puberty, the underarm hair growth, the budding breasts, and the menarche – they all occurred prematurely. But the concern that developed about my breasts began well before puberty for my grandmother had breast cancer dying at the age of 47, leaving my mother to rear her siblings. According to Breast Cancer Australia, one in 11 women will be diagnosed with the disease before the age of 75 years. Our health rather than large, sexy breasts is the issue.

One of the first operations I ever saw was a radical mastectomy. This mutilating surgery, uncommon these days, removes all breast tissue along with the lymph glands on the affected side. As an apprentice nurse I watched as a young mother had her diseased breast hacked from her chest wall and plonked on a cold, stainless steel dish and when she died one Christmas Eve, I was there with her husband and her two young boys.

In 2008 more than 300,000 women and teenagers underwent breast augmentation with saline implants. All breast implants will eventually break with studies of silicone breast implants showing that most last seven to twelve years with some breaking during the first few months, while others can last more than fifteen years. The risks are many, ranging from scar tissue to breast or nipple numbness to breakage and leakage and even death. There have been 20 cases of cancer among French women who have received allegedly faulty breast implants. These are the French made Poly Implant Prothese silicone-gel implants, a non-standard cheaper variety.

Dr Marilyn Yalom, author of A History of the Breast states that ‘the size of a woman’s breast has become one of the identifying markers of her entire persona’. And it’s not just happening in ‘Tinsel Town’, she said. In 2005 Darlene Watkins was fitted with the French-made PIP implant and she told the ABC’s 7.30 program ‘I just wanted to feel a bit more sexy’. Five years later her surgeon warned her that French authorities were concerned about the high rupture rate and recommended an ultrasound which revealed breakage and leakage.

I’m content with my breasts and even if I needed a mastectomy I would decline reconstructive surgery. Why have more surgery and post-operative pain?  Why risk complications and death just to look sexy or even normal for that matter.

Lesbian feminist and poet, Audre Lorde had a mastectomy and rejected the imposition of post-mastectomy prostheses and reconstructive surgeries, arguing:

Prosthesis offers the empty comfort of 'nobody will know the difference.' But it is that very difference which I wish to affirm, because I have lived it, and survived it, and wish to share that strength with other women. If we are to translate the silence surrounding breast cancer into language and action against this scourge, then the first step is that women with mastectomies must become visible to each other.

It would not be easy to lose a breast or breasts through cancer but to risk your health or even your life in order to placate personal and societal dissatisfaction about your breasts is a tragedy.


Helen has a blog:




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Alleged-Attackers, Sex-Pests and Sexual Assault Posted by Bernadette on 13 Jan 2013

By: Danielle Binks


Last week there was a ‘sex pest’ in Melbourne’s northwest which, as my colleague Bernadette pointed out, made him sound no more annoying than a fly hanging around your Christmas dinner. In one early article the man was described as a ‘sex fiend’, ‘serial sex attacker’ and a ‘predator’ - but not yet a ‘rapist’. 


One woman spoke of fighting off the ‘sex pest’ with a swift swat to his genitals, but Det Sgt Brett Meadows said police were worried the next victim might not be so lucky: "It’s quite likely the (attacks) could get worse or we can have a victim that isn’t able to fight him off," he said. I assume that ‘worse’ means ‘rape’, and the next victim “might not be so lucky” because she won’t just have been the victim of an annoying ‘sex pest’ but a rapist, which if you ask any woman is infinitely worse.


Whenever I read articles that talk of ‘sexual assault’, I always read it as ‘not rape.’ And I don’t consciously read it that way to diminish what happened to victims, but because I think any adult woman would agree that on the trauma spectrum, you’d do just about anything to avoid being raped including enduring ‘sexual assault’ so long as it didn’t end in rape.


But the term ‘sexual assault’ is a murky one in the news media, as I discovered when I contacted the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault. I was prompted to do so after talking with colleagues about another sexual assault that occurred in Box Hill. I shared my guilt-ridden thoughts of ‘at least it wasn’t rape’, when one of my colleagues piped up with a terrible thought – what if it’s only legal constraints that stop a newspaper printing the words ‘rape’ or ‘alleged rape’?


I know that this has always been part of the journalism code of ethics, but after the death of Jill Meagher last year news outlets were particularly concerned with educating the public on why discussing the Jill Meagher case in social media was doing harm to the upcoming trial, and why social media discussions should adhere to similar journalism ethics protocols when discussing the case. In law, sub judice, Latin for "under judgment", means that a particular case or matter is under trial or being considered by a judge or court. So printing the word ‘rape’ in a newspaper article implies guilt and could harm the basis for a fair and unbiased trial.


I wondered if this was why we’re more likely to hear about sexual assaults than alleged rapes in the news. When I asked the ACSSA if ‘sexual assault’ and ‘rape’ were one in the same for media reportage, I was given this explanation: “the media may be using these terms differently, or indeed interchangeably.  I would recommend that you speak to news media outlets and find out what they mean when they use the words 'sexual assault' and 'rape'.”


So there’s not even a uniform terminology that all media outlets are to adhere to when reporting on rape and sexual assault? What exactly is there to stop a newspaper from only ever printing the words ‘sexual assault’ when another outlet would say ‘attempted rape’? What is lost when these words are interchangeable?


Reading up on sexual assault laws in Australia reveals that media definitions are likely confounded by the fact that the very definitions of sexual assault and rape vary slightly across jurisdictions. There is no universally accepted definition of "sexual assault" and, as such, there are variations in the type of behaviour that constitutes sexual assault or rape depending upon the state or territory one is in.


According to an ACSSA Media Backgrounder, which is a resource for media and journalists in writing articles, sexual assault definitions vary, based on the range of behaviours viewed as constituting sexual assault or sexual violence.


These might include:


  • sexual harassment;

  • sexualised bullying;

  • unwanted kissing and sexual touching;

  • sexual pressure and coercion; and

  • forced sexual activity.


And that last dot point, ‘forced sexual activity’ could well cover a myriad of horrors that leads into discussions of what constitutes sex – penetration? Oral stimulation? What about the broadness of 'sexual harassment' - because I know I've been subjected to some particularly foul-mouthed, sexually-charged taunts on public transport that have made my skin crawl - but does that warrant a phone call to the police? Is this perhaps why women don't report sexual assaults - because how are we suppoed to know what constitutes sexual assault if the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault aren't even 100% clear!?


Rape wordage was discussed by Susan Hawthorne back in 2009, for a blog on gender mainstreaming. In this piece, Hawthorne discusses what is lost when we try to be politically correct in talking about rape:


GBSV stands for gender-based sexual violence. Rape is a perfectly useful word and should be used whenever GBSV is encountered. Every rape, even when the protagonists are not male or the violated ones are not female is based on the idea that men rape women: subject verb object. It is an instance of power over by the powerful and no amount of obscuring will change that. All it results in is a deadening of language.


That ‘sex-pest’ in Melbourne’s northwest has now been captured and his name is Phillip Taupin - he's also now being called the 'alleged bike-path attacker' now. He faced a Magistrates Court with 18 charges over attacks on seven females between December 30 and January 4. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Det Sgt Brett Meadows was quite right in saying that the man’s attacks could escalate with each victim, because Mr. Taupin has also been charged with three counts of raping a woman at Lalor train station back in August, 2011.


Newspaper articles about Mr. Taupin’s sex-pesting ways now say he attempted “assault with intent to rape” – versus the original claims of simply ‘sexual assault’. But that clarification of “intent to rape” has only come with hindsight and realizing that he has prior charges of rape against him. For what it’s worth, I see the term ‘sexual assault’ more than I ever do ‘alleged’ or ‘attempted rape’ when reading newspaper articles. So what’s to say any sexual assault isn’t just a lead-up to an attempted rape (as with ‘sex-pest’ Phillip Taupin. Or does ‘rape-pest’ not have quite the same ring to it?)

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Global Women of Color, 2013: Reading Challenge Posted by Bernadette on 04 Jan 2013

From the blog

Women of color around the globe are writing some amazing books. Their voices can give us insight into the lives of those outside our usual boundaries. Feminists especially need to listen to them if they want to understand their concerns.

We encourage everyone to participate in this fantastic Reading Challenge throughout 2013.

And, of course, Spinifex has plenty of books that meet the challenge criteria.

• ‘If Passion Were A Flower’ by Lariane Fonseca

• ‘A Daughter of Isis’ and ‘Walking Through Fire’ by Nawal El Saadawi

• ‘Ao Toa: Earth Warriors’ by Cathie Dunsford

• ‘Trauma Trails, Recreating Song Lines’ by Judy Atkinson

• ‘Moebius Trip: Digressions From India's Highways’ by Giti Thadani

• ‘The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades: Stories from around the World’ by Munya Andrews

• ‘Kick the Tin’ by Doris Kartinyeri

• ‘Holding Yawulyu: White Culture and Black Women's Law’ by Zohl de Ishtar

• ‘The Fabulous Feminist’ by Suniti Namjoshi

• ‘A Bit of Difference’ by Sefi Atta

• ‘Far and Beyon'’ by Unity Dow

• ‘Another Year in Africa’ by Rose Zwi

And that’s just to name a very few!

We wish you all 'Happy Reading' in this very special challenge throughout 2013  

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