Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: Pavlova Paradise

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  • Heather Gaye,

    Ack! Right from mention of her name, I didn't read this article so much as listen to Dame Edna narrating it inside my head. Worse than earworm!

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Come on, sausage, you can handle it! And being the first commenter is a great start to the new dawn of a truly wimmin-friendly Public Address.

    (Sorry for earworm!)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Is this really a place where feminists feel uncomfortable? Perhaps I am, as usual, suffering from false consciousness and only *think* I'm a feminist (I have a lack of 'right-on-ness' on occasion, I know), but there are much much MUCH worse places for feminists than PAS. If I'm ever uncomfortable here, it's because you never know when someone I went to school with is going to pop up and say 'you were shitty at PE!' (Hi Kyle. :))

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    but it does rather beg the question of what a feminist looks like

    I asked this question recently because I don't think I know the answer any more. How do you define feminist and who gets to do that... Turned out to be a very effective way of avoiding actually doing anything, writing anything, or coming to any conclusions.

    What I like to read is people who really know their shit, being articulate and reasonable about it. That seems to require writing from where your head is at - no matter your demographics.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Absolutely agree, Danielle, that there are worse places. I can't say I've ever felt truly uncomfortable here, except when the odd (very odd) hate-mail landed in my inbox and made me second-guess the point of writing anything for public consumption. But I'm getting a thicker skin as time goes on, and could probably even handle the return of school chums with longer memories than mine.

    I'm just raising the question for discussion, since it seems there are many lurkers out there who are not quite as comfortable participating. And some posters who've felt sidelined, or worse. One person's cosy café is another's in-crowd...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    How do you define feminist and who gets to do that...

    There's the old Rebecca West formula... "I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat."

    Problem is, some versions of the quote continue "...or a prostitute." Which is not very feminist, by some lights.

    Suddenly thinks of new product for David H's catalogue: an actual Rebecca West doormat. Something like this perhaps -- but what does "feminist" spell upside down?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    ...but vaguely on-topic, I thought that PA bloggers were already picked specifically for their different perspectives, white male or not.

    And not putting too fine a point on it, bloggers that are willing to represent minority views (especially those who do so at the expense of other topics) are often pretty extreme. I already know where to find them, and will read with interest, in small doses. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm quite happy for the PA peeps to pick the right blogger for the job in their own good time.

    Well, I was going to blah on about how problems inherent in opening up a website to opinion seem to have been conflated with problems white-maleness, but I thought I'd probably end up in an argument I don't want to make. However, for all those that have railed about the white-maleness of PA, spare a thought for the occasional white male nutbar that has unwittingly stumbled into the forum, then been summarily driven out, bludgeoned by po-faced liberal formal-logic. Somebody, think of the nutbars!

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    Somebody, think of the nutbars!

    * DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying that I think feminists or asians or maoris are the same as nutbars. It was a whimsical reference to the fact that it's not only minorities that are uncomfortable on PA.

    * GOOD LORD: I'm more worried about getting angry backlash from this faintly-pro-white-male comment, than I have been about any other opinion I've ever written here.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Hey, excellent! The missing voices...I'm a feminist because I'm female
    (and yes, I recognise a non sequitur) but I am also
    *Kai Tahu ("Maori" also, but tribal definitely);
    *rural - ALL you other bluggers are citycitycity!
    *a makyr (poet/writer-who-lives-by-the-trade/storyteller)
    *& an artist (we seem a bit thin on the ground too - written about if our breath is music, kind of ignored if it is colours shapes or gardens),
    and not least,
    * a single,childless, taxpaying citizen who gets buggerall back from the social-political system (I've only been in hospital once in my life, for 2 days...my civil offence record is limited to speeding and WoF charges - 6, over the 45yr period I've held a licence- and I've never been before the court system for anything else.)
    And I am very sure, among the this populous site, there are many more eccentric-but-good-citizens who - may want to speak?
    Yes, I know, Public Address is really good with letting known or specialist folk speak but, maybe? - a Public Podium??

    All best to everyone - cheers nahaku noa Islander

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    * GOOD LORD: I'm more worried about getting angry backlash from this faintly-pro-white-male comment, than I have been about any other opinion I've ever written here.

    I was going to reply to this with a hugely sarcastic comment about wimmin's space being a No Backlash Place, but again, terrified of the possible response.

    But *braces* I agree with Heather. I love reading DH's Energy series, because I did history from a social/literature viewpoint, and he's looking at the same things from an entirely different viewpoint, and I'm such a huge freaking nerd that's the kind of thing makes my day.

    My life is probably a little heavy in the 'educated middle-class nerdy computer programmer' viewpoint these days, whereas I grew up in a bogan sort of environment. Both heavy with white men, but I doubt the two groups could find any common ground.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Somebody, think of the nutbars!

    Speaking as someone who's car numberplate says 'nutbar' - Thanks!

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    ...AND ANOTHER THING... that PA system has evolved into a generally lively-but-moderate forum is an impressive feat that can't be overstated. The fact that PA bloggers are still now actively seeking to encourage diversity - to make the site Better - is laudable.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Speaking as someone who's car numberplate says 'nutbar' - Thanks!

    People hold their following distance, don't they?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I'm thinking of the nutbars... mmm, peanut slabs...

    Kia ora Islander, feminist because female. I do find it hard to imagine how anyone could live and breathe as a woman and not have that as part of their identity. And it seems to me the ground covered by feminism has enlarged and become more subtle, thus making it harder to define and yet easier to be. Does that make sense?

    And yes to the guest posts. We don't use Speaker as much as we used to, or as much as we could.

    So maybe the common ground here is that we are all huge freaking nerds and eccentric but good citizens? Regardless of our gender, ethnicity, sexuality, urban/rural status, place of employment, childhood background, etc etc?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I have to say, too, PA System may be the politest forum I've encountered in 14 years of driving on the internet... as an exercise in civil society it's doing nicely. Of course, Tze Ming's point still stands, that it's perhaps too civil in some ways and unsocial in others...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I'm not keen on representation for the sake of representation, but I do think it would be good to see more women writing here.

    Here's more or less where I end up on this issue, quoted from something I wrote on my own blog a couple of days ago.

    I think that Public Address System suffers simply because women are not well represented there. The lack of representation from women continues in the comments - women are simply not there to nearly the same extent that men are. And I think that without women writing posts, more and more women will feel that PAS is not a place for them. They don’t need to be feminist posts per se, at all, nor posts deliberately couched as a woman’s perspective. I would find that incredibly patronising, and yeechy - back to the 1950s with women’s pages in the newspaper comprised of recipes, knitting patterns, and housekeeping tips.

    Russell has said, in comments at my place, that he has a non-male, non-white, non-middle aged writer lined up. I'm looking forward to seeing who it is, and to reading their work.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    And it seems to me the ground covered by feminism has enlarged and become more subtle, thus making it harder to define and yet easier to be. Does that make sense?

    Yes.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Kia ora Jolissa - makes excellent sense, as does the common ground of being (possibly in the main, in the majority on this site) "huge freaking nerds and eccentric but good citizens()Reguardless..."

    PA is a nice place to be in (with raw edges) and a good place to linger/lurk in (and want to fling some controversey about in, sometimes) - I was going to acknowledge our cousins Pan troglydytes there but thought better of it!

    I find it bracing/stimulating/wonder-full that feminism is now -as it always - fraught/covert/underground over recent millenima tho' it has been- IS -part of female. I obviously dont exclude or reject or ignore or hate the male, the neuter, the other. Feminism is - encompassing.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    They don’t need to be feminist posts per se, at all, nor posts deliberately couched as a woman’s perspective.

    That's a weird one. The main reason I feel comfortable with PA is because my character already intersects quite considerably with the (predominantly white male) character/opinion base. I wouldn't see the point of getting a woman blogger whose opinions already blend into the PA terrain, over, say, getting another white male with a very different perspective, except for tokenism.

    Unless you mean that being female necessarily informs one's opinions, and the manner in which one expresses them?

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    (Replace that opening comment with "hmmm, that's a difficult one")

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Unless you mean that being female necessarily informs one's opinions, and the manner in which one expresses them?

    I have a discussion about the politics of presence here on my blog. It's quite pertinent to this discussion, but I don't want to just repost the whole thing here - it's way too long for a comment.

    If you come over to my place to take a look at it, could you do the decent thing and click back here so that I'm not dragging traffic away from PAS? That would be kind of unfair to mine host here.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    @Heather, "Weird" is just fine with me!

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • NoFace,

    Why don't they do what they normally do- find someone who is interesting and even better has already submitted a blog, post it as a guest...see if they stay interesting and if they do keep them on...

    no quota necessary thanks Public Media etc...u doin finewithout it

    Since Dec 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    I have a discussion about the politics of presence here on my blog.

    Aah, thanks for that. Just the phrase "politics of presence" clarifies everything nicely.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    no quota necessary

    Ah, but look what it did for NZ Music!

    You're right, it is all about finding someone interesting. And yet for better or worse, even the most conscientious publications are at least three times as likely to "find" someone who is male. See here for some figures for the US (and here and here and here). I'd be fascinated to see somebody do the numbers for NZ... looking for a media studies thesis topic anyone?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

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