AWE Journal – Fostering Feminism

Linda Oakley

Redress takes stock of some feminist issues this time, beginning with a glimpse—filtered by Professor Chilla Bulbeck of the Universities of Adelaide and Western Australia—into how some young women view the relevance of feminism to their lives. Not necessarily an encouraging picture to a feminist of my generation!

We segue into other lands, first meeting 16-year old Manasi Nene from India, trying to match her feminist inclinations with the reality of her life, and with one situation in particular which will resonate with anyone who has had to confront gender-based power relations.

We then move to Fiji, where Shazia Usman offers four deconstructions of gender stereotypes in familiar fairy tales, written by girls aged between 10 and 12 years old. I found the girls’ alternative fairy tales particularly interesting, as it is an approach I have taken many times in my classroom teaching career to try to raise awareness of the role our mythology plays in establishing our gender identity. Interesting also that the girls were using European fairy tales and not stories from their own culture. We can conjecture the reason—but it may not be that there are no gender stereotypes in Fijian stories!

Linda Raftree, a Senior ICT Advisor from the USA discusses issues around girls’ access to computers and other technologies in less developed countries such as parts of Africa and India.

Finally, Karla Cameron, who counsels people in Brisbane about eating disorders, makes connections between eating issues and the ability (or lack thereof) to communicate levels of stress and tension.