Making some changes

Two things. Firstly, we’re going to be limiting the carnival to two posts per blogger from now on (three if the host really really wants to!). The host may or may not decide to include a highlighted/new voices section if they wish. Hopefully this will make DUFC easier to absorb, and also will help bring attention to voices who are not heard as much as the more established or prolific ones! Thanks to everyone who had input on this. Remind me to stick this on the guidelines.

Secondly, we’re taking another look at the logo. A cis Downunderfemblogger, whose permission to be named I’ve not asked, suggested that we consider changing the female symbol aspect of the carnival logo to make it more inclusive to trans people. Now, this was not to say that trans women aren’t included by the category of female because they were assigned otherwise at birth, but rather to say that this symbol, or the thinking around it, has been used in feminist spaces that unthinkingly or purposefully exclude trans women. Obviously, everyone who has their hand in DUFC, trans or cis, tries to make it a positive space for trans people, but, as this blogger pointed out, perhaps using this symbol isn’t as actively welcoming or inclusive as would be ideal. I took this further and said that the symbol tends to have connotations of “woman” more than anyone else, even maybe more than “feminist,” which doesn’t take into account the people of other genders, binary or no, trans or cis, we’ve had contribute to and read the carnival.

Anyway, what do you reckon? By using the symbol in an event that does strive to incorporate the writing and sensibilities of trans women, are we changing the kind of power it has? Does this symbol have connotations more of woman/female to you than feminist, and therefore should we change it? If so, what should we change it to? Also, this logo has been around longer than I’ve been a blogger, so I’m not sure of the history and conversations that might have gone into its creation. Am I missing out on prior conversations here? Most importantly, the person who brought this up and I are both cis women, and I don’t want to simply change it and speak over the feelings of inclusiveness or otherwise felt by trans women in particular and trans people and people who aren’t of binary gender in general.

So, input, please.


About Chally

Feminist and writer extraordinaire.
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16 Responses to Making some changes

  1. Mary says:

    Just to be totally clear, how does that work for group blogs? I assume it’s 2 links per HAT blogger, for example, not 2 links to HAT total?

  2. Queen Emily says:

    I don’t like the trans symbol as a way of representing myself – I’m not both sexes at once – so yes I’m quite happy for the logo to remain as is.

  3. Queen Emily says:

    To follow up further, the question of inclusion for me is less of the symbolic than material procedures: not merely are trans women included as a matter of course, but are our words given weight as perspectives on womanhood qua womanhood, rather than being some almost-but-not-quite imitation? Are our posts, blogs, etc *only* filed as LGBT? Are we merely marginal?

  4. tigtog says:

    re the logo – Lauredhel and I came up with in a single brainstorming session pretty much, so I don’t think either of us is especially attached to it, although it was her vision and my execution, so best to ask L.

  5. tigtog says:

    p.s. I like the limiting links idea – the idea is to highlight as many voices as possible after all, not just the same voices all the time.

  6. tigtog says:

    p.p.s. on reflection, I don’t know how much brainstorming with others Lauredhel had done before she brought the idea to me.

  7. I like Queen Emily’s point about how women who may also be trans (or otherwise genderqueer) are treated as being part of the overall DUFC conversation and not marginalised under headings OF GLBTIQA(and any other letters I missed unintentionally). My experience of reading the carnival (as a queer cis white person) is that articles relating specifically to queer issues are marked but that authors are not segregated.

    I have no issues with, nor attachment too the symbol.

    I will say that I don’t think that the simple *use* of the symbol in this case actively creates a space of reclaiming or commentary on the way the symbol has in other spaces been used to exclude trans people.

    I agree that it may not be as actively welcoming or inviting to those who either don’t identify with the symbol, or don’t identify as women but whom are actively contributing to the space of the DUFC.

    Also, I guess it depends on whether the symbol is intended to represent the feminist bloggers themselves contributing to the carnival, or, whether it refers to feminism as the meta subject with which the carnival concerns itself.

    (Possibly I am overthinking this!)

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  9. lauredhel says:

    The new post reminded me that I’d meant to comment here!

    I’m not wedded to the logo, and would be fine about it changing if the community decided it should (though as Chally says, that doesn’t seem to be the overall vibe so far). I can’t remember if it was just me or Tigtog and me who originally conceived it, but I do vaguely remember the thought process: to use a readily recognisable feminist symbol, and tweak it with a readily recognisable symbol common to both NZ & Australia.

    Not many choices fit this brief, as you might imagine! The fist-in-a-circle-w/-cross symbol is everywhere, and I doubt many feminists wouldn’t recognise it at a glance. The only other feminist symbol that seemed to be floating around was the labrys, and obviously that was out, being a symbol of TERF-feminists and not inclusive at all. I love the Southern Cross, and it was the obvious choice at the time for a recognisable NZ/Aus symbol. The colour was just because we didn’t want to go for something like pink (too obvious? Too hard to explain the reclamation each time? I don’t know), and I like teal.

    After the idea was sorted, Tigtog then put in the hard yards tweaking the look: presenting the Southern Cross in a way that attempts to not give the impression that it was about Australian anti-immigration racism (BAH to those that have appropriated this lovely constellation!), and then the shape of the symbol to look like a person talking, holding forth, leaning forward slightly, gesturing slightly. And the whole thing to look a little shiny. And, to me, it also gives a slight impression of a person with “stars in her eyes” – looking, in her mind and dreams, at a different world, a more ideal world, a world changed for the better.

    And there it is!

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