There is a lot of bullshit in this world. Maths was never my strong point, so I’m not exactly sure how to quantify it, but I’d estimate that the percentage of c-r-a-p is a lot higher than the percentage of omg-yes-tell-it-sister.
Thankfully, in amongst the tabloid headlines, condescending cautionary tales and holier-than-thou think pieces, there is a group of no filter goddesses ready and equipped to kick the false and the problematic to the curb.
Behold: five badasses to read whenever you need a dose of realness.
Australian newspaper columnist and deliverer of epic twitter shutdowns, Clementine Ford is also known as the awesome woman who branded herself with “hey #Sunrise, get fucked” when the Australian morning television show asked, “what is it going to take for women to get the message about taking and sending nude photos?”
The woman speaks the truth. For example, on Sunrise’s (there’s a theme emerging here) debate on whether feminism has turned Australian men into ‘second-class citizens’: “Look, the whole thing was a farce from beginning to end for obvious reasons, not least of which being that the initial premise is incomprehensibly ridiculous. Organising a 'debate' to discuss whether or not feminism has destroyed men's lives is relatively hilarious given the demonstrable gender inequality that still sees women discriminated against in the workplace, the home, the judicial system and in broader society.”
2. Delaney Mes
Closer to home, we have Delaney Mes. A freelance food, drinks and travel writer from New Zealand, Mes also serves up tasty morsels of non-food-related truth.
To illustrate – on Tony Veitch’s column: “Hold on a minute mate, I’m confused. You live with it everywhere? You? Or your victim, and all victims of domestic violence, who see your giant face promoted on billboards, and their Facebook friends liking your shit, who are constantly reminded that our country essentially supports violent offenders. It’s not you who has to live with it everyday. It’s them.”
3. Alison Mau
She’s originally Australian, but we’ll claim her. A regular on our TV screens and our radio waves, Ali Mau wields words like a knife, demolishing injustice and telling it as it is.
Case in point – her dismantling of the circus that was #PonytailGate: “Amanda Bailey might well be a very political young person (oh look, a woman with opinions!) But this is not a political issue. Among the claim and counter claim, let’s not lose sight of the issue at the heart of #PonytailGate: imbalance and abuse of power. Look at the list of people now involved:
- The Prime Minister, by definition the most powerful man in the country
- A major national newspaper, its editor, and gossip/PR hack with legendary (if regrettable) powers of persuasion
- The owners of a multi-million dollar group of businesses; (the employer)
- A 26-year-old woman working as a waitperson in the above owners’ café.”
A musician, writer and activist with a fierce intellect, kind heart… and a law degree, Moana Maniapoto can be found online at e-tangata. Her writing is regularly on point, always needed and often enlightening.
But don’t take my word for it, take hers – on privilege and racism: “Many Pākehā understand that their sons and daughters are less likely to be picked up by the cops, go to court, drop out of school, rob a bank, get sick, be unemployed, end up homeless and commit suicide. Those who understand why are agents of change in their circles of influence. Pākehā who don’t “get it” fail to understand that the dice is loaded in their favour — that their place in the game is a given. They make assumptions that lead to victim blaming. Their inability and unwillingness to understand is part of the problem.”
5. Lindy West
From Jezebel to #ShoutYourAbortion to her new book Shrill, Lindy West has been doing feministy ass-kicking for a long time.
Need an example? Try this, on the lack of childhood role models who are fat: “A lot of fat women are like, “Yeah, Miss Piggy’s my idol!” and then I started thinking about Miss Piggy and how she actually made me feel as a child, and she made me feel really uncomfortable because she’s really sexually aggressive in a way that violates Kermie’s boundaries…and, I mean, and that taught me things about myself, like what my options were, you know, when I became an adult. Like, okay, well, you can be a scary witch, or a sexless grandmother or, like, a weird pig/rapist.”