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The many faces of feminism: Interview with Emily Maguire

emilymaguireMore people are starting to call themselves and others ‘feminists’, but is this appropriate or an appropriation? And what use is widespread feminism when there’s still a giant wage gap between men and women? These are some of the topics up for debate at ‘The Feminist Supremacy?’, a discussion panel at Sydney Writers’ Festival this week. Erin Stewart talks to panellist, writer and author Emily Maguire about what feminism is, whether it’s in a resurgence, its accessibility as a movement, and what still needs to happen.

Is fat still a feminist issue?

FatfeministFeminist explanations for the development and maintenance of eating and body image problems and therapeutic approaches to treatment, have been largely discarded in favour of biological determinism and the medicalisation of mental health. But with more people suffering from body image dissatisfaction and the effects of disordered eating behaviours than at any other time in history, it’s time to revisit what second-wave feminists had to say about weight discrimination, writes Dr Naomi Crafti.

The healing power of sex work

healingsexworkPut aside your stereotypes about the sex industry and consider that many people, of all sexes and genders, can find the work empowering and healing. Wrenna Robertson is one such person, having worked for 18 years as a stripper. In this piece she talks about her own experiences as well as those of others, including escorts, porn actors, tantric practitioners and erotic masseurs.

Feminism must stop ignoring animals

eweThe goal of feminism is to dismantle the hierarchical system that values certain groups over others: men over women, whites over blacks, straights over gays and so on. This false hierarchy permits the exploitation of those at the bottom by the powerful at the top. But mainstream feminism is failing to include non-human animals in the equation – and this needs to change, writes Ruby Hamad.

PETA: Sexy or sexist?

petaboyfriendLong accused of objectifying women in the name of animal rights activism, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ latest ad campaign has raised the ire of many feminists who have accused it of making violence against women ‘sexy’. If PETA insist on clinging to the old edict "sex sells", they desperately need to revise exactly what kind of "sex" they are willing promote, argues Rebecca Cleaver.

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