Hello! How is it we are at the end of March already!
So for GAZELLA Loves this month, we are starting with a little diatribe about IWD. Followed by some things from D’s love list for March 2022.
Thank you to everyone that came to our first event for 2022. It was a blast to see everyone’s faces IRL again. As well as an opportunity to meet some new faces! We can’t wait until our next get together, to celebrate our birthday…having missed our milestone 5th birthday through COVID. Watch out for our Gazella Newsletter, straight to your inbox monthly, for events, interviews, and of course bookclub! If you haven’t subscribed – you can do so on our homepage.
We promise we won’t bombard you with emails…but they give you a first look at what we are up to!
– J, N, R & D
I polled IG the other day on whether IWD filled people with “Hope” or “Rage”. The response was overwhelming that it fills people with ‘Rage’. I think the reasons are twofold. Firstly it reminds us of how tokenistic our organisations are toward real dialogue about gender inequity. And secondly for how much the day highlights the biases that exist within our everyday existence…
For example, I offered to send out a team email on IWD to advise everyone to meet in the kitchen at 2pm, as the site managers and some of the site supervisors had kindly organised a cake for all the women. They were all like, ‘No Danielle you don’t have to do that today, it’s IWD’…to which I reminded them I always have to do it as the non-elected-just-always-fall-into-it-social-event-organiser for the site, always wondering why I’m taking on the mental load of such things. One of my site managers turned around and said that ‘Men just don’t have the mental capacity’…I mean, if you’re a site manager and you can look after the safety and livelihood of a multi-million dollar job site. If men can wage war. If men can dominate the seats of power, etc. etc…you can organise a time and a place for a team get together?
On Friday night I spoke candidly with some of my team, about IWD breakfast. One of my collegues thought that the corporate IWD events were good, but he also thought that it’s pretty bad that we sit in the room, we clap, we hear the call to arms and we walk out and forget about it. He is right. But what is he doing about it? What are all these men doing about it? I’m tired. Exhausted even.
I spoke so many about the UN’s IWD theme. People’s response was often ‘Oh, send me the link I’d like to read it… I thought the theme was #breakthebias?’ I mean if we are not generally suspicious of any slogan with a hashtag, then we should be. Not discounting great movements like #metoo…but if #breakthebias doesn’t sound like corporate marketing…then I must be going mad. Mate you have Google. Google the UN website.
The UN’s statement :
“Changing Climates: Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”
I think that the industry has ignored a whole conversation that for the construction industry this year, could have centred around how the construction industry can help to tackle climate change and climate resilience for the future of all people, but especially the most vulnerable – women and children. It could have highlighted the work that women are doing with industry and government and the women who are working in the climate resilience space. Not to mention how important it is that an equitable future is addressed in the now, to avoid women bearing the brunt of climate catastrophe.
On that note we’d love any recommendations of women that you love, working in this space, to highlight them and their work on Gazella. Hit us up!
I don’t have the answers for how we can do this better. All I know is that I looked around the room at our breakfast – colleagues, friends and a new generation of women that I have the pleasure of working with and being inspired by…and I just know we have to do better. Even though I’m tired, we need to keep agitating. Every word, every opportunity. To highlight that we haven’t got it right yet.
WATCH | Brand New Cherry Flavor | DS
Stumbled across this with my husband a couple weeks ago. Yes yes yes to nineties occult vibes and Catherine Keener’s one liners. A new limited series running on Netflix, created by Nick Antosca and Lenore Zion, based on the novel by Todd Grimson. It’s Mulholland Drive meets American Horror Story: Coven (Rosa Salazar who plays the lead character Lisa Nova actually had her breakthrough in American Horror Story: Murder House). With all those fanatic eyes, killer dark lipstick and enough crucifix earrings to make Fairuza Balk’s frenetic Nancy Downes weep. Enough horror and fantasy to make it fascinating. But also enough hard reality with the Weinstein plotline playing out, to keep it grounded.
Verdict: 10/10 light as a feather, stiff as a board.
LISTEN | Maintenance Phase | DS
I have listened to every episode of this podcast, recommended by my sister, and I now eagerly await the next episode fortnightly. Hosts Michael Hobbes and Aubrey Gordon are a great partnership – funny and insightful. They address fad diets, the wellness industry, influencers and celebrity weight-loss craziness. Debunking with science and decoding the inherent biases that exist in weight-loss dialogue. I adore how they really make all these diets sound completely bonkers…Just enough science fact to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Verdict: 10/10 wellness influencers don’t recommend. Great food for thought.
WATCH | The Lost Daughter | DS
When do we ever get to see women in their late forties star in their own stories? Olivia Coleman is amazing in this movie. We have a novel by Elena Ferrante, the directorial debut of Maggie Gyllenhall. And Olivia as Leda Caruso Wow.
I got Hot Milk vibes from the story line – a women finding herself on the coast in Europe. The baking sun is like a harbinger for the introspection that you will likely need to do as the audience and a contrast to the ominous undertones to come. But instead of some great abuse or tragedy that you think must have befallen this woman – Leda, we discover, as The Guardian wrote “…the molten core of The Lost Daughter is one of our culture’s most enduring and least touchable taboos: the selfish, uncaring, “unnatural” mother – one who doesn’t shift easily to care-taking, who does not relish her role, who not only begrudges but resents her children.”
Whilst the movie is artsy and slow – very much a story that watches like a novel, the characters are fleshed out and exciting. Nina played by Dakota Johnson is luminous – an image of young Leda personified.
Grab a glass of wine and enjoy.
Verdict: Like an excellent glass of vino rosso.
GET INTO | Joans of Marc | DS, RL
Started by winemaker Alysha Moscatt and her partner Lucy Kendall after seeing how underrepresented women were at wine events and other public wine forums, despite participation rates of about a third of the industry. They run the Allevare label in West Gippsland, a growing wine region being shaped by young people, like themselves.
Joans of Marc release a half dozen box featuring under-represented groups in the wine industry, with bottles hand-picked by a member of that group accompanied by postcards containing information on the makers. Their most recent for IWD featured 3 sparkling wines made by women, curated by Sarah Andrew – Natalie Fryar – Bellebone-Bis NV Rose (Tasmania), Kate Laurie – Deviation Road 2018 Blanc de Noirs (Adelaide Hills) and Fran Austin – Delamere NV Sparkling Cuvee (Tasmania). With some of the proceeds being donated to ‘Share the Dignity’ working with women and girls fleeing domestic violence, dealing with homelessness, period poverty, or just doing it tough.
Verdict: Wine. Women. What’s not to love?
LISTEN | Normal Gossip | DS
Super popular at the moment, but if you haven’t listened yet – I’m obsessed. A podcast with a super fun graphic thumbnail (I’m a sucker for a good graphic), that is about…well gossip. The show is hosted by Kelsey McKinney and has a guest each week. I have really enjoyed this because not only doing you get some raging gossip, they also speak about perceptions of gossip and it’s links to classism, sexism and race. Highly recommend this for a long walk or a drive when you are by yourself and want to feel like you’re chatting with a friend.
Verdict: Like sitting with a mate who has juicy goss and wanting…no needing…all the dets!
READ | My Body, by Emily Ratajkowski | DS
Content warning for the following re: sexual assault.
Maybe I’ve been living under a rock but other than maybe coming across her name in reference to stuff, I couldn’t have told you who @emrata was before I read this book. I’m just not into people who are famous just for being famous.
It starts with an attempt to position herself in the feminist narrative – the I-was-a-feminist-before-it-was-cool and that her dancing in ‘Blurred Lines’ was part of her political standpoint…I’m not sure I buy that? Nor do I think it is outrageous or controlling for people to have a critical view on her choices, when really I think they were questioning her motivations not her choices? But she talks about growth and the complications of understanding feminism, which I can respect. We don’t always get it right. Our views grow and shape an ever changing world view and acknowledging that is important.
There is a clear, undeniable statement she makes about her privilege that is strong: “Whatever influence and status I’ve gained were only granted to me because I appealed to men.” It takes courage and understanding to acknowledge that and it’s a statement that permeates the book. However, the best bits of the book are the bits about why she does what she does and why she is what she is; “I made these adjustments to my behavior and attitude and body with one objective in mind: money.” I mean that’s feminist. And that’s real.
Her talk about the commodification of her body and image and selling it to the world is powerful. How she deals with the patriarchy – shitty male photographers, poor payment, being thin, the camaraderie of her fellow women, the unwanted touching. I fucking love her revenge on Robin Thicke…tell your story girl! (also ‘Blurred Lines’ is literally the worst song in human history). It’s poignant that she retaliated here in her book, not at the time, but as she states “With that one gesture, Robin Thicke had reminded everyone on set that we women weren’t actually in charge. I didn’t have any real power as the naked girl dancing around in his music video. I was nothing more than the hired mannequin.” And “it had never occurred to me that the women who gained their power from beauty were indebted to the men whose desire granted them that power in the first place. Those men were the ones in control, not the women the world fawned over.”
Talking about her own experience of sexual assault is strong. Like so many, you can see how she doesn’t want to see it for what it is… How many other girls go around convincing themselves it wasn’t rape? Did they not firmly say “no” and therefore it “doesn’t count”. When will the onus shift from women having to say “no” to men actively seeking a positive and enthusiastic “yes”.
I can sympathize with her when she writes “Men like mystery, stop showing your body and maybe someone will start listening to you.” I had a boss once who told me to put my Instagram on private. Because women with, you know, female bodies, can’t be taken seriously, or professionally with their bodies evident. She talks about the structural issues of the system – money/sex/power. Whatever power women glean, it still exists in the system. Our bodies still exist only in the patriarchy. Our power is bestowed. Not owned.
“The world celebrates and rewards women who are chosen by powerful men.”
The stealing of her image is another great read. In this age of media. Trillions of images. Everything is image. Owning your own is tenuous. I think her experience with Jonathon is a warning for many young women and men – trading exposure for your own image is a classic patriarchal issue – where artists are cheap and at the behest of those with money and power (generally white men). It’s a tale as old as time. I like her view that he will eventually run out of what he stole from her. A finite resource that he has pillaged…as white male capitalism has everywhere. It’s like time will give her back what she is owed. Her own image.
Verdict: Would read again.