Extreme Woke Leftie continued

I had such a fun, awesome, just cool as session at the Marlborough Books Fest and we ran out of time after only a few audience questions to ask more audience questions. And I’ve had quite a few messages and emails today so I thought I’d answer them here too!

This where you buy a magic wand. Fun fact Hitachi no longer makes them. They were never designed to be sex toys and Hitachi I dunno I guess felt weird about them not being used for the intended purpose as a massager so they stopped making them. But I believe out of the goodness of their heart they made the patent available and it’s now sold in lots of places and I’ve linked to the Love Honey brand because they’re great. Be aware it’s as loud as a freight train and it plugs into the wall and it’s enormous.

Personally though, whether it’s your first toy or your 1000th I’d recommend the Satisfyer Pro 2.0. Which I bought from The Adult Toy Mega Store and they’re a great business too. This one is small and amazing and perfect and just the best.

Ok next up – This is Betty Dodson. What a woman!

Her website is amazing!!  Heaps of amazing resources. Back in the late 60s Betty Dodson held classes and demos and stuff with magic wands. From wiki: She recommended women put a small towel over their sex organs in order to dull the sensation of the vibrator and prolong the pleasurable experience. Her technique became known as the Betty Dodson Method.Her sessions were known as Bodysex workshops and featured 15 naked women in supine position, each using a Magic Wand simultaneously to aid in masturbation. She provided a Magic Wand to each woman for these two-hour masturbation sessions.

Right?!? So go forth Blenheim!!!!

I also talked about consciousness raising groups which were popular in the late 60s as well and how we should bring those back. I’ve been asked what they are and how I was introduced to them. Well, I read Our Bodies, Ourselves and Our Families, Ourselves by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. I was super obsessed with the BWHBC and I still am really. Anyway, the book talks about women coming together and talking about their struggle, because your struggle might be different to another’s but they often fall collectively under one stream of struggle. This is kind of the part of second-wave feminism that can be taken to intersectional feminism which is the obvious next step. Here is my struggle, yours is different, we are not all free until all of us are free, and that involves understanding where our intersections of struggle lie. Race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, health, education, ability and lots of other things intersect and grant us levels of privilege which create a different level of opportunities or challenges, discrimination and oppression. The wiki page on consciousness raising is great. For an introduction to intersectional feminism watch this.

I had a great question about “feeling uneducated” and how to combat feelings of being “not smart enough” to become involved in activism. I have a very limited education, I did not get my bursary at high school and went to university only for a diploma. I don’t have a degree and I’m largely uneducated. I also have learning disabilities – dyspraxia and dyscalculia. I spent a lot of my life thinking I was stupid. A healthy activism recognises we are all working at different levels of understanding and is not ableist in that. It recognises class (I worked in the service industry until I became a writer and feel keenly the class struggle in terms of education access and the classist idea that university is a sign of success in a way that an apprenticeship isn’t. Pip also talked about this with hairdressing, I worked in food service and felt I learned a great deal.) We must unpack education and think about the ways we learn. Activism is always about learning. You should never be “done”.

Finally, I wanted to click to Clementine Ford – the book I recommended was Boys will be Boys. It really is intense to read but so important. I also recommend following her on Facebook – she is amazing. I also recommend Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks. There are books on every aspect of feminism- You can basically start in any area of interest. I really enjoyed Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay but following her Facebook page and reading her pieces there is also so great. This is an abridged intro to Bad Feminist.

Also a must urgently read is Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Sonya Renee Taylor’s The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love. 

There are just so many books I’ll try to do a proper list one day. And people who are just do amazing work but books aren’t their medium too! Facebook is an evil empire but it also has a lot of great mahi going on that you can join in with. Like, Millions of Mothers for climate action, and Extinction Rebellion (they also have a website but I follow them through FB). You should definitely join the Dear David Clark campaign supporting midwives. There’s an I Back The Teachers group for supporting education in NZ.

There are also great resources at places like Gender Minorities Aotearoa, Rainbow Youth, and Family Planning. All three groups need donations. You can be a member of Family Planning to support them.

Finally, lots of you asked what my tattoos say/mean. “Mightier” on my right hand is something I look at when I write. The pen is mightier than the sword, it reminds me my words have power so act accordingly. Unless is from The Lorax, my son’s favourite book, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

I have Resist on one arm and Persist on the other. My tattoo that says Solidarity is based on an old union poster. It’s based on a song I love, a union song called Bread and Roses.

As we come marching, marching, we battle too, for men, 
For they are in the struggle and together we shall win. 
Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes, 
Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread, but give us roses.

As we come marching, marching, un-numbered women dead 
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread, 
Small art and love and beauty their trudging spirits knew 
Yes, it is bread we. fight for, but we fight for roses, too.

My honey pot is based on a poem I like, the lemon is from Beyonce’s Lemonade album and it’s matching with two friends, I have a scene from my window on one album and the last page of Where The Wild Things Are because I like the symbolism of letting children feel anger but always providing a safe home for them to take refuge in (and the supper was still hot). I have daphne for my late Aunty Daphne and the Roses on my shoulder mean nothing, I was just bored. Also the large nurse on my leg also means nothing, I was just a big fan of Capilli Tupou and it was on his wall and I went awww wow I want that on me to look at forever.

So…I think that’s it. If you have any other questions you can email me at emilywritesnz at gmail.com thanks to everyone who came to the session!! It was so fun and great, you’re all just so cool. X