The Culture

The Spirit Of Artemis: Loudy Tourky And Melissa Wu

I've been writing recently about women caught in Aphrodite's illusion of beauty and sex. Time to add some different images, women and girls who capture the essence of Artemis. So let me introduce you to two Australian divers: Loudy Tourky (Wiggins) and Melissa Wu.

The Anthropology Of Sex: The Trobriand Islands

In a run-of-the-mill panic piece in the Herald Sun (Thurs, 30/10) Dr Joe Tucci, CEO of The Australian Childhood Foundation claims that they are dealing with an increase in children engaging in 'inappropriate' sexual behaviour. I do not doubt this, but I do wonder how much the increase is due to the moral panic over the sexualization of children and an increase in reporting. When I was growing up we experimented and dared each other to transgress various taboos. I clearly recall a group of girls and boys daring each other to pee in front of the group. It was [...]

The Anthropology Of Sex: The Muria Of India

One of the most damaging consequences of the dominance of Judeo-Christian moral beliefs is the censorship over the publication of ethnographic material. Early explorers and anthropologists often self-censored, fearing condemnation from their peers and the public. In many cases anthropologists were either too embarrassed to ask questions about sexual practices, or simply did not report what they discovered. There are too many examples of anthropologists speaking in guarded language or simply excusing an absence of detail with 'modesty forbids me...' Fortunately some pioneers valued the truth over propriety and reported what they found. I hope to bring you the detail [...]

Leni Riefenstahl: Africa

In my novel Wild Child, the Kommune of Phreaks gets a new bass player, a Sudanese refugee from England named Ageer. Her adoptive father is an anthropologist who works with the Nuba and Dinka. He encourages Ageer to live a traditional life when she stays with him in Africa. The inspiration for Ageer comes from the photography of Leni Riefenstahl.