Friday, November 13, 2009
Jump under the cut! I unfortunately can't find anything on the internet about this, and I've been searching everywhere.
I *think* it was the WA Police Commissioner, but I couldn't be sure. He called a Greens MP (a woman):
- A two-bit politician.
- Said "She had another think coming" if she thought they weren't going to pursue every legal avenue they could.
What did she say? Only the truth. That new Police powers being pushed through Parlaiment by Colin Barnett have the possibility of creating situations where people are singled out for searching because of their skin colour. You know, racial profiling.
He was clearly bullying her and swinging his dick around on air. It was hideous, horrible, and a clear indication of the kind of world we live in. Men allowed to bully professional women on air, to belittle them and minimise their opinions and their work. She is an elected official, she deserves some respect.
He didn't have to use the abusive language he did. All he had to do was refute her and say that they were going to do everything in their power to make sure it didn't happen. I wouldn't believe a fucking word he said, but there IS a way to defend himself without attacking her. This didn't happen.
This isn't good enough. I don't even know where to start, or what to say or do about this. It's fucking shocking.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Jump under the cut! Dear Feministing,
I like you, Jessica, Samhita, Jos, Courtney, et al. You're making an effort. You've made a difference in the fact that you are so visible and notable in the blogosphere (I hate that word). You have made inroads into Meatspace, getting on talk shows, being the go-to girls about our wave of Feminism. And you got there cause you said good things, and because people visit your blog and community.
Now is not the time to sit on your laurels, or to be content. There is a world of battles out there, and Feminism is involved with a truckload of them. If you're gonna wave that banner, you have to step up to the plate and accept the responsibility of being a better person. Isn't that the point of Feminism? To get true equality? What's true equality if the trans-folk, the disabled, the old, the WOC are all silenced, because their problems aren't YOUR problems?
These women are our sisters. They want to fight with us, they want to make the world a better place too. Don't we need every person we can get in this effort?
You're at least engaging with disabled women on this issue. That's a promising sign. But this needs to be the beginning. You need to strengthen your mod team. You need to call your commenters on their bullshit (Marc and Gopher in particular). You need to encourage a culture of acceptance and recognising one's own privilege. To be the best feminist space you can be, you must also be a safe space. The words "I don't like your tone" or "How am I supposed to know?" should NEVER be uttered there.
I think it's time to be the feminists you want to be. If you don't make the change now, when the feminist blog-space is shouting for change, then I will have no choice but to cease visiting your website.
Jump under the cut! Well, it's like this, you see. At the beginning of this post you might notice the text that says "Jump under the cut". Well, I can't fucking get rid of it. And it's been putting me off big time.
That and I can't get BlogJet to work anymore. I hate struggling with online software, I really do. I haven't abandoned this, but having limited spoons, it might take me some time to rectify things.
I'll continue posting, but forgive me for the weird links at the beginning of my posts. I'm very upset about it. It's shitting me big time.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Jump under the cut! I don't often say that. But today, I say it.
There's an ad for Four Corners and online crime (hacking, etc). There's a soundbite from a guy being interviewed: "It's like being raped."
No. I'm sorry, no. As my little bro said, "You can unplug your computer from the wall."
I don't doubt having your business's files rifled through or your money stolen is a horrible experience. But it is NOT equal to personal violence on such an intimate and soul-destroying level. I am going to complain to ABC but I don't know where to start. I feel like sexual assault has been trivialised (it has).
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Jump under the cut! I've seen a large number of counsellors and psychologists/psychiatrists since I was assaulted. There's a sort of grim humour in the stuff I hear. I have to laugh. I have to laugh at the fact that I know how to treat sexual assault victims better than people that have spent years in university ostensibly learning how to be mental health professionals. There are good ones out there, I just don't have the money to see them. Anyway, point being - sometimes, we assault victims talk about our experiences. There are certain things we want to hear, and then there's a buttload of things we don't. Here's a few of them.
10. Why didn't you [shout/scream/call for help]? Okay. You know when you have a really scary dream, and everything slows down in that dream? It's like you can't run fast enough, you can't move quickly enough, before whatever you're terrified of gets you? Rape/Sexual Assault is JUST LIKE THAT. Except you CAN'T WAKE UP. You can't move. You can't say anything. I don't know why it's like that. I haven't had anyone counsel me about that part of my experience and it's something I sit up at night wondering about. Your average rape victim will also feel this way, more often than not. It's a trigger, and it lays the blame for their attack at their feet. So DON'T ASK THIS QUESTION.
9. Why didn't you hit him/run? This is 10's yucky cousin. Like 10, there is no answer. It's just the way it happens. Fear paralyses you. It's a survival response. Moving on.
8. Maybe you should take up a self-defense course? No. I would love to take up a self defense course, but that's more confidence and health related than anything. And remember what I said about fear being paralytic? Even black-belts get raped.
7. Don't ask what the person did before the rape. Not during the rape, not after the rape. The victim/survivor will talk about it if they need to.
6. Don't criticise. You'd think that one is straight forward, but I've been criticised by two mental health professionals. It happens.
5. Don't ask for proof/details. Even if you're doubtful, don't vocalise that to the victim/survivor. Also keep in mind that very, VERY few rape/assault accusations are false. If a person has gone to the trouble of making an accusation, they probably fucking well mean it. You don't make that decision lightly. I agonised over whether to share the truth of my assault. I didn't just make the accusation because I didn't like the guy. It's a serious situation that often reflects BADLY on the victim/survivor, so if they claim they've been hurt in this way, they probably have. You just feel like you're going mad if you can't announce the truth and throw off the blame.
4. Don't pressure them to go to the police/try to push a charge. The priority of a victim is to survive. Living from day to day after an assault is a struggle, a horrible thing I hope you never, ever have to understand (and my deepest love and sadness if you do). It is something the victim/survivor has to choose for themselves. There's a lot of emotional/psychological hurdles involved in going to the police. I myself didn't cause I knew I could never get my charge to stick. It would basically be he said/she said, and in this patriarchal society, he said has more credence than she said. Don't lay the guilt at their feet if their attacker hurts someone again. IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT. Yet the guilt and shame of "Letting the rapist get away with it" is very often laid at the previous victim's feet, sometimes unknowingly with such comments as, "But you have to stop him" or "What about the women he hurts in the future?"
3. Don't question their coping mechanisms. Sometimes victims/survivors do some seemingly odd things to cope with their newfound trauma. I liked watching lots of childish videos, colouring in pictures, and wearing covering clothes. Some lock all doors, or put a chair up against their bedroom door. Some never wear certain sorts of shoes again (so they can run better) or they might avoid certain kinds of movies or media. It might seem strange, but it's what they gotta do to get by. Support them.
2. Don't lament in this change in behaviour. Don't say, "Oh, but you used to be so full of life" or "You're not the person you used to be." I know I was paranoid and depressed that I had changed. I haven't changed, I am still the same person. I'm just a little scarred emotionally, that's all.
1. Don't make rape jokes. You'd think this would be straight forward. Once, I revealed that I had been assaulted to someone. Later in the conversation, they made a rape joke. I felt like vomiting right there at the table. I ran off into the restroom of the cafe and shat myself from the storm of adrenaline and anxiety that had rocketed through my body as a result. Rape jokes are RARELY OKAY. Grim gallows humour between survivors: Good. Every other rape joke in existence: BAD. BAD BAD BAD. DON'T DO IT. It's NOT EDGY. IT'S DOUCHY. DON'T DO IT!
This website will tell you good things to say if a friend has been hurt in this way.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Jump under the cut! And then you're a nearly-dead lobster.
Tonight, I saw a woman goal umpire while watching the football. It was like seeing a unicorn.
I pointed at the screen, pointed at the breasts and I said, "That's a woman! Was that a woman?!" I've watched football my entire life. Seeing a woman on that field, even just as an umpire?
I can't tell you what that meant to me. I can't tell you the joy and delight in my chest. It was BETTER than a unicorn! More liberating, more exciting, more invigorating. I have a new hero! I want to know who she is!
And I realised - I really need to see woman's football. But they don't televise that, sadly. Except on cable, and I can't afford it. :(
But really - seeing that woman throw the 'goal' signal made my entire night. I didn't realise how much it meant to me to have a woman on the oval as something OTHER than a cheerleader until I saw it. Then I realised that all these years, I'd been shouldering a sadness, a feeling of non-inclusion that I'd grown numb to.
(x-posted to my LJ).
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Jump under the cut! The Aussie men I know are pretty awesome husbands, but I mix with progressive nerds.
A study found that Australian Men were less likely to help with domestic chores. Another study also confirmed that bears shit in woods.
You might think I’m being tough on Australian men, but I have to ask those that aren’t Australian - have you met the average Aussie “bloke”? Well-meaning, sure, but a more chauvinistic, socially-rigid bunch of bastards you will not meet.
It’s to the point that I do not go to straight bars because I do not want to be hit on by the average man living in my city. I’m sure it’s not so bad in Melbourne and Sydney, but where I live (Perth), fuckwittedness seems to be epidemic.
I live in a place where being shouted at from a car window is considered a great way to meet women. I shit you not. Dickheads actually expected me and my friend walking home from the gay bar to get INTO their car. We laughed. I didn’t laugh too hard – my sister was raped by a stranger who had gotten tanked and gone to a titty bar.
Now, I know not all Australian men are like this. I really, really do. I defend the good Aussie man. They exist, I know many of them. But what I’m trying to tackle here (rather hamfistedly I will admit) is a certain mindset that is pervasive in this culture.
A certain expectation on the part of men to fulfill a role that is blasted at them through media and through their mates. It’s a role that’s even more pervasive than what American men suffer, because it’s not mocked roundly here. It’s accepted as the mainstream, and if you don’t fit it, you’re a pussy, a big girl’s blouse, a panty-waisted limp-wristed Mummy’s boy. Here’s what is expected:
– You get yourself a woman, she does the housework.
– You own a dog.
– You violently loathe cats.
– You like killing animals.
– You laugh about violence and watch shit TV and movies.
– You never, ever change nappies or cook your own meals.
– You’re lazy, and it’s cool to be lazy.
– All you want to do is hang out with your mates and get pissed on your time off. Your wife is for schtupping and taking care of your sprogs.
Now, I am not suggesting that all men are like this. This is an image that is pushed onto the male populace and hence, some men act in this manner. Women have their roles too. The heteronormative bullshit here in Australia is thick and choking, and I really fucking hate it. Can you tell?
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Jump under the cut! Hello my fellow internet citizens.
I can see that got your attention.
I'm increasingly angry at the barrage of ads I've been getting through blogs and websites adsense adverts for Evony. I could go into why they're sexist, but I think other people have already gone over this and if you don't get it at this point, I'm not going to even try to teach you. What I will do? I intend to share with you some wonderful alternative advertisements that Evony can use.
My point in these alternatives isn't just for laughs. I want you all to post them on your blogs and journals. I want you to save these pictures onto your hard-drive. I want you to make your own. Then I want you to send them to every email address the Evony website has listed on their page. Support, advertising, staff, you name it. I think we should bombard these fuckers just like they bombard us.
And just because you're a guy, don't think that these ads don't affect you. I think it's a great disservice to men, thinking they can lure them in with the promise of breasts and subservient women. It's insulting to men, it's insulting to women. It's the lowest common denominator and I don't think people want that shit on their mainstream, non-porny websites. Usually if you want to see that sort of thing on the net, you have to go looking for it.
It is now popping up in LOLCATS, and on blogs. People are having a HELL of a time trying to get rid of these ads from their adsense accounts. Evony is aggressively finding ways to slip their ads into these accounts anyway.
Coding Horror: How Not To Advertise
NFOpocalypse: Civony: Gold-farmers go first party.
BruceOnGames: Don't Play Evony <--- This guy has gone to a LOT of trouble to gather resources and posts about why Evony bites. Give his site a look!
It started like this. This is good. This is descriptive of the game. Strategy, war, knights.
Wait... what? There are no tits in this game!!
This ad I call "TITTY-FUCK ME, MY LORD!"
...Wait. She's - she's not even in costume! WHAT?!
OH COME ON!!!
(I swear upon my mother's crucifix, that is a real, honest-to-God Evony ad. I did not make it up.) Either way, a fuckneck's not even trying anymore.
Something occurred to me, however. They're missing out on half the market. Isn't it time they start urging the wimminz to join their awesome-sauce browser game?! Where's our princes? Here's where, bitchez:
We'll start real subtle, see...
Aw yeah, ladies, you love that shit. Then the'll move it on up..
Oh no! Guyvony is in trouble!!
But if you save Guyvony, he'll love you forEVAR.
But this isn't enough. It's vaguely fantasy themed. We want to really shove some man-meat in people's faces! YEAH!
Ooh yeah, some muscular Guyvony! Not enough. Needs more V.
Hmmm... still too classy...
We're slowly getting there...
Still not feeling it. We need to CLOSE IN. DISTILL THE ESSENCE OF EVONY.
THAT'S IT! PERFECT!
And if any butt-stain of a dude comes in here and bitches and moans that I'm just as bad as the ads and that I'm objectifying you - WAY TO MISS THE POINT. YES, I'M LAUGHING AT YOU. WE ARE ALL LAUGHING AT YOU.
The last word goes to Xena.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Jump under the cut! Some amazing and heart-rending photos from Tehran yesterday.
This was the aftermath for poor Mr. Calvin-Klein-pants. Fucking jerks.
This woman has ovaries of steel. The women of Iran have been invested and active in this election. And they're not lying down in the aftermath. I just have *so* much admiration and awe for them. I couldn't do this, I know I couldn't. I would hide and be afraid. I'd want to run away to somewhere safe. This woman - she is defiant. I hope she's safe.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Jump under the cut! These people are more than risking their lives by marching like this. There is certain death ahead for many who protest.
They are shouting: "Death to the Dictator" and "I will fight! I will fight! I will take back my vote!" I'm certainly behind the latter cry. And while I don't condone any sort of killing, I know that for these people, it's a very dark situation. It is probably their only way to freedom.
I keep posting about this because I know that the coup is trying to surpress this sort of information. They don't want the world to know what's going on. People are dying for their freedom as we speak. Police are charging universities and dorm rooms, capturing students, shooting them or taking them away and making them "disappear". Men, women and children are being beaten to death in the street. It's for them I keep talking about this and it's for them I do my bit to carry on the information.
For more information as things are happening, go to Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. I applaud his efforts.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Jump under the cut!
I barely need to tell you who Gordon Ramsay is. If I do, I consider you a blessed individual. In this day and age of arrogant asshole TV personalities, this man is something of an extreme.
Generally I ignore this fuckneck’s rabid behaviour, but he brought his crap onto my soil and attacked one of my own.
Now, I have had some choice epithets for Tracy Grimshaw at times. I have a loathing of most current affairs programmes aired after the news as they rarely cover anything of real importance. It’s a waste of airtime and generally a thinly veiled advertisement for whoever the network wants to schill that particular week.
A Current Affair, I will admit, is less on the nose than Today Tonight. And Tracy Grimshaw has actually covered some good things in the past. I remember that Channel Nine covered Anonymous’ activities with little paranoia, and put an unforgiving light on some of Scientology’s bullshit. So I have a soft spot for her from that time.
But even if it were the blonde woman on Today Tonight getting the heat, I would stand up for her. Gordon Ramsay’s candor is just too fucking reprehensible. Most people would say “Hah, he’s just being playful! A naughty guy!”
No, no he’s not. He’s seeking to further his fame and fortune, and when Tracie Grimshaw did not play his bullshit game, he attacked her on air. It was childish, manipulative and cruel.
For the link-phobic I can sum up what happened thusly:
– Tracy Grimshaw interviews Ramsay on ACA. In the middle of the interview, he asks her what turns her on. She laughs, she blushes, and tries to get the interview back on track. Ramsay is not used to this sort of behaviour, or maybe he is but he doesn’t deal with it very well. To him, she’s clearly rebuffed his attentions on television and he’s embarrassed. So he attacks her by making fun of a little mole on her top lip. On. AIR. She laughs it off but she’s very embarrassed and he’s made a fool of her on air.
– At a book signing in Melbourne after the event, he badmouths Tracy Grimshaw in front of the audience there. He calls her various horrible things. Apparently he even showed a picture of a naked woman on all fours, with multiple breasts (more than one pair) and a pig mask on. He pointed to it and said it was Tracy Grimshaw.
– Tracy Grimshaw calls him on his bullshit on air. She says, “I’m not taking this shot. O yeah, U ugly, natch!”
– Ramsay does the equivalent of call her a humourless feminist. He’s clearly embarrassed by his behaviour, but being the arrogant prick he is, would never bring himself to actually apologise for his horrible behaviour.
– Wassat? Is that a smackdown from the PRIME MINISTOR?! (typo, but it’s funny so it stays). OOH BURN, SCROTE-FACE! I THINK IT IS!
I applaud for Tracy Grimshaw seeing his crap for what it was and NOT taking it. I applaud her for not letting it slide. I applaud her for calling the fucker out on national television and defending herself. I’m pretty sure Gordon Ramsay can get away with that shit elsewhere, but I’m relieved to see that in Australia, it wasn’t recieved light-heartedly, but with the gravity it deserves. Sure, we’re still a fucked-up country with problems of our own, but it makes me damned proud that when one of our reporters is treated so damned absymally, being dehumanised and belittled so horribly, that the Prime Minister takes time out of the very important affairs of running a country in the middle of an economic downturn to say to this buttwipe Ramsay, “STFU and STFD, jerkwad!”
It’s not much, but it’s something that made me feel like maybe, just maybe, it’s not a sea of misogyny and cruelty out there. There are some oases to crash at.
Crossposted at my LJ.
ETA: Special thanks to my mate greteldragon on LJ for this link! Julia Gillard, our "VP" for any American readers out there, told a silly man to get back into the kitchen! OH YEAH, BISH GOT SERVED, YO!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Jump under the cut!
In the success-driven world of today, it’s seen as a very strange or embarrassing thing to live with your parents.
I’ve often felt bad about it. I’m turning 30 this year, and I haven’t met someone to start my life with. People often ask why I don’t have a place of my own? Well, I just like living with my family. They’re funny, they’re helpful to me and I can help them too (Mum has a sore back from arthritis and my Dad is getting older too). My brother also lives here. It’s just damned nice living with a family you love to bits. Plus I hate being alone.
I’ve been told that I won’t grow as a person if I stay with my folks for too long. I think that’s a load of hooey, really. Sure, there are different things I’d be facing on my own, and I’m sure I’d develop a confidence from being self-reliant. But there are things I benefit from by staying at home that my brothers and sisters miss out on because they live somewhere else.
For example, my relationship with my mother has had room to develop and grow. You know Dorothy and Sophia on the Golden Girls? Well, imagine that with a Scottish/Maltese woman reminiscent of Mrs. Doubtfire and armed with a wicked sense of humour. We’re not quite as relentlessly antagonistic as Dorothy and Sophia, but we have our moments. We’re close, though. My big sister Helen remarks how funny our Mum and me are together, like we’re sisters rather than mother and daughter.
We both share the challenges of chronic pain. She’s got an arthritic back, and I’ve got endometriosis. We’re both absolutely plum-crazy about my cat Rogue. I send her LOLcats, and then if Rogue does something funny, Mum speaks in LOLcat. Sometimes she gets the LOLcat speak wrong, but it’s no less cute. It’s even more adorable.
We talk about gluten free food alternatives together. She’s helped me countless times through panic attacks, and when she’s faced the rigours of life - sick relatives, unfair crap in her political career, Dad being his usual cheery self – I give her hugs and talk to her.
Right now she’s in Peterhead with my Dad. They’re on a holiday in Europe, to see where they came from one last time. It’s been a month and a half now, and I miss her like crazy. I was horribly depressed for the first few weeks. It’s hard because I depended on my Mum and Dad even more after my sexual assault. I could be embarrassed or ashamed of that, but that would be foolish. Why should I feel bad for needing the people that mean the most to me? I don’t shun the outside world, I’m not insular. I go out, I’ve got a large network of friends.
I help out Mum and Dad, and they help me out in return.
I was watching some Golden Girls episodes the other day, and I thought, “Wow. Dorothy is in her fifties, and she lives with her Mum. There is absolutely nothing embarrassing or undesirable about this situation for her. She LIKES being with her mother, most unapologetically.”
So I’ll continue to relish being with my mother. I’ve got a really, really good Mum, and good Mums deserve all the love and appreciation in the world!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Jump under the cut!
Please kindly go fuck yourself.
(The link goes to feministe, which goes into Linda Hirshman’s bullshit with far more eloquence than I can be bothered to manage so early in my day, plus I figure, why say the same thing twice?)
Monday, May 11, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Jump under the cut! I've been very bad in not updating this blog, and a lot of feminist issues have shat me off lately, but I tend to feel like I'm not clever enough to blog about them. I've never been to university and I haven't read much in the way of feminist literature. I just read a lot of other blogs by people who DO read that stuff and learn from life and what I come across.
Anyway, point of this post. Blog Against Disablism Day! Very, very important. I have two stories to tell.
First is about my nephew Johnny. Johnny opened my eyes and introduced me to disability. My sister had him when I was seven years old. I remember the day he was induced - I was so excited. I'd never been an auntie before, and I was so looking forward to having a new friend to play with.
Something went wrong with Johnny's delivery. Due to being induced too early (the Doctor was a proper douchebag) the cord wrapped around Johnny's neck and he went without oxygen for a very long time. As a result, he was on life-support and had to go into one of those incubator crib things. I forget the word presently for it presently, it's 3:21am and my brain has mostly shut down.
In the early months it was clear Johnny wasn't right. After several visits to the doctor and a few tests, he was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. I remember the day my sister found out. It was like someone had died. In a way, someone had. The lively, running, jumping, talking boy that would grow into a tall, strong man - he was gone. Instead was left a boy that would forever need the help of others to survive, whose body would not be strapping and straight. We grieved that he would not enjoy the freedom of such a thing. There was no harm in feeling sad for him.
Johnny has taught me so much. In all the years he's grown and still found ways to communicate with us. His sense of humour - what a sense of humour! He'd squeal with glee when my brother and sister and I would dance and sing for him. Bringing out a guitar and playing a song for him is just the best thing in the world. The thing that always warmed my heart with immeasurable love and admiration was that Johnny, despite all the difficulties his disability brings him, still has a smile for us. Even if it's just his eyes lighting up at you.
He's surrounded by loving family. His mother is one of seven (I'm the fifth) and countless grandchildren. His parents look after him night and day, because they can't trust anyone else to. The government just doesn't have the trained staff to help them, because they pour their money into shit they think is more important, like housing developments for the rich or the mining industry. Health and education atrophy, and it's always people like Johnny who suffer.
Johnny was staying for a trial week at a new respite centre (to give his Mum and Dad a break every few days and catch up on their sleep). In one night he got congested, coughed up, vomited, inhaled his own vomit, then contracted a lung infection from that vomit. The doctors told us that it would be a matter of hours until Johnny died from eventual asphyxiation.
My sister, her husband and a physiotherapist stayed up all night, massaging John's back and suctioning him (the spit and mucus out of his mouth and throat). They never gave up. And Johnny lived to tell the tale, shocking the doctors.
This year, he celebrated his 21st birthday. The doctors that saw him as an infant didn't think he would live this long.
I've suffered from depression since my late teens, and recently have had anxiety added to that due to sexual assault. Johnny never ceases to both amaze me and inspire me. He's the closest thing to an angel that I've ever met.
Governments need to step the hell up and start supporting their carers. Carers are the unsung heroes of the world. My sister's husband stays at home with Johnny instead of working, and yet the government refuse to pay him because my sister has a job. Carers should be paid, regardless of whether their spouse makes any money. They should be paid because they are doing a job the government would have to do if it wasn't fulfilled by the parent. For all they go through, they bloody well deserve a few hundred bucks a fortnight *at least*. What the hell is wrong with the world when a government is so uncaring, that it lets such selfless, amazing people suffer?
Next time you vote, think about the disabled. Ask your local representatives about their plans for the disabled and their carers. The more of a fuss people make, the more attention politicians will pay to it. Supposedly. I saw my sister tearfully dress down a panel of ministers here in Perth, Australia, because they were placating and bullshitting and NOT listening. It was fierce and angry and damning. And you can bet they forgot about what she said soon afterwards. (I'm talking to you, Giz Watson!)
Disability isn't always visible. You look at my nephew, it's pretty clear he's disabled - stunted growth due to lack of muscle use, etc. There's another kind of disability that is routinely discriminated against, and is greatly misunderstood by people. This one is less of a problem because it can be changed by a little bit of education - that's all it takes. Opening of minds and a bit of compassion.
Chronic illnesses are something a lot of people struggle with every day. I can't speak for other people, but I can share my own view of being someone with a chronic condition.
In 2005 I was diagnosed with endometriosis. All my adult life, I had struggled with excruciatingly painful periods. Everyone told me that it was normal, that women had pain and that this was something I had to suck up and live with. Alarm bell one was missed! All due to some fucked up thinking in both society and the health profession that painful periods were something women just had to put up with, and that I was probably making a fuss over nothing. Cause that's what women do, isn't it?
Years of severe periods and associated symptoms of hormone fluctations went unnoticed. It wasn't until I was feeling routinely nauseous in the mornings and my persistent 'bladder infections' that I'd always had on and off turned out not to be a bladder infection at all. Where-as other doctors had thrown antibiotics at me, this doctor stopped and said, "Let's get you tested."
My first gynaecologist immediately put me on birth control pills. They were an unmitigated disaster. With my depression, they made me feel like a Leonard Cohen song sounds. I stopped taking them, and then she was angry with me. I demanded to see someone at a specialist hospital for women. It took months for me to see them, due to my being on the public health system (I was a poor unemployed artist). I finally, after months, got to see a gynaecologist. He promptly told me that he didn't think I had endometrios, that it was probably gastrointestinal. This was after seeing a few doctors (a gastroenterologist who said it was NOT gastrointestinal, gynaecologist number one who confirmed it was endo in their opinion, my regular doctor, a second opinion doctor) who said it WAS probably endo. I was in tears as this man arrogantly dismissed my symptoms as I described them to him.
He deigned to give me a laparoscopy. He didn't even plan for the contingency of burning any possible growths out. Usually, if they bother going in, they make sure that if they see anything, they burn it out. I had to have TWO procedures in ONE YEAR due to this fuckwad's gross incompetence.
I remember recovering from that first lap, blown to the four winds on pethidine and whatever else they pumped into my arm when I was under, the gynae coming up to me and my mother and telling me that I had endometriosis.
First thing I did was point at the gynae and shout "HAH! TOLD YOU!"
The second thing I did was sob in mingled relief and grief.
I felt like my life was falling apart. In the months that followed, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have to live with being in pain. All the time. Before I had endo, (or before it got bad), I used to walk everywhere. I don't have a car, and I preferred to walk and take public transport everywhere. I'd walk to the pub, I'd walk to the shops, I'd walk to friends houses. I'd go for walks on sunny days just for the hell of it. I'd go to the beach and run into the waves. I'd swim for hours at the pool on hot sizzling summer days. My skin was lightly tan and my cheeks had a healthy blush to them.
These days, I have dark circles under my eyes from the nights I miss out on sleep due to the pain. My skin is pale, due to being inside so much and not being out on long walks. I miss walking so much. I miss having the freedom to go to the shops if I needed something. I didn't have to ask anyone for a lift anywhere.
I had to pull out of music school. I was finally pursuing my dream - getting into the music industry, getting into a band, learning all the tricks. My music career, in the traditional sense, was over. (I have a youtube account that I still perform my songs on).
I grieved, I yelled at God with confusion mingled with rage. What did I do to deserve this? Why was God raining shit down upon my head so heavily? (At that time I also had broken up with a boyfriend and my sister was getting married, so I felt like a huge fucking failure).
I don't know if people know what it is to lose mobility. I struggled with the government, as I wanted to try to find work, but at the same time, I couldn't work cause I didn't know if the next treatment would work or not. I got a second laparoscopy, the endo was cut out. I didn't get hormone treatment straight away due to waiting periods for appointments, and in six months the endo grew back and I was back at square one.
This year, after months of meetings, appointments, explaining to some fucking official for the hundredth time that YES, I don't look like I'm disabled or have low mobility, but I in fact DO, and NO, endometriosis is NOT curable, don't look at me like that, I finally got on the government's Disability Pension.
It's been a relief. But it's also been a sad thing to accept - I have a disability. I don't look disabled, in fact I look like the very figure of athleticism. Wide shoulders, long slim legs, sturdy, vaguely hourglass frame. But inside this body, there are growths that are making my organs stick together and from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, every day, there is pain. Always pain. It's just a matter of whether I can distract myself from it or not. And don't even get me started on the pain killer merry-go-round.
So I want to take this opportunity to educate and raise awareness about endometriosis. Girl's problems are generally dismissed and aren't taken seriously. It's women's plumbing - isn't pain a part of the script? No, it's not. Not in a perfectly healthy human being. It's time people realise this and start treating women with respect and dignity, and not as hysterical, weak beings with no sense of proportion or urgency.
If you read this far, have a cookie. Aw heck, have a few. And don't worry if it makes your backside a bit bigger. As long as your legs work and you're healthy and hale, it doesn't matter. Trust me on this one.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Jump under the cut! Wow, CNN. Can Chris Brown's Career Survive? REALLY?!
Sometimes I just sit there and... my jaw dangles. I hear about some of the headlines, some of the things being said about this whole bloody thing and I see red. I turn into the She-HULK and want to start pounding inanimate objects (I don't like hitting people, but the urge to smash is there).
I'm going to break this down into my core opinion because, let's face it, other people (feministe, feministing, jezebel, etc et al) have been far more eloquent than I in dissecting this entire mess, and I tend to veer off course and get over-emotional, especially about women suffering assault. But let's break this down into two sections shall we?
POINTS ABOUT RIHANNA:
- It doesn't MATTER how much of a bitch she was to him - YOU DON'T HIT PEOPLE.
- FUCK the Lamborghini keys - YOU DON'T HIT PEOPLE.
- Whether she is too masculine or feminine, too uppity or too this or that? IRRELEVANT. YOU DON'T FUCKING HIT PEOPLE.
- Are we getting the point yet, O Ignorant Fucks of the Mainstream Media? It's something we learnt as children, I don't know WHY you're having such a hard time grasping this painfully simple concept: YOU DON'T HIT PEOPLE. And if someone has been hit, you don't BLAME THEM FOR BEING THERE WHEN THE FIST CAME DOWN. Holy fucking shit, how hard is this to understand?!
POINTS ABOUT CHRIS 'FUCKFACE' BROWN:
- His career? FUCK IT. HE SMACKED A WOMAN. JAIL THE FUCKER.
- His side of the story? There is no HIS side of the story. He didn't just hit her once in a moment of lost temper, here. He REPEATEDLY PUNCHED HER. AND HALF-STRANGLED HER. AND TRIED TO THROW HER OUT OF A CAR. Attempted Murder, yo? Why isn't this in the fucking headlines?
- He doesn't deserve a career. He doesn't deserve any of that shit. Not protection from friends, not a sensitive fucking press release, NONE of it. He should front up for what he did, be a man for once in his sorry life and serve his time.
I know, I'm very emotional over this and it might seem that I'm very black and white over the issues, but I'm not. There are Men's Help lines here in Australia to prevent spousal abuse - I fully support this idea. Getting this problem solved before it happens? Brilliant. Education. Support. Counselling. You name it - it's a great idea.
But once this happens, a crime has occurred. And it doesn't matter if she's a woman, if she's his girlfriend/wife/fiance, if she forgives him or not. The crime STILL OCCURRED. And the man should damned well serve his sentence, without sympathy but with dignity.
Jump under the cut! Women tend to have a love-hate relationship with Barbie. A lot I know hate her. Me? Well, for some weird reason, I just love her. I still collect dolls and action figures, and I never, ever saw Barbie as some forced ideal or Blonde Goddess that I had to become. Maybe I had a nice solid upbringing by a feminist mother, but to me, I always thought Barbie's proportions to be laughable and just easier to get clothes on. I much prefered Hasbro's moulds for their Jem dolls. At the young age of 9 I lauded their realistic design to my family.
"Look, Mummy!" I said. "Her boobs are normal! That's what boobs look like!"
And I still prefer my Jem dolls to this day. But I can't ignore what a huge and positive impact Barbie had in my life.
She could be anything. In the Barbie aisle of the toy store, I'd be in awe. She was a cook, a horse rider, a tennis player, a princess, a pop singer, a business woman, a mother (I didn't realise that the babies and the little girl Barbies were supposed to be her sisters at the time). It didn't occur to me that she wasn't a construction worker, or a head of a company, or some other traditionally male role. It never even entered my mind that Ken was somehow essential to her existence. I felt more than he was an accessory, as was her horse and her friends and her deliciously deep pink 87 corvette (which I still own, buffed, additionally decorated with remote control car decals as it is).
The thing that I loved about Barbie, the thing that I remember and still love, is that the bitch had choices, damn it. She had opportunities. And sure, there are huge problems with her image and the inherent sexism in the marketing, but I can't ignore the fact that Mattel have at least *attempted* to be politically correct. I'm undoubtedly cynical as to the reasons why, but those are things for us to worry about - the grown ups.
Kids don't know about profit. They don't know about marketing image. They don't know about women's rights or any of those things, not really. I didn't.
All I knew was that Barbie was a beautiful doll who had friends and could go on adventures. She was *my* dollie, who I could put in any outfit I could scrounge together with scraps of material or, if I was very lucky, new clothes bought for me at either Christmas or my birthday. Yeah, I was frustrated with her shortcomings - her waist was too small, her feet were too tiny and her boobs didn't sit right. But that's okay, she was only a plastic dolly and not a *real* person.
Barbie, for me, was an avatar. An avatar where I could explore my dreams and my ambitions. I can't see anything bad about a little girl doing that. Should these dolls be more realistic with their body image? Hell yes. Mattel has got a lot of shit they need to sort out.
I can't blame them solely for something that is ingrained into our very culture. Before Barbie, us girls had baby dolls to take care of. Since Barbie, we've had a doll that's had jobs, friends, opportunities, dreams and *choice*. I can't ignore that, and I can't turn my back on a beloved thing of my childhood.
I loved my first Barbie doll. I still have her. Half her hair fell out from me brushing it too much. She's very tan and blonde, as was the fashion from the early 80s. I remember being with Dad when he bought her. I was so excited. She had pool parties and she was a rock star. She had a love affair with my brother's 12" C3P0 toy and struggled with the reality of dating a sentient robot. (Yeah, I was a strange kid). And she fell off cliffs a lot. Had to get saved. Yeah, I dunno.
She was a childhood friend and a tool of my imagination. I still cherish her to this day.
Happy Birthday, Barbie.
Jump under the cut! Now, being from Australia, the only thing I've really seen of Helen Thomas is through soundbytes and clips from other TV shows. But here's a woman that's been in journalism, doing, you know, ACTUAL JOURNALISM, what it's supposed to be, for a very, very long time. And doing it for the right reasons.
And she's still doing it, when most other journalists would have retired, or wangled their way to some upper level cushy job that is basically a celebrity talking head.
Here's a clip from The Daily Show where she totally owns John Oliver (who I have some weird crush on. Him, Jon Stewart and me. Yeah, that'd be a good time. Actually... Him, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert AND Jane Fonda... Actually - fuck it, I'll be in my bunk).
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Jump under the cut! Sexism in Western Australian State Government makes Nacey a pissed off bitch.
Okay. So I can't seem to find a website that's carrying the news story, and I have a horrible memory when I'm emotionally whipped up like this.
Basically, there's a lobby group of women concerning the Fishing Industry here in WA. It's a huge industry here. I don't rightly know what their deal is and hey, as an environmentalist I might hate their reason for existing in the first place, but it's not likely. Fisheries is mostly about sustaining the levels of fish we have and shit, people wanna eat the fuckers. They're kind of important.
Point being. During a speech today, he was saying how the Government was going to cut down on funding lobby groups, an issue which I'm not up on so I'm not going to comment on it. It was how he said it that has me in a tizzy. He made a snide remark that the "Rock Lobster Fisherman's Wives" association wasn't one that would be around for much longer.
Disregarding the fact that he got their name entirely wrong (I forget what the actual name is, I was too angry and in shock to let it sink in), and the fact that they're self-funded, he basically referred to women concerned with a CHIEF and IMPORTANT industry here in Western Australia as FISH WIVES.
How fucking DISRESPECTFUL can you get? This is the PREMIER. But what else can you expect from a man that doesn't even bat an eyelid at the shenanigans of Troy "Chair Sniffer" Buswell? My brother said, "I don't know how Buswell can possibly top that." We were both utterly shocked at what we saw on Channel 7. The news story doesn't seem to be up anywhere on the net. I suppose they don't think it's that important.
I think it's *very* important. Would he DARE to be so snide and dismissive about a fisheries lobby group run by men? I doubt it. The WAY he said it as a side joke, sniggering with the crowd, it makes me sick to my stomach. I'm not even that concerned with the fisheries department (other than marine preservation) and I'm utterly INCENSED with his bullshit.
I've never, ever liked Barnett. I remember the slimebag when he wanted to change the name of my school when I was ten years old. I didn't like him then, and I didn't like him when I voted against him. And this behaviour just vindicates that gut feeling.
So fuck you, Colin Barnett.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Jump under the cut!
If there's one thing I hate in this world, (and there's actually a lot of things I hate but let's stick to the subject), it's the concept of 'being a lady'. Now, don't get this confused with good manners and being a decent human being. I'm all for that shit. Eat nicely at the table, open doors for other people behind you, say 'Please' and 'Thank you', and all that jazz. It was strongly encouraged in my upbringing to be kind and courteous. This is supposed to be universal, and is actually a key way to guarantee that children we have don't grow up to be total assholes.
But there's a certain brand of ettiquette that is pushed upon us women. It's different to what is expected of men. It can be seen in reality TV shows such as "Charm School" and "From Ladette to Lady". Expectations and restrictions are placed upon us, and the most horrible and cruellest thing is done to us when this happens – they hold our humanity for ransom.
Behave, they say, or you are not a respectable lady. If you are not a respectable lady, you are worth nothing at all. You will deserve all the scorn, disrespect and disregard that society can throw at you.
It starts with things like not being able to swear, ever, or raise our voices, or show anger or be opinionated. It extends to things like not being able to speak about our sexualities without being labelled easy or a whore. Sex with whomever we like and on our own terms is also a no-no in the Lady Game, as is showing any sort of superiority to men. We're just not allowed to be better at anything, the poor male ego can't take it.
I'm sure a lot of you have stories of finding yourself in a situation that has you thinking, "Man, I must be a total guy because I'm nothing like what people expect me to be as a woman."
I think a great example of the Lady phenomenon is two very different movie stars: Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
Hepburn was the quintissential elegant lady. Thin, soft-spoken, fragile looking.
Monroe, however, was curvy, flirtatious, self-confident and openly sensual.
Ignoring the personal lives of these women (who I both admire and love dearly), I'm focusing on the public opinion of these women, the perception that has lived on. Women often say they would like to be like Hepburn. Women also want to be like Monroe, but often these are women in 'sexpot' roles in the media, like Scarlett Johanssen, Anna Nicole-Smith and Christina Aguileria. You can't be Monroe and be sophisticated or respected for your mind. You can't be Hepburn if you have a loud mouth and an opinion.
I'm simplifying it a lot for the sake of brevity, but I think you see my point. I have been called a lot of things for my behaviour. I've also been disrespected by men assuming things about me because I am not a shy retiring flower.
Every time it happens, I say the same thing. "Excuse me, I'm a lady!"
And I am. I am a lady because I have a mind and a heart. I am a lady because I care about the world and the people in it. I have as much dignity, charm and finesse as any self-restrained woman of virtue, I just choose to damn the torpedoes and let my natural personality flow free. (Please note I have absolutely no scorn for women who do choose to live a certain way – I'm all for women living however the bloody hell they choose. My point is that we shouldn't be given shit for choosing to live differently).
I think it's time women redefine the concept of being a 'lady'. I think it should be about valuing the power of our womanhood, the diverse and amazing thing that it is, and hopefully encouraging behaviour that not only betters ourselves, but the world around us. Kindness. Courtesy. Compassion. Thoughtfulness. These are the things we should aspire to.
We should also tell those that try to define our worth with a dry set of behavioural rules, "Fuck you. I'm a lady."
And being a lady can be whatever we want it to be.