Posts

Feminism: It's a Fight for Men Too

Image
Image description: Photo of a man against a blurred background of water. He is sitting with his elbows propped up on his knees and his hands clasped over his head. He is looking at the ground in a dejected manner. He is wearing dark wash blue jeans, a blue and brown plaid button-up and a black watch, as well as a wedding ring.  Feminism and women’s rights are just as much a priority for Australian women today as they have ever been. Recently, the media has bombarded us with statistics about domestic violence being the most common cause of injury and death of Australian women under the age of 45. At the time of writing this article, 39 women have been confirmed killed by domestic violence in 2019. ABS statistics from 2016 state one in four women will experience violence by an intimate partner compared to one in 13 men. In comparison, men are more likely to suffer violence at the hands of another man and more than one in four men suffer violence at the hands of a stranger, compared to on…

Disability and Masturbation

Image
Image Description: Two femme-appearing people facing one another on a gravel pathway. The background is composed of slightly blurry trees. The person on the right is wearing all white and sitting in a wheelchair. The person on the left is wearing a blue jumper, blue jeans, white heels and a white hat with a blue rim. They are looking up at the person in the wheelchair and their hands are open, facing the sky. They look to be deep in conversation. 
It was 2014 when Dr. Y. Kobori showcased a short film of himself masturbating. During the 12th bi-annual Asia-Oceanic Federation of Sexology conference, the Japanese scientist sat comfortably in his wheelchair before a sea of hundreds, staring out into their eyes as one of his most private moments flashed vividly on the screen behind him. Except it wasn’t a moment. Given the severity of his cerebral palsy, Dr. Kobori required the assistance of a carer, sexual aids and a significant amount of time to attempt the task at hand. He chose this inc…

The Childfree Woman: Feminism’s Last Taboo

Image
Image description: A woman in a flowing, white shirt and black leggings walking through a field of very tall grass. 
It may not always seem like it, particularly in the current global political climate, but women have made incredible strides since the beginning of second-wave feminism in the 1960s. In the workplace, at home, and on the streets, women have claimed their place and asserted their rights. What might have been unthinkable in our grandmother's youth is completely commonplace in our own. Thanks to the countless women who came before us and fought the good fight, women are running companies, countries, and breaking glass ceilings left, right and centre - but still, some obstacles remain.
One of the most prominent, lingering taboos for women as far as mainstream feminism is concerned is the right to choose a childfree life. In both the public and private spheres, women who choose not to have children are still very much viewed as an anomaly. And if a woman publicly declares …

We Need More Women and POC in the Film Industry

Image
If you've ever seen The Princess Diaries, you’ll be familiar with the scene where Mia transforms into the Princess of Genovia. She straightens her hair and takes off her glasses, and suddenly she’s beautiful and popular. You might not think it’s a big deal, but these tropes were and are damaging to a lot of children, particularly those like me, who look more like the first version of Mia. 


Image Description: two freeze frames from The Princess Diaries (2001). The left shows Mia before her makeover, with frizzy hair, glasses and an unattractive facial expression. The right shows Mia after her makeover with straight hair, no glasses and a straight-teethed smile.
When I first started school, I was the only non-white child. All of my classmates asked me why I was brown and made up their own derogatory racial slurs for me.
I don’t believe these children were inherently racist. Prejudice isn’t part of human nature. The cruel comments were simply because they had never seen a Pakistani bef…

Selected Poems from "Hidden Gazes:" Feminist Reimaginings of the Old English text "Wonders of the East"

Image
The following poems are taken from a larger collection I composed as a creative expansion to my "academic" work on the Old English text Wonders of the East. This text is a part of the more famous Beowulf manuscript, which you can read more about here: https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/beowulf. However, you don't need to be an expert on Old English/ early medieval literature to read these poems. Wonders of the East was only one of many inspirations for these pieces. They are, above almost anything else, deeply influenced by my personal feminist roots. They are stories about the people who inhabit the margins of texts, the peripheries of lands, the outer edges of imagination. I draw strength from these people's resilience and survival. My deepest gratitude to them and all those who have fought the good fight before us. 

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonders_of_the_East
The saintly and savage Cynocephali[1]
Call me what you will: Opener of ways, protector of…