Showing posts from 2015

10 Reasons Australia still needs feminism

By: Miya Yamanouchi Why feminism is more important than ever in 2015 Australia I am a feminist. I haven't called myself a feminist for very long, though. In fact, up until the very beginning of this year, I even considered myself an anti-feminist, because I was so misinformed about what feminism actually was. I was foolish enough to buy into the misconstrued cliché that feminists were man-hating, pretty-girl-hating, ugly and boring women who didn't enjoy life, their bodies or sex — and didn't want anyone else to, either. And girl, was I wrong! 1. During my stint as a sex therapist (a.k.a sexual health counsellor), when I told men what I did for work, they would automatically interpret my job title as simply a euphemism for sex worker. When I tell people I am counsellor, it is only ever men who respond with questions such as:  "Did you have to do a day course for that or something?"  or  "Did you need to do any studying for that?"

Debunking the Myth of the "SuperMum"

Su-per-Mum Noun.  Informal “An exemplary or exceptional mother, especially one who successfully manages a home and brings up children while also having a full-time job”. The reality of parenthood is overwhelming, stressful and draining. As the sleepless nights all roll into one, many parents just aim to get by. Gone are the expectations they may have had prior to parenthood, where basic tasks such as getting a load of washing into the machine or preparing a home cooked meal are considered a victory. Keeping up with the Jones has never been harder, with many parents sharing their parenting triumphs for the world to see on Facebook;  “Johnny used the potty!” ,  “Sarah said Dad!” ,  “James took his first steps!”  This however has magnified the struggles for parents who have difficult children or have struggled in taking to parenthood. Mothers are expected to not only bring home the bacon, but cook it as well (and look sexy while doing so….and preferably in lingerie, make-up and

The Tyranny of ‘When’

“You’ll understand when you have children.” “What will the class call you when you change your name?”   I’m twenty-six, in a long-term relationship, engaged to get married next year, childless, in a profession centred on children and in constant contact with mothers. Needless to say, I hear the above very frequently. And every time I hear it, I get the same unpleasant feeling. For years I’ve not quite known why. They’re innocent enough queries, simple enough statements, made without snark or nastiness. Following a familiar conversation last week that I walked away from feeling familiarly annoyed and twisted, I finally put my finger on the exact word that causes this reaction in me every time: when . In German, when and if are the same word ( wenn ) and are easily mixed up without context, but in meaning we can all agree that they are worlds apart. We use when for something that is going to happen . We use if for something that is undecided. Being a woman do

Forcing Gender On Your Child Could Be Doing Serious Damage

Pregnancy is an exciting time; your body changes and you get to experience a tiny human begin to grow and develop inside of you. Arguably one of the most important times during pregnancy is the opportunity to find out the gender of your bub. Boy or girl? Pink or blue?  It turns out these pre-conceived ideas about gender are doing serious long-term damage to your child, and you might not even realise you are doing it. Gender appropriation starts early and does more damage than most parents realise. Gender socialisation refers to the ways in which we are taught what is thought to be gender appropriate norms. Gender policing refers to ways in which gender deviants are brought back into line through the devaluation of actions and attitudes which do not adhere or conform to what we consider to be “gender appropriate”. It may seem harmless at first. You dress your newborn daughter in pink booties and jumpsuit and then you graduate to a pink tutu at her first ballet lesson. The

If You Got Compassion, Let’s Get It Back In Fashion

What Is Self-Objectification? We live in a society where girls and women’s bodies are under constant scrutiny and evaluation by others; a society wherein from a very early age, girls consistently receive societal  messages that their appearance and their body plays a fundamental role in determining their worth and value as a person. A direct consequence of this objectification culture is that girls and women internalize these messages, and consequently start to experience their own bodies as objects and view their physical appearance from a third-person perspective. This process is called self-objectification, and it manifests most commonly in body surveillance, which is habitual body checking and monitoring from the perspective of an observer. Self-objectification has been studied extensively with a focus on its maladaptive effects upon female mental health. According to  PhD researcher Caroline Heldman, the average woman engages in body monitoring every thirty seconds. I

Fifty Shades of Grey: Gen-Y's New Relationship Model

When Fifty Shades of Grey began flying off bookshelves across the world, it was popularly championed as a leap forward in popular culture for erotic content marketed to women. Thousands of articles critiqued its merits and its problems. Now the franchise has come back in the form of a film marketed as a guilty pleasure for women to indulge in and has made millions and millions at the box office. With that being said, let us look at some of the frightening implications that such a narrative has on our society. On the surface, Christian Grey is portrayed to be in possession of the largest amount of social capital possible. He is self made, rich, successful, handsome, charismatic, independent and strong. Which is why it is such a shock that he would choose a woman as plain as Ana. In the shadow of this wealth however, it is of course  made fairly clear that Christian Grey is emotionally detached and has a desire to punish women who look like his mother due to unresolved issues wit