Showing posts from 2019

Vulvas: A Labia of Love

Pornsites reinforce an ideal physique, breast size, shape, nipples, anticipated behaviours and, just as worryingly, vulvas. Generally speaking, porn is the first exposure many people have to the uncensored human body. Its power grabs at our concept of self, dictates how we perceive our sexuality and love our bodies.  Image Description:  Photo of a woman with pale skin, standing in white underpants, holding a red love heart over her pubic area. It seems people are more self-conscious than ever about attaining the ‘ideal vulva’. For those playing at home, the vulva is made up of several well designed and useful parts, starting with the labia minora and the labia majora. The labia majora are the outside lips, the ones seen straight away. The labia minora are the inside lips that are externally visible for some and not for others. The “ideal” vulva, most often portrayed in pornography, has a uniformly pink, small and symmetrical labia minora that does not protrude past the ma

Who Really Got Girl Power Going?

Ah, 1996, a time when the concept of Girl Power (!) on a mainstream front was still relatively novel. To a generation of young girls, the Spice Girls represented a fundamental embracing of everything it meant to be a girl growing up at the end of the 20th century: a celebration of femininity, sexiness, and sisterhood in five unique caricatures. For many, it was the start of accepting that it was okay to be an out-and-proud, female, sexual being, to demand respect, and to be unapologetically loud about it all. It felt, in short, revolutionary. Image Description: Photo of someone's calves and ankles from the back. They are wearing black pants, rolled up, and long white socks with "Girls Rule" written on them in black, block letters. The person is also wearing maroon heels.  Except that … It really wasn't. In fact, the term "Girl Power" was coined by US punk band Bikini Kill. According to lead singer Kathleen Hanna, it was inspired by the "

Elizabeth Magie: The Forgotten Woman Who Invented Monopoly

It’s the game we bring out for guests or late at night on holiday with family, the staple for board-game-day with friends: Monopoly. If you take a closer look at the label, it says this game was created in 1935 by Hasbro Games. But, in reality, Monopoly was created 32 years earlier by the long-forgotten and uncredited Elizabeth Magie. Elizabeth Magie was born in 1866 in Illinois. She was the daughter of a newspaper publisher and orator, James Magie, who travelled with Abraham Lincoln in the 1850s. She inherited her father’s passion and said she was “described as ‘a chip off the old block’”, which she took as a compliment.  She also disregarded gender stereotypes in that she did not try to find a husband until age 44, and instead chose to work as a stenographer by day and a comedian by night. She was reported to draw huge laughs from the crowd. Image description: a black and white portrait of Elizabeth Magie as an old woman.  Her father, James, ran for office soon

Book Review: “The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho”

Recently, while I was reading biographies of some great dreamers, such as   Kahlil Gibran, I pondered the word ‘dream’ and how influential it is in an individual’s life. One night, I asked myself a question, which I want each one of you to think over: what does it mean to dream? Our fantasies may be called a dream. The ambitions towards which we work, our thoughts and visions, these are called dreams. My musings led me to a bookshop where I picked up a book based on the theme of dreams. But this time, the dream is a very unusual one, which demands a long journey and some untypical rituals. “The Valkyries” is written by the bestselling Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho. It was published in 1992by Harper Collins. The image is a close up of my hands, surrounded by nature. I am holding and reading “The Valkyries" by Paulo Coelho. In this book, Paulo Coelho, along with his wife Christina Oiticica, embark on a journey to the Mojave Desert to find Paulo’s angel. Pa

Feminism: It's a Fight for Men Too

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, compare

Disability and Masturbation

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 12 th  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 ch