Showing posts from March, 2019

Vroom, Vroom!: An Investigation of the History of Women Behind the Wheel

A few months ago, at the age of 27, I finally attained my provisional driver’s licence. I could never have anticipated the newfound freedom, independence and confidence I found behind the wheel of my little red ‘P’ plate car. This experience prompted me to consider the history of women drivers. As a teenager and young adult, I spent countless hours pouring over public transport schedules, just to spend even more time sitting on a crowded train or boiling bus, which would inevitably arrive 45 minutes earlier than my work shift time or appointment. When public transport was not viable, I depended on my parents, boyfriends or friends to drive me. And, even with all this effort, I still racked up a weekly uber bill that almost matched my rent! Occasionally, I found myself in situations where I felt awkward or even afraid. But I could not leave immediately, as I needed to arrange a lift in order to do so. I felt like I had to laugh along at jokes about my lack of driver’s licence or

STEMinist – Without Me

In 2009, I developed a tendency towards migraines. Since then, I have lived in four different countries with entirely different laws on medicine. Some drugs that are banned in one country aren’t in another and vice versa. For over ten years, I’ve searched for an effective replacement for my original migraine medication. During this time, a whisper of a question turned into a deafening demand: why is it so difficult to treat an ailment as common, yet incapacitating, as a migraine? The fact is, migraines affect one in five women. This statistic is disproportionate to the number of men who suffer from migraines (one in fifteen). Migraine research is rarely sex-specific, even though hormone levels affect migraine tendencies and can differ based on sex. The stigma around migraines - ridicule, doubt and disbelief by friends, family and colleagues – might be different if 20% of the male population suffered from these debilitating attacks. Yet migraines remain one of the most underfunde

The Misogyny is Coming from Inside the House

I recently came across an interesting Facebook group which, contrary to most Facebook groups, really got me thinking. “The Misogyny is Coming from Inside the House” shows examples of women who exhibit misogyny, both towards themselves and other women. But, more than that, it’s a place where women who realise they harbour internalised misogyny can come to grips with that realisation, talk out their feelings and grow and learn. Browsing this Facebook group’s posts made for incredible reading. Countless women recounted the moments they understood why they held the views about women they did and the efforts they were making to change their ways. It also made me realise internalised misogyny is a “trend” that never went away. Don ’ t believe me? Let ’ s look at some commonly expressed sentiments among women and engage with their underlying meanings. Image Description: A dark photo of a person sitting sideways on a window sill looking down, out the window. Their back is resting

What Does a Feminist Look Like?

“You don’t LOOK like a feminist”. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard this particular adage. Mostly it comes from men, but you might be surprised how often it comes from other women. The most recent occurrence got me thinking - in this day and age, what exactly does a feminist look like? Feminism and conventional femininity have long had a tenuous relationship and for good reason. During the second wave of feminism in the 1960s, women largely rejected “traditional” femininity. Such a reaction was understandable given the restrictive morals governing women’s behaviour in the decades prior. These morals continued the age-old trend of placing high value on rigid standards of personal appearance. What a woman looked like was more important than who she was and what she was capable of.   Feminism, quite rightly, reacted strongly to these standards, resulting in the much-pared-down fashion styles of the sixties and seventies. With the rise of third-wave feminism in the i