Birthday #1 – A sum up of 2012.
January 10, 2013
To start with a cliché – if I may – I can’t believe how this past year decided to get really serious with us and hit that turbo button. It felt like it was jammed, through every crevice, with work, responsibility, the pursuit of balance, mixed with pockets of frenzy.
Relief in sight? I’m not really seeing how – society, on the whole, appears to want to give us a run for our money…literally.
A year ago today I started this blog in the early hours of the morning. My intention was to start in on the 9th, but it took me so long to write and re-write that first post, that it tipped me into the 10th.
As I took that first tentative but excited step into the blogging world – already preceded by three women friends of mine, with well established, fantastic and unique blogs (shitonyourplay.blogspot.com, www.allconsuming.com.au, bumpyroadtobubba.com) – I wondered two things:
1. Will ANYONE read it? (every blogger’s primary fear, I assume)
2. Will I run out of things to write about?
Well, I’m happy to say that although I only have a small following, a following it is. I’m not sure if my stats are ‘good’ but I have engaged in some wonderful debate and perspective changing conversations.
In terms of point 2 – there’s no way that I can possibly run out of issues that need to be discussed – investigating the infinite tapestry of actions and viewpoints that make up the human condition. In fact I have so many posts in draft mode (29) – I’m not sure I’ll ever get to some of them, as another morsel of importance invariably pops up.
So after the last year, what are the primary questions that are racing through my mind? The following is the nutshell (if you can call it that):
1. Why do women earn less than men?
This is the first and fundamental question. Women have to work approx. 60 days more a year – that’s two months – to earn the same as men. Why? This MUST be the first step of change if we want to even presume we live in a fair, balanced and just society.
2. Why do women not share the equal balance of power and decision-making?
We all have brains and women have incredible, and repeatedly proven, intelligent ones. Pity men don’t see it that way – they are stopping the chance of equilibrium and a more harmonised existence to maintain the status quo.
97% males in positions of power in publishing, communications, marketing…how can that be considered good, by anyone?
3. How are women’s attributes perceived?
No one wants to be a girl/woman – as who we are and what we have to offer is not considered valuable – emotional, weak etc. (unless it’s to be a ‘mother’ in some form or another), so we’re all encouraged to be like boys/men to get to the top, as it’s the ONLY way things can ‘work’.
4. How are women represented in the current popular culture?
We are represented as being grossly and obsessively insecure, vain, fickle and hyper sexualised. TV shows, movies, video clips and Reality TV shows, like The Shire, have played a huge role in this. In terms of advertising, we have always been force-fed the phrase, “Sex Sells” and taken it as law. The only problem is that it’s only our sex that’s being sold.
5. Why are women being exploited for money? Worse still, why do women play into it?
Women are instilled (soon to be from birth – the final frontier) with a sense of massive insecurity. We are painted an ever unattainable picture of what we have to aspire to, to be considered beautiful. To say the perception of beauty is a constricted one, is an understatement. The only way to ‘get there’ is to shell out insane amounts of money, as well as revere those who can afford it…who look like plastic. (???)
My logical brain cannot compute how women allow themselves to be duped in this manner. All of this only sets women up to fail, hate themselves and, in turn, spend more money. We pay more for EVERYTHING – clothes, shoes, haircuts etc. – and yet, look back at point 1.
What about our boys/men?
6. Is the internet teaching our youth about sex in a detrimental manner?
I think so. Especially for boys as it’s in their nature to view porn. As I’ve always said, I don’t think the feelings and hormones have changed since the days of yore – but the internet and its reach did not exist in the past. Porn is much more explicit now. How are boys going to establish loving and respectful relationships with women when they’ve seen woman after woman dehumanised as merely a sexual object? Sex…education?
7. Why do we have a culture actually named, Rape Culture?
Rape everywhere. In every corner of the globe.
8. Why are men’s responses to these issues so defensive?
I find it a tad frustrating that many men take comments made about their gender personally and some even start to actually argue for the (right??) to perpetuate the derogative labels lumped on women: Bitches, Sluts etc… at home, in jokes, in games, in shows, on drinks’ menus…
9. Where are the voices, and faces, of all the good men?
We know you’re there, but we can’t hear you!
So this is the big 10th question for my first birthday blog:
Question #132: What is our legacy going to be?
What can we do to look back and feel proud of how we, as a village, raised our children by moulding a more balanced world for them?
The pivotal word there is BALANCED.
We have to stop looking at the typical cliché, “That’s the way it’s always been and nothing’s going to change.” In terms of how we feel inside – yes, that’s true – but we are in a critical state of denial if we think that the information that is available to everyone, of every age, as they sit at their computer, is not having a detrimental effect.
I believe, wholeheartedly, that we can create change – but it must start with the individual.
Thank you SO much for joining me this year. I eagerly look forward to more passionate debates, discussions and fiery conversations with you.