Location: Coles – one of the major Australian supermarket chains.
Area: Magazine Section
In the past I have merely done this:

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But today – Wed 7th Jan – I decided I would say something, when I saw this on the second lowest shelf:

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I wrote to Coles to explain my experience in one of their stores:

In my visit to a Sydney Coles store this afternoon, I went past the magazine section and saw Zoo magazine (imaged attached) on the second lowest row – small child height – next to Peppa Pig. I asked a worker who was in the same aisle, who I could talk to about it and he directed me to go to the front desk. My children and I had a few items to buy so I asked the employee serving us in the express lane. I believe she was in a managerial position as she was making announcements over the speakers to coworkers. I explained what I saw and she said that everything had to be placed where Coles says and that there was nothing employees could change in terms of an item’s location – in this case, to put Zoo magazine high up (top) on the shelves. She showed me an example of this with a nearby drink refrigerator; pointing out the sticker which clearly indicates EXACTLY how it must be stocked. She also explained that a recent visit from the person who checks that it’s done properly, was VERY unhappy because it was incorrectly stocked. We – the Coles manager and myself – then moved to the magazine section and when we looked at the labels along the shelves (indicating where every magazine should be) – not one magazine was in its correct place. She removed the magazines and I trust (and hope) that the Zoo magazine ended up being placed high – if it has to go back at all. It would be fantastic if Coles takes the lead and sees the good removing magazines like Zoo from sale would do. It takes a village to raise a child and supermarkets – like Coles – are a part of that village. It also takes integrity. Consumers who want to see sexually, objectified women can access it everywhere – but it feels culturally oppressive when a magazine, sporting the image of a sexually objectified woman on a cover that matches its contents, is being sold at a supermarket chain, like Coles – placed low on its shelving. There were multiple copies of the magazine behind one another, so it was purposely placed there. Do you think it would be possible for Coles to stop selling Zoo magazine and any other magazines of its type? (In this particular store the only objectifying magazine that was on sale was Zoo, so I don’t know if there are others). Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and look forward to hearing from you. Paula Orbea

The following is a cartoon I’ve seen cross my Timeline from time to time, which asks a crucial question:

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Right? Another moment worth noting, was the response the managerial employee gave me when I was suggesting the magazine shouldn’t really be sold there in the first place. Her expression was one of raised eyebrows, looking at the cover, coupled with an expression (small smile?) that suggested it ‘wasn’t that bad’ – and said:

“I reckon you see worse on TV.”

“Yes”, I agreed, “but that’s a whole different issue.”

I don’t understand that kind of statement as an argument; that there’s something worse. There’s always something worse, and then something worse than that. And then worse than that.

That sort of statement argues that one shouldn’t stand and confront the ‘small stuff’ – like the soft porn industry, in this case; an industry that is heavily guiding younger and younger people toward an ocean of porn online (including terribly violent ones) – because there are *other* problems deemed more important for an activist attend to first…generally something in the ball park of, ‘Stop ISIS’ or ‘Get the girls from Nigeria back’.

What I find curious is how people who do *nothing*, suddenly presume themselves the Traffic Cops of Activism. In this case, the Coles employee removed the magazines, for the sole reason that they were in the wrong place. If it were to turn out that the Zoo magazines’ location – assigned by Coles – is smack bang in the middle of them all, I know that this employee would have put them in their ‘rightful place’ – as that is her directive. I’d like to add that this employee was courteous and professional in her conversation with me and that I appreciated her attention on the matter.

As I think of Maria in The Sound of Music teaching the children (through song, of course)about starting at the very beginning, as it’s a very good place to start – so must we. That is the only way change can truly occur – by getting to the roots of behaviour and action.

So have a look for yourselves – in the everyday world you and young people reside and ask:

Question #220 : What’s going on at ground zero?

What lessons and attitudes are being taught through consumption? Well, the selling of ‘soft porn’ (aka porn culture) in supermarkets is one thing, wouldn’t you say?

Deep breath.

PS This is the response I received from Coles:

Dear Ms Orbea

Thank you for your letter regarding the sale of magazines in our Coles stores.

Coles aim to provide customers with a wide range of products that appeal to a broad range of consumer tastes. We are very aware of our responsibilities in relation to the display of various magazines in our stores and we must comply with the guidelines set by the Classification Board and legislative requirements regarding the selection and placement of various magazines.

Magazines such as Zoo and FHM, do not have a classification rating, as set by the Classification Board, and form part of our men’s interest range of magazines.

Coles only sell magazines that are unclassified and to help ensure a comfortable shopping experience for all customers, these particular men’s magazines must be placed in our reading centres within our stores and are not to be sold from the stands next to the registers.

We are sorry to hear that you find these magazines offensive* and have forwarded your comments to our Merchandise Team so that they are also aware of your concerns.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to your future custom at Coles.

Regards

Patrick Chylinski
Coles Customer Care

*[Doesn’t sound like an apology]

I have grappled with the issue of pitting and comparing the actions and/or adversities of one gender by using the other to illustrate, for a long time – but it simply does not sit right with me.

It is like comparing apples with oranges.

For the most part, I believe the intention is generally a positive one (which is a refreshing step toward good), but when perceptions and customs related to gender are so profoundly entrenched, it falls short of accurately addressing the deep-seeded issues of gender disparity.

Exhibit A:

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This is a familiar visual representation that now seems to be common practice in highlighting gender-label ridiculousness – namely, a female’s.

There are two issues I have with this sort of juxtaposition:

1. Females have always been represented in this way – used as (sexual) ornaments. Males never have. So when we look at the females in the images, we see ‘normal’ and when we scan across to the males in similar poses, we see humour.

Steve Carell, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert recently did a photo shoot, emphasising the ludicrous poses females are encouraged to do:

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Its intentions are admirable but – it’s not the same. It’s just funny.
That humour can (ultimately) also work negatively for the females they’re trying to help, by making them look stupid for participating in their own exploitation; for posing that way in the first place.

I recently saw a snippet of reality TV the other day – one that does renovations on houses. There was a moment where all the contestants had an impromptu dance-off, which lead to the inevitable circle where they strut their stuff in the middle. One of the women chose to be semi-provocative by doing some fetching grinding moves against her partner.
Next was a male. He also did a bit of a provocative dance. It was funny. Everyone laughed.

2. The biggest issue, however, is vulnerability.
When a female is posing sexually, she is vulnerable – her breasts may be practically exposed; she may be bending over something with a short skirt; she may be wearing impossible-to-walk-in-heels (not easy to escape anyone in high heels btw) – you follow my drift.
The males in these representations, however, are not vulnerable.
Their only place of vulnerability is their penis and that is (as always in this current paradigm) *fully* covered.

Everywhere; every time.

How ironic that we seem to find comfort in the male gender – dipped head high in privilege – outlining the woes of the ‘lesser’ gender. Double irony? In most cases it’s statistically males pushing females to pose this way in the first place.

OK, let’s turn the tables; in format as well as gender reversal.

Let’s look at how men are represented and doing the switch.

Exhibit B:

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The image above is from the show, Beauty and the Geek. Never before have I witnessed such a blatantly sexist prime-time show; super-gluing more gender stereotypes to an already fragile equation.
Female = sexy, hot and DUMB;
Male = be who you want to be, you can still get a ‘hot’ female.

Can you imagine a show – heck, a REALITY – where we see females who are daggy/geeky/nerds of various body shapes, together with ‘hot’ males?

I can – but know it’s a concept that is (for the most part) a flash in the pan.
I remember through ads that Glee had a moment where an overweight girl was coupled with the hot football player.

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I wonder how many people were genuinely comfortable watching that visual?
I say visual because that’s all ANY of this is based on.
It’s irrelevant whether personalities gel or if people have a profound connection, because ultimately that’s not the message that wants to get taught; there’s no money to be made, if females are secure within themselves, after all.

I intensely wish for a more equal and balanced playing field for females and the bottom line is that females are more than just being the packaging for males’ sexual fantasies.

Question #199: Isn’t this world ready – YET – to unlock the wonderful array of possibilities – just by getting past that horrifically limiting idea of females?

I’ll leave you to think.

My next post is my 200th Question.
Bring your thinking caps along.

Deep Breath.

x

This year, our school has started down the technology education road and we’ve had to purchase an iPad for my 11 year old daughter. It has been a mildly tiresome and frustrating transition, having both girls wanting their turn on it and playing games.

A few days ago, I found out that one of the games Ms 11 has on her iPad (that I purchased for her) has a feature for playing with strangers within the app (not through Game Centre). I was not aware of this until I found out she had interacted with two people – one who claimed to be a 10 year old boy from Germany and another person who called her some nasty names.

Now my daughter is pretty mature for her age – but she is still only just turned eleven.
When I exclaimed a bit of shock about her online interactions, saying she had NO idea who the person was, she replied, “No mum, he’s really nice.”

I flew into a mild panic because even though I engage in many a conversation with her, over a gaggle of issues regarding Internet use, I still have to remind myself that she is still ONLY eleven. Maturity or not, her response above only proved she was acting exactly her age – with trust.

With heightened alarm I explained how predators know exactly how to speak to children – they’ve been doing it for a long, long time.
They know what to say; they know how to groom.

To illustrate the point, I decided to show her how easy it is to lift a photo off the Net, with which to create a fake profile. I wanted one of a girl her age. I used my laptop to do this – not her iPad.

This is the moment where we hit a horrific snag.

I went to google images and wrote ‘girls’. With weary predictability, the images that splashed up on the screen, were mainly of scantily clad (mainly adult) females – nothing they don’t see virtually everywhere related to media and advertising.
So I thought I’d narrow down the search and looked for images of ‘school girls’.

I can’t believe how fast I was in covering the screen with my hands because it wasn’t the fact that now there were even more images of (mainly adult) females in their hyper-sexualised ‘school uniforms’ – it was that the second image that appeared on the whole page, was of a beheaded young girl; her body was on the right, her head on the left, facing her shoulder.

I sent my daughter out while I checked other images and then started to cry.
That image wasn’t the only one – there were a few others – peppered amongst the ‘naughty school girls.’

I know there’s nothing I can do about it, but I still wonder:

Question #198: Why has the world become so callous and cruel?

Violence and Porn. Everywhere. Everywhere.

I quickly composed myself and after thoroughly checking content, I called her back. I showed her videos and discussed Internet Safety in terms of:
1. Not knowing who you’re talking to;
2. Being very, very careful about what images and/or videos they put up (in the future).

Many of my 11 year old’s friends have Instagram – something I emphatically do not allow my daughter to have, due to the alarming statistics regarding the use of images on the Internet – that once it’s posted, one loses control of it.

She’s only eleven – halfway there to full cognitive brain development. Halfway.
The Internet certainly gave us a slap.

These are the videos I showed her. You might want to show these to your children too.

This is for young children who don’t know who they’re chatting to.

This is a great and simple video with two 11 year old girls as the protagonists.

This one is more for teens losing control of images. I think it’s well done.

Big Deep Breath.

x

The penny has dropped for me.

It happened last week; the week that saw this blog turn two – a blog that was spawned from the chasm of questions I had about myself and the world I was navigating through with my two daughters. At risk of sounding like a colossal cliché, it was, in fact, my phase as a mother that really drove the creation of the blog…I was starting to lose myself in the label and rubber stamp that is, mother’.
The intention was to engage with others and make some sense of the madness; to dig down to the dark and selfish root system our species seems to be drawing its inspiration from an attempt to unpack the question: How did we get to this toxic point in time?
An online discussion with radical feminist, Sister Trinity, saw me reach a pinnacle in my thinking. 

The problem is gender; more specifically gender roles and labels.

Before I delve deeper into that nugget, let me explain the angle from which I am coming.
I’m currently engaging in an intensive workshop with my daughters these holidays, teaching them to be smart about the actions they take. From as simple as how to hang a wet towel out to dry, to more complex scenarios – basically everything, really.
I’m teaching them to think of the big picture. Think and be smart; unlock some ingenuity. Narrow the problem down to its core and then take action that’s intelligent. The big picture has to include their fellow human beings (from a starting point of kindness) and therefore actions must cater to others’ rights. It all starts in the home in how we deal with each other and extends out. I am also participating in this little workshop I’ve concocted with the girls.

The A-Ha moment
Up until last week I systematically accepted that men and women had certain ‘characteristics’. Sister Trinity’s words to me, however, finally ignited a long-awaited burst of clarity which resonated succinctly to me:

“There is no ‘female mind’  – sex is physical.
Our bodies shouldn’t define who we are IN ANY WAY.
This is what feminism fights (should fight) for.
The idea that we are born with essentially ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ personalities – not just male and female bodies – is deeply offensive; since if you look at what ‘femininity’ stands for, it’s clear patriarchy has assigned the inferior and submissive caretaker role to us.”  

BAM!
And we know it’s correct because we know we don’t teach  according to ‘gendered’ brains. I am not altering what I’m teaching my daughters (nor in my classroom) due to whether they have a male or female brain – I’m just teaching. As do you.

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I still think that nature (which always pushes for procreation) draws man and woman together, but that should be it. Everything else is a construct. An ever-shrinking label of conformity. Everything.

If you’re shaking your head and thinking (as I do at times),  ‘But I AM this way through my choice’, I would simply ask you to just ponder how much has really been your choice? It’s not black and white, I know, but it deserves thought. This is not the moment for the discussion of ‘choice’ but we human beings have to agree that we have little choice in our lives – planet wide – when you sensibly think about it…except on how to spend your money, of course.

Nature v Nurture? I think the majority of it, is nurtured.
If life is a complete construct and you’ve been told, since birth, how each gender ‘should’ behave and more importantly, what it should strive for in life (especially in the ‘western world’), then it only stands to reason that gender IS the root of many of the serious conundrums we’re facing today – stretching back through a very long and entrenched system.

To explore even further, my birthday question to you is:

Question #196: What IS a woman?

Really think about this.

Pretty? Dumb? Sexy? Hairless? Mother? Nurturer? Weak? Desperate? Emotional (crying)? Whore? Wants to get married to a man and have babies? Bitch? Can’t make her own money so has to marry a man? Credit card addict? Shopping addict? Likes pink? Squeals if she sees a mouse? Likes housework? Nag? Knows how to get stains out? Multi-tasker?

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Whatever you add, these are all simply labels (what gender roles basically are) and countless women will vehemently disagree with being pigeon-holed into these labels because we know that what’s inside us is unique and that the only thing women have in common is a uterus.

For that matter, what is a man?
The boss? Bread winner? Player? Intelligent? The Man?  Powerful? Ruler? Strong? Stupid? Emotional (violent)? Rapist? Detached emotionally? Hates the idea of being ‘tied down’? Under the thumb?  Needs a man cave? Handyman? Car hoon? Ejaculation obsessed? Blue wearer? Sports obsessed? Violent video games obsessed? Dickhead? Useless? Pants only?
Same goes here, as above. All constructed labels. The difference is that males benefit greatly from this list.

I'm Glad 8

The world we have designed is ludicrous. We have become stupid.
We have allowed this design to nurture an obsession with greed and to revolve around giving the penis full privilege in seeking out what it needs to gain satisfaction. Mainly women.

Whilst the subservient females fulfil their destinies as mothers and housekeepers, whilst juggling all the injustices and inequalities that are thrown their way – again only due to owning a uterus.

In short, we are suffocating the true potential of what we can achieve – for all – as a species.

This stagnant construct can change through how we raise our children. To quote Yoda, we have to ‘unlearn what we have learned‘ and give our children a basis that teaches that we all have unique and amazing bodies that provide natural functions and miracles, but it is our mind that can do, be and express itself in whichever way it wants – as long as the rights that one expects for oneself, are afforded to the rest.

To practise humanity.

We need to be smart about this.

Deep Breath.

x

A weighty issue.

October 19, 2013

Weight.

Women’s weight.

Girls’ weight.

Your weight.

Her weight.

An entrenched obsession – incessantly being discussed in all forms – being passed on from adult woman to intently watching and learning girl.

Chelsea, a fan who follows my Facebook page, sent me an email due to the following meme that I found and put up on my page:

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I LOVE the message of it but I also questioned whether the body in the image was the most realistic for the message. Chelsea wrote:

I’m a naturally slender and tall woman. I can gladly say I am proud of my body just the way it is but I’m sometimes made to feel guilty about this. It’s becoming increasingly common for people like me to be called unnatural or unrealistic. I know that what is portrayed in the media is often not a healthy image but I think we should be starting a movement of acceptance that we are all different in so many ways and that it’s important to be healthy and happy rather than still trying to paint a picture of what ‘real’ women look like.

This is part of what I responded to her:

I want – with all my soul – to live in a world where women’s bodies are not even an issue; that it’s just a vessel which houses an amazing human being.
I may sometimes focus on the larger figured women on this page, to help those who feel shame about their size and to hopefully help them start having more positive thoughts about themselves.
I am a naturally slender and tall woman too and lost 10 kilos (2 and a half years after giving birth to my second child). Many said I’d lost too much weight – although for my height I was well within the healthy weight range. But people still passed judgement.
I didn’t really do much to lose that weight – it’s like my body became that way with a few minor changes to diet but a
major change to my attitude toward my body. I loved it.
That’s what really worked.

I know many healthy women who are both overweight AND underweight – it’s just the body they have.
I similarly know women who do no exercise and eat poorly but are ‘slim’ . However, they may have issues down the track with their health.
A lot of the time – weight has little to do with health.

*** AND NOTHING TO DO WITH BEAUTY ***

Beauty is a state of mind.

I agree with Chelsea that the term, ‘Real Woman’, can be damaging because we are ALL real women – even slender ones.

The following is from a wonderful series of cartoons from Colleen Clark’s Body Image Comic. This first one hits the nail on the head:

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I have to admit that it was only recently that I had a moment of clarity with my own daughters’ figures, purely due to how different their bodies are. Polar opposites.

My eldest has always been an eager eater…from birth.
I (and my husband) have always looked out for her – purely from a health perspective; an intake of too much food (or too much of the wrong foods) would cause imbalance in the body.

She is nearly 11. She is tall for her age; a muscly, solid, amazonian girl.

My 7 year old is another matter entirely. Some may describe her as skeletal.
Her weight is fine for her age, but her height is quite a bit taller – hence her slim shape.

Both my girls are unique. Their bodies are unique. As each woman’s body is unique.
They eat well and are always on the move – yet they look completely different.
I’m sure, however, that both – especially my eldest, will be judged.

They will see, as a gender, women (and girls) being miserable with the way they look – endlessly comparing themselves to the few who fall into the ‘beautiful’ category.

But it is simply a category – one that’s designed to instil insecurity for the pure purpose of making billions of dollars – forever making us doubt our worth.

Question #188: Why do women believe so heavily in all this and participate in its perpetuation?

Well, I will not do it to my daughters.
Their figures are what they are and I will simply guide them toward their bodies being nurtured as healthily as possible.

I want this to be the lesson:

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Deep Breath.

Now exhale.
You’re radiant just as you are.

Now go be a great role model.

xxx

I really hope so.
Although, this is for women too – of course. I’m sure there are many who will disagree with me.

I apologise for my absence of late – it seems the strains of life as a full-time working mum have pockets when they take their toll. I’m sure many working mums can give me an exhausted ‘amen’ there.

This bit’s for the guys. (You can listen in, though, gals)

Last week, I escaped with Hubby and the girls to a National Park for three days, with zero phone reception and no Net. It was sublime and enormously relaxing – which was just the ticket, as I think I was heading toward a ‘system overload’ situation.
Having access to the world would have rendered the whole mini-break pointless, as the crappy things that are going on profoundly affect me.

So, my first ‘me’ activity on the first day, was to pluck the hairs off my legs.

Mmmmmm – I hear ya – exciting stuff.

Now I know that I said in my last post on this issue – A hairy moment – that my only manner of removing leg hair was through shaving, BUT I had purchased a new ‘machine’ and after recently slicing the top off a toe knuckle with a razor (infuriating and bloody painful), as I attempted to balance in the shower to shave, I thought I’d give the ‘hair yank’  another shot.
Exfoliation and cream galore will be needed to stop the usual ingrown hairs.

So as my legs started to welt – Exhibit A:

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– my daughters entered the room, looking quite perplexed, and asked why I was doing that. Like I was a crazy person.

At that moment, guys, what am I to say?

The truth? – that less than a hundred years ago, this became the ‘fashion’ and sealed our doomed fate to constantly undo what nature has given us?

Or our truth? – that they simply have to and will spend a truck load of money in the process?

I sat there – blinking (with the sounds of crickets) – and just looked at them.

Blank.

Question # 184: Do you see the conundrum we’re in as women?

At every turn – it’s JUST about our looks.
And that attitude permeates everything to do with women.

I want to instil in my girls – in ALL girls (and dare I dream it; boys and men) – that beauty absolutely comes in all shapes, colours…and (heaven forbid) hairiness.

But how can I teach that when I’m sitting there – intentionally – ripping the hair off my legs, leaving them in welts?

I felt a bit like a fraud.

So, I’m still a feminist who will not let my leg and armpit hair grow, because it’s entrenched in my views of beauty  – BUT can you understand the frustration?

Before some of you guys say you have an equal problem because you have to shave your faces – I’ll respond with. ‘But by beauty standards you don’t have to.’ Exhibit B:

kinopoisk.ruHugh Jackman sports a scruffy beard while greeting fans outside the 'Late Show with David Letterman' in NYC7402119_f520

We have to…and it’s a bummer.

OK gals, this part is for you AS WELL. (Don’t go anywhere yet, fellas)

No, hair removal is not the number one issue that women face – by a long shot – women have much graver and more horrifying problems to face and deal with, on a global scale.

I wrote about this because I needed to explain the simple frustration of women (with the means – like myself) choosing to shave their legs, at the expense of all our wallets – men’s and women’s – AND the environment.

Imagine the plastic (as an example) we’d have saved from being produced, if this weren’t the fashion for women?
And the resources to MAKE that plastic? It’s mind-boggling when hair removal is a billion dollar industry.

All for what? Hair?

Sadly, the logic doesn’t translate to the already converted – like me – but:

Question #185: Should we really be doing this to ourselves and imparting it onto our kids?

It’s like men can be as hairy as they want to be and are steered away from their feminine aspects (which balances them out) – being ridiculed for being a ‘girl/woman’ in any way.

Whilst women have to rid themselves (preferably) of all body hair – except for the hair on the head, of course, which has to be long and cascading locks. (Another extreme beauty expense, BTW)
Women are being steered away from their wonderful, rugged strength (which balances them out) because those masculine traits – whether they be physical (looks) or in attitude – deem them ‘unladylike’.

We’re missing out on the best of ourselves.

We’re a bunch of idiots.

Deep Breath.

x

Stay tuned.

September 9, 2013

I have been very absent from here of late.

I have to say, it has been quite hectic this last month.

Due to work, I was away from school for two weeks and away from my family for one of those.

Although the two weeks away were hard work, it’s the return to full-time work after that absence that’s hectic. Full ON.
Add to that the cold I collected at the end (and four days with absolutely no voice – yes, my family was happy! Hahaha!), meant that after working all day, doing the after-school routine, either cooking dinner or cleaning up…or both, bedtime for the girls (you all know my pain) – I just wanted to slump into a chair and was only able to interact on Facebook.

For now, everything else has dropped off a bit including my newish relationship with Twitter…and this blog.

However, there’s another reason.

A much deeper and sadder one.

Australia just elected in a new government two days ago and I’m deeply, deeply disappointed by the result.

We all ‘knew it was coming’ (a phrase that was bounced around SO much, it passive-agressively directing the gaze of the masses), as we were inundated with biased reporting during the excruciating period of the pre-election campaign.

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In my heart I think the wrong government won.

I was very saddened to hear that 4.5 billion dollars will be cut from Foreign Aid.
It makes my heart heavy.

All I want is a better world for everyone who’s on it because, quite frankly, who am I to get more than any other person on this planet?

Who is Rupert Murdoch to get more?
Why did Australia vote for one of the richest men on the planet to influence these elections (see above image), have his way with the NBN – AND get richer from it?

What has he ever done for us? Foxtel?

You pay him for that too.

Isn’t he lucky that Australia was so compliant?

I think everyone who voted Liberal, should all get a cash handout for it, don’t you think?
A special thanks from Rupert. He can afford it.
He won’t though. He’ll keep it in his pocket as will the new government, whilst others languish in starvation, are immersed in violence and have no. way. out.

They do actually – Australia.
Umm…actually no. Not welcome here. At all.

In fact we’ll pay the people smugglers money for their boats.
(???????)

Yes, Australia voted for THAT.

There are so many more issues, but I simply can’t.

BUT – it’s a democracy and here we are.

So today I find myself wondering, “Now what?”

Together with a group of extraordinary activist women, mainly from Collective Shout – I am helping organise the campaign I mentioned a little while back; taking on the need to get rid of misogynistic magazines like ZOO, off the shelves of ‘family friendly’ locations like the Newsagency, Coles, etc.

We all know the furore there would be if there were even ONE magazine of this type found in a child care centre – but noone really bats an eyelid to the fact that:
1. they’re everywhere,
2. have no age restriction for purchasing and
3. that kids of too young an age are being exploited, with the hyper-sexalised, objectified and misogynistic images and DISCUSSIONS of women.

Here’s a shot I took at a petrol station.
As we can see there’s ZOO, at the entrance of the store, flanked by Woman’s Day and New Idea:

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Oh, so that’s where they’re positioning it now. Always at pram height too.

Question #181: Does this worry you?

I’m starting to feel that with the majority of this country, the answer is ‘No’.

Maybe it’s because they see the logic of having a woman whose underwear is falling off her, seductively showing how ‘hot’ she is – burning for it – placed at the entrance, because it makes more money.

Maybe it just doesn’t matter to them that it’s someone else’s 11 year old son buying it.
That’s their problem.

I know there are people out there – many good people I’ve met through this blog – who will be standing with us.

But we’ll be the minority.

This election just handed me that most disappointing and depressing lesson.

But – I’m here – I’m not going anywhere – I have about 2 million more things to say and DO (one of them being this upcoming campaign) – so please, stay tuned.

Deep Breath.

x

**IMPORTANT***

A journalist I know is looking for parents who have had to deal with the inappropriate exposure of child to porn.
PLEASE email: melissagjacob@gmail.com

I’m going to be interviewed for this article. Chuffed!

It would be FANTASTIC to get some stories. They can be anonymous, if that is what you wish.

The effects of porn on our children is a very real and horrible reality. We must continue to have a conversation about this.

xxx

shh-porn

I don’t know who created this image – it’s from a friend who shared it from someone else and it doesn’t recognise the creator. It came with an explanation in Spanish.*

>>> I have since discovered that it is called THE UNTOUCHABLES – by Erik Ravelo.
Erik has composed an image that is haunting.

Our children are being sacrificed for the avarice of man.

Nearly all of the Seven Deadly Sins are represented – all being satisfied. At any cost.

Children – around the world – are the very real and prevalent commodity, in the degradation of human decency.

1098439_539821966065693_630478820_n

Image #1: Pedophilia in the Church. (Vatican)

Image #2: Sex trafficking for tourists. (Thailand)

Image #3: War. (Syria)

Image #4: Organ Trafficking – Black Market – where the majority of victims are children from poor countries.

Image #5: The right to bear arms in the US.

Image #6: Obesity. (Fast Food companies)

As a species, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Ashamed for letting things get so chaotic.

Ashamed that we permit our most vulnerable – children – to be preyed upon.

The state of things are so horrific worldwide, that it seems unfathomable to actually succeed in pulling back on the reins.

Question #178: Are we going to able to get some control back?

Are we?

I really, bloody-well hope so – because in my eyes, our global mental state seems quite despondent and our beliefs, defeatist.

Our existence has to be balanced out with more of the positive – celebrating the things that fill us with light:

* Laughter * Love * Compassion * Bravery * Strength * Respect.

Human Rights.

I write with a naïve optimism; that we snap out of our collective coma and simply start making some noise – taking a stand – calling it out – changing ways.

Do it for the numbing amount of children with pain and cruelty in their lives;
lives that entered this world with the same rights to existence as you when you were born.

 

Deep Breath

 

* La primera imagen hace referencia a la pedofilia en el Vaticano. En segundo lugar el abuso sexual infantil en el turismo en Tailandia, y el tercero se refiere a la guerra en Siria. La cuarta imagen se refiere al tráfico de órganos en el mercado negro, donde la mayoría de las víctimas son niños de los países pobres, el quinto se refiere a las armas libres en los EE.UU.. Y, por último, el sexto imagen hace referencia a la obesidad, culpando a las grandes empresas de comida rápida.