Dr Caroline Heldman (who appeared in Missrepresentation) spoke at the TEDx Youth Conference, for twelve or so minutes – without pause. Amazing.

It’s a bloody brilliant presentation that encapsulates everything that is wrong with our current paradigm – delivered with clear-cut explanations, facts, research and solutions.

She looks at what sexual objectification is and whether it’s empowering.

An absolutely fantastic and succinct discourse.

Question #140: So, ladies – are we going to put an end to this self-destructive behaviour, once and for all?

Deep Breath.



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.

Deep Breath.



A cocktail drinks’ menu has come to light.
It’s so bad. The malice is two-fold – not only because of the actual names that were chosen for the cocktails, but that not one person got in its way and said, “No, this is wrong.”

With all the horrific, violent and frequent incidences that are occurring around the world, someone ultimately gave the final OK to this declaration of hate.


What is it? A dare? A challenge?
“We’re not going to stop calling you sluts and you can’t make us!” Is that it?

This is what I wrote on the Spectrum Daiquiri Bar Facebook page:

When you write these horrible terms about women, you write about ALL women – your mother, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and granddaughters. You can’t say, “Oh no, I didn’t mean you” – it doesn’t work that way.
This is hateful – “Shut her up” and “Slut’. These are the reasons men rape.

Even more deplorable still, you make it a poster (condoning rape culture), that young people read as they’re getting drunk – actually helping create a toxic and violent world for women.
Why do you hate so much?
Shame on you.

Condoning rape culture = hate.

I reckon that if you filtered down all the reasons why men rape women, it would probably be because he either sees her as a slut or just wanted to shut her the **** up?

And this bar thought it would be hi-laaaarious to use these contemptuous and patronising labels for women…whilst young people are brainwashed – as they drink their mind stupid.

BUT – we’re not doing enough about this. Yes, things are being said; but not enough is being done.

If we did, this would simply be stopped. WE – the consumer – saying:

“We won’t stand for this. We don’t want it.”

The volume of the good men’s voices needs to be cranked up a few notches. Lots of women have left comments on this bar’s page, but there are barely any from men – showing their dissatisfaction, that is.

C’mon guys! (Spectrum Daiquiri Bar)
Whatever your age – tell them you’re ashamed.

I hope, with all my heart, that everyone simply boycotts this place (in Brisbane).
I’m sure there must be better places to go to, that respect both genders AKA people.
Give them your hard-earned dollars. Invest in something good, which means taking your business elsewhere. Boom.

Question #130: How empowering would that feel?

…plus it would be fun, wouldn’t it? Feeling that use of power for good?

Deep Breath.



Rape Culture #3

January 3, 2013

A cell within the group Anonymous, called ‘Knight Sec’ decided to be a voice against the injustice that came of the gang rape of an unconscious, 16 year old girl in Ohio, by members of a football team – who also documented it all. She was unconscious because she was

“intentionally drugged with a ‘date-rape’ intoxicant.”

The community, police and justice system, that rallied behind theses boys (widely known by their nickname, ‘The Rape Crew’) and swept it all under the carpet, were given until the end of 2012 to come forward and apologise – make things right – otherwise Anonymous was going to publish the information they had gathered.

No-one apologised.

So here is the report that was leaked to the public on the 1st Jan.

It includes the following video footage of the boys admitting to the rape.
*WARNING: This Video Is Extremely Disturbing – Viewer Discretion Is Advised.

Michael Colin Nodianos Admiting To Rape from Commander X on Vimeo.

I only have one question (it would be great if guys help me out here with some insight):

Question #129: Knowing what WE were like as teens – is this type of guy more common now?

What terrifies me most is not what they did to her (although it literally makes my stomach somersault and heart ache), it’s what they think of her – as they laugh…and laugh…and laugh…

In this case, these men flaunted their misogyny through sadistic rape and even urinated on this poor girl – who is ruined for life. But this deplorable attitude can manifest in a number of different ways – domestic violence, forced prostitution etc – and it’s seeping through globally.

* Afgan girl shot in the head for ‘being a prostitute’ in front of a cheering crowd of Taliban men who were fighting over her – DIED.

* Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head for wanting an education – LIVED.

* Indian girl’s horrific gang rape – DIED.

* This girl – intentionally drugged, sodomised, urinated on, dragged unconscious from party to party – LIVED.


And, of course, these are just the ones we hear about – 1 in 3 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

I want my daughters to be able to go out and confidently participate in this world – but it chills me to think that these guys are out there.

So – is it worse than before?

Guys/Men? Thoughts?

Deep Breath.


PS There are no words to describe what I feel about the guy in the video – making joke, after joke, after joke. Just the manner in which he says the same type of thing over and over again, fills me with a strong and uncharacteristic desire, to smack his smug and idiotic face out. The cameraman laughing at all his jokes and egging him to keep going, would be next.
The following is what he wrote on Twitter:


Two women left great comments, in response to the previous post about Rape Culture.

I would like to address two of the points made by these women.

1. lamehousewife was suggesting that the ad on the bus is a reflection of the type of women the priest was talking about.

I agree.

Throughout my posts, I have always made a strong point (I hope) on the massive contribution women are making to the problems they face in this patriarchal society. Ads, like the one on the back of the bus, can only exist with a woman’s consent.

Without women agreeing to normalise this hyper-sexualised, fickle, fake image of womanhood – we have little chance of attaining any sort of equality amongst this man’s world.

However, I AM about balance and the point of my last post was simply that the solution/solving conversations that make the papers, are about what women have to do to stop the Rape Culture.

But what about the guys/men? The ones COMMITTING the crime?


Most of the time, it has nothing to do with what a woman wears. A lot of the time it can be a family member, raping a daughter/niece…or she didn’t do as she was told…or she looks like his mother and he hates his mother…etc. etc. etc.

I’m sure I (we) could find a gazillion reasons why so many men rape women…but the only common denominator, is that it’s men inflicting violence against women on an unprecedented and global scale.

As I said in my response, there is currently heated discussion at the prevalence of males being behind mass shootings, like the recent ones in the United States. Well, this is MORE prevalent…and also inflicted by men.

Where’s the article on that in mainstream media?

Where are the mental health programs for them? Or is it simply too many men?

More importantly:

Question #128: How are our boys being taught NOT to think of women as useless (except for one thing) and ‘gagging-for-it’?

If we’re not implementing the above, then we are simply stepping aside and allowing the Rape Culture to perpetuate.

You can get it on a t-shirt (this one’s a tame one):


Or in a meme:


You get the idea…

2. Kate left a fantastic comment which hits the nail on the head; looking at this from another angle. A part of what she wrote was the following:

“I long for the time women regain their worth, their subtle and centred power, and this can’t happen by drinking as much as men or lowering our sexual standards by removing our sense of love and care and giving, or by trying to ‘be’ like men. We are depth that are women! Yet we seem to be under the stupidity of unawakened ideals that put us ‘beneath’ another gender.”

Exactly, right?

We simply can’t allow ourselves to believe what’s said about us or how we’re portrayed. We are actually short-changing the fantastic, awesome wonderfulness that it is to be a woman and short-changing what we can offer – together with men.

Finally, another reader left the following YouTube clip. It was posted online only a few months ago and it’s your regular, fit, young man giving out some advice to ‘the brotherhood’ about women.
Some of the language used may offend some women.

And this is the type of guy that’s out there…

It’s not all of them – no – but they’re what’s in fashion now.

Any alarm bells ringing yet?

Thank you so much for all the engaging and insightful comments and calm discussion. Keep them coming!

Man or woman.

Deep Breath.


Sorry for the heavy title, but a few articles popped up today, that have me incensed…again.

Why? Because the current reign of our ever-present Rape Culture, seeping into every crevice, is simply infuriating me.

The definition of Rape Culture from upsettingrapeculture.com, writes the following:

In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate, rape. Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

This is what it means when people say that sexism and violence against women are “naturalised.” It means that people in our current society believe these attitudes and actions always have been, and always will be.

Just the way things areJust are.

Question #126: Isn’t that the general reason/excuse for indifference?


I started this post today after I saw the following article regarding the comments made by a Catholic Priest – Father Piero Corsi – in Italy:

Italians outraged by priest’s claim that women bring violence on themselves.

“The title of message was ‘Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?’

“Father Piero Corsi said scantily dressed women bring out the worst instincts in men and cause violence or sexual abuse. He claimed women end up exacerbating tensions by ‘leaving children to themselves, having filthy houses, serving cold meals, buying fast food and providing dirty clothes.’ “



When will ‘the worst instincts in men’ be what attains the pressure from society to change?

No, no, no. It’s us – women. WE have to change…how we dress, how we act, what we say…

But…really…is that what the men in the church (and men in general maybe?) feel is the actual solution?

Will rape and violence against women cease to exist if we stopped wearing plunging necklines?…and stopped providing dirty clothes…and serving cold meals (is that a cold heart too?)…and…and…and…

We all know the answer to that is no.

Hence, we have a Rape Culture.

And yet, if all the rational people think that what’s happening is going down a dark, violent and septic alley, why are we not seeing anything being implemented to stop the continuing, harrowing statistics?

Now I have an even heavier heart due to reading that the poor girl who was gang raped in India, has just died from her injuries.

The following article was a response to the Indian girl’s rape itself, telling women they should carry chilli powder to throw in the eyes of their attacker and not go out at night.

How to prevent sexual assault (no chilli powder required)

Again, GREAT! Anything else for women to do?

This article does have a wonderful list of tips, however, that should actually be used to encourage a change. Tongue-in-cheek – yes – but you get what it’s saying:

Anne Bartow’s Sexual Assault Prevention Tips

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behaviour.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “by accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

Here’s an idea: How about it’s NOT women who attempt to stop things, from a defence position; not being allowed to be themselves.

How about governments intervene from a ‘childhood educational angle’?

Tone down the amount of imagery that’s EVERYWHERE, like this:


I pulled up behind this bus when it was stopped. This is the moving billboard, distracting everyone who’s driving. And where’s the filter for all the developing brains who are taking it all in?

Woman=gagging for it (look at the image)=looove sex=rape.

Question #127: How about implementing a new program in schools? Australian National Curriculum?

We need something. Anything.

Deep Breath.


Well, it definitely feels like there is starting to be more and more debate on gender behaviour. The following articles have different perspectives and experiences that I thought you might like. I did. There are many, many more articles out there, but I feel like I can’t keep up sometimes.- which is good, I suppose. Voices are being heard.

This first article written by Laurie Penny looks at the sexist bullying women can (and do) face on the Internet:

“Perhaps it should be comforting when calling a woman fat and ugly is the best response to her arguments, but it’s a chill comfort, especially when one realises, as I have come to realise over the past year, just how much time and effort some vicious people are prepared to expend trying to punish and silence a woman who dares to be ambitious, outspoken, or merely present in a public space.”

From the article: A woman’s opinion is the mini-skirt of the internet

The next article is written by Yashar Ali:

“You’re so sensitive. You’re so emotional. You’re defensive. You’re overreacting. Calm down. Relax. Stop freaking out! You’re crazy! I was just joking, don’t you have a sense of humor? You’re so dramatic. Just get over it already!

Sound familiar?

If you’re a woman, it probably does. Do you ever hear any of these comments from your spouse, partner, boss, friends, colleagues, or relatives after you have expressed frustration, sadness, or anger about something they have done or said?”

From article: A Message to Women from a Man – You Are Not ‘Crazy’

This final article has restored Germaine Greer in my good books again. The following article appeared in The Canberra Times this last Saturday, and it’s great. Germaine voices an opinion on an experience in Amsterdam, which ruffled her feathers – and rightly so!

“At an event in Amsterdam recently, I was ordered by a woman on the stage to take the hand of the woman next to me, who happened to be 76-year-old Hedy d’Ancona, and tell her she was beautiful. This would be more conducive to her self-esteem, apparently, than reminding her that, having served as a minister under two Dutch governments, as a member of the European Parliament, and as chairman of Dutch Oxfam, she was immensely distinguished and I was honoured to be sitting next to her.”

From Greer’s article: Hands up if you’re feeling any less revolting?

It’s something I’ve been writing about for a while – The beauty we aspire to, does not come naturally…or cheaply.

I concur with you on this one, Germaine.

Don’t forget that Dove’s parent company, Unilever (which I’ve also written about), also did the sexist Lynx campaigns.

Dove’s message to women – “Love yourself for who you are, whatever shape. You’re beautiful!”


Lynx’s message to women: “You’re not beautiful and no man will want you, if you don’t look – and act – like this.” (PS Buy Dove or any other Unilever product – that MAY help).


Conflict of messages, much?

A Lynx’s poster campaign, for shower gel, featuring a woman standing underneath an outdoor shower on a beach wearing bikini bottoms while clasping an undone top against her boobs. The poster ran with the strapline “The cleaner you are the dirtier you get”.


Anyway, I’ll leave you read.

It’s time to step outside of ‘the emotion’ of life and start becoming a rational observer of it.

Question #123: What do you see?

Deep Breath.


A misogynist’s response.

December 8, 2012

Misogynist definition:

a person who hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women.

This man was obviously looking for something else when he stumbled onto my post about Zoo Magazine – Go and put the kettle on – and wrote this comment:

“Hey lady its not a dick dont take it so hard now go make me a sandwich”

That’s hate. That’s dislike. That’s mistreatment.

I feel warm and fuzzy knowing there’s so many like him everywhere AND perpetuated in the media.

Question #119: Why not comment back to him? 

Guys too.

Deep Breath.



Watch this one minute ad.

December 7, 2012

Question #118: Thoughts? Do you agree there’s an urgent problem?

If your answer is no – we’re screwed.


I haven’t got time – I’m about to go to our School’s presentation evening.

BUT…I have to share this with you.

This video is made by a young man who has used his voice  – and it’s wonderful.

Spot on.

Question #116: What can we, men and women, do to change things around?

Boys/guys/men: stop pushing your adult sexual urges and fantasies onto our kids (surely it can be interpreted that doing nothing is giving consent to it). Have some decency.

Toddlers in tiaras/sluts/crazy nut-jobs:


Look at how you’re being represented.

Question for women #117: Why are we even in the ads/shows/movies/music videos etc. etc. etc. to start with? Perpetuating it? 

Women (as a gender) are helping – in a BIG way – to sell ourselves short. We are CONFIRMING everything that’s portrayed about us.

So that’s why we think it’s reality – but it’s not.

I’m not like that!

I find it gobsmacking that I’ve already had a sex talk with my 9 year old daughter – a while ago, actually – because that ‘slut’ representation is everywhere. Some queried whether she was too young for that chat and I thought, “Too young? My talk as a mother to her daughter, answering her questions, is more scrutinised than what we’re allowing them to see, like wallpaper?”

Our lives should have the tag-line: Parental Guidance Recommended.

Come on…what can we do to have a happier, mental world? To help our girls AND boys.

I have to go.

Deep Breath