It’s all so pedestrian.

August 27, 2013

Crass.

Dirty.

Unbalanced.
…not her – the representation of her performance.

How sad that Miley Cyrus seems to have completed the traditional transition from wholesome teen to hyper-sexualised, ‘gagging-for it’, young woman.

Anyone who has read my posts, knows that I am ALL FOR women being sexually liberated and having confidence when it comes to their sexual wants and needs.

ALL FOR IT.

But what Miley Cyrus does here – at the Video Music Awards a few nights ago – is not that.

It’s a gimmick.

A show – for those with a lecherous gaze.

Something to cause a reaction.

After all, that’s what it’s all about – the music…right?

Grinding up against a man – who is *surprise! surprise!* fully dressed whilst she is near naked, just drips in this current pop culture’s conditioning and grooming of the following:

Lesson #1: To ‘make it’ as a female artist – you have to be fuckable.
To be noticed as a woman – you have to be fuckable.

And be sure to send all the boys and girls out there, this important memo – that that is what’s important, if you want to ‘make it.’

Also plaster it everywhere they turn – just so the message truly sinks in.

Let’s also not forget that Robin Thicke is equally to blame here.
It’s shameful (but sadly unsurprising) how little there is about him when this performance is being discussed.

A married man, singing about the ‘blurred lines’ of a woman’s consent, whilst a young woman half his age is bent over in front of him, twerking up against his crotch.

Lesson #2: Male is sexually dominant.

Miley has just received Honours in the club – the club with many members:

Brittany Spears
Christina Aguilera
Selena Gomez
Vanessa Hudgens…

etc. etc. etc.

Snore
Snore
Snore

Question #180: When is a bit of class going to come back into how young women express their healthy sexuality?

One that’s balanced to their male counterpart’s…

miley-cyrus-vma-2.jpg

Now THAT would be cutting edge.

Deep Breath.

x

Yes, I had to go again. A friend of mine can’t drive, so I picked her and her daughter up and, together with my girls, we went to see Despicable Me 2. I have to say that I got quite a few giggles from that one.

I told my friend about the pole-dancing ad and we went in to ensure we saw all the advertising from the beginning. I had written to the cinema a few days earlier and wanted to see if some miracle was going to occur and see the ad had been pulled. So again, the curtain was drawn and the screen was blank when we went in.

This time the ad was first up.

As the curtains were opening, there’s all this ‘welcome to the cinema’ fanfare – ensuring everyone is watching. My 6 yr old mentioned her excitement that it was all starting. My 10 yr old said that they were just the ads. Ms 6 replied, “I know, but at least it’s on.” (My kids are obsessed with anything on a screen – regardless of time and place – Aaargh!)…and then BAM! – a woman in stiletto heels, hanging off a pole, is donning the screen. Again.

So it’s not bad enough that they design the fanfare to catch everyone’s attention – they decide to put that particular ad up FIRST? Livid.

A couple (with their two children between them) in the row in front of me looked at each other. I watched with interest, wondering if they were going to communicate to each other the disgust I felt. But the man simply raised his eyebrows at her, smiling – like saying, ‘That looks like a go-er’. She smiled back. Their children, however, were just soaking in those images.
*sigh*

The good news is that the Advertising Standards’ Board has contacted me via letter yesterday and they are taking my complaint to the next meeting. Woooo Hoooo!!

In terms of what we’re seeing at the movies – in my last post I discussed how children are always seeing boy characters fulfil their destinies and dreams.

It’s no different for adults. We only really get immersed in the man’s world.

I took some photos of what’s on offer for us. The first two images came from April when I took similar shots of the predominantly advertised movies.

You get the idea, though…IMG_4967

IMG_4969

From yesterday:

IMG_5498

IMG_5496

IMG_5495

IMG_5499

Question #173: Isn’t anyone else feeling gender fatigue? 

I have been to the movies three times in the last few months. Once in April and twice this week.
In April my husband and I celebrated our anniversary by seeing Jurassic Park in 3D with the girls because my 10 yr old daughter is obsessed with dinosaurs.
The ads for the upcoming movies at the time were, Star Trek 2 (I think there’s only one main-ish female role – the rest are ALL men), Ironman 3 and Superman 72. 

So regardless of age, the movies being made seem to only provide the wonderful world of man as its backdrop, with a peppering of woman here and there.

Am I saying – don’t make these movies?
Anyone who has really followed me knows that that is never what I’m about.

But a more balanced representation of this life – which harbours 51% of women?

YES! Yes to more about us, please.

We are fairly awesome, after all.

Deep Breath

x

 

A day at the movies.

July 3, 2013

As I stepped into the cinema complex – it was utter chaos.

School holidays. What a nightmare. Kids everywhere – excited – and asking for everything.

I took my 10 yr old, her school friend and my 6 yr old, for a stint at the movies, to see Monsters’ University.

The cinema was full to the brim of super-energized children and their parents.
Nothing was on the screen at this stage.

It’s funny that when you go to a kids’ movie, you tend to get there early.
Why is that? So loud. Kids kicking into the back of your seat…

The first ads started to roll out – the still-photograph ones – promoting the local area.

To my horror, one of these ads was for pole dancing classes, with images of women dressed as strippers – one hanging upside own with her legs completely spread apart.

Behind me, two 7ish yr old-looking boys exclaimed, “Whoa!”

All the while girls and women are being told, it’s great exercise!
So why not in sports’ gear?

Bollocks.
It’s grooming girls and boys. It’s Porn Culture.

So that was Gender Studies Lesson #1 for a lot of the children in that cinema.

Did they all see it? Or get it?
Who cares.
The two, 7 yr olds behind me certainly felt a reaction that their brains computed and filed somewhere, and I know my daughters saw it.

I was gobsmacked. It almost feels like they’re taking the piss.

Then we came to the ads for future kids’ movies. Coming soon!

  1. Planes (from the makers of Cars) – animated scenes from Top Gun in the ad. Boy planes talking about other boy planes.
  2. One about a snail (a boy) who wants to be fast and his dream comes true (fancy that). That one’s called Turbo.
  3. Smurfs 2 with ONE female – who needs rescuing from all the men.
  4. And a behind-the-scenes movie following One Direction around their world tour.

This leads us to Gender Studies Lesson #2: Almost all children’s movies will be about boys, leading boys fulfilling their destinies and boy worship.

Not girls or women. They can only (generally) be a support to helping him.

Yes – we did have Merida from Brave and what a wonderful, sassy, girl she was. I say ‘was’ because Disney are now remodelling her to look more ‘princess’ like, with a smaller waist, big doughy, cat-like eyes with long eyelashes…see below *sigh*

Left = After – – – – – – – – Right = Before.

original

It feels hopeless. They give us a wonderful story about a brave girl and her relationship with her mother (of all things) and then take it away again by wrapping her up in Barbie.

And then there was the actual movie, Monsters’ University. It was good in parts – it was about boys, boys, mateship, boys, boys, brotherhood, boys, boys, teachers…and one dominant female role – the meanie Dean of the University. Witchy like, but who was the best ‘scarer’ of her time. Can’t have it all (be the best AND nice), like the boys.

monsters-university-poster

When we left the cinema, I did chat to the girls about why we keep seeing children’s movies that are SO male heavy and what ‘type’ of women/girls we all – boys included – soaked in.

In the few hours of our cinematic journey, the female representation we observed, was as follows:

  • Ad: Stripper – sexual pleasure machine
  • Upcoming movies: The only substantial amount of girls seen, in only one of four trailers aired, were screaming out their undying love (male worship) for the cookie-cutter boys of One Direction – the other needed rescuing.
  • Movie: A secondary role of a mean, witch-like Dean of the University
  • Movie: An even lesser role of a mother, in curlers, a mu-mu and doing the laundry
  • Movie: There were some all-girl frat houses, but collectively were on-screen for about a minute.

That’s it.

I honestly can’t convey my disappointment.
Boys are so fortunate to see the same positive reinforcement over and over again – showing them how to tackle problems with the brotherhood…

Question #172: Where are the movies for our girls? Where are their role models?

And another thing – even though it could be done without it, they didn’t use the opportunity to use the plural possessive apostrophe after Monsters in the title. The perfect chance to teach everyone its use – like for Mothers’ Day.
So no grammar lesson for the kiddies either.

Deep Breath

x

PS I lodged a complaint with the cinema and the Advertising Standards’ Board. I’ll keep you posted.

The current number one song in Australia – and I assume world-wide – is Blurred Lines by Thicke.

I am experiencing a mini-form of anxiety over this song – that I need to purge.

Here is my timeline with the song:

1. My sister played me the start of the song on her phone – it had me instantly hooked – I put it on the dock and we turned up the volume. My daughters were with us, so we were all dancing around the kitchen.

2. Then the lines – “I know you want it / I know you want it…but you’re a good giiirl – I know you want it / I know you want it” – started to echo out of the speakers and I thought, “Mmm…not sure about that for the girls.”

3. I saw a comment from a friend on her FB page – with the video embedded – saying that the feminist in her wasn’t sure about the video, but that she loved the song.
The feminist in her?
Torn moment #1: Do I really want to see it? I didn’t want to hate it.
But at that moment I didn’t have time to click on her link.

4. The following week, I saw the video on the telly. Scantily clad girls, with the fully clothed men, watching the girls walk by, leering at them, smacking their lips. Complete objectification. Still loved how the song made me want to dance, though. And dancing fills me with joy.
Yes it does.

5. I went back to my friend’s comment to tell her I agreed with her – but something she responded to me didn’t make sense, so I clicked on the video she had embedded.
In this unrated version – the women are basically naked.
Only a pair of skin-coloured g-strings (thongs) covering up the front pubic area – which in the first shot appears the girl is naked – with no pubic hair. What they are wearing, however, are a white pair of sandshoes.
The photo below is of the female ‘clothed’ version – but all the naked photos are there for the kiddies:

robin-thicke-blurred-lines-video

Look – the perfect man and woman, apparently. Sexy.

Now I am no prude.
I’m quite a fan of the naked female form, actually.
I think it’s stunning – of all shapes. What women’s bodies can do. Simply amazing.
I believe that the naked form – male and female – can communicate a myriad of beautiful messages – but we only see one: The hyper-sexualised woman or girl.

We certainly don’t see the male naked form in terms of saturation and sexual objectification.

I have two enormous problems with this song and video:

1. It’s not with the nudity itself – but the context in which it resides.

These men are fully clothed. As always.

Must we continually be subjected to the same message?
In Nelly’s song, It’s Getting Hot in Herre the chorus says:

Male: “It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes”
Female: “I am, getting so hot, I’m gonna take my clothes off.”

The irony – that whilst the women in the video are scantily clad (as the song suggests) some of the men have parkas on – is staggering. And blatant. They’re taking the piss.

Same again with earlier episodes of Big Bang Theory. Leonard would be wearing shirts, long sleeve t-shirts and a jacket – indoors – while Penny would be in a shoe-string, low cut, singlet top and tiny shorts.

And who can forget the visual example of Lana del Rey on the cover of GQ – as the only ‘Woman of the Year’ 2012, amongst the other four ‘Men of the Year’ (including one being pawed by women’s hands):
lana-del-ray

My point?
That the less dressed you are – the more vulnerable you are.

It may be your (a woman’s) choice, but does it make you any less vulnerable to the eye of the beholder?

Again, I can’t believe the irony that I noticed this last summer – that some boys were wearing board shorts that had three-quarter leg lengths.
Gotta make sure the ‘package’ is well and truly hidden and secure…girls on the other hand…

The Blurred Lines video shows only objectification at its purest.

Are the men on the hunt?

It’s for sexual gratification ONLY and it’s sadly so one-dimensional – for both sexes.

The girls’ value is glorified – for the world to see – in only this one way.
They are nothing more than their sexual, perky breasts.
As nice as they are – really?

Is that it for us women? Our ultimate goal?
And to hate ourselves – actually hate ourselves – for not looking like that AND allow men and other women to make us feel bad too?

Question # 164: Do we want our boys and men to see and treat girls and women this way?

Then we have the following lyrics from the song:

One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Yo, from Malibu, to Paribu
Yeah, had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual…

There’s more, but you get the gist.

Couple the female-only (ever) nudity, with what’s being said, and you have dangerous, hyper-sexualised objectification.
The men are not vulnerable and never are.

My second problem?

2. The Arrogance of the men in the video.

So. Arrogant. (See lyrics above)

I saw a comment left by a woman about this video saying that she thought the guys looked hot and wouldn’t mind being paid to grind up against them. (Naked…to fully clothed men…)

I would respond to this woman with, “AND DON’T THEY KNOW IT!”
They know they’re top dogs and they know women will perform naked for them.
Thicke, in particular, is an attractive man (no argument) but he has balloons in the shape of letters which spell out,

‘Robin Thicke has a big dick.’
Arrogant. {Yeah, I’d fuck you, bitch.}

So here I am – liking a song I loathe at the same time – feeling completely gypped that artists who want to tap into a sexual theme, have to continue with this degrading view of women.

And that women comply – whether appearing in the video or wanting to be her.

*sigh*

Still…I really like the beat of that song.

Deep Breath.

x


Jodi v Oscar

March 2, 2013

Yesterday, on my final weekday looking after my hubby and having just returned from the hospital (he has a new cast on his leg), we both settled down to eat lunch and put on the telly.
The View was just starting.

Today I observed something which has nothing to do with the show per se (I actually really enjoy the show, the topics and the differing perspectives of the women at the helm) – it is a look at our entrenched human behaviour – leaning toward gender bias.
Well, that’s how I saw it.

In this particular segment of the show, they were discussing all things criminal and the panel had a legal analyst, Dan Abrams, and a defence lawyer, Mark Eiglarsh, to join them and make their comments about current cases.
Before they started, I thought, “This could be trial by media.”

They discussed two big cases.

Firstly: A very big case going on in America at the moment where a woman, Jodi Arias, is on trial for murdering her boyfriend, Travis Alexander in 2008.
He was shot in the face, stabbed 27 times, and had his throat slit.

Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias

The men discussed her now changed statement (having said two different accounts earlier) – which is that she did it in self defence due to years of sexual dominance.
Sounded a bit like 50 Shades of Grey.

I had never even heard of this case before yesterday, so I’m not here to pass an opinion as to whether she’s guilty or not – nor do I want to go into the case to try and work it out – I only listened to what was said during this discussion and the WAY it was said.

I couldn’t help but notice the contemptuous tones of the men, especially defence attorney Eiglarsh, when discussing her; with tiny moments of sniggering and tones of mocking. At one point they discussed her now changed testimony, that she killed in self defence of the deviant man she painted.

Is there any proof that he was a sexual deviant?

Eiglarsh: There’s proof – but there’s no credible proof. Technically the jury has to take into consideration what flows from her lips, but they don’t have to give it any weight.

Why not? Because she lied at the start? Well, it doesn’t mean she wasn’t a victim of sexual violence, of which she is apparently giving graphic detail.

I commented to my husband that it was curious – that we actually do know the devastating statistics about sexual/domestic violence and how many countless women suffer at the hands of it and yet this discussion was only portraying a very one-sided deduction (she’s lying), without a hint of recognition at the fact she may have actually been tormented for years.

At another moment when her actions were questioned, one said she changed her mind because she was put on trial for murder and Einglarsh said:

She’s hoping jurors are addicted to gullible. 

I find that a biased comment. Amongst many.

Secondly: Oscar Pistorius. A guest female attorney, Sunny Hostin has now joined the panel.

This case looks VERY much like premeditated murder. Most of his story seems farfetched and parts don’t actually make sense – yet the lawyers on the show were talking in a tone (that to me) was bordering on a ‘poor guy’ one.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s terribly sad that he has ended up here. Terribly sad.

There were discussions about the fact he hadn’t taken testosterone but a herbal concoction and the fact that it wasn’t ‘roid rage’. When asked more about including that as a defense they said they’ve tried it before in America and “it doesn’t work” and Einglarsh said: “No then you’d have to admit you did it, but it was roids…” (so no).

The clincher for me was when the law analyst says that it seems to be a pretty strong case that it wasn’t an intruder to which the guest woman lawyer says, “I don’t know..” (???) and Einglarsh shouts out the following statistic as he points down on the table:

“16, 766 burglaries alone in South Africa.”

There’s another statistic – 60,000 women and children in South Africa are victims of domestic violence every month.

The police have continually botched up his case AND he’s probably going to get a deal. Hostin also said that he will sit in front of a judge and not a jury, “which will probably…help him.” Why help him? He killed his girlfriend in cold blood or a moment of lunacy. Same as Jodi, just executed differently.

My point of all this is that both of these people committed a crime – both murdered their partner and both have shown inconsistencies with their stories – but I felt like there was an underhanded, conditioned response to these crimes and to me they were swayed by the gender of the perpetrators.

Regardless of the nature of men AND the fact that:

“Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. Based on country data available , up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime – the majority by husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.

Among women aged between 15 and 44, acts of violence cause more death and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.  Perhaps the most pervasive human rights violation that we know today, violence against women devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development. It takes many forms and occurs in many places – domestic violence in the home, sexual abuse of girls in schools, sexual harassment at work, rape by husbands or strangers, in refugee camps or as a tactic of war.”
(saynotoviolence.org)

this panel casually sat through a discussion without once entertaining the notion that Jodi (may have) endured what she says she did – knowing that statistically it was VERY possible – and that Oscar, who actually DID demonstrated such violence, may get off through technicalities.

Him? Maybe it wasn’t premeditated.
Her? There’s no way that was self defence.

The big difference I want to point out, though, is that in Jodi’s case, the male victim was discussed – again, as a possible nice guy and not the sexual deviant she was claiming.

Reeva Steenkamp was not mentioned.

Deep Breath

x

If you can, watch it for yourself and tell me what you think. The episode is on The View *here* which aired on the Thurs 28th Feb.

I’ll be brief.

This petition has come up and it’s important you sign it. It’s to the Advertising Standards Board:

Stop Sex Industry Billboards Outside Schools

This is the billboard:

gEKeRGLIfoybclD-556x313-noPad

So – not only did someone approve this decision – placing an adult club BILLBOARD in front of a boys’ school in Brisbane – it was also complained about and the complaint was rejected.

In front of a boys’ school. Please.
As Verina Rallings wrote – it’s a type of grooming. And it is.

So I ask you:

Why do we even bother with the magic of Christmas?

Going to all that effort to create this fictitious world of wonderment…

What for?

We’re living in a world where the drive to make money has deadened our senses – opening the door to a seedy, underbelly lifestyle and normalising it.

Where did Santa go?

What happens when the belief in Santa ends – at 9 – 10 – 5 years of age?

Shall we dress our girls in denim undies (oh, sorry – ‘shorts’) and teach them how to act in a hyper-sexualised manner, for guys’ approval, with a low-cut top to boot?
How about our boys? Shall we encourage them to learn how to successfully land a bitch whose gagging for it?

If the answer for you is ‘No’, then speak up and show your indignation!
Billboards like this are powerfully promoting a representation of reality that is unbalanced.

I can’t believe we are actually allowing this subliminal coercion of our kids’ minds; rendering their ability to formulate a balanced reality, impotent.

WE have to be the stronger voice in our youth’s ears, not theirs.
Theirs is solely about making a buck…and it’s plastered all around us.

Doesn’t that infuriate you?

Well it makes me livid and disappointed at what we’re becoming.

Please sign the petition. x

Stop Sex Industry Billboards Outside Schools

Deep Breath.

Mila Kunis on Ellen

February 17, 2013

While I was sitting in an empty hospital room, waiting for my husband’s return from his surgery – I turned on the TV and I stumbled upon Ellen.

I have to say, that although I don’t really watch the show (don’t watch much TV at all), I do really like Ellen and what she does – yes, very similar to Oprah.
What I like about these women is that they spread a message of happy and that’s not a bad thing. We need more of it.

What makes Ellen different, of course, is that she is who she is and dresses comfortably – leaning towards a more masculine look – which I love.

Her female guests, however, are different. In the past, I’ve seen many (not all) come out wearing the ‘uniform’ – cascading locks of hair, over made-up faces, skimpy, barely-there outfits, very high platform shoes etc etc.

On this particular day, Mila Kunis was the announced guest and I watched with interest.

1. Mila came out looking stylish – pants and a white top. Nice.

2. Ellen’s first words to her are: “You look fantastic” and launches straight into the fact she must feel pressure now that Esquire has named her the ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ – pulling out the magazine which dons the following cover image of Mila:

Esquire-Cover-edited

After a bit of banter, Ellen says that there must have been a lot of pressure to pose for the cover of the sexiest woman alive.

Mila’s response was gobsmacking: She said,

“The only reason I did it, was so that when I’m 80, sitting in my little chair, I can say – SEE, Grandma was really hot one day!”

Ellen responded with, “That’s why you did it?”

A pocket of women in the audience started to yahoo and cheer – of course – and with that validation Mila continued, saying that she was sure her grandmother was a “sexy little thing, but there was no photographic proof.” (???)

She holds up her cover and says, “Look grandkids – PROOF!”

Dear me.

Ellen then guides the talk towards her outfits in everyday life saying she appears to be down to earth and doesn’t seem to ‘worry about what she looks like when she goes out’ (?????) and a whole minute dedicated to her use of cargo pants.

After tediously trying to get Mila to admit she’s dating Ashton Kutcher – the topic FINALLY turned towards her craft – the movie she’s in.
However, in the 8 minute interview – the discussion of her movie lasted 30 seconds.

I have to say, it was disappointing – again – to see how this interview fixated on and perpetuated society’s (women’s) obsession with the physicality of women such as Mila, and how we applaud and revere them.

More disturbing, however, is how Mila herself – a young and beautiful girl – needs to find validation through men voting her the sexiest woman alive, hyper-sexualising herself and slapping it on a cover for all to see…

…including her future grandchildren, no less – topless and with a provocative finger over her lips.

What hope do our daughters have with self-esteem and empowerment, when women’s looks are the only topic of interest?

Question #144: How can what girls do with their minds be in the forefront of discovering who they are, when noone cares enough to represent it?

 Remember: “You can’t be what you can’t see”

We’re certainly seeing a lot of young, hyper-sexualised women like Mila, which does nothing for the sisterhood and the true empowerment of our girls.

Deep Breath.

x

PS Hubby’s operation lasted four hours and had five surgeons. It seems to have gone well.

The three-to-one formula

February 13, 2013

This issue has been truly bugging me for quite some time.

Have you ever noticed the three-to-one formula on TV?

Sometimes it’s even four-to-one, but basically it’s a group of men, with a token female to fill in the gender gap. The thing is, however, that these programs seek the expert advice of a panel, which (unfairly) only ever has one female in the mix.

1.The Voice:

Here are the promotional photos of the big three – USA, Australia & England.

judges-the-voice-637x425

622760-the-voice

The+Voice+judges

Pattern much?

It’s interesting to note that the men are free to look however they please – covered in tattoos; casual, relaxed clothing; physical differences such as very overweight…even old.
(It would be a frozen day in Hell before we saw the female equivalents on our screen).
And the females that do appear? Well, they’ve been preened and primed to within an inch of their lives.

*I never realised men were the authority in singing.

2. The Doctors:

This is an American program, which gives advice on everything medical – including episodes on what women can do to improve themselves through things like plastic surgery. I came across it on a sick day, channel-surfing.

doctors21*It came as a shock to learn that male doctors are the experts in medicine.

3. The Living Room:

This is an Aussie show where the men get out there and report on areas such as adventure activities, cooking and DIY. Amanda Keller – an intelligent and funny woman – merely compères the show…from the couch.

31584

*Women just mustn’t be up for all the fun and travel…or capable.

4. Masterchef Australia:

The curious thing about this show, is that only the first season used Sarah Wilson ((below) as the host. She was quickly given the flick and the three male chefs remained…to this day.

masterchef_judges_narrowweb__300x401,0

*It is quite the morsel to digest – knowing the best mentors in the kitchen are male.

Question #143: Isn’t it time we had 50/50 representation on our screens, when it comes to giving advice?

More often than not – we seem to be a society that hangs on every word, when men speak with authority.

I find this extremely and increasingly frustrating – not because men can’t be experts (I’m not saying that at all) – but because we’re being taught that women can’t. We are merely conditioning the upcoming generation to only hear reason through the male voice…

…but that’s a whole other post.

Until then; Deep Breath.

x

Question #138: Why is ‘young’ the only flavour on offer for women?

I am a 42 year old woman, just shy of my 43rd birthday, and I have a huge problem with the way females negatively discuss their age around the start of this decade. There is little doubt that the money-crunching wheel out there has had a lot to do with this toxic epidemic, as it’s at this time where a woman’s invisibility occurs in her representation – once she hits her ineffectual use-by date. 40.

Even if women see themselves as ‘Best Before’ 40 – it’s still a completely disheartening state of affairs. That’s a lot of sad females not reaching their amazing (and needed) potential in this crumbling social world, at the midpoint their lives.

From the article – The mysterious case of the disappearing women – comes the following:

“Try climbing through higher education, motherhood, self-employment, years of self-improvement, gyms, diets, abstinence of everything enjoyable – from ciggies to Magnums to suntans – to selflessness, to finally reach the summit of womanhood, fit, exultant and ready to fly – to find . . . a generational wipeout,” she ruminated in a column in The Sun-Herald.
“Visibility: zero. Scream ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’ all you like, but don’t look to the movies, the media or airwaves because, aside from Gillard, Germaine on Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight the other week, glimpses of Jenny Brockie and Jennifer Byrne, Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche buried deep within the bowels of a French film festival, there’s barely anyone out there who represents my age group.” Ouch.

Ouch indeed.

The documentary Miss Representation, disclosed statistics showing that although women aged 40+ comprise a large chunk of our gender, we are microscopically misrepresented in the media – especially in film.

What we are being saturated with, are images of women in their 20s – generally looking perky and ‘hot’. The damage this does to our developing young girls alone, is something that should inspire us to act in a more positive light towards our aging bodies. But no.
Even though women in their 30s are still attractively visible – there’s no denying that it’s the decade when it all starts to trickle down to being transparent. The irony is that many women who are in the limelight, struggle through that decline kicking and screaming, disfiguring their faces with injections and surgery, only to still end up on the ‘too old’ scrapheap. Double irony? Their male counterparts are doing just fine in their (generally) natural, greying and lumpy selves. And they don’t look freakish.

It’s been said a million times (which just imbeds that frustration in a bit further) but this is happening because a woman’s true value and efficacy is being packaged to solely be attached to her youthful glow and, in turn, her sexual allure. Can’t be older AND be sexually attractive! Goodness me. That’s simply not possible.
My eyes! My eyes!

Doesn’t it infuriate women to know that even though they spend billions on ‘improving’ themselves (just like they tell us to), it hasn’t afforded them any more airtime?

How sad that for many females, in this time when they are truly coming into their own skin and really start to understand who they are; where they want to run out onto the street and toss their hat up in the air like Mary Tyler Moore – is the exact moment society doesn’t want to know. I found myself feeling vital and energised when I turned 40, in many areas of my life and I know that there are many, MANY women who feel the same – so where are the tales of my fellow sisters in the same proverbial boat?

It would be simply marvellous to actually hear the stories of women’s life experiences – with a spectrum of what’s possible – not just witness the same narrative over and over again, where the story is about the male and his destiny and the young and ‘gorgeous’ girl chases guy for love (or support), or worse still, we actually DO see the wonderful achievements of women, only to have them be overshadowed by her outfit or cellulite issues.

We’re ever so much more.

I would also like to strenuously point out that if, on average, we live to the age of 80:

Are we really saying we’re going to be depressed for HALF our lives about our age? 

>>>> Half our lives?? <<<<

Surely NOT!
Embrace the magnificent being you are and get out there and enjoy those next 40 years! That’s an order.

Deep Breath.

x

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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.

x

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