On Friday, the last day of term, my colleague and I ran a workshop with our Yr 10 and 11 girl students (aged 15-17 yrs old). We looked at the objectification of girls and women through the media and ran lots of workshops to help them navigate through the tripe they’re being fed, looked at what is beautiful (them – exactly as they are) and how to be a voice in this saturating, hyper-sexualised society.

The boys, of the same year groups, were in a separate location,  journeying through the harms of pornography and participating in workshops to help them with all the issues they face as young men. They are also being fed false ideals about what it’s like to be a ‘real man’ and are also in strife. The wonderful feedback I got from this workshop is that the boys drew up a contract, their words, as to how they were going to treat women and they all signed it.

Fantastic.

The dynamic psychologist and teacher, Collett Smart of FamilySmart (and who was one of the original board members of Collective Shout) came to talk to both the boys and the girls together. She reinforced a lot of what we had covered up until lunch…and more.

It was such an inspiring day, that I’m still a little giddy from how good it felt to run a part of it.

I was up first and for an hour or so I covered what the girls are being sold by the media – more importantly, how they’re being represented and whether they were happy with it. My aim was to incite discussion and reinforce some Media Literacy with them.

To start off with, I asked them what characteristics we had that made us women. Two interesting things came out of this.
1. The first few characteristics were physical – boobs, curvy, vagina.
2. When I steered them towards non-physical, they came up with some beautiful ones, like compassionate and strong – but I was the one who wrote up intelligent (with lots of arrows pointing towards it).

From this point I launched in to a visual smorgasbord of examples of how women are represented in the media today. Basically one way – hyper-sexualised and objectified.

But it’s not just about ads, shows, movies etc – it’s also important to discuss the effect and consequences of a saturated paradigm, like our current one.

Objectification is the issue. What the girls needed to understand is that once you are seen as an object, anything can be done to you without remorse.
It’s a complete disconnect and is why the argument, “That could have been your sister” (for example) doesn’t work. Their sister is their sister, whom they love. An object is an object.

As Collett later told them (and the boys) – the Porn Industry now has to compete with the Porn Culture of our media. The images looked at in the dirty magazines of yesteryear, are now on billboards selling sunglasses/jeans etc.
So in order to keep their addicted masses, mainstream porn has to be bigger and far more violent. Women’s bodies are the commodity; bodies which only last between three to six months, before they’re tossed aside. Broken.

I showed the girls the following clip from Canada which covers a lot of what I wanted to discuss:

Notice how ludicrous it is to have the men portrayed that way?
We can’t do anything else but laugh about it because it’s not a reality for them – although they do have their own fair share of issues.

We watched the following Lynx ad by Unilever, being discussed in the States. The reason I showed this clip is because there is one female panelist in a studio full of men. Watch their reactions (nothing surprising).

What’s interesting here is mainly the woman’s take on it. It seems like everyone agrees – if it makes money it’s OK.
And the men’s reactions? Well, nothing out of the ordinary. Does that mean that we are also desensitised – seeing ‘boys just being boys’?

This led me to discuss the  Porn Culture which surrounds us and how that’s become the ‘fashion’ now. I showed them more clips and what it means to them. I discussed this concept in my penultimate post: The fine line. A chat with teens.

I could have talked about this FOREVER, but time was short. I finished with the trailer for Missrepresentation – the wonderful documentary I hosted a screening of last year – which perfectly encapsulates the serious issue of our gender’s representation in the media.

My colleague then tackled, What is Beautiful?
We looked at photoshopped images and got the girls to do an activity, where they put stickers on each others’ backs with positive phrases about their characteristics.
They loved it.

We talked in groups about some possible party scenarios, looked at sexuality and relationships and finally encouraged them to be a voice – to call out injustices and be a sisterhood to each other.

After lunch the boys and girls came together to listen to Collett Smart.

She discussed issues such as the truly damaging effects of child pageants on young girls (affirming from a very tender age that the only validation a girl can have is through her looks) through to hearing the tragic story of a teen girl who survived a rape.

She reaffirmed many of the issues we had discussed with the girls earlier in the day, which gave those messages more strength – Yay!
But there was one important point that Collett made, that stayed with me – it resonated:

She said the path toward a better social existence between girls and boys; women and men – is mutual respect. There seems to be a huge portion of the responsibility laid on boys and men to respect women, but women and girls also need to respect men.

Bang.

Question #155: Are women truly respecting men in this hyper-sexualised, porn culture?

It’s a tough question, but we need to step back and look at this through a balanced perspective.
Both genders play a role in perpetuating a state of existence.
Both men and women. Boys and girls.

Something to ponder.

At the end of this day, I hoped our girls left feeling a little more empowered about their whole selves – not just what they look like – and will become more united as women to cultivate that word – RESPECT – in themselves and those around them.

So it was no surprise that I actually cried a little when I saw the following messages from some of the girls, on my Questions for Women Facebook Page:

“Hey Miss,
I just want to thank you and Miss Fitzgerald for your talk today. I honestly feel so empowered to change the society we live in. I feel so much better about myself and I really want to make a difference in the world. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the world we live in. Hearing what people had to say about me in the sticker activity made me feel so good about myself. To know that people like me for something more than my looks is amazing. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. xx”

“Thanks so much ms. You really are an inspiration xxx”

“MISS ! thank you so much for today ! It really made me think twice about what i do now and the way i see my self. you are a true inspiration and we’re all so lucky and grateful to have you at our school.”

“Thanks so much for today miss! It gave us such a great message in a very fun way. It was really eye opening to many of the girls and it was really good to realise we all empowered each other as women. We love you miss!”

“We’re so lucky to be surrounded by such empowering women!”

My message to these girls was:
“May your love, intelligence, strength and compassion be what shines through and gives you true validation. That’s what makes you beautiful.
You’re all necessary and needed just the way you are. xxx”

I wish I could do this every day. My soul feels full and alive.

Deep Breath

x

sisterhood

“When women participate in the economy, in peace-making and peace-keeping, we all benefit. Giving women and girls a fighting chance isn’t a nice thing to do, it’s a core imperative for every society…This truly is the unfinished business of the 21st century, and it is the work we are called to do.” – Hillary Clinton at the Women in the World Summit.

Yes.

It’s not about being nice.

Who made men the boss of us all?

We’re two halves…why is that so hard to fathom?

It’s for EQUALITY for our gender – the other half.

And to be equal exactly as we are – not equal due to being more masculine.
We can’t be more like men, we have to balance out the male characteristics and qualities.

That’s why we’re here. Otherwise it would just be all men.

Who made physical strength THE only trait to be valued as the best?

Because one can physically bully for how they desire things to be?

A woman’s strength is impenetrable.

Just look at what we do and/or survive daily; globally.

Why we don’t use this different type of strength to our advantage, just leaves me gobsmacked. It stamps the stupidity of our species more deeply into our psyche.

We’re in this inequality together, in some form or another.

And regardless of gender, it will most definitely affect someone you love.

It’s moral and ethical cancer – and yet, here we are.

The fight for the right to be richer and more controlling than others, is louder than all of us getting a slice of an equal existence.

I have to believe (and do) that there are more good people out there, than not.

Question #154: So why the fight against this?

Deep, bloody breath.

x

xfeminist11.jpg

I have entered the Australian Writers’ Centre, Best Australian Blogs 2013 Competition.

As with last year, there’s a People’s Choice round.

I’d love your vote in this category…if you feel I provide worthy commentary on issues concerning our planet’s current lack of balance – socially, economically and environmentally – all knitting themselves together and into a bad knot.

The equal value of women is on top of my list – not to be like men (because that doesn’t even make sense) – but to be an equally respected and important half of every society; just like the nature that surrounds us.

I also want to add that the wonderful and extraordinary women I’ve met during this journey with the blog thus far, has been a blessing. x

Anyhoo…it would be awesome to receive your support.

Just click HERE to vote.

*big smile*

I heard this question asked twice in one day, from two different people, about two different issues.

I think it’s the crux of it all – the question we must seriously ponder and decide when we ‘cross the line’.

Is there a line?

There has been a growing voice emerging and gradually escalating – standing up for the preservation of some basic, bloody principles. Fundamentals.

But there also seems to be a surge in bad, malicious, callous behaviour that’s infecting our culture – like bad apples rotting the barrel.

I don’t know…is it a backlash?

If we look at the current, abhorrent issue of the rape culture we now seem to inhabit, then we need look no further than the Steubenville rape case in the States. *Trigger Warning*

Why this case? Because it’s the first biggie since India. This was the test to see if we changed – even a bit.

We failed. In fact, I feel like we regressed.

The two boys on trial were found guilty of rape – one will serve a minimum of one year and the other, two (an extra year for taking nude photos of a minor and circulating them).

The discussion has been fierce on both sides – but I have to say that I am quite dumbfounded at the reactions to this case.

This girl was stripped naked, raped repeatedly, sodomised and urinated on (tweets support this) – carried around from party to party by the wrists and ankles – whilst unconscious. These boys went a step further by documenting the ordeal by filming, taking photos and tweeting about it.

There is the video where one of the bystanders who watched his mates, laughs about the girl’s  horrifying experience, for 12 minutes and discusses what was done to her – you can see it here. *Extreme Trigger Warning*
(Notice the rifle on the floor by this guy? What a frightening combination.)

And yet, there is an enormous, insurmountable number of people who still think it’s her fault. Blaming the victim. One man went so far as to write the following post over his ‘outrage’ that the rapists were put on a Sexual Offender Registry:

Why don’t we have a Dumb Fucking Whore Registry. Now that would be justice.

Just the title. Speechless. I’m so offended by it.

Why aren’t ALL women offended by this?

Many of the comments left on this post sing a familiar tune – supporting the author’s stance of the girl pretty much ‘asking for it’ – male and female alike – including that she wasn’t raped at all – just digitally penetrated. Saying she shouldn’t have gone out, shouldn’t have gotten drunk, shouldn’t have…etc.

This girl’s human rights were violently and devastatingly ripped from her.
She will never be able to form a healthy relationship with a man, she may have sustained physical injury – like not being able to have a baby, caught a disease and she’s still a child. She’s a minor and has already endured such a horribly degrading, violent and humiliating experience. Never, EVER to be forgotten.

They will do a year or two in juvenile detention. Come out and either rape again – more bad for us – or come out changed men. If that’s the case – great, they gets a second chance.

What about her?

Why should they get a second chance?

So how bad does a rape – or anything for that matter – have to be, before society snaps out of its coma and starts to take action?

Well, I see one of two solutions for our rape culture:

1. Women actually do as they’re told and stay home. They don’t go out. Stay indoors. And if you do go out, cover up so as not to provoke. Don’t smile sending mixed messages that you ‘want it’. There’s only one problem with that…many, many girls and women are raped at home. It’s a tricky one.

2. We hone in on the source of the problem:

Question #153: Why are there so many more men like this?

It may not be you – but if it’s not, you can’t deny –  it’s like a war out there.

Isn’t anyone hearing what’s being shouted? Or is everyone simply turning a deaf ear?

There’s only ONE significant change – I believe – in all our social existence.

PORN.

Yes, it’s always been around but now it’s saturating –  the availability of it – the actual advertising of it, regardless of location – like the local newsagent for families; TV – and what eyes are watching. REGARDLESS.

Women are advertised as whores (I’m sorry for the word – but it resonates best) to both our sons and daughters – look around at the effects this is having on both genders.
Life is imitating art.

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Quite unavoidable, isn’t it?

Is this the world you want?
Its consequences are happening now, to a lot of people. Around the globe. And it’s escalating.

This is bad.

Yet we find it hard to punish and say ‘No’. We give more and more chances – until when?

Seriously.

So I’ll ask again: If not now – WHEN?

Deep Breath

x

PS – I really do want to talk about this. Good guys – any ideas?

My local newsagent located the hard core porn magazines at the very front of the side shelf of his shop. If you send your kid down to buy you the paper – from where the papers are, you can see a magazine on the flat section of the shelf, with a fully naked woman on the cover, sitting on a pushbike.
I challenged him, very politely, saying if he had to have them at all, they should be at the back of the shop. It’s all still there.

What are your suggestions?

I see a pattern in the way we deal with everything – ourselves; politics; the way we ‘survive’; the environment – and it’s looking a tad grim.

The psyche of ‘who we are’ as a species, is tipping toward a greedy, destructive, selfish and stupid one – with some people sadly possessing all four traits.
We collectively ‘cut the nose off, to spite the face’, by encouraging (through action or indifference) the defence of these bad ideals and behaviours – and all for money.
Our soul is disappointingly tarnished with greed.

The outcry to the damaging effects of such behaviours, that are worsening in their intensity, seems to be fobbed off as an annoying distraction. The lack of true change makes this apparent.

1. If it’s a feminist fight, it gets shot down with labels of  ‘hysterical’ / ‘bitch’ / ‘whore’ / ‘liar’ and/or the easy option of using violence – to keep women in their place.

2. If it’s an environmental fight, we actually turn our backs to what Nature is trumpeting – as it globally waves its arms furiously at us.

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It feels like the planet is twitchy – trying to shake us off – the planet we need to sustain us.
More earthquakes and volcano eruptions, cyclones, devastating rain, snow storms, rising seas in the Pacific with islands slowly going under…and that’s just the climate.
Then there’s replacing land with concrete or rubbish; digging enormous holes to deepen our dependence on fossil fuels…and the list goes on.

Was the last wipeout the dinosaurs?
We haven’t got a hope in hell against this old soul fully turning on us.

It’s the one hunk of rock we’re on, isn’t it? I mean it’s ALL connected.
So why have Australians fought the Carbon Tax, when we all know (even the Opposition) it’s for the better?
In fact, it has already lowered emissions and it’s aimed at big businesses doing the most damage to our planet – you know, the people making millions/billions in profits.

I suppose a better question would be, ‘If not this – what?

3. And if it’s a political fight, we neglect policy; we neglect using the government in power to its full potential – regardless of whether one voted for them or not.
This was never more apparent than with our latest Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
She has been systematically vilified from day one – distracting her (for example) with press conferences on her character, rather than just letting her get on with it.

What good does that do any of us?

Did anyone know that last week, this government passed a bill that made fantastic changes to the current National Disability Insurance Scheme?

Kim @allconsuming wrote the following piece about this decision and its wonderfulness – Quite Something. She writes:

“I do not care what your political leaning, I do.not.care. but this Government is the first to actually action it. The first to say this is important, to say to the four million or so Australians who have a disability that they matter.

To grasp the scale of that, those four million people equates roughly to the population of Melbourne. Then consider the 2.6 million Australians who care for family members with a disability. Now you’ve got the population of Victoria.

As soon as you hear someone start to say how great it is but gee, how we can fund this, how we can pay for it I want you to tell them you’re talking about the population of Victoria. You’re going to turn your back on an entire State?”

Yes – it seems we do tend to turn our backs,  if selfish wants are jeopardised, which then paves the way for the media to create spin on our general ignorance and feed the masses biased reports on our government. And it is biased if you don’t get informed about the good stuff along with the bad.

Balance.

Question #151: So how will people vote? How will women vote?

Will environmental policies get a look in?
How about women’s issues? The gender equality gap – where the female gender suffers most from poverty and violence – globally –  than its equal. Does that get any importance?

I lobby for equal pay for all women.
If there’s no money in the budget, they can just bring men down a peg and bump women up. Easy. They’ve had a good go of it.
We also need to look after our single parents who have had their payments cut by Centrelink, if their youngest child has turned 8 years old. A devastating blow…

OR will the simple mentality of those who cling to clichés – not policy –  determine our collective fate?

I shudder to think.

Our people, politics and environment are all interwoven and connected, and it’s the obsession with making money and gaining power – astronomical money and power for some (regardless with how they got there) – that is slowly choking our very existence.

It’s time to lobby for these big important changes, recognise we’ll have to sacrifice to get them and see which government can best accommodate.

I want change. I want balance.

Deep Breath.

x

*TRIGGER WARNING – image may upset*

I awoke this morning with mixed emotions.

It was International Women’s Day and I wanted to quickly shout a ‘Woooo Hooooo’ to my sisterhood before getting ready for work, but there was also a feeling of some aimlessness.

Returning to full-time work on the Monday just gone (after caring for my injured husband) and due to the extra workload I was about to encounter – I decided to give social media a bit of a break, so that I could have some time without feeling incensed.

Because that’s what I was feeling.

How could I not?

When Facebook Pages like Being an Asshole, promoting hatred against women, are considered appropriate for viewing, even though it’s been reported for its promotion of violence.

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How can men who defend it not see that by making a joke of this very real violence to countless women, it gives them permission to downplay how atrocious it is??

When a billboard promoting a strip club is placed in front of a boys’ school in Brisbane, is deemed honkey-dorey by the Advertising STANDARDS  Board, when also reported for ‘grooming’ boys – teaching them to be sexually obsessed.

When the devastating statistics about the global pandemic of violence against women, inspires a t-shirt company to create many, many t-shirts bearing slogans such as: Keep Calm and Rape Her or Keep Calm and Knife Her. Amazon was then the place to get them.
(A computer program was blamed for generating the phrases – yet the word ‘him’ doesn’t appear anywhere…hmmm…)

It’s all getting a bit nasty.

Question #150: Could it be a back-lash to our ever-louder voice?

Well, the mixed feelings I awoke with today are due to me believing that – YES – we are becoming louder and stronger and I feel enormously proud to be a part of this new movement…

But is it working? Can we see any change?
We seem to be inundated with violence and exploitation – perpetuated by the Internet, I know – but it still IS what it IS.

An indifference to us – whether active or passive.

I believe we can make a profound change – both women and men…there’s just one problem:

Most are afraid to speak up.

And I understand that fear.
The other day, I confronted my Newsagent  – a more elderly man – about the fact he had Zoo Magazine on a stand facing the street, near the front of the shop. I explained that not only is it bad enough that any kid can buy it, it was unavoidable to see the objectified woman on the cover, from the street.
So even if you choose not to go into the shop, that culture is still in your face. Still being advertised.

I had butterflies throughout the whole exchange. So nerve-racking.
As I left him, he was contemplating the location of the magazine and when I drove by later, he had taken the stand down.

Victory!
A small one, but one none the less…and it felt good.

So, it’s time.
It’s time to join the ranks for a better world for women. We deserve it.
Our nature is a nurturing one and it leaves me profoundly baffled as to why our other half want to continue to keep things the way they are.

I saw an argument by a man saying that he simply couldn’t understand why women wanted equality to men, when we’re not the same.

We know we’re not the same – it would not have made sense for nature to make us the same – but we are equally needed to balance things out.

Yin and Yang.

Yin and Yang

That’s what men and women are – predominantly one gender with a bit of the other. Of course I’m being very general – nature provides a rainbow of variations to this – but you get my drift.

So, Happy International Women’s Day!

I am for balance and I am for all women and hope the good men can join our voice.

An amazingly awesome documentary was made in the States called:
MAKERS: Women who make America – narrated by Meryl Streep.

Watch it by clicking on the link above – see how women have fought since WWII and continue to do so – see our modern-day leaders – be inspired – and join today’s movement.

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.

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With interest, I have been watching the reaction to yesterday’s Oscars.
This interest started to turn to a calm, but deep, indignation at how far the women’s movement has yet to go.

Today, Gloria Steinem (legendary) was on The View and she said we’re:

“Halfway there. We once fought for an identity to vote and now we are fighting for social and political equality.”

Yesterday, The Oscars was more than just a night with a few crass jokes.

It went beyond that. This article looks at why it was so wrong.

The Oscars: 5 Things that need to Change

“Consider that sexist comedy alienates at least half of the show’s intended audience. Everyone who managed to endure Seth MacFarlane’s jokes last night deserves an award. As many news outlets have astutely pointed out, a broadcast that should have been about the recognition of talent devolved almost immediately into ugly, juvenile humor. Next year, send a boldface memo to the show writers: No awards show should be a megaphone for jokes whose punch lines boil down to “Ha ha, you’re a woman.”

…and I saw your BOOBS!

It’s just so juvenile.
ANYONE can make these sorts of jokes. They’re a dime a dozen – amongst most teenage boy groups in the western world – and yet we applaud and revere it?

Putting aside Seth Macfarlane using women (predominantly) as the butt of his boys’ toilet humour, he actually sang the names of accomplished actresses, such as Meryl Streep, with the line, “I saw your boobs!”

How old is he? 12? Are most men saying they are too?

On this sophisticated night that is supposed to celebrate the craft – it sounded so infantile and was embarrassing to watch.

Pedestrian. My brain is starving for stimulation. There’s nothing to watch.

I’m in shock that comedian Jason Alexander – who tweeted:

is actually turning his back on his own craft to support the Boys’ Club.
He thinks that’s funny? Well…there goes my respect for him as a comedian.

The worst part of the boob song (yes, it gets worse) is that many of the movies he chose to that these boobs appear in, were ones depicting rape and sexual violence – like Jodi Foster (who was honoured with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes) in The Accused.

No Respect.
This then paved the way for more.

* Rihanna’s abuse joke, laughs at her and every woman who has to live with that horror.
What about Chris Brown? Where’s the joke about the abuser?? Why isn’t HE being laughed at?

* Jessica Chastain’s character in “Zero Dark Thirty” referred to by Seth as “every woman’s innate ability to never ever let anything go.”

* 9-year-old Oscar nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis, was connected sexually with George Clooney in another ‘joke’ and Clooney was the one who received an instant apology. What??

To add insult to injury, the majority of the male population (yes, the majority because I’m not hearing much opposition from guys) are telling us to zip it. It’s aaallll good.
THEY think it’s funny – and so do all the guys –  so what’s the problem?

Imagine…a HILARIOUS bit where Jack Nicholson’s penis is compared to a shrivelled up, baby zucchini (based on what we saw in a movie) or that Daniel Day Lewis had a flaccid penis and we SAW IT!! Hahahahahahaha!!
No – we will never see that happen because guys wouldn’t do that to each other but…*newsflash* neither would (do) WE!

Do women play a part in all this? Of course we do.
I have always stated that and is the main reason for starting this blog.

But this is about The Oscars. It was shit and men are saying it’s OK.

It’s not OK.

Question #149: Who are we becoming…or have already become?

Deep, Deep Breath.

It’s going to be a long battle.

I have a love / hate relationship with Facebook.

I love my private page as I have family and friends around the world and this fantastic tool affords me the opportunity to stay in contact, see precious photos, share articles and funny memes etc. etc. etc.
I also love my Questions for Women FB page – I can put up articles and quotes to inspire and give a different perspective to life, as well as put up my blog posts.

What I hate, is how Facebook instills a feeling of insecurity and untrustworthiness.

I do not feel like they have our back.

They are always skulking around for your info – to share or sell to the highest bidder. We’re constantly having to change settings – which have been automatically been set to ‘Public’ as a default – when they reshuffle the way their site works.

Always leaving us none the wiser and exposed.

What I hate the most, however, is that they also do not have our back in protecting us from hateful and misogynistic content being posted. Horrible sites and images just being permitted to spread – their toxic nature infecting; normalising. And why?

Because it’s just a joke, crazy lady! Relax.
Sshhhhhhh….

The thing is, though, who exactly IS the person (or people) who make the final call?

I picture a bunch of young guys in a smoke-filled room, eating fast food, surrounded by empty food wrappers, snorting at all the crazy things that are being posted.
Haawww Haawww Haawww!

The reason I say that is because they don’t permit photos of breastfeeding mothers (eeewww – gross!) – but allow pages called ’12 year old slut memes’, which I wrote about in a previous post – That’s not misogyny. THIS is misogyny.

Yesterday Karen Pickering posted the following passionate rant about Facebook:

Fuckedbook

She writes about an abhorrent image she saw on FB (it’s in there *Trigger Warning*), which she reported – twice – but was ultimately deemed appropriate for viewing, by FB.
Karen wrote the following, which struck a chord with what I feel:

I reported it despite being fully aware of a number of truths:

  • that the internet is full of this shit
  • that the world is full of this shit
  • that this shit really happens
  • that we can’t stop it from happening
  • that we can’t stop people joking about it
  • that people laugh because they’re conditioned to dehumanise women to the extent that they do
  • that the people posting it feed off the persecution complex they get that feminists are out to get them
  • that you’ll get one taken down and an even more hideous image will take its place
  • etcetera ad nauseum

Yes, yes and YES! to all the points above…etcetera ad nauseum.

The image, as of today, has FINALLY been removed – but as Karen says, the world is full of it.

It’s hate. It’s misogyny. And Facebook thinks it’s OK.
Facebook must be a man.

So, if women are labelled as a bunch of hysterical banshees, who need to chill-out when they protest misogyny and violence against women, then –

Question #145: What label do the men inherit?

Let me know what you think of the quote below. My interpretation below.

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In what way do think men are stupid?

By seeing what’s happening and keeping silent.

That makes me crazy.

Deep Breath.

x

PS I know many of you would suggest that we all get off Facebook and be done with it. I think that’s easier said than done due to established connections…but if everyone I know and love switches to Google, I’m IN!

A moment of reflection.

February 1, 2013

I was breaking up a small altercation between my daughters tonight – where my eldest responded in a mean way to a kind gesture from her sister.

I was sitting on her bed, a short time later, discussing why she had responded in that way. I quietly said to her that there was enough nastiness in the world, let alone in our house with the ones we love. As I said it, I was looking at her bedside table lamp – it’s a lit up, Planet Earth.

So massive…and covered in exploitation; greed; hatred; violence; intolerance.

Everywhere – from war, to big business and in our very homes. People gaining from the suffering of others – whether emotionally or physically.

Yes, there’s love; kindness; empathy – I profoundly feel these within myself and know many who do too – but it’s not big enough. Mean is bigger.

Question #142: Why have we let our world become like this?

*Deep breath*

Today I start a new journey.

My husband had a serious accident playing soccer (football) last week.
He had just finished kicking the ball – so his foot was up a little – and his opponent came in very hard. His kick landed like a king-hit under my husband’s foot.
It smashed his ankle into his tibia, which split at the base, and then sent a crack up the tibia, where it fractured half way up the leg. The surgeon said he had never seen anything like it – only in car accidents. His leg is now in a contraption with pins keeping his leg in place and it will take a further two operations to hopefully get the job done.

In an instant, our world was turned on its heel – on many levels which I won’t bore you with.
The worst part is his suffering and for me it’s a helplessness at not being able to ease what he’s going through.

On another level – a different level – I feel a similar helplessness for our suffering world.

Why is today a new day?
Because when this accident happened, and the seriousness of my hubby’s injuries hit home, I felt a peace wash over me – a calm strength. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a few moments where I’ve had to breathe deep and refocus, but calmness is what ultimately gets us through life’s blindsides.

I’m going to do the same here, when discussing life’s issues with you.
At times, I have let my feelings of anger overwhelm my expression into something unleashed. I don’t like it when I do that. I lose you.

But my heart is in the right place.

I continue to fight for a balanced existence.
I feel it is the true secret to life – in every way.

I wish for a future where we shed our cloak of silence, stand up and push back on the practices that are taking over our world’s psyche in this detrimental way.

*Deep breath*

So, now we’re back to the chat with my daughters – back to the beginning – the place to start change:

Our children.

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Strength to you all.

x