It’s a girl! #2

November 15, 2012

In a part of my discussion about the ‘Femicide’ of girls in India and China, I referred to the core of its motivation being about greed – especially in terms of the dowry system in India.

Some of the people who commented in response to the post, weren’t so sure about greed being the primary drive – but I’d like to explain my understanding of it:

If an entire nation feels that their current system of female slaughter is acceptable because of the issue of a dowry – then money is the goal.

I think that at this point greed is the predominant factor because sons are revered for what they can ‘bring in’.

Women and girls, on the other hand, are treated like a commodity.

They are always owned.

You may feel that the term ‘greed’ is incorrect (maybe it is) – but I can’t get past the fact that the essence of it is money driven…and all because of the septic tradition of paying someone to take your daughter.

Worse still the amount of violence and ‘dowry deaths’ bestowed upon these poor, poor women – that comes from the parents not paying enough dowry – is again driven by money. Torture, starvation, beatings, forcing acid down women’s throats…

It makes me feel sick.

The following article A Report On The State Of India’s Girls has more devastating statistics like:

* Hundreds of girls born in India are given names like ‘Unwanted’ and ‘Undesired’ by their parents.
* 90% of abandoned children in India are girls.
* 25 million girls in India are married off before the age of 10.
* 53.22% of children in India have experienced some sexual abuse; 22% of them extreme forms of sexual violence.
* Up to 5 years of age, girls in India have a 40% higher mortality rate than boys the same age.

Towards the end of the documentary, a very eloquent Indian woman was explaining how ludicrous it was, that while women like herself try to engage in a dialogue with people who continue these disgusting practices, they end up finding themselves discussing women as if they’re the latest conservation plight – like ‘Save the Pandas’ – except women aren’t an animal – they are fellow human beings.

Question #112: Can we all stand and use a collective humanitarian voice to help these women and girls?

YES!

Sign this petition to stop Female Genocide in India:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-female-genocide-in-india/sign.html

At least it’s something.

Deep, deep breath.

x

9 men; 1 woman

September 18, 2012

Australia’s highest paid CEOs have been revealed today – together with photos.

Click here.

Question #96: What can you see in these photos?

I see white.

I see male.

I see older gentlemen – Nine of the same.

I see ONE woman.

Brains aren’t the issue…so WHY?

Top dog; Marius Kloppers. BHP CEO – earned $17.3 million.

For goodness sake – what would anyone want this much money for?

At the end of the day, it’s a pissing competition, isn’t it?

I have MORE. I made you MORE. I made MORE than YOU! I WANT MOOORRRRE!!

*Shaking head*

We’re in a slight bind because of this mentality – that’s filtering all the way down to how our children learn to think about money and stature…

…but I digress.

I have a second question:

Question #97: Would women be as greedy?

I truly wonder this – because I feel like (on the whole) it’s not in our nature. The reason I think this is because if it were – we’d be up there too. And we’re not.

What do you think?

Deep Breath.

x

The Seven Deadly Sins.

August 5, 2012

Question #79: Is our media, and in turn reality, teaching our kids that the only way to ‘succeed’, is by feeding our Deadly Sins?

I look around and I feel surrounded – like I’m in the middle of an old-fashioned, cowboy-style ambush.

* Greed * Lust * Wrath * Sloth * Gluttony * Envy * Pride – transgressions that I read are ‘fatal to spiritual progress’.

They’re everywhere.

WHY?

Yes, they’ve always been around. Of course. The Deadly Sins weren’t written a few years ago in a boardroom – they’re ancient.

I’ve always seen them as a warning – that to indulge in them would lead to chaos. Hell on Earth.

I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

But…

There is one society that is yielding to them more than others…and it’s our capitalist one.

While the majority of the planet wallows in poverty/war/despair of some sort (due to their rulers participating in some Deadly tastes of their own) – we basically live in a luxury that’s unfathomable and unattainable to them.

You’d think we’d be satisfied, wouldn’t you? And yet…according to studies, we are the most affluent we’ve ever been in history – but the most depressed.

Doesn’t this ring any alarm bells?

Our predominant drive? To make money.

Am I saying we shouldn’t? Absolutely not! I could always do with a little more – couldn’t we all? It IS the world we live in – we need it to survive here.

But at what price?

Our society’s hunger for more of everything and the latest of that, is giving me the uneasy feeling that we are starting to flirt with danger.

Not including the majority of ‘have-nots’ equally inhabiting this planet – we are spoilt. And we are few, in comparison to the big picture.

Yet we consume at a pace that is starting to become insatiable and is being bred into this generation of children and young adults.

So as the ‘line to cross’ has to move further behind to get an ‘edge’ on consumption – how is it done today?

By tapping into the taboo, the naughty, the violent, the lazy, the greedy, the depraved…then market it and SELL!

So, yes, I’m starting to feel boxed in by our media and how it’s becoming the teat from which our society suckles – predominantly a pornographic one.

The frustrating part is that I know that there are many, many of you who can see how things are travelling down a soul-less path, as I do; who are doing the very best they can with their children and share my frustration…

…but we’re obviously not enough. We are in the minority.

I can only look at the evidence before my eyes:

1. What I’m seeing in my daily life through (predominantly, but not exclusive to) TV and its ads, Internet, Magazines etc. etc. etc.

2. The choices our youth are making through their behaviour and appearance. Choices that make me question: Where are their parents in this equation?

Today I saw something that chilled me: A book being sold by Amazon (but has since been removed) giving a world guide to sex laws called,

Age of Consent: A Sex Tourists’ Guide

It claims:

“In some countries it is even illegal to have sex outside of marriage, with severe consequences if you are caught doing so! On the flip side, there are many countries on this planet where the age of consent is as low as 12 or 13…whilst one country has no age limit whatsoever! Before travelling, whether you are going as a backpacker, for business purposes, or as a sex tourist, you need to invest in this comprehensive guide to the age of consent laws in every country in the world! It will keep your fun legal!…This $3.49 will keep you out of jail, possibly the most important few dollars that any red blooded testosterone pumped traveller will spend.”

This utterly sickens me – because what I keep questioning is how did something as disgusting as this get printed in the first place? HOW?

Money.

Now, I won’t bore you with a list of how consumption is dancing with the Seven Deadly Sins – but it feels like we’re going down a slippery slope and picking up speed.

There is too much evidence.

How do we slow down this beast/machine, that’s bearing down on us?

Simple. Don’t buy into it!

Those Sins are in all of us – we all feel them at one stage or another…I know I ceratinly have…

Question #80: So why are we allowing them to take over?

The images throughout the post, are of the Seven Deadly Sins from a 2008 ImageFX competition. They uniquely connected with me – I can easily see how these are very present in our lives. The curious thing, however, is that when I looked for images on the Net – they predominantly featured women only. Interesting.

Deep Breath.

x

Nature’s balance?

April 9, 2012

I hope everyone had a great Easter. My brood and I headed up to my parents’ place up at The Blue Mountains. I love going up there – I find it so peaceful and I always have a moment where I sit on the back steps, look up at the trees and ponder…

The trees I’m talking about, are predominantly very tall pine trees that are on the property behind my parents’ place. Unfortunately, those owners have been fighting for years to have the permission to cut down around 300 trees on their property to build townhouses. Yep townhouses. Anything to make a buck, right?

It’s so unjust on so many levels. Besides the horror, mess and noise that will come of cutting so many trees down – the whole reason we treasure places like this is because of the wonder that is nature – for balance and peace.

Aren’t they beautiful?

And these three photos were all from this last weekend. Unique, different stages – sunset, full-moon and a foggy early morning – like watching Uluru (so I’m told *wink*). But a camera doesn’t truly capture their magnificence – or how much I love them. *insert heart symbol*

The reason I brought up these trees, is because I often think a lot about life’s challenges and how nature works, when I’m looking at them. I did a lot of this on the weekend.

I’m not ‘religious’ – although what does that mean exactly? I was raised in a home with no religion, but had a lot of it through Primary and High School. I find, as I approach my 42nd birthday, that I pretty much believe a lot of the ‘lessons’ that religion teaches us – I just don’t attach a deity to it.

I just believe in nature and balance. I see an organic, electric force that sends waves of good times and challenges our way – and the way we handle these moments and times, determines our experience on this short time on Earth. When my eldest daughter once asked my mum something about heaven, my mum said to her, “This can be heaven. Now. If you want it to be.”

I loved that. Why can’t this life be heaven?

Well…it can’t be while everyone’s idea of heaven is having lots of money. And this idea – a very strong one now – is tipping nature (which includes us) out of balance.

As a high school teacher, I feel like I’m part of the ‘machine’ that continues to educate our future in the same archaic manner – teach students in the same way (and predominantly the same subjects) as the 50s – so that kids can get a job and buy a house etc. etc.

Girls are encouraged to ‘have it all’ – find a man, marry him, have a successful career, have kids, run a household and start the whole process again with their daughters. Boys – well, they’re encouraged to be men – be powerful (in all areas of his life – which includes power over women, a lot of the time), and earn enough money for said house etc. and they also start the whole process again, with their sons.

OK, so it’s always been that way, to a certain extent. I agree. But if we take a step back, whoever we are and whatever our financial status is, and really look at what we’re being told and sold:

Question #29: Aren’t we creating a society (our children) obsessed with money?

Aren’t we now crossing boundaries to make it and teaching our children how to follow in our footsteps?

The reason I ask, is because this is the point I think that ‘heaven’ can’t be found in this developed world of ours. How can our kids find true balance in their lives when all that matters is money? Everything is buy, buy, buy! What’s worse, though, is that this way of life is moulding our society’s values and beliefs by telling us all what to buy, how to look and what life to aim for.

That last part is the scariest. It looks like everyone is a clone – including myself (big revelation there) – living the life we’ve all been told to aim for. I finished high school, went to uni, got a career as a teacher, travelled, married, had 2 daughters and bought a house….which we’ll be paying off for the rest of our lives. When I look around at my girlfriends from school, the only real difference between us, is our income – because the core of what we ‘have’ is the same. It’s the message that was sold told to us as teens in the 80s and it’s the same as what’s being told to the teens and children of today.

Is this what we want for our future? The same formula – over and over again?

Because it feels like the only lesson that’s being taught, is not in our schools, it’s in our world of consumption and all we are really aiming for is bigger and better than everyone around us.

School, is just a means to an end. School like the 50s (parental concerns of the time, included).

I wonder how I’m going to do it – raise two girls to be strong and unique, whilst navigating through the sludge of how women are represented. How do I teach them to stick to their individuality, when everyone around them is a walking commercial – owning all the ‘latest’ toys and gadgets or wearing the same types of clothes?

So, whenever I can, I look up at the trees – trees that will be cut down, to make way for making money – and wonder if there’s any hope of things truly turning around. Haven’t these issues been brought up a million times before over the decades?

The irony about these trees, is that the original owner of that massive lot – a loong time ago – didn’t sell off pieces of it, to be able to maintain its natural state and beauty, and left clear instructions that it was to be kept that way…but that was only maintained whilst it stayed in the family.

If you get a chance, listen to the wind go through pine leaves – it actually makes that eerie sound you hear in movies…I guess the current owners can’t really hear it over the sound of, ‘Cha-Ching!’

x

PS Tomorrow’s 3 months since the blog was born! Very exciting *HUGE smile*

I need to start this post by saying that I’m SO embarrassed. When I checked the number of hits I’d had on Friday night, I failed to realise that it was a few minutes past midnight…hence why there weren’t any hits. FAIL. I must admit, though, that my brain was in the mushy stage by then, especially after the previous 24 hours. So all is good. *smile*

I also want to give an honourable mention to my BFF (who I met 35 years ago and has been a constant in my life ever since), for joining me on my mini-break. It was  just the ticket. In just over a day together, we talked, did some shopping in the quaint, antiquey, Blue Mountains shops, saw The Three Sisters, drank, ate, laughed…and talked. We discussed our kids, our strength as mothers – our flaws – and gave each other support. I came away feeling peaceful and blessed. Thank you, Katy.

Now…

Sex.

As I usually do in discussions like this, I’m going to go ‘back in the day’, as it’s the only benchmark I have.

I remember in the 90’s, when I was in my 20’s, I used to buy Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines pretty regularly – it seemed to have everything a young and vibrant girl like me needed to know! *insert ‘wow’ face*

It was also designed to confuse the hell out of us, but hey….what’s new. We went from ads with skinny and gorgeous women modelling clothes, makeup and jewellery – to the harrowing story of the girl with anorexia – to “How to lose your tummy in 10 days!” exercise regime – to some story about loving a star’s new curves. Yep. Mixed message central.

And this was the era of no photoshopping! I know – hard to believe or imagine nowadays. If anything, at least they were selling us real women – unlike today where the women are practically digital.

So, yes, the core of what we’ve been ‘sold’ over the decades, hasn’t changed. What has changed, however, is the saturation of the current ‘look’ and the worst part is that our young girls are LAPPING it up.

What does this have to have sex? I hear you ask….

Well, in the same way that us girls have always been sold an image to conform to, now it’s being used to sell a ‘common’ sexual image – for men.

Back to Cleo and Cosmo for a moment. Along with all the above-mentioned features, there was always a section devoted to how to ‘catch a guy’ or ‘please your man’ – generally with ’10 ways’ to do it. Funny – I’m not sure what magazine is out there for the guys, with tips on how to please their woman…

…oh, that’s right, there isn’t.

Question #26: Why are women perpetuating the sexual image, that’s a male fantasy?

With the introduction of the internet, it seems that (again) there is one predominant image being splashed about in everything we see; young girls and women, dressing like they’re ready to go – and a lot of them are. A friend recently said to me that a young, male relative of hers told her how easy it is for a guy to end up with a girl, “without having to do anything.”

But the word that keeps rearing its head, is young.

You have ads, like the following, where child star Dakota Fanning, is looking a little more grown up, a little less innocent – and giving up her ‘flower’ to sell perfume…that’s sitting in her crotch.

This ad was banned in the UK.

Or there’s this 10-year-old in French Vogue…

It’s obviously not enough to target young women in their 20’s, through to teenagers, to make a buck – now, to feed the insatiable lust for making money, we need to start training our girls in Primary School. What leaves me dumbfounded, however, is that there seem to be A LOT of mothers behind the new trainees.

Please watch the following clip. It features Melinda Tankard Reist, the warrior fighting the sexual exploitation of our young girls. This link contains images of a dance show in America called, “Dancing Moms” and how girls as young as eight are doing a burlesque dance – with the ‘appearance’ of being topless.

Besides the disturbing fact that pedophiles just won – AGAIN – these girls are being trained to express themselves in a sexual manner – aged 8 – for ratings. There is nowhere else for these girls to turn, because as they start to grow and watch music videos and movies, there’s just more of the same:

  • Girls looking and acting like they’re naughty girls – because that’s what men like,
  • Girls who are willing to give sexual favours AND be good at it – because that’s what men like,
  • Girls who ‘don’t want a relationship’, just sex – because that’s what men like.

Ever noticed that if there’s a soundtrack to represent sex – it’s just a female voice you hear moaning and panting? Never a man’s – because men don’t like that.

Deep down, girls don’t know how else to behave because they’ve been fed the same story from the start – your validation comes from your looks.

Girls can’t really get validation from their friends because girls/women secretly (deep down) compete with each other. So they turn to the men and in this competitive market, how else are girls/young women going to catch that boy’s eye, if it’s by not by giving him what he wants?

We’ve always been a confused bunch – navigating our way through everything that was thrust in our face – but now it’s a whole new ball game and it’s up to us, ladies, to start turning things around through education and protest.

x

Feminist Shout Out! #1

February 17, 2012

I’m going to announce a Feminist Shout Out every time I put an observation that I think may not be your cup of tea…but I’m going to QUESTION it, anyway. I really hope you can let me know your thoughts – whatever they may be. Let’s talk. We can’t rely on our male-run governments to make all the decisions. Let’s make some here.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is sending around this photo from the hearing on birth control today. She writes: “At @GOPOversight hearing right now 5 men are testifying on women’s health: http://yfrog.com/10wg35j #WhereAreTheWomen?”

Yes, WHERE? ? ?

Tonight, I walked in to find a movie on the TV about the Bra Boys (a surfing gang). I’m not really watching, but I look up and see violence – boys fighting boys, men fighting men. And it’s not Hollywood fighting, where the injuries don’t reflect what’s been done to them, but ugly, bloody, VICIOUS fighting. It was shocking to watch actual footage of the fights – because they were real. A 14 yr old member tells how he had a gun put down his throat, over him selling Ecstasy and other horrific accounts. 14.

AND THIS IS WHAT OUR WORLD IS.

Men fighting men. Men being violent with each other, demonstrating what seems to be the ONLY way to globally solve problems thus far – except they’re NEVER solved and create SUCH devastation – and they’re violent towards women. Most of us are lucky enough to have loving male partners, but look at how women are being violently treated by the MILLIONS every single day.

As Dr Phil says, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

We vote men in. WHY? We need a different dynamic in our governments – we need A LOT more women in government, girls MUST be educated worldwide – they will tip the world back into balance. Instead of financing wars, let’s finance education.

But it’s still just about being in power and making an astronomical amount of money. Qantas will axe jobs to keep their SHAREHOLDERS happy. One man has a family to feed and has just lost his job – while the other makes a mint….but he’ll just make less of a mint. Yep, let’s side with the guy that already HAS a lot of money.

Our world is a boys’ club.

Is this OK with you?

We still don’t have equal pay, all the major corporations in the world are run by men, and our young girls AND boys are being corrupted to satisfy the male fantasy – to make money. More people are becoming morally corrupted and we’re allowing this lesson to be present in our children’s pop culture. They’re becoming consuming monsters and they’re consuming over-sexualised girls, violent, bullying boys – with girls who think that’s ok etc. etc…and this is just in the developed world.

The women in the developing countries are suffering atrocities we can barely imagine and they NEED OUR HELP. We need to educate their girls so they can STAND UP and start to create change.

We need to create change – from our end. We must get women into government. It starts here – in Australia. It’s inconceivable that we continue to follow The US. That place is a cesspool of greed, gluttony and porn. And men run that country. That’s not saying there aren’t good people there – I’m sure they’ll follow us once we take the lead! We start here because we are intelligent and we know that it’s time to make our calm but persistent voice heard.

Calm and Persistent Voice.

Stop buying from shops, like City Beach, for selling pornographic products aimed at children (for example). Let them know you’re not shopping there anymore through their Facebook page – most have them. Money talks. Sometimes they listen – because they’re losing money. Let’s put our money to good use, rather than feed the monster, and be happy.

Get women into government.

I have a proposal: Vote women in from the party of your choice. There’s always going to be debate – but our current parliament meetings are run like men – fighting and insulting each other. WHAT IS THE POINT? Let’s just do it!

What have we got to lose?

Question #17: WHAT SAY YOU?

Please pass this on. With much hope. x

If there is a group of women who have been wrapped up in plastic packaging, sold to the world and subsequently gained unfathomable wealth – it’s the Kardashians.

I find it infuriating and a complete enigma, that these women are given a pedestal in our society for being ‘savvy business women’, but who are in fact being rewarded for their uselessness.

On a recent report, when Kim and one of the other coat-tail sisters came to Sydney, it claimed that the Kardashians made 70 million dollars the previous year. 70.million.dollars.

How is this possible? What is it they contribute to society to justify such wealth?
Let’s see…

# 1: Kim became ‘famous’ from a sex tape, which was conveniently leaked just before the start of their first season of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians.’

#2: As the family demonstrate nothing but their insatiable appetite for money and fame – we respond by giving it to them.

#3: Now they slap a label on and sell everything, including themselves. The same report claimed Kim asks for $150,000 an hour to make an appearance at an event.

With all that money, they can only swim laps in their greed  – a greed on such a grand scale, that we seem (as a society) to admire it and reward it.

Isn’t Greed one of the Seven Deadly Sins?

The worst part is that rather than have some substantially significant impact on the world with that wealth, they just spend it all on their gross vanity – clothes, cars, a nip and a tuck –  only further pushing young girls to revere a falsehood.

Here’s a picture of Kim crying…

In my Drama class yesterday, we were talking about how hard it is to laugh and cry convincingly when acting. When we were dissecting what makes a good cry, we agreed that there’s one common denominator – you look ugly….really ugly. That’s what a cry is. The image above shows a frozen face. Cover the mouth – she could be expressing ANY other emotion – because that top part ain’t moving.

What are these women, predominantly Kim, teaching to our girls?

This is where I’m stumped.

When the two sisters came to Sydney, the news reports showed gaggles, flocks, SCORES of young women and girls, going to shriek greet them. It was like the Beatles were in town.
Seriously.

On two separate news reports, hysterical (I kid you not) girls were asked what they loved about Kim. They both responded with equally breathless, squeals of, “She’s…SO BEAUTIFUL!!” When asked what else they liked, the reporters should have run the audio of the crickets chirping in the background because they had no other answer. None. One girl kept looking around, trying to think of something inspirational to say – probably hoping someone would feed her the answer…any answer.

Zip.

So there you have it – she’s beautiful. Fake beautiful. 70 million dollars.

Now we can feel relieved to know that our girls will now know exactly what they need to do – what to aspire to – to make money. And it all starts with selling themselves; selling themselves short.

Forget educating our girls – giving them a mind to make change – it’s all for nothing if all that’s important (regardless of what she’s achieved) is how she looks; sexy, hot and fake.

And that’s the message saturating our children’s world.

Boys used to have to sneak a magazine (that would have possibly been a little difficult to get), to see a bit of boob – now both boys and girls can simply to go to the shops because now we’re selling jeans like this:

Thanks girls. You look hot. I hope you got the validation you were looking for.

Question #9: Have these sorts of women become our girls’ new role models?