As some of you may be aware, Target Australia was petitioned, in the last week, to take down the video game Grand Theft Auto 5, off their shelves. The attention was drawn from an advertisement from Target, placing the game on the same page as children’s toys.

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Survivors of violence, Nicole, Claire and Ket, started the petition due to the graphic sexual and violent nature of the game – most notably towards prostitutes – which cements perspectives of violence against women.

I felt it was important to share the petition because even though I don’t own the game, YouTube was dutifully able to provide me with a sick commentary of how to pick up a prostitute (woman). Of course, one can choose whether or not they’re going to run her over after the first-person sex, set her on fire and finish her off with a blast from a machine gun.

Yesterday, Target Australia listened, agreed and stopped the sale of the game in its stores; demonstrating integrity with their business standards.
I believe it was the right thing to do.

With emotional issues such as this, many choose to clutch the time and tested clichés of yore. In this case, those who oppose Target’s ultimate decision have two common arguments:
1. It’s just a game
2. Parents are to blame for children having it

I’m not going to go into the first point because the reason/s why a person chooses to play this game is a whole different kettle of fish. I’m not a psychologist nor a judge and it would be going down Alice’s rabbit hole for me to try and understand it.
The second point, however, is where the crux of this lands with me.

The main argument is that this is an R-Rated 18+ game and that the simple solution is that parents should not buy it for their children.
Yes. This is true – BUT, it’s not the simple solution.

Parents are always the easy target in arguments like these, but to be fair, the common cliché has lost its potency in this day and age because of the context of the world we’re living in. We are ALL being bombarded with a pornified and hyper-sexualised world and yet somehow, it’s up to the parents to ‘simply not buy it’?

I think this has become very difficult for parents; to actually deal with the pressure of filtering the ever-encroaching, adult world for their children. To do this successfully, though, one would have to be next to their child at every given moment and that’s impossible – and quite frankly, who would want to raise their child like that anyway? Not me.

As a parent, I am very aware of this paradigm and am doing my utmost to help my girls navigate through it, regardless of whether it’s aimed at them or not (and more often than not it isn’t – but they’re still being exposed anyway). My last post gives examples of the child exposure to this game – and it’s widespread in Primary Schools.

What we need is for the adult world to meet us half way and in my mind, Target Australia has now done just that.

They are a family store and being a family store means it comes with responsibility.
If they had ultimately chosen to keep stocking R-Rated games, then they would have needed to create a section where children can’t access the products; making it very clear it’s for adults only. Ultimately, though, what family store would want to attract attention to the fact that they sell products for adults only?

You’re more likely, as a parent, to be shopping with your children in a place like Target, Big W, K-mart (who should also follow suit and not just this game but all R-Rated games), as they sell children’s toys near the games section. To a child, one ‘game’ is the same as another, so:

Question #218: Can we just have some space that’s safe for kids?

Sadly, we have the fact that many young (predominantly male) children are actually playing this game and although it’s easy to pass the buck on parents – it’s not always their fault.

This decision makes it easier for the parents who are not aware of the game and its pretty horrible contents and who simply don’t notice the rating. We are human, after all, and not noticing a rating when your mind is full of a million other things, is far more forgivable than the bigger picture of all this.

And for all those who cry foul about not having their violent, porn games available in every store they want – at their fingertips – I ask them to step away from their own sense of privilege and think of reducing the temptation of having something rated strictly unsuitable for children, in a place frequented by children. It’s at their fingertips too.

UPDATE: Kmart have in fact now followed Target Australia’s lead and have also pulled Grand Theft Auto 5 from sale. That’s two.

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

It is like comparing apples with oranges.

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

Exhibit A:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everywhere; every time.

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

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

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

Exhibit B:

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll leave you to think.

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

Deep Breath.

x

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the moment where we hit a horrific snag.

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

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

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

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

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

Violence and Porn. Everywhere. Everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Deep Breath.

x

I’ve changed my name.

January 17, 2014

I have to say that this journey has been cathartic.
Looking back at who I was two years ago and the reasons for starting this blog – to hopefully find answers to the questions I had for myself about this life, why it was the way it was and how I was to navigate through it – along with my daughters, husband, family, friends and the big wide world – it’s quite incredible; I am quite a different person today.

My journey has seen me connect with such an extraordinary cross-section of inspirational and brave feminists – all with their unique angle of what the issues are for women and girls in this world and who work tirelessly to create some positive change.
I feel humbled to have met you all – you have had a profound impact on me.

So here I am – having just had my unoriginal epiphany about the chronic and habitual gender roles both women and men are assigned from birth – and I realised that I had a problem with the name of this blog.

Why did I name the blog Questions for Women? Because at the time, I understood women (and men) to be in categories. I myself (still) participate in it, although some shackles – like how I perceive beauty in myself and all those around me –  have been dropped.
But who are these ‘women’ I want answers from, exactly?

Since posting my last question – What IS a woman? (yes, we all know it’s a female adult, I mean in terms of the label) – it became abundantly apparent that, really, there’s no such thing.

So this blog will now be known as: Questions for Us – questionsforus.com

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The future can only be changed through our children / younger generation – by Us.
Being the ‘grown-ups’ of the equation means we have to step up – do much more than we are now.

Most of us adults are too far gone in our deeply-rooted mantras and practices to completely change the narrow gender moulds we’ve designed (and keep whittling at into smaller and smaller representations) but kids are different; essentially they are a clean slate.

Today, however, they’re a clean slate surrounded by a world selling them something sinister in its core and wallpapering their existence with it.

Question #197: Can we now embrace the phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a Child’?

In my heart of hearts, I bloody hope so! We need it now – more than ever.

I sincerely hope to have you on board in discussions, as I don’t have all the answers – but I’m not blind to what I see and will question it.

Deep Breath.

x

The penny has dropped for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question #196: What IS a woman?

Really think about this.

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

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Whatever you add, these are all simply labels (what gender roles basically are) and countless women will vehemently disagree with being pigeon-holed into these labels because we know that what’s inside us is unique and that the only thing women and girls have in common is (in the big scheme of things) a female reproductive system (functioning or not). 

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

I'm Glad 8

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

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

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

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

To practise humanity.

We need to be smart about this.

Deep Breath.

x

Quick question #1

November 19, 2013

It’s mid-week and crazy busy, but I just wanted to put forth a quick question.

Some of the discussions I’ve had over the years – about gender specific behaviours (for both men and women) in particular – have invoked a common response:

‘It’s always been that way’.

or

‘The core of human nature has never changed’.

I agree. I do. I’ve written that on this blog many times.

BUT…

When I was a kid growing up (in the days of yore: AKA late ’70s / early ’80s), my sister and I spent a substantial portion of our time, playing on the street –  generally venturing to the end of our large street block on push bikes.

Sweet.

Question #191: So – if people haven’t inherently changed, why don’t we let our kids play on the street anymore?

I don’t know anyone who does – including myself.

Actually, I saw a report recently about a possible future rule where parents may be fined for leaving children alone  – like walking home from school.

On one hand, it’s staunchly argued that people need to just ‘relax’ and ‘move on’ about certain issues because it’s always been like that.

On the other hand, we know – statistically – that it’s actually worse out there.

Or is it?

If you agree it is worse out there – the question that must be asked, is:
WHY? What’s changed?

Therein lies the possibility of a path toward some solutions – don’t you think?

What say you?

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Deep breath

x

A weighty issue.

October 19, 2013

Weight.

Women’s weight.

Girls’ weight.

Your weight.

Her weight.

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

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

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

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

This is part of what I responded to her:

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

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

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

Beauty is a state of mind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I want this to be the lesson:

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Deep Breath.

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

Now go be a great role model.

xxx

How I see Malala.

October 13, 2013

I’m finding my mind swimming – literally swimming – with thoughts and perceptions that I want to articulate in a coherent and succinct manner. But there are so many and sometimes it just doesn’t help that I want to shout and use a shit-load of profanity.

I’m getting so weary and disappointed at our microscopically slow pace of change, that I have this to say:

One important lesson to gain from Malala (not the obvious one).

Yesterday I read an article that had a great impact on me.

Malala Yousafzai and the White Saviour Complex

It says:

This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalised. Journalists and politicians were falling over themselves to report and comment on the case. The story of an innocent brown child that was shot by savages for demanding an education and along comes the knight in shining armour to save her.

The actions of the West, the bombings, the occupations the wars all seem justified now, “see, we told you, this is why we intervene to save the natives.”

I agree. It practically looks like a PR stunt and I don’t like that Malala looks like she’s being used as a pawn in this seemingly deceptive agenda.

I also agree that there are A LOT more Malalas out there.

But this is the point where I want to deflect and add something important.

It’s not just that these girls need urgent saving – and they absolutely do – the motivation that has to power the movement of change, is the realisation that:

This world NEEDS girls and women like Malala.

It’s the missing ingredient for things to improve.

Girls and women.

NOT to take over. Equal representation.

If women – according to the Patriarchy – are supposedly the nurturers and carers, then the question shouldn’t be, ‘What have we got to lose?’ (because the only answer is money) but:

Question #187: What have we got to gain?

Simply, I think a great, great deal of good.

When are we going to evolve?
Don’t we want a happy planet for all, instead of this realm of greed, despair, rage and destruction?

I just want to finish by saying, that I think Malala is astonishing. A true hero. An inspiration.

I don’t care in the foggiest that the western world has made a big fuss about her – she absolutely deserves our full attention.
What a wonder she is.

Now let’s WAKE UP and channel that toward educating our children – in schools and at home – by teaching them to be the cogs of change.

Our youth is the answer – with our guidance.

If you’re thinking that you’ll give it a try (which would be awesome) – I would also like to respond with the famous words of Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back:

“Do or do not; there is no try.”

What are you going to do?

Something.

Anything. However small.

We must start to act as a collective.

Deep Breath.

x

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking – pondering – reflecting – over the last few days.

I’m feeling quite disillusioned (on a grand scale) but it’s not upsetting me…I just want to figure out what the next step is. There’s an aimlessness to my thoughts.

I know, through social media, that there is A HUGE amount of us standing up and voicing our objections to things that seem ludicrous to be even out there in the first place – but they’re flatly being ignored.

A few days ago it was about the hateful and violent images and memes that Facebook allow to remain online – despite protest – and then the latest atrocity being the adult club billboard in front of a boys’ school that the Advertising Standards Board has deemed appropriate to keep up – despite protest – grooming our future’s sexual tastes.

I won’t go on because the list is literally endless and too dispiriting.

Many of us have written and complained, but to little or no avail. There have been some victories by groups like Collective Shout (every victory is a win!) but it’s not on the scale necessary to bring about change.

So today I found myself thinking – what’s the point? (bad of me, I know)

Today I had a hectic afternoon in the car driving up and down, picking up and dropping off etc. when I heard the following song for the second time on Triple J. The first time I only caught the end of it and what attracted me was the divine voice and music – today, however, when I heard it in full, I listened to the lyrics.

The song is ‘God-Fearing’ by Sarah Blasko, from the album, I Awake.

You’ve got a nerve, you know you make me hate
One thing I’ve learned, you try to take away
I’m not beaten down, I won’t behave
Just listen this once or you will rue this day

You have no respect
For me tonight if you’re not listening
It might be unkind but it might be right
But you’re not listening

Set them up, knock them down
Cast them left, cast them right
God-fearing tonight

Biting my lip and holding my tongue
Was the most stupid thing that I’ve ever done 
Got carried away, let myself down
I’ll shoulder that blame if you’ll admit what you’ve done

You have no respect
For me tonight if you’re not listening
It might be unkind but it might be right
But you’re not listening

Set them up, knock them down
Cast them left, cast them right
God-fearing tonight

I adore this song. It resonates so strongly with how I feel.
Completely frustrated that I – WE – are not being listened to. Not respected. Second-class.
The lines I put in bold are the standouts for me (and I love that she sings them looking straight at us in the video).

I played it to my 10-year-old daughter in the car. It was just the two of us.

I’m in her ear about certain topics – I have to be.
After all…we live in a society which allows porn billboards to go up in front of schools. I have to prepare her.
So we talked about the lyrics  of this song – about not keeping quiet when the wrong thing is being done and that responsibility needs to be taken by the parties that do wrong, for change to happen.

I parked the car in the driveway and we just sat there listening to the magical sound of the violins (we both love them) waiting for the song to end before getting out.

As we got out of the car, she said to me:

“I want to thank you for raising me the way you are…helping me…(paused)…I don’t know how to explain it.”

I said, “You just did,” and gave her the biggest, massivest bear hug.
Lump in throat; heart swell…you know.

All this from one song – so I thought I’d share it.

Question #148: Feeling inspired (and equally indignant) to use that voice of yours?

Deep Breath

x

Sarah Blasko

Sarah Blasko

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.