Musings: Cannibalism, Feminism and Holistic Claustrophobia

Apparently I blinked and feminism became an entity, developed a conscious filtering system and an eerily biased opinion on equality. I don’t like its purpose being dictated. Women in the media are now victims not only to the opposition but to their own team, under constant scrutiny for their place on the scale from one to feminism. Female celebrities are under increasing attack for their behaviour, simultaneously judged and celebrated by the infinite amount of voices to be heard, each with its own idea about the ‘right kind of feminism.’

Sometimes I get stuck in the big picture. The other day I was reading The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism & the Problem with Domination. Typically, Freudian theories of domination (that it’s an inevitable effect of human interaction) sent me spiralling into an existential crisis. Now, I’m tied down by possibilities and scales, handcuffed by the largeness of life, gagged by the perception that my actions and beliefs are completely inconsequential. I can’t write. I can’t talk. Sometimes it’s hard to think.

I call it ‘holistic claustrophobia.’ Don’t steal it.

I feel that secularisation is important now, that it’s the next logical step in progressive open-mindedness. As a group, surely it’s vital to embrace the individual experience of owning one’s own religion, finding a unique path of ideals and tailoring them over time, releasing labels of gender, sexuality and belief – forever weaving the tapestry of us – and embracing the fact that there will never be enough labels. Diversity through wholeness. Harmony. Polarities.

We have to find a balance, a way to maintain our individual ideals but keep huddling under the same umbrella: even the cannibals. As long as there’s no killing involved, I’m vocal in supporting those who have, but more importantly have needed to, devour a friend. But that’s an opinion for another day.

Chickens eat chicken and don’t get no hate.

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If given the choice, would you save a life?

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Yesterday I registered as an organ donor. I’m 23, but I’d have done it at 18 if the thought had occurred. Luckily it did. It’s nice to know my consent is confirmed, out of the way, sorted. What difference does it make? I don’t harbour spiritual unease at the idea of my body being tampered with after death. I can save a life after mine has ended (up to ten, actually), enrich a family, and all I have to do is sign on the dotted line.

There are approximately 1500 people on transplant waiting lists at any given time in Australia. Last year in Victoria, 378 donors gave new lives to over 1000 people. But that’s still only 16 donors per one million people.

Click here to read my full article petitioning Daniel Andrews MP to implement a compulsory opt-in/opt-out registration system.

UPDATE: This has been republished by Centrethought – a cool website where uni students give their opinions about the world.

Image: Donatelife

In Honour of Those Who Won’t Make it, I was a Victim of Abuse

whiteribbonI never thought I’d be one of those girls. You know the type – the ones who cling to poisonous relationships, allowing their partner to strip them of their self-esteem, self-love, and eventually, their happiness. The term ‘abusive relationship’ was foreign to me. Although I’d been teased, threatened – and finally – physically harmed, to call my partner an abuser seemed completely over the top.

In this piece for The Morning Bell blog I write about acknowledging abusive behaviour in relationships, both as a favour to ourselves and in honour of the women who are killed by their partners in Australia every week. Today is White Ribbon Day, the largest male-led campaign to stop violence against women in the world. Awareness, education and acknowledgement are key in allowing victims to feel strong enough to save themselves.

Have a read here – http://www.themorningbell.net/blog/2014/11/25/in-honour-of-those-who-wont-make-it-i-was-a-victim-of-abuse

Image: White Ribbon

Please Stop Emotionally Investing in Beyonce

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - ShowHere’s something I wrote for The Morning Bell about celebrity idealization. Feminist women entrenched in pop-culture are raised up to a pedestal for their beliefs. However, we tear them down for the very same thing. In this piece I look at who is to blame for the outrage and disappointment felt by fans when a feminist icon lets them down.

Is it our fault for thrusting expectations onto celebrities, for labeling them as iconic for beliefs they may not have consciously adhered to?

Read it here: http://www.themorningbell.net/blog/2014/10/15/please-stop-emotionally-investing-in-beyonce

Victimization of Innocent People? #NotInMyName

I can’t express how angry I was to read that an innocent Muslim woman had been attacked and thrown off a moving train in Melbourne this week. Immediately, I felt a mixture of rage, sadness and guilt.

Now, I’m not going to bang on about the injustice that took place. Although the act proved that there are still a number of Australians with misguided views on Islam, I like to think these people are few. Judging from my friends, family and acquaintances, most people are able to separate terrorist groups like ISIS from Islam, and recognize that mass generalization is entirely unfair and false.

However, there are Australians who don’t share this belief. And although they are few, hostility and violence against innocent people is occurring. It saddens me to think – as I do – that this Islamaphobic reaction stems from racism that, for some, has started to appear just.

The #NotinMyName campaign aims to educate the world about the difference between ISIS and Islam. Muslims, wanting to distance themselves from terrorist groups are speaking up and stressing that these acts of terrorism are not part of their beliefs.

However, some followers of Islam are offended by the campaign. Mehreen Faruqi at The Guardian writes, ‘I know the actions of ISIS are #NotInMyName, and I won’t be pressured to apologize for them.’

Faruqi is completely entitled to her opinion. And, although I disagree with her premise, I’m in no way allowed to think that she should take part in the campaign. I understand that, for her, having to make the distinction between herself and a terrorist could feel completely degrading.

Although education through the campaign is important, it’s unfortunate that people like Faruqi have to even consider defending their innocence. But in a way, I feel the need to defend mine, to distance myself from the Australians who would victimize an innocent person based on misguided beliefs or racial prejudice – not because I want to apologize, but because I want to show the world that I won’t stand for this behavior.

It sickens me to think tha20141001_192555t my city is becoming a place where people are unfairly unsafe, where Muslim women are targeted because an uneducated person thinks that their cultural and religious clothing makes them a part of a terrorist group that could not be further from their beliefs. It makes me sick to think that some may be using this ignorance as an outlet for their racism.

I can’t do anything to stop terrorism. But I can stress that ostracizing an innocent person based on their religious or cultural beliefs is a social issue that needs to be addressed. I’ll do what I can and show solidarity against those who would generalize a culture based on unfounded beliefs. No Australian, regardless of religion, should feel unsafe in my city.

ISIS is not Islam. Victimization of innocent people? #NotInMyName.

Why Bridget Jones’s Diary is Classic Feminist Literature

jonesI’ve been saying this for years. There’s something about Bridget – other than the fact that we would obviously be best friends – that makes believe she’s a feminist icon.

In this article I wrote for The Morning Bell I have pinpointed exactly what it is about Bridget’s character that radiates awesome female power. It’s her flaws. Her obvious, stupid and hilarious flaws.

Many believe that we’re in the middle of third wave feminism, a movement that takes place primarily over the internet. A large part of the fight is refusing to live up to the rigid standards we are expected to as women. And so, there has never been more need for Bridget Jones – an icon to bring us back down to earth and remember what we are: flawed, clumsy and a little bit fat. But she does more than just that, she helps us embrace it. Take a look here –

http://www.themorningbell.net/blog/2014/7/9/844xiwhs8d1nk2u9fxyqyj1n5gsl4q

Image: sweet mandy kay

Are Love Triangles Killing YA Fiction?

I wroteHunger_games this piece a while ago for Lip Mag. After reading The Hunger Games trilogy for the second time, I started to think about the Katniss/Peeta/Gale love triangle and whether or not it added anything to the story.

Personally, I found Katniss’s suspension between two possible romances detracted from her usually strong and independent character. The unconditional relationships, such as Katniss’s love for Rue and Prim, added a dimension that is often absent in contemporary YA fiction. In this piece I talk about the influence of Gale, and wonder if the story could have been stronger had he only been seen as a friend.

Take a look here –

http://lipmag.com/opinion/thoughts-on-the-hunger-games-are-love-triangles-killing-young-adult-fiction/

Celebgate is not a Scandal, but an act of Pure Misogyny

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Here’s something I wrote for The Morning Bell blog about ‘Celebgate’ – the recent nude photo leak affecting over 100 female celebrities. In this piece I look at the hacking as not just a scandal, but an act of mass misogyny against all women that attempts to demonstrate power over the opposite sex.

Have a read here –
http://www.themorningbell.net/blog/2014/9/3/celebgate-is-not-a-scandal-but-an-act-of-pure-misogyny

Image: alien_artifact

Emma Watson’s UN Speech was Used, Recycled Perfection

UNwomen_EmmaWatson_GoodwillAmbassador_2-jpgSo I’ve recently published an article on The Morning Bell blog about Emma Watson’s speech at the UN. Zara McDonald at Mamamia wrote that Watson’s words were nothing but an echo of the women before her and should not be considered revolutionary.

In my article I argue that a ground-breaking speech doesn’t have to be new. The only way we can cause a revolution is to keep saying the same thing, exemplifying the drastic need for change. Take a look here –

http://www.themorningbell.net/blog/2014/9/24/emma-watsons-un-speech-was-used-recycled-perfection