April 29, 2012
Due to the complaints of MANY, including Melinda Tankard Reist, Telstra has now changed their policy towards their pornographic apps and are removing them.
This following post is from Melinda’s site:
People power has effect.
April 28, 2012
I’m watching the news and I see Gai Waterhouse winning big at the races. As a part of the story, they’re interviewing the jockeys…and they’re ALL guys.
Question #38: Why aren’t there any female jockeys?
Wouldn’t they be lighter and therefore better?
Please read the wonderful comment left by Lily, as a response to my last post. She also wants a culture free from porn and her comment is succinct.
She has the following blog: http://freedomfrompornculture.wordpress.com/.
Best of all, she’s started to take action by writing many letters to all political avenues, including our Prime Minister - to raise her voice against this Lingerie Football League starting in Australia. We’ve teamed up together and have started looking at different approaches to take – to be heard.
JOIN US…Men too! We need all you dads, uncles, brothers who can see this culture manifesting in front of your eyes.
Our democracy votes in politicians of all levels - so contact your Federal Representative. It doesn’t matter whether they’re your party or not - they’re there – and it’s time to ask them to act for the people of the electorate…who got them their job (majority rules!). After that, it will work its way up.
Use WHOEVER’S there. The more of you, the better.
It’s time to be the village.
…and you know what ladies? Wouldn’t you want to put that ‘nagging’ label towards some good? *biiiiig wink*
Now THAT’S empowering!
April 27, 2012
I’ve been waiting for aaaages to write about some of the positive and wonderful women, who are around me, as well as ‘out there.’ So. Many.
BUT, every time I want to inject some beautiful and inspiring stories into this blog, something infuriating pops up and I just have to voice my opposition to it.
Today is such a day…but I PROMISE the wonderfulness is coming. *big smile*
I was talking to some of my Year 12 Drama students and one girl questioned my perspective, saying that I should just see guys and girls as equals.
I explained to her that I do see us as equal – that’s the whole point of my starting this blog.
Intellectually we ARE equal. There is nothing a female mind can’t do, that a male brain can.
But from a young age (and getting younger all the time), the brain seems to be the least important part to be cultivated in girls. Not from parents – of course – but from a consumer machine that just wants girls to start, as early as possible, in feeling they need to look ‘pretty’ in make-up, feel insecure and continually strive to ‘improve’ themselves…well into adulthood. Cha-ching!
A pretty penny, these companies are making from this scheme. But the insatiable drive to make more and more money, means the line is being continually pushed. Sometimes it’s outrageous what gets put out there but, sadly, at other times we are so desensitised, that we don’t think it’s that bad.
Two words – Lingerie. Football. Lingerie. Football.
It’s an innovation from the United States (surprise!) and it’s launching in Australia soon. This is what they wear:
…garter belts, skimpy ‘uniforms,’ little bow ties…mix this with an audience full of men, drinking beer…*shaking head*
A lot of the U.S. players, posed for Playboy…Gasp! Surprise #2.
We don’t want ANY girl to aspire to this…
There’s a saying - ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ – well now, more than ever - we need to raise our voices – mums, dads, aunts, uncles, white collar, blue collar – and say:
NO! We don’t want this!
I simply can’t see any positives to this, for either our girls or our boys.
How can boys and young men have respectful attitudes towards women, when women are continually being objectified EVERYWHERE they look?
Question #37: How do our young girls navigate through this and come through unscathed?
We only need look around and see that there’s obviously something very wrong because it’s the women who sign up to be objectified.
It’s time for an intervention.
If there are any government bodies you can write to – please do. The ‘league’ is coming next year, so there’s time to act. The more voices the better.
The promoters are Triple M (radio station) and at this stage, Telecafe is a sponsor – bombard them with emails!
We are the village.
April 26, 2012
Well, the finalists for the blog writing competition I entered were listed today – no, I didn’t make it.
Ooooh weeeell. Better luck next year, I say. *full of optimism*
To be honest, I’m not really sure if I’m doing it ‘right’ – like the fact that since writing the word ‘porn’ (oops – did it again) – I receive SO much more spam…getting close to 200 spam comments so far. Boo! I’m not even sure if this is normal – I assume it is. Any other bloggers have the same problems?
But as long as I keep meeting like-minded people, as well as people who challenge what I’m writing, then that makes me a happy camper.
Today I just wanted to share a little cartoon I put on my Facebook page last week:
Question #36: Thoughts?
April 25, 2012
Hey fans! Haha!
Just a reminder that I’ve entered a blog writers’ competition and would love to get your vote in the People’s Choice Award section of the competition.
If you haven’t already voted – please click on the following link and look for ‘Questions for Women’ and vote – regardless of the country you’re from.
If you’ve enjoyed the ‘conversation’ – pass it onto your like-minded friends.
Thanks heaps for your support! *lots of love*
April 23, 2012
I’ve received another great perspective (thank you), in response to my last post and I thought that seeing as I want to encourage a conversation – I’ll answer it here.
One part read:
I think as well part of the reason women wear such revealing clothes is because we can now, we have reached a stage where we have a right to wear revealing clothes and be in charge of our own bodies, there shouldn’t be anything shameful in wearing something flattering for your body. I don’t think that girls wearing short skirts or dresses is a *pick me* situation at all, in fact most wear them simply because they are in style not because they want to be picked by a man.
I completely agree that women have come such a looong way in being able to choose how to dress and being in control of their own lives - as well as many other advancements. But what I saw on Saturday Night was young women choosing to have a look that has, throughout the decades been equated to one word – SEX.
And that’s OK. I’m not a prude – I think it’s great that women also have more control over their sexual decisions.
BUT, this is the moment where I wonder where the empowerment is - because this look is purely to sexually arouse (heterosexual) men…
…it’s the image attached to porn – something created to service men’s desires; an image that has saturated our world, as shown in A visual presentation, since the internet truly hit our shores.
The word ‘flattering’ is the last word that comes to mind (for me) when I see this look because there’s nothing left to the imagination, nothing for the guy to discover – it’s fully out there.
Whatever happened to mystery? Showing a hint of the sexual woman inside, to engage a man?
I have seen VERY sexually alluring women with beautiful and stylish clothing; a low v-neck top, showing a long neckline or a short skirt to show off great legs - but a bit more conservative with the rest.
What’s out there appears to be something tacky – when it’s every sexual looked rolled into one. There’s only one message. My husband, a very hot-blooded male, agreed with me – it was a visual candy shop for guys.
Is that it? Can’t we do better?
The reason I ask is because this fashion is filtering down to our young girls – as young as Primary School. We all know that’s true and for the most part, I think people are concerned about this. Why? Because it’s a sexual look and it primarily attracts and arouses men. *massive concern*
Another part read:
I really don’t understand what you mean by girls looking the same while boys all look different, as far as I can tell when it comes to clothes men have a far smaller variety of choice than women.
Men have always used the same clothes for well over a century - as I wrote before – pants, shirt, flat shoes. I was refering to the ‘type’ of guy we saw – not what they were wearing. When it comes to clothes, they don’t have to really make a choice.
But women do. So why not choose a fashion that has sexual allure, steeped in style and mystery?
Again, I really would like to repeat – I’m not criticising these women. I just think they’re worth more than their ‘appearance’ of a stereotypical, male sexual fantasy. Whether girls dress like that for fashion or not – it’s what the guys are interpreting, about women, that matters…
Question #35 …and in this man’s world (which it is) how can we EVER gain empowerment from this look?
We are giving them the look THEY like and, more importantly, the look they chose for us through shows, music videos, men’s magazines etc. etc.
April 23, 2012
As I previously mentioned, yesterday was my wedding anniversary – 11 years. Hubby and I decided to have a night in the city, staying overnight in a hotel – possible, thanks to my mum, the overnight babysitter. *very grateful*
After we had dinner in our favourite Spanish restaurant in Liverpool Street, we decided to walk down George Street down to a popular nightclub for a boogie, whilst checking out the city streets of Sydney.
Well, that one kilometre (two-thirds of a mile) walk – as well as inside the nightclub – was certainly an eye-opener. I know that I’ve discussed this at length with you all before, but there’s nothing like seeing things for yourself…it’s quite depressing…
Just about every girl – I would say about 75% – looked EXACTLY the same. I reeeally wanted to take photos of them - but didn’t, so as to respect the girls’ privacy. Ironic, isn’t it? That I care more about respecting them, than they do for themselves…
So I just got on the Net and looked up ‘going-out clothes’ to get an image. The army / flock / plethora of girls I saw everywhere – looked something like this:
(Classic, that this first image uses the word ‘Unique’…)
It was wave after wave of short, short dresses – platform heels of varying colours and height (from high to ridiculously high) – fake tans and boobs out.
I saw many girls struggling to walk in their shoes – but hey, I know that we’ve always had to battle that. These platforms, however, (that we used to refer as pole-dancers’ shoes) are something else.
The thing that saddened me, was seeing the many girls who simply looked awkward – constantly pulling down the dresses that were just barely covering their underpants – the ones who are wearing what they’re supposed to, because all their friends are wearing the same.
As I was walking with my husband, a hetero-male in a sea of ‘easy’, I said to him – “If you were a young man, you’d have countless women to pick from. Who would you pick? (this was a rhetorical question, of course *wink*)
So it’s girls upon girls, groups upon groups – all sending the exact same message – “PICK ME!! PICK ME!! Because I’ll show you the best time.” If that’s not the message, what is it? Actually, it’s irrelevant what girls think it means because that’s the only message the guys are receiving – crystal clear.
The funny thing is that both Hubby and I noticed that it didn’t seem to really matter what the guy looked like – we saw daggy guys, short guys, metero-sexuals etc.etc. – basically a lovely collection of them …with the same type of girl described above… How lucky guys are, to have next to zero pressure about what to wear out – in complete and total comfort – jeans/pants; shirt/t-shirt; flat shoes.
Question #34: Why is this look so important for these young women? Don’t they want to be unique?
I’d looove to hear from anyone who can answer this. No judgement – just a conversation.
The thing is that I’m sure most of these girls go home without having been ‘chosen.’ What then?
WHAT THEN? Little less clothing next time?
So sad and YES…I believe women have gone backwards with the current youth culture. How do we help them?
To tie with the last few posts – I believe EVERYONE on this planet is deserving of wonderful and loving partnerships – if that’s what they want. But when it comes to these young women; until they have the strength and courage to step out and be completely themselves – how is a well-matched guy going to ‘see’ them through the fake clutter?
PS It’s back to teaching young minds tomorrow *wink*, so the posts might come a teeny less often – even though I wish I could write every day!
Love to you all. *big smile*
April 20, 2012
I find myself in a reflective position, due to a few comments. One on my blog and one from a friend.
I received my first ‘critical’ comment from the post - Looks can be deceiving - which I wholeheartedly invite. I want to know how women are feeling and I appreciated receiving it. This woman thought I was being judgemental in that post.
After a friend of mine, Jane, made a comment about it, I went back and re-read the post and the response I got. I’m going through a bit of a personal journey at the moment – with myself, my relationships and with the world at large - and I’m finding moments where I think I see things so clearly…but I just don’t know how to express it. So in lieu of the comments that have come my way, I need to say something; to explain…
…and I’m finding this one a doosey. It’s taken ages to write this post and I still don’t know if I’m getting it right. Here it goes.
In my response to the comment that was left, I said that the effect of the tight grip that mass-media has on us is:
A vast army of insecure women AND men, who are living a melancholic (at times) existence because they don’t stand up to the ‘tick-a-box’ ideal. I find that terribly sad.
I find that terribly sad – That’s not me judging or looking down my nose – it’s quite the opposite; that’s me feeling sad for all of us – including ME!
Jane mentioned that the woman who responded was explaining that when you’re not ‘chosen’, you start to question things about yourself.
I TOTALLY understand this.
People who know me, may scoff at the fact I just said that. The reason I say this, is because the latter part of Jane’s comment to me was that I am, in fact, in a stable marriage, with a good-looking husband and have communicated how I look good for my age (a month shy of 42), through my blog. So how could I understand those that don’t have this?
Well I have two parts to answer this.
Firstly – this is how I looked in Year 12. For any overseas readers, this is the final year of high school in Australia, aged between 17-18 years old.
I just felt the recoil from you all, as your eyes landed on this…as I always do *wink*
And why is that? Maybe because our perception of beauty has (always) been of a stock standard. There is nothing ‘attractive’ about me at this age and the boys CERTAINLY didn’t come near me. And it wasn’t just that stylish ‘do’ I was sporting, I also dressed like a tomboy. No dresses or skirts, except for my school uniform, that is.
So boys steered clear. In fact, I remember that when I was in Year 11, my year group (all girls) went on a camp with a nearby Catholic all-boys’ high school. The boys were in cabins on one side of the camp and the girls on the other. I recall that my girlfriends and I all went across to the boys’ cabins and as we walked up the few steps to their big verandah, a guy was standing there saying, “Welcome…Welcome”, to every girl who passed him. When he saw me he said, “You’re not welcome.” I continued on with the rest of my friends.
I cared and I didn’t care. The part that cared, wondered if I would have to grow my hair long for boys to find me attractive and the other part thought, “Fuck ‘em” – I liked looking a bit different.
But my 20s saw me in a time of MASSIVE insecurity – because I was the classic student in the class of: “Main goal in life - Marriage and Motherhood 101.” I DID grow my hair out and started wearing skirts and dresses, to make sure I fitted the mould to get to my goal. To be chosen. And there’s no way around changing this because it’s the man who has to propose – he chooses. We wait.
So while we wait, we go through terrible thoughts about ourselves – as I did – and that’s why I understand the feelings of the woman who responded. I do.
Secondly….this is the hard one to articulate…
None of this has anything to do with how I look. Nothing. Yes, I do like clothes and fashion – we are the ‘fairer sex’, after all – but I dress to (hopefully) show some style. If I get a ‘label’ piece of clothing for a bargain – great! If a pair of jeans from K-mart do the trick – excellent! (which they did last week). Fashion is something I want to get into – just not now.
I’m OK with the way I look now because I’m older and wiser. About three years ago I was 10 kgs (22lbs) heavier – after having my girls – and the weight was not budging. But the moment I started to look at myself and be ‘happy’ with what I saw, that the weight started to drop (coupled with some small changes to lifestyle). It came off fast – it was like my mind was ‘seeing’ my future figure and my body caught up.
But when I was the SAME weight in my 20s, I was SOOO insecure about it all.
Now I can hear some of you saying, “Yeah, but none of that matters – now that you have been chosen.”
I’m married. So what? Lots and lots of people are (in partnerships) - and they all have different ‘looks’.
Yes, after 11 years (tomorrow) married to my husband, we have established a strong family unit – that I love – and is, for the most part, travelling well. But there are A LOT of really yuck days and is, at times, Very. Hard. Work. My girls are still young, so who knows what the teenage years will bring…when they can drive me to insanity now.
Every third marriage,in Australia, ends in divorce* – so why is it so revered? This statistic hasn’t shifted much over the decades – so if it’s not really a third of the population’s cup of tea (statistics don’t lie) – why is it pushed on us since birth?
I know the common answer is loneliness – but aren’t some marriages the loneliest experiences? And if you add kids to the mix, isn’t there a saying that goes, “You’ll feel lonely at times, but you’re never alone.”?
The funny thing is – and this is something I’m going to be blogging about soon – is that I’m surrounded by the most amazing women (aren’t we all? amazing, that is! *wink*) of different ages, looks, talent, marital status, with children and without – of whom I’m in AWE. I go to them for advice, I pick their brains, gas-bag, LOVE their sense of fashion and style, have a laugh, have a boogie and NONE of it, has to do with them fitting a mould. So why look at me and say, “Oh, but you look….(fill in the blank)? Because whatever you put in there – it doesn’t matter – it doesn’t afford me anything.
Question #33: Since when does a look that ‘fits the mould’ guarantee a happy and perfect life?
So my whole point of Looks can be deceiving, was that it seems unbalanced to want to ALL want the same final goal, all looking the same way. Nature doesn’t make us that way.
My message to you young ones, is that you don’t need to sell yourselves short by being something you’re not – in the hope to get chosen – because you’ll be chosen for the wrong reasons…especially if all you’re offering, through your look, is sex – we can ALL do that. Nothing special.
April 19, 2012
This. Is. SO. Funny.
…well, I thought so anyway.
It’s good to have a good and hearty laugh about more serious issues - and this following clip did juuust that for me.
I was flicking channels on the telly a few nights ago, when I landed on Aussie comedienne, Kitty Flanagan, doing some stand-up. I actually went to the same high school as her – she was the year above me. I was mates with her sister, Penny (in my year group), who was a CACK! Such funny girls.
So it was extra-exciting to see Penny join Kitty on stage to sing a song.
Sometimes, you’ve just gotta laugh! *hee heeee*
April 18, 2012
So, why is pornographic material so hard to avoid?
Here are my Top Ten ‘unavoidables’ - places or ways in which women are depicted as hypersexualised and vacuous:
1. COUNTLESS movie plot lines.
2. COUNTLESS music video clips.
3. This - from a popular movie actress, Megan Fox (one amongst many):
4. This – from a popular female singer, Rhianna (one amongst many):
5. This – from a popular television series for young adults, ‘Two and a Half Men’ (one amonst many):
6. This – from a popular television “reality” show for Gen Y, ‘Jersey Shore’ (one amongst many):
I can’t believe these people have become famous and are rewarded for being shallow and self-centered; with the sole intention of partying and hooking up - episode after episode
*sad, sad face*
7. This – a promotional shot from a popular television show for teens and tweens, ‘Glee’ (leading the way):
Look at Lea Michele’s face (on the right) – and look at his (of course) – and where his hands are…
Is video footage more your thing? Click on the following link and watch the video of the Glee students singing and dancing to Beyonce’s song, ‘Run the World (Girls)’ – from a previous post of mine - A (moving) picture paints a thousand words
8. This – from a billboard (Australia) selling Lee Jeans (one amongst many):
9. This – from a funny internet ’joke’ (one amonst maaany):
10. This – from a t-shirt sold from popular urban store, ‘City Beach’ (one amongst many):
What I really want to know is this:
Question #32: How much longer do we have to wait until women (like these) say, “No. I’m not doing that.”?
Just one, simple word – No.
Because without women – we can’t see these derogative images.
I can dream that day will come…can’t I?