Category Archives: Feminism

Your Own Kind Of Girl

Chocolate you’ve got chocolate on your mouth, oh you long to be, like the other girls, your not going to be ‘some other girl’

I didn’t realise how hard it is to grow up as a teenager in our society until I actually had to do it. Nothing can prepare a person like me for that. I knew what it was going to be like, but I didn’t know how much it we going to affect me. I tend to think. A lot. About feminism, about women, about men, about how men treat women, and about how women treat men. It admittedly makes me quite depressed. I dwell on things, things I can’t change, and the fact that I can’t change it makes me even more depressed. Vicious cycle. Not fun.

I have moments of weakness. More than I would like to admit. Seems to be happening more and more lately. It appears to be a constant battle, trying to not get sucked in. Sucked in to doing what other people want you to do, what other people are doing. It is even harder accepting who I am. It doesn’t fit. I don’t fit.

I know I don’t need to fit. But it would be nice sometimes. It would be nice for me to be more accepting of myself. But in order to be accepting of myself it means accepting that I have issues with accepting myself. Vicious cycle number two. Still not fun.

My will power isn’t strong enough to face all of those things every single day by myself. I don’t have to though. I have authors like Virgina Woolf and Sylvia Plath. I have songwriters like Fiona Apple and Natalie Imbruglia. And Clare Bowditch. She wrote the song Your Own Kind Of Girl, a line of which I included at the beginning of this post. I’ll post the rest of the lyrics at the end of this post, if you wish to take a look. I love the song to pieces, although I almost always cry when I listen to it. If you haven’t already, find your Clare Bowditch. It makes the world of difference, I promise.

Chocolate, you’ve got chocolate on your mouth,

oh you long to be, like the other girls, you’re not going to be like other girls,

some other girl

you’ve been reading the magazines,

again,

 comparing your sweet body, to the bodies of natures longest ones

smoothed out with air brush guns

you’ve been wondering when the answer is going to come,

it’s not going to come

till you realise you are fine,

you’re more than enough real world needs real girls to love

themselves enough

 I went on my first diet when I was eight years old, ten eleven twelve, through twenty one

when I came undone,

I thought oh someone tell me that more than this

So I understand thoughts get out of hand,

 I still know all the shame of falling for that same old shit time and time again,

that there’s some simple answer to a complex life, it’s only $29.99

so there they sit high in their towers writing lists about what women need,

with no regard to understanding no real care about the pain they breed,

my hope for you my darling girl be brave bulid your dream in own size

coz otherwise your buying crap that you don’t need to feed a world that will not feed you

that will not feed you

Chocolate, you’ve got chocolate, on your mouth, oh you long to be like the other girls,

 you weren’t born to be some other girl

You’re going to be your own kind of girl.

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What one young woman makes of the recent slut walk

In one of Martin van Beynan’s not so clever or politically correct articles he asked  “What, for instance, is a young woman to make of the recent “slut walk”?” There is only  very few things that I actually like about being a teenager, but I have to say, being able to give my take on things is actually quite fun, and I know that people often wonder about what the youth of today think. So this one is for you, Martin, I’m going to answer you question.

I think that the slut walk many things, but if I had to sum it up in one word I would say inspiring. Simply because it gives hope. That people can and will fight injustices. Knowing that there are people out there willing to band together and make a point, and make it heard. One day, I want to do what these women and men do.

And since all of these articles, and the comments on the articles, have been infuriating and disheartening, I wanted to share this one positive thought I had. There was one commenter on this article that said

“Nice article Martin. Seems the female species have yet to understand their purpose in life. Honestly, if men decided that enough was enough with this feminism rights nonsense, what could women possibly do to stop things from reversing to where they should be in the first place?”

The thought that I had when I read this was that you can’t. There is no way that men will decide to put this ‘nonsense’ to bed, because many support it. There is no way anyone could stop this now. It is never going to go backwards.

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Toddlers and Tiaras

Australia has recently held it’s first children’s beauty pageant, and has been making headlines for weeks now. Not the ones that I would have figured though. Two of the biggest Australian current affair shows have been fighting over who is to get coverage of this event, among other things. Quite frankly, the whole thing is stupid and a bit confusing, and I don’t wish to humor the two television shows by talking about it anymore. They do enough of that.

I think that a lot of journalists have missed the biggest story of all, here, and that is the fact that there are young impressionable girls, covered in make-up and sequences and spray tan, that are being judged by their appearance. That is a headline in its self.

A lot of people that support children’s pageants have compared the pageant to playing sport. I can see how one would figure that comparison, but could not possibly agree. Yes, sport can get competitive, and there can be a lot of pressure associated with sport, but at least with sport you are learning skills, socializing and exercising. You are not being judged by the way you look.

These kinds of pageants have the potential to make many girls feel really horrible about themselves because of the way they look. It sends the message that the look is the most important thing, and that everyone in this world is going to judge you because of it.

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My how far we’ve come.

These are some of the advertisements that were around in the 1950’s. They were mainly found in newspapers. To try and sell stuff.

What can I say? I’m just glad that we will never have to be exposed to this sort of  advertising, and that if we are, we don’t have to tolerate it. And, just for the record, for all those that haven’t got the message, very few people will want a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. So don’t go there.

For me the world that these images portray is rather alarming. The attitude of men towards women back then is foreign to me. The shift from women maintaining a house, to
women working is one of the most significant changes since the 50’s. But it wasn’t just that women could have jobs, it was seeing women as people, people who have lives beyond the household. People that can recieve Christmas presents that aren’t cleaning related.

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It isn’t funny. So why is everyone laughing?

Rape is something that you hear about a lot in high school. But it isn’t talked about in a serious light, no, god forbid anyone take anything seriously, people make jokes about it. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. People make jokes about a crime, and sometimes even committing a crime. I don’t understand why some people can’t at least take some things seriously.

It is really alarming to think that this is happening. Some of the youth of our society, don’t take rape seriously. Which means when it happens they won’t take it seriously. Which means that when they commit it they won’t take it seriously. I am positive that there would be people that wouldn’t even know that it is a crime. That if found guilty, you can get a record. Go to jail. That is how serious it is. But by taking something out of one light and putting it into a completely different context like this is really bad, simply because eventually no one will take it seriously. It will be normal.

I understand that just because someone makes a joke about rape, doesn’t mean that they are a rapist. But it adds to
society’s idea of rape. It takes something that should be
taken as seriously as any other crime, and turns it into a joke. Well, the victim’s aren’t laughing. They will probably
never forget it, never get over it.

So why is everyone laughing?

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Go Penny Wong!

I love Penny Wong. She is such an inspiring and remarkable politician. And her response to a a meowing sound made by a Tasmanian Liberal senator David Bushby really demonstrates how strong she really is.

I am convinced that there are people out there that would think that she was making a fuss about nothing, and criticize her for standing up for herself, but I can assure you that it is absolutely not nothing, because as she pointed out, it is sexist and no one would have made such a ‘comment’, if you could call it that, if a man was making an argument in parliament. Its just not on, and no one is laughing.

It is not easy to pull someone up on these things. In fact, it takes a lot of guts, more than one would think. So go Penny Wong, for putting him in his place, for not letting him get away with it, and for telling the nation that this kind of behavior is insanely childish, and that no one should have to put up with it.

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Being a Feminist

I would never utter the word feminist at school, let alone declare that I am one. This has nothing to do with what I am sure some of you are thinking, that she she ashamed of it. And I know a few of you would probably take that one step further and say, well, that makes sense, really, I would ashamed too. But it is nothing like that. It’s because the people at school wouldn’t get it, they would think that I am some nutter that doesn’t shave and is frantically urging all women to burn their bras. But that isn’t what feminism is about for me. And the students that I attend school with wouldn’t understand it.

So I don’t bother advertising it. And why should I? I think feminists can have the impact that they want to have without declaring that they are in fact feminists. It is sad, however, that feminism isn’t a concept that is embraced, and that many people know very little about it. And I guess it isn’t just a lack of knowledge which is sad, not everyone is going to take interest in it, and they shouldn’t, it is more the assumptions that people make, and the opinions that people form, when they really don’t have the first clue about what they are talking about.

There are many good things about calling yourself a feminist. So of course there are going to be some bad things. Labeling yourself as a feminist is a hard thing to do. Mainly because it involves labeling yourself. I get that many feminists are probably thinking, hey, that isn’t fair, that isn’t what I signed up for, I’m about creating my own kind of feminism, or I don’t agree with everything about feminism, just enough to call myself one. I’m not talking about what you define as feminism, I’m talking about what society defines as feminism, and more specifically, what adolescents define as feminism. And unfortunately, society won’t always see it the same way you do.

I have known from a young age that feminism was going to be my passion, my belief, my religion, and my whole life was going to revolve around it, and that all my morals and values were going to be based on it. But it is hard admitting to yourself, and to others that this is what you believe in. More than your friends, more than your family, more than your families friends. It is hard. Why? Because it is putting yourself out there. It is letting everyone’s own definition of feminism become a part of your life. Because not everyone is going to understand your own personal definition of feminism.

I think feminism is a lot like Christianity. Both have started because of one main, big, popular idea, and both have broken into different forms of it. There are different forms of Christianity, and there are different forms of feminism. I think that people should keep that in mind, just because people call themselves one thing, doesn’t mean that they are what they think you are. By that I mean, just because someone calls themselves a feminist doesn’t mean that they are what you think a feminist is.

There are many good things about being a feminist as well, it isn’t all bad. You get to be a part of something big, a movement, and you get to make it up. You get to stand up for what you believe in, practice what you believe in, make people’s heads turn. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned, is that feminism is not one size fits all, and that you can make it whatever you want it to be. Whether people understand what you are about or not.

 

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