Friday, March 27, 2015

#FreeTheNipple

There has been a movement started in Iceland in which women have been uploading photos of a bare breast or two onto the internet. This is in order to draw attention to the innocence of the body part, and its long-time omission from public view. It asks 'why are men not required to cover their nipples, yet women are?' They maintain that breasts aren't genitals, and shouldn't receive the same treatment. Facebook has raised its censorious head, limiting the potential for outreach, and even though publications like the Reykjavik Grapevine are trying to get around the censorship, I thought I would help spread the word.





Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Grateful #3

I'm grateful for the trees I can see when I look out of my window.

I'm grateful for poetry collections discovered unexpectedly while browsing quality bookshops.

I'm grateful for coffee and tea, Vietnamese rolls, Thai stir-fries and Chinese honey prawns.

I'm grateful for convenient access to public transport.

I'm grateful for the fairy lights strung around the synthetic tree in our home.

I'm grateful for the elephant-motif Thai tissue box coverings in the living room.

I'm grateful for my own ability to sit back and reflect.

I'm grateful for the ability to let people go.

I'm grateful for the confidence to be a non-conformist across many different aspects of my experience.

I'm grateful for sunshine after the rain. 

Why I intend to stay child-free

It should go without saying that having children is a personal choice that no woman should be coerced into. Yet it seems society is hard at work trying to make every woman reproduce, without regard for her internal workings. If you're identifiably female, you've got Pope Francis telling you you're "selfish" if you don't want kids, and no shortage of people who will repeat the mantra if asked. That's why I intend to keep speaking out about my healthy decision not to give birth - so that I can help lift some of the pressure off women.

When I was young my best friend told me that I would make a good mother. And so the world began giving me winks and nudges, not so subtle hints, or downright shoves, in the direction of parenthood. When I started identifying as female-attracted in high school it stalled my education in How Important It Is To Reproduce, but when I started identifying as bisexual two years later, I became a candidate again. Even now, more than a decade later, I still find myself asking such questions as 'Which Australian school would I send my hypothetical kid to?' - even though I have no real intention to have kids.

We, the rebellious women who value our independence, all have unique reasons for remaining childfree. None of them are the public's business, yet because so few women volunteer their mindspace in regards to this matter for public consumption, I'm going to give you a list of my reasons.

1. I want to be a solo traveller throughout my life, which means
2. I don't want to be responsible for another human being financially or emotionally,
3. I don't feel that the world I live in is a safe space in which to bring up a child
4. I doubt I can make a relationship with a male happen
5. Even if I wanted to bring up a child, I am not financially independent
6. I don't want to go through the pain of pregnancy, and the possibility of having cuts made to my stomach or vagina to aid a delivery
7. Generally, I value being independent to such a degree as to make bringing up a child incompatible with my life

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Survivors (a poem)

We've had our dark times erased / Our sadness has been silenced
We lean on shaky walls / Our only means of support
We intend to keep on moving / Past the barrier to light
Something happens and we keep on striving / We know we have the might

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Buddhist philosophy strikes a chord

I used to be notorious amongst my friends for not finishing the books I started to read. In recent years I have managed to improve my success rate by being more picky about the books I start, and making special effort to see them through. One book I read from cover to cover recently was called 'Buddhist Boot Camp' and was written by a lovely guy who is himself an atheist.


There are many things I like about Buddhism, and one of them is a tolerance for ambiguity. The Buddha taught that his students shouldn't blindly follow his teachings, but rather examine them closely and trust their own experience above all. The lack of dogma here is refreshing.
Perhaps the Buddhist culture is one of the reasons I like Thailand so much...


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Grateful #2

I'm grateful for all the beautiful books that have found their way into my life. I am never short of something to read.

I'm grateful for diverse music on my iTunes library.

I'm grateful that I never need go hungry, and that I can frequently indulge in cafes and restaurants.

I'm grateful for the sparkly black shirt that I'm now wearing.

I'm grateful for North America, for Asia, for Europe and Australasia.

I'm also grateful for Africa and Latin America. (Places I haven't been yet.)

I'm grateful for all the travelling I have done.

I'm grateful for my friends. They enrich me with their company, and forgive me my imperfections.

I'm grateful for this blog, and the opportunity to write a gratefulness post.

I'm grateful for my talents in reading and writing.

I'm grateful I live in a developed country and know how to be compassionate towards those that live in developing countries.

I'm grateful that I do what I love as "work," even if it's not paid.

I'm grateful that Sydney is relatively wonderful to me as a GLBTI woman.

I'm grateful that both my parents are still around and that I see them every day.

I'm grateful that I have the technology to reach out to people halfway across the world.