All posts tagged: innocence

Indecent Exposure

Warning: this article is rated PG – not recommended for persons under the age of 15. Why? On account of the enormous, hot pink condom on display in Sydney’s Hyde Park. The 18-metre, fluoro pink sheath was lowered over the Hyde Park Obelisk as part of an advertising campaign to raise awareness of HIV prevention among gay men. As with most things 18-metres tall, hot pink in colour and erected in a public space, it was unavoidable. My gut reaction is that public spaces should be free from sexual messages. They should be places to walk with your children in the assurance that you’re not going to have to shield their eyes or broach a big topic like sex while tying up shoelaces and wiping Vegemite from mouths. The HIV prevention theme was fine – spread that message! But let’s do it in a respectful and relevant way. Queensland director of the Australian Christian Lobby Wendy Francis weathered a barrage of criticism after she publically questioned the suitability of the pink penis in the park. …

Walking the Catwalk of True Beauty

A friend went to the dancing competitions recently with her three young girls in tow. She expected a chance to appreciate the talent and dedication of our city’s fledgling dancers, to ooh and aah over the costumes with her daughters and just have a fun, girly time together. She also expected to feel that old pang of connection to her childhood days when it was her up on the stage, leaping and twirling, smiling heartily in a cloud of glitter and sequins. Instead she walked away feeling cold. “How things have changed,” she said to me. “I wish I hadn’t taken my daughters to see that.” What seven or eight-year-old’s performance could evoke such a response? She described little girls dressed in costumes more suited to a gentleman’s club, gyrating like Miley with saucy moves and expressions far beyond their years. Another dad relayed how uncomfortable he felt seated in the stalls of the local theatre, waiting for his daughter to perform. He thought they’d all be wearing pretty dresses, leaping and pirouetting around the …

The Angel in the Church at Stanley

We found ourselves alone in a little church on Stanley’s main street a few weeks back. It had started to rain and the little weatherboard church beckoned – I love the way many of the older churches remain unlocked during the day for people seeking solace. Or shelter. It has a spectacular stained glass window of the last supper that arrests your attention as you walk in. And there was red everywhere; velvet cushions on the pews, the patterned carpet, even the light seemed tinged with red. We had just received bad news, so we parked our behinds on a pew up the back thinking we would pray. Not that God wouldn’t have heard us if we had told him our cares outside, in the open air. But the church was cosy. I told our energetic toddler to come sit beside us (he was doing laps of the aisle). “Watching?”  he said, once he had settled beside me. “What are we watching, sweetheart?”  I asked. “Lady dancing,”  he replied, with an excited note to his voice. …