All posts tagged: women

There’s a Difference Between Humility and Self-Deprecation. Just Sayin’…

My mum sent me a text last week. It made me feel twice my height and warmed me from the chest outwards. I guess I’m going to have to share it with you now… (Sorry mum, I know it was intended for my eyes only!) “Hey Claire, I want to express how I see you as a beautiful, stunning, gorgeous woman with beautiful long flowing golden hair, such incredible blue sparkling eyes and milky skin – which are all your assets. Enjoy being you, as you are perfect the way you are!” Gah! Did I mention it also made me a little teary? A funny thing happened when I sat down to write this piece. I wanted to share the beautiful message my mum sent me, to show how wonderful she is, but there was a reticence to include those descriptions of how she sees me. “Wouldn’t that be big-noting yourself?” the voice in my head said. How are you at taking compliments? Me? Rubbish. Someone says, “I love your outfit!” and I’m reflexively muttering, …

I Don’t Give a Rats About the Gender Pay Gap!

I sat down to write this column about five times. First time, my son convinced me to help him build a cubby house instead – great fun! It was like an Arabian boudoir in there. Second time, my baby girl woke up from her nap, testing the strength of her lungs. They’re strong. Third time, mouths needed feeding. You get the idea. I love being a stay-at-home mum, I only wish people would believe me. Warning: rant ahead. Because stitched into every story on the gender pay gap or women’s rights is the assumption that I would prefer to be out there earning $ in the workforce, rather than colouring-in with my son or mopping the mouth of my daughter. Smart people like journalist Annabel Crabb talk about the asymmetric rate of “wife-having” while influential people like Governor Kate Warner quote statistics like this one: 60 per cent of all Australian families with children under the age of 15 had full-time working fathers, and mothers who worked part-time or not at all. Apparently just 3 …

Would You Look At Photos of Your Mum Naked?

I saw Kim Kardashian in the flesh once, at the Melbourne airport. Didn’t realise it was her, to be honest. I was too excited about Johnny Depp wandering around in the newsagency. A friend and I were stalking him, whispering behind hands and rummaging in handbags for something he could autograph. That was until a stranger pointed out that our celebrity radar was seriously confused and the reason for the throng of attention was none other than Kim Kardashian. The Johnny Depp lookalike was one of her entourage! Let down of the century. We left the Johnny Depp impersonator in the newsagency (he had the suave glasses, the goatee, the mysterious smile – the whole look!) and returned to our husbands, red-faced. They were laughing their guts out, of course. We won’t live that one down in a hurry. Yup, I saw Kim in the flesh but I guarantee that most internet users will have seen much more of her flesh than I have after her sensationalised nude photo shoot went viral last week. Blogger …

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 …

Attention Women!

This is a quick little post to let you know about something truly AWESOME that my church does.  Every year there’s this women’s day called Flourish which, incidentally, has grown to become the BIGGEST WOMEN’S EVENT IN THE STATE!  Around 450-500 women are attending each year. It’s a day designed purely for women to enjoy, to feel important and loved, to get inspired and to take time out from the hustle and bustle of life.  And it’s definitely not religious and churchy like some might assume.  It’s for EVERY woman. You will be spoilt, entertained (last year Reuben Koops made a guest appearance!), fed (scrummy lunch and snacks included) – you will even have the chance to shop at the Flourish handmade market!  There’s always an excellent keynote speaker flown in from interstate, speaking on relevant topics with the potential to really encourage you and change your life.  This year Karen Wilson will speak on what it means to be genuine – she’s titled it ‘Inside Out’. I’m on the Flourish organising committee and it’s …

The “I Can’t Wait to Get My Body Back” Lie of Pregnancy

“I can’t wait to get my body back!” This is the most common statement you will hear of late coming from the lungs of this, your 36-weeks-pregnant correspondent. I’m ready.  I’m sick of myself.  I’m counting down.  And four weeks is a lifetime! Pregnancy is a beautiful, miraculous thing but there comes a point when supporting a watermelon-esque belly cantilevered at your midway point (can someone confirm that I still have legs – I haven’t seen them in so long!) gets plain old.  And did I mention the swollen ankles, indigestion, fatigue, stretch marks, weight gain and the looming promise of who-knows-how-many-hours of grueling labour? (Pity my husband – he listens to these laments often enough!) And so, with more than a sprinkling of self-pity and self-loathing, I say, “I can’t wait to get my body back!” There’s something wrong with this way of thinking though – mostly because it reveals a mind conditioned by the media’s warped representation of women and their bodies.  The glossy magazines present pictures of pregnant celebrities and supermodels with …

Having an Abortion in Launceston is “Like Going to the Dentist”

When it comes to facing an unwanted pregnancy in Australia, choice is apparently what women want. But is that what they get? When a vulnerable young woman books an appointment with her GP or walks into a youth support service – is she presented with the full gamut of options out there? Or is she given the option that the professional thinks is ‘most appropriate’ to her situation?  Recently I had the opportunity to ask these questions of a woman who had an abortion in Launceston when she was 19. While the laws have since changed, making abortion more accessible, her answers give an interesting snapshot of how our society handles abortion and the mental health repercussions. This Q & A makes up a part of Sandra’s story (not her real name). When did you have your abortion and how old were you? 2007; I was 19. How far along were you when you had the abortion? Nearly 11 weeks. Where did you go first when you realised you had an unwanted pregnancy? The Corner*. …

You’re Not You When You’re Spiritually Hungry

What happens if builders aren’t themselves? A certain chocolate bar brand (with a main ingredient of peanuts and a name that rhymes with knickers) took it on board to find out in its latest advertising campaign.  The one-minute commercial that, at face value, questions accepted stereotypes of builders and women, went viral. You’ve probably seen it, but for those who haven’t…  picture Melbourne construction workers decked out in fluoro vests and helmets, beards and leers, looking down from their multi-storey construction site at unsuspecting female pedestrians below. “Hey darlin’, you have y’self a lovely day!” one calls out. “I appreciate your appearance is just one aspect of who you are!” “I’d like to show you… the respect you deserve,” another yells. The responses from women – who, according to Clemenger BBDO (the creative agency behind the ad), were unsuspecting passers-by – are classic.  Quizzical looks.  Nervous smiles.  One woman looks ahead and behind her to check that they are actually talking to her.  One slows down, neck craned, laughing, finally coming to a complete standstill …

Defend the Unborn, Speak Up for the Unborn and Don’t Forget to Respect the Unborn

Most of you will know how strongly I feel about the abortion debate playing out in my home state right now. This proposed piece of legislation hiding behind women’s rights in fact does nothing to protect vulnerable women and vulnerable unborn babies. So you would think that I’d be ok with the images of aborted babies plastered around social media. They are photos of babies that many prefer to call “terminated fetuses”, mostly late-term, their dismembered bodies the colour of death, contorted, ugly, horrific. Fingers and toes, faces and torsos, lips and limbs of slaughtered babies bearing the proof of torturous deaths. You would think I would support the distribution of such images because they expose the truth – they reveal the barbaric reality of how upwards of 80,000 unborn babies are disposed of each year in Australia. Well, I don’t. I struggled to write those few lines about real-life human beings who were not only subjected to the most inhumane kinds of deaths, but photos of their dead bodies were then made public. I …

Beauty is More than a Sexy Selfie

I think we all know someone with a selfie obsession. They post photos of themselves on various social media sites in different mundane situations expecting us to like, share, favourite, retweet and even comment on such humdrum proclamations as: “New lipstick!” (photo: lips pouting, eyes bulging like a Bratz doll). “Having a fat day” (photo: sad face, skinny jeans proffering a lean little bum). “Lunch!” (photo: a smoothie, ‘nuff said). Er, why? Why oh why oh why do people waste their precious moments on this? I shall pause briefly here to accommodate the decreasing percentage of the populace who have not caught up with the social media craze (c’mon dad, it’s about time!) A ‘selfie’ is “a slang term used to describe a photo that is taken of oneself for the purpose of uploading it to social networking sites and image sharing websites… To take a selfie, the right or left arm is extended with the camera held backwards.” (webopedia.com) All us social media users are prone to the occasional selfie but it’s worth pondering the why …