Words: the difficult ones

A little while ago my online friend and teacher hosted an interesting conversation on Facebook about her use of the word “guys” (I wish I could find the link but I just cannot). She spoke about her intent in using that term and any misinterpretation it might receive. The conversation turned to the way we refer to people collectively — what makes us cringe and what makes us feel accepted. I don’t mind at all being classed as a “lovely” or “lady” but some took real umbrage to those terms. Others were happy to be referred to a “biatches” (and various similar things), which I personally loath.

Words

It made me think about words, the ones we avoid, the ones we are afraid to use and the ones that inadvertently cause hurt. Read more

Let’s stop pretending online isn’t real life

online hate

My corner of the internet is an innocuous one. Pretty things people have made. Fashion. The usual ups and downs of parenthood. Cute photos of cute kids. American election memes. But lately a lot of online hate has crept in.

Not directly. But it has seeped into my feed and the heat of the vitriol has surprised me. I wish I could say I was able to just look away, but I haven’t. I have been caught on the side of the road, gawping at the car crashes and wondering how on earth we managed to get here. Apparently the internet remains the lawless Wild West. Things people would never do offline are acceptable online. Read more

Clementine Ford, Feminism and Fight like a Girl

fight like a girlLast week I had the privilege of hearing Clementine Ford speak at the Brisbane Avid reader launch of her new book – Fight Like a Girl

The room was packed and the energy was palpable. Clementine was succinct, unpretentious and unapologetic. She got to the heart of the matter in her no-nonsense, comedic and completely accessible way.

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Freedom of speech – is it everything?

Freedom of speech - is it everything?

Over the past few weeks my feed has been filled with book week costumes. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s been book month, not week. Cute kids in cute creations. Proud mammas showing off their genius. I shrank a little inside when a kind soul pointed out kids should be dressing as book characters, not movie or sporting heroes. You see, I’d love to make something strictly book related and awesome with my son. I sew, I’m crafty and I’m partial to Facebook bragging rights. Book week and I should be made for each other. But my boy insisted on going as that modern-day literary hero, Christiano Ronaldo.

Seems he wasn’t the only kid who wanted to emulate his sporting hero. A little boy dressed up as Nic Naitanui, his mother artificially darkened his skin and the rest is history. (If you missed it: the whole story and a thoughtful response by Amy of Hangbag Mafia)
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Seeking refuge, seeking reason, seeking hope

Real Australians Say welcome

This adorns the wall of a shop near my home.

This weekend we vote. I still don’t know how I will check those boxes. The issue I feel most strongly about hasn’t featured strongly along the campaign trial. I am appalled at how this country treats people seeking refuge. If you want to read a couple of great, well researched blog posts on this topic, try this and this.

Rather than making my own impassioned plea to reason, I thought I’d share a story with you from my past… Read more