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Cara Rage

Why I Feminist the way I do

May 12, 2016
Cara Rage, Feminism, My Advice, My Life, Rants

femmo-allowedtobeangry

I haven’t ever really suffered from feminist fatigue before, but this week I definitely felt it. I actually love getting into online arguments with people about sexism, whether it’s convincing someone their way of thinking is harmful or just smashing misogynists with my witty insults (because proper debate with those kinds of turds just ain’t gonna happen). Sometimes I feel frustrated with all of the crap news I read about how shit the world is to women, whether it’s about another woman being killed by a man in Australia or a new statistic proving how broad the wage gap is or whatever… but usually my frustration feeds my passion to continue to help sort the world out.

But dang, when you have a bunch of arguments with people you actually know and who you think are on your side, it becomes a lot harder to turn that frustration into empowerment because it seems like everything you’ve tried to do has fallen on deaf ears or has made others resent you. I’ve recently been told I’m too aggressive, that I’m just a keyboard warrior who does nothing in the real world, that it’s pointless and besides we have it’s good enough now, don’t we? Not just by randoms, this came from family members and people I thought were friends. One person who was kind of a friend and an occasional client of mine had a big rant on facebook about how the new wave of feminism is about hating men, being too aggressive, turning people off and has actually pushed feminism back decades. I couldn’t help but feel like I was one of her targets in this post (maybe I wasn’t, but I’d be shocked if that were the case). So I told her I absolutely disagreed and that being calm and pandering to male ego’s by quietly explaining why feminism matters and how it benefits men too isn’t working any more and being loud, assertive and sometimes aggressive, is the new way forward. She was an arsehole about it, told me I was embarrassing myself so I deleted her as a friend and am quite OK without her in my life.

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But it still bummed me out. How many other friends think this way about me but just don’t say anything? Why do people react so badly to women standing up for themselves and yet don’t seem to mind the abuse women face every damn day, particularly online? How the hell are we meant to be polite and calm in the face of dudebro’s telling us that feminism is ruining the world, that we have the right to vote and own property now, what else do we need? That we literally exist for their pleasure and that it’d be better if we just shut up, spread our legs and make them dinner afterwards? That we provoked our own rapes for wearing the wrong outfit, for being out late at night, for enjoying a few drinks? That domestic violence is either deserved or affects men more or is just a myth perpetuated my angry lesbian feminists? Or just having everything undermined from some privileged manchild who loves playing devil’s advocate, insists you’re overreacting, that men experience the same thing or acts like your lived experience isn’t actually real because he’s never experienced it himself.

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Look, I know the sort of feminism I’m into can be confrontational to those who’ve not seen it before. I fully acknowledge and accept that it’s not for everyone. In fact I started off thinking kindly explaining it to people, being patient and kind in my discussions was the best course of action in my pursuit of women’s right. After all, you get more flies with honey than vinegar, right? But it’s been proven time and time again that this isn’t working for me. Being polite and considerate of men’s feelings can so often be taken as weakness. So one of these “discussions” would go on forever with me not making any progress and ol’ mate thinking he won because he out-debated me. And if ever I snapped and yelled at them my entire argument would be thrown out because I suddenly became irrational, too emotional and swore which GOD FORBID women ever do!

So now I start off angry when I encounter this misogynistic trolls. We live in an age where Google exists, the internet is literally everywhere around us. Men who ask pedantic questions about why feminism is still needed are being wilfully ignorant, they just want to piss you off with their ceaseless questioning, so that we’ll get bored or annoyed and give up. Men who deny such things about the epidemic of male violence against women, the wage gap, workplace sexism and harassment, cat calling, death/rape threats online and everything else that feminists are fighting against are purposely ignoring actual evidence from women and proven research (y’know, science) because acknowledging it means they have to admit world kinda sucks for women and they need to give up some of their privileges in order to help make things better. If anyone is able to argue with these kinds of people without getting angry and becoming aggressive and swearing, then you rock! Keep it up! This movement needs all different types of fighters involved and that absolutely includes those who keep calm and measured in their discussions. But that no longer works for me and I refuse to be silenced or feel shame because I am a loud, shouty woman who wants to rid the world of harmful sexism!

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I’ve been called a Social Justice Warrior times than I care to recall, and I love it. Damn straight I am! I will never, ever stop fighting against social injustices. Not just against women either. I am passionate about injustices against people of colour, LGBTI+ people, the poor, people with disabilities and the poor souls stuck in detention centres around Australia. I admit, a lot of my activism happens online, but that’s where I find myself a lot. If and when opportunities arise where my activism is needs out in the “real” world, well I’ll be there too! I will not stop being a passionate, angry person. It’s who I am and I know my message is being received by some people. Just this morning I got the most wonderful text from a friend who said she’d been listening to what I’ve been saying (both online and in face-to-face conversations) and confronted a man for being a rude pig to her while at work. If she didn’t know me, she probably would have just ignored him and felt awful about it later, but I helped her stand up for herself and give her a shot of confidence against entitled men who think they’re allowed to say whatever they like to women. It may be a small drop in the ocean in the grand scheme, but it meant the world to me and I know I’ve helped other people too. So no, I will not stop being the kind of feminist I am. It may not be for you, and that’s fine, but I don’t want to hear your opinions about it. If it pisses you off so much you’re free to stop engaging with me, to delete me off facebook, avoid spending time with me or whatever makes your life easier. But if you like/love me and want to be in my life, then you have to accept this part of me. And I’m not sorry about it.

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Kawaii Klaws gets exposure aka Douchebags ruin the internet yet again

January 29, 2016
Cara Rage, Feminism, In the News, My Life, Nails, Pissed Off, Uncategorized

Last week I was interviewed by ABC Brisbane for my nail business Kawaii Klaws. Apparently an ABC employee who is a regular at Ben’s bar saw me doing nail art at their Star Wars event which he thought was really cool so he suggested his colleague Jessica Hinchcliffe contact me to do a piece. She sent me a message and we arranged a time for her to have a chat with me and take some photos. I actually just assumed she was just scouting for possible stories but we did a proper interview and the next day I was on their website and even on the radio! I was obviously super stoked by it because it was a really nice piece and obviously I want to spread the nail art love in Brisbane!

A day later, Ben noticed that the article had been reposted by the national ABC Facebook page! It was one thing for the people of Brisbane to be aware of my work, but all of Australia? How cool is that? After some cheering, I then asked “so… what do they have to say in the comments?” which I know I should avoid at all costs but I was curious and have a pretty thick skin when it comes to people trying to be mean to me on the internet. I was expecting  couple of douchebags clogging up the comments section with useless drivel but I was almost impressed by how random some of it was!

Here are a few examples:



Like, what do you even say to some of these people? Oh I’m terribly sorry that every single article that the ABC posts on their Facebook page isn’t tailored to your interests? Just because you’re not interested in something, doesn’t mean it’s not newsworthy to others, dickhead! Also, how do you look at my ail art and say it’s crap? I’m not implying I’m the best out there (far from it) but I do some really good work! Don’t even get my on the Jamberry spam consultant either…


Brett Freeman made me laugh with his fury at fuel prices. I’m going to guess that he goes onto just about every news article he sees that isn’t about fuel prices and complain that they’re not focusing on the REAL issues, like how much it costs to fill a car with petrol! A few people replied to him, telling him that we’re all capable of thinking about more than one thing at a time (and that many of us DO car about how expensive petrol in Australia is) but he wouldn’t have a bar of it because clearly nails are just a DISTRACTION from the great fuel conspiracy! Haha ok mate!


But the real reason why I’m posting about these dingbats is because of this thread. While it wasn’t unexpected, seeing complete strangers discuss my looks was a real bummer. This article was about my nail art, and yet a bunch of men and even some women ignored all of that to talk about my boobs and whether or not my tattoos ruin my looks. Ol’ mate Christopher Marx even had something to say in another thread:


Whenever some dropkick says “we don’t need feminism” any more, I want to smear their face in comments like these. Why the fuck can’t women just exist without men feeling entitled to critique their looks and their fuckability? It was a piece about NAIL ART for crying out loud? What if I wasn’t conventionally attractive, would they have discussed how ugly I am, how undeserving of a new article I was? What if I was more conventionally beautiful, as in I had a natural hair colour and no tattoos, how gross could the comments have gotten then? Some friends jumped on with their feelings about these arseholes and eventually I decided to have a bit of a say:


There is no justification for anyone to discuss another persons looks, especially when their personal appearance is not relevant. My looks aren’t important when talking about nail art. I get that my “look” is interesting, so seeing people compliment my style was actually really nice because I do try to maintain a certain image that compliments my style of nail art. But there is no justification in pointing out how “buxom” I am or whether or not my tattoos look good because that’s not the point! In fact, even if this article was about tattoos, discussing whether or not you think mine are good is not the point! It’s personal preference, and I couldn’t give a shit if you think my zombie sleeve looks like a mass of blue or whatever, they’re on me and I love my tattoos so piss off with your nasty opinions!

When men (and women) do this sort of thing, they are perpetuating a culture of sexism where women are only valued for their looks, not what they do or their smarts or anything else. It turns women into objects which can be discussed as though they aren’t actual human beings with feelings or any other uses but to be looked at and maybe fucked, if they’re lucky. Sure, maybe they didn’t mean to offend, except you were offensive and rude so your intentions mean precisely nothing (though I’d argue that calling someone’s tattoos ugly actually did mean to be offensive, Ruby Moon). It may seem like a stretch to some, but this is why we live in a world where women are continually attacked and harmed by men because our worth is reduced down to our looks and not much else. The culture of toxic masculinity feels justified in treating women as mere objects, so that when we say no to them or try to leave them, we get beaten and/or killed because we’re just things to be possessed to these types of men.

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Now I’m thinking about it, the comments dismissing the post as being pointless and not newsworthy are actually pretty darn sexist too. It’s funny how the things that women like to do are deemed trivial, boring, useless etc. Yet I can think of a lot of hobbies that are traditionally enjoyed by men which I bet wouldn’t get as many (or any) dismissive comments if the ABC did a piece on them. I mean, a lot of the article was about how keen I was to get men on board with nail art because it’s not an inherently feminine thing to do and should be a way for anyone of any gender to express themselves! But nah mate, this is boring female shit, where’s the REAL news about 4x4ing, fishing, blowing stuff up and footy???

All in all I was delighted to have Kawaii Klaws featured on the ABC. I think I fared OK with the comments as the ABC facebook can be a seething cesspool of awful opinions and shouted nonsense. But then again I have a very thick skin because I love engaging with douchebags on the internet, so little of what they can say really hurts my feelings (oh I’m fat and ugly, yeah ok m8, whatever you reckon). Imagine if I never fought trolls online so I wasn’t used to mean comments from jerks with nothing better to do with their time except to harass women? That would be sad, scary and possibly make me want to avoid any future media coverage, which is totally unfair.

Next time you contemplate writing a comment on a facebook status or news article or blog post that discusses how a woman looks, STOP. Have a think about why you’re doing it and whether it has any relevance to the post at all. Are you missing the point of the post to compliment/insult her looks, her body type or her sense of style? How would you feel if someone ignored what you had to say to make commentary on your looks? As a general rule, it’s always safer to just keep those opinions to yourself. No one cares what you find attractive, if you like tattoos, if you think women look better with “meat on them” or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman also, because you’re still perpetuating the same harm, which other men see and think “well a woman said it about her, so it must be true/ok!”.

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Femmo Bites: Fragile Masculinity

September 22, 2015
Cara Rage, disappointment tuesday, Feminism, femmo bites


Hi everyone! Today I am going to teach you about the meaning of the term “fragile masculinity”. It’s become quite a popular term lately, and I for one love it because it sums up so much sexist, unnecessarily gendered bullshit so succinctly.

But what does it mean? Well, basically the term is usually used when referencing products that have been labeled as “manly” or “for men” which really don’t need to be. Typically these products will have dark colours, bold text, larger sizing and imagery that supports that harmful notion that men must be hyper-masculine at all times. These products which can range from such ordinary items as tissues, body wash/loofahs, food and as above, lip balm are typically not gendered at all but there’s apparently money to be made from men who are so panicked by the thought of someone not thinking they’re a MANLY MAN at all time they need pretty much everything to look more masculine. I mean god forbid a man be caught applying classic Chapstick in public, I mean it’s mostly black but WOMEN use Chapstick and that’s embarrassing!

I find the idea of gendering food particularly hilarious. Like the time Donut King came up with the Bronut:

bronut

What genius thought this up? Eating one donut at a time (especially those awful, wussy pink ones) is too feminine so how about two lumps of lard covered in sugar together to really re-assert your masculinity!

The problem is two-fold though, because they’re unnecessarily gendering products towards women too, and have been for a long time. Things that absolutely do not need to be male or female because they’re just things all humans use. Some of the things I have seen in real life are ear plugs, pens, shavers, lollies, tools, soft drinks, disposable shavers etc. The extra shit thing is, often these hyper-feminised products come with a higher price tag. Often the product that’s geared towards men is the default while the one in pink packaging with flowy fonts, floral prints and “for her” scrawled across the packaging is the more expensive alternative. It stinks. It’s some sort of ridiculous marketing plot to make more money that society was sucked into far too easily. God knows I’ve bought products that have been labeled as “for her” when I could have gotten virtually the same product for less money. Sometimes the lure of pink is too strong, I guess.

So what the heck can we do about it? I guess the most simple thing to do is to stop buying unnecessarily gendered products. Not just for you, for everyone. Is there a child in your life, be it your own or a friends or family members? Try to buy something gender neutral for their next birthday and help break the cycle before that little boy thinks he needs matte-lip balm or the little girl thinks it’s OK for shaver companies to charge and extra dollar for a product whose only actual difference is that it’s pink instead of blue. Need new body wash? Go for brands that aren’t affiliated with shitty corporations like Unilever (they own brands such as Dove and Axe/Lynx which both target women/men in really crappy ways), I highly recommend Original Source as their packaging isn’t targeted at any gender and its natural, vegan and smells divine. If you need to buy moisturiser or shampoo for a male, get him whatever is on special, not this crap. Basically, just be aware of how products are marketed to you and opt for the gender-neutral options where possible. It’s sometimes hard for me because I fucking LOVE the colour pink, but when it comes to saving a bit of money and smashing the bullshit, patriarchal notion of what women and men are meant to like, I suck it up!

And if you see some ridiculous product being marketed to men that uses matte black packaging, bold text and obnoxious things like guns or naked women as set dressing, please make sure to mock it mercilessly and discourage everyone you know from ever, ever buying it. Because that shit is seriously whack. #fragilemasculinity

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Femmo Bites: Why doesn’t anyone care about domestic violence?

September 10, 2015
Cara Rage, Feminism, In the News, My Advice

As someone who has been in an abusive relationship (it was verbally and emotionally abusive though I now realise it could have also become violent had I stayed) this hurts my heart so much. Leaving an abusive person is hard. They wear you down over time to make you feel inadequate and worthless and if they’re worried you might leave them, drop threats at what will happen if you do leave. In my case it was having deeply personal stuff revealed publicly and having no friends left after what he’d tell them all about me.

I can’t even imagine how much harder it would have been if there’d been threats of physical harm, or if we’d had kids together. I’m also lucky I had an excellent support network who got me out of there in a day, a mum who took me in without a single question or complaint and I had control of my money and belongings so I didn’t have to leave with nothing. Many women don’t have it like I did, they have no money and have to flee, with their children, with only minimal belongings. If they don’t have friends or family who can help them, they have to reply on crisis shelters which receive little support and are closing down all over Australia, so are probably over capacity already.

I don’t tend to talk about that part of my life because a) it fills me with burning, fiery rage b) life is great now and I don’t want to waste any more time on my ex and c) I’m fairly certain he still reads my blog and social media through dummy accounts and I don’t like giving him the satisfaction knowing I still think about him, even if it’s in a negative way. But I figure if someone reading this goes “hey, that’s why my partner does to me” and it gives them the courage to leave them or at least be more conscious of how they’re being treated, then I’m happy to put it out there.

Domestic violence should be one of the biggest issues in Australia right now, if not the whole world. But it’s left to being a sensationalised headline for a day or two and immediately forgotten about. That’s why the Destroy the Joint “Counting Dead Women” campaign is so important, because it’s easy to forget about these women when they’re only in the news briefly and no policy is made/changed to help other women from sharing similar fates.

So what do we do? I’m sorry to say, I don’t know. I don’t have a clue. Women keep shouting about how shit this is, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears. Or shitlord of a PM is Minister for Women and cares very little for women at all, so he’s as useless as tits on a bull. I see people all the time online claiming it’s not that bad or that it happens to men as much/more than women or suggesting women should just leave if their partner abuses them, like they’re fucking genius’ who somehow figured that out before anyone else did.

It fills me with such dread and sadness that I can’t think of anything to do. All I can suggest is to be vocal about it as much as you can. Call out bad behaviour that jokes about or approves of women being harmed in any capacity. Help any women in your life who might be in an abusive situation without judgement. Just please do not stay silent on this topic, whatever you do!

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Femmo Bites – There’s no such thing as misandry

June 19, 2015
Cara Rage, Feminism, femmo bites, In the News, Pissed Off, Random Thoughts, Rants

I wrote this post this morning on Facebook after being totally bummed out by the horrendous comments left on a post by a prominent Australian feminist writer who criticised the culture of shaming women for sending nude photos and not the men who violate the woman’s trust by sharing them with others:

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Feeding the trolls

January 29, 2015
Cara Rage, Feminism, My Advice, Nerds and Geeks, Pissed Off, Random Thoughts

MRA

As anyone who reads my blog has probably realised, I don’t post here so much any more. I usually chalk it up to not having enough spare time but I know deep down that isn’t necessarily true, though the real reason has always managed to escape me. I’ve also found myself utilising social media (SM) less and less in recent years. I mean I go on it a lot still but I’m actually posting there a lot less these days. Instagram tends to be my SM of choice, I still post stuff on my Facebook occasionally but I severely neglect others like Twitter and Tumblr even though I value both mediums (and many others) greatly.

It wasn’t until I read this article today that I finally started to understand why I may not be posting online as much any more. It’s not because of time constraints or because I’m getting older ans less interested in the internet at large, I’m starting to think it’s because I have been scared off by online bullies and trolls who always manage to find a post of mine to attack, and feel to exhausted and over it to bother with their bullshit any more. And that makes me sad. I love the internet! I adore SM! I’m only 32 and I don’t have kids, I’m nowhere near too old for the WWW yet! So why have I been scared off?

Because I am told that I should not feed the trolls, that by reacting and replying to them they are getting what they want. By not responding to them I am starving them of the attention they so crave and so they will eventually starve and die. But that’s not true is it? Because we’ve been doing that for years and the trolls haven’t gone anywhere and in fact, are only getting worse. While it is obvious that trolls derive pleasure from our reactions, they also appear to feel vindicated when we stay silent. When a troll attacks a woman for daring to have an opinion online, we either give him more ammunition by responding to him or we do exactly what he wants which is to stop having that particular opinion (or at least keep it off his precious internet).

I have also been told over the years that it’s not particularly desirable to post too much “negative” stuff on SM and that it’s always a downer when I do. Whether it’s because it makes their feed a little less pleasant as they’re scrolling down or because it encourages vigorous debates in the comments which they perceive as “causing fights”, I don’t know but I’ve been told this enough to put me off of posting on my SM unless it’s funny, interesting or cute. Now that I think about this, I’m really annoyed that I felt pressured to post less because some people didn’t like my non-pleasant posts. I mean, they could always just scroll past my posts, couldn’t they? Why do I have to censor myself just so their feed is more to their tastes?

So I am done with treading carefully, ignoring the trolls or refraining from posting anything that’s not light and fluffy! I like posting about social issues like feminism and racism on my social media and I don’t give a damn if people find it too much of a downer. If a troll leaves some bullshit comments on my social media and I feel like responding with my own brand of trollin’ then I damn well will! if they get too much and I’m sick of them, I will delete their shitty comments and laugh about how pathetic they are (and probably share it on SM too). I am sick to death of being made to feel like I don’t really belong on the internet just because of my gender. Why should I feel intimidated by arsehole misogynists who have nothing better to do than to say nasty stuff on a complete strangers SM? Fuck that noise!

I think one of the first things I’m going to do is post a new vlog. After being attacked by some particularly nasty creeps a while back on one video, I’ve not felt confident in posting again. But I liked vlogging and I’ve been desperate to put my excellent video editing skills to use after many years of neglect! BAM! Take that, you fucking trolls!

And finally:

misandry

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Why Anaconda doesn’t body-shame nor is anti-feminist

August 28, 2014
Body and Soul, Cara Rage, Feminism, In the News, Music Love, Rants

Nicki-Minaj-Anaconda

Unless you’ve been living under a big ol’ rock, you’ve probably heard some of the fuss about Nicki Minaj’s new song ‘Anaconda’. If not, a brief summary is that people don’t like it, they think it body-shames (specifically, skinny women) and that it’s anti-feminist. Which is a direct rebuttal to the people saying that the film clip can actually be considered empowering and doesn’t skinny-shame at all. I would like to say right now that I fall into the latter category completely. I’ve never been that big a fan of Nicki, I mean I love her image to death but her songs just aren’t quite my thing, which sucks because I am ALL about supporting black, female rappers in a misogynistic industry like the rap music scene. Before I get into why I like this particular song, I urge you to watch the clip now, even if you have already seen it, as I will reference it a couple of times:

OK so one of the first things people point out about this song is her use of “skinny bitches”. I’ll admit when I first listened to it I thought “great, skinny shaming! This is no better than Meghan Trainor’s damn song”. For reference, Meghan’s song “All About That Bass” has been a bone of contention to a lot of feminists because it’s packaged as a body-positivity song but is full of skinny-shaming (I will discuss this further later on). It’s a widely held belief in feminist circles that body-positivity shouldn’t come at the detriment of one body type over another. But otherwise I loved the song and was totally mesmerised by the film clip. I’m a member of an excellent feminist group on Facebook where we have discussed this video/song at length and it was through there that I started to question if Nicki was skinny-shaming at all, so I decided to do some research and see what other people have written about it.

I quickly found two distinct opinions, that Nicki’s brand capitalizes on racial stereotypes while reinforcing notions of Black female hypersexuality that are long established racist trope or that we live in a world where black women’s bodies are meant for our consumption but only on the terms which everyone who isn’t a black women gets to dictate (both of these articles relate to the cover for this single which was release a couple of weeks before the clip came out, just to clarify).  The more I thought about it, the harder I found it to be mad about Nicki’s supposed skinny-shaming and I was starting to lean more towards the opinion that she is reclaiming the sexy black woman image from people who either fetishise or demonise it but rarely respect it. Aside from the “fuck skinny bitches” lines, everything was so great about the song and the video, the way she featured no men except for the end when she gives a lap dance to Drake who is merely there as a prop for Nicki to dance upon and is denied any real pleasure from the experience (as soon as he tries to touch her she’s outta there), the symbolism of her chopping up the banana etc. 

As I kept researching I came across more articles that were pro-Nicki and so I not only started to side with them but started to vehemently agree with them. One article I loved in particular drew a comparison between Beyoncé who people are so readily to accept as being feminist (even before she “came out” as a feminist) and yet discount Nicki as being over-sexualised and anti-feminist. This is despite the fact Beyoncé has released some really problematic stuff in the past, but hey, she’s deemed classier so it’s easier to accept her brand of moderate and respectable feminism.

nicki-minaj-and-drake

So what about the “skinny bitches” line. Could I ignore it when I’d had a few rants about skinny-shaming in Meghan Trainor’s song. No, but I was suddenly able to justify it. See, Nicki has reclaimed the word “bitch” to be an empowering word for woman, the female equivalent of men being called “boss”. With that in mind, when you hear the lyric “skinny bitches” it’s suddenly not a case of her saying “you’re a bitch because you’re skinny” but her just saying “skinny women” because remember, she also refers to herself as a fat-assed bitch. Yes, she does say “fuck the skinny bitches” which sounds pretty abrasive and mean at first, but after a closer look it’s really just her telling the skinny women to move it because her and her fat-assed friends are coming in to take over the club. I now interpret “skinny bitches” to refer to the skinny, mostly-white women like Miley Cyrus who’ve been trying to appropriate twerking from black women, telling them all to get out of the way because the women who twerked first and twerk best are here and they ain’t impressed.

So back to why ‘Anaconda’ is a more empowering song than Trainor’s. First off, “All About That Bass” is presented as a feel-good body-positive song, which is all lovely and fun until she actively shames a skinny woman by presenting one as “less attractive” and unable to dance in the clip. Meghan is also a thin-waisted curvy girl (therefore an acceptable kind of “fat” that is still considered attractive and desirable) who wrote a song about how bigger girls are better than skinny girls because as her mum says “boys like a little more booty to hold at night”.  It’s just taking all the crap that fat women usually get and redirecting it at skinny women, which isn’t body positivity at all and is just plain ol’ skinny-shaming. But people don’t see that, they see a cute white girl in a cute music video being soooo cute and suddenly she’s the voice for all bigger women everywhere.

On the other hand, Minaj doesn’t have any such pretense. She’s doing what she usually does – the fuck you all type swagger that that you find in a lot of hip hop. At no point does she make the claim that she’s trying to make girls all feel good about themselves, her song is solely about her feeling good about her sexual prowess and how she much she loves her own big, fat ass. There’s a line that says “Say he don’t like em boney, he want something he can grab” which some might consider the same as Meghan’s booty line but the difference between them is that this is something a man has told her he specifically likes, whereas Meghan was told that to make her feel better about feeling fat/unattractive.

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I guess it can all be interpreted differently depending on your own personal experience. Overall I find the idea of skinny-shaming to be a step backwards when it comes to body-positivity, but at the same time I’m not that upset by it. Yes some slim women find it offensive, and I agree that it kinda sucks. But skinny-shaming is in no way comparable to fat-shaming. Thin people, women especially, have this thing called thin privilege, where they can see thin people like themselves represented in an appealing manner in all forms of media, they can walk down the street in a pair of shorts and not have people sneering at them or calling them names, they don’t have people concern-trolling them about their health or how they’re a burden on the health system or how they’re undesirable. So when people get up in arms about skinny-shaming and how it’s as bad as fat-shaming, I feel sad because it’s not true and it’s hurtful to try and align two types of shaming that at face-value might seem similar, but in reality one is oppressive while the other is just about some temporarily hurt feelings. Oh and just a note; if your immediate response to the concept of thin privilege is to dismiss it is being untrue or ridiculous, perhaps you need reminding of the phrase “check your privilege” because the thing about privilege is that you don’t know you have it until it’s pointed out to you.

In the end, these are all my own interpretations based on my own observances and the articles I’ve read online. I have never been skinny-shamed in my life because I am not skinny, but I also haven’t experienced much fat-shaming as I’m kind of in-between. I’ve seen both though, and I gotta say, fat-shaming is a lot more common and hurtful than any of the skinny-shaming I’ve ever witnessed, which seems to mostly stem from jealousy instead of outright disgust. ‘Anaconda’ has a lyric that can easily be perceived as hurtful, but that is not necessarily how it’s intended. This is a song about having a fabulous, big ass and being proud of it. Nicki uses her sexuality to express this in a way that empowers her. Maybe it doesn’t empower you, that’s OK, but you can’t tell everyone else that they’re not allowed to feel empowered by it. I’m happy for women to be empowered by ‘All About That Bass’ too, I won’t deny it’s too problematic for me to really enjoy but I understand why others feel differently than me.

Anyway that’s my feminist fat vs thin rant for now! Back to your irregularly scheduled program of intermittent fashion and geeky posts by yours truly ;)

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Cara the Klutz

March 18, 2014
Cara Rage, disappointment tuesday, My Life, Pissed Off

Moon Boot

If you happen to follow me on instagram or twitter, you may already know I did something very silly the other week. I fell down a step and fractured my ankle on the way to work. I knew as soon as it happened it was bad because it hurt like the dickens, but two older ladies stopped to help me so I had to make polite chit chat and joke about my silliness rather than scream and swear as I would have really liked! It swelled up and started bruising within minutes and I absolutely couldn’t put any pressure on it, so I went straight to the doctor who sent me off for xrays and an ultrasound which confirmed I had an avulsion fracture of my calcaneus (heel) bone. Basically I fell on my left foot which inverted inwards and tore/damaged ligaments which then ripped shards of bone from the upper part of my heel bone. This picture I found is pretty much exactly what I did:

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I’ve been to an orthopedic surgeon who’s hopeful I will not need surgery, but we won’t know for sure until I start healing properly and could be anywhere up to three months away before we know what those little pesky bones shards are going to do. Boooo! So I’m strapped up in a moon boot for the next three months or so (which means I’m booted up for Supanova in the next few weeks AND our trip to Thailand at Easter) and have to take it veeeeerrry easy for a good long while.

My foot a few days after the fall

I’m trying to remain positive, after all lots of people do this sort of thing all the time, but I just feel so silly and since I have to wear my damn moon boot 24/7 I’m not getting much sleep and a tired Cara = a cranky Cara. I also had to swap cars with mum as Lola is manual and using a clutch is totally out of the question right now. It probably seems silly but I miss my dear car so much! Then there’s the struggles getting to and from work! Argh, it’s all so annoying! But I’ll suck it up because I’m thankful that my injury could have been way worse, that it was my left leg that got injured and not my right (which would have meant no driving at all which would have made life hell) and that I’m covered by Workcover which means I’m not out of pocket for all of the expenses involved in fixing me or for the time I’ve had off work. Gotta remember the little things, y’all!

If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with an injury like this, please send them my way!

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Online Misogyny (or Why the Internet Sucks for Women)

January 23, 2014
Cara Rage, Feminism, I love Links, In the News, Nerds and Geeks

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Source: The Oatmeal


I’ve been on the internet for a long time now. I believe I first got access to the internet when I was about 12 or 13 which would have been 1995/1996 and I embraced it completely. I used to spend hours in chat rooms and on Red Hot Chili Peppers forums, most of which was sneakily done as it was dial-up and I was only meant to be online for an hour a day to be fair to everyone else and so as not to hog the phone line. Oh the trouble I’d get into from mum when she’d realise I’d been online for hours at a time! Looking back, I can’t recall ever being abused by anyone for anything on the internet back then. I had robust discussions with other RHCP fans and excellent chats with people in Yahoo chat rooms, I even tried cyber sex once which was mostly pretty hilarious to me, but usually I just chatted to random strangers from around the world about anything and everything.

I’m not sure what happened to the internet between then and now, why people started off civil and polite and are now absolute arseholes to anyone they disagree with or just don’t like the look of. Maybe I was lucky and just didn’t witness any online bullying, though the sheer amount of time I spent online, you’d think I would have seen something? Now days you hear nothing but reports of cyber bulling causing kids to commit suicide, about people being threatened for writing something online that others didn’t like, about “revenge porn” websites (that are actually created by stealing images by hacking email accounts and posting the racy photos online along with all of their contact details for good measure) and so on. When did the internet go from being a place to share information, to make friends in other countries and look up funny pictures to a virtual battlefield? Any why exactly is it that women seem to be bearing the brunt of it all?

I read a couple of good articles this week that go into depth about why the internet basically sucks for women (here and here, I definitely recommend them both) and it made me think back to all of the abuse I’ve suffered with little to no provocation except for the mere fact I am a female. I can’t remember the first time I received gender-specific abuse online but I’ve experienced it in almost every forum, from Facebook to Youtube and even on my own blog. I’ve also received abuse that’s got nothing to do with my being a woman and simply because of something I wrote online. But almost all of it has involved some sort of misogyny, even when whatever I wrote had literally nothing to do with gender. For example, back in 2009 I organised a fundraiser for the zombie walk I used to run. I posted about it on a few different music forums, which I thought was reasonable enough, until some dude decided he didn’t like it and started writing abusive comments. At first it was just about how lame zombie walks were but as I replied to him, he got meaner and more sexist, calling me a “silly little girl” and alluded that I was only doing the walk and this fundraiser to look cool to boys.

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Other abuse I’ve received has been even more sexist and absolutely unprovoked. One time a random guy messaged me on facebook (as above) to “hook up” and when I called him out on his sexist behaviour he went CRAZY (see the second part of his abuse here), calling me slut, fat, a cunt and various other horrible things simply because I took offence to his initial, sleazy comment. Not too long after that, I got some horribly nasty comments on one of my Youtube videos where I was called fat, immature, insecure and ugly for no apparent reason. You can see the comments here and here. Those comments actually really hurt me because they weren’t as crazy sounding as the guy on facebook and so I unfortunately took them to heart. As a result I didn’t want to vlog any more, it just didn’t seem worth the stress when some other arsehole would just come along and write other nasty comments about my weight or whatever bothered them about me. I even got it from so-called “friends” on social media, who would attack me for a status update and really drill into me whenever I mentioned anything remotely related to girl problems, and especially anything to do with feminism (needless to say those jerks have been long deleted).

My experiences aren’t as bad as some other women who have been threatened with death and/or rape by hundreds, if not thousands of complete strangers. I can’t even imagine how I’d feel after receiving a barrage like that just because I wrote something on the internet that some men disagreed with. It’s also astounding at how much abuse women cop for daring to speak out against female issues, such as Lindy West who was sent a startling amount of abuse for her stance on rape jokes. Who are these people writing these vile comments and do they actually really feel that way? I’m inclined to suggest they don’t and just like to say horrible things online to get a reaction and  have nothing else better to do, because surely no decent man thinks this way? If this is the case, does it lessen the seriousness of the threat or the abuse? I don’t think so, because no one knows for sure what that man is capable of and if he’s willing to post those sentiments so publicly, then surely there’s a distinct possibility his threats are real and ought to be taken seriously? Whatever the stance you take, it’s hard to deny it’s been happening for a while now and is only getting worse.

Unfortunately threats and abuse made online are rarely taken seriously, even though they would be if they were made in the form of a telephone call or posted letter. There is an assumption that you can just turn off your computer and walk away because they’re not “tangible” threats as such and should just be ignored. But with all that we do online these days, is that really true? To one person twitter is probably a silly waste of time, to another it’s a serious tool used for business, networking and communicating with friends. Telling the latter to just “turn it off and walk away” is paramount to telling them to disconnect their phone and block off their letterbox. Just because you don’t understand a particular form of social media, doesn’t mean anything said on there can just be dismissed. I once had to report a violation of the DVO I have against someone to the police as I was contacted through twitter, and actually had to explain how twitter works and was initially given the impression his contact by such means didn’t count (thankfully I eventually got on to an office who not only took it seriously but followed it up for me and gave me some good advice about the matter).

I wish I knew what was causing all of this vitriol towards women online or how to end it. I feel as though the general public is really struggling to deal with the internet because in the matter of 20 or so years it’s absolutely boomed and those who haven’t grown up with it don’t know how to teach younger generations how to deal with it when things go wrong. If my parents knew of all the things I used to look up online back in the day, they’d be appalled! But they didn’t have a clue, and I think that’s how it works in most families, the parents just don’t get what their kids are up to online and aren’t willing to learn so their kids grow up with little to no adult supervision in this aspect of their lives. Combine this with the fact there seems to be very little punishment for those who do do the wrong thing online, kids are growing up knowing they can get away with just about anything on the internet. And if boys aren’t being taught to respect women in every aspect of their lives, it’s hardly surprising that they’ll use the internet as a place to voice their grievances because the only people who are going to see are the faceless people on the internet. who are powerless to do anything about it.

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The Miley Cyrus Debate

October 4, 2013
Cara Rage, Feminism, In the News, Rants

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Another day, another article about Miley Cyrus post-VMAs. I kind of feel like her performance at that joke of an awards show will become one of those “do you remember where you were when…” moments. I remember where I was, at work. I first learned about her “controversial” performance on facebook and then a few news sites as images and video started to emerge of her performance. More than anything, I remember the reactions people had. Before I watched the video I thought she’d done something really full-on based on peoples reactions, so I was really disappointed when I actually got around to watching it. That’s it??? It was such a non-event to me, and certainly not the most controversial thing I’ve seen done in pop music.

So many people, including friends on social media, appeared mortified that she’d dared dress and/or act the way she did. Many people lamented that the old Miley was now gone and this new one was horrible and a disgrace. While I thought her performance was tacky and probably unnecessary, I couldn’t understand why people seemed to angry/appalled. But then I guess it’s because I never cared that much for Miley to begin with, whereas a lot of other people did. For some reason people were taking great personal offence that she’d decided to strip herself of her cute, all-American, girl-next-door image and now wanted to join the ranks of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Madonna and countless other pop stars who use sexuality and unusual clothing choices to grab the public’s attention.

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The more I think about it, the angrier I get. Not just at peoples dumb reactions to a celebrity they don’t even know and yet seem to think they have a say about what she does, but to every damn aspect of it. I hate the over reactions to something that wasn’t even that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. I hate the fact people are now acting like twerking is a new, exciting thing and actually proclaiming she is the queen of it (when she can’t even twerk at all). I hate how her body was critiqued because her bum wasn’t pert and perfect. I hate how Billy Ray Cyrus had to defend her, because idiots thought her dad should not let his adult daughter do undaughterly things on TV. I hated how she got all the flak and fucking Robin Thicke got nothing when his song is a rapey piece of shit and he looked like a puncier version of Beetlejuice in that damn suit. I hate how she’s obviously felt pressured to change her image like this in order to shed the Hannah Montana image that people cling so desperately to. I hate how she has to use her body and silly sexual gestures to get noticed, because it’s not enough that she can sing.

It’s a shit situation all round, but at the end of the day, it’s her life and she can do with it what she wants. She generated a HUGE amount of interest because of that performance, so really, if getting attention and some notoriety was her intention, then she did a fantastic job of it. I wish it wasn’t at the expense of her credibility and dignity, but hey, it’s pop music. Since when did pop stars ever get to keep their dignity? People should have let go of the Hannah Montana thing long ago, when she stopped playing that character and started growing up. They bitch and moan that her sexy new look is trashy and unattractive, but they forget that she was being fetishised as a underage sex symbol anyway, and at least now any sexual attraction to her is justified and less creepy because she is an adult, acting like an adult, and doing adult, sexy things that demand sexual thoughts.

I just hope that she gets all of this hyper-sexualised BS out of her system with this album, a few film clips, a photoshoot with Terry Richardson (ugghh) and then moves on to become the person she really is. If it turns out this is the real Miley, then good on her. Many of us go through most of our lives not knowing who we are or suppressing our true selves for the benefit of others.  Whatever happens, I still won’t ever buy her records so really, it aint any of my damn business.

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