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Cara Rage

LISTEN UP: Your weight does not define you

July 4, 2013
Body and Soul, Cara Rage, Feminism, I love Links, Life, My Advice, Pissed Off, Rants

weight

Yesterday I read this article which made me cry. Why? Because I could have so easily written it myself. I have spent much of my life worrying about my weight and I know this began early on by my mum who has a terrible perception of her own body image which she unintentionally projected onto me. Growing up mum was quite overweight and it was a major struggle for her to overcome the emotional issues that made her that way and then eventually lose weight. She lost over 40kg through Weight Watchers and was a lecturer for them for a number of years. Then some bad stuff happened, like my parents splitting up and her having a near-fatal accident while we were holidaying in Paris, that made things hard (and almost impossible for her to exercise) so she eventually put the weight back on. So now she’s back to being overweight and is desperately unhappy about it, and it breaks my heart.

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My family and I in about 2001, my mum was at the peak of her weight loss here

She would always look at thin women and say “I’d kill to have a figure like that” which I also do myself now. She also used to comment on my figure when I gained weight after going through puberty, say that I had such a pretty face before reminding me that I needed to lose a few kilos, or encourage me to go on diets with her or comment that I shouldn’t wear certain clothes as they weren’t flattering. I remember my family went on a trip to Cairns when I was in my late teens and I spent so many nights crying by myself because everyone would comment on how gorgeous my younger sister was who has always been slim, while effectively ignoring me or worrying about my weight even though I wasn’t anywhere close to being overweight.

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During the trip to Cairns where I was  made to feel fat and daggy for not being as slim or fashionable as my younger sister

I tended to go through phases where I was comfortable with myself as I was to being horrified at how fat I’d let myself become. I’d go on diets or just live life without a care in the world. I got pretty chubby while I was living in England and I really didn’t care that much at all, making the occasional token effort to eat better but generally not giving a damn. I can’t explain why I was so OK with myself as I was, perhaps it was because I was surrounded by awesome people who didn’t go on about their figures constantly or bring others down by making nasty comments, or perhaps it was because I had absolutely no trouble picking up guys. Whatever it was, I was happy, confident and didn’t feel pressured to be a skinny minnie.

But then I came back to Australia and everything changed. I met a guy who told me constantly for the next six years that I was fat, that I’d be “so hot” or “unstoppable” if I was skinny, that he was ashamed to be seen with me because of my weight, accused me of lying about going to the gym/eating healthy because it didn’t show and so on. I endured that for six years until I had no self esteem left. I only had a smidge of confidence that I had a pretty face because that’s aabout the only compliment I ever got and even then I rarely heard that because of all of the hurtful and destructive criticism he would yell at me. Imagine being told that your boyfriend didn’t want to have sex with you because you’d put on a few kilograms? That he’d start showing you off in public if only you’d lose more weight. Getting told to stop getting tattoos because they didn’t suit a girl my size. Yep, pretty nasty stuff.

I had lost about 8kg here and was told by my ex that I was finally hot enough for him to be proud to be my boyfriend. I gained the weight back as soon as I stopped the diet I was on, as I was pretty much starving myself

While it was clear my ex was an abusive jerk who didn’t deserve a second of my time (let alone six years), his words had a huge impact on me and it’s been a long, hard road to try and get over them. I have a new, wonderful and loving partner who showers me with compliments constantly, who thinks I have the body of a bombshell goddess and even if I did gain a bunch of weight, would still love me until the end of time. And yet I worry almost everyday about my weight, especially since I’ve gained a bit since I hurt my back last year and had to stop exercising for a few months. It stresses me out all the time, and even though I know I’m being silly, I can’t help it! I’m pretty healthy in my eating habits and exercise regularly, and yet I feel like a bit fat blob who everyone whispers about behind my back.

I also get really sad when I see friends get obsessed with dieting, exercising and losing weight. Now days it’s not on to say you want to lose weight, but are trying to be “healthy” when they really just mean they want to lose weight and be skinny. Why can’t we be happy with how we are and maintain a healthy lifestyle without blasting it all over social media like we’re fucking heroes for going to the gym and eating a salad? Why can’t I look at an instagram post of someone eating junk food and not immediately feel compelled to judge them?The mentality of what is healthy is is so messed up. It’s assumed that being slim = healthy and being fat = unhealthy. Meanwhile I work with a bunch of women, half of whom are super slim and yet eat anything they like, never exercise, drink and smoke constantly and yet at face-value they’d appear healthier than me with my chubby little belly, thighs and big bum. The other half just obsess about what they eat and are constantly taking weight loss pills or trying new diets.

I came to the decision a while ago that I was going to change the way I express myself about my body image issue, because I refuse to let me children grow up thinking they’re fat or ugly because of the things they heard me say about myself or others. And not just for my future children, but for other women around me. Some of the things my friends and work colleagues say about themselves to one another (as I was writing this one workmate called herself a “fat fuck” because she’s been craving/eating scones lately). I’m going to try and stop spreading negativity by bitching about how fat I am, because I’m not. And even if I was, who cares? It’s unhealthy and BORING to talk about weight all day and I’m sick of this toxic culture of bringing ourselves down when we’re perfectly wonderful the way we are.

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Stupid Shit Girls Say on Instagram

June 18, 2013
Cara Rage, Feminism, Teaches of Ruby

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I’ve always been appalled at how some of the worst misogyny I’ve ever witnessed has come straight from a woman’s mouth. Most of it’s to do with internalised sexism, after an eternity of being made to feel inferior to men, many women actually believe and vocalise the ridiculous stereotypes about females (have a read about, it’s very interesting). But what really gets my goat is seeing women being sexist to other women in sleazy, harassing ways. I’ve especially noticed this on Instagram and can’t understand why it’s OK for one girl to make lewd comments on another girls picture but if a guy did it, it’s be gross and unwanted. Talk about double standards. You don’t want to be treated like a piece of meat by men, but when a girl is the one making the lewd comments it’s OK? NEWSFLASH: It’s not!

Girls, it is not liberating or empowering to get treated like you’re nothing but a sexual object. I understand girls like to compliment one another and we can get away with telling another girl they’re pretty because it can be said without any intent, which we assume guys have when they pay us compliments. But there’s got to be a line, and making gross comments about boobs, butts or boxes to another girl is totally crossing that line and pretty much taking a crap in its front yard.

There is absolutely no reason for anyone to comment “boobs” on a girls Instagram post, just because you can see their boobs/cleavage in any capacity. Just because a girls boobs are showing in a photo (and because of Instagram’s policies, they’re always covered up because nudity ain’t allowed) doesn’t mean she wants you to oggle her and point out something she is already very aware of. Yep, I have boobs, got it thanks Captain Obvious!

Perhaps I am being melodramatic about this (it wouldn’t be the first time, heh heh), after all the odd compliment from a  female friend that may verge on the sexual can be very flattering and inoffensive. Perhaps it’s the lack of creativity that annoys me, I feel like women should be able to come up with something a bit better than what a 13 year old boy like to randomly call out at passing girls because god knows we complain enough when a guy does holler something stupid at us. I just wish everyone would take a moment before tapping “Send” and re-read their comment and make 100% sure they want it out there (this obviously applies to all social media). Do you really want to look like a douchebag by writing “hot bitch”, “#boxgap” or “boobs” under a picture someone has posted? Because the rest of look at that and cringe. Ask yourself, if a male you barely know wrote something like that under one of your photos, would it make you uncomfortable? Would you want to call him on it or maybe just delete it? If so, why are you doing it to someone else? Stop reducing your female comrades to pieces of sexualised flesh and either come up with a creative compliment or shut the hell up. The internet is already full of sexist idiocy, so please stop adding to it!

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Ruby’s Thoughts on Racism in Australia

June 5, 2013
Cara Rage, In the News, Pissed Off, Random Thoughts, Rants

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I love living in Australia, it’s a bloody good country in a lot of ways. But as a general rule, we’re a bunch of racists. Not necessarily outright racists who abuse non-whites for merely existing, but a lot of Australians are “casually racist” in that they don’t really like other races very much but claim they actually do while bitching about “bloody abo’s” or getting angry over the “problem” with boat people flooding our country.

It’s something that’s mostly glossed over, people make a remark that’s kind of racist and people just ignore it. I admit I have, because sometimes it’s too hard to confront someone about it or you just don’t have the time/energy to start a debate on what’s considered racist. A lot of the time these comments are made by people who don’t even realise they’ve said something racist, they’re just saying what they’ve heard a lot of other Aussie’s say and don’t see it as a problem. And because people never really point it out to them, they go through life not understand just how offensive their casual racism can be.

There’s been a lot of media attention on a 13 year old girl who called an AFL player an ape recently. While it seems like an obvious racial slur, the girl insists she didn’t mean it as such and has apologised profusely for yelling it out. But she’s now become the “face of racism in Australia” and has potentially had her young life ruined because the player in question, the AFL as a whole and the Australian media are portraying her as a racist, conveniently forgetting she’s only a kid and has already apologised. She’s more than made up for her silly comment with the aftermath of this event, and I think it’s horrendous how she was treated.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m defending this girl after claiming most Australians are mildly racist. Well, in my opinion this little girl is being used as a tool to prove we don’t tolerate racism, and unfairly so. Aussies are so keen to prove they’re not racist by vilifying others when they really ought to be looking at themselves. I’m sure most white Australians can think of something they’ve said or thought that’s far worse than calling a man an ape, so to harass this little girl is absolutely hypocritical of us to do. Even if you haven’t said/thought something like that yourself, think of all the time you’ve heard someone make a racist comment and not spoken up. It’s not exactly the same, but just because you’ve not vocalised such comments yourself doesn’t mean you’re any better than that little girl.

I think casual racism is a big problem in Australian society and every time we ignore it, insist it doesn’t exist, or blame it all on the one person who was caught saying the wrong thing, we are only making it worse. Silence implies consent. If you don’t tell someone they’ve been racist, how will they ever know? I’m as guilty as the next person of turning a deaf ear to racist remark, and it’s something I’m working on (so not only will I be a shouty feminist who berates anyone who makes a sexist remark, I’ll also tell you off for being racist, mwahaha). Next time you hear someone mention complain about some race for doing something they don’t like, let them know it’s not on. You don’t have to be an ass about it, a polite reminder will hopefully stop them. And if it doesn’t? Well, at least you tried. You can’t change the world in a day, right?

To conclude, I am going to leave you with something that’s very painful to watch but relevant to what I have been saying. The woman in this video is NOT representative of all Aussies but she’s definitely not alone in her horrible, racist beliefs. But her vitriol isn’t the only bad thing in this video. That bus has a lot of other people on it and the only reactions she gets involve some other bogan laughing along with her, someone filming it and the bus driver asking her to stop. That poor kid had to endure that abuse alone, and I was ashamed. Silence implies consent, so as far as she knows, she didn’t actually do anything wrong. Anyway, see for yourself. WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE.

Cara Rage: Food in the office

May 6, 2013
Cara Rage, My Life, Random Thoughts, Rants

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I have worked in office environments for many years now, and for the most part I love it. I get to sit in air con all day, I work in the middle of the City, I get regular lunch breaks, I don’t have to work on weekends etc. But working in an office comes with some downsides, such as being friendly with people who you’d never put up with outside of work and dressing like a chump because apparently you work better in a restrictive business shirt than you do a comfy t-shirt (yeah right).

Among many of my office-related gripes, the one thing that I dread the most about working in an office, are all of the conversations about food. UGGGHHHH! Now, I love food, I love eating it and I even like to talk about it a fair bit. But at some stage it was decided that food was one of those subjects, much like weather, that is a perfect conversation starter in workplaces that everyone can relate to (after all, we all eat food!) and can’t offend anyone.

WRONG!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended by food in any way shape or form, I just find endless conversations about it really friggen boring. I absolutely dread someone wandering into the staff kitchen when I’m reheating last nights tea or cooking steamfresh vegies because I’m too damn lazy to prepare real meals. I’m pretty sneaky about it and so rarely have to worry about boring food discussions  but I can’t be a winner every time and sometimes I’m sucked into the vapid, uselessness of work-lunch-chats.

“Ooh someone’s eating healthy!” they say, seeing my steamed vegies and can of tuna.
“Aw yeah, trying” I reply, faking a chuckle and hoping against hope they get the hint and leave me alone.

I actually think that’s why my lunches are pretty boring, if I have anything too delicious or exotic, it will inevitably make people want to talk about it more, until I just want to throw it in the bin and go get sushi instead. Which I know seems super assholish, but I just can’t stand forced conversation, plus I feel what I choose to eat at lunch is no one’s damn business but my own.

Another food-related, work conversation I detest is the long-winded discussion about where to have lunch. In my last workplace where it was all a bunch of white guys aged from 27 to 45, they’d spend a good half hour discussing where they were all going to lunch before actually leaving the office. Between starting to talk about it and then returning from lunch, a good 90 minutes would have passed. I also never got why they all were so keen to go to lunch together or the fuss they’d create when someone suggested something different. I mean, they’d always end up going to Oporto’s anyway, so I never understood the big song and dance about it.

As for where I work now, I always thought of myself as a bit of a foodie, but what I meant was I like to stuff my face with food all the time. I have now discovered being a foodie is about using fancy words when describing food, eating at expensive restaurants where things are sauteed and people feel OK about eating baby chickens because they call it poussin and basically taking the pleasurable act of eating food and making it super boring and crazy expensive. Seriously, how do people who are on similar wages to me afford to eat out that often, let alone at restaurants with actual michelin stars??? It blows my mind, but not in a fun way but in a “holy shit you need to get lives that don’t involve calling a piece of meat a medallion”.

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Down with the Anti-Feminist

March 25, 2013
Cara Rage, Feminism, In the News, Rants

I tend to get on my feminist high-horse on a daily basis. There’s always something going on in the news about some poor woman being raped/murdered or simply highlighting the inequality between men and women. Depending on my mood I tend to post links to my facebook where I have a bit of a rant about the injustices of the world and maybe have a bit of a discussion about it with friends. Occasionally there is debate, sometimes heated but almost always respectful and well intention ed.

That is, until I posted this article last week.

I made a point of mentioning that as it’s from the Daily Mail, it’s automatically kind of hard to believe or take seriously, but that I recommended it because of how it proves misogyny is still a big problem these days, even amongst the well-educated and wealthy, and that rape should never a joking matter. I feel these two facts are pretty obvious, and so I am always shocked and appalled when I get resistance to them from people. There was a massive fight about it, with one person being particularly vocal about how it was probably all a lie because of the site it was on and discounting it as female hysteria because there were no back up sources online (wut?). As one friend put it “Being critically aware is cool, but doubting off the bat has its roots in victim blaming and misogyny itself”.

Now we have the Steubenville rape case, where reactions range from “good, serves them right for raping an unconscious girl” to the absolutely shocking “that whore shouldn’t have gotten so drunk if she didn’t want to be raped” or, as CNN put it, “The most severe thing with these young men is being labeled as registered sex offenders… That will haunt them for the rest of their lives.” YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT IT WILL. And rightly so. They’re rapists.

It’s not just the media that’s sympathising with the rapists, the average joe on twitter has an opinion on it too as highlighted on Public Shaming (Warning: This tumblr will probably enrage you).

It is perplexing to me that even in the year 2013, people still don’t “get” what rape is. It’s as though rape is only genuine when it involves an innocent girl is raped by the creepy pervert hiding in the bushes. There is always a question of “what did the girl do to deserve the rape?” because it seems that unless you were dressed conservatively, are sober and you were walking in a safe area during daylight hours, it’s basically your fault that you got raped because you did something wrong (dressed “provocatively”, drank too much, walked in a bad area at night without a male escort etc) and you really should have know better. And unless a man forced himself on the violently, there’s always doubt about whether it’s really rape because maybe she lead him on, she just regretted having sex with him the next morning or the ever popular “well she didn’t say no”.

Just to be absolutely clear: RAPE IS RAPE.

We need to be beyond a time where we doubt a woman’s claim of rape before she even has a chance to explain what happened. Her being drunk or the fact she wore a short skirt should never, ever be justifications for her being sexually assaulted by anyone. There is no “lesson” being taught when a girl is raped. There is never something she has done to deserve rape as a punishment or lesson because no matter how repugnant she may be as a person, rape is never acceptable. It makes me furiously angry that everyone doesn’t know and accept this, but with everything that’s been happening in the world lately, it’s pretty darn clear that the general public either doesn’t realise or simple refuses to believe the truth. The fact a woman can be gang-raped to death and have people ask “Well why was she out after dark with a man who isn’t her husband?” or have a girl molested by a group of boys and have thousands of people the world over blaming her because she was drunk, only proves that there is a huge amount to do in terms of educating people on how victims of rape deserve to be treated. It’s not going to be easy and we’ll probably never get 100% there but I honestly think it’s possible.

I have so many opinions on this matter but I feel they can all be summed up with the following:

Henry Rollin’s amazing blog about the Stuebenville case

And this quote that’s floating around on tumblr:

What people don’t understand is when we say “Teach men not to rape,” we’re not talking about telling them not to jump out of the bushes in a ski mask and grab the nearest female. We’re talking about the way we teach boys that masculinity is measured by power over others, and that they aren’t men unless they “get some.” We’re talking about teaching men (and women) that it’s not okay to laugh at jokes about rape and abuse. We’re talking about telling men that a lack of “No” doesn’t mean “Yes,” that if a woman is too drunk to consent they shouldn’t touch her, that dating someone – or even being married to someone – does not mean automatic consent. We’re talking about teaching boys to pay attention to the girl they’re with, and if she looks uncomfortable to stop and ask if she’s okay, because sometimes girls don’t know how to say stop in a situation like that. We’re talking about how women have the right to change their mind. Even if she’s been saying yes all night, if she says no, that’s it. It’s over. That’s what we mean when we say “Teach men not to rape.

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The Myth of the Thigh Gap

February 28, 2013
Body and Soul, Cara Rage, Feminism

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Pic source

Have you heard people talking about the gap lately? It also goes by the name of the thigh gap or the box gap. Chances are you have heard the term, and it’s possible you’ve heard of it quite recently.

I never knew about the “gap” until a friend pointed out that I had one, and how jealous she was of me. She went on to explain that she used to be obsessed with having one, and at one point she lost way too much weight in the pursuit of attaining some sort of gap until she had friends and family worrying about how thin she’d become. I was shocked, having a small gap between your upper thighs was that big a deal? Even though I’d never given it much though, I immediately knew it was as a result of wide hips that I referred to as my birthin’ hips. It seemed bizarre to me that it was a really sought after thing. I mean, I get why girls want skinny arms (god knows I’d love a pair of ’em myself) but a gap in a place that people only see in intimate moments or when you’re at the beach? Geez.

I’ve heard the term bandied around a lot lately. I see people use the hashtag #boxgap on Instagram a lot (by girls who have them or those who wish they had one, and even by guys being total sleazebags by posting it under a photo of a girl) and I’ve seen a number of Facebook and Tumblr pages dedicated to it. Then today I saw this article and felt sad that it has become such a “thing” when it’s so obviously not something every girl is meant to have.

Girls, you need to understand, the gap is NOT something you can just get by extreme dieting. It is not about your weight and is purely based on your bone structure. I have always had a gap, even at my heaviest. It doesn’t mean you’re the perfect size/weight or whatever, it just means you have wide hips. The only way you can get one, if you’re not structured the right way, is to starve yourself half to death so that you don’t have any flesh on your thigh bones. Like us girls who have large bootay’s, sometimes you just have to accept that your body is shaped in a certain way and just deal with it. Getting lipo between your thighs to emulate a trendy and mostly unachievable gap is a waste of money and make you look ridiculous for wasting your money on a freakin’ fad.

And guys (in case you’re reading this), don’t make it any harder on us girls and start expecting girls to have a gap between her thighs because you heard about once or saw an ad with a hot girl in it where she had a gap and all of a sudden you think it’s desirable, even though it was never something you cared about before. If seeing the sun through a girls legs is that important to you, you need to reassess the priorities in your life. You’re damn lucky to be getting anywhere near a girls inner thighs, so you better appreciate that area for how majestic and sacred it is, and not for how much space there is/isn’t.

As the owner of a thigh gap, I can tell you now, I would trade my much desired gap for a pair of thinner thighs or a perkier bum in a heart beat. It really ain’t that great, honestly!

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CARA RAGE: Why I’m not an “attention whore”

October 11, 2012
Cara Rage, disappointment tuesday, Feminism, My Life, Rants

This week I was attacked on my Facebook by someone I know (not really a friend, more an acquaintance that I know through some mutual friends). I wrote this status update:

I wrote this while in a bad mood after having a crappy morning. I mean, it was Tuesday after all and we all know how I feel about Tuesday’s. I also think it’s fair to say I was just having a vent and didn’t expect to be taken very seriously. And most of my friends who commented on it were totally cool about it, agreeing with me or making jokes about whether or not I had toilet paper stuck to my shoe or food on my face to warrant the stares.

To cut a long story short, I was told that I can’t look the way I look and not expect stares and that I was being a hypocrite for getting annoyed at someone for looking at me when I work in a boring office environment. I was also called an “attention whore” and  an “incessant whinger” in between some backhanded compliments. But the message was clear “You’re not allowed to feel bad about this, you’ve brought this upon yourself by being unwilling to conform to the general definition of ‘normal’ and so you need to get over it”. It’s really pissed me off! To anyone who thinks that people deserve to be stared at for being “attention whores”, I have this to say to you”

I do not like being rudely gawked at by complete strangers. I don’t dress or look the way I look because I crave attention, I just do it because that’s who I am. If I wanted attention I would have a far crazier hairdo, way more tattoos and dress a hell of a lot differently. This assumption is just perpetuating the misconception that girls who don’t “fit in” with the rest of the general population are just desperate for attention when in actual fact, we just like different things to the bulk of other women. Life is too short to look like everyone else, but that doesn’t mean we should just suck it up when people forget their manners.

Like I’ve said again and again, if you think someone looks interesting enough to make you want to stare, go up to them and say something. Being stared at can totally ruin a person’s day, but receiving a compliment from a complete stranger can easily make someone’s week. It’s not hard, don’t be an arsehole. Whether it’s at a random person you see on the street, or on someone’s god damn facebook!

I won’t even get into the fact I believe this is a sexism thing, where some guys get their backs up at women who voice their strong opinions, whereas they’ll let their guy friends get away with way worse and not feel the need to start a fight. I’ll leave that for another rant later on ;)

Standing up to bullies

October 4, 2012
Cara Rage, In the News, Life, My Advice

Please watch this video. I found this today while procrastinating and trawling through crappy news sites and it struck a cord with me. Bullies are jerks and I am sick of hearing about kids killing themselves after being relentlessly bullied. It should never happen and it boggles my mind that it keeps happening and is being fought against.

I was never really bullied in school. I’ve been super tall my whole life after some early growth spurts and so I never looked like a potential victim. Oh sure, tall kids get bullied too, but when you’re also a big ol’ loudmouth as I tend to be, bullies don’t really bother you much. They tried a few times though, but I’d usually laugh in their faces. I actually spent a lot of time defending kids against bullies in high school. Any time I saw someone teasing or hurting another kid in a bullying kind of way, I’d be all up in the bullies face yelling insults back and a few times, I lashed out physically (only minor things like a few face slaps and pinning them against a wall while I told them a thing or two). In most cases the bully stopped and as far as I knew stopped bullying that kid, at least while I was around. I did suffer some workplace bullying which was awful but I learne d alot from that, and will never let that happen to me again.

See,  this is the thing with most bullies, be they at school or at work or online, people turn a blind eye to it. Which is RIDICULOUS! Standing up to a bully isn’t the same as standing up to a man holding a knife or a gun. You don’t even have to stand up to them yourself, if you think they might turn their attention to you (which should only be a problem if the bully is a violent one since, ya know, words can’t hurt you) because you can go report them to someone with authority and get them to sort it out. And if they won’t, go to someone else. There’s never an excuse to be a silent witness to bullying and by turning the other cheek, you’re almost as bad as the bully themselves.

Now that we have the internet, bullying can be sneakier and done with more secrecy because if the attacks are all sent via email or private message, there aren’t any witnesses. I’ve received some nasty online bullying before but mostly from complete strangers who take offense to something I’ve posted online and after initially getting a bit riled up, I am able to laugh about it and hit delete. But many people can’t do that and take those nasty words to heart and suffer in silence. It’s unfortunate that they feel they can’t tell friends or family about it and actually believe any of those vicious comments are true.

I don’t have any awesome advice on how to deal with bullying because I was very rarely subject to it. All I can say is, heed the advice given by Jennifer Livingston because it’s so, so good. No one deserves to be bullied ever, not as a kid and not as an adult, no matter what their situation in life. Bullies are cowards and we need to help each other out to stop them from destroying any more lives.

Rape is Rape is Rape

August 23, 2012
Cara Rage, Feminism

Well it’s been a little while since I had a bit of a feminist rant. I mean, I have one almost every day but I try not to clog up my blog with a rant on every outrage I read or hear about against women, since I don’t want this to be a feminist blog as such and I also like talking about other things!

But the recent thing with Senator Todd Akin is so unbelievably retarded, that I have to say something. In actual fact his ridiculous statements about how it’s rare for women who are “legitimately” raped falling pregnant because of our apparent ability to eject rape-sperm from our bodies in those situations, is so absurd that it’s opened up a lot of discussion about the way the typical white, male politician perceives women and their rights. I mean, it’s not like he can be the only dumb arse in US politics who has this sort of mentality that abortion. Turns out he’s not, as a quick search of the internet on the matter will reveal. So while it sucks that so many people who are able to have laws passed think this way, at least people are becoming aware and are able to stand up say “OH HELL NO” and if we’re lucky, help influence others to change their minds.

I could spend the next five paragraphs ranting about why these guys are arseholes and how wrong their opinions are about what defines rape and whether or not women have the right to choose if they’d like an abortion or not. I think it goes without saying that I believe rape is rape (ie. horrendous in every way rape can possibly be committed) and that there are no grey areas when it comes to someone having sex with someone else without their consent, likewise I believe abortions should be legal, especially for those who have been impregnated by rape. So instead of ranting about my opinions which are pretty clear cut, I thought I’d share some links on the situation, as well as the discussions that have been raised as a result of this political scandal. Enjoy!

Pregnancy from rape really rare: US pollie
Rep. Todd Akin: The Statement and the Reaction
On Todd Akin, the Republican Party and the women who enable them
 ‘Being falsely accused of rape is as bad as being raped’
Bryan Fischer Says Todd Akin’s Comments About ‘Legitimate Rape’ Were ‘Absolutely Right’
Todd Akin: One More Male Politician Clueless About Female Biology
Semen Triggers Ovulation, New Study Suggests (just to further disprove the statement that women can prevent conception when raped)

There are SO many articles on the issue but if you’re interested in reading more, just google “Todd Akin rape comments” and you will able to read for hours. It’s sad that a man had to reveal just how ignorant he is of the female body or the depth of how trully awful rape is for this to become an important issue in the media, but it has and I’m glad because it means more people out there (men and women) will have their opinions on what is/isn’t rape redefined and hopefully for the better!

Parents vs Tattoos – An Open Letter to Tess Morgan

August 13, 2012
Cara Rage, Tattoo Talk

Dear Tess Morgan,

Today I read your article on The Guardian about how upset you were over your son getting a tattoo. How you refused to even look at it, refused to talk to him for three days while you sulked and threw tantrums about it to everyone you knew. Then when you did finally sit down to talk to him about it, you could do no better than to express how disappointed and hurt you are at him for daring to get a tattoo. Even when you’re 21 year old son showed a truckload more wisdom than you by suggesting you “re-examine your prejudices”, you continued to harp on about how you’d rather he have lost an arm in an accident or how you’d probably have felt better if he’d gotten a girl pregnant than to have gotten what is probably a fairly small tattoo on his bicep.

Look, I understand tattoos are not for everyone. I happen to love them, personally. I know people who don’t care for them and I have even been told by people that they hate them. Everyone feels differently about them and that’s cool, because that’s how life goes. But like your son, I got my tattoo after a lot of thought and at a similar age. Likewise it wasn’t on a whim, it wasn’t done while drunk, it wasn’t done without a lot of consideration and it wasn’t the day he turned 18 as many people do which I feel is a very bad idea. I even worried that my mum was going to have a similar reaction to what you did, to the point where I called her beforehand to make sure she wouldn’t disown me if I got a tattoo. Guess what she said? “Cara, I love you and I don’t want you to get a tattoo, but it’s you decision and I’d never, ever disown you for it”. The next day I showed her it, she complained it was a lot bigger than she thought it would be and then that was it. She even helped put Bepanthen cream on it a couple of times since it was in a hard-to-reach spot on my back.

I have since been tattooed at least a dozen more times and have them in far more prominent places on my body such as my arms and feet. I wear my tattoos proudly and am in the process of adding more to my collection. How does my mum react? Well, she drove me to my last tattoo appointment, actually. She even helped me refine the design for it. It was not exactly to her taste but her input helped me and it was appreciated. She even got two tattoos of her own! The same woman who told me constantly as I grew up how ugly tattoos looked on females, how it’d ruin the wedding photos if I ever got one, re-evaluated her opinion and has now accepted me and my love of tattoos.

When people, such as her friends, ask her what she thinks of my tattoos, she tells them that they are just tattoos, and looks are only skin deep. She explains that I am a good person and the tattoos do not change that in any way. And it’s true, I am a good person. I don’t smoke, I drink in moderation, I’m not on drugs and I eat well and exercise regularly. I spend a huge amount of time with my mum and consider her one of my closest friends. But had she reacted anywhere near as badly to my tattoos as you did to your son’s, things would be different and we probably wouldn’t be very close at all. She respects my choices as an adult an will always provide input before I make a big decision, but never tries to interfere or guilt-trip me about it.

What you did to your son was immature, narrow-minded and emotionally-abusive. You’re affected your relationship with him in an negative and potentially non-reversible way, and it’s all your own fault. It’s a tattoo, not an illegitimate child, not a heroine addiction and definitely not a murder charge. I actually feel a little bit sorry for you. I can only assume this is your last, loud protest at the fact your son has grown up and has started making his own, independent decisions for himself without needing to ask for mum’s advice. I can’t imagine how it must feel to watch your children grow up and not need you any more, but I am damn sure I would be a lot more mature about it. I hope the backlash against your article made you realise how ridiculous you were being and apologise to your son for acting the way you did and realise there are far worse things for a son to do to his body that a get a tattoo!

Kind Regards,