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My Advice

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.

femmo-dontallowmenwhohatewomen

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.

femmo-holdtheirtongues

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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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 – #notallmen

February 6, 2015
Feminism, femmo bites, My Advice, Random Thoughts, Ruby Kawaii

notallmen
source

I have decided I’m going to start blogging my random feminist thoughts here.  I have a lot of them all day every day but I’ve been finding it hard to do regular posts about feminism because I tend to put too much thought in them which means I often don’t get around to posting them or I think it’s not interesting/engaging enough. So instead I will post smaller “femmo-bites” about something I happen to be thinking about right now.

Today’s one stems from a facebook post I was commenting on. The OP shared a link where a girl in India confronts the man who tries to touch her inappropriately and without her consent on a plane. Almost immediately she was swamped with guys saying NOT ALL MEN in a variety of colourful ways. A number of people clarified that she did not mean ALL men at all but these dudebro’s kept going and on and on about it, even suggesting women should specify “some men” in future posts/conversations to avoid confusion in the future (ugh). This was my response (slightly edited for this post) which is my stance on why #notallmen is a harmful derailment tactic:

The fact is, a lot of men do things like this. Not all, not even most, but a lot. There are also a lot of men who mightn’t actually do this sort of thing themselves but think about doing it or don’t see why there’ such a fuss about the men who do do it. The reason for this is because many men have it deeply ingrained in them that women are objects rather than people. They feel like they, as men, have the right to touch these objects that they find desirable. For a long time, the vast majority of women put up with it because it was deeply ingrained in us too that this was how it was and we had to accept it. It’s only been in very recent history that women have found themselves able to stand up and say NO, that is NOT appropriate, and even more recently that laws have be adjusted to reflect this.

Feminism is still crucial these days, even though at a glance it might seem like women and men are pretty much equal. The wage gap and the glass ceiling both still exist, for example. But very importantly, too many men are still finding themselves unable to view women as people rather than objects and so they touch, abuse, harm and kill them in abundance. Sometimes women find themselves unable to yell at a man for touching her inappropriately because there is the very real risk that he will harm her for daring to stand up to him. The woman in this video found herself in a position where she could safely confront the man trying to touch her without her consent and did so. But if she had been in a different scenario it possibly would have been safer for her to be quiet, ignore him and leave the situation as quickly as possible. That is not equality between genders, that we cannot stop something horrible happening to us because we might get hurt or killed for saying no.

We have a very long way to go, because there are still too many men who are like this and when women try to talk about it, a bunch of other men get upset because they feel unfairly targeted despite the fact that wasn’t actually the case. That harms these conversations because it means women have to then double back and clarify that they didn’t mean ALL men at all and the original conversation has been derailed and brought back to focus on men. That is counter productive. So PLEASE understand, when women are talking about this sort of thing, we do NOT mean ALL men do these things. We are referring to those men that do. If you don’t do these things, GREAT. Keep not doing those things and maybe have a go at listening to what women are saying instead of wondering if we’re indirectly referring you and bringing the conversation back to your hurt feelings!

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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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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.

 mecat

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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That’s Mrs Westworth, thank you!

May 18, 2013
Feminism, In the News, My Advice, Pissed Off, Random Thoughts

bride_finger

I have been described as a militant feminist a couple of times, including by my boyfriend (though in the nicest possible way, of course). If shouting at people for making g0-back-to-the-kitchen jokes or getting rage when I hear about a new case of victim-blaming in the case of male-on-female rape makes me a militant feminist, then I am fine with this! I don’t think women get angry enough about these sorts of topics and in many cases, are worse than men at perpetuating a lot of these myths about where a woman’s place is.

One issue that I feel strongly about is women taking her husbands surname after marriage. It just feels so wrong to me, I can’t think of how it benefits the woman at all and it’s just another outdated remnant of a time where women lost their identity as soon as they were married. It bothers me so much when I hear of friends who take on their husbands name, though none of my close friends have married yet so I’ve never discussed it with them or asked them why they decided to change their name. I find it old fashioned, unnecessary and totally sexist. But when I tell people this, they think I’m being ridiculous. It’s the done thing, it’d be so confusing not to have a shared family name, it’s no big deal etc. I’m also reminded that it’s a woman’s choice and isn’t that what feminism is about anyway? Letting women make their own choices?

I call BS on all of that. It’s a massive deal to go through the process of changing your surname. It’s not like you just wave your marriage certificate at a few utilities companies and be done with it, there’s expense involved and you have to go through a lot of legal rigmarole before contacting each company necessary to make the change. Then there’s the fact you now have a whole new name! You have to change your signature and make sure you remember to give your new name instead of your old one. And if it’s “not a big deal” then why don’t more men take on their wives names? I appreciate that a part of feminism is respecting a woman’s choice, but I’m of the opinion that most women don’t take their husbands names because they really want to , they just do it because it’s expected. Fuck that! If you have a terrible surname, I can absolutely understand you wanting to take your new husbands name to get rid of it (though if it’s so bad, I would have suggested changing it to something you actually want, not just taking on whatever boring surname your boyfriend-cum-husband happens to have). But when you marry a Smith or Cockburn, please don’t tell me you actually wanted his surname because gurl, I ain’t buyin’!

I just wish women were more open to the possibility of keeping their name, because I feel it’s a massive part of who you are, and to give it away just because it’s the “norm” seems silly to me. Why not explore other options? Why can’t your hubby take on your surname? Why not, if you can, merge both your surnames and both take it on? Sure you still have to go through all of the stress of changing your name, but at least you’re doing it together! I’m also not opposed to the idea of hyphenating names (I mostly enjoy how long and obnoxious they can be). There are other options and you, as a new wife, have every right to explore them and do what makes you happy. If taking on his surname is something you genuinely want, then good for you. But please do it because it’s what you want, not because you feel you have to, OK?

I understand I may be too much of a hardarse on this matter, but I feel really damn passionate about it. I have no intention of changing my surname after I get married (I mean, Westworth is a pretty neat and unusual name, I’d never want to lose it) and my kids will either take on my name or both parents names. I’ll be damned if I’m popping children out, only for their dad to get all the freaking credit! If my husband loves me, then he’ll understand. If he refuses, then I’ll kick his arse til he does or else not marry him!

What are your thoughts? If you’re married, did you take your partners name? What were your reasons for (not) doing so? 

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This is MY body so SUCK it, haters

October 24, 2012
Body and Soul, My Advice, My Life

Yesterday I came to a realisation. It’s not a new one per se, but this is the first time I’ve felt so strongly about it that I wanted to blog about it. Two things made me come to this conclusion. First of all, I read this article which I thought was lovely, until I made the silly mistake of reading the comments which were mostly written by fuckwits who have no sensitivity and just like to say arsehole things to hurt people’s feelings. I then wandered into the office kitchen where I discovered a range of sweet treats that were being sold as it was Think Pink day. I absolutely couldn’t say no to the coconut ice and so took a few pieces, cursing myself in the process because I just don’t have any willpower.

But then I thought to myself? Well, why can’t I have some damn coconut ice? It’s not like I have it everyday. In fact I can’t even remember when I last had some. And then I wondered why I made it such a big deal to be able to justify a treat. My god, what’s the point of living if I can’t enjoy something delicious now and then? So I ate and I fucking enjoyed the hell out of those pieces of coconut ice, because dammit, why not?!

It suddenly dawned me that life in absolutely too short to spend it half-starving yourself and exercising for many hours a week just because you want a “perfect bod” to strut around in a swimsuit in. When you think about all of the things that life contains, how ridiculously superficial and unnecessary does it seem to waste so much of it worrying about how skinny you are? I actually feel ashamed at how much of my life I’ve dedicated to worrying about losing weight, when I could have been focusing my energy on far more fulfilling, meaningful things. I’ve wasted a huge part of my life wishing I was skinny when I should have instead appreciated the fact I’m healthy and love life.

I spent six years of my life with someone who constantly told me I needed to lose weight and made me feel awful for not being “perfect”. But now that I have moved on and finally have a boyfriend who appreciates me for me, I can now see how much I let my fear of being “fat” control me. I’m almost 30 years old, I’ll never be a waif. I’ve had big hips and a booty since I went through early puberty. I’ve been on diets where I’ve practically starved myself, only to gain any weight lost back by eating normal amount of food again.

I’ve hated on myself and bored everyone senseless with endless conversations about weight loss/gain for too long. I’m done with it. I’m sick of being jealous of girls who are slimmer than me, of wishing I could wear short shorts. Even if I was slimmer, I wouldn’t wear ugly ass denim booty shorts anyway! I’ve disrespected myself for way too long and I’m ending it now. It won’t be easy, I’ll always have moments where I’ll think negative thoughts about my body and wish I was skinny, but I’ll never let it consume me again. I’ll keep up my gym routine and maintain a balanced diet, but I won’t keep worrying that I’m not losing weight or deny myself the occasional treats.

There will be people who will think I’m being lazy and gross, or that I’m fat or that I’d be “so pretty” if I lost some weight. I’ve heard it all, and I don’t care any more. I have a loving boyfriend who loves me for me, not how pert my arse is in miniskirt or how skinny my arms are in a singlet top. Fuck that manipulative, hurtful bullshit! I’m not out to please everyone, I just want to be healthy and happy and I reckon I’m already there.

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.

Stumps Hotel

July 13, 2012
My Advice, My Life, Things I Like

As I have mentioned previously, I now live in Ipswich. I never. ever thought I’d find myself hanging out there, since it has a poor reputation as being full of bogan’s and very, very daggy. As it turns out, that reputation is most undeserved as the town (City?) has been changing in recent years and the “top of town” as it’s called along Brisbane Street, is becoming very trendy. One such venue is Stumps Hotel which a friend of mine is the General Manager of. He was kind enough to invite me and my mum to dinner there last Saturday night and we couldn’t believe how amazing the food was! We had starters, a main each and then shared a dessert and were so stuffed we could hardly move. We both chose the steak for our main meal which was superb, even though there was a mix-up where we got them well-done when we wanted medium-rare which is testament to just how beautifully cooked they were. They also have a HUGE range of beers, wines and ciders both bottled an on tap that I am dying to sample!

The venue opened this week so if you live in or near Ipswich and want to go somewhere new and trendy, check Stumps out. It’s a five minute walks away from the train station so you don’t have any excuses!

My sister, friend Louise and I “modeled” for them on Sunday which was heaps of fun (can’t you see how much fun we’re having?). Hopefully people will see our ravishing good looks and come pouring into the venue ;) But seriously, it’s a gorgeous place and I am looking forward to becoming a regular patron. Plus! It’s only a $10 cab ride home vs the $90 can trip from the Valley to my place! Can’t beat that.

Take My Advice – The SHIT edition

July 5, 2012
My Advice


Source

STOP BUYING SHIT
Look, I know that top or pair of amazing shoes or whatever is/are gorgeous and that they’re on sale or limited or whatever, but do you NEED them? I’m 99% sure you don’t… so let’s clarify further by seeing if you will wear/use it/them more than once? Is it something you’ll leave in your closet and forget about until a year later when you wind up selling it on ebay or giving to Salvo’s? Be realistic, you don’t need every pretty thing you see. Save your money and buy more stuff that you will wear more often and your bank account will thank you!

SELL YOUR OLD SHIT
As per the above, you probably have a number of items in your closet that you bought on a whim and just don’t wear. Get rid of it! If it was cheap and is kind of out of fashion now, give it to an op-shop to sell. Or be a total stinge like me and sell, sell, SELL!  Have a garage sale, sell your old wares and your unused clothing and make a bit of spare cash and free yourself from that extra clutter! There are also markets and ebay for anything you can’t sell at the garage sale (of if you can’t be arsed holding one).

STOP BEING A SHIT FRIEND
You probably think you’re an awesome friend but you’re probably doing a lot of crappy things to your mates that you didn’t even realise. Not seeing them enough, piking on the things they organise, hating the stuff they like and actually telling them, hating their new boyfriend, constantly talking about your new diet and boring/guilting them endlessly and so on. I’m of the opinion that you should treat your friends better than your partner, because they’ll always be there for you. But ONLY if you quit being such a shithouse friend.

STOP BEING A SHIT CHILD
Some people are unlucky and have awful relationships with their parents. But most people are on good terms with their folks and yet don’t treat them so good. I mean really, when was the last time you called your mum, let alone hung out with her. Once you’re over the age of 21 it’s no longer “cool” to be embarrassed by your parents. They raised you and (hopefully) shaped you into the nifty person you’ve become so gor the love of god, spend time with them. Or ring them every week, at the very least! They worry about you and imagine if your kids grew up, moved out, and started ignoring you. Hurtful, right?

STOP BEING SHIT ONLINE
Ahhh we all know this is a huge pain in my arse. Like the ones who jump on a status update with an opposing opinion to just say “that’s shit” with no actual input or desire to debate the point. Or the ones who post ENDLESS whiney status’ about how shit their life is (like this one girl I know, who’s a vet and bitches and moans about how shit it is endlessly… dafuq?). Or the twitter users who post every inane thought they have all day every day. Most people are able to filter what they actually say to others, so why can’t they do it before typing on the internet?

STOP EATING SHIT
I mean this figuratively, of course. Most week day’s I go to the gym and catch the train home in the early evening. I am constantly appalled by how many people I see lining up at the Central station McDonalds to eat on the ride home. I see the same people over and over with big bags of junk food and feel really grossed out that they’re constantly putting that rubbish into their bodies. Look, I love McDonalds and have it now and then as a treat/when super drunk. But it is so BAD for you, end of story. Eating it all the time is not healthy and just because you don’t gain weight, doesn’t mean it’s not harming you in some way. Also, eating Macca’s on the train stinks the carriage out and is kind of rude!

STOP SAYING “SHIT” & OTHER SWEARWORDS
Look, swearing is a lot of fun and I enjoy it immensely. But there’s a time and a place, and when you start swearing  too much it’s a tough habit to break. I know some people who uses the word “fuck” like it’s a comma, and the c-bomb like an exclamation point. It’s OK with like-minded friends but it’s totally inappropriate when in public, with small kids and old-folk around to overhear. It makes you look stupid and inarticulate and you’re likely to let slip a foul word at the worst posisble times (like business meetings or in front of your mum). Who wants that? Leave the eff’s and cee’s to the less-learned people who don’t know any better, and swap those swears for more creative curses (personally I like making my own swearwords or else swapping them for less offensive words like “fudge” or “shoot”).

**DISCLAIMER** Take My Advice was started by Obnoxious Owl. I give this advice, not because I am the most perfect person ever, in fact I really need to take my own advice more often!