Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Gender Equality: Is there really such a thing?


There's so much debate going on nowadays about gender equality and a lot of what I read is about which sex is the best, a whole battle of the sexes kinda thing. That's not what it's all about, it's about being fair and treating each other as equals not as opposing forces. So I've decided to share my 2 cents on the issue as it's something that I'm quite passionate about.

If we look about over history we see that in the beginning God created man in his own image, male and female he created them. God created us in his own image so he first created us equal. It is humankind that has created us as unequal. Humans desire for power, control and dominance has driven a wedge between males and females and cause tension, friction and turned us against each other.

Males and females are different from each other, what one lacks, the other makes up for. We both have our faults and we both have our benefits. You need us both to keep the population alive. One cannot live or survive without the other. We need both sides, both sets of skills, both thoughts, opinions and input to make the world work. We need to support each other instead we have turned on one another and treat each other terribly by attacking, name calling, back stabbing and tearing each other apart.

We need to address the issues as it's a disgrace that one can look upon another human and see only a possession, a belonging, a sex toy, a baby machine, a nothing, unworthy, not deserving of education, medical treatment, a voice, someone to use, abuse, forget and neglect. It's horrific that we can do that to one another and we have to stand up for these women around the world that are treated like that. But we also need to look into our own backyards and address the issues of affairs here too.

If I do the same hours, same work, have the same education, same certificate as a man then I should be paid the same amount of money and shown the same respect. If I have an opinion I should be able to speak up and share it without being told I'm a bitch, I'm hormonal, I'm too emotional, I'm too whatever. I should not be used as insult "you throw/run/fight/catch/jump/play etc like a girl" - have you seen our Australian women athletes, they can seriously kick ass. I am not here for you amusement, I am not here to pick up and clean up after you, you have two hands - use them. Yes I am not as physically strong as you but that does not give you the right to use your strength against me.  

I've had men use their strength against me often, thankfully I've never been abused but it's been used as a weapon. Growing up with 3 older brothers, one in particular quite enjoyed using it to his advance. His strength was used to put me in my place, he wanted a chair that I was sitting in, I was thrown out of it and told "you're just a girl get over it". Had my ponytail pulled out, my bra strap snapped, my TV show changed, constant teasing and just told "you're a weak little girl, what are you going to do about it?". If I spoke up I was stood over and told "must be that time of the month, you're too emotional, this is why I don't like women as they can't take a joke". No you hurt me and I have a right to defend myself and stand up for myself and be treated fairly. I grew up with a belief that women were lower than men because men could get away with so much more. I was told to be "the good girl, smile, don't make a scene, don't make a fuss", never encouraged in a career mostly got told about getting married and having children.

We have so many double standards in this country (and around the world). I've been asked to leave interviews because they didn't want someone who might have kids in the next few years. Most interviews I've been to, the moment they see my wedding ring ask if I've got kids. It's none of your business if I've got kids, I'm here to work thank you.

But what I have found it's ourselves (women) that seem to have the most double standards. I'm guilty of this too, I am getting better but patterns laid out in the past are hard to break. Where I worked (before maternity leave) we had 2 supervisors, one male and one female. The male supervisor would say something and people might go "rude jerk" and just get on with the job. The female supervisor would say something and people might go "rude bitch, how dare she, she's got it in for me, cannot believe she said that" then the whispers would start circling and it would still be remembered weeks later where the males comments were long forgotten. Another example a good looking/attractive man would walk into the office and most of the women would stare, smile, laugh, make comments, including sexual comments out loud. A good looking/attractive woman walks in and a few men's head turn and the females call out in disgust "get a good look?". Ellen plays in the lunch room where there is half naked men on screen dancing sexually on stage or on the audience, all the females crowd round to watch, a guy says he feels uncomfortable and gets told to "get over it and leave". One of the ladies is wearing a lovely dress for Melbourne Cup and sporting a new hair do and a male colleague makes a comment that she looks really pretty and the hair cut suits her, which everyone then turns and looks at him, so he then feels strange and apologises if that wasn't appropriate.

If we want respect and fair treatment, we need to show respect and fair treatment too. Do not complain and say "typical male" but a man say "typical female" and all hell breaks loose. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot treat men like crap and expect them to treat us like gold. Reality shows like "The Real Housewives, Dance Squad, Dance Mums, Little People, Next Top Model etc" are really only about the bitch fights and the dragging down women do to each other, showing no respect for one another or taking each other seriously.

Yes females are pushed around more then males but lets start treating not only ourselves but other females and males with the respect and the dignity we want to be shown. We cannot make change happen if we are not willing to make change within ourselves. Everyone has a right to be treated fairly and each one of us (males and females) need to put aside our differences and our double standards and start showing each other respect and treating one another fairly. Only then will we start to be equal again.

(side note I found this link about the history of gender equality in the workplace and education, it's a good timeline to see how far we have come. This isn't sponsored or anything, just a good link) 

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Reflections


It's a gorgeous sunny blue sky autumn day today, I'm sitting in our back room with a breeze blowing while I'm typing away on the laptop. It's a prefect day for reflecting and enjoying the moment.

I'm currently 39 weeks pregnant so pretty much any day now we'll have a lovely little bundle to cuddle and love and call our own.

The past 9 months have been an up and down journey. Filled with much sickness, stresses, pressures, anxieties, confusion, breakthroughs, courage, love and power. I've had to face fears head on, challenge the norm and realise truths I never thought were there. I have now got a better understanding of myself and always of those around me.

Facing truths of changing people and others that don't want the world to change. Separating my issues from others issues, realising I'm not who I thought I was and I'm better than I thought I could be. The world has pushed, pulled, shoved and knocked me about. My heart and mind has done the same. It's easy to pin the blame on others and throw up your hands and say "it's all your fault" but truth be told we are in charge of our mind and heart and we can make the change, we can break the chain.

Breaking the chain as been a common theme as I come to terms with long lost memories, truths and hidden issues. I am a new generation that can take and learn from the old but doesn't have to repeat the same patterns from the old generation, I am the break in the chain. The old patterns that didn't work are being set free and the discovering of the new patterns is both highly scary but exciting nonetheless.

This little bubba that hasn't even breathed a breath of air yet has already taught us so many about ourselves, where we need to bend and where we need to break. We've been drawn closer together in love, support and comfort, we are there for each other in ways we never were before. Our faith in God has grown stronger as we've fought and embraced this road together. We are a united force.

As we wait in patience for B day to arrive I continue to breath in the love of this bubba, the love of God and the love of my husband everyday. It's a strange feeling waiting for the day as you never know when it might be but thank you bubba for all that you have taught me so far and all you are differentially going to teach me in the future.

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Saturday, 26 March 2016

What the Frack is Fracking?


As I'm becoming more environmentally aware I've been trying to educate myself more and more on environmental issues and I noticed "Fracking" coming up a lot.

But what exactly is Fracking?

I use the word Frack a lot as a swear word (thank you Battlestar Galactica) so it got me curious as to what Fracking actually is.

According to Google:

"Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well". 

The term fracking refers to how the rock is fractured apart by the high pressure mixture. It allows drilling firms to access difficult-to-reach resources of oil and gas. So I take from that we are drilling into the earth to release/get out of the ground resources for ourselves to use. It got me thinking maybe there's a reason those resources are difficult-to-reach.

Fracking is quite controversial because it uses huge amounts of water (which have to be transported into the site), there's chemicals in fracking solution (including known toxic, allergenic, mutagenic & carcinogenics), and chemicals can escape and end up in the groundwater supplies (which depletes groundwater supplies). Fracking can also cause small earth tremors like it did back in 2011 in Blackpool UK with two earthquakes measuring at 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude, which resulted in the testing site being suspended.

There are pollution and toxicity concerns for the environment, air, groundwater and it's effects on our health.

We are currently fracking in Australia over in Western Australia for shale gas and tight gas.

From what I have read and understand fracking is only a short-term solution. We are depleting resources for future generations and once again polluting the planet for monetary gain. We are only seeing instant results and not looking ahead to the long-term ramifications.

It's once again man's lust for greed, power and control. We don't seem to learn that we cannot live like this any more, our planet is struggling to contains us and our demands. We can only take so much before it's all gone.

Info from: 
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14432401

Photo from here

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Monday, 21 March 2016

Book Review: The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer & Jim Mason


I've been doing a lot of reading this year and reading a lot of different things to what I normally would. So when I came across this great book review by Katie from Sustainability In Style for "The Ethics of What We Eat" I just had to read it for myself - thanks Katie (by the way Katie's page is fantastic so go and check it out)

I found a copy at my local library and delved in. It was an interesting journey indeed.

It's all about the food industry and the ethics that are applied - particularly to the meat industry. Yes I am a meat eater so I wanted to find out more about the impact that my meat eating has on society and the environment.

This book was written back in 2006, so there could be newer and more up-to-date information available now but it does give a great background story about the modern food industry which I'm sure hasn't really good much better in the last 10 years. Also they used a lot of American information but there were some Australian statics in there but I would like to find out more about Australian practices.

The ethics covers everything we eat, what we put in our mouths is a vote for the world we want to live in. They go into depths about how the animals are killed in factory farming. I did feel quite ill reading some sections of that, I actually had to take a break from reading sometimes. The chickens is what go to me the most as the demand is so high for the meat that they cut corners and sometimes the chickens aren't actually dead when they get to the boiling stage - yuck!!!

We are treating animals with such disrespect and the companies say it's done this way to keep the meat cheap. But what I found interesting is it's not really cheap at all cause the costs are passed on in other ways. Cause the companies are cramming in so many animals and of course the animals produces waste, factory farms are polluting the air, the ground, the waterways - so much environmental damage. With so much environmental damage the residents nearby these factory farms are getting physically ill from the smell and the wash off. It's destroying human health, which means more money is spent on medical, drugs, clean water etc so we are paying the price there. Also since there is so many animals crammed in they get sick so to prevent sickness antibiotics are needed plus hormones to make the animal bigger (some chickens end up so big their legs break on their own weight) so there's more cost again, which also affects us as the antibiotics and hormones are passed onto us through the meat and causing health issues. So there really is no such thing as cheap meat.

Fishing is one of the worse, we are draining our ocean dry. Some fish species take up to 10-25 years to reach sexual maturity to keep the breeding cycle alive and we are impatient creatures and are catching and eating them before they have a chance to keep the generations alive. Also it was alarming to read the amount of grain grown to feed the animals and the amount of fish caught to feed the fish we eat.

There's got to be a better way. I know there is 7 billion of us but it's the developed nations that are creating the most demand. We have become spoilt and demand 24/7 access to whatever food we want. We want to eat seasonal food all year round and meat at every meal. There's nothing wrong with meat per say but it's our insatiable hunger for it and lack of willingness to go without as we demand it's our right to eat everything in sight.

There are more ethical forms of farming emerging and are starting to create a demand for products that are better for animal welfare, environmentally sustainable and better for our health.

Peter Singer and Jim Mason the writers are both vegan and in their perfect world everyone would be vegan and that's a wonderful vision to have but people are not going to drop old habits and ways overnight, small steps are required to get to that goal. When we push for more ethical farming that creates a demand which makes companies stand up and notice. We start making a change and more people then start to get on board which then changes more practices and ways and we can slowly work towards better farming etc. Who knows where this could lead, maybe in 50 years a large percentage of us will be vegan. But it all begins with the first step, start out small and get our voice heard and move from there. Together we can create a more ethical world for the animals, the environment and us.

They used a term called "Conscientious Omnivore" - I find this a great term and I resonate with it quite well. I feel like I'm doing the best I can with the resources available to me, while learning what I can and changing where I am able.

Remember we can all make a difference no matter how small.

Have your read this book? If so I'd love to hear what you thought.  

This post isn't sponsored or anything, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

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Friday, 4 March 2016

What exactly is creativity?


Creativity is whatever the heck you want it to be.

It can be:

- writing
- cooking
- exploring
- photography
- singing
- dancing
- looking after your family
- cleaning

It can be anything, and it belongs to anyone and everyone. There's no such thing as the elite or talented. Yes there are some amazingly talented people out there but talent really is only what we make of it. I might think one painter is extremely talented and you might think they suck.

I've just finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert recently, and while some parts of the books lost me, other parts did stand out to me. Yes I felt a lot of her book did talk about the arts part of creating but a few key aspects stood out to me:

"You don't need anybody's permission to live a creative life" - you are the only one that needs to give yourself permission to create, no one else has that right. You were born into this world and you belong here, you're here for a reason so go and create.

"Most things have already been done - but they have not been done by you" - yes how many times have you stopped yourself from creating something because others have done it before you? I know I have. But so what if it's been done before, it hasn't been done by you and you are different to all the other people out there so go on and put your spin on it.

"You will fail" - yes you will fail and it stops so many of us from doing so much - stupid fear. Yes we need fear but we let it take the drivers seat and take us where it wants to go not where we want to go. Failure is part of life, you can only get better by trying, and if you still keep failing at something, try something completely different. Creativity doesn't have to be perfect - there's no such thing as perfect anyhow. Just go out there and create - the outcome doesn't matter, all that matters is you are fulfilling your creative desires.

We are a creation of a creator so we are creativity personified - so go out there and own that creativity as it was born into you - all of us.

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