Post-bereavement hallucinations

Several years ago know, a friend named Rebecca passed away. We’d been close in high school and kept in touch sporadically over the years. The last time we met up, she was hopeful about her treatment and planning to fight off the illness that had invaded her body. We sat in a busy cafe in the middle of Newtown, drinking coffee and giggling over what idiots we’d been in high school. She told me about her more recent travels, I probably bored the pants off her with stories of my kids. A few months later, she was gone.

A few weeks later, bustling through the city, I saw her. Wearing a black checkered shirt over a singlet, she dipped her face down behind her hand, lighting a cigarette. She looked up and met my eye as I stepped towards her, my mouth already forming her name. When I blinked, Bec’s face was gone. It wasn’t her, just someone with only a passing resemblance.

Continue Reading

Like it? Share it!

Social media: How bad is it?

My social media feed is, quite ironically, littered with posts about the apparent trash-fire that is social media. I get it. It’s not all sunshine and roses. I would know, having spent far too long in the stranger corners of it in the name of research and morbid curiosity. I’ve been in Facebook groups for Doomsday Preppers, groups devoted to vicious arguing under the guise of debate, Flat Earth groups and more. There are many hours that I’ll never get back, reading forums, tweets, posts and pins peddling conspiracy theories, fear, pseudoscience and dangerous quackery.

via GIPHY

Continue Reading

Like it? Share it!

Who and why?

In response to the rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon, MP Jeffrey Bourman, of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, is trying to push through a motion in Parliament to allow the carrying and use of pepper spray and tasers for self-defence. He believes that women should be allowed these items to protect themselves from “stronger and potentially more experienced” attackers.

via GIPHY

Continue Reading

Like it? Share it!

30 women in Australia have been killed by men this year. At this rate, it’s more than one a week, on average. And many of us are furious about it on more than one level.

Yet another young woman, Eurydice Dixon, was robbed of her life as she cut through a park, just a few minutes’ walk from home. The usual response, from police and media, has been reminding women, yet again, to take responsibility for our safety.

Don’t walk alone, don’t go to parks, don’t do this, don’t wear that, don’t drink this, don’t say that, don’t fucking so much as exist in public without one of the “good” men for your own damn protection from the “bad” men. And let’s ignore the fact that, statistically, you’re in even more danger at home. Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor, according to a Victorian study.

But don’t dare voice that thought, you misandrist, feminazi bitch. 

The minute you do, some man will be there to deflect, derail, minimise and deny. They don’t care that we are rightfully angry and frustrated. We DO take care. We ALL do! This is drummed into us from childhood!

via GIPHY

We walk with our keys wolverined in our fists, we text each other when we are home, we call each other when we are in a taxi and feeling unsafe, we walk in groups, we take well-lit routes, we lock the car doors. Sometimes our personal risk assessment allows us to walk home alone at night, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. The punishment for this apparent transgression should never be rape and murder and yet here we are. It’s as if our very presence in public is a risk we must constantly mitigate, by not being alone, by not being in the dark, by holding a potential weapon and by being constantly on guard.

And if you’re a woman of colour, a disabled woman or a transwoman, you’re at even greater risk, statistically.

Continue Reading

Like it? Share it!