I write about a lot of things. Things that make me happy, things that make me angry, things I want to help other people to understand, things that make me sad.

But there is a topic I keep starting and stopping on. Even now, I know nothing I write will cover the scope of the problem or all my thoughts on it.

Reading.

When I write about an issue, I tend to read an awful lot on it first. I hate to present inaccurate information or information I can’t give a source for. So I just don’t. Whether it’s vaccination, politics or whatever- I read. A lot. Things I’ve written, like this, for example, have taken me 6-7 hours to write to ensure I include links and references and to make sure I’m not giving out the incorrect information. Some topics simply require it. So when it comes to the topic of asylum seekers coming to Australia, particularly by boat, there is an awful lot to read.

And read, I have. I have read articles, government policy, information from the UNHCR, Amnesty International and more. I have read numbers and statistics as well as personal accounts. I have looked at photos of what is left of places like Syria. I read and read and when I try to organise all I’ve read into something coherent that I can write about here, I find myself at a loss.

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Is there anything worse than a passive-aggressive response? What about a response that is designed to make you feel small or to belittle your problems? Or a response that is intended to make you seem uptight or ridiculous?

There are loads of phrases and expressions out there that are in common usage that do all of these things. I would lay money on the fact that many people use them without giving it a second thought. Perhaps they don’t even notice that they have been dismissive to a friend or maybe they’ve said something cruel yet phrased it in a way they think absolves them of any negative intent.

With that in mind, I started a list of crappy things we say to each other, then I narrowed it down to 4.  I’ve had them said to me enough times to know that being on the receiving end of them is not helpful at all, unless it’s been a day where I particularly needed inspiration to roll my eyes.

roll eye top 4 things we should stop saying

Just saw my own brain, thanks for that!

 

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These days, meeting someone online is the new “Can I buy you a drink?”

People often meet in person for the first time after exchanging messages, emails, texts and phone calls. It’s not at all uncommon to know quite a lot about a person well before the first date. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending entirely on the individuals. One thing is for certain; online dating and communicating is a useful way to weed out unsuitable partners before you’re too involved.

Jude is one of the many modern women using the online dating scene to seek out a suitable partner. Talking to them before deciding whether they meet has lead to some interesting conversations and realisations. As an independent, intelligent woman, she’s noticed that her reactions to what some men say to her don’t always coincide with the way she was socially conditioned to react to such things. Men who say certain things with the expectation of a certain response can get quite put out when they don’t get it. Angry, even. Having experienced this first hand, Jude decided to transcribe a conversation, recording what both parties said, but also including her thoughts vs. what she felt conditioned to think. The results were interesting!

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From time to time, I plan to feature women who are turning their passions into careers. Many women aren’t prepared to return to full time work after having children or have other reasons their lifestyles don’t fit within the 9-5 work model. 

When I was a baby, my mum returned to work after just a couple of months of maternity leave. Work wasn’t anywhere near as flexible as it can be these days; she went back full time and off I went to family day care. That’s a pretty typical story. Women either went back to work or didn’t work at all. Nowadays, however, there’s a new generation of women who can either access more flexible options, have partners who are more likely to share the load when it comes to raising kids or they find an entirely different option to suit their young families.

Alexandra Lyons is one of the latter. She’s one of an increasing number of women going in to business for themselves.

The ABS figures currently indicate a sharp rise in female entrepreneurs- a 46% increase over the last 2 decades. Entrepreneurship is presenting women with a real solution to the often discussed work/life balance.

Before having children, Alex worked in the mining industry in an administrative role. She went on maternity leave with the birth of her first daughter, Harper, and when that leave began to run out, she realised she didn’t want to return to her previous job. Looking for a way to contribute financially to her family while still being able to be at home with Harper, Alex turned to one of her creative outlets: sewing. Between her mother and grandmother, Alex had learned to sew as a child and continued to build her skills, with home economics being a favourite subject through high school.

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