As if there are any other girls? I mean, I live in the innercity and all the chai places are effectively flooded with le indiekids. Plus tumblr is this crazy haven, and twitter is no much better. Thanks for the follows, by the way. Those numbers are how I judge my life success.
You’ve just got to find out where the dorks hang out. Usually the #qanda hashtag. That’s where I get all my life affirming follow boosts.
28 year old emotionally unavailable, sociopath man-child seeks company of a female of similar age (or whatever, I don’t care. As long as you’re legal) for an awkward first date where I’ll say something really stupid like “the holocaust would’ve been awesome if they dressed the guards up as clowns”…
You’ve got to go and read the whole post. Very funny.
You have to choose one Baldrick to do sex with. Do you choose: The Blackadder Baldrick, Blackadder II Baldrick, Blackadder the Third Baldrick, or Blackadder Goes Forth Baldrick. The future of the universe rests on your choice.
Oh god. If the future of the universe rests on my choice, I think it would have to be The Blackadder Baldrick. Because he’s the smart servant in that one, and you’d have to hope that he’d be at least smart enough to have a regular wash.
The tradeoff at least has to be though that I can do sex with Blackadder II, Blackadder III, Blackadder IV and Flashheart anything.
I'd love to think that beards are such a natural aphrodisiac but, well. In my experience they offer less than startling results in the pants removal department.
Well, that’s because most people are dumb. A man should have a beard. It makes him rugged and swarthy. As the great 21st century philosophers The Beards sing, ‘if your dad doesn’t have a beard, then you’ve got two mums.’
As far as days went, it was shaping up to be pretty perfect. The Mediterranean reclined languorously before us, a plump and undulating doyenne wrapped in a sheath of turquoise, sending secrets forth on the waves. Above her, the Sun cast forth His golden arrows, trying to penetrate the surface of that glittering beauty whom he saw every day but who as yet remained devastatingly out of reach. How he envies the sand! Unremarkable, yet blessed to spend an eternity beneath that seductive mistress; to enjoy not the sensation of her crashing upon its shore but the insistent tug of her caress, day after day.
I considered the scene before me, marveling at how one place could be so full of imperfect beauty. If I closed my eyes, I imagined I could hear the stories She had to tell.
“Yer, but tha’s the problem wiv café food, innit? You dunno wot yah gonna get. Tha’s why I reckon that, even vo it might be more expinsive, your be’er off eating in the ‘otel.”
“Yeah, tha’s right. ‘Specially somewhere like Spain, innit?”
The couple strolls past me, clad in nothing but the barest of lycra. Their skin is the colour of a well-cooked steak. Together, they would make a rather hardy saddle, or perhaps the interior upholstery of an old Holden.
I imagine British tourists are to Spain what Australian tourists are to Bali. Undesirable, scandalously ill bred and completely lacking in any kind of cultural sensitivity whatsoever, but drowning in the kind of extra money that people who truly love flat screen TVs always unfortunately seem to have. Because Britain enjoys approximately 3 hours of sunlight every year, its inhabitants loathe their natural environment and work tirelessly to escape it each year for 10 to 14 days. Unfortunately, while they love the natural environment of every country that enjoys sunshine and surf in equal measure, they loathe the people. It’s a tricky conundrum, but one they’ve managed to surpass by simply pretending that every holiday destination is Brighton on a unseasonably warm day.
For those Australians who plan on joining the other 98% of Young People who’ve flocked to the rain soaked malaise of London, you may need some lessons in how to imitate your new countryfolk while holidaying with them in Greece or Spain or France or any of the other culturally non-threatening zones of paradise that exist so heavily in that part of the world. While the initial undertaking of these attributes may make you want to bludgeon yourself to death with a very large bottle of Baileys (an essential ingredient on your path to the New British You), the proof will be in the pudding when you suddenly find yourself serenaded by a mob of shirtless men in sombreros and Ed Hardy boardshorts chanting “ONE OF US! ONE OF US!”
The basic itinerary of the British Package Tourist is not without its subtle nuances and complexities, but armed with the right information it’s fairly simple to follow. As with anything in life, the motto is BE PREPARED. Thanks to me, you may now avoid the kind of embarrassing faux pas that will have you questioning whether or not it’s more appropriate to drink your companion’s pina colada through a straw or simply lick it directly off their breasts.
BRITISH PACKAGE TOURISM GUIDE FOR FIRST TIMERS
Pitch up to Gatwick for the 6am red eye, bleary eyed but already coated in tanning oil in anticipation of the weekend’s festivities. You sideeye your fellow passengers, ranking them in order of Shaggable to Handsy Uncle Reg or The Fat Friend. You make sure to consume at least four drinks on the flight so that you can hit your destination in style, bonding with your fellow passengers in the process. Handsy Uncle Reg is in fine form, knocking back seven cans of lager and showing off how loudly he can belch. Remember to applaud. It’s just good manners.
You arrive at your hotel in the bus arranged by the travel company, new best friends in tow and duty free liquor already cracked open. Shaggable is surrounded by a posse of besties ranging from almost-as-hot to they’ll-do to only-if-the-others-are-taken and one friend who will, before the week is over, inevitably don one of those novelty aprons with plastic breasts (for the men) or let Handsy Uncle Reg shag them on the beach but only from behind (for the women). Full of piss and vinegar and an unbridled sense of sexual optimism, you check in amidst the sounds of girlish squeals and football songs.
By now it’s almost 11am and the ferocious Mediterranean sun is well overhead. This means it’s time to head to the beach with all your essentials – cigarettes, tanning oil, latest Dan Brown novel (for the tour’s intelligensia) and Union Jack beach towel. You’ll want to jam all your tanning time into this week - never forget that the basic aims of a package tour to Europe are to return with skin that has aged by at least a decade and will thus inspire envy in all your co-workers, cornrows (or another variation on an exotic hairdo) and a treatable STI. Thrush doesn’t count, unless you acquired it through drinking too much beer and forgetting to pee in the sea after that incident with Handsy Uncle Reg.
With that in mind, you’ll spend the first two hours lying on your back and carefully turning every 30 minutes. This is Europe, so ladies, feel free to remove your bikini tops. Not only will it help avoid any unsightly tan lines, it might just help grab the attention of Shaggable and co so that they know that a) you have a great rack and b) you’re up for it. Don’t worry if you hear a slight crackling sound – it’s just the sound of your cancer cells dividing. BEAUTY IS PAIN.
If you’re organized, which you’ll want to be – you’re British after all – you’ll have appointed someone to act as alcohol runner to the local bar. Unless Shaggable is up there engaged in a competition to see who can build the highest tower out of beer cans (for the men) or comparing breast augmentations (for the ladies), make sure the runner is someone else (preferably the second most attractive speciman in your group because competition is competition and it’s a jungle out there). Forget that foreign muck – you’ve been looking forward to this holiday for months and it’s time for you to indulge! The bar will no doubt have a selection of fancy cocktails, so feel free to be a bit wild – although if I might make a suggestion, Sex On The Beach is an appropriate choice because it’s not only exotic, it’s also quite pithy and clever.
You should be a bit tipsy now, which is exactly where you want to be. If you’re a lady, you’ll have already read your airport purchased copies of Heat, OK! and Woman’s Own, but it’s probably best to leave Cosmopolitan and Sugar for day two – you like to keep stimulated and you don’t want to run out of reading material.
Now that that lovely sun has made you all toasty and warm, you’ll probably be thinking about a dip. Time to grab your best girlfriend and head to the water, offering silent thanks to Maybelline for creating waterproof mascara – it’s unlikely you’ll putt your head under because you’ve just had your holiday highlights done, but there’s a high likelihood you’ll end up rousting with some of the lads. You’ll want your eyes to remain come hither in case Shaggable decides to splash you.
If you’re a lad, keep an eye out for when the ladies head to the water. They’ve had ample time for tanning while you’ve been walking around with your Union Jack towel draped around your neck pretending to be a matador, but now’s the time to think about moving in for the kill. You’ll no doubt have your eye on the best looking bird in the flock, but here’s a sly tip – flirt openly with her less attractive friend. It will drive her crazy with the kind of jealousy that can only come with entitlement, and will (if applied correctly) almost certainly guarantee you a blow job behind the karaoke bar later on.
By this stage of the proceedings, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the holiday hijinks. This is completely normal – you’ve spent the last ten months living in the geographical equivalent of clinical depression, and all this sun is probably going to your head. Pace yourself (not too much!) – you have all week. Why not go and spend some time by the hotel swimming pool? That way you can lounge about in the water AND have the perfect view of the sea.
5pm rolls around (where does the time go?!) and it’s time to start thinking about freshening up for dinner. Proper British people eat dinner no later than 7:30pm so they can fit in more time for drinking, and if you want to fit in you should behave no differently. While casual dress was fine for the beach, you’ll want to look a bit fancier for the first night’s festivities – particularly if you’re planning on heading to the Britannia later on. Ladies, this means you’ll want to don your best, most sparkliest drapey halterneck number. It may be tempting to wear everything you own in white, but let’s not be too hasty – there’s still a few days of tanning left before you can capitalize on just how good a white minidress with criss-crossed back looks against your brown skin.
Lads, this one’s much easier for you because the only variation you require to your normal Home outfits is some kind of gigantic hat or cargo pants that detach at the knees. Ignore the lei in your bag – it’s not European and you only packed it because you’re planning on going as a hula girl to the costume party the hotel will be hosting in the Mermaid Bar later on in the week. For now, all you need worry about is whether or not your collar is popped correctly. Don’t fret if you’ve forgotten your hair gel – one of your friends is bound to have brought some so there’s really no need for anyone to miss out on potential bathroom sex because their widow’s peak wasn’t teased to perfection.
You’ll find it’s easier to congregate in the hotel lobby ahead of dinner time. By now you’re all old friends and selecting dinner mates is just a matter of course. Having said that, you still want to maintain a modicum of decorum – this means no belching at the dinner table unless it forms the punchline of a joke or removing someone’s knickers with your teeth. There’ll be plenty of time for that later when DJ Ricky Z gets the party going.
Here things will start to get a bit hazy. There’s no point in going on a British Package Tour unless you spend 95% of your time at least slightly drunk. But come 11pm, all that Sex On The Beach starts to catch up with you and you’ll find yourself approximately 135% drunk. This is okay in and of itself – preferable even. But here’s where things get tricky – to be a proper British Package Tourist, you have to take care to be as acutely offensive as possible to everyone else bar your fellow BPTs. Sounds simple in theory but can actually take a bit of practice to get used to. For example, it’s okay to yell obscenities at some scrag tottering down the street, but what if she’s part of your tour or shagging someone in it and you didn’t notice before? This defies the natural sense of camaraderie that will befall any BPT group, and must be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, when handled deftly, it can work in your favour to call someone a cheap and nasty bitch because it could actually be a compliment indicating to them that you understand they are willing to let you suckle on their breasts as part of a drinking game.
If you’re not confident with being able to tell the difference – and anyone other than a seasoned British Package Tourist or an Essex local would not be remiss in admitting confusion – then I find it’s simpler to follow what seems to be the essential rule of British Package Tourism, and that’s to be as rude as possible to anyone who appears to be an actual resident of the foreign country in question. Not only does it solidify your connection as a group, it reinforces to the subject of your approbation that their reliance on their own mother tongue is an inconvenience you did NOT request when parting with hard earned pounds (and the exchange rate!) as part of YOUR holiday, and that if they will INSIST on being a Spanish chimmy changa chocolate dago bar, they could at LEAST have the DECENCY to learn how to speak proper. CAPEACHY?
Let one of those rip on your first night and that STI is as good as yours. Probably a few of them.
As for day two and the rest of the week? Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Which is coincidentally the advice your doctor will give you when you ask her to inspect that nasty rash.
Turns out it wasn’t the sand chafing you after all.
I just told my wife Lady Rebecca that I was worried about dying because then someone would see all the illicit photographs I’ve taken of myself to send to various paramours. She told me she’d steal my computer and erase them all. I promised that if she died, I’d steal her computer and replace all of the pictures of cats with porny pictures of film stars so she wouldn’t look like such a dork. That’s what platonic wives are for.
Someone who sees through Australia's weird hero-worship of sports people! And who gives the ridiculous racists short shrift! And is feminist! And (perhaps most importantly) has the same disturbingly salacious crush on Malcolm Turnbull! Yay, kindred spirit! I only hope that one day I can write as wittily and as well as you do. Keep at it - you're a star.
Malcolm Turnbull is one of those weird crushes we’re all allowed to have. Like David Hicks, or Philip Seymour Hoffman, or John Goodman.
Well, obviously those last two aren’t weird crushes. The body wants what it wants.
Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said his four daughters would be affected if same sex marriage was allowed.
"We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband and I want that to happen for them.
"I don’t want any legislator to take that right away from me."
Barnaby Joyce is no stranger to perplexing the nation. His career has been plagued by gaffes, most usually due to his complete inability to master the use of human logic and/or the English language.
At times, we’ve been left to wonder if he’s some kind of postmodern court jester, employed by the Coalition to endear them to the nation - a sort of nudge, nudge, wink, wink, yes I know 87% of our sitting members are here on a sabbatical from Satan’s service, but we’re not all succubi and old men in bad ties.
The above statement on gay marriage is particularly head scratching though. Apart from the whole dystopian apocalyptic feel it’s got going on, it seems out there even for Barnaby. It’s like he parsed his thoughts through the that.can.be/my/next/tweet website and they came out insane.
Anyway, I had a bit of a think about it, and these are the possible interpretations I could come up with.
POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR WHY BARNABY JOYCE THINKS HIS DAUGHTERS NEED TO BE PROTECTED FROM GAY MARRIAGE
1. Barnaby Joyce’s brainwaves look a bit like what happens when you rub a balloon on the head of a semi bald man and then hold it three inches away, leaving the strands waggling in the ether. Information enters Barnaby’s head and is immediately, compulsorily blindfolded by the gargoyles that operate the levers of his control panel. Navigating this would be difficult enough on its own without having to contend with the power outages that occur every 20 minutes when Barnaby needs to recharge his brain.
So I can only presume that this is what was happening the precise moment Barnaby first heard tell of a strange concept called ‘gay marriage’ (or poofter weddings, or lesbo fests WHO DECIDES WHO’S THE MAN AND WHO’S THE SHEILA AMIRITE?!) He heard the words, but somewhere through the intense obstacle course of cerebral understanding, it translated into an either/or situation. End result:
Barnaby: But, everyone knows there’s only one kind of marriage. So…if we allow gay marriage then….STRAIGHT MARRIAGE WILL BECOME ILLEGAL. And if straight marriage is ILLEGAL, how will my four daughters be able to seek protection in the arms of a loving husband?
Conclusion: Barnaby thinks that gay marriage will replace straight marriage. Because people who revel in enjoying privilege over others generally understand the extension of those rights to everyone as meaning a removal of that privilege from them.
2. Barnaby has been so convinced by the Australian Christian Lobby’s belief that gay people are out to destroy the very fabric of society that he thinks the legalisation of gay marriage will signal the end of the world as we know it ie by heralding in an age of Greens run government and poofy policies that stop decent, hard working Australians from rolling around in carbon and setting their farts on fire, which is their GOD GIVEN RIGHT. But not only will it signal the end of the world, it will also result in these evil overlords FORCING innocent, unmarried young heterosexuals into homosexual liaisons against their will.
Barnaby: If we legalise gay marriage - and frankly, even saying the words makes me want to vomit - then my poor little girls are going to be kidnapped by the Four Horseface Butchgirlmen of the Dykopalypse and spirited away to a disgusting sapphic nightmare in which they’ll be forced to do things like scissor kick and talk about patriarchal hegemonies AND I WILL NOT HAVE THAT!
Conclusion: Barnaby probably also considers Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be a documentary.
3. Now, it’s very easy to make fun of Barnaby because of his unexplained intellectual disability, but I actually think we’re missing some very vital semantics here.
Specifically, Barnaby says “We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband and I want that to happen for them”.
I think what Barnaby’s saying here isn’t that ALL young girls need to find protection in the arms of a loving husband, but specifically THOSE girls. Specifically, Barnaby is acknowledging that the best protection each of his daughters has against having their view of men completely tainted by the erratic and illogical mutterings of their father is that they get themselves into a secure and loving relationship with a normal man.
Essentially, Barnaby is appealing to the public legislature to allow his daughters access to a normal life. A life free of the shackles of a man whose mind has been ripped apart and thrust back together. If he were a wizard (and it’s not out of the realm of possibility, at least in his mind) he’d probably be instituted in a ward at St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries with an irreversible infestation of the wrackspurts. He wants normality for his girls. Not this life of uncertainty, beholden to a man whose mind could, at any moment, snap once and for all.
Barnaby: Rabbits are cute. With their little floppy ears and wee little noses. [snap] Where’s the blossom pot mummy? [snap] Why am I on the TV? Why’s this microphone in my face? Who’s that knob with the big ears standing next to me? [snap] Must. Protect. Daughters. [snap] I like corn, but I love steak.
Conclusion: In his lucid moments, Barnaby is actually a model of selflessness. He understands his dysfunction, and he wants better for his girls. He is the Sidney Carton of our times.
4. Barnaby is an elaborate construct designed by the gnomes who dismantle our world and put it back together every second. Basically, he represents chaos in an otherwise ordered existence. He’s the spanner in the works, the fly in the ointment. He is the ultimate paradox, the clue to our existence and the key that will unlock this level of the game and lead us to the next. He is the beginning of the world, and the end and he will both save and destroy us.
I wrote this for The Drum. Some people agree, some people are angry. Meh.
Like all good men returning from battle, Cadel Evans was consumed by the roaring rush of praise when he was welcomed home in Melbourne on Friday.
As the fluttering specks from the ticker tape parade bathed him and all his fans in a multicoloured veil of celebration, one word was played on repeat, spread like wildfire throughout the crowd and blared across newspapers, talkback radio and official tidings.
There’s no doubt that Cadel Evans has performed an amazing feat of physicality. The Tour de France is no leisurely bike ride along the riverfront, with a few tricky hills thrown in just to really make you earn that post-ride latte. It’s a gruelling, three-week long event covering more than 3,600km. Frankly, you’d have to be almost mad to do it.
Leaving aside the enormous physical endurance and ability needed to complete such an arduous trek, the real weapon in a TDF cyclist’s arsenal is an unqualified mental invincibility. As someone who has approximately zero interest in cycling and for whom the word ‘peloton’ always elicits the image of an absurdly large bird, I can still appreciate that Evans’s achievement (and indeed that of all TDF cyclists) is awe-inspiring.
But - and I’m aware this next question with have every outraged from [insert suburb] on the old telling bone to MTR in a collective apoplectic fit - is it really appropriate to conflate the notion of heroism with sport?
To finish reading, follow the link above to the original piece.
It sounds great, doesn’t it? Give up all your wealthy trimmings, put on your sensible outdoorsy clothes and become one with ‘the locals’in an exotic location like Cambodia or Papua New Guinea or Uganda.
You want to give back, right? Atone for the accident of your birth which saw you born into a…
I highly recommend following the above link and checking out the post in its entirety.
When you make a living as a freelance writer - and I’ll pause a moment so all the freelance writers out there can collapse in hysterics over the idea that you can make anything out of writing, let alone a living - your life will ebb and flow like the waves upon a resort shore that you can never afford to visit.
But sometimes, it will seem as if the heavens are shining down upon you. Every once in a Halley’s Comet, your bosses will see fit to not just pay your invoices, but to do it on time. These weeks are known as the Time of the Bacchanal.
During TOB, you’ll walk three inches taller (mostly because you’ve been able to afford to replace your old chucks with a pair that doesn’t leave your foot half hanging out of the sole). You’ll dine like a Queen, flashing money everywhere you go and insisting you pay for your friends (after all - they shout you dinner/drinks/phone credit every other week of the year). No no! you’ll say, waving at them to put away their money. Allow me! And you’ll out your credit card with a flourish as you slap your fist on the table screaming, I’m the Don while champagne corks pop around you and people roll cigarettes with your fifty dollar bills just because they can.
The problem with a bacchanal is that it has to end, leaving you bleary eyed, depressed and wondering how you could have done this to yourself AGAIN. Where’s the savings account you promised you’d open for the Dark Days? Where are the stockpiles of canned food you swore you’d buy so that you didn’t have to call your father AGAIN asking him for a loan AGAIN because you spent all your money on Chinese food and cheap liquor AGAIN?
And so you’ll go, wearing your shoes down to the bone again, just managing to scrape buy until one day, after you’ve literally eaten everything in the house except the toilet paper (once so soft, now hard and unforgiving), you’ll schlep to the supermarket and try to assemble a meal out of…what’s in your account? Well, if you shift a bit around here…yes, that looks good. Transfer the remaining $1.50 that’s barely propping open your express saver into the cruelly monikered ‘freedom’ account and you should scrape together…$4.23.
Now, that needs to feed you for the next three days because you’re hoping that an invoice might come through on Traditional Payment Thursday. You have no evidence for this other than the fact it hasn’t come through on any of the previous 8 TPTs, despite the fact you sent it exactly 12 TPTs ago.
So here, ladies and gents and other mad people who want to aspire to a life of writing and crying intermittently, is my advisable recipe/formula for moments such as these.
Firstly, alert all your twitter followers. Not only will they be full of good suggestions (except if you can’t eat pasta) but they’ll keep you company through the depressing parts, particularly the inevitable moment when you find yourself standing in front of a wall of artificial pot noodles wondering what the point is and whether or not you could deliberately cause your own death by burying yourself beneath a stack of mee goreng. Breathe. And walk away.
Bypass the meat section. Accept that you’ll probably never eat meat again, what with prices going the way they are. But cheese is a staple of any diet (at least mine) so you take solace in the loss of minced beef and the gain of pasteurised and solidified milk products. Head straight to the deli section. Danish fetta is the most delicious of the soft cheeses, but for some reason no one in Australia has yet figured that out yet so it’s dirt cheap. I bought 130g this evening for 63 cents. The silver lining is getting it all over your fingers when crumbling it up, so you never feel like anything is truly wasted.
You should have already picked up your can of bland filler aka chick peas. Lucky people will find them on special for 79 cents. I know I did. And just because they’re the no name brand packaged in an Asian country you’ve never even heard of doesn’t mean they’re any less blandly delicious than the organic ones sold at the Goodies and Grains. Less trouble too. Can. Open. Drain. Weep. Same same.
Next, vegetable aisle. Don’t look at the fennel, or the capsicums or even the celery. Those treats are beyond you now. Find the smallest sweet potato in the rack, but be sure to weigh it. Those suckers can be tricksy bastards. You don’t want to hit the checkouts only to find your orange part of the meal is 700g and going to wipe out your budget. Mine cost about $1.30 which is still too expensive if you ask me. I mean, it’s a root vegetable. Despite the description, it’s on the lower end of the sexy scale and you have to peel it and cook it for about 57 hours for it to properly crisp up. Mine’s still in the oven and I started this post last Friday.
That’ll take you up to about $2.60, which will leave you with enough money to buy a mini homebrand can of tuna. I used to eat tuna all the time, but then I stopped eating bread because it made me fat(ter) and tuna was the only thing I could eat as midday snacks because I had this idea that overdosing on canned, processed protein was somehow a Good and Healthy way to live. Now it just makes me think of standing in front of a mirror and pinching my fat while yelling the names of various field pigs at myself.
But I digress.
These, ladies and gents, will be your three basic ingredients. If you are very, very lucky you may have a neighbour with some wild rocket growing in their back garden and perhaps some thyme or similar herb component. I had some rocket growing in a bag in the bottom of the fridge, so I slightly cheated. Everyone has a stray onion rolling around the cupboard. That’s just a fact.
There’s no real rhyme or reason to assembling it all. Cut the sweet potato into small pieces and travel back in time to the year 1963 so it will be ready within about an hour of reentry to this dimension. Mix the chick peas with the chopped up onion, the fridge rocket and the floury tomatoes your housemate gave you because she took pity on you while eating her delicious salmon steak, pesto and celeriac mash. Throw the sweet potato in when you finally drag it kicking and screaming from the hearth of the oven.
And then take a photo of this moment.
Know that, despite the fact the dinner you’re about to eat is not as bad as it could be (partially because you live in the west and nothing is ever that bad, but also partially because your standards have actually just been set so low since the demoralising quest that you call your career began), that this time will come again. And again. And again. So for god’s sake, start a fucking saving account and start stockpiling those cans.
Winter is coming. And I don’t mean the cold kind.
PS I actually sacrificed the tuna at the stupidmarket because I wanted to buy chocolate for dessert instead. But my housemate had a spare can so win win! And that’s the lesson. Sometimes, you will be rewarded for making stupid decisions. There has to be some kind of upside to life as a freelancer.
It’s terrible isn’t it Clem? Even after Slutwalk was such an unambiguous success and a crushing statement, people can still question whether girls should dress slutty.
I mean, girls should be able to go round naked and then hitch-hike home alone along the Hume highway at night and none of this should be admissable as evidence if they get raped. Yeah, what bearing would all that have on the crime, eh?
Funnily enough though, last night on the ABC in Midsomer Murders the plot involved a woman who owned a horse farm who required her male trainer to have sex with her. He was leery of such a requirement, but she was adamant. “I am your employer”, she said. “Do what I want and you’ll go far. Don’t, and you won’t”.
In a perfect world, feminists would have been outraged by such blatant abuse of power by a woman against a man, seeing it as a juxtaposition of the situation downtrodden women suffer.
However, feminists must have seen the situation not as an abuse of power but merely as a woman getting her own back on behalf of all women who have suffered at the hands of men, because the ABC switchboard and blogs were not flooded with complaints.
In other words, they apparently saw it in context. People who think rape can be seen in the context of women dressing slutty are also seeing things in context, which is their right no matter how much that annoys feminists.
4.Mansplain To explain something in an unnecessarily long winded way, so as to dominate the conversation, and to make statements that are not based on facts, assuming that people will believe and agree with him because he is male.”The recession was caused by the government because it spent too much money and people should look after themselves and not expect society to look after its members or its community… ad nauseam. …Therefore its all womens fault.”
I’m at The Drum this morning, responding to that dreck Channel Ten vomited up last Monday night and tried to masquerade as a thoughtful show about social quandaries.
In admiration, we watched as Dicko, a man of such keen insight, such enigmatic intellectualism that he need only go by a single name - like Plato, or Socrates, or Warney - asked the question that we didn’t even know had been on our lips but that, once heard, could not be unheard.
"Should young women stop dressing so slutty?"
It was a proposition of such evolutionary sophistication that we couldn’t help but heave a collective sigh as a species as the essence of it wormed its way into our previously blinded minds. Like Eve’s apple falling on the head of Isaac Newton, our understanding of the world was thrust forward, never to return to the wasteland of ignorance in which we had pitched our tents. Of course! we all exclaimed. If young women would just stop dressing so slutty then average, hard-working Australian men would finally stop being forced to rape them!
You’d be correct in attributing my sarcasm to a deep-seated anger. After all, I am a feminist and the only time our apoplectic rage is allowed to downscale to a general crossness is when we’re either sleeping 0r oppressing single fathers. The charter also requires us to poke fun at ourselves for being stereotypically angry, frothy-mouthed women in T-shirts bearing redundant slogans, lest we give anyone cause to think we’re not the fun kinds of feminists. So concerned is the movement with not offending people that we’ve grown used to tiptoeing when we need to be stomping.
But screw it. I am angry. I’m angry that, only two months after people around Australia marched in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault as part of the global Slutwalk movement, we’re right back to where we started. In opening its deliberately provocative and poorly worded ‘can of worms’, Q & A For Dumb People has once again aided society in reducing the argument around sexual assault to something as unsophisticated and blatantly incorrect as the manner of a woman’s dress.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to discuss all the issues at play here particularly when you’re the kind of writer already inclined towards bloviated prose. I’m hoping some of it gets played out in the comments (most of which are suprisingly and reassuringly positive).
However, I’m going to note two of the most pertinent issues here. They’re really deserving of probing articles in and of themselves, but I just want to point them out because I haven’t really seen much commentary on them when this particular discussion comes up.
1. What rape?
The people who would blame a woman for assault don’t believe a rape has taken place. They’ll acknowledge SOMETHING happened, but they won’t admit it’s rape because rape is something that happens to women wearing tracksuit pants, walking the dog and minding their own business while being stalked by a recently escaped convict with Pure Evil in his eyes. But you can’t be raped if you go home with a guy and his teammates and/or housemates decide they deserve a piece because you went to their house and everyone knows what that means, I mean just ask Spida Everett, and also, did anyone SEE that skirt she was wearing because everyone knows what kind of message that’s sending, especially with these young girls who are just blatantly all out for sex but then when they get it they cry rape just because they regret it because they don’t want people to think they’re a slut but we’re going to call them that anyway because only a slut goes home with a man she barely knows and everyone knows that sluts aren’t real women because real women respect themselves and therefore we can do whatever we want to sluts because they don’t respect themselves so why should we and I supposed what I’m trying to say is that women get themselves into these situations, and you might not like it but that’s the reality of the world and it’s not fair that one young lad’s whole life has to be ruined because some slut drank too much and then cried rape because she didn’t want people to think she’s a slut. Which she is.
Um. No. See, the problem with this - apart from the glaring lack of logic - is that in excusing and apologising rape (while denying this is what’s taken place) you’ve still acknowledged that something untoward and disrespectful happened. Because why should ‘sluts’ expect to be treated with care or respect in the bedroom? Stop ragging on group sex man! Take your puritanical views and fuck off because we live in the now!
Of course, it’s not *actually* group sex if one of the people present doesn’t want to participate. And I’d argue it’s not *actually* group sex if one of the people is being abused, humiliated and treated like a piece of meat unless this is what’s explicitly been agreed upon in the first place. Hey, I like doing it in the afternoons. Everyone’s different.
At its heart, what rape apologists are saying is that they don’t feel like respect should be the bare minimum of a sexual interaction. I don’t care if you want to hang from the ceiling with a travelling band you’ve known for all of five minutes. If you want to dress up like a horse and give pony rides to the local theatrical society, so be it. And if you want to invite a woman to have sex with you and eleven of your teammates, go ahead. But don’t TAKE these things from people. Don’t swing from the chandaliers and ridicule the trombonist. Don’t canter up the hallway and tell Ophelia you’d like her more if she lost weight. And don’t treat that woman as a bonding excercise, high fiving over her back, laughing at her and filming her to replay the highlights later.
People apologise for rape because they believe ‘sluts’ deserve to be used and not respected. That is perhaps a more damning indictment on our culture than the fact that these questions even get asked.
2. The old ‘but that’s the way of the world argument’
Look, we don’t like it. But there are Bad Men out there and women need to protect themselves. It’s all very well and good saying that women can dress and act as they please, but if they get drunk they can’t defend themselves and someone will probably try and take advantage of them. Can they really be blamed for doing that? It’s like leaving the keys in your vagina. It’s not fair that women get let off all the time when it takes two to tango and everyone needs to accept the blame.
No. No. No. No. No one ever needs to accept the blame for being sexually assaulted or rape. No one ever invites this kind of violation. No one can ‘deserve’ to have such an horrific thing happen to them.
Terrible things do happen. Women (and men) are assaulted all the time (but no one ever talks about what a man can do to avoid these things). But come on - women need to learn that they can’t behave as they please without consequences? The consequence of being an autonomous person is that you might get raped and therefore you have to accept that and not be autonomous?
Women KNOW that they are at higher risk of sexual assault and rape. That’s why we don’t hang out in alleyways. That’s why we spend greater proporitions of our than men being afraid that one day we might join the statistics of 1 in 3 women who’ve been assaulted - or that we might join them again. It’s not news to us that there are Bad Men in the world and that we need to protect ourselves. We’ve internalised that message since we were old enough to understand that having a vagina makes us more of a target for pretty much everything.
The repetition of this message doesn’t make us more safe - it makes us question ourselves more when something does happen. Could I have done something to prevent it? Did I ask for it? Do I deserve this? And that is a cycle of self blame that no amount of positive therapy and reinforcement can really take away.
But imagine if the overwhelming message was not that women need to protect themselves, but that people need to not violate others. Imagine if we took a zero tolerance policy towards sexual assault and rape, so that everyone knew that nothing you ever did was an invitation to endure one of the most horrific moments of your life.
Imagine how much more advanced we could all be if we turned victims into survivors. Because I don’t understand why we’re so quick to equip our daughters with a ready made system of blame and self doubt. This isn’t protecting them - it’s punishing them.
I feel like we’re slowly shuffling towards the kind of society where this sort of blame and slut shaming becomes obsolete. But it really does require the efforts of everyone in society to change it. We need to call this shit out when we see it. We need to start acting better if we want to be better.
A final thought - no elite level footballer has been convicted of sexual assault in this country since 1998. This is despite countless allegations being brought forward from various women throughout the years. I’m not saying they’re all true - how could I know? But consider Andrew Lovett’s defence against allegations he raped a woman in his teammate’s house: “She wasn’t like, screaming no or anything.” The woman was found crying in the foetal position after the incident and claimed she had thought Lovett was his teammate. She was drunk and asleep when the ‘sex’ began. She called the police straight away and she brought a case against him, despite precedents indicating she had no chance of a conviction and would only be judged by the sporting code and its supporters. In trial, her clothes, profession and sexual history were all brought forward as evidence for the defence. But, Lovett - who claimed to be distraught after the accusation - went home and had sex with another woman that night and this evidence was deemed inadmissable in court.
The court has decided Lovett was innocent. Personally, I don’t know what happened. But I think one thing is inescapable in our current sexual climate - Lovett wasn’t the only one on trial in that courtroom.