Soapbox

#MeToo (#AllWomen?)

I’ve been reading about Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent #metoo movement with great interest, in awe of the women bravely stepping forward, including a number of my own friends. I had decided not to participate in the #metoo campaign myself. I’m fortunate that I’ve never been seriously physically assaulted, and I didn’t want to deflect any attention away from the women sharing their own stories and horrifying accounts of sexual assault.

Then it struck me as a little absurd, that I would think that my own experiences were inconsequential and not also connected to a broader, problematic culture that results in girls and women being hurt – physically, sexually, emotionally and mentally. And as I thought about this further, I got annoyed at myself, and then annoyed with a society that leads us to believe that our personal experiences are inconsequential and just a normal and to-be-expected part of being female… And now here I am, with another ranty blog post. Continue reading

The health and wellness bubble of privilege

I cannot say how relieved I am that winter is finally over. This one was particularly shit, and saw me get the flu twice, a chest infection, and then, a couple of weeks ago, end up in hospital with pneumonia. The kids didn’t come through unscathed either, with a resurgence of asthma and chest infections. As I’ve spent most of the last fortnight lying in bed recovering, I’ve considered throwing the towel in on this blog, and Instagram, largely because for me, feeling unwell = feeling down = low motivation = what’s the point?

But then an online post which suggested that people who complain that healthy eating is expensive just have their priorities wrong got me fired up again and reminded me why I started this in the first place: because I love food, and I also have things to say about food (and other stuff). I must be feeling better, because the urge to rant has returned.

This period of illness brought to a head something that has irked me about the health and wellness sector over the last few years, in particular a couple of ‘key messages’ that I see and hear regularly:

  1. That food is medicine and prevents illness
  2. That healthy eating isn’t expensive – it’s just a matter of personal choice and responsibility; and people just need to get their priorities in order!

Continue reading

How we use social media could make or break us

I got a haircut recently, and my hairdresser and I had a big old whinge together about how Facebook has become a nasty place that sometimes makes us hate the world, a little bit.

I’m the first to say I generally enjoy social media. I use it and value it – there are clearly so many benefits; for connecting people and communities, for sharing a range of views and ideas, and even for supporting social change. Two years ago I wrote about how social media campaigns can have an impact, by influencing social networks on issues like same-sex marriage, through simple mechanisms like the rainbow profile picture campaign. How sad, by the way, that two years later we STILL aren’t there, Australia…

But it feels like a nastier place lately. The comments sections on Facebook particularly, have always been fraught, but now they seem soul-sucking, showcasing the worst of our tendencies towards blame, spite, and an inability to consider other viewpoints. It’s like the new outlet for road-rage. Continue reading

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