Over the last few years I have slowly ingested a steady diet of empowering, important, feminist writers. I have read autobiography after autobiography and with every turn of their pages layers of my own identity would start to melt away revealing the worn and cracked foetus of a woman within. Like Voldemort in the blanket at the end of The Goblet of Fire. I was raw and more than a little wrecked by what their words revealed to me about the basic state of being a woman and my role in perpetuating it.
Then one day, on a whim, I downloaded an audio book. “Fight Like a Girl” by Clementine Ford. I had read the book but I noticed that Clem had voiced the audio book to and having seen her speak I was instantly pulled toward it. In the ears she went and deep down she dove, her words wrapping around my nervous system like vines, wringing out the unconscious bias shrouding my every thought and driving my every action. Her storytelling, her truth telling rebuilt me as a person as I was hanging out the clothes, or preparing yet another meal. She joined me in the car when the kids were at school and kept me going on the treadmill. Every sentence injecting my very soul with a power and confidence I had never known. I am a woman and I can set the beat of my own drum and choose not to walk to it if I want to!
After Clementine Ford there was no stopping me. It is like a drug to listen to these women voice words which have come from the very guts of them. I listened to everyone from Kate Tempest to Caitlin Moran after that and now I feel lost without a woman feeding me her stories and wisdom, as I go through my days. Thankfully there are a multitude of amazing women voicing their own stories out there. Here are some of my favourites check them out:
BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert -https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Health-Personal-Development/Big-Magic-Audiobook/B012YGHXAM
That list should keep you going for a while. I hope they make as strong an impression on you as they did me. I will keep listening and post an updated list later in the year. In the meantime if you have any suggestions for audio books voiced by great female writers then please jump onto our writes4women Facebook page and send us a message or flick us an email via the website www.writes4women.com. We are always looking for more great women to listen to and read.
In episode 11 of the W4W podcast Kel discusses “Love Your Sister” on What’s Cool With Women. The amazing cancer fighting and fundraising village created by brother and sister team, Connie and Samuel Johnson. Or as they affectionately called each other when Connie was alive, Connie Cottonsocks and Sammy Seal.
A year or 2 ago Kel came across the story of a tenacious, determined woman, Connie Johnson who had failed to listen to an instinct that said the doctors were wrong when she was diagnosed 3 times with mastitis. Instead of listening to that wise voice in her head that said something was wrong, like most of us women and mothers, she was busy and tired and just pushed it down deep inside as something to deal with later.
By the time later came, Connie was in the fight for her life against the current number 1 killer of women. Breast Cancer. A fight she ultimately lost but not before creating an entire cancer fighting community, raising well $7 million dollars and lobbying governments. Connie left this world having created a legacy whose vibrations will ripple through generations of women. But the most important messages Connie wanted women to get was:
LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS – if you think something or a diagnosis is wrong get it checked. There is no harm in getting it wrong but the weeks or months of delaying if you aren’t could be the difference between life and death. If you need support doing this join the Love Your Sister village on facebook. They will help you find the confidence to listen to your gut, talk to doctors and face your fears.
CHECK YOUR BREASTS LADIES! Regularly check those boobs properly. Don’t do what Kel did for years and put your head in the sand thinking it’s better not to know. It is NOT better not to know. Make sure you check them every month in the shower. The older you are the more You should check them. Below is the breast check guide that is on the Love Your Sister website. Please print it out and follow it. Early detection is the only prevention against this ferocious beast.
Here you will also find the very funky Love Your Sister marketplace which sells the coolest bibs and bobs. They sell Sammy Seal and Connie Cottonsocks socks…including rainbow coloured in honour of the YES vote. There are the cutest Sammy Seal and Connie Cottonsocks pens which look like a little Sammy and Connie and double as a smart phone pen and eraser as well as a normal everyday pen. These are great for the kids. And for those moments when you ain’t got no Bleeps left to give in life, you can always pick up a very cooly designed Little Box of F*#@ks. Everything is affordable and all the money raised goes directly to cancer research. And I mean directly. These guys have set up a model which means the money is going where it counts, where it will make the most impact in the future. (Pens and Box of Bleeps featured in pic below)
So head on over to Love Your Sister and join their global village in the fight against cancer and together let’s take it down like Weinstein.
THIS POST WAS MEANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO BUY STOCKING FILLERS FROM THE LOVE YOUR SISTER MARKET FOR CHRISTMAS BUT THEY CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE CHRISTMAS ORDERS!!!! As you can see from the letter we received with our order, they have had over $1million worth of orders through the Market this past month and cannot take anymore. You can still buy from the market anytime just not in time for Christmas now. Please keep it in mind for next year.
A powerful anti-violence campaign aimed at stopping the cycle of violence before it begins.
There are not a lot of things the Australian Government is getting right at the moment so the new campaign to stop violence against women where it begins and create change on a generational level, is a big gulp of fresh mountain air and we applaud them.
Given that in this country right now 1 woman a week is killed by her intimate partner, 1 in 3 women will experience physical violence from a man in their lifetime and 1 in 5 will experience sexual violence, this campaign is everything. It finally takes what experts and women have been saying for the last decade seriously. That the behaviour, language and attitudes which lead to sexual and domestic violence are manifested and reinforced throughout childhood. This campaign aims to change it before it begins by changing the words we use and the messages we reinforce around our kids everyday.
It highlights that when we brush off small instances of violence by boys against girls in childhood, by dismissing them with phrases like “oh don’t worry about it, he just likes you” or “boys will be boys” or “don’t make a fuss,” we disempower our girls from setting boundaries and standing up against disrespectful behaviour, whilst empowering our boys with a sexist entitlement over women and their bodies. This also happens every time we dismiss behaviour and language that belittles and demeans girls or what it means to be a girl by turning it into an insult with phrases like “stop being such a girl,” or “you throw like a girl”.
These responses and reactions are so ingrained in our society and in ourselves that we don’t even notice we are doing or saying them most of the time, they just fall out of us without a second thought. Until something like this campaign makes the oblivious blindingly obvious. Like a big, bright neon sign flashing “it all starts here”. THAT is exactly what the respect campaign aims to be…the nasty sign that wakes us all up to what we’ve been doing wrong for decades by showing us how we can so easily fix it for the generations to come. Just like with seatbelts and sunscreen and smoking.
Check out the clever ad below then go to the website www.respect.gov.au to see exactly what I’m talking about (then come back and finish the blog post)!
The best thing about this is whole campaign is the The Excuse Interpreter which can be found on the website. This genius document breaks down the common harmful phrases we use with kids as they grow up and translates them into the messages our kids are receiving through the words they hear. The respect.gov.au website says the purpose of The Excuse Interpreter, is to “discover the hidden meanings of common expressions that can excuse disrespectful behaviour towards girls.”
Because if we stop excusing, dismissing and condoning the wrong language and behaviour in our boys, then perhaps they will have a shot at growing into men who act and speak with respect. And perhaps our girls and women won’t need to be so scared as they walk through the world everyday.
This resource is vitally important for anyone who is around, caring for or influencing kids. Please pass this onto any parents, teachers, grandparents, carers etc that you know. A campaign like this can only make a real impact if everyone knows about it and gets on board. Help make this world a little safe for the next generations of women by sharing the info around.
What’s Cool With Women is a new segment in the Writes4Women podcast, shining a spotlight on positive people, campaigns and organisations making a great impact on women and women’s issues around the globe. What’s Cool With Women this month is a campaign by Sony Music and the Queensland Music Festival called “You’re the Voice for Domestic Violence” and it couldn’t be cooler. A bunch of brilliant Aussie artists have remade the iconic John Farnham song “You’re the Voice”, using the power of music to raise money for young people in Queensland fleeing domestic violence.
Domestic violence is an epidemic in Australia and many countries around the world. Who can forget the horrific story of Tara Brown who was run off the road in Queensland and beaten to death in broad daylight by a violent partner she had been desperately trying to escape. A snapshot of the shocking figures from the our watch website
prove just how far we are from facing this situation head on and protecting women and children from the devastating effects of physical, emotional and mental abuse…and if you happen to be indigenous the figures are even more terrifying.
The following basic statistics help demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women:
– On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.1
– One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence, since the age of 15.2
– One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence.2
– One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.2
– One in four Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.3
– Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.4
Having been one of these statistics and spent the last 2 decades overcoming the resulting trauma, I know how important it is to bring this issue right out in the open and dangerous it is if we continue to shut up and turn a blind eye. Which is exactly why th “You’re the Voice for Domestic Violence” campaign caught our attention.
Iconic Australian artists Archie Roach, Troy Cassar-Daley and Montaigne have joined forces with Katie Noonan, Kate Ceberano and Isaiah to sing ‘You’re the Voice’ on a charity single to raise funds to support young people who are victims of domestic violence. The single is available on iTunes with all profits received by the Sony Foundation being donated to DVConnect who provide 24/7 crisis response in Queensland for those living with domestic or family violence. You can help turn the tide on domestic violence and buy the single.
You can buy the single at http://smarturl.it/YTV for the teeny tiny price of $2.19 and it is ROCKIN!!! I honestly prefer it to the original and you can try before you buy by checking out the video clip below.