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The Hollow Woman

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I read Lena Dunham's article about her decision to have a hysterectomy at the age of 31 with a great deal of interest. I've never been a big fan of Ms Dunham for all of her clunky clueless white feminism that leaves those of us who are white and poor, queer and disabled on the outer, when there's a heap of white feminists who are poor and pissed off and trying to make space for ourselves. but of course it's impossible not to feel a great deal of sympathy for Ms Dunham having to make such a heart breaking decision. Even so, I find myself second guessing the choice. Maybe it is human nature to think we know better, stemming from a subconscious need to protect ourselves, thinking that it, whatever it is, can't happen to us because we know better. If she wanted a child so much, why didn't she have just one and arrange the hysterectomy at the same time as the c section?

This post isn't about Lena Dunham though. It's about me, and the other women like me. Th…

Barnaby Joyce, Parts I & II

Yesterday saw the establishment media finally break the story every politically attuned social media user in Australia has known for months; that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was carrying on an extra marital affair with one of his political staffers, contributing t the break up of Joyce's 24 year marriage and with said staffer now pregnant with his child. The story finally hit mainstream circulation in the most salacious way possible; a Daily Telegraph front cover featuring a paparazzi shot of Joyce's former staffer, highlighting her pregnant belly.

The affair has gone official, and those of us aware of the many long standing rumors surrounding Barnaby Joyce are now waiting for the other shoe to drop. If the affair has been confirmed, will the much darker stories surrounding Barnaby Joyce get an airing as well? 

The Telegraph story came as a surprise to no one who follows the Australian politics hashtag #auspol on Twitter. The story of Joyce, his marriage breakdown an…

It's completely feminist to "silence" Katie Roiphe or anyone else

Fear not, women. If you've been worried whether you're doing feminism right, there's plenty of men willing to evaluate your performance. Why, here's Brendan O'Neill, editor of the British libertarian site Spiked, here to generously offer a critique of modern feminism in the guise of the #MeToo movement:

If you want to see misogyny – real, visceral, woman-shaming misogyny, the kind that views women as incapable of thinking for themselves, or as possessors of such foul thoughts that they shouldn’t think for themselves – look no further than #MeToo.
That's not what misogyny means, dude. In fact, a lot of what the #MeToo movement is fighting against is the ingrained notion that women are not capable of thinking for themselves about their bodies and sexuality; that said bodies and sexualities should be available to men at all times.

But O'Neill's primary concern here is the attacks on writer Katie Roiphe, after Roiphe wrote an article, due for publication in…

Is public transport pushing up the road toll?

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Australia's road toll is rising again. The number of people killed in road accidents has been declining for decades - with seat belt laws, random breath testing, improvements in motor vehicle technology - but now it's climbing again, seen particularly over the recent Christmas New Year period, with 66 people dying in car crashes. Road experts and police are blaming the usual main causes of crashes - speed, fatigue and alcohol - and the more recent cause of dangerous driving, mobile phone use behind the wheel. 
But there could be another factor, an aspect of modern life causing an increase in distracted and dangerous driving, as touched on in this Facebook post: 


People are turning more and more to public transport in larger cities in Australia, and that's a great thing, but could it be contributing to the increase in the road toll? People spending less time during the year behind the wheel, polishing their skills. They're instead on buses, trams and trains, where they …

2018 Reading Challenge

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I've always been a voracious reader, mostly non fiction - I'm only sorta joking when I say I read most of the non fiction books at my local library before I moved to Sydney - but with the advent of smart phones, my phone replaced a book in my bag, and I've been reading fewer actual books. It's been worse since I started university, and was studying what I enjoyed - but I had quite enough of politics, crime and policy as my "day job", and it cut back my reading for pleasure even more. I scroll social media, I read long form articles (so many long form articles), but not actual books.

Since last year, I've been trying to rectify that. I tried uploading the books I was reading to this blog, but it was annoying and I stopped bothering, and then I finally joined Good Reads. And now, I'm doing the 2018 Reading Challenge.


I'm hoping to read 80 books this year, tough but doable (I notice I've slowed down a lot, and I no longer have a big commute to r…

New Year, New Republic? Maybe it's time for a new idea

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Oh dear. It seems the "success" of blowing $100 million dollars on a survey to tell us what we already knew about same sex marriage has rather gone to Malcolm Turnbull's head. I suppose you can't blame him, after all - success isn't something he's had a lot of in recent years; we haven't seen a Prime Ministership that started in hope collapse into a chaotic heap like this since Kevin Rudd.

But having a taste for postal surveys now, he's proposed we have another one, this time on his pet subject - that Australia should become a republic. Now, it seems to me a no brainer, and not just because of course I'd think so, I'm Irish. Surely it is time that we took our destiny into our own hands. Surely both logic and national pride states that we should have an Australian head of state, rather than the offspring of a minor branch of German nobility who happened to be on the British throne when the music stopped on a convoluted European game of musical …

The Inexplicable

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I meant to end the year on a funny note. I mean, funny as in humorous, not funny peculiar or funny as in the kid in the choir finds his voice suddenly breaking, something a childhood spent watching The Brady Bunch led me to believe happened a lot more in real life than it actually does.

But last night I found out someone died, and it occurred to me that I've gotten used to the weird feeling when someone dies. It's definitely the worst thing that's happened for me this year.
Death has been kind of drifting around in the past year and a bit. My confirmation sponsor, a long time friend of the family, died of a sudden heart attack on holiday in New Zealand. That was horrible and sad, and I realise now that 59 is really fucking young to die, but it's...somehow you can place it in the course of life events. It's dreadful, but believable.
The others...I can't even begin to understand.
There was Cindy, who was in my year at school when I transferred to the local high s…