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Category Archives: Comment

Prone to Inequality: Why female athletes get left out of the picture

In March this year, 13-year-old surfer Olive Bowers penned a letter slamming the sexist portrayal of women in surfing magazine Tracks. When the story landed on mainstream media websites, I was rattled. The bodyboarding magazine I edit gave up on the boobs-and-butts approach years before I took the job, but the representation of women in our mag is miniscule. Read more »

Kim Kardashian, butts, and the internet

We’re used to seeing her butt, and we’re also used to Kim doing crazy publicity stunts. Her entire life is a publicity stunt in itself, both the means and end of a crazy, money-making, power-acquiring trajectory. Her very fame is built on the playful and shameless self-exposure captured in the Paper shoot. Read more »

Removing the blinkers: social media, outrage and animals in sport

There’s something ethically unsettling about sports that use animals. Probably because consent is conspicuously absent and cruelty is conspicuously present – whipping, withholding food and other dubious tactics are used to coerce animals to perform. But social media is making it harder for organisations to hide cruelty and for the public to remain blinkered to animals’ suffering. Read more »

In defence of creative writing courses

Creative writing courses have been routinely criticised by writers, ex-teachers, former students and literary critics since they became ‘an established fact’. If the value in creative writing courses is not measured by obvious markers of success, such as full-time employment, publications or prizes won, where is it to be found? Read more »

Travelling Light: Travel narratives without spiritual baggage

My own Eat Pray Love process of self-discovery constitutes not just tasting dragonfruit at the old quarter markets in Hanoi and lighting incense sticks at a Buddhist temple in Saigon. It goes beyond the sacred and the profane to include the political – almost akin to giving the finger to reductive stereotypes of non-white women. Read more »

Crafted nostalgia: The romanticisation of a hand-made economy

The increasing popularity of artisanal goods is borne out of a direct opposition to today’s globalised mass production, which is believed to not only promote shoddy design, but also lead to dehumanising sweatshop labour. Read more »

The celebrity spokesperson phenomenon

What should we expect celebrity advocates to deliver? Emma Watson is not a full-time activist, but if she inspires young people to take an interest in gender equality, is that not a good thing? Read more »

Where are you from?

In a racial context, the question ‘Where are you from?’ is so much more than the manifestation of a benign curiosity one stranger may have for another. Read more »

Fear, loathing, and the erosion of civil liberties

The hysteria currently being concocted by Australia’s political leaders is a smokescreen for the more serious threat facing everyone – an attack of the very freedoms and values our nation has been built on. Read more »

Binary This: theory versus lived experience

If you’ve spent as much time as I have engaged in various internet feminisms—in Facebook groups, Tumblr communities, forums, Twitter cliques—you’ll know how idiosyncratic those spaces are and that they operate with different, autonomous rules of behaviour. Sometimes they are unspoken and at other times very explicit. … Read more »