[et] Sexe Times Vol. 40 Issue 6 Your Free Magazine
refresher week 29th July// 2 Aug
Another Brave Role Model I Used To Know
Diary of a Single Girl
The Gender Gap
Interview: Helen Fletcher
Charles Chiam Chuang Chao
Princesses and Heroes
If Only I Had A Beard
My Disturbingly Possible Eventual Motherhood
Interview: Kate Ellis
Against Men’s Rights
Man Up and Be A Feminist
Interview: Damian Callinan
Robbie Peschel & Lauris Buckley
Sights and Sounds
Elizabeth Daw & Miranda Richardson
Brad Jones, Aneta Peretko, Preesan Pillay & Annie Robinson
“That Book’s So Gay”
Nikki Klindzic & Jessica Nicole
Editors: Sarah Gates, Simon Collinson, and Preesan Pillay Thanks to Miranda Richardson and Stuart Parker for the cover artworks
Empire Times is a free publication of the Flinders University Student Association Visit us at facebook.com/empiretimesmag or empiretimes.com.au
[ editorial ]
So we finally have our first themed issue, the one you’ve all been waiting for: sexuality/gender. It’s traditional for most student rags to have an annual women’s issue. Empire Times differs slightly, as it is also our tradition to have a men’s issue. Looking back through the archives, both themes have produced some daring and innovative articles on gender, sexuality, and societal expectations over the years. Although we feel a women’s issue is still very relevant, we decided that a broader gender theme would address the same issues in a comprehensive, inclusive way. After all, gender inequality is a twoedged sword, and with most submissions coming from the girls anyway, it was not necessary to provide a specialised platform for women’s voices in Empire Times (although the following pages will illustrate how women are not being heard in a range of fields). Instead, we have a bunch of different perspectives, both male and female, covering a myriad of topics. We received a flood of submissions. Content-wise, this is one of our favourite issues to date. There are some truly stellar reads, both entertaining and informative. Dominiek Neall is nostalgic about 90s power women and Katerina Bryant considers the princesses and heroes of Disney; Holly Richter remembers her amusing fails at being single and Miranda Richardson expresses her horror at the thought of bearing children; Simon Collinson interviews politician Kate Ellis and Amber Hall speaks with actor/comedian Damian Callinan; Will Menzies
urges the guys to man up and be feminists and Ira Herbold calls bullshit on men’s rights groups. With post-exam fatigue and one editor on holiday in the snow (the lucky bastard, or unlucky, depending on your level of enthusiasm for skiing and the cold), the quality and range of articles is just what we editors needed for a pick-me-up. After mid-semester holidays that always seem too short, hopefully you too, dear reader, can use it as something of a boost to begin semester two. We recommend you read each article. They all offer something surprising, amusing, or enlightening, if not a combination of the three.
Enjoy! Sarah, Simon, and Preesan
Another huge THANK YOU to the best people on Earth – you, if you are a contributor reading this right now. Of course, we love our dear readers as well. But our contributors fill these pages and our hearts. So thank you again for all your hard work and commitment! If you’d like to join us for issue seven, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. au. Or check out our Facebook page: facebook.com/empiretimesmag.
Artists/Photographers Miranda Richardson MJC Wilkie Productions Stuart Parker
Writers Amber Hall Anna Lee Brad Jones Callum McLean Charles Chiam Chuang Chao Dominiek Neall Gabrielle Lane Holly Richter Ira Herbold Jessica Nicole Lauren Fuge Lauris Buckley Miranda Richardson Nathan Erdely Nikki Klindzic Robbie Peschel Ryan Karl Will Menzies Will Parry
Columnists Agnik Sarkar Dorian Bašić Emma Sachsse
Sub-Editors Alice James (Fiction) Aneta Peretko (Law/Policy) Annie Robinson (Film) Elizabeth Daw (Music) Katerina Bryant (Features)
letters to the eds
Great job with the mag! It’s looking awesome and I’m seriously surprised at how it’s only been going half a year, and is already looking professional.
I believe you have mislabelled the Sudoku puzzles in previous issues. I have found the ‘very hard’ incredibly simple and the ‘easy’ nigh impossible. Pick up your game please!
What’s with FUSA charging for student events? They’re using the student amenities fee, right? So, essentially, we’re paying twice for the same event. Don’t we want to encourage students to attend? It’s bullshit, parking and fuel costs enough!
I’ve been doing a Drama subject as an elective each semester, but they’re really screwing with my timetable. First I was moved into a different time workshop, then my workshop was cancelled without telling me and I had to swap AGAIN. And next semester my workshop has already been cancelled and I was automatically moved into another workshop. This semester it wasn’t that much of an issue because several classes around my other degree, but next semester I had planned to be at uni three days. And because of this cancelled class, all of the workshops are on a Thursday, a day I wasn’t planning to be at uni. It’s so frustrating! They’ve messed up my entire timetable and I’ll have to come in for a 50 minute workshop at 9 am.
Declan R. Dear Editors, Fuck you. Anonymous. Want to have your opinion heard? Have a complaint to air? Or maybe your friends and family are sick of your tireless flattery? Send it our way. Shoot us an email with the subject line ‘Letters to the Ed’ and we’ll probably publish it - with your name or anonymously, it’s up to you!
[ contributor spotlight ] Amber Hall
Tell us a bit about yourself. I have a talent for injuring myself in unusual ways and forgetting where I parked my car. I’m indecisive, extremely attached to my dog, and half heartedly studying a Bachelor of Arts.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m an inner south lad who has been living near Flinders pretty much since birth! I decided to study a Bachelor of Arts (Public Policy/History) after realising that I wanted a comprehensive education. Despite the flack, arts degrees are very worthwhile. I’m a huge fan of South Australia, but travelling has been a passion of mine since a very young age. I feel as if we can never learn enough about ourselves or our home unless we leave and spread our wings, so its become a bit of a tradition for me to leave as much as possible.
What’s the first thing you would do if today was your last day? Visit everyone I love, tell them why, and give them a massive hug! What’s your vision of a perfect world? A world where everybody is free to follow their dreams. It would involve frolicking in the sunshine, dogs, and minimal responsibility on a daily basis. If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be and why? My beautiful little cousins because their antics are endlessly entertaining, and there’s something about people under the age of ten that warms your heart. Best Flinders moment? The afternoon that a tradie not only signalled me to the car park that he was vacating but also gave me the ticket he had paid for! When I grow up, I want to: Travel the world and be happy.
What’s the first thing you would do if today was your last day? I’d probably have a coffee with scotch! I’ve lived a very sheltered life… What’s your vision of a perfect world? A perfect world would be one where people actually communicate and work on their issues, whether it be regarding global conflicts or relationships. We seriously don’t do this enough in such a materialistic society where ‘new’ can be bought to replace broken things. Worst Flinders moment? I’ve once spent over an hour looking for a park. Seriously guys, really? When I grow up, I want to: Be Prime Minister of New Zealand. I just love sheep.
y h t o r o D r a De Dear Dorothy, How do I justify being a Strong Feminist Woman but wanting boys to buy me things? Poor and Confused Dear Poor and Confused, Being a student is hard: you have no money and it’s cold up on this hill. Baby needs a new winter coat and some textbooks on mitosis. If you need a cashed up sugar daddy, go for it. Being a feminist (and the best you) is about doing what you want. Obviously you have to do this while taking the needs of those around you into consideration! But if he starts to expect things that you don’t want to give, then get outta there: that’s skeevy and I’m sure there are cuter cashed-up guys nearby. At the end of the day, if it makes him feel like a big, strong man and gives you a feeling of empowerment and pretty things like… food, then all the power to you.
Dear Dorothy, My brother and I don’t get on. I hate him. He constantly makes jokes, like “Why do women have smaller feet than men? Because it allows them to stand closer to the kitchen sink.” Ugh. How do I get him to stop? Brotherly Hate Dear Brotherly Hate, First off, I’m sorry this is happening to you. :( There are two ways to go about this, but ultimately you need to decide on the best course of action for your individual needs. 1) Educate him. Tell him why his behaviour is not constructive and explain that it is not only offensive to you, but to all womankind. If you feel “hate” towards him and resent having to teach him, try and think of it as if you are helping out future women who have to deal with him. #sisterlylove. 2) I strongly recommend option one. But if it’s really bad, and he’s a lost cause (or you just can’t deal with educating him), then avoid avoid avoid. Family is difficult, as you can’t really get away and most of the time they are well meaning. Best of luck!
Another Brave Rolemodel That I Used To Know Words by Dominiek Neall W
hen I was growing up, I thought the character ‘Abigail’ from the animated film Once Upon A Forrest was the cat’s pyjamas. She was a toughas-nails tomboy with overalls and a shaggy haircut who didn’t take shite from anybody. For a kid who lived in the nineties, I like to think I was spoilt for choice when it came to role models. We had the Spice Girls (who, by fair definition, represented a spectrum of diversely different girls), we had TLC (who, through powerful lyrics and amazing silver fluoro outfits reminded women to expect better of their partners, believe in the power of that strenuous bond called sisterhood, and to know that true beauty, one’s real beauty, lay underneath the skin). We had an up-and-coming writer named J.K. Rowling who never let rejection stop her from achieving her dreams, we had Susie O’Neill in the pool and Cathy Freeman on the trac. We had Lisa Simpson. The feminist, free-thinking, intelligent and sassy eight year-old who redefined adult and adolescent understanding. And lastly, we had Buffy, the vampire slayer (need I say more?). Actually, if you do want more, see Jezebel’s Today in Duh, Strong Female Characters Are Good For Everyone. It is a fact, universally acknowledged, that for every good there must also be some truly terrible. And sure, the nineties did have some truly terrible role models. But we had a counter-balance. We had damsels in distress and damsels who couldn’t really give less of a damn. Oh man, I miss the nineties.
And thus, we have arrived at the main subject of my article, ‘Merida’ or, ‘another brave role model that I used to know.’ Merida is the young female protagonist of the delightfully animated film Brave. Set in the Scottish Highlands, Brave is the tale of a skilled archer named Merida. The clans’ first-born sons compete in the Highland Games for Merida’s hand. Merida announces she is eligible to compete for her own hand. But in doing so, she has defied custom, tradition, honour and ‘the norm’ (Oh no! Not the norm! Anything but the norm!). Chaos ensures, and it is up to Merida to save her kingdom, her reputation and most importantly, her family. She is a great counter-balance to the Sleeping Beauties and the Super Mario Peachy Princesses. But here I should correct myself, for Merida WAS a great counter-balance. Was. Recently, Merida received a make-over to be ordained into that most renowned and highly
regarded assemblage otherwise known as the Disney Princesses Collection. This epic failure of image rebranding has left fans of Brave and Merida furious and here’s why. Disney Collection Merida looks like she’s developed an unhealthy obsession with a ghd curling wand, spent six months at a Weight Watchers attaining what I’m sure Disney design executives thought was a truly ‘curvalicious’ body shape, and has received breast implants (they are noticeably larger), a smaller face, and a very fucking shiny dress. Oh, and they’ve ditched the bow and arrows. It’s okay though, I’m sure that when Merida goes into battle she can just shine so bright she’ll blind the crap out of any enemies who are standing a hundred yards away from her. But most of all, I don’t like this new Merida because she reminds me of all the things I thought I had to be when I was growing up. All the things that defined a woman. Curves, good hair, good skin, prettiness, shininess. Where were the tomboys? The warriors? The girls who played in the mud and didn’t care that it was going to ruin their clothes? Where were the girls with shaggy hair? Where were the girls with lanky, or large, or small, or unconventional bodies? Clearly, you can’t define a hero by appearance alone. It’s who the hero is, not what they wear, or how they look which makes them who they are. But how many girls are going to give up the bow and arrow for a ghd curling wand? Or look at their bodies and wonder why they can’t be as ridiculously curvy as the new Merida? To be fair, you can still kick ass and be all the things the ‘new’ Merida is. But you can’t say or show that princesses, or girls, are only allowed to be ‘this’ type, and not ‘that’ type. There are just girls. And bows and arrows, make-up and tea-parties, playing in the mud and playing in fairy castles. Like Ben Lee sings in Boy With A Barbie, “There will be boys with barbies, and girls with toy armies, and we don’t have to play by ‘their’ rules,” because there are no rules. So Disney, if you’re going to run with the Disney Collection Merida and ditch the old one, then you’ve just lost yet another customer and admirer. And you’re right dear reader; Disney doesn’t give a flying duck about me, or the $29.95 I was going to spend on a Finding Nemo bed sheet set. But I’m not alone in my thinking, because Merida is just another brave role model that we used to know.
DIARY OF A SINGLE GIRL
Words by Holly Richter
Spoiler alert: another rambunctious ramble containing explicit details of lots of sex and drinking and parties. Also there’s a cat joke.
ince my single life began, I’ve experienced what can only be described as a whirlwind ride through bachelorette-dom; complete with heartbreaking embarrassment, butterflies-intummy crushes and mind-numbing boredom. To clarify, I’m not that boy obsessed. Really. I might get a bit woozy at the sight of a remotely attractive man sporting a beard and ponytail. And I may get more than a bit excited whenever I have time to sit down and watch a footy match. It’s definitely no big deal that I’ve invented multiple narratives of various stolen kisses with the countless anonymous medical students I’m surrounded by… Okay, so I like boys. Still, don’t be fooled; they sure do like me too! Some of my many suitors will attest to the irresistibly alluring subtlety of my characteristic good looks, such as my two eyebrows that look like one and my ‘hard-toget,’ ice queen nature. But in case you don’t believe me, read on and see for yourself just how down and dirty this gal can get. Yet in the past eighteen months, I have somehow managed to: • Fall in love with three best friends. Friendzone is my middle name, although this did turn out for the best. They’re great dudes and I did get a sneaky drunken pash with one, so it’s all good.
• Have a crush on two different gay men. • Date a sexy op-shopping, same-taste-in-music man with a good stubble, only to get dumped (out of nowhere) for his ex… Then I dated him again three months later (slightly more cautious, of course), until he randomly ceased all contact one sunny weekend. Never heard from since (contact authorities if seen alive?). • Experience a wonderfully sweet and romantic tryst with a funny, beautiful, thickly-accented friend-of-a-friend. Coincidentally, meeting him two nights before he returned to his home in Amsterdam. • Have a lovely (read: awkward, horrid, felt like five hours even though I got out of there after two) actual date with a very accomplished young man, where he talked about himself for 88% of the time and corrected me on information about my degree the other 12%. But at least he paid for my crab linguine and the wine. • And finally, my personal favourite, one night I was out dancing and BAM, sneaky kiss with a sexy dreadlocked man… nek minnit, he’s making off with my purse. GIRLS: boys don’t want to dance with you, kiss you and take you home to meet their mother; they want to steal your wallet and phone. In conclusion… It’s Friday night and I can’t decide who’s a better boyfriend: my desk, George R. R. Martin, or my cat Lily. Maybe a sexy, sexy combination of all three; in fact, I really can’t think of anything better.
The Gender “Oh yes, my daughter’s studying Year 12 Physics next year,” said the woman next to me at a high school cabaret performance last month. “It’s more common for girls to study the hard sciences now, you know – it’s not like the old days.”
wondered what she was thinking of as she passionately made the distinction between now and then. Was she thinking of the fact that universities have existed for centuries, but women have only been allowed to study at them for less than 150 years? Was she thinking of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to graduate medical school in the United States, who endured 29 college rejections before the Geneva Medical College accepted her purely as a joke? Was she thinking of Rosalind Franklin, who worked in a university environment of male-only pubs and dining halls in order to discover the structure of DNA, only for her male colleagues Watson and Crick to claim credit and the 1962 Nobel Prize? Female scientists have endured indignities and been robbed of recognition throughout history, but most people are under the false impression that things have changed. Sure, we’ve taken encouraging steps towards closing the gender gap, and blatant sexism is unthinkable today – but women are still underrepresented both at basic research and at higher decision-making levels. According to a 2012 study by the US National Science Foundation, women earn approximately 50% of doctorates in science and engineering (albeit heavily concentrated in life sciences and psychology), but women make up barely 21% of full-time
science professors and 5% of full-time engineering professors. To rub salt in the wound, they earn an average of 82% of what their male counterparts earn. Data from the CSIRO supports these findings: out of 1,727 of their own research scientists, only 21% are female, and out of 194 research managers, only 8% are female. Unsurprisingly, women make up less than 10% of their highest-paid employees. This imbalance is infuriating because women are not incapable or intellectually inferior – in a global study of scientific performance in 15-year-olds, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that girls match or outscore male students. Intellectually, women are equally talented; it is environmental factors that pose challenges. In some countries, poverty and blatant discrimination prevent women from education. In others, such as Australia, these challenges are due to legal and social environments. Societal expectations and inherent gender bias have an enormous influence on women. Discouragement early in life can prevent girls from pursuing science at school, so they become under prepared to pursue scientific degrees – and of those who do, a disproportionate number don’t see themselves pursuing research careers. In 2006, the Royal Society of Chemistry in London showed that 70% of first-year female students planned a career in research, but only 37% of third-year female students had that goal – as opposed to 59% of third-year male students. By extension, women are also underrepresented on scientific advisory boards, grant-reviewing boards, selection committees, and at other high decision-
Gap making positions. Their near-invisibility reinforces the established idea of male dominance in scientific fields. In 2012, microbiologist Jo Handelsman at Yale University conducted a study in which she asked 127 science professors – of both sexes – to evaluate two fictitious college students for a job as a laboratory manager, based on two nearly-identical CVs. The only difference between the CVs was the candidates’ first names: one John, one Jennifer. The professors said they would offer Jennifer US$3730 less per annum than John, and also reported a greater willingness to mentor John. This unconscious but clear bias against women is terrifyingly predictable, considering a 2010 survey by the American Association for the Advancement of Science showed that 52% of women have encountered gender bias during their careers, compared to only 2% of men. The scarcity of women in the upper realms of academia contributes to the propagation of the issue: there is a lack of female role models. Girls don’t see people like them in high positions, and so they are discouraged. This entrenched sense of not belonging is extremely powerful.
It’s encouraging to see that programs for promoting science to young women already exist at a local level, such as the Women in Innovation and Technology mentoring program, designed for female science students at SA universities, and Robogals, a studentrun group that promotes science and engineering to schoolgirls around Adelaide. We’ve made great gains towards gender equality since “the old days,” but it’s still not enough; we’re stagnating. Public awareness of sexism in science needs to be increased, and serious discussion and action must occur at local, national, and international levels – because science cannot continue to deprive itself of half of the world’s academic resources.
Words by Lauren Fuge
Girls who have confidence in their science and maths abilities at a young age are undoubtedly more likely to pursue science, so in addition to having female role models, it’s also vital to develop programs that nurture, promote, and empower women in STEM fields at all points in their lives. For example, women often must balance their academic careers with their families, so it’s critical to provide support such as female-oriented funding programs and child-care assistance.
Feminism meets Sharia:
harles Chiam Chuang Chao talks to Helen Fletcher, Dean of Flinders Living, about gender inequality, feminism, and the Support Association for Women in Afghanistan. What are the biggest issues faced by Afghani women? Women from Afghanistan face an extraordinary lack of gender equality and a pervading belief that they are second-class citizens, the property of the men in the family. Fundamentalist misreadings of the Quran and the implementation of repressive versions of Sharia Law can prohibit women from being involved in social, community, and working life. They are often not permitted to attend school, so they may also receive minimal or no education. Multiple acts of violence are all too commonly inflicted on Afghani women, ranging from psychological abuse to regular beatings and even murder. There is also the tendency among many uneducated Afghans to marry their daughters off at an early age – as young as nine – to men who often already have multiple wives. In these cases, the new wife may become a slave to the family community. What is the Support Association for Women in Afghanistan, and what does it do? The Support Association for Women in Afghanistan aims to support these oppressed women living in a country that is still struggling with conservative male systems of power. The members of SAWA are responsible for raising awareness of the issues faced by Afghani women and running projects to help improve their lives.
One key project is the Heward High School in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is a school for Afghan children whose families fled to Pakistan as refugees. Another project is a vocational training centre in
Kabul, which provides women with skills which allow them to make their own living. Women are trained in sewing skills, speaking English, and developing business concepts. Finally, there is the Hamoon Clinic in the Farah province, which was originally established by Malalai Joya, an activist, writer, and former Afghani politician. Members host fundraising events to raise the money required to support these ventures. What do you think about the issues faced by other women, all around the world? Even today, there are many repressive religious, economic, social, political, and cultural ideas which conspire to keep women out of the public arena in any meaningful way. In the media, women who are thinking, contributing, intelligent, vibrant, essential elements of a fully functioning society, are still invisible. Media representations continue to cast women as sexual objects first and foremost: search almost any actress on Google Images and you will find sultry, pouting, breast-flashing women with sexually alluring expressions. On the other hand, if you Google male actors, you will find them portrayed as strong and assertive, wearing suits which represent power and control. In a similar vein, in most mythologies women are created merely as a help-meet and companion, such as the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib. They are the other: mother/daughter/wife – not the central subject. We try to teach young people that discrimination, bias, prejudice, sexual harassment, and assault are unhealthy, criminal, and harmful to equality. Yet we continue to see women who should be role models being berated for “barrenness” and “lack of femininity.” Uneducated or fearful men denigrate women who do manage to break through the glass ceiling and gain positions of serious import on the basis that they are women.
Supporting Afghan Women If you read any newspaper, you will find that just 7-9% of sports coverage is given to female athletes, with the rest going to males. These are precisely the same statistics we had in the media 30 years ago! Even horses get 11% of the coverage. Among Fortuneâ€™s Top 200 companies, how many are led by women, and how many of them have a good number of women as board members? It is not because women are not good enough, but because men clone themselves, often without realising that they are doing it. Then there are the issues of violence against women and domestic violence. It is estimated that 90% of domestic violence cases are inflicted by men on women, and most go unreported.
womenâ€™s perception of self. Historically, in just over 100 years, a consistent and outspoken message has been sent out about inequality and sexism. We have come a very long way, because as we (women) progress, so does society. When you educate a woman, you educate her children. When you give women a means of supporting themselves, they support their families and feed, clothe, and educate their children. And when you place women in industry, education and politics, you have a much more balanced, sensitive, and productive society.
Why do these problems still exist, even in developed countries?
It is important not to be afraid of the term feminism; it is not a dirty word. Feminists are talking about equality. They are not cabals of witches taking over the world, as some people perceive powerful women. It is really important that thinking members of our communities and societies educate themselves, keep an open mind on the concepts of equalities, embed values pertaining to equity, and refuse to remain silent when they see women being ignored, abused, denigrated, underrepresented, or falsely represented in any way, shape or form. Such actions will benefit not only women, but all of society.
Sex sells, and unfortunately, women still buy into myths regarding female sexuality and females as adornments to male virility. The barrage of misinformation insidiously enters their psyches, forcing them to recreate themselves in images of impossible media models. They are told that their external beauty is more highly valued over their essential, personal contributions to humankind. Hence, billions are spent on the diet industries, nipand-tuck industries, make-up industries, and so on. Personally, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the issue of gender inequality? Totally optimistic! It was only 130 years ago that South Australian women got the vote for the first time. In the 1950s Betty Friedan opened up the question, attempting to understand womenâ€™s dissatisfaction with being the perfect wife and mother, stuck in the family home with all the new appliances. In 1970, Germaine Greer wrote The Female Eunuch and it made people angry about gender inequality and
Do you think enough is being done to improve the situation?
Thank you Helen. Any final thoughts? Go GIRRRLLLL! And all of those men who have the courage to stand together with women and stand up for what is right and what is just.
Princesses and Heroes: A World Captivated by a Fairy Tale Dynamic W
hen it comes to love, Walt Disney’s films carved a legacy that has become universal, one that often preaches the merits of ‘true love’s kiss.’ Is Walt’s message of kindness and love doing more harm than good? Does it impose gender stereotypes on children, leaving the most vulnerable to soak up this gendered ideology? It is simplistic to argue that all Disney films preach the message of a hero saving the damsel in distress, however, Disney often does revert to traditional concepts of romantic love. These old-school films raise a number of issues that awaken one’s inner feminist.
Disney takes the lack of ladylove a step further by showing the Evil Queen trying to murder Snow White in an attempt to become the most beautiful woman in all the land. These storylines pit women against each other, telling children that the highest goal women can hope to achieve is beauty, but not vanity.
Disney portrays all love as straight, showing a traditional heterosexual dynamic between men and women. The failure to give equal representation to same sex couples is objectionable. However, it appears reasonable for Disney to hint at interspecies sexual relations by pairing beauties with beasts and princesses with frogs. In this way it places sexuality within a realm of fantasy, while at the same time maintaining a heteronormative paradigm.
Inherent within Disney films is the moral that all love is easy, once you overcome an outside obstacle. These obstacles often manifest as powerful authority figures, such as a father or witch, who prevents the union between princess and prince. Disney teaches that it is the outside world which causes rifts and difficulties in the development of ‘real love,’ not you or the person sitting across the dinner table.
Issue #2 Disney once again shies away from examining other forms of human love by showing few, if any, strong female relationships within the princesses’ lives. The Little Mermaid’s leading lady, Ariel, counts Flounder the fish as her closest friend, and Belle from Beauty
and the Beast indulges in a heart-to-heart with a candlestick. The media franchise powerhouse chooses to emphasise women’s relationships with animals and household objects over loving female relationships (although, to be fair, Aladdin did have a carpet and a lamp).
Disney perpetuates the idea that there is one person to be found and who, once found, will cause all your troubles to disappear. Sleeping Beauty woke up from an indefinite coma because the right boy kissed her. So why can’t true love’s kiss save you from your financial difficulties, terrible taste in clothes, or the frightening meaninglessness of life that plagues you at four in the morning?
Issue #4 All love is virginal and pure. Women don’t have exboyfriends or lovers, they’re too busy braiding their hair and talking to frogs or sparrows.
Issue #5 Only beautiful people meet their prince, otherwise you’re scorned to a life of being the ugly stepsister (cat lady, anyone?). Men like Beast, on the other hand, have an opportunity to win over the lady with kindness of heart and heavy-duty locks.
Issue #6 Above all else, being a youthful woman with an air of innocence is the key to finding true love. We rarely see a princess over 35 with a career and mortgage.
Nevertheless, there are exceptions in the later Disney films. Mulan is truly fearless. She challenges gender norms and goes after what she wants, rescuing her father and love interest along the way. Rapunzel is equally spunky in Tangled, wielding an unruly weapon in the face of danger. Her weapon was just a frying pan, but points for trying! The Disney legacy is anachronistic: it shouldn’t be hailed as a simpler, more romantic alternative to reality, but rather a past chapter in a patriarchal storyline. The sad thing is that many people live their lives simultaneously looking for and trying to become these ‘ideals’ and ‘idealised’ characters. Disney equally plagues men and women, essentialising binary characteristics whereby a ‘good’ woman is emotionally caring and a ‘good’ man is able to rescue.
Words by Katerina Bryant Issue #7 Perhaps the most distressing theme throughout Disney films is that female characters are often passive. Cinderella endured an abusive life until the Prince saved her. Belle was locked in a castle until Stockholm Syndrome set in, and Snow White cooked and cleaned for dwarves until her beau wifed her.
Nadira Before I continue with my musings, let me first introduce myself. Hi all! I’m Nadira and I am one of your Ordinary Council Members on FUSA this academic year. I’m an international student from Singapore and I’ve been living in Australia for approximately five years now. Being an international student from an English speaking country does not necessarily make it any easier. New experiences, changes, a different culture, and the domestic urban slang have made life here nothing but interesting!
This year, we have challenged ourselves, dealing with issues that were ignored previously and organising events designed to improve student culture on campus. Our upcoming Refresher Week in semester two is an example. The 80s party during Refresher Week and the Multicultural Festival are two of the events which that I am personally involved with the planning. If you’re interested in being part of the organisation, our door is always open for student volunteers.
Some of you may already know me, some may have passed me unknowingly in the rush between classes, and some of you may have even noticed me waddling about uni clad in my brightly coloured jeans.
Our events are open to all; students and nonstudents. We’ll definitely welcome you, your friends, parents, cousins, long lost loved ones and even imaginary people. Hope to catch all of you rocking your 80s outfits on Friday, 2nd August or on the plaza for the Multicultural Festival from the 19th to the 21st of August!
This year, FUSA is driven by a wide palette of colours. The council is made up of sixteen unique individuals from various backgrounds and experiences. Events spear-headed by FUSA are loud and vibrant. If you haven’t heard about our past happenings, our future events are set to be undeniably louder, bolder, and definitely more colourful than ever before.
See ya! Nur Nadira Zainal FUSA Ordinary Council Member
Sex Ed With Mistress M: Labels W
e seem to love labels. We give them to everything from our clothes, to the groups we didn’t hang out with at school. I am not sure why we feel the need for labels, but I guess being able to label makes us feel like we are in control and know what is going on. The problem is, labels are often inadequate when it comes to really describing the full depth of the thing we have labelled. Telling me someone is a jock or a nerd will give me a superficial sketch of what they are like, but will it really tell me everything I need to know about them in order to decide whether I would want to spend time with them? What if that particular jock reads poetry or that nerd has the sharpest sense of humour? The label might not be wrong, but it certainly isn’t as clear as stamping Prada on a bag. When it comes to sexuality, we have been trying to label it for a while now. Kinsey came up with a neat number system and Klein came up with a sliding scale, but calling yourself a three who used to be a one and who is moving towards a four is not very clear. However, calling yourself homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual may not feel right either. Maybe you just don’t know yet, maybe you don’t know now. We feel the need to label our own and others’ sexuality. It is like the world might fall apart if we don’t put everyone’s sexuality into a safe little box where we can keep an eye on it. Bisexuals, especially, are given a hard time. Mostly because both heterosexuals and homosexuals feel threatened by the fact that ‘bisexual’ can mean a number of variations, rather than a sexual orientation which is clear-cut, right down the middle, and easy to put in a box. The bisexual label can mean many different things, and can be very fluid. Those who are clear about their sexuality find this difficult to deal with, and bisexuals are often told they just “haven’t come out yet” or are “just experimenting.” These are both hurtful things to say to someone who is already dealing with a sexual orientation that, quite frankly, I would think makes relationships more difficult and confusing – rather than just “doubling your chances of a date on a Saturday night.”
It seems that conventional categories are inadequate, and that by putting labels on our sexual orientation we limit ourselves and our openness to others and to experiences. A lesbian friend of mine had sex with a man. The lesbian community were outraged and said she was no longer a lesbian, but after this brief affair she went back to relationships with women. She still sees herself as a lesbian, yet she is now labelled a bisexual, even though that is not how she sees herself: she sees herself as a lesbian who had an affair with a man. Men who identify as straight receive penetrative sex with pre-op transsexuals. Heterosexual men and women who have homosexual experiences often do so without ever feeling they are bisexual or homosexual. Homosexual men will have sex with women, because they think they have to, to be sure, or because they are curious. Heterosexuals at sex parties will touch men and women without risking their self-described straightness. No matter where you are on the Klein or Kinsey scale, remember that sexuality is fluid and can change depending on your state of mind, your circumstances, or your stage in life. So try to be open minded and a little slower in labelling yourself or others. If you must label, at least we have a few to choose from these days: heterosexual, bisexual, asexual, normal, straight, gay, lesbian, homosexual, pansexual, heteroflexible, bicurious, open, super gay, ambisexual, or even trysexual. Otherwise, you can make up your own. Yours, Mistress M
If Only I Had A Beard Words by Gabrielle Lane
t seems like every second male is rocking a magnificent beard these days. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but apparently the beard is now the latest trend in men’s fashion. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve got nothing against the beard. I love the distinguished look that only comes from a well groomed beard. I even love it when it’s prickling my face as I snuggle my boyfriend (who I know is under there somewhere). I’m just a little taken aback by the sheer boom in popularity. They’re in the line at my local supermarket, behind the machine at my favourite coffee shops, sitting next to me in lecture theatres, and even driving the buses I catch. Everywhere I seem to go... the beard is there too! More than this, however, is how much more ‘masculine’ the beard makes men appear. It’s as if my brain automatically assumes that any man rocking some remarkable facial hair wrestles bears, enters chainsaw wood-cutting competitions in his spare time, and will instinctively know where to find the nearest mountain. In other words, a beard signifies what our contemporary society views as ‘masculine.’ For years and years different cultures have denoted that boys become men upon the first appearance of facial hair – it marks their development into manhood.
There is something about a thick, but tightly trimmed, beard that inspires confidence in me. “Oh this man has such a nice beard, I better listen to what he has to say!” Ummm… what is wrong with me?! Why should a man with a fabulous beard have better and more interesting insights than one without? Have these bearded men tapped into some secret source of hegemonic power? Perhaps they strut with their hairy chins held high because they somehow know that their beard instils in them a kind of prestige, as if they are members of a secret society in which they are schooled in all manner of ‘swag.’ Even I have to admit that, if I was able to produce an impressive-looking beard, I too would be inhibited with feelings of power and stature. It almost makes me a little sad that the beard is exclusively owned by men. I know it’s petty, and maybe even a teensy bit feminist, but it’s as if men are constantly one rung up on the gender ladder. They must always have more power, even if it’s only the appearance of power. It makes me wonder about the dual functionality of the beard as a cultural tool; both fashionable and powerful all at once. Apparently, as far as being a cultural emblem, the beard is paramount.
My Disturbingly Possible Eventual Motherhood
Words by Miranda Richardson
very now and again, something on TV or the internet will remind me about my eggs. They’re dying. Did you know that girls are born with their whole lifetime’s worth of eggs in their ovaries, and as time passes, they continuously die? So I’m feeling the pressure a little bit. I’m still studying and that’s what I need to concentrate on right now, but I can constantly feel how rapidly life is slipping away. And I don’t want inaction to make the decision for me.
through a very small hole between your legs. And then you actually have a kid, which means working with poop and vomit and old food; arguments with a resentful teenager; staying at home to make sure you show that you love them enough; inevitably messing them up somehow, regardless of how you approach parenting; and losing your career aspirations, your hobbies – your life. When I think about having a kid, I can’t help but see it as my life sacrificed for theirs. And I don’t want to die yet. Life is short enough.
There are other pressures, aside from my body clock. Choosing whether or not to have kids is like choosing between two significantly different ways of life – there’s no halfway point; you either commit to raising a child, or you don’t. I think my partner wants kids. He’s the loveliest person in the world and the only person I’d even consider having children with, so he insists that it’s entirely up to me, and he’d love a family with me, even if it’s just the two of us. Because he’s lovely. Which means the path both of our lives follow is entirely up to me. Oh God.
But then, love is the most important thing in life. Certainly more important than health or creative fulfilment, or ambition or vanity. I’ve asked a small sample of mothers why on earth they had kids and if they regretted it. They always give me a long list of why it sucks, and then one reason for making it all worth it: love. If I stop freaking out for a moment, having a child seems like it’s about giving someone exactly what I value most: life. Maybe someone else deserves that. Maybe there’s something nice about creating a person with the one you love most, who is a part of both of you… just so that you have another person to love and take care of. It sounds beautiful. And if the choice was taken away from me, I would be something beyond devastated.
Most women like babies. But when someone shows me a photo of one, I’m pretty much indifferent. They seem to expect some sort of reaction though. It’s like we’re not allowed to not want children. Maybe people see it as selfish or antisocial? Just because women can incubate babies doesn’t mean it’s their calling – I can drive, that doesn’t make me a taxi driver. I’m not that fond of kids. I work at a supermarket, so I rarely see one that isn’t trying to hurt people with the sound of its screaming. But then you meet that one rare child that smiles at you genuinely. And this child is polite and selfless, and you love it instantly. The trouble is, having a child is horrific. We begin with the continuous discomfort and indignity of pregnancy, when your body is stretched to breaking point, and then there’s the actual childbirth, in which a small human being tears its way out of your body
I’ve thought of a solution. I will be the father. I won’t have to birth the child or be pressured to give up my dreams and stay at home. I’ll get all the rewards of children without the sacrifice. And if my uterus gets in the way of this plan, maybe my body will somehow still be functional after being torn apart; like all the mothers I’ve met. Maybe my partner will be lovely enough to share the task of raising them. Maybe what I do sacrifice will be worth it. Maybe.
From Flinders to Federal Minister:
n April this year, Simon Collinson sat down with Flinders alumni Kate Ellis, Federal Member for Adelaide, Minister for Early Childhood, Childcare and Youth and Minister for Employment Participation, to discuss student politics, ageism, life as a federal minister, sexism in the media, and much more. Thanks for talking to us, Kate. Can we begin by asking you about how you got involved in student politics? I had been at uni a couple of years before that happened. I was really interested in student media and in journalism at the time, although I’d never admit that to anyone in the press gallery! So my first student election was to become the editor of Empire Times. While I was running for Empire Times I was asked if I would run for union board as well, so I did, and got elected to both, then the next year I ran for president of the students’ association. Ok, so obviously your political career developed pretty quickly after that. How did it feel to become an MP, and then how was the change from that to being a Minister? Well, it did all happen pretty quickly. I was backpacking around Europe at the beginning of 2004 when I started getting these text messages from people saying “we think maybe you should come back and run in a federal election.” I will never forget, I was actually sitting in Dublin with a pint of Guinness in my hand when I got the first message, and I thought “what are they talking about?” I thought about it a bit more, the weeks passed, then I came home, got pre-selected as the candidate, and was a member of parliament four months later, at the age of 26! So that was a pretty steep learning curve. Is there any advice that would’ve helped you as a young student politician, or as a young MP, that you can give us now?
Young people have a perspective that deserves to be heard, and they should have a seat around the table. People will try and intimidate you out of that, and it’s about standing firm. I know that in my first
campaign, I had the sitting member at the time say things like “what would you know, you’ve never had a real job,” or “you’ve never had real life experience,” which was just really insulting. I had been working part-time since I was 15, I’d worked three jobs to get through university, I’d had family members get sick and experience the health system. I’d faced housing affordability and the cost of education. Young people have really valid points of view and shouldn’t be silenced. I just say, be stubborn. You’re now both Minister for Employment Participation and Minister for Childcare. What do these jobs involve? [Editor’s note: since this interview was conducted, Kate’s responsibilities have expanded to include Childhood and Youth] They’re quite separate ministries in a way. The way I explained it to my mum when I became the Minister for Employment Participation was that I’m the minister for unemployed people, trying to support them back into work. Part of my job is ensuring that we’ve got programs in place for people who, for whatever reason, have slipped through the cracks. I oversee all of our employment services, which is the biggest tender process that we do across government, outside of defence – $8.5 billion dollars worth. On the childcare side of things, we implement all of the $23 billion dollars of assistance that we give to early childhood education centres, so people’s childcare fee assistance. We’ve done a lot of work with the states on coming up with national standards for early childhood and the like, and to be honest with your readers, I seem to spend a lot of time playing in sandpits with very little people as well! What does your day-to-day work look like? It probably works out a third of my time in the electorate, a third of my time in parliament, and a third of my time travelling around the rest of Australia, dealing with portfolio issues and the like. So it’s busy, it’s really busy. But if you get involved in politics because you want to bring about change
An Interview With Kate Ellis and you think there are positive things we can do to improve our local communities or the country, there’s no more effective way that you can do that than from government, as a minister. And that’s pretty amazing. You can actually make real decisions that are affecting people’s real day-to-day lives – it’s extraordinary. Do you think that female politicians receive unfair coverage in the media, and if so, how do we change that? I think there’s no question that there are different focusses, different questions, different expectations of female politicians. How do we change it? We elect more women. I think the positive side is that it is changing. We’ve got a long way to go, and barely a third of the parliament is female still, but things change when it becomes more normal to elect women. It’s just about breaking that mould, and I think we’re getting to a stage where – whether it’s the Julia Gillards or the Penny Wongs or the Tanya Pliberseks – there are different people playing different roles for different interests, and I think that smashes stereotypes a little. When I was first a candidate there was more focus on the seat of Adelaide, and I think a large part of that was because it was two women running against each other. I think we were looked at as a bit of a novelty act. Perhaps the environment has changed a little, even since then? I think so. I go and visit local schools in the electorate all the time, and it’s really interesting when you go and ask kids what they want to do when they grow up. If you go and say that now, you’ll have a whole lot of seven and eight year old girls put their hands up and say “I’m going to be the Prime Minister,” or “I’m going to be a politician.” That didn’t used to happen. When I was at school, I don’t think I ever dreamt that that was a possibility. I think things are changing and people are realising there are a whole lot of real opportunities out there.
____VOX P Timisha Degree: Law/International Studies
Tim Degree: Medical Science
Kat Degree: Between study
Why are you at uni in the holidays?! Researching clerkship applications.
Why are you at uni in the holidays?! Gotta hit the gym!
Why are you at uni in the holidays?! Studying for the medical entrance exam in September.
How do you feel about same sex marriage? Positive. Very positive. However, I feel a lot less positive about the position of the Australian government. Rudd or Gillard? Julia. I think the treatment she received in the Australian mainstream media was despicable. Describe your perfect date. Something that involves red wine and cheese, especially fried haloumi. Who are your male and female rolemodels? Justice Kirby and Hillary Clinton. If you were arrested, what would you have done? Called a lawyer.
How do you feel about same sex marriage? People should be free to do what they want. Rudd or Gillard? Rudd is the initially elected leader. Gillard is excellent, but not a strong leader. Describe your perfect date. Leaving with a smile on my face and leaving one on hers! Who are your male and female rolemodels? Stephen Fry and The Queen. If you were arrested, what would you have done? Stealing a pig from a butcher.
How do you feel about same sex marriage? I think people should be allowed to marry whoever they choose. Rudd or Gillard? Probably Gillard because I supported many of her policies and it is nice to see a woman in power. But maybe Rudd now has more room to get things done. Describe your perfect date. Something outdoors - a kayaking trip and picnic, or whale watching. Who are your male and female rolemodels? Wade Davis and Vandana Shiva. If you were arrested, what would you have done? Tresspassing in a cool abandoned building.
POPS____ Emily Degree: Medical Science
Andrew Degree: Medical Science
Jackie Degree: Law/International Studies
Why are you at uni in the holidays?! Chemistry as a nonsemester topic.
Why are you at uni in the holidays?! Non-semester physics.
Why are you at uni in the holidays?! Researching job applications and rewarding ourselves with Lucky Lupitas.
How do you feel about same sex marriage? I am all for it. They deserve the same rights to express themselves. Rudd or Gillard? Rudd for his public endorsement and ability to communicate in Mandarin. Gillard because she is a fierce woman, with the determination to achieve and improve Australia.
How do you feel about same sex marriage? Everyone has the right to be happy. Rudd or Gillard? Rudd. If we change back to Gillard, Iâ€™m certain the world would be on itâ€™s knees in laughter. Describe your perfect date. Trip to outer space!
Describe your perfect date. Road trip around Australia.
Who are your male and female rolemodels? Stephen Fry and Rosalin Franklin.
Who are your male and female rolemodels? Stephen Fry and my mother.
If you were arrested, what would you have done? Correcting a figure of sorts.
How do you feel about same sex marriage? I think people should be allowed to live their life with the people they love. Rudd or Gillard? Gillard because she is from Adelaide. Describe your perfect date. Movie and pizza. Who are your male and female rolemodels? Simon Collinson and Timisha Ward. If you were arrested, what would you have done? Speeding.
If you were arrested, what would you have done? Possibly, may have (or not) stolen a physics manuel... whoops!
The Color Run E
arly on the chilly morning of Sunday 19 May, dozens of Flinders students joined 10,000 other people in the middle of the Victoria Park racecourse. The occasion? The arrival in Adelaide of the international sensation ‘The Color Run,’ affectionately known as “the happiest 5km on the planet.” If you haven’t heard of it yet, The Color Run is a fun 5km run with a difference: after every kilometre, participants are covered with coloured powder. As the images show, everyone finishes the run looking like they’ve been attacked by Jackson Pollock. A portion of the proceeds from the run go to MakeA-Wish Australia and the Celebrate Life Foundation, Swisse’s charitable arm. The Empire Times team valiantly tackled the course at walking pace, getting covered with yellow, green, blue, orange, and pink powder. Towards the end we lost all dignity, rolling around on the ground in an attempt to get even more colourful. Afterwards we joined the mosh pit and threw yet more colour powder on ourselves and everyone in the vicinity. Even today, our white t-shirts bear the mark of The Colour Run. The Color Run is touring around Australia for the rest of the year, so if you missed the Adelaide event but will be interstate later in the year, make sure you check it out. Words by Simon Collinson
Sydney – Sunday, 25 August 2013 Sunshine Coast – Sunday, 13 October 2013
Melbourne – Sunday, 24 November 2013 Ballarat – Sunday, 9 February 2014 
Artwork by Stuart Parker
Against “Men’s Rights”
Words by Ira Herbold
t was, at one time, easy to believe that Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) were largely an internet phenomenon – simply another group of vacuous pseudo-intellectuals. They would spend their time in various online forums, fuming about how feminists have gone too far, and occasionally venturing out of their masculine cave to send rape and death threats to female bloggers who dare to talk about the oppression of women. For the most part, though, they could be written off as a minority of strange and laughable trolls and safely ignored. This is a hopeful illusion of which I have been thoroughly disabused. Hard line MRAs are people so committed to a chauvinist, reactionary set of politics that they have managed to convince themselves that it is somehow radical, and who interpret loss of patriarchal power as proof of some grand ‘femi-nazi’ conspiracy. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a mainstream US civil rights organisation which monitors hate groups, classifies various MRA bodies as just that, citing their virulent misogyny, spreading of false anti-woman propaganda, and applauding (and sometimes encouraging) of violence against women. In their profile of the movement, the SPLC describes these groups as “an underworld of misogynists” and state that they routinely malign women as “sluts, golddiggers, temptresses and worse; overly sympathetic men are dubbed ‘man-ginas;’ and police and other officials are called their armed enablers.” MRAs have attempted to appropriate a language of victimhood to disguise their bigotry. One MRA blog provides a perfect encapsulation thus attitude, stating that we live “in a world where masculinity in being increasingly punished, shamed and—in some cases—outlawed, all in favour of creating an androgynous and politically-correct society that is allowing women to assert superiority and control over men.” (The same blog later ran a piece titled “The 9 Ugliest Feminists In America,” an article of such vile misogyny that it quite literally makes me want to vomit.) These claims are blatantly absurd. If one doubts that women in the modern world face discrimination and oppression purely because of their gender, one is simply not paying attention, and need look no further than the articles on rape culture in the last issue of Empire Times to be properly corrected. Despite this, MRA organisations continue to grow, with MRAs now operating chapters at a number of university campuses around the world,
aimed at recruiting disaffected young men who have been socialised to see misogyny as normative, and thus interpret the gains of the women’s liberation movement as the oppressive malignment of masculinity. Further, while MRA events and rallies are often hilariously poorly attended, the kinds of ideas they espouse are depressingly common even among people who do not identify as MRAs. It is the all-toofrequent encountering of these people, more than the repugnant vitriol of self-declared MRAs, which has driven my disillusionment with the utopian idea that these views are only marginal. Perhaps one of the most dangerous things about the men’s rights movement is that many of their claims contain a kernel of truth. As MRAs are so fond of pointing out, men have higher rates of suicide and homelessness than women, face significant disadvantages in custody battles, and society undoubtedly does tend to value a certain type of man—stoic and emotionless (unless of course the emotion they are displaying is anger). The fact that MRAs partially pick up on this clear reality can function to lend them an unfortunate legitimacy. However, they provide only half the picture; one must further ask why this is so. Why it is that men who have qualities that are traditionally deemed feminine (being sensitive, needy, emotional, etc.) are looked down upon? The answer is blindingly obvious, and yet MRAs seem determined to miss it: it is because feminine characteristics themselves are looked down upon. The cultural trend of terms like ‘bromance’ and ‘guyliner’ goes to demonstrate this; we are so uncomfortable with the idea of a man doing “feminine” things—like wearing eyeliner or having fulfilling emotional relationships—that we must invent special words to specifically denote when they are done by men, so as to assure ourselves that they are not really feminine at all and are thus permissible. The MRAs are right about one thing: the gender norms, that are so tragically prevalent in our society, affect men too. However, the men’s rights movement consists of little more than knee-jerk anti-feminism and hateful bile. It is primarily made up, not of those who wish to fight these oppressive constructs, but of those who fully buy into them and instead fight to return us to an idealised patriarchal past when men were men and women knew their place.
Such a simple word, yet it evokes such powerful feeling. Words like depression, anger and regret are all just as emotional. But grief, can encompass them all. It stands for something that cannot be explained. I could write a status update on social media right now, with just the one word, and I’d be surprised if I didn’t garner at least a few likes and several comments asking me to who I was referring. In a way it connects everyone. But what happens if someone in your life that you barely knew dies? This happened recently to someone I knew. Let’s call him Fred. Fred had, only a few weeks, ago begun seeing someone with the promise of a new relationship. After meeting briefly against the backdrop of a sweaty, trashy club, numbers were exchanged between Fred and Winona. Intermittent texts ensued and soon turned to romantic late night chats. Before long, a first date had been planned. Winona was a young girl studying at university, full of life and vigour. Over the coming days both of them chatted with their friends about their new, potential lover. They knew they liked each other and they shared similar dreams of travelling abroad. After organising to meet up for a picnic the following week, the excitement was never higher. On the day of the date, Fred decided to message Winona to confirm where they were meeting up. He had been stood up on previous dates with girls who hadn’t the decency to let him know they had no intention of arriving. Winona did not reply. She had been off of social media for the past day or so as well. This seemed strange, but it was possible she had gone home for the weekend, far away from Adelaide, and had been away from her phone. Fred was more than a little disappointed. The date never happened, and he stayed home that evening.
A few days later and Winona had never replied. She was still not answering his social media messages which lay as a reminder of their discussion a few days earlier. Fred asked his friends what they all thought. Most of them told him to get over it, she wasn’t interested. That evening, he checked her Facebook page. There was a post by Winona’s aunt from that evening. He looked closer and realised something was terribly, horribly wrong. She had never called or texted back, because she had died that morning. The post was a tribute to her life. She was in a violent car crash the day of their date. This girl who had so much promise, so much love to give, had her life tragically end in the flash of a moment. Fred was in a bad way for some time, which made me think of her closer friends and family. If Fred was so shaken up, how did her mother feel? Her best friends? He had all the right in the world to feel angry at the world for taking away a chance at a lifelong partner, or even a brief fling. But it was someone he barely knew. And I felt just as bad. We had joked about her not being interested in him, about her being cruel, not worth my friend’s time; but she had died. I questioned how you should feel in a situation like this. We always hear of frequent deaths overseas in war zones or terror attacks, but this was a girl we knew. She should not have died. She was no older than most students at Flinders. At first I only identified the one emotion. Grief. But I also felt another. Guilt. Guilt for this girl I wrote off as not worth my friend’s time. This girl we should have had the chance to know.
Words by Ryan Karl
Man up and be a
feminist – The other side of gender (in)equality Words by Will Menzies
or too long, the only people showing leadership on gender equality have been women. It’s time for men to step up – not just for their sisters, daughters and girlfriends, but also for themselves.
society. Minimising gender inequality correlates with decreasing occurrences of rape and sexual assault. Not to mention the obvious upsides of women’s’ sexual liberation for all concerned.
To briefly clear up a misconception: feminism is NOT about spitefully bringing men down a peg. Man-hating is simply another form of the gender binary sexism feminism is out to change. Feminism isn’t anti-man, it’s anti-patriarchy. As such, male feminism isn’t merely riding in like a white knight as a favour to women, it’s a necessary part of addressing male societal problems too. ‘Patriarchy’ is a broad term for the forces in society which try to squash, cram, and scare people into certain molds based on gender, instead of allowing them to fulfill their potential. Patriarchy says women should be sexually submissive, inherently driven to motherhood, and should meekly give up careers, hopes and dreams for their man and their family. It says men should be macho, aggressive, powerful, emotionally neutered decision-makers. These patriarchal norms pressure women away from having careers and pressure men away from exhibiting symptoms of compassion, opening up about mental health issues, or from taking on caring careers such as nursing or primary school teaching. Whether it’s income disparities against women who are told it’s not feminine to have a career, or suicide rates of male youths who are told it’s not masculine to deal with emotion, living in the shadow of restrictive gender roles damages everyone in society.
So what stops men being feminists? Firstly I think for the most part most blokes just don’t consider it. We imagine thinking about feminism is like walking down the tampon aisle – you won’t pick up anything useful and you’ll get some weird stares. But when we men dismiss feminism as secret women’s business we do a disservice not just to women, but to ourselves as well. Secondly, it’s pretty confronting. It’s tough to associate yourself with an oppressive group (What do you mean rape culture? I’m innocent! All I did was wear a t-shirt with boobs on it! Who doesn’t like boobs?). There can be an uncomfortable feeling of accusation, of guilt by association. We have to get past that though. Being a male feminist isn’t about writing Bob ‘chauvinist pig’ Smith on your nametag at functions.
The first reason men should be feminists is for simple fairness in society. People shouldn’t succeed or fail based on race, sexuality, gender or (dis)ability. If you believe in equality (or a ‘fair go’ if you’re feeling ‘Strayan), then being a feminist should be a given. As one friend put it to me, “if you think women are human, you’re a feminist.” The guy who rejects feminism rejects the movement of our society towards equality and justice. The standards we tolerate are the standards we passively endorse.
Happily, male feminists can be a powerful influence for equality. Let’s look at the power men have. Currently, men occupy more positions of influence than women in business, sporting clubs, politics and many other areas. Men can use these positions to show leadership and set standards on gender equality and the treatment of women. Secondly, men can shoot down sexist attitudes when women aren’t around. Sexist attitudes are perpetuated in groups and things start to change when one member says “enough is enough.” Maya Angelou can’t be there on Saturday to ask your high school mate “Hey Steve, what’s with the endless stream of rape jokes you misogynistic prick?” But you can and oh God, won’t it be satisfying. Thirdly, men can act as positive rolemodels for peers and for younger boys – showing guys that being a man means treating all people with respect, not privileging men while relegating women to glorified sex toy status.
Of course there are myriad other benefits of feminism too: letting women out of the kitchen and men out of the office means we make the most of everyone’s potential, creating a better economy and
So what about you? Are equality, empowerment and improvements in men’s and women’s lives really important to you? If not, you’re a tool. If so, when are you going to man up and be a feminist?
A Moment With: Damian Callinan A
mber Hall speaks with successful actor comedian Damian Callinan about acting in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), his performance career, and gender taboos. What makes you keep coming back to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)? It’s unusual, most of the work I do is my own work. The nice thing about this show is that it changes with who you work with. It’s one of the rare plays that has written notes at the beginning where the original playwright almost implores the cast to take it in new directions, rewrite, localise and modernise the script. Usually you get the text and you might do some editing here or there but this show is very personality based. The three actors are essentially playing versions of themselves, jumping in and out of character. I think that’s what makes it fresh. I’ve done it with a whole range of different performers and this show always takes on the personality of the people you work with. How do you work improvisation into the show? You’ve got to think, “Is this just funny to us because we’ve seen it day after day?” One good example of that was in the State Theatre production with Nathan O’Keefe and Mark Saturno. We used to do this thing where at a particular point in the play, just before interval where we realise that we’ve gone so fast that we’ve actually done all of the plays, so we decide to let the audience go; until someone points out that we haven’t done Hamlet. As we walk off we go “Oh, let’s go down to the bistro! It’s cocktail night tonight!” We would then just make up stupid names for cocktails. Like, “I think I’ll have the red headed nun. What are you going to have Mark?” And then he’d make up one. Every night Nathan couldn’t think of a cocktail. We then put it onstage and it wasn’t funny, because only we knew Nathan would always freeze up. What about when you are onstage and you have uncooperative audience members. Does that
happen a lot? Have you had any best moments with an audience member? There was one time I would be dressed up as an usher and showing people to their seats before the show. Some people would be onto it, but others weren’t expecting it. So I’d do things like walk up to a couple who were holding hands and say “Excuse me, do you mind not doing that? I just recently broke up with my girlfriend,” and just walk off. One afternoon this mother, father and son about 14 or 15 years old, just dressed like a teenager, trudged in. He had pretty dirty trainers on, shorts and a t-shirt. I said something like “Excuse me mate, you wouldn’t be able to possibly go home and change?” He said “Why?” and I said “Oh no, that’s alright you just look more like you’re going to play basketball, but it’s alright. Good to see you here.” He obviously told his mum. The next thing I know the mother has called the head usher over and I’ve been dragged into the midst. This woman starts tearing parts off me for being so rude to her son. I eventually had to confess, “Look, I’m actually a part of the play. What I do is play in the audience and just say little things to play out the scene.” But, generally, being an usher was nearly as much fun as the show. I’d have people coming up to me and saying things like “Oh, Damian Callinan, it’s so sad seeing you as an usher.” I’d say “Yeah, well, you know, gotta eat.” How did you get into performing in the first place and what made you want to become an actor? Initially I was a primary school teacher. I was quite enjoying teaching but I knew there was something else out there. Then I went back and did a Graduate Diploma in Performing Arts which made me a Drama teacher. It was through that that I started to get involved in performance. Just doing things like theatre sports first. Then I started doing theatre, mainly straight theatre to begin with and then eventually stand up. Within a year I won an award at the Fringe and I realised that I was kind of finding ‘the thing,’ if you like. I experimented with journalism for a while, and other kinds of writing, but the beauty of stand up was that I could kind of write something and do it on stage straight away.
If you were going to do another condensed work what would you choose?
Have you ever read anything really strange written about yourself?
The first thing that came to my mind was the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy done as a stage play, but I’d come up with a condensed one man version of it. There’s a guy doing Lord of the Rings at the moment. I reckon that could be fun.
I don’t know about strange, but in Edinburgh the reviewing is much more brutal. The show in particular was called Spazznuts, which is a completely biographically show about me being infertile. When I did it in Australia I’d been on the scene for quite a while, so the audience knew me. I’d always steered away from biographical comedy. Not because I was hiding anything, but because I preferred making shit up. But I had a lot of friends saying that I had to tell these stories relating to IVF specialists and also concurrently looking after all these state ward kids. A lot of people said look the stories are hilarious and you’ve got to find a way to tell them. So I did a lot of research. It ended up being a very personal show; albeit incredibly funny, strangely. I’d be performing it in front of people and they would be losing their minds, but also getting quite emotionally moved by aspects of it as well. So I had that experience in Australia, and then I went to Edinburgh and the UK audiences were completely different. I don’t know whether or not it was because they weren’t engaged with me as a performer, but they were just a lot more reserved and confronted. Some of the reviews were quite spiteful. Like “Why are you talking about it?” And writing along the lines of “clearly he’s not coping with it, otherwise why would you be talking about it onstage?”
What advice would you give to upcoming and aspiring actors? Get involved in as much as you can. Don’t sit on your hands. I spent the better part of my 20s going “Ohh, I wouldn’t mind doing something but I might just play footy.” I was busy with another career and travel. I spent a few years looking after state ward kids, so it wasn’t time ill spent. But there was still a bit of procrastination. Once you start, you need to do as many different gigs as you can. Put yourself in different situations and test yourself. I would say “Just do it.” What’s been the highlight of your acting thus far? It’s hard to pinpoint an individual thing. Professionally, I’ve been nominated for the best show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival three times. That always quite shakes you up because it’s one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world and there’s over 400 shows. To get down to the short list like that always makes you go “Oh wow, I must be doing something right.” You know you’re going well when you’re doing shows, but to have a group of independent arbiters decide that what you’re doing is exceptional – that’s one of those rare times when you get to stop and contemplate. The first two times happened in a row and the next one happened eight years later. I think the third one was the nicest actually.
Was it a somewhat taboo subject? I felt like the audience response was. Particularly men aren’t used to discussing those issues publicly. The reviews almost brought out the opposite. You know, “People have talked about this so why is he bothering?” Edinburrugh is such a vast festival; there’s over 4000 shows. You could do the most specific show about being an albino and growing up in an igloo and someone will go “Yeah... someone did that in 2011.”
Spotlight: “Anglo-Saxon Decency” W
orld War Two has provided far more than its fair share of artistic inspiration. Film has been, and will continue to be, saturated by countless adaptations of and derivations from one of the most illuminated periods in history. The portrayal of the War (ranging from honest to pure exploitation) spans every one of cinema’s genres, from the most recent Spaghetti-Western style of Inglourious Basterds (2009) and B-movie shlock Iron Sky (2012), to the artistic, such as The Conformist (1970) and the tragic, pitiful Downfall (2004). WWII has been depicted on all levels — from military high command and resistance fighters to the ordinary civilian folk who were at its mercy. Even setting stylistic distinctions aside, then, the market is flooded. It could be said that the Second World War is recognised as a genre of its own, with each title falling into sub-categories such as ‘WWII action,’ ‘Drama,’ or ‘Comedy.’ To be noticed, films of this sort need to be of a higher calibre (a requirement for every movie, but more so in crowded houses such as these), rather than simply being ‘good.’ With this in mind, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and The Guns of Navarone (1961) are two overlapping, standout films of the de facto WWII genre. Both stories are narrow in scope compared to the larger happenings of the War. However, this serves as an advantage, as each film is then able to use precious screen time (to use the term loosely, as both run over 120 minutes) to establish its characters and drive itself forward on this ground. The result is a viewing experience bordering on the dramatic, rather than just hollow action. The Bridge on the River Kwai features, most notably, William Holden and Alec Guinness as Allied POWs in Japanese-occupied Burma. The crux of the film is the ongoing confrontation between Lieutenant Nicholson (Guinness) and his Japanese counterpart Colonel Saito (played by Sessue Hayakawa). The showdown between the two military men is essentially a matter of honour and respective codes of chivalry. The end result is an unusual one, involving
collusion and co-operation, as Nicholson and his team take on the task of completing the titular bridge for the Japanese military. As strange as it may seem at first, the Lieutenant’s compliance is a show of British might, morale, and duty. He and his company are prisoners, and while they remain such, they’ll be the best prisoners they can, with their resoluteness serving as a sure sign of being unbroken. Likewise, The Guns of Navarone concerns a small Greco-British team of saboteurs taking on the impossible task of destroying heavily guarded German artillery, all in the hope of saving a passing fleet of naval destroyers. The team itself is played by actors such as Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, and David Niven. The ongoing theme in this case is one of resilience and ‘getting the job done,’ a notion which puts the mission in jeopardy at the climax of the film. Save for Richard Harris’ laughable portrayal of an ANZAC solider in Navarone, both films are solid, well acted, and well written examples of cinema. At their core, they overlap in their depictions of British military culture. The empire on which ‘the sun never sets’ plays its last role as a great power, and the men who built it from the ground up give one last show of strength. The two titles preserve an image of the type of man to whom honour, duty and selfsacrifice were guiding principles. These values are best summed up in The Guns of Navarone as AngloSaxon decency: where even in warfare, rising above an enemy and maintaining a sense of dignity is what makes one a good soldier.
Words by Dorian Bašić
Un Equal Words by Agnik Sarkar
he inconceivable suffering bestowed on the female gender remains one of the great shames of global society. In particular, recent, well-publicized and grotesque attacks on women have seen India as a hub of sexual violence and gender imbalance. In 2012, India was ranked in a TrustLaw poll as the worst place to be a woman amongst all the G20 nations with child marriage, slavery, and infanticide cited as the primary sores. According to the National Crimes Records Bureau, crimes against women in India in 2012 rose to 244, 270, representing an annual increase of 6.4%. These figures encompass rape, sexual harassment, honour killings and molestation, amongst others. Whilst there is immense domestic discussion as to whether these rises have resulted from more frequent reporting or an increase of such crimes, it is clear that sexism maintains a poisonous stranglehold in India. One of the most deleterious anachronisms of Indian society, the dowry, is the root of many of the social ills plaguing females. A dowry can be a monetary ‘gift’ or goods such as jewellery, appliances or cars, given by a bride’s family to her husband’s as part of the marriage arrangement. Despite the enactment of the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961, the practice continues. Today, 80% of bank loans in India are taken to fund marriages and comply to dowry demands. Failure to secure the agreed sum is often punished with horrific crimes such as immolation or disfiguring acid attacks. 8391 dowry deaths have been reported as recently as 2010. Rampant foeticide, frequently facilitated by prenatal screening, and infanticide have produced a skewed sex-ratio of 914 females to every 1000 males. A pathological partiality to sons and the burden of dowry has catalysed the abortion of 12 million girls from 1981 to 2011, as published in British medical journal, The Lancet. In India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, men outnumber women by
ten million. Experts agree that the overabundance of males is likely to lead to social instability and an increase in crime in the future. Above all, an entrenched, pervasive undervaluation of women in Indian society is to blame for the dire plight if its women. Patriarchal culture has meant that males are respected as the likely breadwinners of a family, whilst females are often deemed a liability and financial burden. Shockingly negative perceptions of females are not limited to older generations. UNICEF’s ‘Global Report Card on Adolescents 2012’ found that, in India, 52% of adolescent women and 57% of adolescent men believe that it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife. For a small majority of Indians on the cusp of becoming adults to harbour such archaic attitudes indicates that there is substantial room for social progression. However, the evils wrought on women are hardly confined to India. The Democratic Republic of Congo is known worldwide for the 400,000 rapes that occur annually within its borders. In 2011, US authorities recorded 26.8 rape (excluding statutory rape) cases per 100,000 citizens. These figures highlight that movements to improve the status of women occupy a vital place in developing countries as well as in the developed world. It is possible with laws, investment and treaties to create equality. Significant strides have been made in education and health. Female literacy has increased from 54% to 66% in the decade to 2011, to 2011 whilst maternal mortality has nearly halved between 1998 and 2009. India has modernised and grown. However, societies worldwide must continue to make a concerted effort to attenuate the virulence of misogyny and redress the divisions between genders. There is not a country in the world that cannot do more to champion the cause of gender equality.
It’s not all feathers and glitter… H
My name is Jake Lane, and I’m your friendly campus Queer Officer (of the FUSA Student Council). I’m an all around keen beans dance buff, lover of colour and a self-confessed, mildly hilarious babe. If you haven’t met me yet, you probably should. Fo’ defs. I’m currently in my final year of study and will soon reach the conclusion of my six-year long stint at Flinders University. I’m a Bachelor of Media (Creative Arts) kid, majoring in English and Drama, but my passion lies in visual arts and design as well. I have previously studied Nursing and Secondary Education at Flinders, but these weren’t the right fit for me, for those of you playing at home. Outside of study, I volunteer my time in many different ways, and this year has been an overload of piefingering for me. My spare time has suffered for this, but I try and see many of my Adelaide friends (I’m a regional boy) and work on many artistic ventures in what’s left of it. I am determined to finish at least one creative project before I die. When I first took on the role of Queer Officer, I was reluctant to take on such a, for want of a better word, ‘gay’ role (which someone pointed out to me the other day). With the title, came responsibility and an understanding of queer related issues,. It instilled fear in me. I would have to understand myself more before even attempting to advocate for others on campus. But, even more so, I would have to essentially ‘come out’ to everyone I have and will meet. When I first did so to my friends and family, I built up the courage over a long period of time. When I eventually did so, it was the right time for me. However, being in this role, I don’t have the same luxury. I meet new people on a daily basis, and whilst I have been lucky to meet very open-minded and accepting people, one day I will have to face some negative feedback in one way or another. Meeting new faces on a daily basis means that I usually have no prior information or context on which to base my introduction.
This was one of the reasons, however, that I decided to run for Queer Officer. Apart from my love of event organising and team work, and being a part of a great group of people, wanted the opportunity to help shape the Flinders Uni campus to be a more open and accepting campus for all, as a whole. Queer identifying students on campus all face stigma and discrimination on a daily basis, and they too, like me, hesitate when being around new faces, I’m sure. I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know other people on the council, some of which will definitely be life-long friends. During my last year, I’m hoping to make this campus free of discrimination and stigma associated with not only sexual preference and gender, but cultural backgrounds, race, colour and age. I hope that those who read this article will help me in my ventures to do much the same. The key message I want people to take away from this article is that even though I am the queer campus community representative on Student Council, you don’t have to be queer identifying to help reduce discrimination. You don’t have to queer identifying to attend queer related events or campaigns, and you don’t have to be queer identifying to be friends with those who are. I would like to set a challenge all of the students at Flinders University to be a little more open-minded, a little more accepting, and to step a little out of their comfort zone to extend a hand of friendship to those who may need it. I look forward to meeting many more students at future FUSA events, or even just in my classes or around campus. I also apologise in advance for my dancing at future FUSA events; shit can get a little hectic when Carly Rae comes to the party. Be warned. Peace. Jake Lane FUSA Queer Officer
San Churros 300 Rundle St, Adelaide SA 5000
The Aviary Dessert Kitchen 227 The Parade, Norwood SA 5067
One of the latest dessert places to open in Adelaide, despite having been around interstate for some time, is San Churros. On Friday nights the place has the line up of a popular nightclub.
The Aviary is a great secluded place on the Parade – from the outside it looks small, but there is space upstairs and it’s quiet enough, and dim enough, for dates.
The churros are what they are known for, and definitely worth trying. It is quite filling. The chocolate chilli pudding serving is also quite generous, lacks the bite it promised. The hot chocolate is delicious; but the place is not exactly date material. The noise is deafening on busy nights, making conversation difficult. Hardly the spot for a hot date.
The selection of desserts are diverse and the macaroon flowerpot looks amazing. The pecking plate is a great dessert to share between two people, however the coffee infused panna-cotta lacks flavour. All this is served promptly, despite being rather busy. The place definitely has class. The peanut butter hot chocolate is off the hook! You’ll be going back, just for that.
essert bars are great places to take a date – not many girls can resist a slice of cake and it’s a welcome change from bars. The difference between supermarket bought chocolate and couverture chocolate is the cocoa butter content. The cocoa butter is what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, exactly what you hope your date is feeling.
ith a prime location on Rundle Street, what better way to spend an evening than catching up with a friend, hands wrapped round a delectably creamy hot chocolate (available in white, milk, dark or a very rich but traditional Spanish) and a plate of churros (with your choice of dipping sauce)? You might want to draw the line there though. The chocolate and chilli pudding, despite its name, packs no punch at all and appears confused as to whether it is meant to be a hot or mildly warm pudding. On a weekday afternoon, though not particularly busy, staff are not forthcoming and tables are left dirty. Despite this, if all you’re after is a place to relax and chat with a girlfriend, then this is an inexpensive, quick treat. Lauris Buckley
irls have it lucky really – if they want to go to a dessert bar with their lady friends, no one blinks an eye. However, if a dude was to ask another dude to a dessert bar, eyebrows would be raised. Is this a man-date? Is he trying to tell me something? Or does he really just love that jaffa cake? Dessert bars are rather feminine places to go to it seems.
word of warning: book a table! The place is heaving even on a Wednesday night; and rightly so. It ticks all the right boxes – ambiance, desserts you wouldn’t be ashamed to serve to Adriano Zumbo, and plenty of hipsters. Intimate surroundings make The Avery suitable for a gathering of friends or even a date. The blueberry cheesecake, although not a menu staple, is a standout. But with an array of different specials available each night, you won’t be disappointed. Try a tea instead of hot chocolate if you’d rather save some room for more dessert! Lauris Buckley
Sights and Sounds Words by Will Parry
eneration x, y and even z seem to feast on newfound sounds like sugar ants in a honey jar. Older generations tend to cling to the music of previous decades and dismiss the newly produced music of today as an infernal racquet. It does ring true that the younger generations’ music, on average, seems noisier and more ‘tuneless’ than the older generation. For example: • Metal now has death metal, heavy metal, numetal, math metal, etc. • Disco has evolved into the heavy bass dance and club genres. • Electronic music has branch out into many different genres such as brostep, dubstep, drum n’ bass, glitch hop, etc. • New hip hop sounds are emerging all over the world, with lyrics bold enough to make adults stir in their seats. Of course there are those youngsters who pay their respects to the classical kings of rock and roll and old school, concrete street hip hop. But the new wave of music is nesting itself quite comfortably in the neuroplastic minds of today’s children and teenagers.
The same rings true for artwork. The older generations, while respecting new art exhibitions and modern artworks, often can’t handle new-aged nitty gritty art. Some of todays artists have developed on the work of the revolutionary Pablo Picasso and mixing it with demonic pop-culture to come up with truly ghastly sights. Sure, kids would like to believe that their elders are simply too weak to handle their music, but that is unlikely. Our parents and grandparents were embracing The Beatles when their albums were burned for being the spawn of the devil. This evolution of both sights and sounds must be the same as any self-replicating process in nature. Young hidden artists replicate, combine, and improve upon the works of their idols. With each generation the benchmark is raised for complexity and originality in both art and music, much like everything else learned by humanity. Apologies to any strong classical music or baroque artwork fans.
Music Reviews Josh Pyke - The Beginning and the End of Everything
J Thavy Ear - For Your Ears Only EP
or Your Ears Only is the new six-track EP from Australian songstress Thavy Ear. It is an EP of smooth urban electronica, with an emphasis on Ear’s sultry voice. The EP opens with the track ‘Introduction’, a soundscape piece under thirty seconds long. It does not successfully set up the style or feel of the rest of the songs, making its inclusion unnecessary. Title track ‘For Your Ears Only’ is a smooth lounge tune which asks “who really cares?” This track loops Ear’s vocals on top of one another, but rather than creating an inviting effect or a lush soundscape it comes across as over-produced. The acoustic version of this song closes the EP, and as the sense of over-production is reduced, the song becomes more enjoyable to listen to and discloses its meaning more clearly. ‘Lingering’ uses loops to create nice harmonies, and ‘Drama’ has a good use of acoustic guitar. ‘Slipped Away’ is the best track on the EP. It is classy and haunting, particularly through the piano and horn samples which intertwine with the vocal line. For Your Ears Only is an EP of hits and misses. Ear has obvious vocal talent, but the balance between style and production still needs fine-tuning. Words by Elizabeth Daw
osh Pyke has been a consistently successful Australian indie musician for his entire career. The Beginning and the End of Everything is his fourth album since 2007’s Memories and Dust. This ridiculous creative output has given him a comfortable seat on the Triple J Hottest 100 list for several years in a row, along with a string of ARIA nominations. Pyke has been mostly consistent with his style: he predominantly uses acoustic guitar and his signature double-recorded lead vocals to perform bouncy, sweet, and optimistic songs. The music itself is simpler and a bit more ‘mainstream’ than past albums, which makes sense as Pyke continues to reach a more mainstream audience. The lyrics, however, are just as original and laden with gorgeous metaphors as they ever were. It’s difficult to resist quoting every word of ‘The Beginning and the End of Everything,’ the song after which the album is named. In ‘All the Very Best of Us,’ Pyke is joined by a female vocalist whose warm, light tone pleasantly blends with his. They sing harmonies over raw guitar picking, accompanied only by ambient sounds. Like most of Pyke’s music, it flows thick and strong. A banjo and a piano join in on ‘Warm in Winter,’ dancing softly around the melody. This song runs down a hill and sends a chorus of brass instruments to herald its descent. I wasn’t thrilled and raving about every track on this album, but I would still listen to it again; if only for the gradual discovery of more notable lyrics. Regardless, the handful of all-round outstanding songs on the album made the whole journey worth it. Words by Miranda Richardson
Flim Reviews A
NASA computer screen, suffering from a worm suspected of originating in Australia in the 1990s, displays a short message:
haotic destruction is the tone of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, the latest adaptation of the Superman comics. This story of Superman’s origins begins with his father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), a Kryptonian scientist who foresees the destruction of the planet Krypton as a result of abuse and overexploitation of resources in the planet’s core. A coup led by General Zod (Michael Shannon) erupts as the planet disintegrates, and baby Superman’s parents send him to Earth in the hope of saving the Kryptonian race. Years later, General Zod tracks down Superman (Henry Cavill) and commences a plan to build a new Krypton on Earth. Man of Steel delivers an appealing feast for the senses, but, sadly, neglects to provide an intelligent plot line that would intrigue viewers who want more than an assault on their eyes and ears. David S. Goyer’s screenplay is too simplistic in execution and bombards viewers with a tirade of values and ideals that lead nowhere. Consequently, we are left with a hollow, pointless film full of pitiful dialogue. None of the female characters in the film undergo any character development, continuing to be portrayed in the same stereotypical, helpless way as in the original comic book series almost 70 years ago. Amy Adam’s Lois Lane is given a bold personality, but she still finds herself subjected to the commands of men in her society, such as her boss (Laurence Fishbourne), members of the US Military, and Superman. The military has one female, in Major Carrie Farris (Christina Wren), but the crux of her role is to be distracted by Superman’s pecs and flirtatiously say, “I just think he’s kinda hot.”
someone is watching you. This simple truth, the opening scene of We Steal Secrets suggests, is the core of the obsession driving Julian Assange’s life. And his unyielding answer is typical of a hacker; that all information is good information, it needs to be available. This documentary tells the parallel stories of Assange and Bradley Manning. Director Alex Gibney is not kind to Assange, portraying him as a paranoid, hypocritical egomaniac who is evading the law rather than being imprisoned; unlike Manning, a sympathetic, lost figure who may face the death penalty for depositing into the public domain the terrifying reality of the war in Iraq, a secret war which is parallel but strikingly different to the one painted by the media. What the film brilliantly highlights is the blurring line between Assange and his organisation, and how his personal troubles derailed WikiLeaks – a scenario made possible by the interdependence of the two. Indeed, one of the memorable scenes of the film describes WikiLeaks as: Assange, a laptop, a few sim cards, and a cheap jacket for interviews. Ultimately, the film condemns Assange for this. When WikiLeaks supporters demanded Assange’s liberty, they did so for the cause of transparency. Yet Assange’s predicament stems from personal accusations of sexual assault, something the film argues is completely removed from WikiLeaks.
Whilst the film is visually appealing, and Hans Zimmerman’s drum score is worth a listen, these elements cannot save Man of Steel from becoming a mind-numbing exercise in destruction.
Gibney has a decent go at the mammoth task of chronicling the incredible and complex sequence of events that needed to coincide to enable the biggest leak of government secrets in history. And as critical as he is of Assange, he reminds us that it isn’t about WikiLeaks or any organisation or individual; it’s about keeping government responsible, and it doesn’t matter who does it as long as someone does.
Words by Brad Jones
Words by Aneta Peretko
acific Rim is delivered to us by Guillermo del Toro, the well known fantasy fanatic and master of monsters. Set in a neo Hong Kong and fueled by gaint mecha caving in the faces of some rather ugly beasts known as Kajus, Pacific Rim breaks a few Hollywood norms and offers that which has been seriously lacking in AAA blockbusters of late. One could rightfully confront the film with expectations of ‘Merica, ample manlyness, and sweaty female mechanics in impractical overalls. It is a pleasant surprise, however, to find that the film takes much if its design inspiration from Japanese fiction and the few females in the film are not the damsel in distress (and a skimpy dress) archetype. Unfortunately, the lead mech pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) has the screen presence of a door knob. Despite facing extreme tragedy and surviving in constant fear of Kaiju attacks, Raleigh barely progresses as a character and when it takes a Wikipedia search to actually find out the protagonist’s character’s name, after watching the two hour film, you know that’s a problem. Raleigh’s existence is more so a catalyst for the development of the characters around him. Normally this would be interesting, except the supporting cast mainly consists of a pair of ‘Aussie blokes,’ complete with terribad accents, and a tsundere Japanese woman hell bent on vengeance. Realistically speaking, this is a minor criticism. You go into a film like this for the fun and adrenaline. The fight scenes between the Jaeger mecha and the Kaiju are amazing and well choreographed. There is a real sense of scale and impact with every blow or tail swipe. Not to mention how refreshing it is to see a city other than New York get pulverized. Del Toro delivers a solid and exciting action film that is definitely worth viewing on the biggest screen you can find. Words by Preesan Pillay
aul Raymond, also known as the ‘King of Soho’ established the soft-porn magazine Men’s Only and opened Britain’s first strip club in 1958 – at a time when nude entertainment was illegal. Director Michael Winterbottom’s latest release The Look of Love, has the potential to disgust viewers by depicting the career of a man who rose to fame by exploiting women. However Winterbottom skilfully steered the film away from the ethics of pornography and into an exploration of the tragedy and loss that can eventuate from great success. Steve Coogan’s portrayal of Raymond is so convincing that viewers may even find themselves sympathising with this unique character. The film explores Raymond’s relationships with three women in his life: his first wife Jean (Anna Friel), his lover Fiona (Tamsin Egerton), and his daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots) who easily delivers the standout performance. Raymond is determined to pass his empire onto Debbie, who idolises her father to such a degree that she begins to emulate him. Raymond only realises this isn’t what he wanted for her during a confronting scene, where Debbie begs him to give her a line of cocaine whilst she is in labour. Like many tragedies and ‘rags to riches’ tales, The Look of Love can be predictable at times. However, Winterbottom’s choice, to depict Raymond’s personal relationships rather than focusing on his career, is enough to keep audiences engaged. The cinematography is stylised to the era, with the 50s filmed in black and white followed by an extremely colourful 60s and 70s, filled with over the top montages which may irritate some viewers. Winterbottom also includes short and often pointless cameo appearances by various well known Brits, such as Stephen Fry and David Walliams, which can be distracting. The Look of Love also contains plenty of nudity, which is either a good or bad thing depending on whether you are watching it with your parents. At the peak of his career Paul Raymond became England’s wealthiest man before eventually passing away as a recluse. This is not a film about the rights and wrongs of pornography but, rather, the story of a powerful man who struggled to protect his daughter. It is well worth a watch. Words by Annie Robinson
Sexuality/Gender Crossword Nathan Erdely
Complete the crossword and send a picture of your answers to email@example.com. au to win one of 10 free double passes to Palace Nova.
All these films are about sexuality/gender themes. Good luck! 1
8 9 10
12 13 15
26 27 28
5 6 8
Across A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. a film about an early researcher on sexual behaviour A naive male prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City Ryan Gosling stars as a young man who falls in love with a life sized doll surreal film about two women falling in love amidst the film industry in L.A a pornographer's trial in the United States becomes a landmark case involving Freedom of Speech A pre-operative male-to-female transsexual takes an unexpected journey when she learns that she fathered a son, now a teenage runaway hustling on the streets of New York. Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their father into their family life Natalie Portman stars as a ballet dancer slowly becoming insane and sexually adventurous Sofia Coppolla's film about platonic love set in Japan a misogynist manipulates a vulnerable man into playing a cruel trick on a woman A New Yorker sex addict's life is unhinged by the arrival of his estranged sister After a young woman suffers a brutal rape in a bar one night, a prosecutor assists in bringing the perpetrators to justice, including the ones who encouraged and cheered on the attack PT Anderson's epic film about the California porn industry in the 70's and 80's A Midwestern husband and father announces his plan to have a sex change operation Tom Cruise portrays a doctor in New York attending a secret underground masked orgy Based on the true story of Valerie Solanas who was a 60s radical preaching hatred toward men in her "Scum" manifesto a boy joins a ballet class full of girls in England
1 2 3
5. A sexually repressed woman’s husband is having an affair with 10 4 her sister.12 7 6. A film 14 about an early researcher on sexual behaviour. 9 8. A naïve 16 male prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive 11 on the streets of New York City. 13 18 15 10. Ryan Gosling’s character falls in love with a life size doll. 19 17 12. In a surreal film, two women falling in love amidst the film 21 24 19 industry in LA. 25 20 14. A pornographer’s trial becomes a landmark freedom of 26 speech case. 22 27 16. A preoperative male-to-female transsexual takes an 23 28 unexpected journey when she learns that she fathered a son, now31 29 a teenage runaway hustling on the streets of New York. 18. Two 30 children conceived by artificial insemination bring their 32 father into their family life. 19. Natalie Portman stars as a ballet dancer, slowly becoming insane and sexually adventurous. 21. Sophia Coppolla’s film about platonic love set in Japan. 24. A misogynist manipulates a man into cruelly tricking a woman. 25. A New York sex addict’s life is unhinged by the arrival of his estranged sister. 26. A prosecutor assists in bringing rapists and bystanders to justice. 27. P.T. Anderson’s epic film about the California porn industry in the 70s and 80s. 28. A Midwestern husband and father announces his plan to have a sex change operation. 29. Tom Cruise portrays a doctor in New York attending a underground, masked orgy. 30. Based on the true story of Valerie Solanas, a 60s radical, preaching hatred towards men in her “scum” manifesto. 32. A boy joins a ballet class full of girls in England.
Down A young unpopular girl tries to survive the hell that is high school and her family Ryan Gosling portrays a young man in love with an inflatable doll An amoral, HIV-positive skateboarder sets out to deflower as many virgins as possible while a local girl who contracted his disease tries to save his next target from her same fate A film about a fictional rock band fronted by an East German transgendered singer The film centers on a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods David Lynch's film about sexual depravity in a wholesome American town A classic women on the run film directed by Ridley Scott Two male cowboys fall in love A young Parisian woman begins a sordid affair with a middle-aged American businessman who lays out ground rules that their clandestine relationship will be based only on sex The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other A police detective is in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved A man and a woman move in to neighboring Hong Kong apartments and form a bond when they both suspect their spouses of extramarital activities The story of the life of Brandon Teena, a transgendered teen who preferred life in a male identity until it was discovered he was born biologically female James Spader and Maggie Gyleenhall star in this film about sado masochism The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official
1. A young, unpopular girl tries to survive high school and her family. 2. Ryan Gosling’s character falls in love with a life size doll. 3. An immoral, HIV positive skateboarder sets out to deflower as many virgins as possible. 4. A film about a fictional rock band fronted by an East German, transgendered singer. 7. The film centres on a contemporary married couple, cross-cutting between time periods. 9. David Lynch’s film about sexual depravity in a wholesome, American town. 11. A classic woman on the run film directed by Ridley Scott. 13. Two male cowboys fall in love. 15. A young Parisian woman begins a sordid, sex only affair with a middle aged American business man. 17. Relationships with 2 couples become complicated when one man meets the woman from the other. 19. A police detective investigates a beautiful, seductive woman who may be involved in brutal murder. 20. A man and a woman move into neighboring Hong Kong apartments and bond over suspected affairs. 22. The story of the life of Brandon Teena, a transgendered teen who preferred life in a male identity. 23. James Spader and Maggie Gyleenhall star in this film about sado masochism. 31. The story of Harvey Milk, who became California’s first openly gay elected official.
Theater Review: A Comedy of Errors
tilising the classic Shakespeare text, the State Theatre Company of South Australia and Bell Shakespeare have produced a wonderfully entertaining performance of A Comedy of Errors. Under the strobe effects, the actors engage in the sordid underworld of clubs and prostitutes, only to emerge in the contrasting light of tanning beds and table tennis for sophisticated dinner parties and high cash flow. At times, the dialogue is difficult to follow; spoken too quickly or too softly in an unfamiliar tongue. But at all times, the cast compensates with exaggerated and well-choreographed physical comedy; always portraying the text’s meaning and coaxing fits of laughter from the audience. Directed by Imara Savage, the production manages to balance the old and the new. With the appearance of a modern world and the incorporation of an occasional, and shocking, swear word, the play keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The story follows two sets of identical twins, both with identical names: the upper class Antipholuses (Nathan O’Keefe and Septimus Caton) and their slaves, both Dromios (Renato Musolino and Hazen Shammas). Separated at birth, the pairs are caught unaware in a tangle of confusion. Whilst each Dromio searches for and attempts to serve his master, each Antipholus is caught up in the other’s mishaps, with the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, Adriana (Elena Carapetis), attempting to seduce the wrong twin, and Antipholus of Syracuse simultaneously wooing her horrified sister (Jude Henshall). In the scenes where this complicated series of events, explanations, and relationships are explained, the play is bogged down in exposition. Although necessary for the audience to understand, these scenes lose the audience somewhat. In a play that is so hilarious and engaging almost all of the
way through, it is particularly unfortunate to begin and end with an intrusive chunk of dialogue, where the actors are forced to cease their foolery to give detailed description. Although these scenes are disappointing, Savage and the cast can be easily forgiven, with the rest of the play focusing on physical comedy and clever puns. Pip Runciman’s set and Mark Pennington’s lighting design are instrumental to the comedy, as highlighted by a memorable chase scene in, out, through, and around the swinging neon doors; ending with the characters getting smashed off-their-faces, taking selfies as a happy group, and throwing up all over the stage. Although the vomit is kind of distracting and doesn’t make sense with the scene changes afterwards, all other props are exciting and integrated flawlessly into the choreography, adding to the hilarity at every turn. Unlikely twins Musolino and Shammas adopt a shared physicality and personality: stooped back, furrowed brows, a little slow witted, and eager to please. In contrast, O’Keefe and Caton are upperclass school boys, preppy and entitled, but utterly bemused by the misfortune that emerges from their escapades. Carapetis is a beauty, terrified of her fading good looks and the growing distance of the husband she is desperate to seduce. Meanwhile, Henshall is a beauty obsessed, blonde, fake-tanned sister, stealing a bunch of laughs with her scene perched on a washing machine, experiencing what appears to be an orgasm – either induced by the jiggling of the machine or Antipholus of Syracuse’s forthright seduction. A Comedy of Errors is definitely a production worth seeing and since it has just embarked on an Australiawide tour, you may even get another chance. Words by Sarah Gates
“That Book’s So Gay” Words by Anna Lee
aybe it is.
Maybe two of the female koalas who lived in the tree used to make the pages were getting it on in the branches shortly before their home was cut down. Maybe the logger who demolished their home has a thing for male lumberjacks in women’s underwear. Maybe the factory where the paper was manufactured employs a worker who went home to her girlfriend that night. Maybe the petroleum used to create the plastic cover was extracted at a refinery where the male workers keep each other ‘company’. Maybe the ancient forest, eventually turned into crude oil treated at the refinery, was the place where several velociraptors would rapture in exclusively male orgies. Maybe a woman who frequents Sapphic bars runs the printer where the book was put together. Maybe the driver of the truck, which delivered the book to the shop, sometimes goes to beats. Maybe the woman who sold you the book was checking out the girlfriend of the customer behind you, and that’s why she smiled when she scanned it. Now that you mention it. They don’t call it gay. They call it life. Maybe you’re just beginning to realise how wonderfully gay life is…
Peace, Love and Khaki Socks by Kim Lock
eace, Love and Khaki Socks, a debut novel from local writer Kim Lock, is the story of an unlikely army wife, her pregnancy, and her journey towards a home birth. Amy Silva is a young graphic designer, living with her boyfriend Dylan on an army base in Darwin, when she unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Something of an outsider to the army wives’ gossipy world of politics, Amy is a self-described organic-baconeating, chemical-avoiding, anti-corporate hippie. Over the course of the novel, Amy moves from panicky denial to embracing her decision to have a home birth, in the face of stiff opposition from her friends and family. Although readers may disagree with Amy’s beliefs about the superiority of home births and the evils of the medical system and find her distrust of science frustrating – as I did – her emotional journey is entirely believable, carefully supported through Lock’s assured use of first-person narration. Peace, Love and Khaki Socks is the third book from the small Adelaide publisher MidnightSun. In the hands of a bigger publisher, this book would undoubtedly have been given a “female-friendly” cover (pastel coloured background, woman facing away from viewer, curly font – if you’ve stepped inside a bookstore in the last couple of years you’ll have seen hundreds of them) and marketed as chick-lit. Although this kind of cover is useful in quickly indicating a novel’s genre, it has been widely criticised as condescending to women’s fiction and scaring male readers away from valuable books. However, while speaking about Peace, Love and Khaki Socks at a conference a few weeks ago, publisher Anna Solding revealed that Lock, herself a graphic designer, handled the book’s cover and internal details. The result is a more gender-neutral design which has caused many male readers (including this reviewer) to give the book a chance when they otherwise might not have, finding a well-plotted, confidently written, and meticulously paced story, despite their likely surprise at the novel’s heavy focus on pregnancy.
Indeed, one of the fascinating things about this book, for a male reader, is its extreme forthrightness in divulging the details of pregnancy and childbirth. No confronting or banal moment is elided: a rare virtue, even today, in novels dealing with this theme: She frowned at the [ultrasound] screen, hesitating. “Unfortunately, your bladder is too full. I can’t get a clear enough angle. I’ll need you to empty it a little, please.” She lifted the transducer from my abdomen, and handed me a towel.
Although this level of detail is valuable when it relates to pregnancy, it becomes less useful when it is used to cover other, less important areas of the plot: descriptions of cooking, for example, occasionally read a little like recipes, and we are given the exact number of unread emails Amy faces after a few days’ absence from work. Lock also succumbs to the temptation to give somewhat clunky “hair length, eye colour, personality précis”style descriptions when introducing new characters, and her imagery can be a little too cute, with one character “arching an over-plucked eyebrow but dropping the issue.” Still, these are small defects when compared to the sense of honesty which flows from Lock’s treatment of the indignities and difficulties – as well as small joys – of pregnancy. Peace, Love and Khaki Socks is a valuable read for both women and men, and pregnant women would be well advised to make their partners read it as preparation of sorts for the emotional, physical, medical, and social ups and downs parents will experience over the course of a pregnancy. Words by Simon Collinson.
The Sworn S
he made the decision lightly, but on reflection Miranda Boja realised that becoming a man was the best thing she could have ever done. Being a sworn virgin would certainly solve several problems. Miranda had been arranged into marriage with Aleksander Tzeka, a blond but dumb boy. Both of their fathers keenly observed the outdated method of arranged marriage and, as such, Miranda was swept up into their fanatic desires. She remembered a time in her youth when Aleksander had tried to kiss her. Her face had screwed up into an ugly mess of muscles, and he had trembled with anger before giving her a small slap and running away. Nothing had changed between them since. The prospect of marriage to Aleksander only served to pale Miranda’s future; she could not even imagine a future for herself if it were spent with him. Taking the vow of chastity would free her from this fate, as well as save her mother. Since Fatima had never had any sons, if her father died – which, with him lying in bed fatefully coughing, was a definite possibility – she would be forced into a servant’s life with his family. If Miranda took the oath, Fatima’s future would be safe too. Becoming a sworn virgin involved a ceremony, where she would take an oath of chastity before the twelve village elders. It sounded more like the exhibition of a freak than a ritual of merit, but once the ceremony was over, she would be granted the equalities of manhood – allowed to dress a man, drink as a man, live as a man. It had been many years since a girl had become a sworn virgin in civilised Albanian society. Women now had equal rights to men – or, at least,
the near equivalent. She would be an oddity, but she could deal with this. Her future as an honorary man was far more enticing than being married to a real one. Miranda put in weeks of preparation for the transition. She learnt to walk and talk like a man, she cut her hair short, and she dressed in her father’s old clothes. When she attended the ceremony, she found herself strangely swelling with pride. The village elder read from the Kanun, and swore her in. Fatima, her mother, stared with a wide smile, almost praying to the sky with her hands clenched together. Her sisters exchanged worried glances, bewildered. Aleksander only looked on half-heartedly, disappointment filling his eyes. Then, the ceremony was over – Miranda was now Milot. The change he felt was almost instantaneous. He could not account for anyone else’s experience, but he could almost sense something seeping into his body, imbuing him with an immense golden honour. Milot immediately set about establishing himself, first of all setting up his father comfortably, and learning the farming trade that had kept the family afloat for years. He worked all day, indoors and in the fields, and came home to a meal cooked by his doting mother in the evening. There were freedoms afforded to him now that he had never experienced before. He drank in the pub, and swore; he became adept at slinging biting insults to the other young men, who had come to regard him as their equal. Everyone, that was, except Aleksander. He would leave whenever he saw Milot approaching. Milot found himself strangely hurt by this.
Words by Callum McLean
He tried to get Aleksander to talk. He waited for him outside of the pub, and engaged him in talk on farming and drinking, but to no avail. These were the only topics he knew how to discuss, and the ones that had seemed to satisfy every other male in the pub. It dawned on him, slowly. As a woman, Miranda had never been able to understand or even like Aleksander. As a man, Milot could sympathise; it was the pain of rejection. She had been a woman who had become a man to avoid marriage with him. So Milot apologised. He didn’t say it in so many ways – it was hard for him to allude to a time when he wasn’t a man – but Aleksander seemed to understand. He thanked Milot for his honesty, and allowed for them to talk about farming. Upon hearing of Milot’s method of irrigation, he insisted that he come to the Boja farm and show him a better way. When Milot’s sisters heard Aleksander was coming over, they primed themselves in full feminine attire. His arrival was met with peals of nervous laughter, but Aleksander did not even notice them. He ushered Milot outside to the fields, and left the sisters confused. Aleksander talked, and Milot listened. He found it surprisingly easy to listen to him – there was something addictive in his voice. When Aleksander caught Milot staring, he smiled bashfully. Aleksander suggested Milot show him his nearest water supply, and Milot took him to the well in the nearby woods. Leaning against the well, Milot did not stop Aleksander putting a hand to his face, feeling the roughness of
his cheekbones. Aleksander breathed heavily as he nestled his lips into the crook of Milot’s neck. He let his hands linger, the vow already forgotten. As a man, she felt free – as a woman, she felt good. Aleksander’s hand gripped one of her breasts, and all of a sudden he screamed in terror. She looked down, confused, as Aleksander quickly ran away across the field. She tried to yell after him, but before she could, she felt a jolt across her chest. Her breasts, that she had bound together in a bid to hide them, suddenly shrivelled and dissolved at her touch. She tried to breathe, tried to stay calm, but she couldn’t. An immense pain formed in her groin, and the weight and responsibility of manhood dropped down between her legs.
In Dreams Nikki Klindzic
In dreams you lay your breath quiet, like the new day rise and fall, rise and fall Unknowingly ignoring my call Your eyelids, two fluttering butterflies closed to the rising blue skies sinews of muscle, ripple like water In arms that will one day hold your daughter A drum beat echoes in my ear its soft thrum a rhythm I love to hear Lips pink like the cherry blossoms outside curved and smooth like waves in a tide Soft furrows of thought crease your brow Making me wonder what you’re seeing right now images and colours, all so bright or reels of film in black and white I see you stirring ever so slightly my hand holds yours ever so lightly I hear the words upon your sigh “Why dear God, did she have to die...?”
This Love Was Real Jessica Nicole Moss stained the brick Like the paint on your fingers And vines covered my windowpane When the hares played at dusk. You renewed my spirit Running your fingers over the keys And capturing the looks We once exchanged. Autumn leaves collected Around your body All that lived in me Died when you moved away.