Rad Bitch Round Up

Photo by Floriana/iStock / Getty Images

Reading

This piece from The New Republic about where healing crystals come from.


About the impact of The Myth of the Male Genius over on Bitch Media.


Normalising Appearance Diversity and Body Positivity in fashion - given that it's still Vascular Birthmark Awareness Month, and how much I would have LOVED to have seen someone who looks like me represented in the media when I was a kid, and how much this campaign seems to have meant to the people featured in it, I'm very happy to see this now.


Remember when the Victorian Government made a massive effort to clean up all of the graffiti before the Commonwealth Games, but then Banksy visited and the stencil artists went into overdrive, dubbing his time here the Melbourne Stencil Games, and then that Banksy piece opposite the Flinders Lane Police Station became a thing to be protected? And then years later someone "destroyed" the piece by cleaning it up, and there was a whole lot of uproar?

Or when Connex who used to operate our Metro Train Services painted over all of the walls around Richmond Station?

And now Ian Strange's work sits in the NGV International in the Contemporary Art gallery, and our street art covered laneways are a major tourist attraction.

Melbourne, you've changed and I'm glad that artists are no longer being harassed by the police, but are actually getting paid for their work.

BUT

There are downsides to the gentrification and commodification of Street Art.

Homeless people no longer feel safe in places like Hosier Lane due to the overwhelming number of visitors (which has led to a number of artists boycotting painting there anymore), and what has always been an inherently political form of expression is becoming more sanitised and palatable.


Nayuka Gorrie's piece, Aboriginal Families: Beyond flesh and blood in Archer Magazine

"Against this vitriolic backdrop, my partner and I have decided to start a family of our own. A few generations ago, white people might have had the legislation to determine what my family looked like, but I refuse to let them tell me what my family should look like now.

I’m starting to think about how to go about this, and what kind of parents and family we want to be. I think we will make excellent parents. Witt is the most caring and thoughtful partner, and I imagine that tenderness will also extend to our children.

Even though they don’t exist yet, I already consider them lucky. Those children won’t just have us, though – they will have my big, complicated black family, and our queer family as well.

They will know love and support, and they will never go hungry. But they will probably scream that we don’t understand them when they are 15, just like I did. If anything happens to me and Witt, I know they will be okay because they will have so many people there to look after them."


Girl Fed Up With Goth Guys Telling Her to Frown All the Time

"Known optimist and all-around “jovial soul” Sarah Burke was harassed again by the city’s goth population yesterday, with followers of the bleak subculture telling her to frown more often, sources close to the rare glimmer of sunshine in an otherwise dark world confirmed."

 

Maxine Beneba-Clarke's article on SBS on Why we are failing as feminists if we don't put carers first.



Ireland voting to repeal the 8th Amendment, and seeing all of the people who traveled #HomeToVote <3 


Watching

The Feminist Writers Festival livestream and recorded panel sessions - so many great speakers this year!!

Check out the discussion between Tara Moss, Jessamy Gleeson, and Tasneem Chopra on writing about Violence against Women, and creating change.


This herd of elephants and their pet dogs are just so pure.


 

Listening

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To everything through wireless noise isolating headphones, all the time and forever.

On the tram.

In the office.

At home while vacuuming the floors.

Being able to clearly hear my favourite podcasts while I move about the Kitteh Palace without having to carry my phone around in my pocket, and being able to blast Against Me! on loop forever without pissing off the neighbours (or Jordan), is the best.

They're also great for listening to white noise, or ambient music to block out street noise and mitigate the near constant ringing in my ears (because tinnitus is genuinely crazy making).


Nomming

I love sweet treats, and when it comes to sweet treats as far as I'm concerned, nothing really beats chocolate. I was recently introduced to Hey Tiger a Melbourne-Based ethical chocolate brand, who are possibly even more in love with sweet chocolatey treats than I am!

My favourite block for a sunny afternoon on the balcony with a book and a glass of white wine is the Rosé and Wild Strawberry flavoured white chocolate block, Pink Power, and for snuggling up by the heater in a fluffy warm blanket, I can't go passed The Hustle - packing Milk Chocolate, Coffee and Almond Butter deliciousness.


Wearing

I recently started working in an office two days a week, and I honestly completely love it. (When I say recently, I mean in January.) My boss has been pretty clear that she's cool with whatever I wear to work, so long as I'm both comfortable and I get my work done.

Often that means me showing up in leggings and a cosy sweater, however I feel as though I show up better when I put a little more thought into my outfits. So when Jordan and I went shopping last week for new Winter clothes, he asked me how I wanted to feel in the clothes I wanted for work.

After some careful consideration, I told him that my overall aesthetic goal was "Princess Unikitty doing business, but make it Goth and refine it". Having not seen the Lego Movie, Jordan had no idea what the shit I was talking about, but quickly warmed to me bouncing around exclaiming, "BUSINESS! BUSINESS! BUSINESS!"

With that in mind, we headed out to find some adorable  as heck, but practical ballet flats and a new coat.

I also added this cute Marquita Norwood tee, dedicated to some of my favourite things to my wardrobe, and keep this Killstar blanket in the office to throw over my lap on the chilly early mornings.

Winter, come at me.


Visiting

Because I'm a giant child, I decided to play Home Town Tourist yesterday and took myself on an Adventure to the Wonderland exhibition at ACMI. This was the second time I had been to see this exhibition, although it was my first time going by myself without any kids. I spent so much time looking at all of the pieces on display, did every one of the interactive activities, and had the best time. 

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As well as Late Night events on Fridays, ACMI are also running Low Sensory Exhibition Visits for autistic people and others with sensory sensitivities, and a Descriptive Tour specifically for visitors who are blind or have low vision. 

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I picked up some of the fancy T2 Mad Berry Choc tea on my way out of the exhibition.


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Between major exhibitions is actually my favourite time to visit the National Gallery of Victoria. The crowds are smaller, and it's much easier to get up close to the artwork. It's also when the curators pull some of the most interesting works out of storage, and re-arrange the galleries.

The NGV International are clearly getting ready for this years Melbourne Winter Masterpieces show MoMA x NGV, but if you have the time to visit before the major exhibit opens in a couple of weeks, do it! 

While the Guerrilla Girls exhibition is small, it's still exciting to see a major gallery space celebrating the contribution these artists have made to contemporary art by challenging and criticising the dominance of rich white men, both on the boards and on the walls of gallery spaces.


xx

Kym

Rad Bitch Round Up

Photo by petrunjela/iStock / Getty Images

It's cold as heck outside in Melbourne this weekend - the perfect weather for staying indoors and catching up on a whole dose of internet.

Here's what I've been reading and listening to recently.

Reading

My friend Penny recently wrote this piece for SBS Sexuality about struggling with internalised bi-erasure, and trying to figure out how and where she fits in the LGBTIQ+ community when she's not in a same-sex relationship.

This is something I've been pretty conscious of in myself - especially during the lead up to the national postal survey on Marriage Equality in Australia. Trying to determine how relevant my voice was, wanting to amplify the voices of others instead of my own and not over-step the bounds of the privilege I enjoy in a straight relationship was real. Penny's words reflect a lot of my own thoughts and feelings, and I definitely recommend reading this piece.

Reading

I've been listening to The Trauma Cleaner on Audible over the past week, and this is an exceptional book and I've pretty much been recommending it left and right. It's a beautifully gut-wrenching biography that not only charts the life of trauma cleaner Sandra Pankhurst, but in doing so covers the history of the gay scene in Melbourne; the lived realities of sex workers; and the rights of transgender people in Australia.

Reading

The story of a dog who pays for treats using leaves, and the store attendant working to avoid leafy inflation.

Listening

Back in the days when I still listened to Triple J (or the radio), I made no secret of how much I hoped that Myf and Zan could just take over and host every show, While that dream never came true, we've been blessed with something even more pure - the Bang On podcast.

'Bang On brings together two of ABC Radio’s most respected and most loved music journalists and presenters – who are also great friends, with your one stop shop for all the conversations you need to be across this week (but just don’t have the time to read a think-piece about).'

Complete with singing, musical interludes, giggles, and faarshion news updates, it's everything I could have hoped for back in my radio listening days.

Reading

Tom And Abby From ‘Queer Eye’ Are Married Now So I Guess Love Actually Exists

Reading

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It's ‘Vascular Birthmark Awareness Month’, and I want to take this opportunity to bring your awareness to the fact that I was (and still am) cute as heck and happy as pie - hemangioma and all.

At two years old, my strawberry mark was near it’s reddest and most swollen.

It was still impacting my ability to swallow food, and to breathe through my nose (I really only got the hang of that in my teens, and I still tend to breathe through my mouth by habit), so I still had a feeding tube at this stage.

Birthmarks are cute.

Facial differences aren’t bad or scary.

Some of the ways they can impact our lives probably don’t seem that fun. 
Tbh I don’t remember having a feeding tube (I do remember the hospital stay when it was removed 8 months after this photo was taken), but I sure do love the second bellybutton I have as a result!

* I think VBM awareness month is only a US thing, but I’m jumping on board.

It's worth hopping over to Instagram where Crystal Hodges is drawing a portrait of a person with a Vascular Birth Mark every day for the whole month of May.

I also plan on sharing a few posts throughout the month, too!

Reading

Self-help gurus like Tony Robbins have often stood in the way of social change

Since the 17th century, self-improvement schemes have reliably been rooted in the belief that weak individual will — not social malaise or structural inequality — is at the heart of all problems, from poverty to extra pounds to sickness to sexual assault. It’s called self-help for a reason, and taken too far, this ethos can tend toward solipsism at the expense of social change.

Reading

How Women Are Driving the Dungeons & Dragons Renaissance

So more people are playing D&D than ever before, but so are more types of people. Women now make up close to 40% of the D&D community. While the goal is still for that number to fully reflect the wider population, it’s a huge leap from 2012, when women made up 20–25% of players.

A big reason for that jump in female players goes back to the popularity of streaming, and the visibility of other women playing. Women have a huge presence in the D&D being streamed online, and the team at Wizards of the Coast has no doubt that the representation that provides has had an impact on women feeling more confident walking into their local game store.

xx

Kym

On Radio Silence

On Radio Silence

I've taken an unintended, and exceptionally long break from writing on my blog, or updating my business Facebook page, The Rad Bitch Girl Gang, and from coaching in general for pretty much the entirety of this year so far.

To be perfectly honest, part of that is procrastination, and another part of that is fear of not knowing how to put my thoughts into words that really make sense. But the biggest part of why, is that I've needed the space to process, to reflect, to heal and to learn.

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On Doing What Must Be Done

On Doing What Must Be Done

Working super hard on something that you're super passionate about can be incredibly exciting and inspiring, but when your reality doesn't meet the expectations you'd set for yourself, it can be absolutely soul-destroying.

So what do you do when that happens?

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On Making Sure No Girl Gets Left Behind

On Making Sure No Girl Gets Left Behind

In The Girl Gang, we often highlight the importance of Rad Bitches Looking Out For One Another, but after everything that's been happening in the world lately it can be challenging at times to remember that the world is predominantly filled with awesome people who are looking out for each other.

Looking out for one another is something that girls in particular are taught from a young age...

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On Dating and Healthy Relationships

On Dating and Healthy Relationships

If you're finding yourself repeatedly disappointed by partners who just aren't ready to commit, you're in no way alone. This might be a good opportunity to step back, reflect on what's going on for you, and how you might be able to change things up and break away from the same old pattern that's been getting you down.

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On The Importance of Taking Time Out

On The Importance of Taking Time Out

It was starting to become clear that both my boyfriend and I were long overdue for some time out of the house and away from our desk - with a few little technical glitches popping up and testing my patience to prove it.

Taking an extended break isn't a priority for us right now, but we weren't about to let that stand between us and a relaxed few days together.

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On What I Wish People Knew About Strawberry Marks

On What I Wish People Knew About Strawberry Marks

A lot of things have happened since I first started writing about and sharing my experience of growing up with a birthmark that covered most of my face when I was young. When I first decided to study Life Coaching and set up my blog, I hadn't even considered that my strawberry marks would ever become a point of discussion - let alone something that would become such a central point of WHY I believe so strongly in what I do.

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On Women Who Don't Go to The Police

On Women Who Don't Go to The Police

Maybe it's just the lack of good quality sleep I've been dealing with over the last week, but my anxiety has been on high alert lately. I spent a good chunk of yesterday in my pyjama's, listening to the music that got me through my 20's, feeling too many feels, and crying on and off.

Of course, it may have also had a lot to do with the near constant yelling and arguments that have been going on outside our apartment for almost a week...

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Self Care Sunday: On Maintaining A Beautiful Space

Self Care Sunday: On Maintaining A Beautiful Space

With the beginning of the New Year, I'm committing to a new special series here on the blog, dedicated to Self Care Sunday. Each week I'll share about what Real Self Care looks like in practice for me. And I'm starting off with something which may not actually seem like a self care practice: CLEANING HOUSE - LITERALLY.

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On 2015: A Year In Review

On 2015: A Year In Review

I'm not really one for big New Years Eve parties, and to be honest I hope to spend the night at home with a couple of my besties watching Madonna movies and drinking Sailor Jerry's in my pyjamas.

But before any of that happens, I like to spend some time reflecting on the year that was. I think that this is really important, because it's really easy to just allow the days to float on by with indifference, but when I stop and take stock I'm always struck by just how much has happened.

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