“…as heads is tails / just call me Lucifer / ’cause I’m in need of some restraint”
‘Sympathy for the Devil’ (1968), The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones have courted controversy for their entire 60-year career. The British rock & roll band was marketed as the anti-establishment antidote to the saccharine Beatles — and they didn’t shy away from living up to that bad-boy image.
In the past year, Australia was ranked dead last for its climate policy, with no current plan in place to work towards transitioning to renewable energy on a national level. No new policies have been announced to reach zero emissions by 2050, and each and every year we watch on as houses are burnt down and flooded, leaving Australians left with little hope for the future.
Looks and appearances are everything, apparently. The clothes we wear, the colour of our hair, the amount of piercings and tattoos we have — these are all things that are often judged by other people. In 2022, you’d think we should be able to present ourselves however we want. However, my personal experience proves otherwise.
You spot him seated at a small table in the corner. Thank God, he looks like his Hinge profile. The restaurant is dimly lit, so hopefully he won’t notice the pimple that rudely decided to pop up this morning. He stands up to greet you, pulls your chair out and fills your glass with water. Tick.
“You see, more often than not, the people who shame women the most are actually women themselves.”
I remember first grappling with the notion of internalised misogyny while preparing for my Year 12 oral exam. My topic was about why all men play a role in eliminating violence against women, and the way I wrote it fixated heavily on how men were always the main perpetrators. While I was rehearsing in my English teacher’s office after school one afternoon, she said something that I didn’t really understand at the time, but has stuck with me ever since. She said: “you see, more often than not, the people who shame women the most are actually women themselves.”
In a world intoxicated by a desire for instantaneous knowledge, social media has become everyone’s favourite vice. The speed at which you can find information on anything no longer relies on flicking through an encyclopaedia. Now, just type a word or two into a search bar and decades of largely unfiltered and unverified websites spew forth from the ghastly underbelly of the internet beast, complete with comments that ensure you’re aware of everybody and anybody’s opinion on what you’re searching.
The term ‘intersectionality’ was first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an African American woman, in her 1989 paper, ‘Demarginalising the Intersection of Race and Sex’. Intersectionality is a concept in social studies that refers to how different factors such as age, race, ability and class all interact with each other to bring about inequalities. The term still holds true today in a world that has begun to shift under the tides of drastic social change. It is not surprising that Kimberlé came up with the word based upon her own experience, nor is it surprising that the term has been misused, misconstrued and not properly credited over the years since. Her experiences are the sad reality for a woman and person of colour in academia, and it’s the same behaviour we witness in our communities which is built upon discriminatory views formed by our own biases. It is still exactly what Kimberlé warned us about and the marginalisation that she faced when she was immediately sidelined for being too critical and playing into ‘identity politics’. But don’t we all speak from our own experiences and knowledge? This question is where it all began, and how I first came across the conceptual understanding of intersectionality in my sociology classes.
When I left land that day, I felt sure — I am fine, that looks so easy — but when I finished swimming out and turned around, the shore seemed impossibly far away. I was unable to see and unable to swim. In the cove where I entered the lagoon the water was completely still, but out here at the navigation buoy it’s deep, choppy, and the tide is pulling me away from the shore.
Can you think of a day that you’re not a consumer of news? If you’re a regular browser of Facebook and Instagram (which I’m sure you are), you most definitely are consuming news stories every single day. You may or not may have noticed, but the way stories are presented to us through the digital-scape is… hectic, to say the least.
Nothing makes me more energised and giddy than the magical hours spent at a music event. I’m talking festivals, concerts, bush doofs, clubs, bars, gigs or even someone’s over-cramped house party at four in the morning. These settings allow people to dance their hearts out, socialise, celebrate, experiment, make utter fools of themselves (all in good spirit) and temporarily shed the weight of the world — which is the very essence of life. Like most universal rituals of festivity, they are also places where high levels of drug consumption take place, sometimes even as a social prerequisite.