If this year’s federal election has shown us anything, young voters can have a drastic impact on the political landscape. But how do you figure out who to vote for to begin with? Adrift in a sea of old men in suits, it’s all too easy to lose yourself amidst the myriad of political parties, the differences between which can seem like little more than shades of grey (or caucasian, more accurately) to the uninformed.
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 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.”
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.
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.
I’ve always been partial to a good night out, and my routine has been somewhat perfected. It goes like this: pres beforehand at someone’s house or occasionally just sculling your drink in an alleyway before waiting in line to enter a bar or club (trashy I know, but don’t tell me you haven’t done it). After several hours of dancing — or what could only be counted as simply head-bopping — nothing beats the 3am Macca’s run that follows. Then comes the impossible quest of finding your Uber on crowded Chapel Street to finally return home, ready to crash.
My Lolo was an illustrator for the largest media company in the Philippines. He would sketch caricatures of people at ease and master different writing styles with a delicate hand. Lolo never believed his art was perfect, only good enough. But he had been satisfied with his position. A mixture of fun and work.
But in 1972, when Lolo was 27 years old, everything changed.
It’s hard picturing how the world could get any better. Everywhere we look on the news, on our phones, or out on the street, things seem horrible. As young people, we feel more and more hopeless in the face of the daunting challenges that lie ahead.