Invisible Women

Invisible Women is an astonishing book by Caroline Criado Perez, that reveals how our modern world is tailored to the needs of a caucasian male. Check out this Bustle article!

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We had a cold snap in Sydney last week, and a friend of mine tweeted that ladies should head to the menswear section to locate flannelette pyjamas. Not only are they $10 cheaper than the women’s version, but they have pockets! Outrageous!

Western society is geared toward providing comfort and ease for the token ‘average’ caucasian male. If you don’t fit this demographic, then it’s bad luck! It reaches into every portion of life. Don’t believe me? Why are women’s haircuts, clothing, shoes, luggage, eyewear, etc, so much dearer? Girls are not entering STEM fields at the same rate as boys (women only make up 16% in Australia’s STEM fields). SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity), has also thoroughly researched the topic.

Now onto a different (though related) topic… I have uncovered my new heroines, courtesy of this Washington Post article. A group of teenage girls discovered that their looks were being rated by some of their male counterparts. What happened next was not only brave, but ultimately cathartic. It was transformative for the young women, who found they were  heard and respected. It was as valuable for the young men, who finally understood the hurt and humiliation their actions had caused.

If only we could transform the prototype of the average caucasian male, of whose comfort society is built for.

 

 

Spice Alley, White Rabbit Gallery and Neurosurgeons

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting my new neurosurgeon. Indeed it was a privilege, to meet such a humble and kind man. I presented a selection of my favourite scans from the past two decades, and as he studied them, he asked how on earth I had managed to inflict such damage. I tell you, after a lifetime of answering this question, you get quite nonchalant and so I muttered something about a bad man, my falling, and things of that ilk. I should have just brought him a copy of my book. Once he was over the shock of that discovery, he examined my head, neck and shoulders, all of which contorted in pain. I was booked in for nerve blocks and associated tests, and bid him farewell. My morning had required me to be a patient, vulnerable and hurting. The following part of the day would see me reclaim who I truly am, which is somebody who gets transported by beauty.

My daughter and I took off on a grand adventure, firstly to the White Rabbit Gallery at Chippendale, a magnificent space that used to be a luxury car showroom. The exhibition The Sleeper Awakes had started that day, and we were so entranced by the colours and symbolism that we forgot to take photos! It would have seemed almost rude to have not been in the moment. Trust me, if ever you are in the city, it’s worth a visit! I did however, manage a snap of the glorious tea room. The best cages are empty ones; beautiful in their emptiness.

We walked with our lovely friends to Spice Alley     at around 5pm, before it got busy. There was a wild variety of vendors, and the difficulty was deciding! There was plenty for a vegetarian like myself to choose from. I settled on the best vegetarian fried rice I have ever had! The heady spices were combined in such a way as to delight the taste buds. As we ate and drunk our bubble tea (and wine), we talked about everything from Nikola Tesla to Facebook, movies and authors.

When we boarded the train for home, I felt exhilarated, as one does at the end of a fruitful and satisfying day. I was exhausted and in pain, yes, but the over-riding emotion was gratitude. Gratitude for caring specialists, good friends, art galleries, delicious food, a new hangout and a happy child. My body feels frail; in need of reconstruction, and the pain is merciless. I was a patient, scans in hand. For the most part, I was still Raphaela, an irrepressible spirit who will not have her life dimmed. You can be both, and balance it well. The next day, I was in bed, but never mind. Last Friday, I was both a patient and healed.