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Posts Tagged ‘therapy for news junkies’

Why did the kids flocking for Tom Waterhouse’s signature become a tipping point for concerns about gambling? Have we just had enough of gambling becoming the national sport of choice, or is there something about seeing kids go mad for a bookie that makes our collective skin crawl?

The other day, after a relatively short conversation about how I manage to pay all the bills, finding a job you like doing when you grow up and how the two might one day be related, my kid suggested a possible life path for herself: I think I might marry a rich man. Happiness, feminism and self-responsibility aside, I could see where she was coming from. The odds aren’t stacking up from her vantage point and she’s looking for a safer bet.

We’ve gotten so het up about gambling after watching kids flock to get Tom Waterhouse’s autograph because it’s only when we see our own behaviour mimicked by littler people that we get the true extent of our own sorriness. When my daughter indulges in a momentary fantasy of solving her money worries by marrying some, I can see all my own tragic attempts to get my act together financially coming home to roost.

But some of what’s grabbed our attention is even more sinister than a new generation of addictive gamblers. Admittedly, problem gambling is a serious issue for kids, and starting to gamble when you’re young is not a good sign for your future ability to resist compulsive punting.  But there’s more than a concern about gambling at play here. When we look at the kids lining up in admiration in front of this well-suited baby millionaire, I think we may be gutted about what Waterhouse is telling us about the fundamental flaws of hero worship.

you can read the rest of this article at newmatilda

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Last week Julia Gillard made a national apology recognising the suffering of forced adoption in Australia. In response to Tony Abbott’s version of the apology, there was a huge outcry against his use of the term “birth mothers“.  What’s in a name here? What’s behind our intense interest in the labels for mothers?

We’re talking and writing about motherhood more than ever, yet we’re still stuck in a minefield of outdated language. So-called birth mothers, adoptive mothers, relinquishing mothers, surrogate mothers, single mothers, stay-at-home-mothers, working mothers, teen mothers, foster mothers, tiger mothers, lesbian mothers, and women-who-choose-not-to-be-mothers are currently being put into their places by labels that only make sense from the outside.

Labels are a kind of container. Since we’ve been using so many of them lately, we can only assume that it’s because we believe mothers need containing.

We know more and more about how crucial mothering is. We know that the quality of ourattachment to our mothers determines to a large extent how we relate to other people for the rest of our lives. We know that the mothering we received has a huge influence on whether we can manage to mother well ourselves.

We also know that mothering has the most profound affect on our physical and mental health. But for what is arguably the most important relationship in all of our lives, there seems to be a definite lack of understanding that motherhood does not exist in a vacuum. We are all part of making the world that mothers live in. Biology is important, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that biology is created environmentally.

you can read the rest of this article at newmatilda

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Have ladygardens ever been so newsworthy? I think not. In the mid 1980s, when I was Women’s Studies major, before it became Gender Studies and we were all forced to share unisex toilets with the annoyingly earnest men in our classes, talking about c*nts was not something that happened in the mainstream press.

This was of course back in the dark ages when we still had pubic hair and prospective lovers felt privileged to catch sight of labia of any description, rather than considering themselves to be connoisseurs of the perfect inner lip. Plastic surgery was for patsies with lots of cash and the worst things happening to our genitalia were perpetrated by other people.

Many feminists at the time were aware that seeing vulvas in the wild was the only real way to get a sense of the amazing variety of lady parts in the world and the only way to counteract the engendered sense of shame of having a c*nt at all in this culture. So like our sisters years before us, we sat in lounge rooms with speculums and mirrors and goblets of wine and were astonished by each other’s bodies. I’ll never forget a Caribbean Canadian friend of mine, weeping beside me, “I didn’t know I was pink inside; I’ve never looked before”.

This is the reasoning behind The Large Labia project (NSFW), a collection of images and stories of women’s vulvas whose aim is to promote wellness amongst women. It’s being published at a time when record numbers of women are de-enhancing their labia minora in an attempt to look more beautiful, normal, porn star or clean.

you can read the rest of this article at newmatilda

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