Wednesday, December 24, 2008


As Randall Munroe ( commented on penises, isn't it time as a culture we got over breast size?

Why are bigger breasts better? Why as a culture are women bombarded with images of tiny bodies with massively huge breasts in cartoon or art form and large, fake breasts in porn and advertising.

I like breasts, don't get me wrong, but as a woman with a DD cup, I've thought about breast reduction so they stop getting in the way so much. Have you ever tried to exercise with large fleshy meatsacks strapped to your chest boys?

Believe it or not, many a large breasted woman is jealous of her small breasted friend, the one who will always have perky breasts that will never be affected by gravity, the one who doesn't have to wear bras ever. Unfortunately those lucky women often feel that their breasts are not as nice as those of us who have larger ones, and they're sad about it. Trust me, they're much luckier than me.

So, why this fascination with large breasts? I blame you men. Oh and the women who pander to such men, well not just to men, but to society's every expectation about what a woman should look/act like, who are then cruel to women who either don't fit these expectations or who willingly walk away from them.

So... how many men out there are breast fixated? Something about being breastfed as children apparently, or not being breastfed enough. I'm not a psych and make no pretences to understand the deep motivational forces of society, but I'm certainly suggesting that the focus on large breasted women should stop.

At the very least it should stop so that cosmetic surgeons, those that prey on insecurities, from fucking it up quite so often. I find porn on the internet sometimes for personal pleasure, sometimes for curiosity, but mostly because I use Stumble Upon (don't click that link if you're a PhD student), and porn is one of my topics of interest. So many women who have had breast augmentation appear in porn, well maybe breast augmentation and porn go together... in fact I find it refreshing when there are women with natural breasts of any size in porn.

What upsets me, is that women who may or may not have had really nice breasts before they had theirs surgically enhanced, get it done and then have horrible disasters on their chests. Nipples that point in directions that nipples hadn't ever pointed before, breasts that appear as inflated basketballs with no softness whatsoever. I think its the missing softness that upsets me the most. Breasts are soft and snuggly... turning one into an over-inflated air cushion does nothing for me whatsoever.

So, I suppose I want people to get over their own insecurities and do what needs to be done to their body (if anything) but not what a) someone else wants done or b) what you think needs to be done to get ahead.

Really, you're beautiful... even if people tell you you are not.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Australian National Anthem

Let's deconstruct the Australian National Anthem. Well the first verse anyway, because very few Australians know the second or subsequent verses (and I'm amongst the group that has no idea about the other verses).

Ok, lyrics are as follows and the history of the anthem is here:

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

Actually I might put the second verse in at the end of this post. Its full of things that some people might find interesting, but I'm going to provide no comment on it.

So, the first two lines:
Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;

So, the first line isn't too hard to understand. They gender included the anthem because it used to be 'Australian sons let us rejoice', and since there at least 50% of Australia are Australian daughters, someone thought it might be nice to share.

The second one doesn't refer to the average age of Australia, which currently is around 34 years (here) which means that next year I'll be an average Australian - how nice - but that as a nation we are relatively young, what with only declaring our independence in 1901 and becoming our own country and not another outpost of the United Kingdom - this also involved the Federation of a whole lot of kinda independent states/outposts of the United Kingdom into one country as well. Any history errors here are all my fault, I'm doing this from memory.

The free bit doesn't refer to Australian prowess in bed and our propensity to be easy to pick up on holidays (all gossip I'm sure), but to how we're a free nation, and given this was written before Federation, I'm really not sure what else the author meant. But anyway, we're free... isn't that nice. Though with the current climate of fear regarding terrorism, I'm not sure that we're as free as we were 20 years ago - but don't get me started on exchanging my freedom for safety.

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;

This... song... was written in sometime on or before 1878. Apart from the lovely fertility of Australian soil, it probably also refers to the huge amount of gold that has now been removed from Australia and used for all those things that gold is used for.

And yes, if you work (toil) then you can get wealthy, that's bleeding obvious really. So perhaps if you work hard in the gold fields, you can get very rich... or in the farming lands. Though although today there is still a lot of money to be made in the mining industry for things usually other than gold, there isn't as much money to be made in farming - but I think that's the story all over the world.

Our home is girt by sea;

Ah girt... one of those ancient and unused words of old. According to the Macquarie Dictionary, its the past tense of "Gird" which can mean "to surround; hem in". So Australia is surrounded and hemmed in by the sea. Well given we're the biggest island continent in the world, yes we're surrounded and hemmed in by the sea. Though that doesn't sound anywhere near as nice as "girt by sea".

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;

Less and less of our land is currently abounding in nature's gifts, beautiful or rich... and more of them are becoming increasingly rare. However, Australia is still a beautiful country and there are things here that aren't replicated anywhere else in the world - hence the rare bit. If it disappears in Australia, its gone everywhere forever.

In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.

So history should be full of saying how wonderful Australia is. How lovely... lets not have an accurate history of stupidity, waste, bad decisions, just the good that is done... lets forget the rest and fail to learn from it.

I'm much more for an accurate recording of history, from learning from our mistakes and from being brave enough to report the failures as well as the successes. Changing history is much harder these days. I'd prefer the anthem to say something about truth, but that's not to be.

In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

So anyway... lets all be happy that Australia is wonderful and sing its praises highly.

Well that's my take on the anthem... here is the second verse... make of it as you will.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.


Who was it that decided that pink was a feminine colour? Who thought that marketing pink for girls and blue for boys was a good idea?

Because if I ever find out, even if they're dead, I'm going to hunt them down (I'll make a time machine especially) and kill them. Permanently, fatally and as messily as possible.

There are a few, ok a lot, of things that make me see red and want to kill (I so need a holiday), and pink is one of those things that does it every time.

Why pink? Because its forced feminisation of women (and men). Because its seen as a "girly" colour (and although it looks good on some people - myself included), the idea that women must like pink it is therefore pushed and hard.

Lets take this site as an example. Its the site of the Australian, National Breast Cancer Foundation. I'm all for research into finding ways to prevent, treat and cure cancer. But as they decided to adopt pink, the "colour of women" (quotes all my own), I actively avoid purchasing products from manufacturers that donate a portion of the profits from their goods to said research, because they re-brand their goods pink. I almost refused to organise the "Pink Ribbon Breakfast" at work because of the whole pink thing, and I didn't suggest that people wore pink, I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Wikipedia adds in relation to the breast cancer awareness:

Pink is the color of the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon. Pink was chosen partially because it is so strongly associated with femininity.

And quite frankly, I think that sucks. I don't associate pink with any of the femininity that I admit to. So the National Breast Cancer Foundation loses out from me, and others who have issues with pink.

Things that have made me hate pink have included:
  • Being bought pink clothing as a child, because I was female
  • Being unable to find any sleepwear in any other colour than pink
  • Being told that pink is ladylike

Lets start with the last one. I make no claim to ever wanting to be a lady or to have ever been a lady. Ladies have no fun... I'm a tom boy through and through. I'd much rather be outside swimming, climbing trees and riding my bike for hours as a child than being proper, polite and doing "ladylike" things, whatever they were. These days, I continue to eschew things that would be deemed ladylike, because its really not me. I'm a geek.

Going to the first one... it goes to gender identity. I may physically be female, but I don't consider myself to be female. As far as I'm concerned I sit in the middle between male and female as far as my gender identity goes. Making me wear pink states that I'm on one side of the spectrum, when I'm very happy being in the middle... a lovely combination between feminine and masculine.

The third one just annoys the hell out of me. I've declared that I don't like pink, so give me options when I do have to buy sleepwear for those times I'm sleeping at other people's houses and sleeping naked isn't an option.

Apparently before World War 2, pink was considered a masculine colour, and so when the Nazis were busy persecuting homosexuals, they identified them with pink triangles as they were attracted to other men - article here.

So how pink ended up being a female colour I have no idea... I'm just going to lay all the blame at marketers. Wikipedia states:

In Western culture, the practice of assigning pink to an individual gender began in the 1920s. From then until the 1940s, pink was considered appropriate for boys because it was the more masculine and decided color while blue was considered appropriate for girls because it was the more delicate and dainty color.Since the 1940s, the societal norm apparently inverted so that pink became appropriate for girls and blue appropriate for boys, a practice that has continued into the 21st century.

The thing is, I like blue. Whether I'd blue if I was forced to wear it, I'm not sure. I haven't heard from any guys who wore blue as children now hating the colour. I think there is a lot more blue in nature, and so we deal with the colour better (the sky, the sky reflected in water). Pink is the colour of insides, of some flowers (though genetically manipulated ones typically) and of some sunsets. The sky is big, flowers, insides and sunsets aren't.

I know I'm not alone in my intense dislike of pink. I have fellow sisters and brothers who also hate the colour, and that makes this rant all the fairer. I just want manufacturers and charities to rethink pink... to not classify it as the colour of women... because that lumps us all into one bucket and we're a diverse rainbow, we're not all the same.