Julia Wells- N8333131

Week 2 Lecture: Labioplasty

Women's bodies are amazing things, I have learned this over my 22 years of how much it can change and motivate the way you are feeling and express yourself.
When watching the clip yesterday on women having labioplasty I found this really interesting and somewhat disturbing. It did not offend me that women were having this kind of procedure done, as everyone has the right to do whatever they want to their bodies, but it just seemed so extreme! I thought that being able to make the decision to have corrective cosmetic surgery on somewhere so private and intimate means that you must really find your labia incredibly offensive and ugly.
The Artist James McCartney did a wonderful thing by taking moulds of all those vaginas and putting them up for display. While looking at the different shapes in the video it clearly shows just how each and every women is different from each other, no one can be exactly the same. feminism.jpg

As for feminism I really did not know much except for Germain Greer and that was very basic. I found it really enlightening to learn that there are numerous types of feminism. I would like to think that I am a little bit of each, especially libertarian and a little bit of eco, however I feel that men and women are equal and that women should be given equal opportunity.


Week 3: Women in the media/advertising

It is really awful to think that only one in five women are happy with their bodies. Being surrounded by images and ideals of beautiful women, whether in magagines or billboards, adds more pressure onto women that they already have from work, uni, families and partners. The ideal woman is generally depicted as tall, thin, bronze and with no wrinkles-- it is no wonder that self destructive behaviour such as dieting, bulemia and anorexia occur within 1 in 10 Australian's. I went on to the Butterfly Foundation website and found it very empowering, their vision is, " To live in a world that celebrates health, well-being and diversity." If only advertising and fashion companies would incorporate such a statement when they are trying to sell a product. All women should feel comfortable in their bodies, feel proud of what they are and confident in every day life and not be pressured by billboards and magazines!!!!!!!
Mother Earth is who we should look up to when it comes to body image, a woman who is lumpy and bumpy but healthy in life, but that is highly unlikely.

Week 4- no lecture

Week 5: Women in fashion industry (Angela Dwyer)

It is amazing how criticised women are of themselves and other women in the fashion industry. Some women (and there a lot of them, myself included) read the fashion and gossip magzines and make terribly harsh judgements on how celebrities dress- even when they are caught only running the the shops for some food. We place so much importance on how we, as women, look all the time- whether it is what we are wearing or how we have decorated our face today. A lot of females are not confident enough to leave the house without putting on some make-up, I believe this is ingrained in a lot of us due to the pressures of the media and how celebrities are looking halfway across the world. It is imperative that we look good all the time just in case someone we know sees us, or if there is some guy around the corner how could Mr. Right. But women themselves are the cruelest judges, we complain how it is the medias fault that we need to be looking fabulous all the time, but really it is just the peer pressure we feel from other women surrounding us and our owm insecurities. We need to stop comparing ourselves with others and just be comfortable in the skin we are in, it is a lot to ask but I believe that we should all learn to love our bodies for what they are, ours. suzie_pregnancy_sculpture._small.jpg

Week 6: Fertility and Abortion

Pro choice. Women should have the legal right to choose whether they wish to have a baby or not.
It is important to empower women by letting them govern their own bodies, giving the rightful freedom to make their own decisions. I never new that abortions were illegal in queensland, having worked in GP's I was aware that women were able to choose this option of terminating a pregnancy but I never understood the lengths they had to go to to have it done. Looking back on it now nearly all of old school friends who have found themselves pregnant (unplanned) have kept their babies and becoming young single mums. It would be interesting to find out why they had their baby, whether it was due to the fact that having a child was the perfect thing that could happen or that it was much to difficult to have an abortion, or of course due to their beliefs.

Week 7: Womens Bodies
The TED talk we watched in the tutorial from the women who wrote the Vagina Monologues was very deep and moving. Thinking about what she was saying later on in the day gave me food for thought. What I understood from what she was preaching was that she never really new or respected her body and what it was capable of until she was much older and was diagnosed with cancer. I understood that when she was younger she never fully understood what her body was capable of and how in fact we are all connected . When she was discussing that she had to wear a hat to keep her on the ground I interpreted that she was just so light, she had nothing to tether her to the earth. She eventually learned her role as a women and how she belonged to the earth.

Week 8: Domestic Violence
Watching the clip from the movie Once Were Warriors was undboubtyl confronting. I am happy to say that I have never witnessed domestic violence and I have never been a part of it. No one should have to endure domestic violence of any sort, verbal, economic, physical or emotional it is belittling and against all laws of human nature. However, it is a real issue and many families and women suffer from constant abuse from their partners, I would like to say I understand why it happens but no one would ever fully know why someone decides to abuse. Is it incorrect for me to say that it is all the churches fault that women have been treated so wrongly all these years, all because Eve decided to eat the apple???? From that point on the church condoned violence against women and that a sound beating would knock some sense into her and keep her in line, it is totally the opposite. At least now in current society this is not true in western society, however in many countries around the world women are still treated less than dirt. Sold to men as wives, beaten at young ages and made to have children when they are only children themselves... How do we stop this?

Week 9: Substabce Abuse
I decided to do some YouTubing on this subject for a different perspective. I was amazed by all the American clips that were available, each of them were somehow advertising different "treatment centres" where you can check yourself in and 12 weeks become be a new woman. I feel that this is a bit abstract, substance abuse I beleive is created due to a deep rooted issue, which as explained in the lecture is carried through history from the varying misinterpretations of women and their "issues". The poem by Dorothy Parker I found entertaining but oh so true. The Women and Drugs Victoria report from 2008 reported that "
The number of women in Victoria that misuse drugs is small with 10.35% of women using illicit drugs in the past 12 months2 but the health implications for these women and their families are serious and wide ranging.
Women misuse both prescription and illicit drugs for various reasons. These include dealing with past trauma, relieving stress, and self medicating mental illness. Women and men’s drug use differs with men more likely to use drugs for recreational purposes and women’ more likely to use them to improve mood, reduce tension and cope with problems" http://whv.org.au/static/files/assets/7491ff64/Drugs_GIA_Aug_08.pdf.
To me this feels that for some women the only way they can move on from their problems is by hitting a bottle or indulging in medication. Where is their support system? Are family and friends not available to help them through these times, or is it easier to just bottle it up and deal with these issues by themselves?