When your ‘nudes’ get published on the Internet

Before anyone inevitably judges me harshly based on the title of the post, I would like to say I have not had self-taken “nudes” of me posted on the internet a la Jennifer Lawrence (who is just one of hundreds who have been hacked. I assume everyone is talking about her, though, because there’s so many & they’re so god damn good). I have, however, had someone take pictures of me in the shower unbeknownst to me until they appeared on Facebook. By someone whom I was both committed to & trusting of (seemingly the only difference between me & Bingle). But yes, almost exactly like Fev’s impromptu ‘Lara Bingle in the shower’ portraits. A week apart from hers actually, to my utter disbelief. So while I HAVE looked at these leaked images (you are fucking lying if you pretend you’re ‘better’ than that) I HAVE also been on the other side of it. & it’s absolutely horrific, even when you’re a ‘nobody’.

My picture happened to be me in the shower, only my pert little 18-year-old butt on display thank GOD. So really, only side-boob & butt cheek was seen. It wasn’t much more than what you see on 18 year olds in nightclubs these days. But the horrific part was I was showering. A completely private, mundane, but also what I discovered to be sacred thing you do daily. Once you reach puberty, most of the time the only people who get to see you doing such a thing are your intimate partners. The feeling of utter violation is sickening. Someone called me when it happened, & my stomach dropped like I had just jumped out of a plane at 30,000 feet. Next were the tears. Lots. This was all before I got to read the comments. For some disgusting but somehow understandable reason, guys had started rating me out of ten. “3/10″, said one guy I didn’t think was even attractive enough to let buy me a drink, let alone be looking at me showering & then deeming me of below average appearance.

The next ordeal was the police. I walked into that station scared, humiliated & confused. I was met with a female officer who viewed the screenshot I had taken, including all the comments. “Have you asked them to take it down?” she looked at me dismissively. She could have just called me a slut & I would have been LESS offended. She then told me there was “nothing” they could do. That’s right. If someone happens to post revealing images of you on Facebook, it is outside of their sanction & they can’t really do anything about it. It was eventually deleted, obviously (hello violation of the terms & conditions), but the damage was done & I assume this is how all these celebrities feel. Utterly hopeless, as it’s beyond anyone’s control except for threatening legal action on a global level.

Illustration by Cathy Wilcox

Illustration by Cathy Wilcox

As someone who has unfortunately sort of been-there-&-done-that to a minor extent, what’s blowing my mind is the ill-informed feminazi quotes I’ve seen of “IF YOU SHARE THESE IMAGES YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN THE PERPETRATOR/HACKER! YOU HAVE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED THESE WOMEN TOO!” Are you joking me? You are going to go so far as to call somewhat-normal voyeurs assailants too just because they can’t help but want to see naked bodies? You do realise you have just accused SEXUAL ASSAULT on a very, very large number of people whom are just like yourself? Don’t dilute such a serious crime. I don’t really blame anyone for saving my picture. Or even circulating my picture, which was done so on a small scale. Would I have done the same? You know what, probably. I would have meant no harm from it, but that sick part of me that loves to know business that’s not mine would have prevailed. These women are celebrities, of course people will want to see their tits & then show it to their friends. It’s not right, but is its occurrence not understandable?

While I empathise with the situation; Jennifer Lawrence, if you are reading this… I love you. Everyone else, perhaps the next time this sort of situation happens to someone you may know, I hope you remember my post & the humanistic side before you text it to 25 of your ‘closest’ friends with a “lol”… But you probably won’t.

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Instagram

Sometimes I wonder if I have well & truly lost my mind. Whether I had it together in the first place is debatable, but seriously. Whenever I buy something pretty I have this sick, self-obsessed routine;
I will get home. Put my bags down. Take my shoes off. Pretty normal shit, right? Then, the FIRST thing I do is grab the objects of my misspent money & I traipse around the house trying to find THE perfect place to get THE perfect picture to upload to Instagram. It’s both narcissistic & sad, yet I cannot stop. & this is why Instagram is essentially one of the most fucked up & contrived social media platforms to have ever leached its cancerous roots into my life.

I LOVE Instagram, let’s get this one fact straight before people hound me for my meticulously curated account of preplanned beautiful shit that I oft upload. I LOVE IT. I CHECK IT RELIGIOUSLY. I UPLOAD RELIGIOUSLY. I STALK PEOPLE RELIGIOUSLY. I’m obsessed with it to the point that it’s starting to mould & shape my everyday life in a way that is both laughable & toxic. Facebook, on the other hand, kind of pisses me off. The amount of times I see posts about something like animal abuse & then stew on it for weeks while never actually doing anything tangible about it is ridiculous. Facebook annoys me constantly, even though I for some reason still have it. Mostly to laugh at funny shit & tag my boyfriend in things, I guess. WHY is it, though, that Facebook well & truly has the ability to upset me regularly, & yet all Instagram does it satiate some primal magpie-like desire to see bucket-loads of pretty things? BECAUSE INSTAGRAM ISN’T FUCKING REAL. I’m NOT saying that every person that’s using it is fake (hello, am I not one?! I’m addicted to this shit). But every single upload on Instagram comes from a completely falsified & preordained place, & it’s not an honest representation of either life or who we are as individuals. It’s curated like an art gallery would be, the entire process of uploading an image much more intricate of a thought process than you have probably ever considered.

Source: google

Let’s take a look at the ‘insta-celebrity’, shall we? The kind that posts their breakfasts to receive upwards of 10,000 likes for a bread board with food on top of it (no boobs in sight & 10,000 likes?! Witchcraft). While you or me would just make our breakfast & fucking eat that shit while wishing we could go back to bed, I imagine the ordeal of being an Instagram celebrity & eating breakfast would be utterly exhausting. While we would just shoot it on our iPhones while sipping coffee, my half-trained & unfinished-photography-degree eye tells me that these people take their pictures on a professional-standard digital SLR camera. Normal people speak? An expensive camera with a big-ass lens. That’s why their toast looks FABULOUS. It was taken on a fabulous camera, & maybe even tweaked on photoshop before being emailed to their mobiles to then be uploaded on Instagram with a pretty filter. & that is the process to getting thousands upon thousands of likes for a food photo. How much more contrived & constructed could anything possibly be?

I’m not here to just rag on other people who can’t defend themselves, I’m going to rag on myself too. My selfie-taking process (just the word selfie has immeasurable amounts of self obsession which I am ashamed of) is lengthy & stupid. First of all, I never take selfies in front of people. Obviously, it’s EMBARRASSING. There is an innate part of me that is at least trying to be normal. If someone were to film me taking selfies & play it back I’m sure it would be the most cringeworthy thing ever. Nearly as cringeworthy as Kim Kardashian’s selfie book. I probably take, on average, 30 selfies in a selfie session. 30. THIRTY. T-H-I-R-T-Y PICTURES OF MY OWN FACE. Then I cull. Double chin in that one? Delete. Eyebrow hair out of place? Gone. Hair looking flatter than my sorry ass after drinking a bottle of wine the night before? Fuck no, delete. So then there’s the candidates. I will look at each (say, three?) ten times each; picking them to within an inch of their lives. Two will get deleted as I looked at them so much they’re now butt ugly. There is a victor, finally. A face I am okay with letting my followers see. Better slap a filter on it so I look better than I actually do in real life. VOILA. AN INSTAGRAM SELFIE POST! I have literally micro-managed this picture to within an inch of its life. It’s not casual. It’s not simple. It’s not even really that honest, I guess.

Before Instagram. Raw image.

Before Instagram. Raw image.

After Instagram, including a filter etc.

After Instagram, including a filter etc.

Such is the premise of instagram. It’s not really an accurate or correct representation of anyone’s lives, including my own. Instagram shows what people deem the “best” parts of their lives: the holidays, the shopping sprees, their dimple free asses after the 100 squats a day challenge & their new, juicy fake boobs which came with a free side of 20,000 new followers. At least on Facebook people sometimes get drunk & write a status about their dodgy baby daddy who hasn’t paid child support since their kid was born. At least that’s real as fuck, however questionable it may be to over share on the internet. You will rarely see that kind of raw honesty on Instagram among the green juices & Wang Rocco bags. I guess that’s why I love it, it’s all amazing shit & none of the bullshit. But it also pains me, because I pride myself on being such an ‘honest’ & ‘real’ person. But anyway, I’m off to make a coffee & construct a beautiful vignette of it for Instagram to hopefully get 100 likes. 100 likes or why bother, right?!

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REVIEW: Tsuki

Tsuki is the artisanal love child of a science nerd & minimalist fetishist. These candles are both bad ass, but delicate & I absolutely adored shooting these baby beauties on my camera which I hadn’t picked up in forever. I didn’t have to do much work to get good shots, as they did it for me. Effortlessly cool, the stand out for me was the packaging. Tsuki have perfected minimal chic; the black boxes slipping together to encase the candles like familiar & fond lovers. The only detail on the packaging is the sleek & simple branding; & it needs nothing else. I love these candles. I love the packaging. Really, I’m just in love.

 

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Purchase HERE 

Relationships

If my blog had digital cobwebs, I just spent 10 minutes dusting them off. I almost forgot I had a blog. Well, not really. But it sure as shit would seem that way. There’s been something on my mind long enough to warrant me putting my rant hat back on (it’s never far from reach) & deciding it was time. Time to write about something that’s fucking ridiculous (in my opinion).

“10 steps to a better relationship!”, “How to never fight with your partner again”, “How to be the perfect couple”. Obviously, I’m not here to give relationship advice per se. I’m here to have a critical look at what this relationship-angst phenomenon really is. We’re fucking bombarded with this shit. Seriously. As if body image & health & sexuality & all the other god damn things in life didn’t provide us with enough to worry about on a daily basis, now every fuckwit working for every mainstream publication wants to tell YOU how YOUR relationship “should” be. That is if you don’t fit the square hole with your triangle shaped relationship, you should be concerned. The biggest & most annoying stigma, for me, has got to be the old “perfect-couples-never-argue” myth.

A friend aptly asked me a while ago, “do you guys fight?”. ‘You’ being me & my partner. “Always”, I replied, with no hesitation. This reply might seem somewhat shocking to the majority of people. It’s strangely taboo to admit that deciding on a restaurant to eat at can soon escalate into full blown character assassination & a night of sleeping in separate beds. If I had a dollar for every smug person who said to me they never, ever fight with their partner I would have zero dollars actually… Because I just punched them in the face & never spoke to them again. No, but seriously. If you “never” fight, well done. Would you like a cookie? Take it. If that’s your biggest relationship goal then I sort of feel bad for you anyway.

Yeah I just went there...

Yeah I just went there…

Being in a relationship means being around that person all the time. Being in a relationship means finding out the annoying shit about someone. Being in a relationship means dealing with the annoying shit about someone while being around him or her all the time. Being in a relationship also means your feelings are going to get hurt, & you’re going to react in ways that are emotional or irrational sometimes. Sometimes you’ll get drunk & think that your partner was staring at someone else’s ass, when really they were concentrating super hard on not puking in the club. You’ll then tip your drink over their head & have to spend half of Sunday being cutesy-pie & ever so sorry for being such a fuckwit. This is life. Shit happens, hey? It always has. It always will. Why then, do we shame people for doing something relatively normal, like arguing? For admitting sometimes their partner chews really loud & it sounds so gross so they fucking scream at them & then think maybe they could have just said politely to please stop (guilty).

Pretending your relationship is ‘perfect’ is something everyone should stop doing. Right now. It does no one any favours, including yourself. I can’t even imagine how it would feel to be someone who avoids fighting with their partner, just so they can wear the ‘perfect couple’ crown & sit upon some fake as fuck throne made out of bullshit & lies all for the sake of show. Please don’t try to tell me these types don’t exist because they do. I have met them. For those couples I ask; how do you vent? How do you work through issues? How do you know you’re not going to have an aneurism very, very soon?

Unless all you’re doing is fighting & nothing else (& you’ve forgotten what sex is because you can’t trust yourself near their genitals for want of biting it off forever as revenge for that side chick you found out your boyfriend was messaging on Facebook) I would almost be willing to say that if you fight every now & then, you’re on the right track. It means you care. & it means that there is love, passion, fire, & two people that are autonomous from each other.

What could be ‘healthier’ than that?

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GIVEAWAY TIME

I used all capitals for the title of this because in real life I’d scream it at you. Real loud. FREE STUFF! 

I chose to give away candles from the Glow Co for simple reasons, really. I’ve loved these candles from day dot & there’s nothing quite like someone following their dreams. & achieving them, might I add.

If I was ever going to plug ANYTHING it has to be a brand/product/company I am genuinely passionate about, & love “in real life”. I’m not really down for giving something away purely because it’s been offered to me or is easy to flog. I have Glow Co candles around my house, & Hollywood is the best scent I have ever come across in my whole life. Even Glasshouse cannot touch this scent. BIG CLAIM, I KNOW. It’s true.

So, I am giving away FOUR Glow Co candles. TWO Hollywood & TWO Mermaid (which is my second favourite). All you have to do is repost the graphic on Instagram. Hashtag #ssxgc. Follow & tag me @courtseesquared. & then cross your fingers & wait until this time next week.

OR if Instagram isn’t your thing, you can subscribe to this blog (the button is at the VERY bottom of the page).

I love you all, I wish I could give away something for nothing. But I’m not that popular/rich/selfless yet. So plug me real good & you might win!

GOOD LUCK XXX

The C word

Do I even need to pre-warn anyone? DON’T read this if you are particularly offended by the C word. Because, well, it’s ALL about the C word. I’ve at least traded the U for an asterisk, for some poorly attempted “modesty”.

I remember the first time I ever heard it. I was around 8, sitting on the gutter of my driveway in the quiet court that I used to live in. All the kids who lived in the street were friends to various degrees, & so when another kid was trespassing on our territory it was pointedly noted. Quickly. This little turd was riding his bike up & down OUR street & I guess we decided to pick a fight. He called my friend a c*nt, & when I asked said friend what it meant (he was significantly older than my tiny, naive self) he told me it was “every swear word in the world mixed into one”. I think this echoes most people’s sentiments. Except mine.

Pretty.

Fast forward from the 8 year old me, to my 23 year old self last Sunday night. Somewhere between then & now, the C word & I became very fond of each other. Judge all you want, being vulgar is something I’m very good at. So I was watching the Real Housewives of Melbourne (I know, I know) & was pretty fucking offended, actually. Why? Because two grown women would NOT let it go that they had been called a c*nt. They couldn’t even come out & honestly say they didn’t like the c*nt dropper as a person, it was just HOW DARE YOU CALL ME THE C WORD. “WOMAN TO WOMAN”. HOW DISGUSTING!

Now, why on earth did it offend me, you’re asking? Why is it even any of my business what these women were carrying on like animals on heat about? Well, I’ll start with the notion that a c*nt is actually a slang term for a vulva. Women have a vulva. That’s what makes them women. The vuvla. The vagina. The c*nt. So the notion that women should NEVER, EVER use this word is ridiculous. If anyone has the right to use such a word, is it not the people wielding one? The vagina is an all-mighty thing. & I have one. & I think, of anyone that gives me the right to say the C word. More so than a man. Who has a dick. & funnily enough, if these women had’ve been called a dick I don’t think they would have been sitting there calling the c*ntee “vile”. If you can let dick roll off the tongue without so much as a blink, why are you not comfortable with c*nt? Same, same. Seriously.

A lot of people would argue it’s not a ‘womanly’ thing to do. Men can drink beer & call each other a c*nt down at the pub, but women shouldn’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever say it. Not even when inebriated. Not even when angry. Never. This incites pure rage from the absolute core of me. We are lucky enough to not live in the 19 fucking 50′s where a woman couldn’t venture from the kitchen lest she become lost & need rescuing. Let’s not regress back to that, please? It’s just a word when you want to argue semantics. & it’s 2014. Everyone should be free to enjoy the pleasures of the C word. It’s naughty. It’s taboo. It’s satisfying.

I’m not saying to call your future mother in law & greet her with a “sup c*nt?”. I’m just saying, perhaps it’s no longer “every swear word mixed into one”. If you’re lucky, I’ll call you c*nt. If I’m really mad, I’ll call you mate. I think that nicely sums up where this word sits in modern vocabulary.

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The problem with blogging

I feel as though I’ve got a lot of explaining to do. Namely, about this long as fuck leave of absence that I’ve taken from this blog. If you’re after something funny or interesting you might be sorely disappointed. But if you’ve been wondering where I’ve gotten to, please keep reading. I’m about to write what will hopefully be cathartic for me & a bit of an insight for you.

When I started ‘See Squared’ I didn’t give a fuck. Literally. I just wanted to write because I liked writing. Simple, right? My blasé attitude towards people’s feelings about me in real life was ASSUMED to carry over into internet life. That’s where the problem began.

You could come up to me in real life & tell me you didn’t like me. I’d probably tell you I didn’t like you too, as I assume you wouldn’t like me for a reason & I probably harboured the same detest. I would sleep soundly that night not thinking about the aversion we had to each other. We would know each other somewhat well, & so we both had a right to come to the conclusions we had of each other.

When I write, it’s a little part of me. It manifests in my brain, shoots down my synapses, & materialises out of my fingers while I am typing. Even when I’m writing about ‘nothing’, it’s not nothing. It’s an hour or so of my time spent crafting something. Like an artist painting, I care about my words. They piss me off when I can’t get them right. They upset me when it’s about something dear to my heart. I smile when I’m trying to be funny.

The point is, when I surmise my two arguments above & they become one: my writing is personal & when someone doesn’t know me, & judges me for it, it can hurt. Like being called a slut when I wasn’t even discussing sex. You can call me an idiot in real life & I’ll shrug & probably call you one too. But on the internet? You don’t even know me. How can that even make sense? Why would you say that?

This revelation of sensitivity has shocked me. I’m perplexed by it & I hate it. What a sook I have become seemingly overnight. I keep telling myself if I can’t handle the heat, then WHY am I in the kitchen? Leave. It’s so simple. Stop doing it if it’s not making you happy. Life is that simple at times, I think.

But I don’t want to leave. I want to keep going. While I begrudgingly move forward I’m still working through this double-edged sword that has surprised me. It’s not laziness, I want you to know that. I kind of think about this brain-child of a blog every single day, & I want to make it better. Like it’s a digital appendage that I want to work & make stronger. It’s a representation of me, & I’ve neglected it shockingly.

I’m not saying don’t talk smack about me. That’s delusional. I’m sorry for having such weak resolve.

Onwards & upwards, I’m ready to move on.

Courtney xx

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‘Psycho’ women

Apparently, there was once a time when ‘bitch’ was actually offensive. I know, right? Archaic. People, more specifically women, seem to be resolved to the notion that being a bitch is way too common & way too cliché to actually balk at. If someone has a vagina, & offends you or irritates you for whatever reason, the easiest thing to call her is a bitch. Because you don’t even need to actually DO anything to be a bitch. It’s used that frequently & inefficiently. There is, however, a word that really bothers me. It bothers me most when it’s being applied to women. & that word is a “psycho”.

I don’t renounce my previous views on feminism. Feminism calls for equality, not special treatment. But given the oppressed status of women sometimes the rules need to be skewed to create a level playing field. Psychopathy is actually a diagnosable personality disorder, something that should not be belittled or stigmatised. Nay, here we are. Calling someone a psychopath may also refer to a state of ‘psychosis‘, & this is where shit starts to get overwhelmingly offensive & sexist when applied to a woman. Psychosis is typified by an inability to distinguish what is real & what is not. Fact & fiction become blurred, often resulting in delusions & hallucinations. Put simply, very serious shit.

I am no stranger to the ‘psycho’ line. If I were, I wouldn’t be writing this. I am a prime candidate for being labelled a female ‘psycho’. Psycho itself is not altogether that offensive on first consideration. I argue, it is the place it COMES from that is offensive & wrong. When being called a psycho, it arises in situations that are probably heated. Emotionally-charged. Perhaps a woman decided to finally say how she felt, in both resignation & exhaustion. For example, finally a woman decided to tell her partner she didn’t like that he kept all his passwords private (IE. under lock & key with a drop of blood & the sacrifice of a baby goat to unlock them). Her partner gawks at her, heckles raised, & calls her a PSYCHO for feeling as though she needs to have that kind of access to his private life. Is she confused about what is real & what is not? Is she DELUDED? No. She’s insecure & their relationship is experiencing some sort of turmoil. But, she is not psychotic. Perhaps the man is psychotic for believing he could keep so much from his partner while still keeping HER too. But we don’t call him the psycho, do we? The woman is psycho. There are no rights & wrongs in this scenario, mind you. I am merely trying to articulate how gendered this word is.

What may even be worse than a man calling a woman psycho (men are not evil. I love men. I date a man. Feminazi’s are feminists scorned in my opinion) is a woman calling a woman psycho. As if she herself has never been unfairly labelled mentally unstable, we women will still turn around & do the same thing to someone else. A woman calling `’women’ as a generalised-collective psychopaths makes me so sad. To watch females take such a gendered & unequal patriarchal myth & continually recycle & re-use it is horrible. Women are not psycho. Women have genuine feelings, & when they voice these feelings it is not because of some deluded whim. Women’s feelings are not hallucinatory. They are real & should be treated as such. Too many times women call other women psycho’s because of how they act when dealing with difficult emotions. Maybe they add every girl on Facebook that their ex adds. Psycho? Apparently. Imagine the consuming inadequacy that is driving that girl to do that, though. She’s not some crazed stalker who is going to burn down your house in the middle of the night, she’s probably looking at your pictures, picking out everything that is AMAZING about you, & crying about it to her best friend because she feels like you are leagues better than her. These are just feelings. Maybe you wouldn’t have done what she did, but understanding why she did it easily explains why she is not, in fact, a legitimate psychopath. Just hurt.

The ultimate paradox, tell a woman she is crazy & that's when she will become "crazy".

The ultimate paradox, tell a woman she is crazy & that’s when she will become “crazy”.

When a man gets called a psycho, he has to have done something pretty abhorrent to earn the title. Say, glass someone in the face over some sweet pussy in the club on the weekend. This is about 5,000 huge leaps above getting emotional over another woman or being insecure. Glassing someone in the face? Only JUST earns the ‘psycho’ tag (& probably jail time). Not letting your boyfriend speak to that other girl who calls him after midnight every weekend because ‘friends’? PSYCHOTIC, OH MY GOD, ADMIT YOURSELF FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT! HOW DARE YOU!

Don’t call a woman a psycho. Unless she burned your house down. & if she didn’t? Well, call her a psycho, & see what happens next I guess…

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Dating an AFL player part 2

I never envisioned my overt propensity to piss people off without even trying would rear its head after what I believed to be an honest, self deprecating & slightly sarcastic few paragraphs on dating someone who plays football. In all my efforts to tell people I’m just like everyone else (“well DUH why the fuck are you telling me this?!” a lot of people wrote, too many for me to remind that it was not them I was really targeting then), I was criticised as seeming ungrateful. Spoilt. Whiney. Okay, fair enough I guess. While I still stand by everything I said (another year of being just off stage left in the wings has begun), I thought I would bring you the flip side. The awesome shit that comes with dating an AFL player. In case you weren’t put off the first time, if you still want a professional ball kicking boyfriend for whatever reason then here’s the perks.

THEY WORK OUT FOR A LIVING

Let’s get the obvious out the way, these boys exercise as their job. I pay large sums of my skint money to work out daily; these boys enjoy the reverse. They are basically paid to be in peak physical condition. & who gets to enjoy that ‘peak physical condition’? That’s right, you. God bless you, Australian Football League. You have gathered together some of the best male bodies in Australia & provided women with a platform to watch them. A great body is just the metaphorical ‘abs’ on the overall aesthetic rig that is their talent & skill, don’t get me wrong. It’s good though. Also, have you seen those full length skin-tight skins that they wear? SANS shorts over the top? Lord.

HEAPS OF FOOTY

While most partners have what may be called THEIR OWN LIFE (read: I can’t watch your game I’m studying/working/maybe painting my nails because I deserve it etc) you can watch as much or as little football as you like. You can go every week if you wish. Or every second week, if you are seeing someone from a team in Western Australia. If you LOVE footy this is probably the most amicable of existences you could imagine. You don’t pay to go, but don’t be surprised at the seats if you’ve never been courtesy of a player before. You’re not given anything better than anyone else, contrary to popular misconceptions. I’d like to suggest you take well-earned breaks on a regular basis if you’re going to go every weekend though, as holding your breath for 2-3 hours more often than not results in severe migraines.

As little or as much of this as you like.

As little or as much of this as you like.

INVITATIONS TO THINGS BY DEFAULT

If you’re like me, you’re not really in with the social circles. Never fear, you AUTOMATICALLY now get included without even having to try! If your partner gets invites to cool shit, it’ll probably say “Your partner’s name + 1″. Your name mystically became “plus one” at an nondescript point in time but, who actually cares? Free drinks & food. Awkward-mingling-because-you-know-no one-aside, this is fun. Although I don’t get invites to exciting things all that often, the chance to put on makeup & wear something other than trackies or gym clothes is nice. Also, free drinks & food. 

Annual invite to the Best & Fairest is included.

Annual invite to the Best & Fairest is included. There’s wine.

GENETICS

If eugenics freaks you the fuck out but you want to ensure your children have the best chance in life, perhaps procreating with an AFL player with bless you with an abundance of athletically abled babies. The fact that your offspring will probably be given a ball as early as they are given a boob should help, too.

THEY ARE WHO THEY ARE

At the end of the day, when I take this seriously for one second, the best part of dating an AFL player is who they are as a person. You don’t fall in love with a profession, & this goes for doctors, tradies, FIFO miners & footy players alike. Sure, maybe a job can be alluring in the early stages. “You kick a red ball while running on grass with a bunch of other men EVERY SINGLE DAY? Well, wow. What a time to be alive”. BUT, inevitably if you don’t like a person you simply don’t like them. You can’t force love. Or I don’t think you can anyway, as I haven’t really tried. I’m more of a love it or leave it type of person. These guys are great guys, with their own merits & talents off the field as well as on.

So now, I have at least presented both sides of the story. Balanced reporting. Or blogging, whatever. Take from it what you will, but I hope mainly it’s just a laugh.

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“#ZeroTrollerance”

I’ve previously stated that the dialogue about suicide needs to be started. That it’s taboo & shouldn’t be, & that we should find a way to eliminate the shame in talking about suicide. I still stand by this statement. Suicide, like anything else, is a symptom of illness. It says a lot about our society that we can openly discuss sores, snot & rashes as a result of an illness but we cannot fathom discussing suicide at the dinner table. I find it difficult to discuss. I really do, it’s something that has changed my life. Because of this, I am a supporter of anything that facilitates discussion about mental health & suicide. Previously, it has been something that is not to be mentioned.  A real no-no. You’d have people turning up their noses at you & whispering behind their hands about the audacity of such a subject of discussion. That’s changing, & it’s a very positive thing.

A couple of days ago the “#ZeroTrollerance” hashtag reared its head on Facebook. On further investigation, it seems Jules Lund did a radio special with some celebrities to discuss his approach to social media “trolls”. Lund’s advice to just block “trolls” online is probably one of the most logical & level headed responses I have seen lately. You can literally stop it with one button. But no doubt the passing of Charlotte Dawson has influenced this whole paradigm shift in the discussion of mental health. I do not wish to discuss her death, it’s been done enough. I also don’t have the right, I did not know her. I do not know anything about her life, & so am not able to draw intelligent conclusions about the topic. Her passing has magnified the role cyber bullying contributes to mental health issues. Magnified a great deal. Herein lies the problem.

We all should have respect for everyone. We are all human. Skin, flesh & bone. We are all one & the same, pardon the cliché. This is why it’s important to be respectful, kind, & tolerant as much as we possibly can. It’s something I struggle with daily, I am no Saint. I try to practice what I preach. Sometimes it’s fucking hard when someone is driving ridiculously slow & you’re late. But really, when you step outside of your own little universe where you are the sun & that dickhead is Uranus, it doesn’t matter. At all.

Rapid digitization of everything & the anonymity this facilitates, co-mingled with widespread human obsession with social media has borne a new type of bullying. ‘Cyber-bullying’. I cannot deny that respect is lacking on the internet. I’ve experienced it myself. Nor can I deny that it’s sad. It just seems to be a result of giving someone internet access & the ability to hide themselves. We have to expect it. It seems almost… Natural. Dare I say it. It was always going to happen. But the media has drawn a CAUSAL link between cyber-bullying & suicide. As a result, everyone is fighting cyber-bullying as though their lives depend on it. Seriously. As though if we don’t stop it thousands of people may lose their lives. Some may, but it’s melodramatic at best by the media to think that most suicides are a result of bullying.

This is simplistic. This demeans mental health, purely by ignoring the myriad of factors that contribute to it. This, I believe, is not a GENUINE way to prevent suicides. Should people rally against “trolls” (I hate that term). Yes. If they want to. If they feel passionate about trying to eradicate them. Will this reduce suicide statistics on the whole? I’m not sure. Mindframe, using statistics taken from the ABS, say that roughly 2,320 people die by suicide yearly in Australia. 76% of those deaths are male. The narrative told by the media would have us believe most are female, & victims of vitriolic online bullying. The statistics compared to media reporting is somewhat worrying, to say the least. To convince people that suicide is caused by nasty words ALONE is unfair. Suicide is complex. Trying to understand it is a daily burden on those left behind. Trying to understand ones own mental health problems is a metaphorical minefield of heavy shit. So simplifying either of these things seems to be quite offensive. I hope this doesn’t seem dramatic, but I am offended by it. Accepting & understanding the role mental illness plays in suicide is important. Simplifying it isn’t correct. It isn’t fair. It isn’t right.

The 'Biopsychosocial' model of health. A simplistic look at the varying contributing factors to mental health. There are many.

The ‘Biopsychosocial’ model of health. A simplistic look at the varying contributing factors to mental health. There are many.

The ‘zero tolerance’ approach like ‘Charlotte’s Law’ irks me. It’s like a modern day, cyber witch hunt. “Throw them in jail”. “Let them rot”. “They are scum, they should get what they deserve”. Hello? Sound familiar at all? We’re fighting cyber bullying with cyber bullying, are we? The people who feel validated from hurting others are more than likely hurting too. So, we’re going to publicly shame them? Slander them? & try to pass legislation to make it actionable to punish these people? This is illogical. I’m not denying the seriousness of what they do, I argue that CONDEMNING them is too simplistic of a solution also. They are people with underlying causes & reasons as to why they do what they do. Perhaps they suffer from mental illness also. Perhaps they are clinically depressed. It’s all too complicated, intricate & intertwined for me to believe a zero tolerance approach & legislation is the solution.

Encouraging respect is important. Letting people know cyber bullying isn’t okay? Yeah, that’s important too. Simplifying suicide down to the general premise that “being mean might make someone take their life. Don’t do it EVER or we will PUBLICLY CONDEMN YOU” is worrying. Suicide is complex. It deserves respectful dialogue about the MANY underlying causes & factors. Perhaps cyber bullying & suicide have a relationship in some circumstances, but we would be better off separating the two & tackling them as issues in & of themselves. So many people take their lives for a great deal of other reasons. Shouldn’t we acknowledge this & address them too?

SANE Australia helpline
1800 18 SANE (7263) or www.sane.org

Lifeline Service Finder
lifeline.serviceseeker.com.au

beyondblue: the national depression initiative
1300 22 4636 (1300 bb info) or www.beyondblue.org.au

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