Monday, April 16, 2012

Love is love... if only Government agreed...

You know I've blogged about marriage equality in the past, so my feelings on the subject are no secret. My tweep @jonquil_w has sent a submission to the Parliament Marriage Equality Survey and I offered to share it here.
I don't talk about marriage equality much, because I think it is something that should exist without ideological or religious debate, but I felt I had to submit this and I want it on record as my stance. 


Recognising a domestic relationship in law by means of marriage is an issue of governance and attribution of legal rights and responsibilities. Such attribution must be based on the existence of the relationship, not any ingredients of it, the substance of which do not effect the consensual basis of the union. We have no more reason to deny marriage to same sex couples than we do to any person of any gender, race or religion. It is not a matter for competing ideologies, but of a common, basic ideology that favours human rights and access to legal protections above all else.

Our current system forces same sex couples to live as de facto couples. The right to live, but not to be recognised or protected, even if they should choose to be so recognised and protected. Having to argue for the recognition of what already exists de facto - in fact - is fundamentally inequitable of itself. A society does not deign to afford people rights as though they were privileges; it grants rights on the understanding and sorrow that they have not been granted to date and should have. Please, can Australia afford everyone this respect and end discrimination.

You can participate in the survey until 20 April, 2012. Let's make a lot of noise and try to get relevant ignorant politicians to see sense!
 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Session

Kirrily at Sunny Side Up joined in her very first Sunday Session with Thea at Do I Really Wanna Blog? and has inspired me to do the same. I don't know why I haven't done it before, it's a quick, simple post and suits me perfectly!

Music has always played a big part in my life, from spending nights as a teen in my room listening to the Top 9 at 9 (or whatever number the local radio station chose at the time!), to working in the industry in various ways. These days there's a lot of Wiggles mixed in with my usual music choices, but I still love to discover new songs that grab my attention.

I've never really been a fan of hip hop/rap, but this week I was introduced to Hilltop Hoods and on recommendation I downloaded the album. It's been on repeat ever since. The song "I Love It" (featuring Sia) grabbed me the first time I heard it. I think it's safe to say, I love it!



I'd love to know what new music has gotten your attention lately!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Child's Play




Our school was on the news yesterday after a parent called the TV station to voice their horror at something written in the school newsletter.

In part:
Some school activities and physical education, particularly contact sports, carry inherent risks of injury. Parents are advised the Dept of Education & Training does not have student accident insurance cover for students. If your child is injured at school as a result of an accident or incident, all costs associated with the injury, including medical costs are the responsibility of the parent or caregiver.

Student accident insurance pays some benefits in certain circumstances should your child have an accident.

The "whistle-blowing" parent was seemingly put-out at the thought of paying their own medical costs when little Mary falls off the monkey bars, and didn't like being told to take out insurance. Even though, at no point, was it deemed compulsory.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the way things have always been? At least in Government schools. It definitely was when I, in year 7, broke my ankle doing gymnastics in PE. The school is held responsible in situations where an accident has occurred due to negligence on their part, of course, but otherwise, deal with it the same way parents always have.

For some, insurance might be the way to go, that's a personal choice. Given the responses of some parents I actually think the school has done a good thing reminding families of the way things work. The news story actually pointed out that some private schools include student insurance as part of their annual fees, but is it really necessary?

Have you heard of student accident insurance? Does your school offer it? Has the world gone mad?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Movember!

As October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, drew to a close, men everywhere started baring their faces in preparation for Movember. "Movember?" you ask. "What is Movember?"

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.
Of course, there is a lot more information on the Movember website.

In Australia the funds go specifically to Beyond Blue and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. This initiative is particularly important because, as we know, men generally aren't exactly keen on seeing Doctors or asking for help. It's all about awareness.

Obviously growing a mo isn't for everyone, let's face it, there are some men who struggle in the facial hair department. And most women would have a problem too. But there are other ways you can help. You can donate money to someone you know who has registered to grow a mo, to a team, or make a general donation. You can also contribute by purchasing Movember merchandise.

I'll be donating to a few friends for their efforts, and even Thing1's male teachers have formed a team to join in! If you're on Twitter, here are a selection of tweeps who are doing their bit. Why not make a donation to one of them?



@greyko Donate here

@scuzzi_au Donate here

@PuppyOnTheRadio Donate here

@GhostofSirJoh Donate here

@LaceySnr Donate here

@matchtrick Donate here

Coolum State School team

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Some people think breast cancer awareness is one of the "nice" causes, everyone supports it and it gets plenty of publicity. While this is true, it's hardly nice for the women (and men!) affected by this insidious disease. Like with all cancers, the treatment is often worse than the disease itself, and there can be far reaching consequences of this treatment.

One of my favourite bloggers @YogaChikk has written a powerful post about her experience on her sex & relationship blog Naughty Time. Since her site does contain graphic adult images, she's given me permission to repost it in full here for those who might not appreciate those images (or who want to read it with the kids around!). You can find the original post here.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month--My Story

This post is going to be different from my others in that I will reveal something that has been a very private and emotional thing for me.... 

I have had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. 

I am doing it solely to help other women and the men in their lives to understand the emotional and physical upheaval that goes on once there is a diagnosis of breast cancer. Because my blog is about sex and relationships, that is how I'm going to discuss this..

As women we see our femininity based in those things that are completely female.  Our breasts are one of those things.  Our breasts can feed our children,  and bring us and our partner pleasure. There are very few things that say WOMAN like your breasts do.  Undergoing a bilateral mastectomy was...traumatic.  Suddenly instead of round breasts and perky nipples...there was just a flat chest and scars.  My path was a rocky one and it didn't go well.  I spent a year, having repeated surgeries.  In that year, not only was my health impacted, but so was my relationship.

Its hard to feel sexy and feminine when a part of you has just been amputated.   Your clothing doesn't fit right...you have numbness and pain.  Your body has become almost the enemy...something you are fighting against.  Everytime you look at yourself in the mirror there is the glaring evidence that you are not whole.  How you and your partner deal with that will go a long way towards your emotional health during this traumatic time.

During my personal journey I met a lot of other women.  Some had supportive partners and some didn't.  One story stood out to me among all others.  A woman said that after her mastectomy her husband didn't even want to look at her chest until her reconstruction was complete.  I was personally horrified by the lack of caring and compassion he showed his wife.  She was basically undergoing a radical change to her body and self esteem and her partner was concerned with only himself and her final outcome.  Don't be THAT guy.

I know its not pretty.  There is nothing sexy about a flat chest and scars and the expander process is far from a walk in the park.  However, if your partner realizes and verbalizes that their love for you is about more than just your breasts.  That the loss of those symbols of femininity doesn't make you any less feminine.  That you are still desirable and loved.  Then you will be able to cope so much better with the whole process. 

When breasts are reconstructed, there are aspects that men are not aware of...like your new breasts will be numb. Nerves are cut and you will likely have very little to no sensation in your reconstructed breasts.  Nipples as well have to be reconstructed and they also will have no sensation, are typically flat and do no react to temperature changes or desire.  The areaola is tattoo'd on, this is typically the final step in the reconstruction process.  Some women choose not to have a "realistic" tattooing, they may choose to tattoo their breast or mastectomy scar with a symbol of beauty to them.  I say that whatever they choose ...their choice should be supported. 

You may not wish to engage in breast play the way you did prior to your mastectomy.  Your partner sucking on  your reconstructed nipples may cause you more distress than pleasure, because you may feel awkward about having him touch these reconstructed breasts in a sexual manner when they still feel more prosthetic than a part of you.  When you show your newly reconstructed breasts to your lover, you may be scared of their reaction...that they won't see you as sexy or beautiful anymore.  That your breasts which are a source of pride for most women will never be what they were...and this impacts your relationship and self esteem. 

The fact that the reconstruction process is typically not a fast one, means that for months you may have no breasts at all.  This may dramatically change how you interact with your lover.  You may wish not to take off your shirt during sex...or you may refrain from sex altogether out of embarrassement or fear of his reaction. I say this...love shouldn't be about your breasts.  Love is about your sense of humor and intelligence, its about your laughter and being a good mother/sister/friend/lover. Your partner fell in love with you because of WHO you are...not what cup size you wore.  So, don't give up sex, and don't underestimate its ability to bond you, reassure you and reconnect you when you need those things the most.

Know that this is your journey..and even with a supportive partner, you take it alone.  No one can undergo the process for you, each step you take is towards a goal of health, and you should be proud of that.  Be proud of your strength and determination.  Be proud of the fact that you met the battle head on.  The scars we have, show that you are a fighter.  Yes, your body has changed, but you stood your ground and you have nothing to be ashamed of. 

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month...I ask that all my female readers, do a self breast exam monthly and get annual mammograms.  The guidelines say to start them at 40*, but if you have any family history of breast cancer or you feel anything abnormal in your monthly breast exam, then please consult your physician.  Don't wait. 

You are a unique jewel in an ocean of bodies on this Earth...and you would be greatly missed by the people that love you.  So, for them, as well as for you..please get checked.

 *US.

A very different perspective to those we usually read about. There is no excuse for being ignorant about breast cancer and early detection. There is so much information readily available, and many organisations ready to help should the unimaginable occur.