Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Babey, I'm back

Hey kids,
It has been a fucking long time. We know that you haven't really missed us, nor have we really missed you but we have jumped back in the game. Well I have, 'I' being Beatrice, to check in and reflect on things and times gone by. Have a quick read of the headings and see if you likey. If you do have a good read. You can read a whole article modern day people, I believe in your attention spans. So here it goes.

1. The body and mind are inherently connected.

Your mind is an infinite entity that lives in the body, a place with a limited number of moves, restricted by boundaries. The mind's capacity to imagine is what makes it my favourite part of my body. It dares the defy boundaries just like I aim to in my day to day practice.

2. Polyamory is a terrible idea.

Contrary to a lot of what we used to say its not such a good idea. After our pursuit of polyamorous lives I decided to do some very thorough and very real research into the field. People are not robots and we cannot separate our feelings no matter how autistic we tell ourselves we can be.

3. Not having confidence in yourself is not worth your time

I got real shitty there in the middle and I completely forgot my own advice. Be good with yourself and everyone and everything else will be good to you. You cannot expect anyone to accept you if you do not accept yourself. So yeh babey I'm back and I am bigger and better than before but I am also more learned and I now know that ignorance is a cheap bliss. Awareness is the key to a true fulfilling life.

4. Check your privilege, not once, not twice, but again and again.

Welcome to 2016. We live in a day and age where there is a lot wrong with the world. People fight one another over what they think is there idea of right. I do all the time. But I also listen and I try to learn what I have that others don't have and how that effects my ideals. I am a white woman of middle class Australia who has enough time in my day to write for an overtly idealistic blog. I have the best life anyone could ask for, yet I have so many things to complain about. I must always check my privilege. It's easy for me to say and do things because of my situation in the world but my situation makes me more wrong than it does right. I am in the top 2%. I will keep on checking my privilege and staying aware of myself and others so that I don't have to feel guilty about taking my position in the world for granted. If I don't, I have failed myself and everyone else around me who is worse off.

5. Listen to others

If I ever stop someone from saying what they believe, hit me down right there and then. If we as people suppress the ideas of others, there ideas will still exist in the background being heard by others, they will just not be heard by us. Those ideas can still vote and can still cause repercussions. If we listen to what others have to say, and have active open conversations about them, there is a higher likelihood that those ideas can be altered or aligned closer to yours. Shutting down other  people's ideas is not the way to a better world. Do not be guilty of stopping that world from coming into full effect.

See you made it to the end. I am proud of us all for reading and of me for writing this condescending piece. Despite my attitude and strange remarks I do impart this information to you as some important things that I have learnt. This is good quality life info that took a lot of time to learn.

Take my word for it,
I know what I am talking about,
Bea Tucks

Thursday, 16 July 2015

to wax or not to wax? // the ideology of hair removal

EDITORS NOTE: this lovely post has been written by a good mate of BPC's - Leona! Enjoy, folks! 

I’ve been thinking a lot about waxing, shaving, and all the different ways in which people (usually women) remove the hair from their bodies. I’ve been thinking about the politicised and stigmatised nature of hair on women’s bodies, and about habits of hair removal as a feminist issue. Of course, I’m not the only one who’s had such thoughts, and what I’m writing here is not new or innovative, really.

[It’s also important to note that my perspective is that of a bisexual, cisgendered, white, feminist gal. So my experiences are definitely not universal, but (I hope!) at least mildly relatable]

Since it’s winter here in Sydney (and uncharacteristically, you can actually feel the cold in the air) I haven’t been studiously removing any and every follicle that dares to make an appearance from under my skin. Mind you, I’m not usually super diligent with body hair removal, so my winter legs look pretty much identical to my summer ones. There were a few years, though, when my internalisation of conventions was at its peak, and I obsessively shaved or waxed any hair below my eyelashes, as a lot of women do. And although there is nothing intrinsically wrong with removing hair from one’s body, it’s important to consider the reasoning behind it. At some point, probably as a result of epiphanies a-plenty in my life, I realised that I was putting in a lot of effort (and sometimes pain) to remove naturally occurring parts of my body.

A bit of history: both sides of my family are originally European (Austrian, German & Russian), so we tend to be fairly hairy, with fast growing hair to boot. When I was small, I was sometimes teased for my thick mono brow (and brows generally). When I was about 11 I realised that the hair on my legs was fairly long, dark, and thick. As I ingested the societal messages fed to me, I became aware that the images of beauty I looked up to were smooth and hairless.

~~I interrupt this li’l article with a PSA: I am in no way trying to criticise anyone anywhere who chooses to remove the hair from their body. I’m simply critiquing the ideologies and influences behind it. And now back to our program…~~

Body hair is not disgusting or unhygienic, and it’s wrong and harmful to lie about that. As this everyday feminism article eloquently explains, “If somebody had body hair…there was something inherently unattractive and unwanted about them…to have facial and body hair was basically a social death sentence.” This article also outlines some issues of trans folks in the context of body hair, which I think is really important; trans folks, and gender nonconforming people in general, are left out of a lot of important conversations even within the feminist (and LGBTQIA+) community. The article outlines a lot of complex issues to do with body hair, so I’ll leave it to the articulate Aidan McCormack to spell it out.

While we’re on everyday feminism, here’s another good read.

Re: body hair removal, I think this obsessive emphasis on it also has to do with the idealisation of eternal youth. I think that in some ways, this whole ideal of the hairless body links into the sexualisation of young girls, which is nauseating. It’s such a small age group in which women are accepted and, in a limited and exploitative way, celebrated.

A lot of these issues are echoed in this fantastic video.

I think companies are gross in the way that they are profiting off the manufactured insecurity of (predominantly) women. I also find it interesting (and interesting here means: pretty fucked up) that ads for hair removal products don’t show hair? Like, there’s no “look-how-amazing-our-product-is” moment? In the ads, the person is literally shaving a hairless leg!! Women’s body hair is stigmatised to the point where companies would rather advertise their product as ineffective than show a Scandalous! Hairy! Leg!

Ultimately, I think by critically evaluating these habits that are presented to us as normal I am doing what I can. And whether I wear the hair on my body long or short, bushy or non-existent, my value as a person is not impacted by the body I inhabit.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

how to // bring a little bitta heaven to the bath

There’s a few things in my life that are sacred: coffee dates with Bea, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and bath time. Usually after a run or a Zumba session I make room for a hefty chunk in my schedule and have a long bath.

Now, this obsession with elaborate baths started ages ago when my family went to Japan and went to a Japanese onsen, which was kinda of otherworldly in it's eternal nature. Onsens are Japanese (usually) public baths surrounded by little spindly gardens and they’re steaming hot and you actually rinse yourself off before you get in. When you get out you feel so innocent and clean and fresh, as if you’ve never rolled in the mud or stolen chocolate from the pantry.

So I take inspiration from that, as well as about a billion beauty youtubers and hippie blogs.

FIRST THINGS FIRST, I whip up a few concoctions in the kitchen.

The first is a body scrub. It’s simple as hell: about a cup of brown sugar, some olive oil and some vanilla essence.

I also mash a banana and mix it with about a tablespoon of honey and squeeze in half a lemon – this makes a really good face mask, as odd as it sounds. I also make a pot of tea.


I light a few candles. Turn on the bath. Fill it will nice oils and some body wash. Wait for a little, put on some tunes. (I’ve been listening to this playlist made by yours truly)  Read a book. (I’m reading Super Sad Love Story by Gary Shtenygart…would recommend)

Rinse in the shower for like 10 seconds. Scrub myself down with the afore mentioned brown sugar scrub. Turn the water back on. Use shampoo. Try to be super fast to save aqua. Turn the water off. Shave. Turn it on to wash off the crème. Turn it off. Put conditioner in my hair.

Get in the bath. Soak. Read that book, listen to the tunes, feel the bliss. This is good, this is therapeutic…is it not. Maybe put on some body wash if I’m not feeling quite clean enough. After a little while I’ll wash out the conditioner. Get out. Pat myself dry. Put on some nicely scented moisturiser, then my pyjamas. This is good shit guys, this is truly good shit. 

Happy bathing ladies, 
Bella Sucks

Saturday, 27 June 2015

confidence // a feminist issue

File this one under things I can’t stand: women deciding that Megan Trainer is a role model. ‘Wow what a strong, confident woman!!1!11!!!!’ She’s not. 

Here’s the thing, to understand why this is a stupid and ridiculous thing to say, there’s a number of factors we need to take into account. Let’s deconstruct something first…what exactly is it that creates confidence in a woman? How does this relate to the society we live in?

Let me address the women reading this post: do you ever feel small? Do you ever feel as though there’s a weight pushing down on you? Because guess what? That’s the idea, that’s the intention.

Lucky for us, this idea manifests itself in large and small ways. Grand et petit. Obvious and quiet. At the forefront of our minds and the back of our subconscious.

Women speak up less in classes at co-ed schools. They’re less likely to apply for promotions. They even take up less space on public transport.

SO why? In the most obvious and the most subtle of ways women in our society are made to feel small.

The reason this effects women so deeply f is a lil’ something called internalised misogyny. Internalised misogyny is responsible for all the things we internalise that don't help gender inequality one bit. But they’re fed to us by the media and the people in our lives because they’ve lived in our society for centuries. And once they’re internalised they’re difficult to unlearn.

Internalised misogyny is responsible for: slut shaming from women to other women and in turn an expectation to keep your sexual escapades under wraps or not to have too much sex. It’s responsible for girl hate. It’s responsible for women feeling like they have to look a certain way. It’s responsible for things that…in the long run, aren’t doing women any good, including that little thing that tells us we need to be small, the little thing that might tell us to tone ourselves down around men.

This seems like a good time to add something else to the file of things I can’t stand: people telling young girls to ‘just be confident!!1!!1!!! it’s easy!!!1!!1!!!’

It’s not easy for young girls to find confidence. It’s a journey of unlearning internalised misogyny…and that’s difficult stuff.

Bringing it back to our good mate Megan Trainor. In her song ‘All About That Bass,’ she does, yes, celebrate the full figured form so we could give her a brownie point for that.

But on second thought we’ll be taking that brownie point away because of the line ‘boys like a little booty to hold at night.’ Female validation and self-love and confidence cannot happen in the context of boys for it to work in the long term. Confidence is about one’s relationship with…themself. Finding confidence is about the opposite. It’s about not basing your worth on what men think of you.

If you are looking for a strong, confident female, look no further then the literal goddess – Nikki Minaj. She’s unapologetic, she talks about disregard for authority, about dominance, about getting to the top of the game. The ultimate thing that really gets me about Nikki is that she owns her sexuality. And for centuries, as fucked up as it sounds, whether is be kind of subconscious or deliberate, women’s sexuality has been for the pleasure of men.

So, what’s the end game here? I think it’s about drawing the lines, pulling the logic, pulling things together. I think the first step for women to hijack their confidence is this awareness, to realise the reasons it might be difficult for them to reach confidence. But with Nikki behind our back, ladies, the only way is up.

What are your thoughts, 
Bella Sucks

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

"You are a whole" // "You are not a half"

I've been thinking a lot lately about the way I feel when it comes to relationships and the the self reflexivity I find in them. I believe that being with someone should not only be about you liking them, but about you liking yourself when you are with them. I believe that being with someone should not only be about you getting to know them, but about you getting to know who you are when you are with them. Being with someone should not only be about you finding them, but about you finding out who you are when you are with them, no cliche intended. Many people don't think about their personal growth, their wholeness. Instead we get lost in he idea of the big picture, thinking about the two people together as one relationship,  only seeing the relationship. What we're not seeing that there are two separate individual people involved. Don't be two halves that make up one whole. You are not a half person. Don't lose who you are. The moment that you become a half, you lose half of everything else as well. You alone are not a half, you are a whole.

There needs to be room for growth. I think of growing alone versus growing in a relationship a lot like nature. Roll with my analogy and hopefully you'll understand. You know those trees, the ones that are shaped in certain ways to fit with each other in pretty patterns (like in the image above), well as nice as they look, they look unnatural, too forced. For me, they are like relationships with people who grow together. If one tree dies, the other dies. If one tree leans on the other too much, one gets crushed. If they don't grow at the same pace, they both die. Trees that are forced to grow together, often live for a shorter time because the situation they are in is unhealthy and there is too much pressure. Now let's say that through all of that unlikelihood your relationship survives this initial growing time. You are forced to grow your whole lives, manipulated into something you're not. Instead of growing for yourself, you grow to fit with each other, to continue to fit in a forced way. There is no room for growth.  Why put yourself in that position? Be separate entities, grow side by side and let your branches gently touch at the top of the canopy while the wind sends your whispers to one another. But all analogies and poetic times of justice aside, there needs to be room for growth. You alone are not a half, you are a whole.

But on a side note, if you do become a half it won't last forever. If you are okay with giving up half of who you are in order to fit with another person, let me warn you now, it is not likely to last forever. Carl Jung, the psychologist, talked of halves and wholes in relationships. He talked of how in the first half of life relationships are more about support and balancing each other out, there is passion and sexual drive that contribute to this. In the second half of life there is a change. Relationships go from being about completing each other, to being your own person and the relationship is based on respect, more so than fiery passion. Most divorce happens at the turning point. People don't understand why they don't feel the same way about their 'other half,' anymore and with that, they leave the person they are unable to fit with anymore. But if there is always that element of respect, if there is always this idea of room to grow, then the change will be more slight, more unnoticeable. You alone are not a half, you are a whole.

This is so hard to write. To express exactly how I feel is impossible so bare with me. Of course there is room for dependence, that is human nature. But there is always the need for moderation, to not go flat out in the infatuation of it all. Careful not to Romeo and Juliet the world away. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am just a sex-crazed, hormonal teen who is infatuated with her situation and somewhere deep inside I know it. Maybe I will wake up tomorrow feeling as whole as always. Even so, we all have these times. Step back Beatrice, take a deep breath and dive back into your world, the real world.

From the girl who is very on the fence about monogamy and
loves the ideas of polyamory more and more (a post for another day),
From Bea Tucks

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Notes on: bisexuality

A lil honesty for anyone struggling with their seuxality

I am Bi. Bisexual. Girls are hot. Guys are hot and I like them both. I know over my entire life, from the age of three when I used to flirt with waiters in cafe's, to rather recently, I have talked about guys a lot. But just because I was talking about guys doesn't mean that I wasn't thinking, about girls. I never said anything about them because no one else did. I wasn’t aware that it was okay to like girls but as I look back I see that there were characteristics there. If ever there was a group of girls around, I always preferred the pretty ones. My strong affliction for men may have started out as attraction, but it continued so strongly because of internalised social repression. And before you say anything like; 'it's just a hormonal stage' or 'you may think that you have these feelings but you don't' I want to stop you and tell you, before you get too hasty... no one knows any of that but me. I feel what I feel, and I know it. My experience for the same sex is not just friendly, I flirt, I am into them and sometimes they are into me, and that’s nice. All I know is that today I am bisexual, but feelings are an ebb and flow, all things are in flux. You cannot categorise something as important as attraction. 
I just thought I should let you know,
Bea Tucks

Sunday, 3 May 2015

the importance of gender equality // second guys article

Gender equality is arguably one the most important and most hotly contended topics discussed in the 21st century. On one side we have the patriarchy: people with deeply conservative views towards women and people who are different. Then on the contrary people with progressional views promoting gender and sexual equality, often dubbed as feminists. 

I feel the importance of gender equality is dangerously underestimated and misunderstood. People seem to think it's just about boys vs girls, the patriarchy, and to a great extent it is, but it is also about so much more. It is about the survival and continuation of mankind. One might ask or be thinking right now, what does gender equality have to do with the continuation or existence of the human race? My question is in response is, how isn't it?

Right now the patriarchy and the chauvinistic views of many people in society (men and women, yes women as well) poison and oppress many women, as a result women are not able to grow to their full extent, and instead are domesticated, poorly characterised and look as objects or possessions rather than human beings. By not allowing women to thrive and grow as equals to men we are poisoning society and thus not allowing society to reach it's maximum potential, needless to say the patriarchy also affects some men by oppressing them due to their sexuality or their lack of the traditional male attributes whether that be ridiculous muscle growth or the reluctance to share the misogynistic views of the patriarchy. 

This petty oppression and narrow mindedness is quite frankly ridiculously mind numbing, as a race how can we grow when we only explore/allow for one way of thinking, the perfect example of this is the Renaissance Era, the moment people started to question the way society is run, and the exploitative Church system this is when we started to make wonderful discoveries which kept getting bigger and better, however that was only with men at the fore front, only some men given the freedom of expression, just imagine was we as a race could do with men and women of different ethnicities, abilities and specialities could do! With women and men working side by side as equals we are increasing our potential for greatness, we increase the chances of us discovering cures for cancer, we increase the chances of us creating life in outer space, we simply increase the chance for vast amounts of progression in our society. But without it, we harming society by reducing the chances of humanity discovering cures, colonising the universe, and progressing in society.

Why should people be oppressed, judged and characterised purely based on their gender and physical appearance in which they had absolutely no say in! We say society is fair, society is understanding, society gives everyone a chance at life, but quite frankly all we do is talk, where are the actions to prove that we are fair, we are understanding and we do give everyone a chance a life? Prime example, recently the Australian government cut funding to women's shelters, providing shelter and care to victims of horrible abuse, logic would dictate the only reason for this to be happening is if the problem getting solved but it obviously isn't so why are we cutting funding again? It shouldn't matter whether you are a girl, a boy, a member lgbtq+ community, straight, black, white, green; at the end of the day we are all humans who deserve an opportunity.

As you can see this isn't just a matter of gender equality, is a matter of a universal equality over a whole range of things. But the thing that most if not all of these inequalities have in common is the patriarchy, it's conservative, backwards, discriminatory views are damaging society and preventing society from progressing. The patriarchy is quite honesty just a group of power hungry, narrow minded people who are scared of progression and development and are holding society back because they can not deal with the sheer awesomeness of society and what people can do. They know that if they allow people to progress and digress it will substantially weaken their grasp on people, thus weakening their power, which is all they have meaning if they are stripped of their power they essentially will amount to nothing. 

So what is the point of gender inequality? Society is effectively self harming itself by not allowing and promoting gender & universal equality. Once we as a human race can accept everyone for their difference and work together with them, that is when society will make leaps in bounds in every aspect of life.

Hugo Hughes

EDITORS NOTE: This article has been written by a mate of BPC - Hugo. It's so bloody fantastic and important to see guys who give a shit about gender equality, hope you guys enjoy! Sending lots of good vibes to you wonderful, patriarchy-smashing readers! - Bea and Bella