Poem: ‘Winter’s Dance’ by Carolyn Chorley

Nature dances in her winter dress

To a melody only she can hear

And with an icy touch she does express

What to her, she holds so dear.


She touches the stars one by one

And makes them glitter in the ebony sky

But even still she is not yet done

There is so much more for her to try.


The softest covering from her shoulder slips

As she spreads her ermine wrap

And icicles fall gently from her lips

As the world settles in for a frozen nap.


Back and forth she does slowly sway

In her cloak of shimmering white

She only wishes to remain and play

Until the first kiss of spring’s warm light.


Featured Image: Zac Quitzau Facebook: Zac’s Doodles

Being ‘Triggered’ is not a Joking Matter. STOP

The use of the word or meme ‘triggered’ has become popular on social media. It is typically used as an insult or as a joke to refer to feminists who take offense at harmful things being said or done in society.

Actual meme on the internet

It has to stop.

Why? Let me break this down for you.

  1. Being triggered is a real symptom of PTSD

An actual symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder is that an individual can experience triggers from something they see on the news or internet for example, that can set off negative emotional responses including anger, anxiety, flashbacks, pain, fear, sadness and panic. Being triggered can cause physical responses such as loss of appetite, shaking, fatigue, racing heart beat and so much more.

Being triggered is NOT a laughing matter. It is not a joke. It’s not funny.

It is a real fucking symptom of PTSD. Have some sensitivity.

Stop using triggered as an insult or a joke because not only is it insensitive and rude. It dismisses, trivialises, undermines and ignores the severity of what it means to experience mental illness and trauma.

    2. It is fucking dismissive and rude

We often see people using ‘triggered’ as an insult to show that feminists overreact or are easily provoked by issues that affect us.

Actual meme on the internet


It’s not a joke that we are affected by the gender wage gap. It’s not a joke that we are angered by sexual assault. It’s not a joke that we are offended by sexist rhetoric. We are affected and angered by such things. Stop dismissing our feelings as just being ‘triggered’. Stop undermining our anger as just being ‘triggered.’ Stop trivialising our opinions as just being ‘triggered’.  It’s rude.

My disgust and anger to racist, sexist and homophobic remarks have personally been dismissed as just being ‘triggered.’ I was in a political group on Facebook as part of my university and there were some racist, homophobic, sexist things being said in it. Horrendous things like ‘anyone who doesn’t identify as male or female are just pretending so they can be different.’ One group member’s response to Islamophobia was ‘if Muslims weren’t here in the first place they wouldn’t have to deal with such confronting and offensive imagery !!!!’

Of course I was pissed, disgusted, offended and angered by such horrendous remarks. I spoke out about the things being said to a woman’s group, but the initial response from the political group was that I was just triggered and that nobody should ‘provoke her please.’

Absolutely I was provoked by such racist, homophobic, sexist remarks –  but don’t dismiss my outrage as just being ‘triggered’.

    3.  It perpetuates the culture of victim blaming

When people dismiss the reactions, feelings and opinions of  feminists or anyone for that matter, as just being ‘triggered’, they are effectively perpetuating the culture of victim blaming. They are placing the blame on women for feeling the way they do, they are placing the blame on women for being angered by things that are outright offensive. They are shaming women who stand up to harmful sexist, racist, bigoted rhetoric and actions.

With all this ‘triggered’ rhetoric and victim blaming, I’m genuinely concerned that society has lots its grips with basic concepts of right and wrong. With justice and injustice.

An actual meme on the internet

We see victim blaming all the time. It’s the kind of attitude that attacks and criticises the conduct of the victim, instead of the perpetrators of a crime. It’s the sentiment that somehow the victim is at fault for the wrongdoings committed against them, or worse that the victim deserves the harm.

We see it in cases of rape, revenge porn, image-based sexual assault. If she wasn’t wearing such revealing clothes she wouldn’t have been raped. If she didn’t send nude photos, he wouldn’t have uploaded them online. If she didn’t post risqué photos to social media, they wouldn’t be photo shopped into porn. If she was being abused at home she should’ve just left him.

Have we all gone fucking mad?

Source: BuzzFeedNEWS

When Kim Kardashian West was robbed of millions of dollars worth of jewellery at gunpoint, and reportedly tied-up and gagged by a couple of masked men in a Paris hotel. The public reaction was extremely telling of where we are at with our views toward women and how much we are blaming the victim instead of the perpetrators. It’s ridiculous that the public outcry was to blame her for the robbery because of her celebrity status, or what she wears or because she shouldn’t have been flaunting her wealth – instead of condemning the perpetrators.

This insensitive, dismissive and disgusting ‘triggered’ craze needs to STOP. Seriously.


Poem of the Week: ‘A Melding’ by Carolyn Chorley

A sigh, so delicate and tender

That causes my soul to surrender

A moan, so primal, so intense

I swoon as it overcomes all sense.


A caress now softly gliding

Over my feverish skin always sliding

The passion builds and begs for release

But the exquisite torture will not cease.


Twisting, turning, bodies thrashing

Emotions soaring upwards, never crashing

Heated embraces cause the beginning of the end

And, after it all, our hearts do blend.


Featured Image: Zac Quitzau Facebook: Zac’s Doodles




An Open Letter to the United States

Dear United States,

Hi, how are you? Been better? Sounds about right.

My question for you today is very simple: how?

How could you allow a man who openly admits to grabbing women by the pussy to run for President? How could you allow a man be seriously considered for such an important position when many of his own party members have turned against him? How can the land of the free allow a man who wants to build a wall around your great country tread so close to the Oval Office? How can so many of you support a candidate whose campaign followers were calling for a repeal of the 19th Amendment just so their candidate can win?

Respectfully, how could you let Donald Trump run for President?

I admit that I am not American. I am not a citizen of the United States, and I have no right to vote. Who am I to have such a vested interest? Who am I to judge? After all, Australia isn’t exactly a role-model global citizen either. Why should some random whiney gen-Y girl from down under care what happens in America? Or perhaps more accurately, why should you care about what some whiney gen-Y girl from down under thinks about America? And the answer is simple:

You are the leader of the free world.

I do not know who coined the idea. I do not know exactly when or why you first started branding yourselves as leader of the free world, and frankly I don’t think it matters at this point. It simply matters that you are the self-proclaimed leader of the free world. Whoever you elect as your leader will fundamentally impact the rest of us in the free world – and there are a lot of us. You aren’t the only ones counting down until November 8th.

Your presidential campaign splashes all over my news headlines. I open Facebook and my friends – both American and non-American – know exactly what is happening on your side of the world and Australia isn’t the only country watching. In fact, I can’t imagine a country that isn’t watching the showdown between Clinton and Trump unfold. Hell, they even broadcast the presidential debates live on TV over here. Did you know that? Did you know the entire world is watching?

We are watching as Donald Trump talks about women. Our boys are listening as he describes grabbing women by the pussy because ‘you can do anything’ when you’re a star. Our girls are learning that it’s all just ‘locker room talk’, and it’s normal for guys to do that to them. We are watching people celebrate a man who at the second Presidential debate was asked if he had assaulted women and answered by talking instead about the Middle East, because that’s what will truly ‘make America safe again.’

But stricter borders won’t protect people from sexual assault.

I know you’re scared. I get it. You’re scared because you have seen the horrible things happening around the world, and they seem to only be getting worse. You’re scared because terrorism isn’t a country, it’s an idea and you can’t recognise an idea when it walks past you on the street. You’re scared because the economy is bleeding and you’re drowning in debt and everybody needs to make a living. You’re scared because the world is scary right now. I’m scared too.

So when somebody stands up before you, wielding great power, money and influence, saying they can fix all your problems, I get it. You want to believe their financial success means you can have financial success. I get it. When they point to a group of people and say they’re the problem, you feel comforted. You feel like you can see the things you’re scared of. You can recognise it and finally keep yourself safe. I get it.

But it’s not that simple. It never is.

Fear is not a religion. It is not a race. It is not a gender. It is not every person with brown skin you see walking the streets. It is not hidden beneath every hijab. It is not concealed behind every accent. It is not written in code on the papers of every immigrant or refugee you see. It is complex and it disguises itself well – that is part of what makes it so terrifying. You often cannot see it until it announces itself, and by then it’s sometimes too late.

But you should not condemn hundreds and thousands out of fear. You should not brand a whole race of people as rapists and wall them out. You should not paint all refugees with the brush of mistrust and show them no compassion. You should not assume every Muslim means you harm and let racism exclude them. You should not be letting young boys believe that they can grab women without asking. You should not let your police frisk people on the street because of their skin colour. You should not let women feel like their vote is getting in the way of progress.

You are the home of the brave; please don’t let fear defeat you.

How to not be insensitive this Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner! And because I love dressing up and getting candy free of charge, I am very excited. Even though I’m not American (and not a kid anymore) I still love seeing all the spooky decorations and getting my outfit ready; costume parties are my jam. Halloween goes hand-in-hand with dressing up in costumes that vary from the incredibly detailed to the last-minute-rush-as-I-walk-out-the-door variety. No matter which one it is, it’s always great to see what people come up with.

While spooky can be fun, it can also be, well… spooky. Playing dress-ups has become a hot topic lately, with controversies over who should wear what costumes, and whether certain outfits are all in good fun or just outright offensive. For some people the social rules of faux pas can be a little tricky to navigate.

That’s why we’re suggesting these four simple tips on how to not be insensitive this Halloween.

Tip One: Costumes are not consent

Anyone who has been to any of the big pop-culture conventions will tell you that costumes aren’t just worn on Halloween. Cosplayers wear costumes all year round, with people from all walks of life coming together to share in their love of fantasy and sci-fi by dressing up as their favourite characters.

They will also tell you that cosplay is not consent. This is a very common phrase used at conventions that simply means: just because someone is wearing a costume does not mean you can touch them. This rule is incredibly important at conventions, because sometimes people forget that it’s a real person walking around, and not actually their favourite comic book character. It’s also important because a few cosplays can be quite revealing, and some people think this means it is okay to touch the cosplayer.

It’s pretty simple really; costumes do not change the normal rules of etiquette. No matter what a person is wearing, no matter how much or how little skin they are revealing, you do not have the right to touch that person unless they give consent. So this Halloween, no matter what anyone is wearing, do not assume you have the right to touch them. No touchy – sound good?

Tip Two: Costumes have no gender

We’ve all seen stories posted online about parents who insist that their little girl wear the Cinderella dress even though they want to be Spiderman. Or the little boy who wanted to be Cinderella but is forced to dress as Spiderman instead. This is symptomatic of a larger issue regarding the division and reinforcement of the gender binary at a young age, of gender normativity, but that’s probably an issue for another post.

My point is: anyone can wear whatever costume they like. Boys can be princesses, girls can be superheroes. And this rule applies to you no matter what age you are. So you’re a 26-year-old man and you’ve always wanted to be Ariel? Go ahead – do it! You have my blessing!

Costumes on Halloween should be about having fun, and taking away a person’s joy because it doesn’t subscribe to your pink vs blue litmus test is ridiculous.

Tip Three: Dressing up is for everyone

While we’re on the subject of shattering ridiculous socially constructed norms, it’s time to open our minds to the idea that you don’t have to be white to dress as Sailor Moon. You don’t have to be skinny to dress as Catwoman. You don’t have to be ripped to dress as Thor. You can be a Timelord and still be in a wheelchair. People can dress up as whatever the hell they want, regardless of skin colour, weight, height, disability, body shape – anything! Whatever makes them happy and comfortable.

It’s important to understand that having fun is for everyone, so don’t be the one to rain on their parade.

Tip Four: Culture is not a costume

This appears to be a tricky one for some people, as was evidenced by the polarised response to the culturally insensitive Maui costume released by Disney earlier this year. The costume, for children, was a brown body suit covered in tribal tattoos with muscle padding. Many people called the costume out as racist for using the dark skin colour, and insensitive for the use of traditional tattoos in the costume design. It was quickly pulled from stores.

People seemed to be either offended by the costume, or offended that people would be offended. It’s fairly indisputable that the costume was cultural appropriation, but this concept is sometimes used as evidence of our world becoming too politically correct (an idea that I take umbrage with, but I digress).

Cultural appropriation is essentially the use of a culture you are not a part of. This on its own may not always be problematic, but it becomes an issue when minority groups – who suffer discrimination simply for being a member of their cultural minority – have their culture used in part by majority cultures. Very often the cultural element or the tradition is taken out if its original context, which is often disrespectful enough on its own. But adding insult to injury is the fact that the majority culture does not face the same hardship as the minority culture does for wearing that culture. If a Native American wears a headdress it’s political statement, but when a white person does it’s ‘quirky and fun.’ Therein lies the issue.

The best way to avoid being culturally inappropriate is to avoid culturally or racially charged costumes. Another person’s race or culture is their identity, not a costume for you to take on and off. While it’s important for you to have a great time, it’s more important not to offend minority cultures in the process.

So there you have it. Four easy, simple ways to not be insensitive this Halloween. Have fun this October, be safe, and remember we’re all just here for the booze and the Fantales anyway.

Poem of the Week: ‘Enticement’ by Carolyn Chorley

I stand alone on a blanket of bleached white

My skin on fire from frozen angel tears

My eyes blinking against citreous light

As the lure of true and righteous warmth nears.


Time has passed unnoticed in this cold void

The icy hurricane shredding all hope and joy

The desire for love, for salvation, was destroyed

And the lilting song of peace but a decoy.


My soul was stained by a traitorous trick

And now my heart continues to slowly bleed

As the essence of me swirls amongst the truly malefic

And all the demons come screeching here to feed.


That light, that promise for which my spirit yearns

Is in fact no more than a glittery villainous snare

From which only continuous pain and sadness burns

Wrought forth by the blinding darkness of unseen Daymare.

Featured Image: Artwork by Timothy Wynberg

Poem of the Week: ‘Black Spell’ by Carolyn Chorley

A sudden pain, the dagger thrust
a blow from behind, to kill all trust

So deep the wound, as to not recover
was this the intent of my faithless lover?

Did he beguile me with the sweetest words
just to crush my spirit with the blackest of birds?

Did he promise me all of heaven’s delights
so he could kill my soul and perform last rites?

How could it be that something so pure
was in reality nothing more than a shiny lure,

To make me feel safe to give up my trusting heart
and then he’d be free to practice his dark art,

As sure and powerful as a sorcerer’s spell
his words spun a tale to make me dwell,

Within the golden glow of his kindness true
and so, my righteous weariness I did subdue

Now I am but an empty chalice
torn and broken by a master of malice,

How can I now refill my tortured soul?
when there are only parts and not a whole.


Featured Image: Zac Quitzau Facebook: Zac’s Doodles