Category Archive: violence

#MeToo in India: Why “Western” movements struggle

Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault and trauma.    I distinctly remember my first time. I was in middle school. I was standing in front of a shop to buy some snacks and my body froze as I came to the realisation that someone’s hand was feeling up my privates. Years later, when I …

The Religious Freedom Reforms 2019: A loophole for intolerance

I ran into a teacher from my school recently. It’s been eight years, he barely recognised me. But when he did, the first question out of his mouth was “Do you have a husband?” In the space of about three minutes, he rephrased and asked the same question twice more, finally settling for “What about …

An open letter to the trans and gender diverse community from Mama Alto

My dear trans siblings, my gender diverse family,   Are you hurting right now, or sad, or lost, or confused, or tired? I know I am. Every day in our political and media spheres we see more and more attacks on us, and those like us, just for daring to live and exist as ourselves. …

Navigating PTSD and the sexual self

Navigating PTSD and the sexual self

Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault and trauma.    Flat on my back in a dark, unfamiliar room. The door is shut but a crack of light seeps in from the corridor. A hand reaches to unzip my jeans. My pussy’s wet, my nipples hard. A heavy breath heaves and a deep voice whispers …

Trauma and victims of the patriarchy in the aftermath of #MeToo

Content warning: This article contains discussion of sexual assault, suicide, and therapy   Although there have been shifts and tides since the onset of the #Metoo movement, it remains deeply pertinent and personal to so many of us, triggering memories of our own  sexual traumas, causing us to speak to the interiority of our experiences …

Sex and sterilisation for women with disabilities

Content warning: sexual assault, ableism and surgical procedures. In Australia, non-consensual sterilisation is lawful if a court decides a woman with a disability “lack[s] mental capacity to consent to medical procedures.” Courts authorise the sterilisation of a woman with a disability and claim it’s not discrimination. If the case brought to them passes the ‘best …

Gay men, sexual violence and #MeToo

Content Warning: This article recounts an incident of sexual assault.   Although I didn’t have the words for it at the time, my first sexual experience with another man was as a closeted 15-year-old victim of sexual assault. I say sexual experience deliberately instead of ‘sex’ or ‘when I lost my virginity’ because sexual assault is …

When shame comes from the inner-sanctum: Biphobia within the queer community

I am a lucky one. In many ways I never really ‘came out’; I was always openly bisexual. I never questioned that aspect of myself, I was who I was and as a rough and tumble tomboy it seemed entirely acceptable. I kissed a girl at the age of eight and kissed a boy that …

Trauma and homophobia: Becoming sexual in my late forties

Content warning: this story discusses instances of sexual assault and homophobia.   For most people, their only understanding of being a virgin at 40 is the Steve Carell film. Not me. After living through years of homophobia – both internalised and not – and trauma, I recently experienced my first sexual encounter, at 48. I’m …

The domestic violence trap: Trauma bonding

The domestic violence trap: Trauma bonding

Content warning: this article discusses domestic violence in great detail I remember sitting in my psychologist’s office, my bum perched on the edge of her couch as I leant towards her, begging her to tell me why I couldn’t leave my abusive boyfriend, to explain what the hell was wrong with me. All the logic …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity