Patriarchy and gender in the Australian imaginary

A friend confessed to me recently that she felt our friendship group rather conservative in their assumptions about gender and sexuality. You know the deal: everyone is supportive… up to a point. Until you begin to question romantic ideals, or social roles and expectations. At that point, dominant ideas leak through our progressive stances, since …

Content warning: This piece contains highly graphic descriptions of abortion   My mental health plan says I suffer from anxiety. I don’t think that quite covers it but it’s all there is to say. The words are hard to find, hard to choose. I’m not victimised. It’s not grief in its popular sense, but it’s …

Something shifted two years ago, when the first #MeToo found itself pinned to an alluding tweet. Unwittingly, we had stumbled into a new uprising: one laced with belated anger and hot breath. One that was necessary and tingling. One itching to be found in the pages of future history books. Art, business, hospitality, sport: every …

Human bodies are trouble. They’re frightening and chaotic and often riddled with insurmountable paradox. All at once they are us – the site of our sensations, experiences, identities – not us – governed by unconscious, primordial systems, sometimes fiercely at odds with our desires and internal self-concepts – and perhaps most frighteningly, ours – like …

I’m standing in the middle of my aunt’s living room in my underwear. My belly, breasts and limbs are covered in course black hair, echoing the dark stubble along my jaw. My secret revealed. I’m 13 years old. My mother is holding my arm with one hand and pointing at me with the other. “Do …

It was only when I stopped calling myself a woman that I started bleeding like one. Ever since I’d first started menstruating, aged 13, I’d gone years at a time without regular periods. First there was the anorexia-induced amenorrhea that lingered for much of my teens. In my 20s, when I swapped food restriction for …

This article was first performed under the title ‘Unity’ at Queerstories for Newcastle Writer’s Festival.   That space between leaving high school and starting the next thing is bizarre. Whether that be uni, work or just, you know, taking up residency on a couch with a bong in one hand and a pipe dream in …

It was a modern beginning. We matched on Tinder then met at a local bar where we drank enough gin to sink a ship. Summer was heating up and I was ready for anything, having finally escaped a difficult marriage. Plus, the brazen way he rested his hand on my leg beneath the table made …

In The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson reflects that ‘whenever anyone asked me why I wanted to have a baby, I had no answer. But the muteness of the desire stood in inverse proportion to its size.’ Wanting to be a mother with my partner, Claire, felt like a need. Yet, like Maggie Nelson, I couldn’t give …

The clenched buzzing of machines, music, innumerable knickknacks and bric-a-bracs, embellished walls, the aroma of disinfectant and glare of LED mag lamps—entering a tattoo studio can assault the senses. It’s the kind of sensory barrage neuroqueer artist, activist, and academic, Alison Bennett, habitually guards against. “A lot of neuroqueer people find it difficult to be …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity