As told by a white woman

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Photo by Connor Wilkins from Unsplash

As a white, Australian woman, sometimes the topic of racism comes up when I talk to other white people. Someone might mention unfair treatment or hardships faced by Indigenous people. There’s always, always one person in the group, who cannot seem to hold back saying something. And that thing they just have to say is something like: ‘well, stereotypes exist for a reason, though.’

This is a tactic used by white people to justify sliding back into their comfortable, racist ways. When asked why, they say something like, ‘I saw some Aboriginals in public, and they were all drunk!’ …


And what we can do instead

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Photo by Amy-Leigh Barnard from Unsplash

I was 18, waiting on the grass in front of the beach, for the bikini contest to start. I peered up at the makeshift stage and saw my friend, a contestant. I was there for support. It was the least I could do after she’d begged me to enter it with her, and I’d refused.

As the contestants strutted, the crowd passed commentary on the young women.

‘Phwoar! Look at the tits on that one!’

‘God! I can’t believe she got up there! She’s delusional.’

‘She’s cute, but her body’s out of proportion. I’d still do her, though.’

A guy I went to school with sidled up next to me, in the crowd. He was also my ex-boyfriend’s brother. We said hello, and he told me I should’ve gotten up there and had a go. I told him it wasn’t my thing. …


This ethical discipline of yoga brings freedom from fear.

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Photo by Pooja Shah from Unsplash

When we evacuated during the bush fires in January, I realized I’d begun my Ahimsa practice at the perfect time. We stayed at my parents’ house in the next town over. In the searing heat and smoke, spiders crawled up into the bathroom through a drain in the floor.

Being Australian, it’s common to pause and consider how dangerous a spider might be. Most of the time, I’d crush them with my shoe, if I could reach them. But I’d committed to easing into Ahimsa, the practise of non-violence and non-harm, so I didn’t. And guess what? Nothing bad happened. …


Your privilege has power

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Photo by Pierre Bamin from Unsplash

How many of you loved to hate Paris Hilton in the early 2000s? Yeah, me too. Her wild, bratty antics concerned me. I remember thinking there was something not right with her, to make her act out this way. It didn’t take long for me, and the media, to draw the conclusion that it must have been because she was a spoiled child.

It was easy to imagine she’d never heard ‘no’ in her life. Or done a day’s work. It’s true Paris has privilege across the board: she’s white, rich, cis-gender, straight, and conventionally attractive. She even has a name that can open doors for her. …


And more importantly, would you want to?

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Photo by vectors icon from Pexels

If you’ve seen season four of Netflix’s The Crown, you’ll have witnessed the Balmoral test. Thatcher blunders it, and Diana breezes through it.

So, what is the Balmoral test?

Balmoral Castle is the Queen of England’s summer home. She stays there every year, along with other members of the royal family. It’s located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It’s a place of beauty and relaxation, where the royals can wind down and kick up their heels. An inner circle where they can let their guard down and be themselves.

When guests are brought into this inner circle, it’s kind of a big deal. Prime ministers are invited, as are potential future husbands and wives. On a guest’s first visit, legend has it that the royals do certain tests to check if they make the grade. …


Author: B.K.S. Iyengar

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Photo Courtesy of Sharon Alger

‘By performing asanas, the sadhaka first gains health, which is not mere existence. It is not a commodity which can be purchased with money. It is an asset to be gained by sheer hard work. It is a state of complete equilibrium of body, mind and spirit.’ — B.K.S. Iyengar, in Light on Yoga.

I’ve been dabbling in yoga for quite a few years. Last year, I grew tired of the westernization of yoga. Disheartened by white people’s ‘insta-yoga,’ I wanted to learn the discipline of yoga from the source: India. …


It’s an honor to have Mr Trump here to celebrate Timmy’s big day

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Photo by Dave Lowe from Unsplash

Hi, I’m Timmy, and it’s my birthday, today! I’m five. My mommy and daddy have promised to bring me a special visitor to my party. I can’t wait to see who it is. Oops! The doorbell’s ringing. Let’s see who it is.

I can’t believe it! It’s Donald Trump! He’s the best. I see him on TV all the time.

‘Hello, son,’ says Mr Trump to me. He even brought the First Lady with him. Wait ’til all my friends see this! ‘I hear you’re having a party for me, today.’

‘Wow,’ I cry, ‘Mr Trump, it’s actually my birth —…


Gross…

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Photo by Allef Vinicius from Unsplash

14-year-old self (14YOS): Hi.

Present me, 47-year-old self (47YOS): Hi! This is a blast from the past! It’s so amazing to see you again.

14YOS: Whatever. You’re like, really old, though.

47YOS: Well, yes. I am future you, after all.

14YOS: Oh my god. How old are you?

47YOS: I’m 47, now. Surprise!

14YOS: Gross. What are you wearing that for?

47YOS: What? Oh, this face mask? We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and this is to protect us from spreading disease.

14YOS: It looks really dumb.

47YOS: Yeah, okay, whatever. I heard you wanted to ask me some questions about being a mother? …


Author: Clementine Ford

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Photo Courtesy of Sharon Alger

I have been a fan of the feminist author, Clementine Ford, for quite a few years. She’s intelligent and unapologetic in her feminism. Her outspoken demeanor has pissed off many a detractor over the years. As a result, she’s been on the receiving end of loads of verbal abuse and threats from anti-feminists. She dedicates a section of her book to reading and addressing some of the, let’s say, highlight reel. That’s why I’ll warn you, if you hate cursing (the c-word in particular), this will make you uncomfortable. …


Your newsletter for the week we celebrate the downfall of you-know-who

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash

I think it’s time we all take a collective breath after what just happened.

Whew.

Congratulations, America. You did it! I cannot wait to see the footage of him being yanked out of office. Come on. You know it’s gonna take physical force. It’s going to be hilarious. I know this was a serious election, and I make no light of how important it was. But I think you’ve earned the right to have a laugh after all this stress.

I can only hope my country’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, will be the next leader with his head on the chopping block. He might not be a pussy grabber, but he loves forcing unwanted handshakes on bush fire victims. He spent $190,000 on empathy lessons, and they didn’t work. He is alleged to have shat himself at the Engadine Maccas (MacDonalds) in 1997. …

About

Sharon Alger

I’m an Aussie mother, carer, dog-lover and feminist. I write about feminism, humor, opinion pieces, and whatever else I feel like.

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