Thursday, December 17, 2009

Where does the Frankston train go?

Overheard at Southern Cross Station: Random Lady with pram accosting two Asian students as they board the Sandringham train.

RL: Is this the Frankston train?

Students: (politely and clearly) No, this is the Sandringham.

RL: (in exaggerated slow, loud English) IS THIS THE FRANKSTON TRAIN?

Students: No, this is the Sandringham.

RL: (angry) IS! THIS! THE! FRANKSTON TRAIN?

Students: No!

RL: (exaggerated slow, loud English) WHICH ONE GOES TO FRANKSTON?

Students: The Frankston train!

RL: YOU FU- *doors close*


Lady, those brightly lit TV screens do tell you which train is what.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who even uses the word "henpecked" anymore? Farmers?

For fuck’s sake, Channel Ten. Anthony Sherna, sentenced to 14 years jail for strangling his abusive wife, was not “henpecked”. Stop updating the news with that stupid headline. That is the most outdated slur I have seen as part of a news headline in a while.

Sherna was the victim of horrifying domestic abuse over the span of eighteen years. The fact that he was the male victim of a female aggressor and you’re ridiculing him (and by extension, other men who are in abusive relationships) in this way is awful. I’m not one for advocating for the rights of murderers but mocking an abuse victim is sick and disgusting, considering there are men out there who are – YES – the victims in abusive spousal relationships.

“Henpecked”? Seriously? Are we in Elizabethan times? Why don’t you also call him a “cuckold” seeing as Wild cheated on him? Emasculating men when they’re victims instead of aggressors is just so FUNNY!

What, because when a husband doesn’t put his woman in her place he’s henpecked? And he somehow deserved the abuse? And it’s HILARIOUS – because a story telling of a years-long pattern of abuse and alienation ending in murder is as funny as a man who lets his domineering wife boss him around on sit-coms?

“Henpecked”? You’re KIND OF making light of the situation here.

Just, what the FUCK? Please stop. Would you call a battered woman a “wimpy wife” or something?

And no, “Male Rights” advocates, I'm not using this as an example of how oppressed men are. I'm saying that the media using stupid words that were coined as a way to mock "weak" men while describing a male victim of domestic abuse is not cool. Not to mention it trivialises the woman's murder and reflects the belief that if men aren't "in control" of women, they are aberrations of nature.


ETA: Meanwhile, Sam de Brito of White-Male-Privilege-R-Us reinforces the status quo with his very original article on why nagging wives are a pain in the arse and why weakling men shouldn't appease shrews. True to form, he throws in asinine slurs ("Sherna should have been given life in prison for being such a jelly-backed wuss"?) and responds to critical commenters with absolute contempt.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Nice Guy Whinetini

Ho boy. So there I was at Berlin Bar socialising with and slowly getting to know my friend Monique's latest squeeze, when what does the guy do? HE GOES ON A NICE GUY RANT.

If friends’ relationships had that little option like YouTube comments do, where you can click “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”, this guy would be sitting on -2 as a prospective boyfriend.

“Here’s what I don’t understand about women...” he suddenly blurts. That gets my attention straightaway, and not in an attentive OMG-Smart-Man-Saying-Something-Witty way.

“With women it’s like, applying for a job, right? You ace the interview, you’re neatly-presented and polite, and have all the right qualifications. But they say no, actually, despite all that I’m going to hire this other guy who is less qualified than you, who turns up late for work and sometimes drinks! And then they phone you and complain about what a jerk the OTHER GUY is! What is with that?”

Luckily for this guy’s balls the topic was killed by the abrupt arrival of our cocktail waiter but I couldn’t get the painful sound of STUPID out of my ears all night.

Oh, so women – simply by existing – are by default “advertising” for this “job”. And every single guy is, by default, automatically granted this figurative job interview? What are these purported “qualifications” you have that are so wonderful anyhow? And what is this “job” you think you’re applying for, can we elaborate on that? The job of you getting to have sex with hot chicks? You picked the metaphor, jackass, I’m just rolling with it.

Here’s the thing about the Nice Guy rant. Oh, you know the one. “I’m so nice but women only want to be FRIENDS with me and they only like jerks and then they COMPLAIN TO ME ABOUT THEM THE INSENSTIVE DUMBASS WHORES WOE IS ME.”

1. You are assuming the world is made up of only three types of people. Nice Guys, Jerks, and Women.

2. Women are generally saying “I just want to be friends” or keep up some pretence of a civil relationship with you because they are socialised to be nice and submissive and polite, so although they are aware you are sexually interested in them they ARE NOT INTERESTED IN YOU but do not want to hurt your feelings or possibly compromise their safety by being a “bitch” about it. Like that matters, because somebody like you probably only sees women are bitches and hos anyway.

3. Is your head so fucking up your own arse that you don’t have the slightest shred of a clue about your own roaring hypocrisy? Going on about how shallow women are for rejecting you when you are only ever referring to women you find ATTRACTIVE? If an unattractive woman you found “nice” had a desperate crush on you, would you play by your own rules and date the Nice Girl Who is “Qualified” or the Hottie Who Is Slightly Less “Qualified” but you’re much more interested in?

4. If you expect sex as a reward you are entitled to for being a decent human being to attractive women, and complain about women who subsequently believe you’re their friend (probably why confide in you about their relationship problems, funnily enough!) after you fucking emotionally manipulated them trying to get yourself laid, and then get FURIOUS and BITTER when it becomes clear they're not interested... THEN YOU ARE NOT A VERY NICE GUY. At least a Jerk is straightforward about being a jerk – you on the other hand are creepy and calculating and do not accept a woman’s right to chose whom to date, whom to fuck and whom to reject.

5. In fact you can fuck right off you entitled misogynistic little turd.

6. No really, fuck off.

Yes, rejection sucks, but let’s not chalk it up to how you’re so fucking nice and it’s all womankind’s fault for being too shallow and dumb to see it. Here’s a novel idea! Try seeing women as human beings, not a collective vagina that won’t let you put your penis in it!

Monique, I’m worried. In case you’re wondering about what the other “thumbs down” was for, Mr New Guy is also very picky and judgemental about the way women dress – deriding passing girls with jeans of a certain fit as having a “bad look” for example, or asserting how women shouldn’t wear X with Y. Yet he looks like Elton fucking John. Both of these flaws about him are coming from the same place. It’s not the place Good Boyfriends come from.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Update: I just grew another one you guys!



Man, you know narcissistic compulsive status-updaters on Facebook are reaching a new low when they start sharing every time they grow a hair.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Can you get me that thing that's in the thing beside that other thing?

According to my voicemail my mum wants some “computer software” that has been left somewhere in my huge messy house after I swapped two old computers for one new one and a laptop; the "software", might actually be "hardware", she's not sure but she knows it is “in a drawer”, so could I please find the “thing” and express post it to her?

Gee Mum, can you vague that up a bit more for me?

Friday, October 16, 2009

"I'm sexy! I'm cute! I'm popular to BOOT!"

At the train station, I was distracted from my book by a wildly-gesturing, loud-voiced young man pacing up and down the platform whilst talking animatedly on the phone.

“Yeah my trip was awesome, in ten days I was the most popular person at the backpacker’s, basically I was the crazy one everybody wanted to party with, I’ve long since worked out I can have fun with a cardboard box, so what are the plans for tonight, I’m meeting people in the city, or we might go to Prahran...”

A crazy thought struck me. Is it possible that he was staging an elaborate pantomime of a phone conversation for an audience of crowded travellers in some weird attempt to seem cool and popular? Because honestly, he just seemed like too much of an arrogant wanker to actually have friends that would listen to him talk for longer than five minutes, and the phrases he used and the volume at which his voice delivered them just screamed, “LOOK AT ME LISTEN IN TO MY CONVERSATION I WANT YOU TO KNOW HOW FUN AND CRAZY AND IN-DEMAND I AM I HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE!” I mean, I haven't heard anyone use the word “popular” like that since high school.

Then again he might have been speeding off his head. The way his hips swung exaggeratedly while he covered the ground of the entire platform in maniacal struts would certainly suggest so. And hey man – ANYONE can have fun with a cardboard box! I practically spent my entire childhood making shit out of them! You’re not some über-special Bastion of Awesomeness!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

He's lucky he's cute. And I'm chicken.

Something said by a bar manager during a bar training session held at my place of work still bothers me and sort of illustrates perfectly why I loathe hospitality so much sometimes. Our trainer Ashley was explaining that when serving certain beers you shouldn’t pour all the way to the top of the glass, because some ‘beer connoisseurs’ (I know. I know.) like to have nose space in order to adequately discern the fragrance of the beer. According to Ashley, though, some customers don’t display the same levels of refinement:

“You sort of have to read the customer, like if you serve a beer like that to a New Zealander they’ll be all like, ‘What are you doing, top it up bro!’ But that’s just a lack of education.”

Erm.

Ashley, despite the fact I have a huge crush on you I must tell you that was an incredibly arrogant privileged classist and yes, racist thing to say (given that the accent you put on while imitating a New Zealander was of the exaggerated Maori type).

Here’s the thing. I could go through an entire PHD scholarship and never come across information pertaining to the manner in which I must drink some obscure beer in order to appreciate its subtle finery. If you were to then call me uneducated using a single encounter in some pompous bar as your evidence, I would probably throw that beer in your face.

You seem quite intelligent and despite a bit of industry arrogance you are quite a nice guy. But you’re hardly the most educated person I know. Some respect for others wouldn’t go astray.

It is so offensive to call anybody uneducated. It implies a smug superiority and usually plays on old stereotypes regarding class and race. These are still very real inequalities that affect people – class and/or race can decide whether an underprivileged person can or can’t access education.

Given that you were not talking about issues affecting society, but the way to enjoy some pretentious beer, makes the ‘lack of education’ slur doubly offensive. Some perspective, please.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm sure it would have been hilarious... in Texas 1959

Ha, so there I was, watching The 7pm Project’s discussion of the shitstorm that is Hey, Hey’s blackface debacle, thinking, who is this complete and utter wankstain they have on as a guest?

Says he: “I think this is a big fuss about racism without anyone actually being able to find anyone that’s racist. [to Hughes, challengingly] Do you think Daryl Somers is a racist? Do you think those blokes are really in their hearts – racist?”

No! In their heart of hearts they weave rainbows and adopt homeless puppies and OH WAIT NO they are just racist actually! Yes, yes they are, even if they do nice things and donate to charity and don't commit mass genocide! Going on a crappy variety show and covering your face in shoe polish and dressing as a minstrel and PERFORMING IN BLACKFACE still falls under "racism", see?


Says he: “I do think there was no racist intent on their behalf. The whole thing is about seeming, not being... We beat ourselves up for being racist! Unnecessarily in my opinion.”

Oh my fuck, you can’t be serious. An educated, presumably well-read, grown man genuinely believing and perpetuating the belief it is more offensive to be called racist than actually doing incredibly racist things.

And let’s talk about intention, shall we? Let’s use a crazy comparison! Like, say I did something “incredibly dumb”, to use the words you use to describe this abomination of a skit, and got behind the wheel of my car and started texting. And maybe as a result I run over a couple of people and break their legs. Oh, but then I wring my hands and cry and wave my phone and wail, “I didn’t mean to! Sure it was a silly thing to do, something generally frowned upon by authority figures and bound to have consequences, but it was not my intention to cause harm.”

Ir-fucking-relevant. Your actions have lead to serious consequences. Address them. Don’t yak on about your itty bitty feelings and your bullshit “intention” after you’ve hit people with a fucking car. Which is what watching that racist-as-fuck skit felt like.

Says he: “Some of [the outrage] is a bit ‘look at me’ – the easiest way to seem noble and non-racist yourself is to accuse someone else... some people get off on that.”

Why, precisely! People expressing outrage over racism just want to look good! Not to mention people of colour who might have been offended – no really, I’m not mentioning them I’m just going to cleverly imply that anybody who is offended is some white guy who just wants to look noble! This outrage is coming from all those PC wankers that want ATTENTION! What is this guy’s address, I’m going to vomit in a box and send it to him.

“You’ve got to see it in a little bit of context... they were reprising something they did in the less sensitive years.”

Yes, the good old “less sensitive years”, when you could call Asians “Nips” and make fun of disabled people and perform in blackface and treat oppressed groups as subhuman, whatever happened to those merry times? Oh that’s right we tried to evolve into a society that respects all its members and treats people like human fucking beings!

Here's some fucking context you willfully ignorant scum of society.


What do you know? Turns out this illustrious guest was Andrew Bolt, of all damn people. Glad to see my fuckwit-o-rometer is still finely tuned.


PS: Oh yeah and way to go Hey, Hey - like we needed more proof that Australia is full of dicks.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This is why spelling matters

"Jealous of a book to retard?" - Nikki, Twilight fan, defending Rob Pattinson from stench rumours.

Yes, Nikki, we are all jealous. Of a book. To retard. Emoticon.

Just.... ugh.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A drop in the ocean

Glanced at the highlights sidebar on my Facebook feed yesterday, and saw something that made my heart sink:

“Sluts falling down – 2 friends became fans.”

I clicked the 2 friends, having a pretty good idea of who one of them would be. Real names are never revealed here, by the way.

Boris is such a typical homophobic misogynistic footy-head who laughs at webcomic rape jokes and whose favourite pastime is sitting in the window, waiting for a girl in a miniskirt to walk past and announce, “Cunt scarf!” Lukito is Boris’s cunt-scarf watching buddy. So in short I was both disappointed in my friends and disappointed in humanity.

Of course, being the masochist I am I clicked on the group and baulked at the wall posts alone... “Hahaha stupid sluts”, “so funny when bitches fall cunt over feet”, “Hahaha sluts are so much funnier horizontal and in pain”, “Maybe if they didn’t steal taken men they wouldn’t be such sluts!” Being confronted with such raging hatred for women on a social networking site shouldn't have knocked the wind out of me, but it did. Of course I’m being unbelievably generous using correct spelling, grammar and syntax there.

Then I clicked on the photo albums and was shocked to find pictures posted of actual Facebook users by bullying teens who’d tagged their enemies with full names, then written captions like “Kellie Harvard loves sucking humongous horse dick!” or “You know Trish is gonna fall down HARD, fat slut!”

And strangers who had joined the page had added sickening comments of their own, “Needs a cock in the eye”, “She’s hot I’d cream all over her face – she’d have to ask first though!”, “Dirty nasty slut!”

What the fucking fuck is wrong with these dumbshit people? Not only are you mindlessly participating in slut-bashing, not only are you revelling in a thriving frenzied hub of cyber-bullying, not only are you doing so under your own real names rather than the anonymity of cyberspace, you are exposing these girls (and yourselves) to all the predators, freaks, bullies, rapists and misogynistic monsters in the Facebook WORLD by posting their REAL, FULL NAMES AND PICTURES in a fucking GROUP entitled, “[I’m a fan of] Sluts falling down!”

Stupid misogynistic shit like this seems “funny” or “in-jokey” to these kids but they don’t think that any twisted sick fuck who actually DOES think it’s ok/funny/sexy/a power trip for “slutty” young girls to get hurt (the HEIGHT of misogyny) can join, and THOSE SICKOS can access these girls’ information that got posted as a bullying tactic. Am I the only one seeing a train wreck coming?

So I clicked away, hitting the handy little “report” button on every single photo (under Facebook’s terms of service you can’t upload photos that ‘attack an individual or group’), a few of the commenters, and on the page itself.

Today I asked a friend to do the same, and when she searched for the page she replied, “Um... I can’t find it. Well, I found it but it won’t open - it keeps redirecting to Home.”

So I searched, both the hard way and by clicking on Boris and Lukito’s profiles to check their “pages” list.

The group has been banned.

Ha.

Seriously though, that’s just a drop in the ocean of the horrific and often misogynistic cyber-bullying going on via Facebook alone. I sincerely hope the girls whose pictures were posted, tagged and derided via that group will be ok; the body count of desperate teens who kill themselves after relentless bullying ain’t going down.



(top l-r) Holly Grogan, Megan Meier.
(bottom) Chanelle Rae.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It was an ACCIDENT!

Leigh Robinson, 61, who shot his girlfriend in the back of the head after she fled his car and headed for a neighbour's house, says it was an accident and he just wanted to talk to her.

...he was showing her how to use his shotgun before she suddenly ran away from him for no apparent reason.

Why, that's completely plausible! What better place for shooting lessons than one's car in the middle of Frankston? She must have run to make him a sandwich because of all that hard work wielding a firearm (they're HEAVY!), but unfortunately she failed to determine what KIND of sandwich he wanted! Seeing as Robinson had threatened her with a gun a week before, it's clear she wasn't learning her lesson about the sandwiches!

And in a sterling display of the quality of his character, Robinson refers to the murder victim with such endearing and respectful terms:

He chased after her, he said, in an attempt "to talk to the silly bitch".

Hence, when a neighbour opened the door to her cries for help, THAT's when he SHOT HER IN THE HEAD.

Accidentally.

Like how a Justice of the Supreme Court might "accidentally" sentence you to life in prison, scum. Whoops!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And they returned to find their cat on fire

Why is it on soap operas that whenever characters angrily go to somebody's house to confront them, the home owner always walks off in a huff after an exchange of heated words, assuming (I guess) that their enemy will just let themselves out? I mean, it’s kind of weird.

If I’d just gone to somebody’s house, and we’d had a huge fight, and they stormed off leaving me to my devices in their kitchen/hall/living room... well, I don’t know, I guess it’d depend on what the fight was about.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Food Pranksters!

One of my customers - a pretentious braggart we shall call "Redmond" - claims to be a music and TV producer. Or some crap, I don’t know, I wasn’t listening to him. So one time during an after-work drink Redmond announced, “Hey, we could use your restaurant for this great new idea I came up with for a TV show! We take people and give them food they wouldn’t normally eat – and film their reaction when they realise they’ve eaten it!”

This is how I imagined that would play out.

Host: Welcome back to Food Pranksters! So, how are you enjoying your chicken, madam?
Contestant #1: It’s fine, a little salty...
Host: What would you say if I told you THERE ARE PEANUTS IN THE SAUCE!
Contestant #1: I probably wouldn’t say anything, my airways would just close up and I’d go into anaphylactic shock- *collapses*
Host: Hohoho! Gotcha! And you sir, are you enjoying that halal stir-fry?
Contestant #2: It’s nice and spicy, with a great texture!
Host: Uh oh! That might be due to the secret ingredient – shredded pork! Somebody’s getting a smiting from Allah!
Contestant #2: *spit-take*
Host: Hohoho! Yep, that’s why they call us the Food Pranksters!

Me: “Um... Redmond I don’t think that’s a good idea for a show.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'll take a stab and say, "The same reasons men do"


Did you know that this thing called “sex” exists and that sometimes women indulge in it? It’s true! I KNOW! It shocked my pants off, let me tell you! But as for the question that will inevitably pop up in your mind as it did mine – WHY? – fortunately there is a very helpful new book penned by professors Cindy Meston and David Buss who doubtlessly have nothing better to do. “Why Women Have Sex” delves into the mystery behind these unthinkable, extraordinary, freak-of-nature occurrences! I know I would spend over AUS$50 on a book that would clear up why I feel these strange tingles below the belt every time I see Colin Farrell!

So profound is this new book that it even made Channel Ten’s Morning News today. Some reasons cited by the women of Meston and Buss's unquestionably broad, reliable sample size?


Why Women Have Sex:
1. “To relieve the boredom – because it’s easier than fighting. It gives me something to do.”
2. “In return for a household chore.”
3. “Because it’s the closest thing to God.”
4. “I slept with a couple of guys because I felt sorry for them.”
5. “Because he bought me a nice dinner.”
6. “I have sex with my boyfriend to make my sexual skills better.”
7. “To relieve a migraine or stress headache.”
8. “With an unattractive man – because low testosterone attracts women by suggesting the man is less likely to cheat.” (
WHAT?)
9. College separation: “Life is too short to be waiting four years to have sex again.”


It sounds like the same girl was quoted for all of those. Except #3. And I want to know who exactly #3 is having sex with. And his/her phone number.


What can I say, I'm a spiritual kinda gal.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Dancin' in the summer rain


To the girl in the green shirt, white scarf and black pants running around my uni in the rain with her shoes in her hand jumping in puddles: you're awesome. That's how life should be lived.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oh those upstart middle-class trollops!

Not that I’m that invested in the royal goings-on, but this “speculation of a royal engagement between Prince William and Kate Middleton” story that’s making the news rounds this evening keeps catching my eye.

Namely because some random self-described Royal Watcher (i.e. professional busybody) is quoted saying: “If they get married, Kate Middleton – Kate Middle-Class – is going to be the queen of England someday.” *significant look*

Nice to know that class bigotry is still alive and well in England today. “Oh my goodness, dahlings, we can’t have a commoner on the throne! A want of good breeding there, to be sure!”

Does it really matter? I know being in the royal family means representing the great empire and carrying on the royal torch and all that jazz, but surely you can be groomed for that kind of thing. And isn’t the English monarchy sort of irrelevant now when it comes to actually running the country?

“Kate Middle-Class”? Oh-ho, I see what you did there! Lady, I would’ve thought that being some upper-class British snob meant you’d at least have good manners. Rude old bint.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I prefer married men sunny-side up, myself.

Hey Fuck Politeness, I hope you don’t watch 9am with David and Kim because today’s hot topic might have made you do a spit-take into your cornflakes.

“Why do single women poach married men?” the hosts wonder. A random survey in the U.S (could there BE a more reliable source of information pertaining to Australian women? I think not!) found that college-aged women (approximately 18-23 years) find married or otherwise unavailable men more attractive than single guys. Those little hussies!

David: “So how does the poor, poor paranoid married woman protect herself from the single women who are going to poach her husband?”

Their special guest expert? “Dating expert” Samantha Brett. (cue FP spit-take!) Her response:

“We can put a lot of blame on the guy – men perv
, that’s what they do. I think we should warn our partners that these type of girls are after them, and are specifically after the challenge of chasing married or taken men, nothing more. Talk to your partner, tell him to cut back on the perving a little.”

Could there BE more sound advice? I think not! Assuming your partner is just going to mindlessly fall between another woman’s legs? Check! Portraying men as the victims of “types” of scheming single girls that plan such elaborate traps? Check! Slotting every single woman under the category of “threat”? Check! Pointed refusal to examine the unique dynamics of individual relationships that may lead to cheating behaviour? Check! Making an unrealistic demand of your partner in an attempt to control him that will probably further isolate you from each other? Check!

“Honey, I know you love looking at those sweet young thangs, but you know, they only like you because you’re married! So could you maybe try not looking at any attractive young people ever again? For me? Otherwise I'll POUT."

I certainly know I would respond positively and submissively if my husband made such a request to me! And not looking at people I find attractive whether they be friends, work colleagues, strangers or celebrities is perfectly controllable and would not at all involve sequestering myself from the entire human race! Not to mention when you stop men from PERVING - you magically stop infidelity as well!

Come on Sam, can’t you advise women to say something reasonable and mature instead of, “You looked at that waitress’s butt! She’s young which means she's a slut who likes breaking up marriages! I’m not talking to you!” Why not say:

“Look babe, sometimes I can’t help being annoyed when you perve on other women. And when I perve on attractive younger men I daresay it annoys you. I think we need to acknowledge that we are always going to see or meet other people we’re attracted to. But even if that young Spanish delivery guy with the biceps caught my eye, there’s only one man in the world I want to be with and that’s you. I need the same kind of commitment from you. I have to know that despite the occasional perve, you want to be in a relationship with me.”


(Yeah, ok, I'm not entirely sure of the correct grammatical usage of the word "perv" - does it have an 'e' when used as a verb? Or when used as a noun? I'm confused.)

As an aside, I wonder how many good dates Sam the “dating expert” actually gets. Surely she would be in a some enviable healthy fairytale relationship with a gorgeous guy she snagged with all her dating expertise and such. Does anyone know if practising what she preaches is working out for her?

Monday, August 31, 2009

So now I always sit in the back

I’ve never written about this incident – namely because it happened during the Great Four Month Homelessness of 2008, when I was living at Kuya's and had no access to my hard drive or my winter clothes. But Karen Healey’s recent post, Snakes in the Grass has brought it all back.

One Monday evening last year, when I was working at the old place (bar/restaurant in the city) the boys and I finished work so late that I’d missed all the trams and had to get a cab. Curtis flagged one for me after we’d had an after-work beer, and the cab driver (youngish) must have taken in the environment before I was in the front seat heading to Kew.

After a moment’s silence along Victoria Street, the driver broke the quiet with, “So, you like drinking? You like drinking with boys?”

The implications of that (abrupt) sentence would normally get me into a debate. But I wasn’t in the mood to argue about double standards and whatnot – I was in the mood to suddenly detect a threat and mentally calculate both the time it would take to get home and strategies for concealing my actual place of address while answering the question in a way that might deter any further conversation.

Which is not so much a mood, but y’know.

“Actually, that bar is where I work,” I answered stiffly. “Those guys are my colleagues.”

During that answer I surprised myself by indignantly thinking, I’m just wearing my work clothes and a hoodie! Why is he suddenly implying I’m a drunken floozy- no, stop right there. Even if I’d stumbled into the cab in a gold mini dress he’d have no right to harass me. Clothing should not make the slightest difference to the manner in which I am treated by a cab driver. Not that it made a difference later.

The driver attempted more conversation, most of which I answered untruthfully. What do you do? What do you study? How often do you work? Do you go out on weekends? Do you live alone? (to THAT one I invented several older brothers as housemates) Then, it was a sly, “So, are there any bottle shops around here?”

“What?” I asked, feigning confusion as my heart started to pound. “I don’t know, there’s a Dan Murphy’s coming up but I don’t think it’d be open this time on a Monday night, why?”

He grinned. “We can get some beer.”

Skin now crawling. “But you’re driving.”

“The beer is for you!”

At this stage I’m half out of my mind with fear, looking around the dark streets as we approach Kew Junction and knowing nobody is around. “No thank you, please just take me home.”

In response he turned off the meter. “The rest of the fare is on me.”

I squeaked a thank you, snaking a hand in my bag for my apartment keys and wallet.

We reached my street, and I told him to drop me off ‘on the corner’ – my actual apartment building was therefore hidden from view, but by this time I’m frantically wondering how fast I can run, how quickly I can turn the key in the door of the building (and let me tell you, I’m the kind of person who will muck any simple thing up in a state of panic).

I hand him cash for the fare, unbuckle my seatbelt, and he asks, “Ok, what about a tip?”

It is polite but not customary to tip cab drivers in Australia, so that was an unusual question but I put aside my fear long enough to reason, sure, he did give me a fair portion of the ride for free. I start scooping some coins together when he grabs my arm.

“No, I mean my sweet tips,” he insisted, using his other hand to tap his cheek. “My sweet tips.”

My mind exploded.
Oh my God, he wants a kiss, he’s bigger than me, it’s so dark, he thinks I like drinking with boys, he’s still in control of the car, how fast can I run, how loud can I scream, is there anything in my bag I can use as a weapon, nobody knows where I am, does my phone have enough battery to call 000, would anybody be in that house over there, what if the childproof lock is on the car door, now he’s leaning closer...

Finally, I SMILED (probably trying to preserve myself best I can, but it still makes me angry) and threw the loose change at him.

The driver jerked backwards as the coins scattered everywhere, I threw the door open and ran for my life.

He did not follow me by car or by foot. I got into my apartment, barricaded the door with a lounge chair, and shook for about an hour before ringing my work friends and telling them.

“I’m shaking, what do I do? Do you remember what he looked like or anything?” I asked.

“No,” Curtis answered, “Jesus, did you get down his ID number?”

I froze. The name and identification card of Victorian taxi drivers is displayed on the windshield along with a six digit driver number. I hadn’t thought of that. “No.”

“Why not? If you did you could report him – you know there are security cams in taxis now, right? And he’ll probably try it on someone else, I mean don’t you remember anything? Did his picture match his ID? Or did you get the numberplate of the taxi?”

So here’s something I wish I'd thought of to say.

No, I did not record his identification number, the numberplate of the vehicle, and today I would probably be hard-pressed to give a detailed description of the guy. I am not of the habit of carrying around a notebook and pen and whipping it out in order to calmly record ‘useful’ such details
DURING MOMENTS OF UNIMAGINABLE FUCKING TERROR.

I was scared OUT OF MY MIND. I took what I thought were the best courses of action - for all I knew, I had to protect my LIFE! Sure, it might’ve been useful if I’d had the presence of mind to memorise the ID number at some point. But try going back in time, to that moment in the dark passenger seat when you’re alone with a guy bigger and stronger and in control of the vehicle and SEXUALLY INTERESTED IN YOU gripping your arm and asking for a kiss and see how useful YOU feel!

‘Cos I was feeling pretty fight or flight, myself.

It’s just... when you’ve been victimised, you really don’t need to be treated like an idiot on top of that, you know? I was already blaming myself plenty. And given the way the situation turned out – unpleasant advances, minor physical altercation, escaped safely – I know it could have been worse. I protected myself as best I could in a situation I was not in control of. To add to that, “Yeah, but you should’ve...” is so undermining and wounding, to take away what I DID do to protect myself and blame me for what I DIDN'T do to protect some imaginary future person?


Don't. Don't ever, especially if you consider yourself a friend to the person who has just been traumatised.

So I’m going to end this disturbing story with Karen’s wise words to me, something she insists I should not have waited so long for:

You are, like everyone, absolutely entitled to the basic right to go about your day unharassed and unmolested. When someone acts as if you don't have that right, it is not because you suddenly don't deserve it. The failure is not yours.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"World peace!"

I'm watching Miss Universe 2009 right now. Yes, we have very delayed telecasts here in Oz. Anyway, I’m not usually one for watching beauty pageants, but I have to admit to lovin' the evening gown worn by Miss Dominican Republic. I’m sure my mum could tailor a suitable knock-off. She’d probably raise an eyebrow at the butt-hugging and see-through parts, though.

...Ok I’m at the notorious Q & A segment of the pageant and am now realising why I do not watch these things. Miss Venezuela: “I believe women are at the same level as men... and we need to realise that there are no longer any barriers between us.”

Yeah, thank God that the objectification of women’s bodies is a thing of the past and we're not paraded around like pretty dolls and you’re not in a multi-million dollar industry founded on shallow and damaging feminine beauty ideals which reinforces the judgement of women on the basis of their physical attractiveness alone on an international scale.

Oh, wait!

ETA: Aaaand she just won Miss Universe. Figures.

Monday, August 24, 2009

This just in...


Rove McManus is a complete tool.


Ok, everybody’s known that for years. But watch the very start of this clip (Rove Daily Ep 24, aired Sunday 23/8/09), just in case you were on the fence about this.

"...this week, a week in which Australia cemented a 50 billion dollar gas contract with China. Looks like putting that Asian girl on Neighbours paid off.”

For the uninitiated,
Rove McManus (Aussie TV personality and variety show host) is referring to Neighbours character Sunny Lee (Hany Lee Choi) who arrived on the soap opera this year after criticism that the show was too “white”.

Sunny Lee is Korean. The actress portraying her is Korean.

I’m guessing somebody starring on the same network on which Neighbours is broadcast would be aware of this, as well as the "whitewashing" criticism.

The audience reaction (astounded laughter, squeals, and gasps) made me roll my eyes too. Don't encourage him, people! It was obvious Rove regretted the joke as soon as it fell out of his mouth, grinning stupidly and trying to awkwardly joke about the flak he was sure to cop. Rather than say, apologise for some pretty elementary school level racism that he clearly knew was uncool.

As an aside, I got teased for being "Chinese" on the school bus when I was eight and growing up in a predominantly white small rural Australian town – only after the kids saw my Filipina mother. But you know, as awful as it was at the time I’m willing to give a few former bullies some leeway because we’re talking about ignorant children here.

No leeway for some overrated media personality who has access to millions of viewers across the country, who told me as an adult woman, “Asians are a minority and all Asians look the same and they’re all Chinese! Hahahahaha!”

Rove you’re just so FUNNY. You know, in a way that's like, not.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More fun with Facebook

Ugh. Trigger warnings.


So, my friend "Tyson" has shared an article weblink with my friend "Monty" via Facebook - ergo, sharing it with all of their mutal friends as it gets posted on their newsfeed. Including mine. The article?

Russian Hairdresser Kidnaps Robber, Rapes him for Three Days, illustrated with some gag BDSM picture.

The story is actually a true one I remember from some months ago, wherein a Russian hairdresser/martial artist subdued a would-be robber at her salon, then tied him up in the back room, held him captive and raped him. For three days.

Tyson added a comment to the article link: "Aside from the general hilarity of the story, doesn't that [picture] look kinda like Mr K?"

Oh, the hilarity of rape!

I'm not even going to touch that one - these guys, while pleasant enough to work with back in the day, are very very typical college boys with the old "politically incorrect" (or as I call it, "arseholish") sense of humour.

I already get sad when I see the mockery and downright contempt male victims of sexual assault face. Prison rape! Gay guy hitting on straight guy! Being some butchy woman's bitch! Hahaha! Non-manly men are teh funny!

I get doubly sad when it pops up in my Facebook feed.

Yes, sexual assault happens to men too. Sometimes at the hands of women. I guess I just don't have much of a sense of humour about it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cigarettes (or probably me) will kill you

Don’t you hate it when you’re walking home with a couple, and that couple have just had a fight, and so you’re walking home smack in the middle of huffy awkward silence?

Well that’s what I was trying to avoid Saturday night with Kuya and Charm. After karaoke I ran ahead on Swanston Street trying to dodge them, but Kuya made Charm run to catch up with me so I wouldn’t be walking alone. Which in retrospect was probably a good thing.

So us gals were both steaming along, angry-drunk, her pissed off with Kuya and me pissed off in general, and this group of five or six guys walk past. One stops to remark, “You ladies both look beautiful tonight! Especially the one in the pink!”

Charm and I exchanged glances. Both of us were wearing black.

Shrugging, we continued walking, trying to quickly overtake the stumbling group, but alas the clicking of our heels gave away our gendered presence. One turned around, waving an unlit cigarette and slurring, “Hey, you girls have a light?”

Charm, who was actually taking a drag from her own cigarette, glanced at him with a straight face and goes, “… No.”

I would have laughed if I wasn’t already boiling with alcohol-induced rage, and we both quickened our pace. Skirting over Lt. Lonsdale Street, the same guy takes pursuit, and starts hollering.

“Oh, c’mon… do you have a light? Give us a light, c’mon…. hey, hey, can you tell me a secret?”

We waked faster, trying to lose him with the old ‘pretend you can’t hear them’ routine but he would not let up. At this stage I’d started muttering to myself, so Charm chose to engage with our pursuer.

“No, I don’t have a lighter, there’s a 7-eleven nearby, try there.”

“But um… I don’t have any money.”

“I don’t have any money either.”

“Oh… C’mon…”

We walked faster. He followed.

“Can I just light my cigarette off yours?”

Finally Charm grudgingly obliged, slowing down to hand him her cigarette, and Kuya – who had hitherto been following us a hundred metres back ‘cos he was still shitty with Charm – chose that moment to play Protective Boyfriend.

He shouldered in between Random Guy and Charm, towering over him, and snatched her cigarette back. “You enjoying that?”

The guy took a moment to register confusion and possible hostility, when Charm explained, “This is my boyfriend.”

“Oh – sorry man!”

End of saga. As soon as the bulky presence of The Boyfriend appeared Random Guy magically didn’t want a lighter anymore, funny that. I stood with my eyes narrowed and arms folded, seething until Kuya gently guided me back across the road. “C’mon darl.”

“Grrr…”

I really wish I’d said to the guy, “We don’t have to give you shit, you weird obsessive freak. Get your own lighter and leave us alone.” Or maybe a more polite variant. No fuck it, why do I have to be polite, you’re fucking scaring me!

Fuck you, drunk guy. We were just trying to make our way home. We had both had it and were shitty as hell. We did not want to be harassed by you. We are not obliged to give you a cigarette lighter or in any way respond to a stranger’s demands attentively and politely at five am on the middle of Swanston Street. Think about how a group of young men would pose a threat to the two of us, especially since a member of said group had already expressed a sexual interest in both of us. I’m sure you didn’t mean real harm, that you were just a typical arrogant drunk guy, given the way you ran off with your tail between your legs at the sight of Charm's beefy BF. So have some fucking respect next time and take a hint when women want to be left the fuck alone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What do international students have to do with q-tips blocking the drain?


We finally had someone come in to look at our broken washing machine yesterday and he goes, "Yeah... the machine is fine, it's actually the pipes. You have to call a plumber." THEN HE CHARGED US $104.


Me: For WHAT?

Washing Machine Man: Service charge $75, manual labour $20, plus GST $9.

The manual labour he is referring to is sliding the machine out then pushing it back again. I wish I had a job where I could charge whatever I wanted for doing fuck all! Imagine if I charged a customer $104 for a meal they didn't get plus manual labour for seating them and fetching them water? Oh this is a general service charge, but my official recommendation is that you need an actual CHEF to cook a meal for you.

But the burning hole in my wallet may have been worth it, because before he left Washing Machine Man had a few pearls of widsom to share with my sister.


Washing Machine Man: Y'know, the previous tenants probably fucked up the pipes somehow. I'm not racist, but... you know these Asian students that come over here? They don't stay too long so they've got no incentive to keep the place clean or take care of it. The way they live is just disgusting. They're rich too so they're used to people cleaning up after them.

My Sister: *staring with mouth hanging open*

So I called a plumber in, the plumber found the blockage and what do you suppose it was?

Hundreds of those little white plastic sticks from q-tip cotton buds!

Plumber: Say, do you wash cotton buds or lollipops or something down the drain?

Me: ... No.

So ended my day of WTF, with many questions left to ponder. Did Washing Machine Man take a manual labour job especially to spread his unsolicited racism around? What do international students have to do with q-tips in the drain? Is he aware a lot of Asian students are not rich brats with their own servants but normal smart kids sent over by hard-working parents? And I don't suppose he realised our mother happens to be Asian when he snarked about the way 'they' live?

This is especially funny 'cos the previous tenants of my apartment are folks with the suspiciously Anglo-sounding names of Sarah Maloney and Ryan Goodwin. You can't fool Washing Machine Man, you q-tip abusing commie bastards!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Feminist bashing for dummies




It's thinking time, gals! Today's hot topic: Feminist Bashing for Beginners! Have you ever found yourself wondering...
  • Why it is that feminism sometimes rubs people the wrong way?
  • Why some young women would rather drink a turd milkshake then tell a guy that they are a 'feminist'?
  • Why there is so much stigma attached to the cause?
  • Wherefore all the silencing and derailing and ridiculing when one so much as mentions the word 'sexist'?
Is it because of...
  • Dominant forces being reluctant to relinquish power?
  • Systematic oppression being so deeply ingrained in our culture that change often seems hopeless, fighting seems futile, and to survive one must learn to adapt to the ways of the patriarchy?
  • Problematic aspects within the movement itself?
Or are you at a complete loss as to how to address these questions?

Never fear, friends. This girl California knows what the problem is with feminism - extreme university feminists hating on men! Because men make up, like HALF the population, duh! California isn't afraid to tell those extreme feminists to quit neglecting their personal hygiene and bashing innocent sexist men, 'cos they're giving us and the cause a BAD NAME!

California, you said it, girlfriend! Damn, you're so edgy and politically incorrect, and God knows that has never been done before! Like, it's totally ironic and satirical and stuff how you regurgitated outdated stereotypes about feminists and women in general and vomited them all over the screen like this!

It is SO GREAT how you challenge the status quo and promote feminism and recruit male allies by calling out certain university feminists for the crazy hairy bitches they are - they should stop being so damn prejudiced when it comes to men and stop paying out women who choose to be “traditional”! These “hairy legged fem-bots” should be more like you, ‘cos you don’t think in stereotypes at all! It’s narrow-minded people like those man-haters who make the rest of us ladies look bad!

Oh, and when you told them to “get back in the kitchen”? Tee-hee-hee, I see what you did there! You are so witty and subversive!

“I have had it up to hair-free armpits with these extreme, man-bashing, placard carrying, hairy legged fem-bots making cases that reduce all men to violent rapists and girl-bashers and all females to helpless victims who [are] endlessly threatened by a hostile patriarchal structure of society.”

Me too, California! But dehumanizing people is an excellent tactic for turning the rest of the world against them, and as an added bonus, you win brownie points from the vast majority of society by aligning yourself with their interests! Why didn’t anyone else think of that? Oh and bashing feminists by implying they’re unattractive? Solid GOLD! Your astounding creativity will definitely put those politically correct harpies in their place. And your obsession with their body hair quantities (as opposed to your self-proclaimed hair-freeness) most certainly does not reinforce shallow beauty standards of a “hostile patriarchal structure of society” wherein women’s value and merit is measured primarily by their attractiveness to heterosexual men!

Golly, you may be onto something here: feminism “could be a plausible cause”. Wow! It was totally prudent of you to make such an outrageous understatement, especially since the only reason you’re even able to convey this wisdom is thanks your own education and privileged existence that those razor-deficient loudmouths fought for. But careful, don’t want to be “Ms. Radical” or anything!

And your snipe that most women have “good reason” to fear what’s inside your university Womyn’s Room rather than “what lies beyond” totally doesn’t trivialize sexual harassment and assault on or off campus and it’s not at all thinly-veiled homophobia! You nailed it: why do those freaks need a “safe space” to meet like-minded women and discuss topics without being ridiculed or silenced, it’s not like men are raping them every time they walk to the cafeteria! God, it’s sad how these paranoid “womyn” jump to ridiculous baseless conclusions! And they can’t even spell ‘women’, I’m surprised with your sophisticated level of insight you didn’t pick up on that.

California, not only are you refreshingly unique and open-minded, you are self-aware and non-hypocritical, wow! Talk about having it all! Unlike those deranged university feminist contemporaries of yours, you don’t use “gross generalizations or heavy-handed intolerance” to put your views across! You just tell those butchy man-haters to shut up and bake brownies… in a totally cute tongue-in-cheek way! ^_^ I was wondering what I could do to get the support of men and non-freakazoid ladies when it comes to feminism, and you’ve totally shown me the light: we must beg for the patriarchy’s approval and join in their contemptuous scorn when dealing with, y’know, other feminists.

You are sooo the one having the “independent thought” – unlike the hive vagina mind of “El Feministo”. Alas, it seems you and you alone are the logical one! Damn, I mean look at these crazies with their stupid “placards” protesting against their bodies being governed by law, rape, sex trafficking, domestic violence, violence against women of colour, reducing women to sexual objects, impossible beauty standards, equal pay for equal work, honour killings, sexual harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment on the street, and murder…

Can’t they just listen to your doubtlessly superior feminist activism experience and realize that they should be less man-hating and more polite? Like California says laydeez, "nobody likes a sourpuss"!

California, let’s have a girl’s night out sometime – we can make fun of less attractive girls and trade baking secrets while measuring our self-worth by what men might think of us! ♥


PS: Mind if I wear this with my mini-skirt?


Sunday, June 14, 2009

What does a superheroine look like?



Not that.

That
is a
fan-made image of Megan Fox as Wonder Woman circulating the internet.

I was already spewing over Scarlett Johansson as deadly Russian super-spy Black Widow, and I like Scarlett Johansson. So I nearly choked when I saw the image above. Surely this can't be true? I thought, clicking desperately trying to find information on the (latest) casting rumours of the on-again, off-again, perpetually in the planning stages Wonder Woman film.

And lo, I found what Megan Fox herself had to say about potentially portraying one of the most iconic female comic book superheroes.
“Wonder Woman is a lame superhero… She flies around in her invisible jet and her weaponry is a lasso that makes you tell the truth. I just don’t get it. Somebody has a big challenge on their hands whoever takes that role but I don’t want to do it.”
Oh thank Christ. Megan Fox, I and countless others don't want your skinny ass anywhere near a film adaptation of any comic books superhero ever, ever, EVER. Wonder Woman especially. Stay the heck away from She-Hulk while you're at it, if that particular rumour is true. Oh hell, just don't even think about touching any character with ovaries in the entire DCU and Marvel Universe (at least). Just don't, for the love of kittens, don't!

Superhero women are
heroes, not hotties trying to act. This is what superheroines look like:







Strong. Fearless. Smart. Active. Humane. Powerful. Selfless. Courageous. Skilled. Just. Spunky.
Hopeful. Spirited. Heroic.

Look
, the photo-shopped image of Megan as WW is kinda cool, but I doubt those twig arms would know their way around a haymaker punch and I seriously doubt Ms. Fox's acting prowess could pull off the emotional complexity of double-life-leading crime-fighters. The point of the image is 'Aw, Megan Fox is hot in a Wondy suit!' Whereas a superhero is so much more.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Real Men! *grunt*

This article is really old but it still gives me a giggle.


Frustrated by the lack of beefy manly-men in the city circa September '07, Kate Adamson of the Melbourne Herald Sun gave us this article:

Are men losing their manly touch?

It addresses prevalent threats to society, such as men being less inclined to fix tyres and change fuses (leaving poor little women to the tasks) and the ever-looming threat of the 'metrosexual'.

There was also one of those helpful Cosmo-style quizzes at the end in order to determine whether your man is 'manly' or 'poncy'.

Will there be a follow-up article one day, I wonder? Something like, “Where have all the real women gone? Why are more and more men not getting their dinner on the table by
7pm because their little ladies are out in the public sphere, dammit? And where are all these baby-makers getting crazy ideas like being treated as people and not as a collective gender? That's why we should never have taught them how to read." *grunt*

But seeing as they can read, I’m going to write a belated response article and mail it to the Herald. It’ll be crush-a-beer-can-on-your-head worthy.

Honestly, Ms. Adamson. I don’t know anything about you, and I’m sure you’re a nice person dedicated to your career and whatnot, but that article was the most pathetic thing I’ve ever read in the history of the universe. Think outside the boys-are-blue and girls-are-pink square one day, ok?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ramsay VS. Grimshaw


Oh media frenzy, we're all a bit over it, give it a rest. One is a crass, misogynistic and obnoxious human being, the other makes a living exploiting and manipulating people with sensationalist soft 'journalism'. Neither is worth the three or four consecutive nights of coverage you're giving them.

I can't believe I can even be bothered weighing in on this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brutal truth about denial

Paul Sheehan, stop hysterically pointing the finger at "Asian, Middle Eastern, Aboriginal, Pacific Islander" folks re: recent attacks on Indian students in Melbourne.

"Yes, this is terrible but it's those Middle Eastern people!" he insists over and over again, referring to Indian-Lebanese clashes in Harris Park last night. "Not to mention those dodgy Aborigines over at Redfern, know what I'm saying? Criminals hail from lots of different racial backgrounds, just look at the prison demographics, hardly ANY white people! Therefore crime is commited mostly by other races White Australia isn't racist it's not it's not I'm not I'm not I don't have to examine the implications here LALALALA I can't hear you!"

Yes, Indian students have been attacked by non-Caucasian offenders as well as Caucasians. Does it then follow that white violence against Indian students is a 'misconception'? That some perpetuators of obvious racially-motivated violence just happen to be Caucasian but the 'perception' of white racism against Indians is 'wrong' and the real problem is... I don't know, being Indian?

You seem much more disturbed and defensive over the Indian media calling Australians racist and violent, than by the fact that it might be true.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

“I do not pretend to set people right, but I do see that they are often wrong.”

Good one, Mary Crawford.

I quite like Mary Crawford. Any young lady so wildly over-confident as to make dirty jokes at the dinner table in a Jane Austen novel is all right with me. And look, here she is to the right, as portrayed by Hayley Atwell in the 2007 adaptation of Mansfield Park.

Now I'm not a Fanny-hater either (Fanny Price, Jane Austen character, to any pervert who misunderstood that statement). On contraire, I can relate to a girl who's so timid and painfully unsure of herself that her favourite activity is being a silent observer of those around her, and given that I have struggled with an anxiety disorder, I can definitely relate to Fanny's fears, particularly the terror she feels when at the centre of attention, being 'brought forward' or 'forced to speak'. The controversial protagonist of Austen’s ‘least likeable novel’ has triggered a lot of, shall we say, Mansfield Park flame wars*. One of the foremost supposed problems of the character is her silence and all the negative connotations that go with it – weakness, subordination, insecurity, timidity, restraint and invisibility. Not too surprising that some readers – especially those with high expectations in the lieu of Elizabeth Bennet and the like – find themselves drawn to the more lively and witty Crawfords. However, rather than silence being a marker of Fanny’s insipid or weak nature, I think of Fanny as a character with a naturally reserved temperament and a complex psychological background, with Mansfield Park charting Fanny’s personal and emotional growth.

Mary Crawford FTW, though.

One of my favourite scenes
in Mansfield Park is when Mrs. Norris insults and humiliates Fanny in front of the Bertram family and the Crawfords. In the shocked silence that follows Mary suddenly decides to sit with Fanny and cheer her up. Despite being determined to hate her pretty rival, Fanny is grateful for Mary's kindness during this moment of mortification. Clearly, despite being shallow and snobby (and c'mon, Fanny can be just as bitchy, her jealous thoughts about Miss Crawford are rarely that of a charitable Christian), Mary has the capacity for kindness and empathy.

Despite her 'flaws' (that Austen paints with a rather damning puritanical brush), Mary Crawford is awesome. Sure, she’s selfish, materialistic, ambitious, morally ambiguous at times, and her strong opinions are usually just regurgitated generalisations she’s heard everyone else say. But she’s also sharp, clever, sensitive to the feelings of others (even though her lively tongue can’t seem to stop rudely deriding Edmund’s choice of occupation), confident, talented and good-natured. And w
hile Mary Crawford seems to have mastered the social world, she is still learning about herself whether or not she is valuing the wrong things, whether her old worldview correlates with her experiences, etc. She's only around 18-19, after all!

Edmund could never have made you happy, Miss Crawford. Someone with your looks, popularity and talents – not to mention that handy little fortune – could have done much better. I’m sure any heartbreak suffered at the hands of Edmund would have only served to rein in any of your ‘indelicacies’ and curb that derisive snobbishness. Sobering up after a broken heart, I like to imagine Mary Crawford used the experience to improve as a person and reassess some of her shallower values and stereotypical thinking. I especially like to imagine that Mary Crawford eventually landed a wealthy, morally-upstanding, and equally vivacious and witty man as a husband and found happiness. No less than she deserved.



* I was very much trying to avoid saying 'Fanny Wars', as they have been sometimes referred to...