The Short Person Inequality Discrimination Ceiling

Image Mashoid.co
Image Mashoid.co

I’ve had enough. It’s time to speak up about this injustice that we have allowed for far too long. I’m talking about living in a world designed by giants with no respect for those of us who stopped growing in early high school.

It’s a daily struggle for me. Little things that don’t even register for most people can have serious consequences for this honest, hard-working Australian. Things like:

Getting tomato juice all over my front (and by that I mean boobs) at lunchtime thanks to kitchen benches that are too high.

Being unable to use the top two shelves in the pantry. Or owning one of those handy little step-stools that Grandma had so I can use the pantry. Acceptance is difficult.

Not being able to see myself in the bathroom mirror (and splashing toothpastey water on my shirt while rinsing because the sink is so close).

Having to buy the dolphin-killing canned tuna because I can’t reach the hook and line brand on the higher shelf.

Holding up the line at Subway because the Sandwich Artist can’t hear my order through the sneeze guard.

I sit down, my feet don’t touch the floor. In fact, my knees don’t even reach the edge of the chair so my legs are left sticking up and an awkward angle while everyone else relaxes with ease.

Buying glasses is hard enough, with a narrow face, nose too small to hold the frames up and oddly-placed ears. And when you finally happen across a pair that don’t look comically oversized or have been borrowed from your twelve-year-old nephew, it only takes a day for the euphoria of a perfect fit to wear off and to realise that the spectacles have morphed back into their original shape and are sliding down your nose, leaving you pushing them up constantly like the awkward but lovable sidekick from a movie.

And of course, adding $30 to every pants, skirt or dress purchase for alterations. Do not tell me to shop in the kids’ section; those clothes are too small. And let’s face it, kids shoes look like well, kids shoes. I’m not wearing them.

I ordered an almond croissant recently. It was ENORMOUS. The first few bites were heavenly. Then eating it became work, albeit rewarding. By the last third I was almost crying: I had to finish the jerk. I’d paid six bucks for it and it tasted so damn good. But it was too much. I spent the rest of the day wallowing in my own stupidity. This is not an unusual event.

You are an adult, the world says, this is your home now. But I don’t fit! I scream.

I feel like Goldilocks. I’m stuck between the adult world that is too big, and the kids’ world that is too small.

Does Kylie Minogue, who is the same height as me, have this problem? Or has she spent her money on tailors and custom-made furniture so as to make her entourage feel like the odd people out? Does she have someone to hand-catch tuna the ethical way? Maybe that’s why her sister launched her petites range with Target: so that poor Kylie can have something to wear (and so Dannii can borrow a few things like a good sister does).

And you know who I blame? The government.

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PC Mag Australia – A Guide to the Trans Pacific Partnership

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the largest trade agreement in the Asia Pacific region to date. A highly complex agreement it has been in the works for over four years it may actually be close to signing off this year.

It has received a bit of attention lately thanks to the fact that we don’t know much about it. Its contents have been kept under wraps with the media and even elected politicians being banned from any discussions.There have been many concerns raised over the contents of the agreement, which has been obtained thanks to leaked documentation.

‘Australia might want to change its laws someday but we will have an international obligation not to do so.’

Read more at PC Mag Australia.

Sorry but the word Mansplain sucks

So Macquarie Dictionary’s 2014 word of the year is Mansplain:

“verb (t) Colloquial (humorous) (of a man) to explain (something) to a woman, in a way that is patronising because it assumes that a woman will be ignorant of the subject matter. [MAN + (EX)PLAIN with s inserted to create a pronunciation link with explain.”

I’m pretty disappointed with this.

Maybe I’m suffering from feminism-overload because of the many articles, tweets and Facebook posts I read but I actually find it a little offensive.

Addressing society’s attitudes to gender is possibly the biggest hurdle we face in correcting gender inequality but sometimes I feel like we go so far the other way that we over generalise, and forget that there are some men out there doing a good job. I am not jumping on the #NotAllMen train by any means.

Actually I think the examples given as ‘mansplanations’ – from Clive Palmer to Rand Paul (and yeah maybe even the Rebecca Solnit one) – were not necessarily because they were men but because they were jerks.

Yes, I know that a lot of men are jerks to women because they have lived believing they are more entitled simply because of their gender. This is the core of feminism.

Clem Ford’s recent #QuestionsForMen was an excellent example of this, raising simple questions for men to answer that women face every day but men may have never considered – and they all relate to gender. Questions of personal safety, dress choices, career validity, their place in the home and relationship roles.

However to label the actions of a person acting in a manner that is overbearing, patronizing and just plain rude as mansplaining to me, feels like a cop-out. I’m going to play the ‘personal experience’ card here and say that I’ve had women speak to me like that. I’ve had men speak to me like that. I’ve witnessed men speak to men like that, men speak to women like that and women speak to men like that. You know what the common denominator was? Personality. Not gender.

I am a feminist. I want to change attitudes and behaviours. I am raising my son to see females as his equals. But I don’t believe that putting men down is the way to do it.

PC Mag Australia – Australia Leads the Charge in 2015 Global Game Jam

Global Game Jam 2015This weekend over 16,000 people across 78 countries will come together in the annual Global Game Jam (GGJ) where teams of designers, developers and artists come together to form teams and produce games based on a prescribed theme within 48 hours.

“GGJ is about having fun and creating something that’s awesome because the time and theme constraints force you into a new way of thinking. After we finished our Screencheat prototype we were so happy with the execution of the idea that we had to take it forward. I’m super excited to see what we come up with this year and, as always, will have a great time making games,” said Screencheat’s director and artist Nicholas McDonnell.

Organisers have been working hard on increasing the number of women involved in GGJ, having reached their long-standing goal of 20% female jammers in Melbourne for the first time this year.

Read more at PC Mag Australia.

PC Mag Australia – Submit your objections and #StopDataRetention

datacentreDespite failing to gain the initial 38 votes from Members of Parliament needed to block the National Security Legislation passing, the #StopDataRetention community is not ready to give up yet.

Electronic Frontiers Australia has a detailed guide to the metadata retention legislation and shows you how to submit your objection to the inquiry being carried out by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security that will lead to a mandatory two year data retention scheme for all Australians.

Submissions close 5pm AEDT Monday 19 January 2015.

Read more at PC Mag Australia.