Culture

Home truths

The reality of racism in Australia

Shannon Murdoch and her husband Glen.

Jenna Price 12:15 AM   "It's about the skin I'm in and no matter what you do, whether you have a PhD, whether you are well-spoken or friendly, you are still always black first."

Clem Bastow

My Facebook memories might be embarrassing, but they show me how far I've come

"Every morning, I get to open the Itty Bitty Bin of Facebook history and see, in stark relief, just how bad it got," ...

Clem Bastow   "Every morning, I get to open the Itty Bitty Bin of Facebook history and see, in stark relief, just how bad it got," writes Clem Bastow.

#NoWomanEver

Women are fighting back online and it is glorious

Campaign group 'Sexual violence won't be silenced'.

Susanne Legena   There is a sense of joyful solidarity to see women taking ownership over the things we've silently put up with for far too long.

Virtual equality

Can robots help solve our gender woes?

Tentacle-like arms of Mobot Mark II, a mobile robot built by the Hughes Aircraft company in Culver City, California, ...

Neha Kale   "If our machines are simply a projection of us, can we design them to rewrite society's sexist scripts?," asks Neha Kale.

Must-see TV

Why UnReal is my (enjoyable) weekly penance

UnReal's Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby) will seemingly stop at nothing for ratings.

Hank Stuever   Don't mistake this show for a comedy. It never fails to bring out the worst in its characters, who will do just about anything to manufacture sensational TV.

#NoWomanEver

Women on Twitter confirm #NoWomanEver is flattered by harassment

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 28:  Protesters hold placards aloft during a Slutwalk march for the right of women to wear ...

Jenny Noyes   Sorry dudes, nobody's buying the excuse that you're paying a woman a 'compliment'.

LGBTI lights

London now has pedestrian traffic lights featuring same-sex couples

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Rob Moran   "These new signals show that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTI community, and display the tolerance and celebration of difference in our city," said London's new mayor Sadiq Khan.

Mythbusting film

'Muslim women are not always victims. They're fighters'

Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

Ruby Hamad   Filmmakers Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Geeta Ghandbir cut through prevailing stereotypes in their work, and their latest doco about Bangladeshi women peacekeepers is no exception.

Orlando shooting

People are tweeting pictures of #TwoMenKissing and #TwoWomenKissing in defiance of LGBT hate

#TwoMenKissing and #TwoWomenKissing go viral in the wake of the Orlando shootings.

Rob Moran   The hashtags were a direct response to comments from the shooter's father, who told reporters his son had become angry after seeing two men kissing.

Adult education

Benjamin Law: How I'm slowly learning to face my fear of death

My fear of death wasn't helped by the fact that I went to a Lutheran school.

Benjamin Law   I never thought of myself as a fearful kid, but I now realise my phobias were varied, myriad and batshit insane.

Geek life

An ode to dorkiness

Dorks not only know about stuff, but the best of them can share that passion with you.

Patrick Lenton   "I was definitely a dork at school – I wasn't smart enough to be a nerd, I wasn't hated enough to be a geek," Patrick Lenton writes.

Clem Bastow

The community radio stations that are giving women and LGBT people a voice

"The Federal Budget's proposed cuts of $1.4m to community radio is a potential cultural catastrophe," writes Clem Bastow.

Clem Bastow   "The Federal Budget's proposed cuts of $1.4m to community radio is a potential cultural catastrophe," writes Clem Bastow.

Rape culture

This woman perfectly corrected that horrible letter from Brock Turner's dad

Brock Turner and his father Dan Turner in court.

Rob Moran   "I was always excited to buy him a big rib eye steak to grill, but it just wasn’t the same after [he raped an innocent young woman]."

Sex ed

What an STI scare reminded me about 'safe sex'

The memorable sex ed teacher from Mean Girls.

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   "The right to have upfront conversations about sexual health should be considered as essential as consent," Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen writes.

What will it take for Hollywood to drop famous, dangerous men?

Johnny Depp arrives for the premiere Of Disney's "Alice Through The Looking Glass".

Alyssa Rosenberg   The industry has flailed and failed in response to serious allegations against famous men. This is why Depp could be different.

Hobby anxiety

Why women are left hankering for a hobby

Do you worry that you don't have any interesting adult hobbies away from work?

Annie Stevens   Do you worry that you don't have any interesting adult hobbies away from work?

Why House of Cards needs Claire Underwood

Missed opportunity: Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in <i>House of Cards</i>.

The creator of House of Cards has unravelled the mysteries of the show, including Frank's sexuality and the missed opportunity of Claire.

Clem Bastow

The problem with '#AdultingIsHard' and the internet's self-deprecating trend

Add a self-effacing caption, and this is basically what social media looks like these days.

Clem Bastow   "I dream of a world in which the 'most shareable' content isn't the self-deprecating 'lol my whole life is a mess' stuff, but images of greatness or tales of talent," writes Clem Bastow.

#TryBeatingMeLightly

Women in Pakistan hit back at legislators over bill that would allow husbands to 'lightly beat' their wives

"#TryBeatingMeLightly, you won't survive to see the morning," says Sumbul Usman, Social Media Manager.

Jenny Noyes   Pakistani women are daring men to #TryBeatingMeLightly in response to the proposed bill.

Everyday sheroes

You need to read this story about three women who stepped in to prevent a date rape

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Jenny Noyes   "Don't roofie someone on our watch."

Literary prize

Four women shortlisted for Australia's premier literary prize

Charlotte Wood is on the shortlist for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Jason Steger   Four women are on the shortlist for this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award - and four of the listed writers are new to this stage of the award.

Racist advertising

'Jaw-droppingly racist' Chinese detergent ad provokes global condemnation

The ad for a Chinese laundry detergent that has attracted racism claims.

Adam Boult   The ad has sparked a conversation about racially-charged Chinese beauty standards and the nation's phobia of darker skin.

Great housekeeping

The UK's 'Good Housekeeping' magazine did a study on vibrators and tabloids couldn't handle it

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Jenny Noyes   Yes, middle aged women still like to get their rocks off. Don't be so alarmed, everyone.

Loser generation

My theory for why we're losing things more often

The more we submit to the demands of connectivity, the less we can pay attention to everything else - including our ...

Jenna Price   The more we submit to the demands of connectivity, the less we can pay attention to everything else - including our belongings, writes Jenna Price.

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Going viral

This teen's tweet about secretly taking his boyfriend to prom is going viral

Myren and Ralph, on their way to prom.

Rob Moran   "My parents told me I couldn't go to prom because I wanted to go with my boyfriend so I had to go behind their backs."

Patrick Lenton

Why I’m uncomfortable with male friendship

Two young guys hanging out on a bridge in the city.

Patrick Lenton   Patrick Lenton explains why he has always felt a kind of quivering caution around men.

Facebook fat-shaming

Facebook rejected a feminist group's body positive event ad on 'health and fitness' grounds

The "offending" image of model Tess Holliday.

Jenny Noyes   The image they used of plus-size model Tess Holliday was deemed "undesirable" and would apparently make viewers "feel bad about themselves."

Trans issues

White House deflects backlash over inclusive bathroom guidelines for transgender students

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama was involved and consulted throughout the process.

Gregory Korte   The guidance requires schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom or locker room of their chosen gender.

Empowered emojis

Google proposes new emojis showing women doing more than painting their nails

Google's new emojis show women doing things other than leisure activities and being princesses.

Karen Workman   When it comes to emojis, women can be brides or princesses, paint their fingernails, get a haircut and go dancing in a red dress. Google has heard your complaints about the tired stereotype and has announced a plan to fix it.

College culture

College culture is misogynistic even if it offers some women sexual freedom

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Xiaoran Shi   Focusing too much on individual experiences numbs us to structural faults larger than ourselves, Xiaoran Shi writes.

Uni students infiltrate massage parlour

Sydney University's 99-year-old Wesley College.

Aparna Balakumar   Students from Wesley College have apologised after a massage parlour was infiltrated during an initiation activity.

Femmo art

A beginner's guide to the new wave of feminist activist art

HateCopy

Neha Kale   Because, as Neha Kale writes, there are few conversations as snooze-inducing as the one that insists great artists are always white, male geniuses.

Airbnb bias

The problem with using the sharing economy as a brown Muslim woman

"If it had happened once or twice, I might have written it off as sloppy hosting. But to have eight consecutive ...

Zeynab Gamieldien   How many Airbnb rejections do I need to go through before I can stop calling it a 'coincidence'?, asks Zeynab Gamieldien.

Storrar can now buy a whiz-bang toaster

Duncan Storrar with his daughters Jakalah-Rose, Indica and wife Cindy-Lee.

Aisha Dow   A crowd funding campaign to raise money for Q&A's latest social media hero has raised more than $9000.

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Stonewall

Obama to name Stonewall as the first LGBTI rights national monument

The Stonewall Inn ,the iconic bar that was the site of the Stonewall riots of 1969, considered to be the single most ...

Juliet Eilperin   "We must ensure that we never forget the legacy of Stonewall," NYC politician Jerrold Nadler said.

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Why I refuse to feel sorry for torrenting Game of Thrones

In this image released by HBO, Tyrion Lannister, portrayed by Peter Dinklage, appears in a scene from season four of ...

Mark Serrels   What Australians are expected to go through to pay for and watch this show is actually insane. It borders on anti-consumer.

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Book-loving stars on Instagram: They're the new Oprah

Actress Reese Witherspoon is an enthusiastic social media sharer of "book selfies".

Jocelyn McClurg   The hottest Hollywood accessory of the moment is just the right size to fit snugly in a Hermes Birkin bag or a Celine Luggage tote: a book.

Good hair? Don't care

The mission to destroy 'Becky with the good hair' misses Beyonce's radical point

Fearless and in control: Beyonce in <i>Hold Up</i>, from her new album <i>Lemonade</i>.

Neha Kale   Are Beyonce's furious fans ready to accept her reimagining of female power?

Language

Why Merriam-Webster added 'cisgender', 'genderqueer' and 'Mx.' to the dictionary

Other new additions include FOMO, hella and dox.

Niraj Chokshi   The addition of words such as genderqueer lends legitimacy to terms long in use by the LGBT community.

Love prevails

Widowed former senator will remarry at 90, this time to a man

The soon-to-be newlyweds.

Helena Andrews-Dyer   "Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall - straight, gay or in between."

The war on sex: PM axes school sex-ed program

Sex education has become a political football.

Jill Stark   Online resource will replace program using youth educators to deliver sex education in schools and universities.

Why Purple Rain, the movie, matters

Prince on stage during his 1984 Purple Rain tour.

Steven Rea   Prince made one great rock movie, the semi-autobiographical star-is-born psychodrama 'Purple Rain, released in 1984 in tandem with the album.

Michaelia Cash's message to men

Employment Minister and Minister for Women Michaelia Cash confirmed negative gearing will not be touched in the budget.

Anna Patty   It's time for a "two-way exchange" when it comes to gender and careers, says the Employment Minister.

Trans rights

Target welcomes customers in fitting rooms, bathrooms that correspond with 'gender identity'

Last August, Target transformed its toy section so that toys were no longer grouped together by gender.

Yanan Wang   Last August, Target transformed its toy section so that toys were no longer grouped together by gender.

RIP Prince

Prince and Bowie showed there's no one right way to be a man

prince

Alyssa Rosenberg   At a time when politics is consumed by gender panic, we've lost two men who had an expansive, almost luxuriant vision of what it meant to be a man.

Splendour 2016

Splendour doesn't want your sexist camper vans

A review the Queensland Attorney-General pointed to in July 2015 which was to look at adding gender vilification to the ...

Rob Moran   The festival tells prospective campers to "steer clear" of camper vans with sexist slogans.

New US $20 bill will feature civil rights activist Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman, between 1860 and 1875.

Megan Cassella   Civil rights activist and one-time slave Harriet Tubman will replace slave-holding former President Andrew Jackson on the $US 20 bill, becoming the first African-American woman to be featured on the face of US paper currency in more than a century.

Pillow talk

This 'smart mattress' will let you know if your partner is cheating on you

Oh shit, the 'Smarttress' has reported some suspicious activity in your bed.

Rob Moran   Snitches sleep in ditches. Unless the snitch is already a mattress.

A fierce response to misogyny wins the Stella

Charlotte Wood's most recent novel, The Natural Way of Things, is a profoundly unsettling treatment of institutional ...

Jason Steger   Charlotte Wood's has followed up her success in the awards from independent booksellers by winning this year's Stella Prize for her novel The Natural Way of Things.

Race-based jokes

The difference between a good race joke and bad one

Comedian Aparna Nancherla.

Kamna Muddagouni   Race-based humour should make social observations not exploit stereotypes for cheap laughs, Kamna Muddagouni writes.

Clem Bastow

Letting people use their phones at the movies is a terrible idea

Laugh, scream, weep openly in the cinema - just please don't stare down at your phones, writes Clem Bastow.

Clem Bastow   Laugh, scream, weep openly in the cinema - just please don't stare down at your phones, writes Clem Bastow.

No Men Allowed

The top secret women-only groups on the internet

How do you stop online harassment? Ban the men.

Caitlin Dewey   How do you stop online harassment? Try banning the men.

The myth of the multitasking mother, or why men should do the laundry

Jessica Irvine

Jessica Irvine   Stereotypes of the male domestic bumbler and the female domestic goddess are just that.

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It's time to go cashless

You aren't still using cash are you?

Dominic Knight   Coins and notes were useful instruments in their day, but that day is over.

Social overload

Why I decided to remove my birthday from Facebook

Facebook celebrates its 12th birthday today

Jenna Price   Millennials are right about so much, and their approach to engagement on social media is no exception.

Secret societies

All-male Harvard club says admitting women could increase sexual assault

Harvard University is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning.

Justin Wm. Moyer   "Forcing single gender organisations to accept members of the opposite sex could potentially increase, not decrease the potential for sexual misconduct."

Street harassment

Where is the line between normal behaviour and harassment?

"Street harassment is not a compliment. It is a form of violence and abuse with serious consequences. It has to stop."

Dr Bianca Fileborn   "Street harassment is not a compliment. It is a form of violence and abuse with serious consequences. It has to stop."

Accidental detox

I lost my phone for a month – this is what I learnt

"I went out for a few drinks one night and woke up with a hangover where my phone should have been."

Cameron Nicholls   Here are a few of the interesting things Cameron Nicholls got out of the whole ordeal.

Bare-knee outrage

Schoolgirls told their skirts are 'distracting' the male teachers

Too sexy: High school students were told to drop their hems even further.

Forty year 11 students at Auckland's Henderson High say they were called into a meeting to be told their uniform skirts were deemed too short.