Daily Life's top 20 stories of 2015
Why I reported hotel supervisor Michael Nolan's abusive comment to his employer, By Clementine Ford
"I'm sick and tired of men abusing women online and continually getting away with it. I can bear the brunt of this behaviour, but I'm angry about the number of women who tell me they can't. Too many women are harassed into silence by men who flounce about the place doing and saying whatever they like."
The 'One in Three' claim about male domestic violence victims is a myth, By Jane Gilmore
"The claim made by many men's rights advocates that one in three victims of domestic violence are men is false. Utterly false. It is, however, a myth that has taken hold... So let's look at where the myth comes from, and exactly why it is wrong."
How Michelle Payne's Melbourne Cup win highlights the difference between 'liberation' and 'equality', By Ruby Hamad
"If we celebrate every victory by a woman in every male dominated field then all we will end up with is a world exactly as cruel and unjust as this one, but with the violence and oppression enacted equally by men and women. I have little interest in mending this broken system, of merely making it more "equal." I want to shake it up, bring it down, and build a better one in its place."
Family violence isn't something that happens to 'unsuitable women', By Celeste Liddle
"We cannot ignore the exacerbating factors which contribute to the higher rates of domestic violence in some communities, for to do so would be to leave the most vulnerable behind. But to focus on these exacerbating factors rather than addressing the root cause will do nothing except ensure that the tallies keep ticking over."
If things said to female writers were clickbait headlines, By Clem Bastow
"If you call yourself a feminist or write something ostensibly feminist, you can set your watch by the reliability with which a Twitter 'egg' or a guy with a Lars Von Trier-related username will let you know exactly a) what he thinks and b) why you're wrong."
A letter to my pre-baby self, By Natalie Reilly
"The truth about mothering is that it's a different type of truth for every mother. Many people told me many things that felt more like threats than advice. You know who I would've listened to for hours, though? Me. So here it is, pure wish-fulfilment. The letter I would've loved my pregnant self to read."
When you lose both of your parents in your 20s, By Jenna Price
"If you get to 26 and both your parents are dead, you will have very strange feelings about yourself. One, that you are an orphan. Two, that since you have no parents, you are actually an adult. And three, that your relationships with your siblings – in my case, a brother and a sister – would somehow fill up the gap your parents left."
Why a connection to country is so important to Aboriginal communities, By Catherine Liddle
"What if I told you I can travel through time and worlds? This isn't something that I can control, sometimes I'm here in the present, then without warning I disappear to another place and another time. Sometimes my destination is just a few years ago, sometimes I travel centuries, and at other times, it's as if the past, present and future all overlap at the same time."
2015 will be the year of no apologies about my skin, Carly Findlay
"For years - almost my whole life - I've apologised about my skin interfering with others. And now I will stop. The need to apologise has stemmed from others being outwardly inconvenienced by it - vacuuming where I've walked, wiping surfaces down after I've touched them and not feeling as though they could kiss or hug me because they don't want to get me on them."
The importance of small wins in the battle against depression, Giselle Nguyen
"Fixing physical things is difficult. Fixing yourself can feel completely impossible. But when you are depressed, sometimes it's the little victories that mean the most. Don't worry if you haven't gotten that dream job or written your first novel or recorded an album yet. Those things can wait."
Eight things racists say to try and convince people they're not being racist, By Jenny Noyes
"Because people being racist really, really hate to be called racist, we're seeing them increasingly deploy completely twisted logic to make the case that their racism is not racism. Here are eight common arguments racist use to try and water down what they're saying and make it sound reasonable. Don't fall for it, will you?"
The price my family paid while marriage equality stalled, By Ali Benton
"It was my eldest sister who paved the way for my own coming out process. She came out twelve years before me. The year was 1985. Homosexuality was still illegal in a number of Australian states. Gay rights weren't even on the national agenda. It would be another ten years before activist Rodney Croome walked into a police station in Tasmania to challenge the police to arrest him because he had just had sex with his boyfriend."
Equality means a loss to those in privilege, and that's okay, By Clementine Ford
"If you are holding onto power while pretending to advocate for equality, you are part of the problem. If you are speaking for the marginalised when you enjoy power and privilege over them, you are part of the problem. If you refuse to address the ways in which you benefit from other people's oppression, you are part of the problem. These are the hard and uncomfortable truths that we need to face."
The double standards of what's considered black beauty, By Neha Kale
"The gatekeepers of beauty might be catching up with a world that's no longer defined by Elle Macpherson or Christie Brinkley, but whiteness still needs a way to survive. By being selective about those it deems 'beautiful', it gets to control who benefits from life-affirming magic."
The problem with the ban against Chris Brown, By Clem Bastow
"Make no mistake: Chris Brown is an entirely unpleasant man whose abuse of Rihanna remains abhorrent, as does his apparent unrepentance. But this desire to "send a message" to abusers must be consistent; as it stands - with Brown and Tyler having had their touring visas revoked while other artists are free to tour - these campaigns are inconsistent at best, racist at worst."
For five years, I thought my daughter was a boy, By Marlo Mack
"I'm a girl, Mama," my four-year-old said. My 'son' went on to tell me that something had gone wrong in my "tummy" that had made him come out as a boy instead of a girl. He wanted me to put him back in my belly, "to fix this mistake".
Before you judge him, here is what I want to tell you about my brother, By Julie Stevens
"None of my brothers have ever had the words to explain what it was like to be beaten until you wet yourself, to learn to read with the threat of having your fingers chopped off for stumbling over words or being held over a duck pond for wetting the bed. I, on the other hand, always had words."
Why decent guys need to stand up to their mates' sexist jokes, By Gia London
"It is a terrifying thing to watch a group of fully grown men falling over one another to win the crudest laugh in the age-old game of misogyny Ping-Pong. Ping. Look how many slurs I can call my ex-girlfriend in under a minute! Pong. Check out the list of women who owe me sex since I paid for dinner!"
When will we start celebrating divorce? By Andie Fox
"What if we thought of the promise to be with someone as also being the promise to not ever be destroyed by it? It probably won't be intentional, this destruction, and it's something different to the dips and peaks of relationships over time. But if this person you are with should ever really lose the way? Are you not pledging to protect this thing they loved to begin with? Even if that means ending the relationship? In sickness and health, but not in destruction."
A letter to the women who didn't ask to live by the rules, By Clementine Ford
"This is a letter to the chicks. It's a letter to the bitches and the broads, the sluts and the whores. It's to the troublemakers and the dissidents, the women who are told they're too loud, too proud, too big, too small, not enough of nothing at all. This is a letter to our mothers and our daughters, whose womanhood has been told it ought to reduce itself...This is a letter to the women we don't know but whose lives we do, because we live them too."