Eight and a half Ways to Smash the Patriarchy Today – International Women’s Day!


Help a sister out, and make sure you do at least one of these today. And if you can do it today, you can do it every day.

So,  perhaps we should all just agree to START today, if you haven’t already. Ladies – we salute you.


1. Check yourself out in the mirror and give yourself a “helz YEAH!”. You don’t need validation from nobody but yourself lady! You are smokin’ hot AND awesome!

2. Don’t say sorry. You can apologise for a mistake you made, if you made it, and should genuinely express this, but NO MORE superfluous mutterings of penance! Find a new word, like “fudge” or “yep” to replace it.

2.5. Fix a printing press yourself and get a bunch o’ grease all over you *

3. Post a great feminist meme on social media. Make your own, or /share one, like we did! (hint: combine it with the heady thrill of nostalgia and you’re onto a shareable winner gurrl!)


4. Write that sternly worded email/letter you’ve been wanting to send to that person who has stepped all over your self-worth and value. You know who they are.

5. Celebrate a woman who has inspired you. Give her a call, write her a note or shoot her a text. Let her know that she’s awesome and valued.

6. Pick up a piece of feminist literature to read. Go on, challenge yourself a bit. Or, if you’ve had one of those days where your brain needs a break from erry.damn.thing except Tay Tay and baby kitties, flick on a movie like “Sisters”, or “Bridesmaids” and have a laugh at some damned funny ladies doing their thing .

7. Identify a skill that you rely on a man to do, and set about learning how to do that thing. Srsly. Can’t change a tyre? Then ask someone to show you. Not sure about building your own deck? YouTube it. Goddamm just do it woman!

8. Read our blog. Oh no she didn’t! Yep. Shamelessly self-promote yourself ladies. To everyone. Not just to other “biz mommies”, or “boss lady chicks” – but to everyone, across the board. Learn your value, and own it.



*this may be somewhat limited to those who own/run printing presses, however Amy did this today, so we felt it was important to include cos it’s bad-ass, thus giving it a half a point . Also, we wrote the damn piece. So there.



Cooperation Is Overrated


I had a surprising moment of parental pride this morning at the school drop-off.

Hazel, my oldest, has just started Prep. Her brain is exploding with new ideas and discoveries. She already has her first crush (on a much older boy) and is enthusiastic and fearless about trying new things at school. She comes home each afternoon excitable and bursting with stories, which often can’t distinguished between fact and fiction, but also tired and emotional. These are trying times. She’s pushing boundaries. She’s finding her place, and challenging her place all at once. She watched the Labyrinth for the first time recently, and now we hear a lot of “It’s not fair!”

In fact, I’ve been a little worried lately about the extent of this defiance. I’m told it’s normal, a consequence of beginning a structured school routine, but the strain of arguing with a five-year-old over every little thing is taking its toll and making me nervous. Have I raised an entitled brat? To her credit, her defiance is almost always about her independence; wanting to make her own choices, challenging me when I say she can’t do something, or when I tell her to do something she doesn’t want to do (like tidying her room). And while we often have to remind her about selfishness, thoughtlessness and talking back to her parents, I can proudly say that I have never had to tell her off for being unkind or violent to another living soul.

Last night at the dinner table, she told us proudly that her teacher had given her two smiley face stickers. I asked what this meant, and she explained that there is a class Smiley Board and each time a student does something good, the teacher gives them a sticker to put next to their name on the board. Yesterday, she got two.

“What’s ‘doing something good’?” I asked her.

“Oh, you know. Tidying up. Being kind. Cooperating. Being quiet.”

Standard classroom behavioural things, other words. I thought no more of it. I was glad she did something kind or cooperative to earn two stickers. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be for tidying up.

As I was leaving the classroom after school drop off this morning, I noticed the Smiley Board and took a look at Hazel’s progress. Scanning through the list it seemed almost half the class had a lot of smiley faces, and the other half had significantly less. Looking at each name, I realised that all of the ‘good’ students were girls. In fact, it seemed that every girl except one was way out in front of every boy in the class.

Every girl except Hazel.

Hazel was positioned just one smiley face behind the best-behaved boy in the class. A little smile crept onto my own face.

Don’t get me wrong, kindness is a major parental goal of mine and I feel pretty good about having taught Hazel kindness in all the right ways. She has an abundance of empathy, and is in the habit of comforting people when they are upset. She’s great with babies and younger children. She doesn’t say cruel things, and is genuinely baffled when others do (“Why would they say that, mum?”) But cooperating, being quiet, tidying up… those things are all great things, until they’re not great things. They’re great things when both boys and girls – perhaps more pertinently, men and women – are expected to do them and when they’re not taken for granted. But unfortunately, we still live in a world where women are expected to cooperate in support and men are expected to disrupt and leader. When women are leaders by nature, their lack of unconditional cooperation is considered aggressive, when men are supportive by nature they are are classed as weak. This is a big topic, much bigger than a paragraph in a blog post. It challenges so much of what we culturally consider to be feminine and masculine behaviour. It challenges what is acceptable in women, but undesirable in men – and vice versa. In spite of the huge progress feminism has made in recent years, here is a 2016 Prep classroom split right down the middle with cooperative little girls and less cooperative little boys (and Hazel). These are behaviours they learn through watching their peers and their role models. It will take time for all the little girls in the world to see women challenging the status quo so that they will learn to do it themselves. It will take time for all the little boys in the world to see more men cooperating and supporting others so that they will learn to do that, too. Without shame.

Knowing that I am her primary role model, I walked out of the class with a little spring in my step, recalling my days raising hell and eyebrows in mandatory Religious Studies class. Unquestioned cooperation has never been my idea of a good time. And long may it be so for Hazel.

Right after she tidies her room, FFS.

The Anarchy of the Anecdote


We’ve all got one. A tale that ties us to the topic of discussion. We share them, often excitedly, with friends, colleagues, family and strangers (I personally love a stranger-delivered anecdote. Rarely substantiated or requested, but always delivered with fervor). But when these tasty morsels that people wait to desperately share find an audience on social media, and begin to be held up as reasons to question topical issues – well, that’s where the fun ends.

Take, for example, the debate on feminism and equality. Women’s rights, the gender disparity in the workforce, domestic violence against women – these are important social issues that are currently in the spotlight, and for good reason. Powerful pieces of writing and debate have been posted on personal blogs, news outlets and social media. Thought-provoking, exploratory long-form that hope to insight debate and encourage reform.

Unfortunately, within minutes of these pieces hitting the interwebs, in swarm the ol’ anecdotes. If you glance at the growing number of comments, any hope of intelligent debate all too often boils down to a game of “swap the anecdote”.

“I have two sisters and they have had the same opportunities as me and they chose to be stay-at-home mums”

“I have two sons and they respect women and I’ve always taught them to be considerate”

“My husband is the most amazing man in the world AND he cooks sometimes!”

Wow! That instantly negates everything I know about equality. That one guy cooks! Bugger it, maybe we should just give up this whole struggle! He makes PASTA guys!!

It’s important to understand these acecdotes exactly as they are: A singular personal story that, although holds meaning and power to the sharer, doesn’t actually lend itself to continuing or enriching an argument.

My particular fave is the constant, incessant, shouty stories coming from the #notallmen brigade, in defense of any issue that cites men as the majority in any crime or outcome. Clem Ford has them thrown at every piece she writes. Every issue, every statistic. It must be so damn tiring.

“But what about this woman on TV who also made a pass at some guy?! What about HER!!!?”

OMG, that’s awkward! How unprofessional – I hope someone worded her up on that. Thank you for giving me somewhere to hang my sexist hat and ignore the glaringly obvious cultural disparity and statistics around sexual harrassment in the workplace. If that one lady can do it – it must be happening EVERYWHERE. So. You know. Equality.

Yeah, Nah.

This is NOT the discussion we should be having. Your anecdote does not add to the debate. It distracts. It minimalises. It reduces. It does nothing to solve the issue.

Which is, when looking at the  statistics, glaringly obvious. For example, when it comes to assaults in family and domestic violence, there are:

  • Four times as many female victims (4,534) as male victims (1,157) in South Australia;
  • Four times as many female victims (3,482) as male victims (807) in the Northern Territory;
  • Three times as many female victims (10,648) as male victims (3,860) in Western Australia;
  • Three times as many female victims (465) as male victims (145) in Australian Capital Territory; and
  • Twice as many female victims (19,488) as male victims (9,261) in New South Wales.

That the ratio of female to male victims is only two to one in NSW might be surprising at first glance. But of those 9,261 male victims of assault, only 3,305 incidents involved a partner or an ex.*

But the expectation that with one story, we should sweep aside these horrific numbers and agree with “this guy”, shows pure ignorance.

So let’s all put our righteous anecdotes aside and look at these statistics, look at the research and findings from people that are qualified to present them, and figure out how to solve this problem together. Let’s not bicker or get distracted by one story that represents the small minority, and hold that up as an example. Let’s not get on our personal high-horse keyboard and yell our story to the masses. Understand that your story is part of a bigger picture that needs to be re-drawn, and pick up a pencil.



*Stats taken from the Business Insider 2015.

There Are Easier Ways Than Freezing Them Eggs – A Viable List

BarbaraKruger-Your-body-is-a-battleground-1989Image by Barbara Kruger

Have you ever felt that there could be some other way that businesses could step up to the modern challenges of ensuring diversity in the workplace? Organisations taking the lead and looking at real opportunities to ensure that high-performing female employees can continue to thrive in a corporate landscape whilst also choosing to have children?

Facebook and Apple have apparently recently introduced their own solutions to hold on to their best workers, with latest news reports on the interwebs reporting that they are offering to pay up to $20,000 for female employees to freeze their reproductive eggs.

Hold up a second.

So, it’s BIOLOGY that needs to drastically tampered to solve this issue of workplace equality? Oh of course! Why didn’t I think of that? It’s our bodies that have been doing it wrong all these years! It really was just staring us in the face this whole time. Women clearly haven’t been pulling our weight in the evolution department, and so the solution to ensuring we can work longer and better is to step in and meddle with our bits.


WHY are we doing this? Are we so far removed from reality that this is actually a viable option? According to Jennifer Tye, marketing lead for Glow, a mobile application aimed at helping women avoid pregnancy or conceive, it most certainly is.

“Egg freezing gives women more control,” Tye stated.

“When I turned 30, I had this notion that my biological clock was ticking, but I didn’t know what my options were.

“These employers should be commended.”


Can I just say firstly that we have no issue with women choosing to freeze their eggs, but we really have an issue with companies incentivizing it rather than taking a good hard look at why they make women with children such pariahs. Secondly, I don’t believe for a second this is giving women more control, it’s doing the opposite. The employer is telling the woman that her biological makeup needs to change, not the business structure. REAL empowering Jennifer.

So we made a list of ways industry could solve this issue WITHOUT resorting to surgery:

1. On-site child care centres. DUH

2. HIre the correct number of people for the actual amount of work

3. In busy times, give people the option to work late, or start earlier, and pay the MONEY for those hours. Keep child care support on hand at that time so that the option can be taken up by parents. Creating a culture of expected unpaid overtime is at the root of this issue.

4. Stop seeing having children as a woman’s sole responsibility, but respect her if she chooses to stay at home forever. It is no different to her going on a holiday to Italy, and loving it so much that she wants to quit her job and move there.

5. Offer REAL up-skilling or training as needed for any employee who takes up leave to care for their children. If there is a knowledge gap after having 4 months off, address it. Equip them with the skills they need to do the job well, without having to fall into the overtime trap.

6. Stop comparing the capabilities of female employees who have/don’t have children. Neither of you are better at your job for having/not having children. We don’t question whether men who have children do their jobs better or worse, they just have them.

7. Focus on making real cultural change in the workplace. Invest money into this, not egg freezing.

Please add to this list as you see fit. Humans are continuing to make this life way harder than it should be, creating more obstacles than a steeplechase in the big world of business.

By going down this path businesses are literally trying to own their employees, body and soul. Viable solutions are out there, so why are we offering these instead?