Lot's Wife Edition 4 2016

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LOT’S WIFE<br />



Everyone is a bystander at some point. Being a bystander is simply<br />

when you witness behaviour that is inapropriate or harmful. In<br />

these sitautions, it's easy to ignore it, and assume that someone<br />

else will help or step in, but a lot of the time everyone else will be<br />

thinking that as well. Even if you're not sure how to help, a ot of the<br />

time, trying to do something is better than doing nothing.<br />

MONASH<br />


T: +61 3 9905 1599<br />

E: safercommunity@monash.edu<br />

monash.edu<br />

If you witness harmful or inapropriate behaviour, :<br />

'Is it safe for me to stop in myself or should I call security?<br />

Remember, it's important to do the right thing, but your safety is paramount.<br />

'What kind of negative behaviour am I seeing?' discrimnatory?<br />

yelling abuse? Is someone being physically violent? Different<br />

situations require different intervention.<br />

<br />

'What can I do?' Should you calmly confront the person andexplain why it's wrong?<br />

Should you ? Should you call someone else in?<br />

'Can I support anyone else who is helping?' If someone has already stepped in,<br />

what can you do to back them up?<br />

<br />

For information, advice and support in a safe environment, please contact the Monash University Safer Community Unit on 9905 1599 or<br />

just dial 51599 from a Monash phone.The Safer Community Unit website also lists resources and links to external agencies<br />

http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/safercommunity/<br />


We understand the university sector, employer expectations and the graduate employment market.<br />

OPENING SPECIAL - 30% discount for all Monash University students<br />

and recent graduates. Quote code: Lot’s wife.<br />

Contact Helen Green 0428 888 292 | www.careerconfident.com.au<br />

www.facebook.com/career-confident<br />

We help you navigate the job market and career landscape.


Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> is entirely<br />

written, illustrated, edited and<br />

distributed by students,<br />

just like yourself!<br />

If you would like to be<br />

involved, we are always always<br />

always looking for new<br />

contributors and volunteers.<br />

Say hi anytime:<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> Office<br />

1st Floor, Campus Centre,<br />

turn right at the MSA desk.<br />

Or drop us a line at<br />

lotswife<strong>2016</strong>@gmail.com<br />

Advertising inquiries:<br />

E: msa-lotswife@monash.edu<br />

P: 03 9905 8174<br />

About the cover artist<br />

When she’s not pulling her<br />

hair out over university induced<br />

stress or lazily perusing<br />

the internet, Olivia Rossi is<br />

probably eating. Oh, and she<br />

loves to draw too! People are<br />

her most favourite subject to<br />

draw, usually in a somewhat<br />

photorealistic style.<br />


07<br />

08<br />

10<br />

12<br />

14<br />

16<br />

Lode of crap: internship scams<br />

In conversation with Anna Poletti<br />

Delivering the junk<br />

What we’re wearing: winter<br />

Sharehouse lyfe<br />

MSA office bearer reports<br />




19 It’s time for a treaty<br />

20 Why identity matters in politics<br />

21 Misogyny in philosophy<br />

22 Veganism is not compassionate<br />

24 The case for drug reform<br />

26 Heteronormativity<br />


35 The witch’s role in health care 45 Why watch foreign films?<br />

37<br />

39<br />

41<br />

42<br />

43<br />

53<br />

55<br />

57<br />

58<br />

Science journalism<br />

Borderline personality disorder<br />

Humanitarian technology<br />

Where do our pizza boxes come<br />

from?<br />

Science crossword: environment<br />

Poem: Parlour Games<br />

Poem: Sirens<br />

Short fiction: Funding<br />

Poem: In search of lost time<br />

28 Wot’s Life with Clippy the MS<br />

Word Assistant<br />

47<br />

48<br />

49<br />

51<br />

Getaway Victoria<br />

TED: Ideas worth shredding<br />

Is pop music losing its intelligence?<br />

La Tomatina<br />

BONUS<br />

30 Centrefold: Pull-out<br />

calendar and poster<br />

Pattern by Rachael Park<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 3


DESIGN<br />

Timothy Newport<br />

Carina Florea<br />

Lisa Healy<br />

Natalie Ng<br />





Tricia Ong<br />

Jermaine Doh<br />

Rajat Lal<br />

Matthew Edwards<br />

Ishana Srivastava-Khan<br />

Maddy Luke<br />

Kinto Behr<br />

Kathy Zhang<br />

Mevani Amarasinghe<br />


Hello! Welcome back to the second half of the year where we<br />

are all welcomed back with a deluge of rain and shitty, shitty<br />

weather.<br />



Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> <strong>Edition</strong> Four<br />

July-August <strong>2016</strong><br />

© Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> Magazine<br />

Level 1, Campus Centre<br />

Monash University<br />

Clayton, Victoria 3800<br />

Lachlan Liesfield<br />

Layla Homewood<br />

Melissa Fernando<br />

Amber Davis<br />

Audrey El-Osta<br />

Sarah Kay<br />

Published by Mary Giblin, Printgraphics, Mount Waverley<br />

As you read this paper you are on Aboriginal land. We at Lot’s<br />

<strong>Wife</strong> recognise the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples of<br />

the Kulin Nations as the historical and rightful owners and custodians<br />

of the lands and waters on which this newspaper is produced.<br />

The land was stolen and sovereignty was never ceded.<br />

Hopefully your winter break was as **RIVETING** and<br />

~STIMULATING~ as mine. A few of my highlights included:<br />

- Discovering the many beneficial healing properties of nasal<br />

spray. It was definitely written in the stars to have it bless me<br />

with its presence<br />

- Encountering a teenager who managed to polish off a bottle(s)<br />

of red wine by himself at 2am and who tried to philosophise<br />

with me about how oxygen, water, and pomegranates<br />

must all be drugs. I almost had an aneurysm<br />

- Only just now stumbling across Arrested Development. It<br />

appears I am a bonafide late bloomer<br />

Don’t feel too bad if yours wasn’t as exciting as mine; you<br />

still have the mid-sem break to catch up and possibly surpass it.<br />

I imagine it’ll be pretty difficult to do so but I’m sure y’all could<br />

manage.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> condemns and will not publish any material that<br />

is racist, sexist, queerphobic, ableist or discriminatory in any<br />

nature. The views expressed herein are those of the attributed<br />

writers and do not necessarily refl ect the views of the editors<br />

or the MSA. All writing and artwork remains the property of the<br />

producers and must not be reproduced without their written<br />

consent.<br />

4 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>



Well, crap.<br />

It’s Semester 2, the election is over, and can you believe that<br />

[insert current event here] happened? Me neither, my friends.<br />

Through the magic of timetravel and print deadlines, I’m<br />

actually writing to you from the far-off land of June. It’s raining<br />

terribly, US politics is fukt, and my internet is slow. I think it’s<br />

safe to say that it hasn’t changed much.<br />

It’s at times like these that we often reflect on our progress<br />

so far, and look to the future to see what struggles lie ahead.<br />

Looking back, I see four issues of a stellar magazine (thanks,<br />

team), and looking forward, I see another two issues, as well as<br />

the summer break, and the sweet embrace of bed.<br />

So keep your chin up, your back straight, and your Netflix<br />

paid. It’s been a rollercoaster year so far, but the struggles of<br />

the ascent are behind us, and we’re holding our breath.<br />

Get ready. It’s time for the dive.<br />

Hey there!<br />

The special furry guest featured in my editorial photo is my<br />

lovey cat Pepper. I’d like to think that we’re friends because we<br />

share a mutual interest in lying next to warm things, meat and<br />

shedding hair everywhere.<br />

However, we both lead vastly different lives. While Pepper is<br />

alternating between sleeping and attacking rouge socks on the<br />

ground, I am attempting to finish a uni degree while also editing<br />

this lovely magazine. Attempting to juggle all these things<br />

at once has proven to be a really challenging task but with the<br />

help of my fellow editors, writers, sub-eds, illustrators (and<br />

everyone in between) and all those sweet sweet spiderman<br />

memes/simpsons quotes have gotten me through.<br />

So with one semester down and another one about to begin,<br />

we are all getting scarily close to the end of another year and<br />

possibly one step closer to getting out of uni into the scary as<br />

fuck ~realworld~ that no one prepared us for. So brace yourself<br />

and remember that if some gangsta is dissin’ your fly girl, just<br />

give em one of these.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 5


LODE of crap<br />

By Ruby Muller<br />

Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges<br />

et Job Ready with an Internship Today from LODE!”<br />

“G No doubt you’ve seen these bad boys plastered<br />

all over your Facebook page. Maybe you’ve even been tagged in<br />

one by a mate or an over zealous parent. I was, which is why I<br />

filled out an an application.<br />

Silly, silly me.<br />

These things always come at a price, something I wish I had<br />

remembered as I started giving them my personal details and<br />

wasting time thinking up a witty 100 character response to<br />

“How will your colleagues remember you after you have completed<br />

your internship?”.<br />

The real answer is they won’t, because I won’t be doing one.<br />

At least not through a third party company. Which is exactly<br />

what those ads are for.<br />

So I got a call at 11:00 in the morning, bleary eyed and<br />

non-functioning until I got put on hold long enough to pour<br />

myself a coffee. It was from the internship people—hurrah! I<br />

had succeeded! Or not. But kind of.<br />

They loved me. They loved me so much they wanted me to<br />

do a Business Administration and Management double diploma<br />

on top of my Science and Journalism double degree (yay!). All<br />

so I could get a 3 month unpaid internship. It’s all going on<br />

my HECS anyway, right? So I persisted with almost an hour of<br />

questions and career coaching, which was all very helpful. But<br />

then the wonderful lady on the other side of the receiver said<br />

those magical words (or rather, numbers).<br />

“Fourteen thousand dollars.”<br />

$14k. On HECS, but—geez! Fourteen thousand dollars.<br />

For a 12-month online course. Through a college called “Ivy”?<br />

Sounds super legit.<br />

So I hopped on Google and found some alternatives that are<br />

all less than $3000 for almost the same thing. While the lady<br />

over the phone seemed to think that the extra $11k was well<br />

worth it just for the coaching and the internship, I’m not going<br />

to pay that much so I can not get paid for three months.<br />

According to LODE’s Facebook reviews, I’m not the only one<br />

either. Their single star reviews cite a myriad of false advertising,<br />

misleading sales tactics and unsolicited calls in order to get<br />

people to pay up to $16000.<br />

But it gets worse. It turns out their “winners” don’t even get<br />

an internship.<br />

One of these winners, who would rather remain anonymous,<br />

said that they only received a referral to another company,<br />

Navitas. Though they weren’t talked into paying for a diploma<br />

they didn’t need, the company was so hopeless at placing<br />

them into an internship, the entrant took another one in the<br />

meantime.<br />

So if you’re looking for an internship, or to improve your<br />

employability by completing a short course, do yourself a<br />

favour and shop around. Do your research and know your<br />

consumer rights.<br />

For instance, if you have just read this and are now amidst<br />

a panic attack because you yourself have accepted a course<br />

through one of these organisations, know that you are entitled<br />

to a 10-day cooling off period. At any time during this period<br />

you may cancel your purchase with a full-refund, even if it was<br />

loaned against your HECS. And if the business mislead you<br />

about their services, or coerced you into signing a contract, that<br />

contract is void.<br />

See? Research is your friend.<br />

And if you can’t be bothered doing the research yourself,<br />

here’s some I whipped up earlier.<br />

Certificate III in Business Administration at Monash.<br />

Government Funded<br />

Full: $1600<br />

Concession: $320<br />

While it’s not online, a bonus is that it involves real actual<br />

human beings teaching you. Neato! There are even courses specific<br />

to education and medical admin which are cheaper.<br />

Diploma of Leadership and Management at Monash.<br />

Government Funded<br />

Full: $2300<br />

Concession: $2100<br />

That’s right, this two day a week course is still a seventh of the<br />

cost of Ivy’s online option. And again, there are flesh and bone<br />

people involved. And if that’s too much of a commitment for<br />

you, how about a measly $600 for the Certificate IV?<br />

Dual Diploma of Business Administration + Diploma of<br />

Leadership & Management at the CAE<br />

12-16 month course.<br />

Full fee of $2995<br />

Payment plan of $44/week available, although total course fees<br />

increase due to banking charges.<br />

If you want the full package but don’t want to be an extra $14k<br />

in debt, how about the exact same thing for less than a third of<br />

the price? While it is upfront, it’s nothing a part-time gig over<br />

the summer holidays can’t pay for. Plus, it’s online if you decide<br />

to complete it while also working or studying full time.<br />

Career Connect at Monash<br />

Offered across all campuses, Career Connect assists students<br />

with career planning, course advice and practicing interview<br />

skills. While there’s no promise of an internship, they do<br />

provide free help to both current Monash students and recent<br />

graduates by polishing the skills required to get one.<br />

Individual Faculty Programs<br />

If you’re feeling really lost, contact your faculty. Most Monash<br />

faculties offer subjects or help services based around locating<br />

and completing industry experience. So call them up and discuss<br />

your options!<br />

Now you have no excuse—so get searching!<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 7


Writing the lived experience:<br />

in conversation with Anna Poletti<br />

8 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Anyone who has recently taken first year literature would<br />

know Anna Poletti; a funny, authentic, and bright<br />

star radiating an energetic brilliance, not only into Monash’s<br />

literary department but into the contemporary literary scene<br />

at large. Ruby Kammoora was lucky enough to interview this<br />

much beloved lecturer before she jets off to her next academic<br />

adventure in Utrecht, Netherlands.<br />

What differentiates good writing from exceptional writing?<br />

I guess it depends on whether you are asking about intellectual<br />

writing or creative writing. There are things we say in<br />

the discipline that we generally agree upon; literature that is<br />

complex, evocative, and that can have more than one meaning.<br />

But good writing can also be interested in how language itself<br />

can shape - but also sometimes split open - active communication<br />

in really interesting ways.<br />

When really good creative writers are at the peak of their<br />

powers, they seem to be creating works that strike you with<br />

their clarity, and thus seem very singular because of their<br />

sensibility, and the topic and way they are doing what they are<br />

doing. So they feel very particular, but then when you try and<br />

focus in on what makes it specific, it shatters into all these<br />

different pieces. And you think, actually, this could mean all<br />

kinds of things!<br />

But I recognise that there is also a subjective element there.<br />

I don’t think everyone responds to great writing in the same<br />

way. And some people don’t get it. And they might not get it<br />

at that point in their life. So it is also a question of: is this the<br />

right time for someone to read this book? And I think that is<br />

one of the real challenges of teaching literature.<br />

Why do you study literature?<br />

The particular kind of literature I study is essentially nonfictional<br />

writing about lived experience. So life writing and<br />

zine culture was my PHD project. In particular, life writing in<br />

non-professional spaces, so youth life writing and self-published<br />

life writing.<br />

I think people read these kinds of writing for very particular<br />

reasons, and they read them differently to the way they read<br />

fiction. There are things people feel that they can do with nonfictional<br />

writing about their lives that they can’t do in the novel<br />

or they don’t want to do in the novel. I think writing in this way<br />

explores the larger role that all literature has in the social and<br />

cultural dynamic of a given time and place in history. Literature<br />

is one of the key places where we can have a conversation about<br />

what it means to be a human, what matters to humans, what<br />

particular experiences of being human are like.<br />

But I also like the way that theorists in the post-humanist<br />

tradition are also pushing back against that human-centred<br />

way of thinking about literature. So literature can also be about<br />

things that aren’t human. I am interested in that, and how that<br />

could disrupt some of the assumptions that we make about<br />

what culture does and what culture can teach us about.<br />

expectations that come with publishing, and that are free from<br />

the kinds of influence that editors can have over the decisions<br />

people make artistically around their work. I’m interested in<br />

the sociological questions that come from these areas, but a lot<br />

of DIY culture is studied in a sociological vein and I don’t find<br />

that satisfactory.<br />

So, and I feel like I should say that something like “some of<br />

my best friends are sociologists,” often sociologists will read<br />

these texts as evidence of social trends and social experiences.<br />

Or for insight into, for example, ‘what it means to be a young<br />

person these days.’ But they’ll already have in their mind a set<br />

of ideas about what that is.<br />

Where I feel that the ‘close reading’ literary studies approach<br />

is more open to letting the text (or group of texts) tell you<br />

what they are about, which produces a different perspective<br />

on why people might be writing in these spaces. So I guess my<br />

contribution to the study of DIY culture is to provide that more<br />

textual and narrative focus.<br />

With such an interest in DIY spaces, how do you find working<br />

in an institution like Monash University?<br />

Well I feel like I’ve been very lucky, in the sense that most<br />

people take what I do seriously – at least to my face. And I feel<br />

very lucky that doing a PHD on something as obscure as zines<br />

hasn’t gone against me. But if I am honest, I think like most<br />

people, I have a little bit of an ambivalent relationship with the<br />

institution. And women in academia are often plagued by imposter<br />

syndrome, where you spend most of your time waiting<br />

for someone to discover that you are not supposed to be there<br />

and tell you to leave. It is a very common experience, because of<br />

the history - you know, because of patriarchy.<br />

But the flipside of that, is that I really enjoy being in a<br />

university. I really enjoy teaching. It is challenging and tiring.<br />

At least the way I do it, I feel like I have to be very present. I<br />

used to make theatre, and I feel like there is a little bit of the<br />

improvising attention required when you are teaching. You<br />

need to be reading how the room is working and listening to<br />

what people are saying to you but also listening to what they<br />

are trying to say to you. And I really enjoy that. I really enjoy<br />

working with students. It is not quite playing - it is too serious<br />

for playing – but being in the room with people and listening to<br />

their perspective on what we are doing and listening to them<br />

trying to nut out for themselves what that actually means… I<br />

find that intensely interesting, rewarding, and enjoyable.<br />

Is there any advice you wish you were given as a budding<br />

scholar?<br />

I think what I could have done, earlier than I did, was identify<br />

that people want to mentor you and want to be generous<br />

with their time. But you have to ask them for it. If you are<br />

asking questions that are directly related to what someone does<br />

or what they are good at, they love it if you want to pick their<br />

brain!<br />

Why do you study life writing?<br />

So life writing outside of the book and outside the professional<br />

publishing industry is my thing. I’m interested in DIY<br />

cultural spaces, where people are making culture and making<br />

stories about their experiences that are not structured by the<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 9

Junk in the trunk:<br />

a day in the life of a junk mail deliverer<br />

By Jessica Suares<br />

Illustration by Angus Marian<br />

So I’m broke, as I’m sure a lot of you reading this are.<br />

Previously I was just regular poor…. but then I spent $244<br />

on musical tickets… and splashed out on concert tickets… and<br />

the comedy festival was in town (I couldn’t not go!).... Also, the<br />

superman costume for my cat was really necessary.<br />

Like a true uni student, I searched long and hard for the<br />

easiest possible solution to my money crisis. Long hours slaving<br />

away in retail just did not appeal to me – I wanted easy money<br />

and I wanted it very soon. Something with flexible hours and<br />

minimal brain power involved. This was the motivation that<br />

lead me to apply for a job as a junk mail deliverer.<br />

This is my story.<br />


4:30pm<br />

See an ad for a catalogue distribution company. Realise I have<br />

found my calling.<br />


6:30pm<br />

Arrive at non-descript, if a little ominous, warehouse out the<br />

back of Monash University. Put my massive guns to the test by<br />

shunting 5 piles of 581 catalogues each, and 550 copies of the<br />

local Leader newspaper from the warehouse to my car. Praise<br />

the heavens above that I bought a car with collapsible back<br />

seats.<br />

8:00pm<br />

Set up my work station on the deck facing the backyard, so<br />

that as I sort my precious catalogues into neat piles, I can enjoy<br />

the sight of the trampoline slowly swaying in the wind. My cat<br />

approves of the Target catalogues, but refuses to accept the<br />

K-Mart ones as friends.<br />

8:30pm<br />

Left shoulder is cramping… but I struggle on.<br />

Newspaper – open to centre – insert Kmart – Target – then<br />

Barry Plant – Homewares centre goes in horizontally – close<br />

paper – move to “completed” pile – rinse and repeat.<br />

9:30pm<br />

My mother takes pity on me and helps sort. She even seems to<br />

be enjoying this… but is in bed by 10:30.<br />

11:00pm<br />

Why the hell am I still here? Please let this end!<br />

10 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


11:27pm<br />



7:30pm<br />

Uni finishes at 6:00pm today, which means I have been forced<br />

into an evening delivery shift. Time for the easy part of the job<br />

– simply slotting catalogues in mailboxes.<br />

I park my car at the far end of a street, assemble my over-60sonly<br />

trolley and realise the papers are too big to fit inside.<br />

7:32pm<br />

I make them fit regardless.<br />

8:00pm<br />

Get to the other end of the largest street in this area (so I’m<br />

as far away from my car as physically possible) and run out of<br />

newspapers. Jog back to my car with my trolley, restock with<br />

difficulty and then run back to the other end of the street, so I<br />

can continue delivery.<br />

8:15pm<br />

Wow…. it got dark very quickly.<br />

10:00pm<br />

Walked face-first into my second mailbox (quite an achievement<br />

considering the height difference). Definitely too dark to<br />

continue - time to call it a night.<br />


8:00am<br />

Wake up in the morning, only to discover I sneakily received 22<br />

mosquito bites during my delivery round last night.<br />

17 of them are on my left calf.<br />

8:25am<br />

Update: It’s 24… I forgot to check my arms.<br />

8:30am<br />

Need to finish delivery round by 3:00 today, but class starts at<br />

1pm. Decide to leave for a super early delivery round.<br />

9:30am<br />

The wind has really picked up and half my newspapers fly out<br />

of my trolley. I abandon my trolley in a driveway as I frantically<br />

chase after these drunken newspaper birds. Arms stuffed full<br />

of runaway newspapers, I return to find my trolley has rolled<br />

down the driveway and onto the road.<br />

9:45am<br />

Use my Linear Algebra textbook as a paperweight – finally it’s<br />

been useful for something.<br />

10:10am<br />

32 degrees outside. A black t-shirt was a bad idea. Grime on my<br />

hands means I can’t even wipe the sweat from my eyes. Help<br />

meh.<br />

10:15am<br />

This mailbox is tiny. Nothing fits… I don’t understand, WHERE<br />


10:40am<br />

I see you haven’t taken your paper from last week, number 22.<br />

Well then…you don’t deserve my love. No paper for you.<br />

God how many more houses can there be?<br />

11:00am<br />

Why do I have 6 Target catalogues leftover…? I was not trained<br />

for this. I’m sure number 34 wouldn’t mind if I put all 6 in their<br />

mailbox.<br />

11:35am<br />

Oh hi, old man standing on the porch watching me struggle.<br />

How’s your day been? I really appreciate the moral support<br />

you’re giving me right now. Your condescending leer and the<br />

offensive stance you’re adopting really makes me feel like you<br />

value me.<br />

11:40am<br />

How. Many. More. Streets. Are there?!?!?!<br />

It’s. Been. Three. Hours!<br />

11:45am<br />

So… I give up. Wait let me just check my map, how many more<br />

streets do I have to – hahahahahaha yeah nah fuck it. They’ll<br />

live without their junk mail for a week. I’m sure people’s lives<br />

will go on<br />

11:46am<br />

Hops in car and legs it back home.<br />

12:01pm<br />

Considers the possibility that one of the skipped houses could<br />

be the house of the council mayor. They would realise for sure<br />

that the council newspaper was not delivered. Can I be sued for<br />

this?<br />

12:15 pm<br />

What do I do with all the leftover catalogues…<br />

12:19pm<br />

Have just snuck into the local retirement home. Going round<br />

the back to find a dumpster.<br />

12:20pm<br />

Dumpster found next to a gate about 40 metres away. All<br />

I have to do is get from here to there without anyone see-<br />

EMPLOYEES. FUCK. WHAT DO I DO? Act natural? Act natural.<br />

Walk like I’m meant to be here. No one will suspect me.<br />

12:21 pm<br />

The retirement home employees totally suspect me. I reek of<br />

dodgy.<br />

12:22pm<br />

Could only discard 50 or so catalogues. Can’t risk the retirement<br />

home again. Need to look for another dumpster. Coles<br />

will have one, for sure.<br />

12:32pm<br />

Park the car to scout the Coles dumpster situation…. the<br />

same two employees from the retirement village walk past me<br />

“not-judging” me. I may actually have the cops called on me<br />

very soon.<br />

12:46pm<br />

I have 14 mins left to get to uni. I get home. Dump all catalogues<br />

I have left into my recycling bin, and cover it up with<br />

some miscellaneous refuse so that no one suspects I missed any<br />

houses. #nailedit<br />


Quit my job at Junk Mail Incorporated <br />

Still poor as fuck.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 11


What we’re wearing: winter edition<br />

Presented by FABSOC<br />

Fashion Focus:<br />

Ethical and Sustainable<br />

Clothing<br />

Ethical fashion is currently a hot<br />

topic, with celebrities like Emma<br />

Watson, Lupita Nyong’o and Margot<br />

Robbie, recently wearing gowns made<br />

from recycled materials on the red carpet.<br />

It is fashion houses that will be the<br />

drivers of green fashion, where designers<br />

are able to collaborate with brands to<br />

create a sustainable vision for the future.<br />

The iconic denim brand Levi’s has<br />

collaborated with Seattle-based start-up<br />

Evrnu on creating the first pair of 100%<br />

recycled jeans from five used t-shirts.<br />

The process uses 98% less water than<br />

growing virgin cotton, thereby reducing<br />

the overall carbon footprint. This is the<br />

first of many that is driving Levi’s to perfect<br />

this process and to accomplish their<br />

mission of making a pair of recycled<br />

jeans that feels identical to their current<br />

line of products.<br />

As tonnes of textiles end up in<br />

landfills every year, these brands are<br />

starting to recognise this problem and<br />

are trying to create innovative solutions<br />

to satisfy the continual consumer demand.<br />

So, look up your favourite brand<br />

at www.behindthebarcode.org.au and<br />

see what they’re doing to keep fashion<br />

sustainable!<br />

1. Where do you find your style inspiration from?<br />

2. Where do you shop?<br />

3. What do you know about ethical fashion?<br />

Andrew Longo<br />

1. I haven’t really caught onto any fashion inspirations unfortunately! I see a lot of<br />

bloggers pop up on Instagram, but I usually just see stuff my friends are wearing<br />

and get ideas from them.<br />

2. I’ve never actually bought anything online, always preferred going into the<br />

store. Should probably get onto that though.<br />

3. To be honest I don’t really know much about it but I think that it’s really important<br />

for company management to start prioritising ethical issues like these in<br />

their global strategy. I think it’s also clear from past cases of sweatshop usage in<br />

companies such as GAP that investors and consumers don’t react well to hearing<br />

that unethical practices are being used. I don’t know much about fashion<br />

but I’m sure this will be a really important issue in the years to come.<br />

12 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


About FABSOC<br />

FABSOC is the Fashion and Beauty<br />

(Appreciation) Society at Monash<br />

University. We host careers and social<br />

events on campus. You can also find us<br />

on Facebook and Instagram, where we<br />

hold giveaways, competitions and post<br />

our weekly street style photos. Through<br />

the society, we hope to promote more<br />

self-confidence, celebrate diversity and<br />

support ethical causes within the fashion<br />

industry.<br />

Michelle Freilich<br />

1. Just from around the streets and what people are currently wearing. I don’t particularly<br />

have anyone that I follow for style inspiration. I feel that I tend to wear<br />

what I think looks nice and interesting and not care too much about the fashion<br />

rules. Whatever that’s most comfortable and that I feel good in.<br />

2. I shop at a lot of op shops. I’ve sort of got a combination of op shops and then<br />

Gorman. Most recently I was studying in England and I shopped at Urban<br />

Outfitters.<br />

3. I know little about ethical fashion, but I would definitely want to know more. I<br />

think Gorman use to be ethical and now it’s not really, because of the factory exports.<br />

I think it’s quite hard to have ethical shopping on a budget, not that it’s a<br />

good excuse. But I feel like a lot of the time people forget about the people that<br />

make it, like they’ll be focused on having vegan clothing instead of having nonchild<br />

labour made clothing. That’s why I like op shopping because at least I’m<br />

buying something second-hand, or even through buy/swap groups on Facebook.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 13


What’s mine<br />

is mine,<br />

what’s ours is<br />

broken<br />

By Writey McWriteface<br />

Illustration by Karla Engdahl<br />

You’re woken up in the early hours of the morning to a loud<br />

thumping outside your room. After a few more seconds, you<br />

hear the voices of your housemate and his friends next door.<br />

Checking your phone, your confusion grows when you see<br />

that it’s 4am, and a Monday morning. Then again, this is the<br />

housemate that you haven’t seen go to uni since you moved in,<br />

so you’re pretty sure his status as a student is just a cover for<br />

something.<br />

Managing to get back to sleep, you’re again woken too early<br />

because some asshole has decided to turn on the central heating,<br />

when the sun’s already warming up the house. Cheers for<br />

that. You try to sleep for a little longer, but your room is slowly<br />

becoming an oven, and the amount of work you’ve got to get<br />

done propels you out of bed.<br />

As you get dressed, the floordrobe well and truly in action,<br />

you think about what you’ll have for breakfast. You’d prefer<br />

eggs, but somebody stole your carton the other day, so that<br />

plan’s out the window. You instead decide to continue demolishing<br />

your huge box of cheap cereal. In order do that, you<br />

need a bowl, all of which are on your desk. Stacking them atop<br />

each other, you know that your future self would love it if you<br />

washed them all now, but when the time comes to head out to<br />

the kitchen, you only take one. It’s okay, you’ll clean the others<br />

later.<br />

In the kitchen, you’re irritated to find that your full bottle of<br />

washing up liquid, instead of residing on your shelf, is now next<br />

to the sink and half empty. When you put it back in its rightful<br />

place, you throw a tea towel over it so nobody can ever find it<br />

again. Fool-proof plan.<br />

Not long after breakfast, you make your way over to uni,<br />

where you’re thrilled to find not just one free sausage BBQ,<br />

but two. That’s lunch sorted, and thank fuck, because rent’s<br />

due later this week. After your classes are over, you head back<br />

home, vowing to get some study done before work.<br />

But, as it turns out, that was a little bit too idealistic, because<br />

your housemate next door is watching Game of Thrones.<br />

To cancel out the (admittedly epic) noises, you put on some of<br />

your own tunes. Unfortunately, your ace taste in music makes<br />

this more of a distraction than a solution. But never mind,<br />

there isn’t a lot of time between uni and work, so you weren’t<br />

going to get much study done anyway.<br />

When you leave for work, there is only one other car parked<br />

in the driveway. When you return, there are three more, none<br />

of them belonging to other housemates. The house is silent<br />

when you come inside. There are some things you just shouldn’t<br />

question.<br />

It’s past dinner time, and, feeling like a treat, you heat up<br />

one of the frozen meals your mum gave you last time you<br />

were home. With your food, laptop and discarded plates all<br />

positioned intricately on your desk, you kick back and relax<br />

with your favourite reality TV show. Except, you don’t actually<br />

have a TV, so you’re live streaming it on your laptop, which is<br />

rubbish quality. But hey, it’s better than nothing. All the while,<br />

you can hear your housemate’s music next door, and despite<br />

yourself, you actually enjoy listening to it. It makes your current<br />

situation seem a little less depressing.<br />

You feel the guilt creep up on you when you think about all<br />

the readings and other work you haven’t done, but it’s way too<br />

late to start studying now, you wouldn’t have gotten anything<br />

out of it. Besides, you deserve a break every now and then. For<br />

this incredible epiphany, you reward yourself with some ALDI<br />

ice-cream, because even the fifty-cent cones from Maccas are a<br />

bit steep these days.<br />

A noise sounds from somewhere in the house. Jesus, what<br />

now? You come out to find a splintered floorboard and a guilty<br />

housemate. Not to worry, everybody in the house decides, we’ll<br />

just pull the rug over this one, in the literal sense. Now you’re<br />

all trapped playing your two favourite games; ‘Don’t Tell the<br />

Landlord’ and ‘Don’t Stand on That Part of the Floor’.<br />

Still, the incident causes the night to spiral, and you find<br />

yourself sitting with three other housemates as they share stories<br />

about everything that’s happened in this house, or rather,<br />

to this house. You feel like you’re learning about an ancient and<br />

precious history, one that few have the privilege of knowing.<br />

You’d rather keep it that way; tell the wrong people, and you<br />

might end up getting a knock on your door from the police, or<br />

worse yet, the landlord.<br />

And, as weird as it sounds, you’re all in this together. You<br />

hold this strange bond that you believe can only be forged by<br />

uni students in a dodgy sharehouse, a bond that vows protection<br />

as you all hurtle towards a certain death.<br />

After a shower, you head to bed. The last thing you see before<br />

you turn out the light is the steadily-growing pile of plates,<br />

bowls, mugs and cutlery on your desk. You don’t worry about<br />

them too much, though. You know you’ll clean them tomorrow.<br />

14 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>

AUGUST 8 - 12<br />

#winterfest<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 15



Helloooo Monash folks! Welcome back for another fab semester! Hope you’ve had a refreshing break over<br />

the past few weeks and have recovered from the exam period. If you had a night exam you might have seen an<br />

orange van hanging around the Caulfield campus talking to students about night exams and giving out free<br />

food. If you didn’t, let us know what you think about night exams by sending us an email. We’re excited to<br />

announce the introduction of the Tax Advice Service! We are running this in partnership with the ATO, with<br />

the help of the Monash Business School. These budding tax enthusiasts would relish the chance to help you<br />

with your tax return, so be sure to hit them up, the service is completely free!<br />

The holidays have kept us all pretty busy, we’ve spent most of our time organizing conferences and planning<br />

for the enrollment and orientation period in semester two. One of the biggest campaigns we ran towards<br />

the end of last semester was the National Union of Students’ ‘Enroll to Vote Campaign’, which nationally saw<br />

a 20% increase to the number of young Australians who could have their say at the ballot box on July 2nd.<br />

While not everyone might get as excited about election stuff as us, we think that’s a pretty great achievement!<br />

We hope you have a great start to the semester!<br />


Welcome to semester 2, gang!<br />

I hope y’all had a magnificent break full of really great and exciting times. To any new students joining us this<br />

semester, I hope you find it easy enough to settle in to the uni life! Please don’t hesitate to come and visit us if there’s<br />

anything we can do to help facilitate a smooth start to your time here.<br />

Since we saw you last, we’ve made it through another federal election! At the end of last semester we worked to<br />

ensure those who were eligible to vote were enrolled. Stress Less Week took place in week 12, and while the puppies<br />

arrived unexpectedly a few days earlier than expected, they and the petting zoo were definitely the highlight of the<br />

week. Everything else ran smoothly, with some successful free food and relaxation events, face painting, films and info<br />

stalls taking place. I held a finance subcommittee meeting, and have commenced research into options for the divestment<br />

of the MSA reserve funds into a fossil free bank. I am now helping to plan for 2nd semester orientation and to<br />

organise around some educational conferences that students will have attended during the break!<br />

Happy studies :)<br />


Welcome back for Semester 2, or if you have just started then welcome to Monash! We have been busy<br />

planning for the semester to come, so be on the watch out for some new services we will be providing! Every<br />

Friday morning we will have free coffee from our food van, Vancora, along with our free BBQs on Tuesday and<br />

Wednesday and free breakfast every Wednesday. So make sure you come by and wake up before that Friday<br />

morning class.<br />

I have recently returned from the National Union of Student’s Education Conference held at the<br />

University of Sydney, where I met with students from around Australia to discuss how the student experience<br />

can be improved at universities. I have also been busy looking at proposed changes to our constitution, which<br />

will be brought to a referendum at our annual elections in September.<br />

As always, if you have an suggestions on services or campaigns we could run, please send me an email at<br />

glenn.donahoo@monash.edu<br />


The end of the year’s first exam period means the end of night exams for now. As far as we’re aware,<br />

students struggled but made it through mostly unscathed. We really want to what your experience was like<br />

if you sat a night exam, so if you can take a few moments to let us know everything good and/or bad about it<br />

please email us.<br />

This semester we will continue to work on the night exams issue as well as looking towards, amongst<br />

many things, working around textbook policy and planning the MSA Teaching Awards night. At the Teaching<br />

Awards, standout academic staff are recognised for their work. Students will have a chance to nominate their<br />

favourite lecturers or tutors for awards over the next semester, so keep an eye on the MSA Education page for<br />

the nomination form.<br />



Hello once again Monash peeps, your Education Public Affairs officers have been working very hard and<br />

have had awesome results. We have just had our second nation-wide student protest against the cuts to<br />

higher education proposed by the Turnbull Government on the 11th of May, and there was a great Monash<br />

turnout! I’d like to thank all of the students who did attend the protest, as they are pivotal in showing the<br />

government and the public that students are heavily against any changes that endanger our right to a fair<br />

higher education. Furthermore, with the federal election coming up we had been working hard to ensure that<br />

as many students are enrolled to vote as possible, and we successfully enrolled many students to vote up until<br />

the last day possible to enrol. Finally, we will be continuing the campaign for a People of Colour department<br />

within the MSA, as it is necessary to have a space in the student organisation where the voices of ethnic<br />

students are heard. If you’d like to become a part of a team advocating for student issues than you can come<br />

to our offices located in the MSA, or you can join the Monash Education Action Group on Facebook and come<br />

along to our meetings. We look forward to seeing you around campus.<br />

Sumudu Setunge: sumudu.setunge@monash.edu Sulaiman Enayatzada: sulaiman.enayatzada@monash.edu<br />

Hi everyone - welcome/welcome back! I’m Denise, the plucky new co-office bearer (...at the time of<br />

writing. Once this is published I will be decidedly less new but hopefully will have managed to maintain<br />

comparable levels of pluck).<br />

The Disabilities and Carers Department is currently in the process of planning a few events to help<br />

ease everyone into the new semester and to introduce the department to new students. Our autonomous<br />

Collective has grown and we’re hoping to facilitate more meet-ups throughout the upcoming months. We<br />

have many exciting projects in the works - Viv and I are particularly looking forward to D&C week, which will<br />

take place later on in the term - stay tuned!<br />

Please feel free to pop in if you would like to get involved, seek support or have a friendly chat.<br />

If you would like to be added to the autonomous (and now secret) Facebook group, please email either<br />

myself at denise.atzinger@monash.edu or Viv at viv.stewart@monash.edu<br />

16 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>



QUEER<br />

Hi everyone and welcome back!! I hope everyone had as fantastic a semester and break as we have!<br />

Hopefully some of you made it to our semester one events: Trivia Night in week 2, weekly morning tea,<br />

queer beers and movie screenings throughout semester, our wonderful Queer Week in week 5 with tons of<br />

workshops and events, including our Comics & Cartoons themed Queer Ball, our IDAHoBiT stall with the<br />

Ally Network, and our super chill SWOTVAC “ignore your responsibilities” event. During break we’ve had the<br />

huge Marriage Equality rally, and our annual Queer Collaborations conference over in Perth.<br />

But don’t worry if you missed out, we’ve got lots planned for you this semester as well, with more<br />

Morning Teas and Queers Beers & Movie. Screenings for you, an evening event in Wholefoods in week 2 (you<br />

should check out our facebook page MSA Queer for details), our 2nd Queer Week in Week 6 (check out our<br />

page & timetable closer to the date), as well as probably little impromptu events throughout the month to<br />

keep an eye out for! Hope to see you!<br />

All is going well in the Welfare Department. Book Fair sales have finally all been processes (apologies for the<br />

delay), Free Food Monday’s is stronger than ever although number have been marginally less over the past few<br />

weeks<br />

Last Tuesday Tim met with Jane Dancey who has been hired by the University to conduct research into the<br />

nutritional value of all the food outlets on Campus. Lowen Sist advised her to speak with the Welfare Department<br />

in relation to the work we do with FFM. She was very impressed by the initiative and has offered her support and<br />

help to create meals within the ethos of the service. Furthermore, her and the Masters students she co-ordinates<br />

have offered to also assist in the creation of a student cook book (which we have been planning to do) that will be<br />

released for the beginning of next semester.<br />

We have also begun working on a campaign to get Centrelink representatives on Campus on a regular basis in<br />

order to offer advice and support on Univeristy Student specific areas. Contact has been made with Janet White,<br />

Senior Adviser to the Pro-Vice- Chancellor, who has been very supportive and helpful with the campaign.<br />

If you like the sound of this and would like to send through a statement of support to aid in the strength of the<br />

movement please feel free to send a letter through to one of our emails.<br />

Other than that the Survival Centre remains fairly well stocked, we have included some sanitary items and<br />

food in there which has been taken very quickly so we hope that these things are helping the students in need.<br />

Peace and Love from T&B.<br />


MSA Activities is getting ready for an exciting semester two! After the great success of AXP and semester<br />

one, the Activities department is ready to bring you a bunch of new events! Week 8 will be completely dedicated<br />

to events and providing the best social student experience. Grab your lederhosen and wench outfits for<br />

Oktoberfest! Jam out with Monash’s best DJs and student bands at the brand new student band competition!<br />

And of course, we will be delivering AXP II to help settle those exams blues!<br />


Over the break there were some really important rallies. We brought contingents of monash students to<br />

World Refugee Day on June 18 and to the rally for marriage equality on June 25. On top of that, we took<br />

a stand against open neo-nazis marching through the streets of Melbourne, trying to celebrate the racist<br />

Australian flag.<br />

This report was written before the federal election. We sure hope you’re reading this is a Liberal-Partyfree<br />

future, but even if Turnbull is kicked out,we still have a fight on our hands. Both major parties have<br />

announced serious cuts to higher education, both commit to offshore mandatory detention for refugees,<br />

and tighter ‘national security’ (aka demonising Muslims). If you want to be part of the fight back against the<br />

government, if you want to find out more about radical left wing politics, drop by one of our stalls outside<br />

the campus centre. Our department will also be hosting regular political meetings, lectures, and forums on a<br />

range of topics so don’t forget to check the notice boards around campus.<br />

WOMEN’S<br />

Hello everyone! We would like to welcome new students and those that are returning to us this semester.<br />

Its semester two and we’re really excited for a busy and fun semester ahead! We will be continuing with our<br />

weekly discussion groups in the women’s room, so keep a watch on our Facebook page for the day and time.<br />

During Week 3 we will have a week dedicated to women in higher education, including our own screening of<br />

‘The Hunting Ground’ documentary. We will also be continuing working the University, Residential services<br />

and other relevant groups in our endeavour to develop and improve the existing consent campaign.<br />


The Indigenous department of the MSA has worked hard this semester in running events and engaging<br />

with Indigenous and non-Indigenous students across Monash. We have successfully run barbeques, social<br />

events and other initiatives that have helped foster a sense of community for Indigenous students across<br />

campus. With MSA Indigenous Week having being in week 11, we have been able to showcase the importance<br />

of Indigenous culture and engage students in the wider community. This has been the first year where MSA<br />

Indigenous Week has been extended to include Monash University Halls of Residence. As a whole, this semester<br />

has been fruitful in allowing our department to grow and further engage with students in a productive<br />

way.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 17



Too late now to say sorry:<br />

it’s past time for a treaty<br />

By Dan Carter<br />

Illustration by Grace Fraraccio<br />

It’s been 228 years since Europeans arrived in our country<br />

without signing a treaty. The three forms of legal occupation<br />

at the time of European arrival were an empty land,<br />

negotiated land and invaded land. The British settlers (and politicians<br />

today) say an empty land was settled, the High Court<br />

says ‘Terra Nullius’ was invalid, the wise sages of talk-back radio<br />

say it’s in the past, and Indigenous people say Australia remains<br />

a crime scene – so who’s right and who’s wrong? Can we just<br />

patch this one up with another apology, without any legal ramifications<br />

in the true spirit of reconciliation?<br />

This year the Daniel Andrews government continued its social<br />

justice rampage from refugees and safe schools, to genuine<br />

engagement with Indigenous people, but is all this too good to<br />

be true? Or are they just sick of losing seats to the Greens? At<br />

this rate, he’ll be pouring the sand through the traditional owner’s<br />

hands whilst Bob Hawke packs his beer bong for finishing<br />

the legacy he was ousted for.<br />

It started February 3rd when State Indigenous Affairs<br />

Minister Natalie Hutchins called an open meeting with the<br />

Indigenous community to discuss self-determination and<br />

constitutional recognition. A meeting of this kind hadn’t<br />

occurred in over 20 years; 200 hundred people attended and<br />

200 others streamed online. In brief, the Indigenous community<br />

made it very clear they unanimously rejected the notion of<br />

Constitutional Recognition, seeing it as a government distraction<br />

and wished to establish the framework to engage in treaty<br />

conversations.<br />

Over the next month, this momentous occasion received<br />

only a blip of mainstream media attention and a Dandrews<br />

tweet telling us it was on the table. The State government waited<br />

a month for the press release, playing down any Recognise<br />

rejection as “unconvinced”, but most importantly following up<br />

on the Treaty debate, announcing state wide forums to shape<br />

the conversation starting in May, <strong>2016</strong>.<br />

Treaty is an incredibly touchy subject for any government<br />

to chase. If you can remember the 1980s land rights scare campaigns,<br />

they claimed a small percentage of ‘Aborigines’ would<br />

be given ownership of the majority of this prosperous country.<br />

Middle class Aussies were coerced into believing some kind of<br />

Indigenous 1% would conspire to unfairly distribute Australia’s<br />

wealth. The iron ore irony, that these campaigns were funded<br />

by the mining industry, is not lost on Indigenous people today.<br />

In the state of Victoria there aren’t big business party donors<br />

looking to derail talks, so we may just see further discussion.<br />

It’s hard to look past treaty as some kind of costly reparation<br />

power move from a right wing perspective, but the symbolic<br />

side of this negotiation for Indigenous people to set the agenda<br />

is the crux of self-determination. I say symbolic because almost<br />

every existing treaty around the world has been broken in some<br />

form. The real goal here is bringing Indigenous people to the<br />

table in genuinely shaping our country. This isn’t a new concept<br />

either: politicians love the inside/outside tent metaphor almost<br />

as much as they love paying the black representative (that they<br />

invite inside the tent) a government salary.<br />

Problematic to all of this is that a treaty is not simply<br />

government vs. ‘Aborigines’, but a sovereign leader and 300+<br />

nations negotiating. As prominent activist Robbie Thorpe<br />

said, “Take me to your leader” – who is the sovereign signatory?<br />

Dandrews will be taking a bold step looking to bridge<br />

this unknown. How do you unify 300+ nations so they are<br />

they all on the same page? The alternative solution is a federal<br />

government offering recognition that Indigenous people are in<br />

fact … Indigenous people. This is a poor consolation prize for<br />

the rights that many have fought so hard for. I personally have<br />

followed the campaign for many years and agree with the intent<br />

and scope of what it hopes to achieve, but it cannot come<br />

before or detract from what is required.<br />

20 years from now we could celebrate the day a treaty<br />

was signed as the foundation of this country. The generic<br />

word ‘Aborigine’ would barely be used because people would<br />

understand the names of the lands, nations, and people whose<br />

history they were now a part of. Indigenous people would be<br />

empowered to engage in a society that was shaped by their culture.<br />

Nobody would turn up to your Sunday BBQ in blackface,<br />

because people would understand the invasion, discrimination,<br />

massacre and genocide of history. If the federal government<br />

still had a spare $150 million for a referendum to recognise<br />

after all that was achieved, we could change the constitution’s<br />

wording to state our country didn’t just have an Indigenous<br />

history, but that it was written into our future too.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 19


I am no-one: why identity<br />

matters in politics<br />

By Ovindu Rajasinghe<br />

Growing up as a person of colour in Australia is a bit<br />

like Arya Stark doing her assassin training in Game of<br />

Thrones (but with more character development):<br />

“Who are you?”<br />

“No-one.”<br />

You are constantly forced to erase your identity. You push<br />

your cultural heritage to the background so as not to stand out,<br />

so as not to be marked as different to everyone else. You might<br />

adopt a more ocker accent to seem like you’re just another<br />

normal person, or you might speak in more refined tones to<br />

subvert the implicit assumption that people of colour are somehow<br />

uncultured or uneducated.<br />

You blend into the background to survive.<br />

I speak from my own lived experience, but I imagine other<br />

oppressed groups might feel similar. Part of the problem is the<br />

dire level of representation of people of colour in Parliament<br />

and public life. If you can’t identify with the people who are<br />

representing you, then you’re going to be less likely to engage<br />

with politics, and this means your life is less likely to change for<br />

the better.<br />

Take the Greens. I broadly support their platform. However,<br />

when I look at their federal parliamentarians, I see a sea of<br />

white faces. I see a group of people who, by and large, come<br />

from privileged backgrounds.<br />

The composition of the Greens, and the way they sometimes<br />

behave, perpetuates the stereotype that they are rich inner-city<br />

wankers. I don’t think this stereotype is wholly accurate, but<br />

it exists, and it deters many voters. When the ordinary punter<br />

looks at Greens leader Richard Di Natale paying his au pairs a<br />

pittance on the farm that he owns but didn’t properly declare,<br />

or starring in that bizarre GQ turtleneck fashion-shoot that he<br />

did, they will often struggle to identify.<br />

The Labor Party appears (superficially, at least) to have a<br />

more diverse array of representatives, drawn from a wider array<br />

of racial and socio-economic backgrounds.<br />

Stefanie Perri, the Labor candidate for the federal division<br />

of Chisholm (encompassing the Clayton campus) believes that<br />

“the Labor party does quite well in its cross-section of candidates,”<br />

citing several women of colour such as Sophie Ismail<br />

(candidate for Melbourne), Jennifer Yang (5th position on the<br />

Victorian Senate ticket), and herself, a Clayton local from a low<br />

socio-economic Italian background.<br />

Even though I disagree with many Labor policies, I seem<br />

to intuitively identify with the party. I honestly don’t know<br />

whether this is because Labor is actually more representative<br />

and diverse, or because the Labor meme game is too strong and<br />

I’ve been brainwashed.<br />

It is also important to ensure intersectionality in pre-selecting<br />

candidates. As Perri put it, “it’s got to be more than a<br />

tick-the-box” system. Having a person of colour, or a woman,<br />

or a Queer person who is from an otherwise privileged background<br />

might not necessarily be the best person to represent<br />

that group.<br />

For example, compare Waleed Aly and Sam Dastyari, the<br />

Labor Senator for NSW. They are both Muslim men, prominent<br />

public figures, and important voices in progressive politics.<br />

Aly attended an elite inner-city private school before practicing<br />

law and becoming an academic. Dastyari attended public<br />

and selective schools in the north-western suburbs of Sydney,<br />

and dropped out of law school. He has retained his working<br />

class identity, and as a result, he’s become a borderline folk<br />

hero. While much of what Aly says might be extremely valuable<br />

- I think he’s great - he is dismissed as an ‘out-of-touch flog’ by<br />

a lot of the population.<br />

It is important that oppressed groups are properly represented,<br />

instead of a PR ‘tick the box’ smokescreen.<br />

But why is proper representation of these groups so<br />

important?<br />

The most obvious reason is that this representation gives<br />

oppressed groups the agency to make decisions in relation to<br />

their future. They have the experience to actually understand<br />

what problems face them, and how best to resolve them.<br />

Oppressed groups can also have their identity affirmed, because<br />

they see people like them in visible positions of power.<br />

But what this means for political engagement is that when<br />

parties do not appropriately reflect the identity of their constituents,<br />

this drives voter apathy. This is particularly the case<br />

with the Greens. It means that people who might otherwise<br />

have engaged with them, based on their policy convictions, will<br />

never do so.<br />

Australia has not been a white nation for several decades, so<br />

why are our public figures so monocultural?<br />

Now, more than ever, we need people to be engaged with<br />

politics. If it is seen as the domain of elite and out-of-touch<br />

upper-middle class white people, then we are shutting out<br />

swathes of important views. It means that people of colour do<br />

not engage in a political system, or a society, that they feel they<br />

have no place in, seriously undermining our democracy.<br />

20 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>

W<br />

hat<br />

Brocrates: misogyny in philosophy<br />

is a philosophy bro (also known as a ‘philosobro’)?<br />

A philosophy bro is a man who thinks he knows a<br />

lot about philosophy, or perhaps even does know a lot about<br />

philosophy, and he definitely thinks he knows more than you<br />

(unless you’re Peter Singer, whom philosobros tend to admire).<br />

They are usually found in the undergraduate philosophy<br />

classroom, Monash Philosophy Society, and sometimes in<br />

Wholefoods. You might be able to spot them by keeping an eye<br />

(or ear) out for men speaking loudly, name-dropping philosophers,<br />

and using overly complicated vocabulary and philosophy<br />

jargon. In class, or group discussions, they might repeat<br />

everything you’ve just said as if it were an entirely new and<br />

original point, speak over you, not listen to you, or mansplain<br />

something to you that you definitely already know.<br />

Philosobros prize rationality and reason, and are seemingly<br />

still influenced by the stereotype that women are irrational<br />

and emotional, which may be why they love to talk down to<br />

us, or assume we don’t know what we’re talking about. It’s not<br />

uncommon for women to not have their points taken up by<br />

philosobros until they’ve been repeated by other men. They<br />

seriously just don’t listen. On the occasion that they do listen<br />

to you, they’ll probably try pretty hard to derail the conversation.<br />

“I see your point but your argument is not clear. Where<br />

are the premises? What is your conclusion?” and “Have you<br />

got anything more than anecdotal evidence to back that up?”<br />

are common expressions you may hear philosobros spouting.<br />

Anecdotal evidence is absolutely not acceptable, and if you do<br />

have empirical evidence to back up your premises, it had better<br />

be of statistical significance, otherwise it won’t be regarded<br />

worthy of their consideration.<br />

All of this points to philosophy’s problem with women. It’s<br />

not very well known, in fact I didn’t realise until I was in the<br />

third year of my philosophy major, that philosophy is male<br />

dominated. It’s like the STEM of Arts. The main authors in almost<br />

all subsets of philosophy are predominantly male, philosophy<br />

departments tend to average 30% female staff (it’s worse<br />

in the UK and North America), and top philosophy journals<br />

publish way more men than women. Monash has never had<br />

a female professor in philosophy, women hit the glass ceiling<br />

by Lauren Karas<br />

Illustration by Angus Marian<br />

when they reach the level of associate professor. While many<br />

Arts disciplines were similarly male dominated a few decades<br />

ago, most of them have remedied their problems and now have<br />

a decent gender balance. Philosophy lags behind, and philosophy<br />

bros are a contributing factor.<br />

When you’re frequently disrespected, not listened to, repeated,<br />

and spoken over, it’s pretty easy to become disenchanted<br />

with a discipline. Combine that with the combative style of<br />

argument philosophy often requires and underrepresentation<br />

of women at senior levels, and you have a pretty unwelcoming<br />

environment for women. So, philosobros, and other men studying<br />

philosophy who don’t consider themselves philosobros,<br />

here are some things to consider when you’re philosophising:<br />

How much are you speaking? Are you taking up the whole<br />

conversation?<br />

Are you listening carefully to what other people, especially<br />

women, are saying?<br />

Is it your turn to speak? Have you raised your hand? Did<br />

someone else in your class raise their hand before you?<br />

Don’t depend on your tutor to moderate class discussions,<br />

we’re all adults at university, and you should really know<br />

how to respectfully engage in a discussion by now.<br />

And, to the women interested in philosophy but deterred<br />

by those pesky philosobros, don’t let them stop you! There are<br />

loads of amazing women philosophers to look up to, and things<br />

are slowly changing in the discipline. You’re just as capable as<br />

that guy in your tute who can’t shut up about Kant or Žižek.<br />

While it’s understandable, it’s an awful shame to see brilliant<br />

women dropping out of philosophy.<br />

Finally, it’s very important to note that philosophy has a<br />

problem with diversity generally. It’s not just women who are<br />

excluded and underrepresented, but pretty much all marginalised<br />

groups. Philosophy has a long way to go before it becomes<br />

a truly diverse discipline, and defeating the philosobros is only<br />

one step of the process.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 21


Veganism is not<br />

compassionate<br />

By Dilan Fernando<br />

Illustration by Harmony Wong<br />

“I<br />

’m a vegetarian for ethical reasons, buuuut I think<br />

veganism is a little extreme.”<br />

I literally said these words during an interview at an accounting<br />

firm after being asked about my passions. (Plot twist:<br />

I didn’t get the job.)<br />

Two weeks later, I found myself at a seminar on nonhuman<br />

animal rights law. Truth bombs were dropped, and before I<br />

knew it, I associated myself with something I had loathed<br />

throughout all my adolescent life: the dreaded V-word.<br />

The ensuing months were… interesting. My dad labelled<br />

me an “extremist.” I was called “militant” more than once,<br />

even though I never used violence in my vegan advocacy. One<br />

particularly wise Facebook warrior (bless their soul) even compared<br />

me to Hitler.<br />

It’s been a year now, and I’ve learned a lot. Not just about<br />

nonhuman animals, but about human animals as well. Prior to<br />

joining the nonhuman animal rights movement, I had never<br />

studied privilege, institutional sexism, or even systemic racism,<br />

despite being a person of colour. But the single most surprising<br />

thing I discovered was this: at its core, being vegan is not in<br />

itself a compassionate act.<br />

Confused? I hope so. Let’s take our minds for a spin.<br />

If we look to mainstream capitalistic vegan marketing, we’ll<br />

find that organisations usually appeal to people’s sense of compassion.<br />

The front-page of a VeganEasy booklet reads, “Your<br />

free guide to living a kinder, healthier, and more earth-friendly<br />

life”. Animals Australia sells veganism as “healthier, kinder, and<br />

better for the planet”. The Vegan Society explicitly claims that<br />

being vegan “demonstrates true compassion for animals”.<br />

These campaigns reinforce the idea that vegans go the<br />

extra mile for animals; that being vegan is akin to an act of<br />

charity reserved for the privileged. They paint veganism as a<br />

faddish, vaguely positive lifestyle choice like a juice cleanse or a<br />

KeepCup. More importantly however, the campaigns imply that<br />

to not be vegan is to be neutral.<br />

This has some worrying implications about how veganism is<br />

perceived in society, and especially within social justice spaces.<br />

A few weeks ago, I sat in a room with several social justice<br />

advocates discussing issues surrounding anti-racism and anti-sexism.<br />

In the middle of the table, there sat a bowl of nachos<br />

laden with dairy cheese. I found myself a touch perplexed by<br />

this, and I’ll explain why.<br />

Dairy farming is among the most widely misunderstood<br />

practices in modern history. Contrary to popular belief, it is<br />

not a harmless industry. Just like with any other mammal, for<br />

us to take milk from a cow, we must forcibly impregnate her –<br />

usually via artificial insemination using a steel rod. She bears<br />

young about four times in her lifespan, and afterwards is killed<br />

because it becomes too costly to take milk from her exhausted<br />

body. Meanwhile, all her children are taken from her against<br />

their will, normally within 24 hours of birth. Female calves go<br />

on to enter the same cycle as their mothers. Male calves, on<br />

the other hand, are generally classified as “waste” and killed as<br />

infants. These practices are essential and normal in even the<br />

most free-range, organic farms.<br />

Even at its best, there is nothing neutral about dairy. In fact,<br />

we could argue that its products are derived from exploitation<br />

and violence.<br />

22 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


So how did a bowl of dairy cheese exist so peacefully in that<br />

room of social justice advocates, students who usually unabashedly<br />

speak out against violent systems?<br />

The answer can be found in the marketing. The marketing<br />

that told us that veganism is positive, while non-veganism<br />

is neutral. The marketing that failed to help those advocates<br />

understand a crucial, hard-to-stomach truth:<br />

Non-veganism is not a neutral position. Non-veganism<br />

supports systems that deliberately go out of their way to breed<br />

animals into existence, then confine and kill them.<br />

In other words, non-veganism is a continued pattern of<br />

aggression towards animals.<br />

Hold on, non-vegans. Stay with me. I promise it gets better.<br />

Let’s look at this way: I, Dilan Fernando, am currently sitting<br />

here, writing this article in John Medley Library. I am refraining<br />

from punching anyone in the face. Does that make me a<br />

compassionate human rights activist? Obviously not – I’m just<br />

respecting students’ basic right to be safe from unprovoked<br />

bodily harm. In a similar sense, being vegan isn’t necessarily<br />

about compassion. Rather, it’s simply about no longer supporting<br />

a system that kills animals for taste and convenience. On<br />

the other hand, non-veganism continues to promote a system<br />

of deliberate violence.<br />

Chill. I promise you’ll feel better by the end of this.<br />

I’m not saying that all non-vegans are aggressive people for<br />

supporting animal industries. In fact, I’m convinced that most<br />

of us believe we’re all making humane choices.<br />

Few of us are told about how these products – meat, dairy<br />

and eggs, for instance – involve inescapable violence. Instead,<br />

from childhood we are entertained with fairy tales of green<br />

fields, cows who beg to be milked, and “humane slaughter”.<br />

Even fewer of us are told that animal products are, for most of<br />

us, unnecessary for human wellbeing. Instead we are spoon-fed<br />

stories that milk builds strong bones and that we need meat<br />

for protein. None of us chose to be told these stories. Therefore<br />

there is no reason to feel attacked when it turns out those<br />

stories aren’t true.<br />

I’m not out to attack your diet, because as intersectional<br />

activist Javed Deck states:<br />

“It’s stupid, disrespectful, and ineffective to tell people what<br />

they should eat. But it can be necessary and constructive to<br />

have conversations about the systems we are complicit in and<br />

how we feel about them.”<br />

Our society has built a system that normalises and encourages<br />

violence against nonhuman animals. It’s important<br />

to understand that this system perpetuates fiction and hides<br />

reality in surprisingly obvious ways. Our primary school teachers<br />

tell us that red meat is essential for iron, when the truth<br />

is dark leafy greens will do just fine. In 2015, Liberal senator<br />

Chris Back introduced laws to prevent activists from taking<br />

undercover video footage at farms and slaughterhouses. Just<br />

last January, Meat and Livestock Australia went so far as to<br />

cast left-wing heartthrob Lee Lin Chin in a TV ad to convince<br />

us that people who don’t eat lamb are un-Australian.<br />

Non-veganism<br />

supports systems that<br />

deliberately go out<br />

of their way to breed<br />

animals into existence,<br />

then confine and kill<br />

them.<br />

They tried to tell us that people who don’t eat the flesh of<br />

slaughtered baby sheep are un-Australian. Let that sink in for a<br />

moment.<br />

Most of us believe we are basically good people – and I think<br />

most of us actually are. Sometimes, though, it turns out that<br />

our seemingly innocent daily habits are anything but neutral.<br />

In those situations, we have a choice to make. On one hand, we<br />

could interpret the information as a personal attack and shut it<br />

out. Alternatively, we can ask productive questions to unravel<br />

these systems of violence and challenge how we participate in<br />

them.<br />

Questions such as:<br />

Why are we comfortable with eating a cow, but not a dog we<br />

have known and loved?<br />

When hens lay as many eggs as they do, what kind of effect<br />

does this have on their body?<br />

Why is meat considered “manly”?<br />

Challenging questions can yield challenging answers, presenting<br />

us with a dozen doors without telling us which to open<br />

first. But they can also help us understand the nature of the<br />

systems we participate in, and how our individual actions really<br />

can change the world.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 23

Losing the war:<br />

the case for drug reform<br />

Recently, an Auckland lawyer named Marc Cropper was<br />

convicted of three charges of possessing methamphetamine<br />

after being tried in Auckland District Court. The ex-senior<br />

associate at Simpson Grierson, one of New Zealand’s most<br />

prestigious major law firms, admitted to having 2.5 grams of<br />

ice over a significant period of stress in his life last year. He was<br />

a successful specialist in IT law, but his conviction means that<br />

he will never be able to work in the legal field again, and will<br />

undoubtedly have significant trouble finding a job elsewhere.<br />

The consequences of drug use and its significance for those<br />

in certain professions are very similar on both sides of the<br />

Tasman. Enormous, life long commitments are made to being<br />

in the legal profession. Just like a doctor, a teacher or a politician;<br />

a lawyer will almost always be unable to work in the legal<br />

profession with any sort of criminal conviction. Anything that<br />

could compromise your position as a ‘fit and proper’ person will<br />

need to be scrutinised. Almost all convictions will stop lawyers,<br />

doctors and teachers from beginning or continuing to practice.<br />

While I don’t condone Cropper’s actions, I couldn’t help but<br />

sympathise. What would it feel like to have spent your entire<br />

life working extremely hard and making enormous sacrifices,<br />

only to be convicted of drug use and lose everything you have<br />

worked so hard for since you were a teenager? This man has<br />

By Sophia McNamara<br />

Illustration by Ceitidh Hopper<br />

gone from earning an extremely high income to now receiving<br />

sickness benefit payments. He will never be a lawyer again<br />

and will probably never find a well-paying job ever again. Like<br />

anyone else who utilises social welfare, he’ll undoubtedly get<br />

labelled a ‘lazy dole bludger’. But instead of criticising anyone<br />

who dares to receive social welfare, perhaps we should look at<br />

reforming the system that put them there in the first place.<br />

Stories like this are why I support the idea of decriminalising<br />

personal drug use. Decriminalisation refers to a reduction of<br />

legal penalties, and it can be done by either changing them to<br />

civil penalties, such as fines, or by diverting drug use offenders<br />

away from a criminal conviction and into education or<br />

treatment options. It largely applies to drug use and possession<br />

offences, such as Cropper’s case, but not to the sale or supply<br />

of drugs. The idea behind decriminalisation is to provide users<br />

with a more humane and sensible response to their drug use<br />

that does not damage their ability to rehabilitate. When a court<br />

decides to put a drug-user behind bars, my question is: what<br />

incentive does the defendant now have to give up their addiction?<br />

Drugs are a coping mechanism for many people in times<br />

of distress. If someone has lost everything and is now facing jail<br />

time, the dismal reality of the situation will simply fuel his or<br />

her addiction.<br />

24 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


My views on it have always been simple: treat drug<br />

addiction more as a mental health issue and less as a<br />

crime by changing the focus of sentencing from punitive<br />

to rehabilitative. Casual drug users are only hurting themselves,<br />

whereas creators and distributors are harming<br />

the wider society. Personally I believe only one of those<br />

groups deserve criminal penalties. I believe in ‘upstream<br />

thinking’: we should focus on eliminating factors that lead<br />

young people into illicit drug use, such as poverty, poor<br />

education and poor mental health services, rather than<br />

how we should punish them. Convicting a young person<br />

for drug use will send them down a completely different<br />

path for the rest of their life.<br />

There’s a big difference between legalisation and<br />

decriminalisation. While drugs remain illegal, decriminalisation<br />

simply focuses on the penalties that drug<br />

users receive. It means that people, like Cropper, won’t<br />

necessarily have their entire life ruined by a sheet of paper<br />

saying ‘conviction’ after they turn to ice to cope with their<br />

precarious mental health. It would mean that people in<br />

his position could receive help, rehabilitate, and one day<br />

continue to work and be a functioning member of society.<br />

With my own eyes, I’ve seen a family member go from<br />

ice addiction to complete rehabilitation where she now<br />

thrives under a successful career. She was never given a<br />

conviction and things would have turned out completely<br />

differently if that had been the case. It’s important to<br />

remember that full rehabilitation is a very real and very<br />

possible prospect for a lot of drug addicts, yet a conviction<br />

will permanently inhibit any prospects for the future.<br />

As radical as it seems, a world where drugs are decriminalised<br />

is not entirely fictional. In 2001, the Portuguese<br />

government completely decriminalised drug use. If<br />

someone in Portugal is found to be in the possession of<br />

recreational supply for any illegal drug, they are given<br />

treatment, a minor fine, or most commonly, no penalty<br />

at all. Fifteen years since decriminalisation, drug use has<br />

been in steady decline, especially for those among the 15<br />

to 24 year old population who are most at risk of initiating<br />

drug use. Drug-induced deaths have also decreased<br />

significantly.<br />

Around the same time, Portugal shifted drug control<br />

from the Justice Department to the Ministry of Health<br />

and instituted a strong public health model for treating<br />

hard drug addiction. They also expanded the welfare<br />

system in the form of a guaranteed minimum income.<br />

Changes in the material and health resources for atrisk<br />

populations over the past decade are a key part of<br />

Portugal’s evolution and success. Drug related offences<br />

also take up a huge share of the work of police, the judiciary,<br />

and prisons. A lesson to be learned from Portugal<br />

is that decriminalising drugs doesn’t necessarily lead to<br />

disaster as many may think. It frees up resources for more<br />

effective responses to drug problems and it stops people<br />

with potential to be a great contributor to society from<br />

having that potential stripped away from them.<br />

In recent years, Australia has taken a few progressive<br />

steps in regards to drug use. In the Northern Territory,<br />

adults found in possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana<br />

are likely to be fined $200 and given 28 days to pay the<br />

fine before being faced with a criminal charge. Since 1987,<br />

South Australia has also decriminalised minor cannabis<br />

offences. There hasn’t been a rise in cannabis use<br />

rates despite certain states and territories introducing<br />

civil penalties for users. Research on diverting<br />

drug use offenders into treatment rather than a<br />

conviction has shown that these individuals are just<br />

as likely to succeed in treatment as those who attend<br />

voluntarily.<br />

Issues such as the ice epidemic are making the<br />

discussion on drug reform increasingly urgent. The<br />

number of Australians using ice at least once a month<br />

has tripled to 270,000 in the last five years. As methamphetamine<br />

use becomes increasingly stigmatised,<br />

fewer people are admitting to having used the drug,<br />

and these statistics are likely to underestimate the<br />

level of use. When the use of an extremely dangerous<br />

and potentially lethal drug is increasing at such a rate<br />

and destroying communities in the process, sweeping<br />

the issue under the rug simply isn’t good enough.<br />

With all this positive evidence on the table, it begs<br />

the question: why is Australia so reluctant to take<br />

progressive drug policy reform further? Public opinion<br />

may play a huge part as politicians largely regard<br />

decriminalisation as an unpopular policy choice.<br />

While national surveys prove that decriminalisation<br />

of cannabis is popular amongst the Australian public,<br />

decriminalisation of other drugs simply is not. Lack<br />

of education and clarity on the issues may contribute<br />

to this.<br />

‘Decriminalisation’ is a word that gets misinterpreted<br />

often. It is often inaccurately confused with<br />

legalisation, or harm reduction services, such as<br />

prescribed heroin programs. Stimulating informed<br />

public debate is an important step forward. In order<br />

for this debate to make meaningful progress, we need<br />

to clarify terms and impartially present all evidence<br />

that currently exists. This includes current models<br />

of decriminalisation like Portugal, the Netherlands,<br />

Spain, Switzerland, and to a far lesser extent but<br />

much closer to home - Northern Territory and South<br />

Australia.<br />

The decriminalisation policy reform in Northern<br />

Territory was a step in the right direction, and for<br />

that, I can acknowledge Australia is slowly moving<br />

forward. But in a nation where ice is killing off more<br />

people each year and where recent drug reform<br />

policies have made little to no difference – something<br />

needs to be changed. Cropper’s case reminds us that<br />

drug decriminalisation could save our most valued<br />

members of society – our doctors, our teachers,<br />

our lawyers – from having one mistake send them<br />

down a completely unredeemable path. Moreover,<br />

the discussion on decriminalisation and reforming<br />

drug sentencing is almost non-existent in Parliament<br />

at the moment. However, there will be a day where<br />

Australia’s problem with drugs reaches a tipping<br />

point. When we get there, perhaps our politicians will<br />

realise that just because they can’t see the gruesome<br />

realities of addiction and poverty from their bedroom<br />

window in Toorak, it doesn’t mean that it is not happening<br />

right in front of us.<br />

Lifeline: 13 11 14<br />

www.druginfo.adf.org.au<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 25

ESSAY<br />

His and hers:<br />

can we quit it already?<br />

By Tara Hellwege<br />

Illustration by Ceitidh Hopper<br />

Let’s imagine a couple. Sam and Taylor. They do all those<br />

couple-ish things together, like watching Game of Thrones<br />

every Monday. Trying to study but distracting each other most<br />

of the time. Sam picks Taylor up from work on Friday nights.<br />

Let’s say their first date was at the zoo. Alright, now in your<br />

mind, is this couple a man and a woman? If so, ever question<br />

why we generally default to heterosexual pairings like this?<br />

Well the sociologists that coined the term ‘heteronormativity’<br />

certainly did.<br />

Sociology aside, if you don’t identify as Queer or somewhere<br />

on the rainbow side of the spectrum, you’ve probably heard<br />

this word around Uni, but perhaps haven’t given it much more<br />

thought.<br />

What are its implications then, beyond the deliberations of<br />

an Arts tute? Theory aside (because I promise this isn’t a lecture),<br />

I’ll give you some lived experiences of heteronormativity,<br />

from the perspective of a Queer, feminine-presenting woman,<br />

which will hopefully show to you just how pervasive and, well,<br />

shitty it is.<br />

I can only speak for myself, but to me, heteronormativity is<br />

sheathed in the phrase, “But you don’t look gay”.<br />

Which brings me to my second point: if someone comes out<br />

to you, and their appearance is not congruent with whatever<br />

idea you have in your mind of how a ‘gay’ person looks, please,<br />

do not follow up this moment by telling them that they “don’t<br />

look gay”. Or worse, that they are “too pretty to be a lesbian”.<br />

26 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


These are not compliments. Among other issues, it elicits the<br />

bizarre notion that there is a certain way to look gay.<br />

Although you might think you’re being complementary by<br />

pointing out a person’s similarities to the norm, comments like<br />

this can be really harmful to LGBTQIA folks.<br />

When I first ‘came out’ my next worry was how to become<br />

visible within the community. I soon learnt that if you’re a<br />

Queer woman presenting on the more feminine side, you can<br />

often find yourself quite invisible in a lot of community spaces,<br />

especially if you don’t have a network of friends. Being told<br />

that I didn’t look gay enough added to the apprehension I was<br />

already feeling about wanting to fit into this new community I<br />

identified with.<br />

Such issues of visibility and belonging manifest in a heteronormative<br />

system, where the default is heterosexual, and<br />

so everyone is presumed to be straight until they ‘come out’<br />

or prove otherwise. Hence the dilemma for some of how to<br />

become visible.<br />

Why the focus on heteronormativity? Acknowledging<br />

heterosexuality as the norm allows for us to see it as a political<br />

institution that first and foremost privileges heterosexuality.<br />

Your gender studies lecturer will probably term this a ‘hierarchy<br />

of sexualities’, because they see sexualities and the labels we<br />

use as inextricably bound to systems of power and privilege.<br />

By making assumptions of a person’s sexuality based on<br />

their appearance and the way they dress, you are reinforcing<br />

heteronormativity. We all do it. I make these presumptions<br />

all the time, but I do try to make a conscious effort to unlearn<br />

these ways of thinking, and question its origins.<br />

Many see heteronormativity as a product of a heterosexist<br />

society. And what is a heterosexist society? Well, heterosexism<br />

is simply this normative bias in favour of heterosexual relationships<br />

that permeates the attitudes and cultures of our society.<br />

Having to reiterate to some people that, yes, despite my<br />

appearance I am indeed gay, becomes tiring. These appearance-based<br />

assumptions are unavoidably gendered as well, as<br />

much of these sceptical attitudes manifest in the idea that an<br />

overly feminine woman must be heterosexual. The comment<br />

that someone is ‘too pretty to be a lesbian’ also represents this<br />

common assumption that conflates appearance with sexuality,<br />

whereby lesbians are assumed to only date women if they are<br />

physically undesirable to men.<br />

I have noticed that when I out myself to straight men I tend<br />

to label myself as ‘gay’ rather than ‘lesbian’. I find myself disassociating<br />

with the label lesbian because of the sexual connotations<br />

attached to it that indulge the male gaze. Queer sexual<br />

identities are so commonly sexualised, and as much as I take<br />

pride in identifying as a lesbian, sometimes it’s easier to use<br />

the label ‘gay’ for this reason. In my experience ‘gay’ seems to<br />

warrant less speculation, scepticism, or creepy interest. When I<br />

term myself as a lesbian, I have experienced that some straight<br />

men commonly see this as an invitation (“That’s hot”) – or<br />

alternatively think I’m an angry radical feminist that will spit<br />

on him and throw my burning bra in his direction. Don’t get me<br />

wrong though, I am angry :)<br />

This may all sound a little embellished, but it does indeed<br />

happen. I was recently at a bar with some friends, and we were<br />

approached by two men who struck up conversation. Their way<br />

I soon learnt that if<br />

you’re a Queer woman<br />

presenting on the more<br />

feminine side, you can<br />

often find yourself<br />

quite invisible in a lot of<br />

community spaces.<br />

of deciphering which of us were potentially interested in them<br />

was to individually ask each of us, “You got a boyfriend?”<br />

(Clearly they respected the idea of us being another man’s<br />

property more so than our own individual agency.) When the<br />

index finder swung in my direction, one of my friends proposed<br />

that I would actually have a girlfriend, which elicited raised<br />

eyebrows along with the trying-to-play-accepting-but-reallyjust-creepy<br />

comments of, “Really? That’s cool, I like that.” (To<br />

which I responded, “I’m sure you do” *eye-roll*.)<br />

All in all, it would be nice if I didn’t find myself in these<br />

awkward encounters where I feel pressured to out myself to<br />

strangers. Most of the time, I choose not to. And for any peeved<br />

dudes reading this and thinking ‘not all men’, yes, I know not<br />

all of you are that appalling at talking to women in bars. Sadly<br />

I have also had other Queer people, including queer women,<br />

question my sexual identity based on my appearance. To me,<br />

these experiences are embedded in heteronormativity. I am<br />

presumed straight until I prove otherwise, based largely on my<br />

feminine or ‘lipstick’ appearance.<br />

Thankfully I am now at a place where questions like “who<br />

pays on the dates?” just entertain me (with disdain). While the<br />

language you use and comments you make may seem benign to<br />

you, to some they can be really harmful.<br />

At the very least, if you give no fucks for anyone but<br />

yourself, then be aware of the political power relations you are<br />

regurgitating. And at best, I have found that it’s important<br />

to be mindful of the troublesome norms we are perpetuating<br />

with what may seem like throwaway comments or harmless<br />

questions.<br />

Rather than try to find ways in which my relationships<br />

mirror your own, or compliment me on how my appearance<br />

assimilates with your idea of femininity, allow me my differences.<br />

It’s time to understand that we are different, and accept us<br />

anyway.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 27

Wot’s Life<br />

with Clippy the Microsoft Word Assistant<br />

Illustration by Christina Dodds<br />

Q: “How can I get myself in a good routine for the semester so I don’t<br />

crash and burn and fail every unit under the sun?”<br />

Answer: It looks like you’re trying to get your life on track.<br />

Would you like help?<br />

• Stop binge-watching entire shows on Netflix during exam<br />

period (Daredevil will still be there when exams are over!)<br />

• Actually attend all of the lectures and tutorials. Yes, every<br />

week.<br />

• Drown your sorrows with a bottle of vodka. May God<br />

have mercy on your soul.<br />

Q: “Clippy, next to Internet Explorer, you may be the most hated<br />

computer program in existence. Seriously, you suck. How can we<br />

learn from your mistakes and improve on current technology?”<br />

A: It looks like you’re trying to replace Clippy. Would you like<br />

help?`<br />

• Step 1: Study IT at university, then fall into a cycle of<br />

despair as you fail assignment after assignment because<br />

you didn’t take Clippy’s above advice.<br />

• Step 2: Realise that you will never replace Clippy. You are<br />

only temporary. Clippy’s wisdom is forever.<br />

Q: Hey Clippy, are you a Turnbull fan, or is Shorten more your type?<br />

Q: Dear Lot’s, I--<br />

A: Don’t show me this question again.<br />

A: It looks like you’re trying to write a letter. Would you like<br />

help?<br />

• Write to a better magazine.<br />

• Text your mum back instead.<br />

• Fine, write your shitty letter by yourself. Clippy doesn’t<br />

give a shit.<br />

28 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 29

1 2 3 4<br />

Coursework scholarship<br />

applications: open for 2017<br />

8 9 10 11<br />

Allocate+ adjustment<br />

closes for Education and<br />

Science students<br />

11am - 1pm<br />

Queer Morning Tea @<br />

Queer lounge<br />

15 16 17 18<br />

Allocate+ adjustment closes<br />

for Arts, Engineering, IT,<br />

Medicine, Nursing and<br />

Health Sciences, Pharmacy<br />

and Pharmaceutical Sciences<br />

students<br />

22 23 24 25<br />

Last day to discontinue S2<br />

units without ‘withdrawn’<br />

showing on academic record<br />

11am - 1pm<br />

Queer Morning Tea @<br />

Wholefoods<br />

Allocate+ adjustment<br />

closes for Art, Design<br />

and Architecture and<br />

Business and Economic<br />

students<br />

11am - 1pm<br />

Queer Morning Tea @<br />

Queer lounge<br />

11am - 1pm<br />

Queer Morning Tea @<br />

Queer lounge<br />

4pm-6pm<br />

Queer Beers @ St John’s<br />

every Tuesday<br />

6:30pm<br />

Queers on Screen @ Queer<br />

lounge<br />

6:30pm<br />

Queers on Screen @ Queer<br />

lounge<br />

29 30 31 1<br />


11am - 1pm<br />

Queer Morning Tea-<br />

Pancakes & BBQ on the<br />

lawn<br />

6:30pm<br />

Queers on Screen @ Queer<br />

lounge<br />

designed by Christina Dodds

TEAR ME<br />

OUT!<br />

5 6 7<br />

Queer Event @<br />

Wholefoods<br />

12<br />

13 14<br />

19<br />

Alocate+ adjustment closes<br />

for Law students<br />

20 21<br />

26<br />

27 28<br />

2<br />

3 4<br />

Want your event featured in next month’s calendar? Email us at msa-lostswife@monash.edu<br />

September already? Turn over for an<br />

illustration by Christina Dodds!


Boils and trouble:<br />

the witch’s role in health care<br />

By Alisoun Townsend<br />

Illustration by Emily Dang<br />

To quote Lisa Simpson, “Why is it when a woman is<br />

confident and powerful, they call her a witch?”<br />

The witch hunts that occurred in Medieval Western Europe<br />

were an enormous waste of talent and knowledge. In a time we<br />

associate with the Renaissance and discovery, the witch hunts<br />

were a sign of the misogyny that continues to plague human<br />

society. In addition to the individual lives lost, understanding<br />

of healing and midwifery was lost as these people were executed.<br />

Traditional healing skills were discredited and lost.<br />

Western European women have been associated with sin<br />

since Christianity was established in Western Europe around<br />

the 1st century. All women were viewed as being the daughters<br />

of Eve, and were in a permanent state of punishment for the<br />

first sin. This cloud of punishment and sin that was settled<br />

above women resulted in an uneven power balance between<br />

men and women. The burden of the loss of paradise was placed<br />

on the shoulders of women.<br />

Women were also associated with the legend Lilith, who is<br />

considered either the first man’s wife before Eve or a demon. As<br />

Adam’s first wife, Lilith viewed herself as equal to man, as she<br />

and Adam were made of the same Earth. Lilith rejects paradise,<br />

Adam, wifely duties and God. Other texts suggest Lilith is a<br />

lusty demon that haunted men over many lands, from ancient<br />

Babylon to Egypt, causing destruction and chaos wherever she<br />

flew. Witches, and women who were seen as witches, were automatically<br />

associated with the sin of Eve as women and then the<br />

demonic myth of Lilith was added to their burden. The legend<br />

of Lilith permeated and tainted the presence of independent<br />

women in medieval societies.<br />

Prior to the 13th century of medieval Western Europe, female<br />

healers supplied the health care of lower classes. Midwives<br />

in particular were allowed great freedom in their work, as all<br />

medical thought was generally based on the Greek or Roman<br />

understanding of medicine: one that did not include women’s<br />

bodies, and generally thought that women could look after<br />

themselves – which they did, with the help of female midwives<br />

and healers.<br />

Female healers, witches and midwives were likely to have<br />

been similar to empirical scientists of contemporary times.<br />

To keep their patients as alive as possible, they would have to<br />

know what they were doing through experience and by spreading<br />

information, just as nurses and doctors in contemporary<br />

times are reminded to never stop learning and studying.<br />

Women healers came under suspicion on the possibility of<br />

witchcraft after the 13th century. Midwives were not particularly<br />

targeted as witches, but the Catholic and Protestant<br />

churches both regarded them suspiciously, as the pain of<br />

childbirth (and any possible complications) were considered<br />

punishment for the original sin of Adam and Eve. The practise<br />

of medicine, abortions and healing was seen as a power over life<br />

and death, a power meant for God alone.<br />

The witch hunts became more obviously misogynistic in<br />

the late 15th century with the publication of the lovely light<br />

read “Malleus Maleficarum”. Called “The Hammer of Witches”<br />

in English, the word Maleficarum is actually a feminine word.<br />

The book includes the description of how a witch made a man’s<br />

penis fall off, which I’m just going to diagnose from the 21st<br />

century as a pretty nasty STI. The Malleus Malificarum also<br />

proclaimed “No one does more harm to the Catholic Faith than<br />

midwives”. The book had many print runs in Germany and<br />

France, becoming the equivalent of a modern day best seller.<br />

It is unknown how many people died during the witch<br />

hunts that lasted over four centuries. The estimates of the<br />

deaths are widely disputed. These estimates range from 60 000<br />

between the 13th and 17th centuries to a few million people.<br />

The first estimate seems quite moderate, as that only allows<br />

around 200 people per year to be killed over the entirety of<br />

Europe. It seems an even more conservative number when you<br />

consider between 1626 and 1631, 157 people were executed<br />

just in the city of Würzburg.<br />

Regardless of the number of people killed, the loss of knowledge<br />

from these people must have been huge. Although not all<br />

people killed would have been healers, at least some of them<br />

were.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 35


People have lived for millennia with issues such as endometriosis,<br />

PCOS and a range of other debilitating, but not generally<br />

killer diseases. The wealthy royals of Western Europe were<br />

not the only people to leave descendants into the 21st century.<br />

Did any of the people killed as witches hold the knowledge of<br />

how to help anyone suffering with these diseases?<br />

When the Library of Alexandria burnt and the House of<br />

Wisdom destroyed, humanity lost vast amounts of knowledge.<br />

Perhaps if all these great libraries hadn’t been destroyed, then<br />

we would be living on Mars right now! Okay so that’s just<br />

speculation, but humanity did have to catch up on the lost<br />

information. Could it be that the witch hunts were a similar<br />

loss of knowledge?<br />

Witches and women healers cared for the peasant population<br />

with simple herbal remedies like willow bark and honey.<br />

The church condemned the healing of the peasant population<br />

– sin was the cause of illness. Witches were a threat to the<br />

establishment by helping keep the enormously populated lower<br />

classes alive and helping ease women’s pain in childbirth.<br />

When female healers were charged with witchcraft, it was<br />

because they were undermining men’s position as medical<br />

‘professionals’. In England in the 15th century, these medical<br />

professionals were all men and schooled in Galen’s theory<br />

of humours. These men were generally only approved by the<br />

church for use by the wealthy. Accessing schooling was an issue<br />

for lower classes and all women as it was very difficult, if not<br />

impossible to gain admittance to education as a woman in<br />

Medieval Europe.<br />

Male medical professionals most likely did not have a high<br />

success rate of healing patients, as the humours method of<br />

healing involved a lot of bleeding and leeches. They likely cost<br />

more for patients compared to lower class female healers.<br />

Seeing the local healer woman would appear to have a higher<br />

success rate and be cheaper for the ill of the lower classes. To<br />

medical professionals, these women were seen as encroaching<br />

on customers and possible income.<br />

Witches may have been empirical scientists, as traditional<br />

herbal remedies must have been tested through trial and error.<br />

Honey and garlic are both anti-bacterials and willow bark has<br />

salicylic acid, a part of the active ingredient in aspirin. The<br />

lower class healers would have passed information along to one<br />

another. I hope that some women once talked about allergies,<br />

or complications in childbirth – “Mistress Baker’s little knave<br />

wast large, the birthing tooketh days and wast hard worketh!”<br />

they might have said.<br />

After the medieval period, at the end of the witch hunts in<br />

the 16th century, women had roles as palliative nurses as nuns<br />

in convents. Women’s roles in medicine became more regulated<br />

and downplayed. Nurses as we know it in contemporary times<br />

came around with Florence Nightingale’s teachings, with nurses<br />

being trained to be subservient to doctors and to act as maids<br />

and active carers. Doctors were not meant to have time for patients<br />

– they instructed what needed to happen, and the nurses<br />

acted upon the instructions.<br />

Today there is little acknowledgement of the loss of healing<br />

knowledge that may have occurred in Western Europe during<br />

the centuries of witch hunts.<br />

Witches and women<br />

healers cared for the<br />

peasant population<br />

with simple herbal<br />

remedies like willow<br />

bark and honey. The<br />

church condemned the<br />

healing of the peasant<br />

population – sin was the<br />

cause of illness.<br />

Since this period of time in European history, women, especially<br />

independent women, have been associated with witches,<br />

evil and demons. Women that subverted the norm by applying<br />

knowledge, and being independent in their work, were targeted<br />

as witches as they undermined the patriarchal power of the<br />

Church and State. Across the ages, any woman who could possibly<br />

cause threat to systems of power were subdued or removed.<br />

The witch hunts were a part in a continued trend in society of<br />

misogyny and an imbalance of power, where men hold onto<br />

the majority. Women should celebrate being called witches. It<br />

seems to refer to all wonderful things - we are independent,<br />

intelligent and causing change.<br />

36 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


A study has shown<br />

By Ruby Muller<br />

Illustration by Sigrid Lange<br />

Did you know that the number of people who have<br />

drowned by falling into swimming pools has a moderate<br />

correlation with the number of Nicolas Cage films released that<br />

year?<br />

I know, it’s absurd. But it does work. The thing is, when we<br />

know the link is implausible, we assume that the correlation is<br />

by chance.<br />

But what if I told you that moderate wine consumption correlates<br />

with longevity? Of all the health stories that recur in the<br />

media, this one is definitely up there in the pop-science charts.<br />

But it is also false.<br />

While it has not been conclusively decided that it is detrimental<br />

to your health to have a few glasses a night, the evidence<br />

supporting the original hypothesis that moderate wine<br />

consumption increased longevity was questioned last year. A<br />

meta analysis in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs<br />

suggested that there was no obvious benefit to moderate drinking.<br />

The study explored the quality of the research that followed<br />

the mortality rates of people who abstained from drinking,<br />

people who drank moderately and those who consumed several<br />

standard drinks every day.<br />

The data was adjusted to account for the individual characteristics<br />

of each study and the reasons for abstinence of each<br />

participant, such as reformed alcoholism or pre-existing health<br />

risks. The analysis then found that “low-volume alcohol consumption<br />

has no net mortality benefit compared with lifetime<br />

abstention or occasional drinking,” and that excess drinking<br />

correlates with an increase in mortality rates.<br />

So why isn’t this in the headlines? Perhaps it’s just not as<br />

appealing to viewers as “GO DRINK MORE WINE!”<br />

But the media’s tendency to hyperbolise scientific research<br />

can be seriously detrimental to those conducting it.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 37


Because most of these<br />

journalists don’t<br />

come from science<br />

backgrounds, they<br />

rely on the word<br />

of these scientists<br />

without actually<br />

understanding it.<br />

Misrepresentation of serious research as “pop-science” even has<br />

the reputation of ruining careers. Still, it is essential to report<br />

on science and its impacts. Good science journalism has proven<br />

capable of filling some of the most widely read magazines on<br />

the planet.<br />

There is more to bad reporting than it simply being false.<br />

Even if science has a reputation for being a bit scary and hard<br />

to understand, journalists have an obligation to check their<br />

facts.<br />

In the increasingly demanding news cycle, a lack of scrutiny<br />

on the part of the media puts the democratic power of journalism<br />

at risk. Being told a lie about something as serious as your<br />

health or environmental issues is worse than never being told<br />

anything in the first place. As any science student would know,<br />

it takes a trained eye to know what is solid research and what<br />

is not.<br />

But the real danger to science as a profession is when the<br />

reported facts are almost true. Misleading coverage of research<br />

that is well conducted, peer-reviewed, and repeated with<br />

supportive results can end up with good scientists losing a<br />

hard-earned reputation. Perhaps the worst part is that these<br />

cases of journalistic inaccuracy often cluster around big topics<br />

like cancer, heart disease or climate change, global issues that<br />

end up being misunderstood by millions because of a poorly<br />

worded headline.<br />

Part of the problem is the complexity of the research.<br />

Because most of these journalists don’t come from science<br />

backgrounds, they rely on the word of these scientists without<br />

actually understanding it. And if the teams doing the research<br />

can’t coordinate a simple enough summary, they risk leaving<br />

the journalist to cut out the parts they don’t understand.<br />

But good science journalism is out there.<br />

New Scientist, Cosmos, and National Geographic are always<br />

filled with interesting and accurate depictions of modern science.<br />

And then there’s The Conversation, where award winning<br />

journalists give brilliant names in science the opportunity to<br />

share their story first hand through interviews as opposed<br />

to press-releases. But the problem remains that these quality<br />

publications mainly attract academics and other scientists;<br />

people who are equipped with the knowledge to interpret the<br />

original work.<br />

Science journalism can’t always be written by those completing<br />

the research. While it may be more factual to have<br />

these articles written by the scientists conducting the experiments,<br />

a fresh set of eyes ensures that someone with virtually<br />

no understanding can still wrap their head around it. Though<br />

most people wouldn’t, there are those few who seek to further<br />

themselves by muddying the waters with fiction. The world of<br />

science is under the same fiscal pressures as the news industry,<br />

and privatised research has been known to skew press releases<br />

for financial gain.<br />

So it seems that there is more than just one problem with<br />

science writing. The journalists writing it need the guts and the<br />

training to try and understand something they don’t have a degree<br />

in, and the researchers behind the findings need the tools<br />

to explain the intricacies of their experiments to us common<br />

folk.<br />

While there are some resources availble once you’re in the<br />

field, it seems nonsensical not to have this issue addressed earlier<br />

considering it’s near inevitability. At some point, whether<br />

to a journalist or a company or a consumer, these ideas need to<br />

be communicated simply and effectively. And until science and<br />

journalism students are being taught these skills as a necessity,<br />

it is up to the brave few to dedicate their time and efforts to a<br />

cause often overlooked.<br />

38 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Borderline<br />

Personality<br />

Disorder<br />

By Sarah-Grace Chedra<br />

This article contains discussion of suicide.<br />

A<br />

second goes past, and instead of feeling focused in your<br />

studies, you feel a rush of playfully happy feelings flood<br />

your mind, making the world seem like a childish place, one of<br />

little consequence. You try to suppress this spontaneous burst<br />

of emotion so that you can continue studying. Perhaps you<br />

succeed, but then - a moment later - it feels like an enormous<br />

weight has been laid over you, leaving you with a body that has<br />

little to no energy, and your thoughts begin to replicate these<br />

feelings.<br />

What you just read is an example of an experience some<br />

with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) may go through in<br />

their lives. Dealing with these mood swings can be a difficult<br />

task, and they aren’t the only thing those living with BPD have<br />

to cope with .<br />

The fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual<br />

of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) defines BPD as consisting of a<br />

“pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self image<br />

and affects, and marked impulsivity” (American Psychiatric<br />

Association, 2013).<br />

Unless a therapist has sufficient experience with this<br />

condition, they generally don't feel comfortable managing a<br />

person with BPD. Those who suffer from this condition lack the<br />

support and understanding from the wider community. Pair<br />

this with the fact that these individuals have a heightened fear<br />

of abandonment, and chronic feelings of emptiness. To make<br />

things even worse, people who live with this condition are at a<br />

higher risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. This is the life<br />

that a person who lives with BPD faces.<br />

Those statistics are confronting, and in all honesty there<br />

aren’t many people that acknowledge the struggles of those<br />

with this this condition without being patronising. There needs<br />

to be more awareness, especially within the mental health community,<br />

of how to treat people with this condition.<br />

What people don’t appreciate is that those with BPD are<br />

highly sensitive and require patience to understand where<br />

they’re coming from, and there are simple things that you can<br />

do that can dramatically help someone who may have BPD and<br />

these things aren’t difficult.<br />

If someone discloses to you that they have this condition,<br />

try to understand they aren’t trying to overwhelm you, but<br />

rather trying to inform you. Like a stop sign at an intersection,<br />

you can definitely pass on through, but you should be wary that<br />

there may be other cars crossing. In other words, be mindful<br />

that they are fundamentally a decent human being, but they<br />

do have unpredictable emotions that can come up at random<br />

points in their life.<br />

This is known as being emotionally vulnerable, and it is part<br />

of the reason that people who have BPD generally have mood<br />

swings. The biggest thing you can do to help someone who<br />

suffers from emotional vulnerability is to listen to them, talk to<br />

them about the world around you, and engage with them on a<br />

sincere level.<br />

Another symptom of BPD is when a person swings into an<br />

irrepressible high, known as a manic state. It’s a hard state<br />

to notice, but for many people who suffer BPD, it can be the<br />

hardest mood they face. It can draw them out into being more<br />

impulsive, and when in this state, they can lose sight of consequences:<br />

this can leave them extremely vulnerable. If you notice<br />

the person’s voice beginning to rise, or they begin to act silly,<br />

and say really inappropriate comments, these are signs that<br />

they may have gone into a manic state. If this occurs, try to get<br />

them to breathe and calm down.<br />

On the other end of the mood swing, if someone looks like<br />

they are going to have a meltdown, or are having one, the main<br />

thing for you to do is to be kind. Be gentle in your words, be<br />

sincere, and reinforce that they are a good person. Those who<br />

suffer this condition have a hard time understanding reason<br />

why they begin to get emotional, and they are generally more<br />

sensitive to hearing criticism from someone they care about.<br />

When a serious issue arises, it is best to avoid overwhelming<br />

the person. Instead, break it down into the steps that you need<br />

to take in order to resolve it, and help them focus on those.<br />

This condition is a serious impairment on the individual’s<br />

life. It isn’t easy to get over it, or to stop thinking in a particular<br />

way: it doesn’t work like that. Those who suffer from this<br />

disorder can face serious disadvantages in daily life, especially<br />

in work or study environments.<br />

To be frank, people seem to ignore the fact that it isn’t a<br />

choice to have a mental illness. Although it isn’t your job to care<br />

for these people, you should at least try to appreciate where<br />

they are coming from. It’s understandable that people aren’t<br />

always able to support those who are in need, but maybe if<br />

people made an effort to accommodate those who are suffering,<br />

the world would be a nicer place.<br />

Lifeline: 13 11 14<br />

www.lifeline.org.au<br />

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467<br />

www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au<br />

beyondblue: 1300 22 4636<br />

www.beyondblue.org.au<br />

For more information about BPD, visit<br />

SANE Australia:<br />

www.sane.org/mental-health-and-illness/<br />

facts-and-guides/borderline-personality-disorder<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 39



Serving the<br />

people<br />

By Abdul Marian<br />

Illustration by Angus Marian<br />

In a society that is so connected, with integrated technology<br />

and a constant need for 24 hours updates, we find ourselves<br />

more knowledgeable of what is going on around us. There is<br />

much greater potential for somebody in Australia to know<br />

about the humanitarian plight of others somewhere else in the<br />

world, and this has seen a consciousness of different societal<br />

problems integrate within our common mindset, as well as an<br />

increase in humanitarian work and projects.<br />

No doubt this is a good thing, yet now there is an emerging<br />

body of research that examines just how humanitarian<br />

‘humanitarian work’ is. It has been found that often, projects<br />

are ineffective, or not sustainable, or waste valuable resources.<br />

Furthermore, different humanitarian organisations have been<br />

known to compete for limited government funding, as well as<br />

the media spotlight, rather than work together and spread their<br />

energy over multiple areas. It becomes easy to view ourselves<br />

as the heroes helping out one single collective of people, often<br />

with a plan that hasn’t had any contribution from the local population.<br />

This kind of attitude ignores the individual needs of<br />

people within a population, as well as the needs of one community<br />

compared to another. The old saying “Give a man a fish and<br />

you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him<br />

for a lifetime,” is relevant when we consider long-term, user<br />

specific solutions to problems. Once you begin to scratch the<br />

surface, you will see the complexity in providing humanitarian<br />

assistance; political context, climate, local resources, funding<br />

and sustainability are all issues that do not have one-answerfits-all<br />

solutions.<br />

“Appropriate technology” is a way of thinking about<br />

humanitarian engineering problems that gained traction<br />

in the 1970s. Spurred by a disappointment in the effects of<br />

humanitarian efforts, scholars and engineers tried to come up<br />

with a different way of solving the problem. Particular areas to<br />

target with appropriate technology are the longevity of their<br />

projects, as well as the empowerment of local people. Over<br />

the years it has moved from simply being a vision for a better<br />

place to a tangible methodology that seeks to achieve specific<br />

goals. Practitioners have also begun introspectively looking at<br />

engineering failures to see where further improvements can<br />

be made. Perhaps we find a lack of these ideas in humanitarian<br />

work due to negligence on behalf of certain organisations,<br />

but more likely they are a result of improper planning and<br />

treating the symptoms of problems, rather than the problems<br />

themselves.<br />

In a recent introductory workshop, Monash students were<br />

asked to design a system to provide clean water to a school.<br />

They were encouraged to examine the real constraints that such<br />

a project would have on the school and its community. Students<br />

had to consider: an already limited supply of water, the cost of<br />

materials in a place where the average income is $2.5 a day, a<br />

design that was easy to replicate, easy to teach and would not<br />

be easily broken by inquisitive kids. Physical considerations like<br />

these often get overlooked, but so do less tangible concepts;<br />

like how can we convince a community that the water they<br />

have used for generations is actually not good for consumption?<br />

Probably the most foreign concept to students is that<br />

the answers for these real world solutions are neither always<br />

clear, nor ascertainable. Unlike classroom problems, there isn’t<br />

a solution at the back of the book or a tutor to guide you to the<br />

correct, concrete answer. Exposure to these kinds of situations<br />

is important, as students may not necessarily encounter problems<br />

like these within ideal situations in the labs or tute rooms.<br />

Unlike classroom<br />

problems, there isn’t a<br />

solution at the back of<br />

the book or a tutor to<br />

guide you to the correct,<br />

concrete answer.<br />

Engineers Without Borders is an organisation that has been<br />

running summits and tours that help engineering students<br />

achieve the flexible life skills mentioned above. There are 2<br />

summits being organised in <strong>2016</strong>: one from the 25th of June<br />

until the 8th of July and another in between July 11-26th,<br />

both of which will be hosted in Cambodia. The purpose of<br />

these events is to acquaint engineering students with a local<br />

community and get them to see first hand how the community<br />

functions day-by-day. Then groups of students must work on<br />

projects that they feel address various humanitarian aspects of<br />

engineering.<br />

Engineering students will be able to apply their knowledge<br />

in real-life situations, and will see the crossroads of theoretical<br />

and practical knowledge necessary to tackle such problems.<br />

Actually knowing how to use and apply the knowledge you have<br />

studied so hard for is essential for any graduating student. It is<br />

great to see a push from the university to equip their students<br />

with not only the tools to take on the plethora of challenges<br />

that await them, but also the knowledge and understanding of<br />

which tools to use in a given circumstance.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 41

Where do our<br />

pizza boxes<br />

come from?<br />


By Brittany Wetherspoon<br />

Illustration by Lily Greenwood<br />

We use cardboard and paper-based packaging so often<br />

in our daily lives, but many people do not know where<br />

it all comes from. Why should you care? It is okay if you recycle<br />

right? What if I were to tell you that your Friday night pizza<br />

box was actually the product of the process that was killing<br />

thousands?<br />

In the beginning, it just started with the universally known<br />

fact; that cardboard is a product of trees. I interviewed several<br />

customers and workers at the local pizza shop, in hopes that<br />

the consumers and workers of pizza would know which trees<br />

those were. However, not a single person was able to clarify<br />

further than “it just comes from trees.”<br />

Many people believe that manufacturers of paper and<br />

paper-based products are sourcing their trees from plantation<br />

farms, trees specifically grown for the purpose of cutting<br />

down. Whilst most international companies do abide by laws<br />

set by councils, such as the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and<br />

the Forest Stewardship Council (F.S.C), many of them do not.<br />

Consequently, this means that many of your favourite internationally<br />

packaged brands may actually be packaged in the skin<br />

of native forests around the world, forests that thousands are<br />

fighting governments to protect.<br />

The deforestation of tropical rainforests, such as the<br />

Amazon, is contributing to global warming which is increasing<br />

at a dangerous rate. It is also the cause for much loss of<br />

livelihoods for thousands, and death of thousands more native<br />

animals. This is what volunteers from the World Wildlife<br />

Foundation (WWF) are dedicated to stopping.<br />

There was an undercurrent of mystery when I was investigating<br />

the origins of cardboard. I called multiple companies<br />

with no answer, and received only one reply to all my emails<br />

sent. The reply was from an art branded paper company that<br />

shall remain nameless, who stated to believe in my mission to<br />

encourage readers to question the norm but politely refused<br />

to, as doing so “would reveal our recipe to competitors”. Why<br />

should it be so hard, as a consumer in Australian society which<br />

claims to be greener than most, to be able to find out where my<br />

packaging is sourced from? It made me question what they had<br />

to hide?<br />

The answer was the Amazon.<br />

The South American rainforest, that is widely known to be<br />

the largest source of the world’s oxygen, is in your pizza box.<br />

One of my only successful interviews was with the local<br />

pizza shop owner. Monash students have been coming to his<br />

shops for years, so he jumped on board with the investigation<br />

when I came to him. Within 2 weeks, he called me with his<br />

results.<br />

His supplier ships from Egypt, but according to the supplier,<br />

the wood is cut, pulped and shaped in Brazil in three forms.<br />

The first, pine wood from their plantation, is Australian Pine.<br />

Secondly, all that recycled cardboard you and the rest of the<br />

world recycle is rotated through the packaging system, being<br />

pulped down again but at a lower quality than the original pine.<br />

And finally, thousands of pizza boxes are being made with the<br />

logs of the Amazonian Rain Forest.<br />

Are we really okay with not knowing, with accepting what<br />

has been our everyday normal without questioning the origins?<br />

I don’t think so. We are university students, and learning<br />

about and investigating our world is what we are here to do.<br />

We can protect the future of our Earth, just by starting small<br />

with pizza boxes.<br />

But we can’t do it whilst being in the dark.<br />

It all starts with a simple question.<br />

42 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


1 2 3<br />

6<br />

4 5<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9 10<br />

11 12<br />

13 14<br />

15<br />

16<br />

by Rajat Lal<br />


Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 43

Beijing<br />

Farewell My Concubine<br />

01 January 1949

This is what we watch,<br />

this is who we are.<br />

By Sachetha Bamunusinghe<br />

Illustration by Natalie Ng<br />

Having spent my break in the middle of nowhere in Sri<br />

Lanka, I felt truly blessed to have an actual television<br />

that worked. Away from ‘becoming one’ with the monkeys, I<br />

ended up spending a lot of time watching foreign films. From<br />

Bollywood movies to modern Spanish short films, it made me<br />

realize the numerous benefits foreign films can offer to an<br />

audience.<br />

A cultural experience in language learning<br />

Firstly, films provide the key expressions and sounds<br />

acoustics that are significant in in the everyday-day usage of a<br />

language. When watching a foreign film, do you ever think “Oh!<br />

That word is used so much” or “Wow, they speak so passionately”?<br />

If you’re learning another language, watching foreign films<br />

is a great way of assimilating these phrases and speech style<br />

into your own learning experience. I find learning languages at<br />

university helps to consistently enhance students’ grammatical<br />

practices, however lacks usage of the common expressions. This<br />

could be the difference between a student speaking eloquently<br />

and a student who can speak eloquently and be easily connected<br />

to a foreign society. Imagine going to Spain and being able to<br />

explain in Spanish the Franco dictatorship and its oppressions<br />

to society, but not being able to ask a local how much coffee is?<br />

Being able to communicate with locals, on top of knowing the<br />

culture, is an overall rewarding language speaking experience.<br />

Highlights the social norms and behavior<br />

One of the most important benefits for an audience is<br />

being able to learn the societal values that are integrated in a<br />

foreign community. For first-timers to a country without any<br />

prior cultural knowledge, these norms may seem interesting or<br />

even unusual at first. However by watching foreign films, the<br />

audience is illustrated how these ‘different’ norms are indeed<br />

normal in the particular society. For example, I’ve watched<br />

Japanese anime and film, which is also highly popular for comic<br />

fans in Western societies. I learnt important concepts before<br />

visiting Japan such as the concept of Senpai and Kohai, where<br />

those who are older or of a ‘higher’ role than yourself, must be<br />

greatly respected. This includes using formal language unlike<br />

casual styles, and even changing your behavior. Foreign films<br />

assist in bridging this cultural knowledge gap of a foreign society,<br />

and to broaden the understanding of foreign societal norms<br />

for an audience.<br />

Hopefully next time you’re at a film festival or movie<br />

night, these benefits will convince you that foreign films are a<br />

must-try!<br />

It opens up a world of imagination<br />

There are many American films made by Hollywood that<br />

will remain iconic for years to come, but often same generic<br />

storyline repeats itself. Foreign films on the other hand provide<br />

unique tales, as the audience cannot predict the endings of<br />

films, as everything to begin with is new and surprising. For example,<br />

I watched the German film “Der Räuber” or “The Robber”<br />

which is based upon a marathon runner who also successfully<br />

robs banks as a hobby. BAM! This film not only encompasses<br />

the suspense of an awesome thriller, but also provides a story<br />

that differs from the generic style. Additionally, the remakes<br />

of foreign films into English films are disappointing: it is more<br />

appealing to an English speaking audience, but is it really better?<br />

Like a foreign language itself, converting everything into<br />

English eliminates the tradition, lust and originality of a film<br />

that we otherwise could have encountered. Whether foreign<br />

films are wonderful or confronting, they delve into depths of<br />

imagination we infrequently see.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 45


The uncommon cold:<br />

what to do this winter<br />

By Melissa Fernando<br />

Illustration by Lucie Cester<br />

“H<br />

ow cold is it right now?!”- Pretty much every<br />

Victorian, every winter.<br />

So it’s June, when we Melbournians start to envy our northern<br />

brethren who continue enjoy 30-degree sunshine during<br />

the following few months. Or maybe you are one of those<br />

strange people that like the cold. Either way, the following<br />

activities will help you to either unleash your inner ice warrior<br />

out in the snow, or help you weather the winter weather from<br />

the safe haven of the indoors.<br />

Mount Buller<br />

Mount Buller lies in the Alpine region of Victoria, about<br />

3 hours’ drive from Melbourne. A popular site for sporting<br />

enthusiasts as well as first-time snow visitors, Mount Buller<br />

is a must for this winter. With opportunities to ski, toboggan,<br />

snowboard and mountain bike. Depending on accommodation<br />

requirements, things can get a bit pricey, so try to book as early<br />

as possible.<br />

Mount Stirling<br />

Mount Stirling is a mountain range that is about 30 minutes<br />

away from Mount Buller, and provides a more student friendly<br />

option as events and activities are cheaper than the other snow<br />

mountains in the area. Mount Stirling is a quieter option than<br />

its bigger brother Mount Buller, and offers the chance not only<br />

snowboard and ski but also to recharge and camp under the<br />

stars in refuge huts.<br />

Queen Victoria Night Market<br />

Every Wednesday night from 5-10pm, the Queen Victoria<br />

Market turns into a bustling hub of people, food and drink.<br />

Some stalls also have vintage knick-knacks and hand-crafted<br />

ornaments. Punters can choose from over 30 stalls of delicious,<br />

great and comforting winter foods from all kinds of cultures,<br />

accompanied with delicious mulled wine or hot apple cider!<br />

Cost depends on how much you like to eat!<br />

Royal Botanic Gardens Greenhouses<br />

Want a taste of the tropics during the Melbourne winter<br />

for free? Go visit the hot houses in the Royal Botanic Gardens.<br />

According to the website, winter is the best time to explore the<br />

steamy houses. Aside from its breathtaking landscapes and<br />

Australian plant life and variety of birds, turtles and other little<br />

creatures that call the area home, the Royal Botanic Gardens<br />

also have super warm greenhouses! Perfect cost-free way to<br />

beat the winter chill right? Filled with exotic plants that are<br />

native to tropical climates, these greenhouses will warm you up<br />

and give you something to look at!<br />

High Tea<br />

Tea will always be a comforting hug in a mug, and winter<br />

is the perfect time to get fancy and enjoy some warm drinks<br />

and delectable treats in good company! Considering how the<br />

average cost of high tea in Melbourne is around the $50-$60<br />

mark, High Tea in Paris offers a great deal with tea for two for<br />

only $20 on weekdays. The Parisian styled tearoom is located in<br />

Mornington, about 45 minutes from Clayton campus. Opening<br />

hours are Wednesday - Friday from 10:30am – 3:30pm and<br />

Saturday-Sunday from 10:30am – 5:00pm.<br />

Readings Bookshop – Carlton<br />

There’s nothing better than being in a warm bookshop<br />

browsing the walls for the perfect book while it’s pouring<br />

outside and Readings in Carlton should be your go-to bookshop<br />

this winter. But wait, this isn’t just any other bookshop… This<br />

Melbourne bookshop won the London Book fairs award for best<br />

bookshop… IN THE WORLD. So as Melbournians, we have a<br />

duty to pay a visit and take pride in this amazing achievement.<br />

Cat Café<br />

It’s no surprise that Australia’s first cat café opened up in<br />

Melbourne! Hipsters, cat lovers and crazy cat ladies unite! Cat<br />

café Melbourne is a tranquil space designed to let you unwind<br />

in a kitty-filled environment. From $10, you will be able to pet,<br />

play and chill out with 14 playful and cheeky cats. The website<br />

claims that interacting with cats is proven to reduce stress and<br />

anxiety – something us university students can really make use<br />

of. If you’d like to make some feline friends, you’ll find them at<br />

375 Queen Street, but make sure to book through the website<br />

fi r s t .<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 47


Ideas worth shredding<br />

By Jasmine Walter<br />

Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges<br />

In retrospect, the incredible success of the online venture<br />

that is TED talks does not seem surprising. TED, which<br />

stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design” was initially<br />

a platform for tech-based startups to pitch their ideas to<br />

investors. Founded in 1990, it has grew to such a phenomenon<br />

that by January 2007, tickets were $6000 and invite-only. The<br />

Silicon Valley roots of TED have stuck even as its market has<br />

broadened, and “Ideas Worth Spreading” have become the new<br />

commodity of choice.<br />

The marketplace for these ideas grew as the internet<br />

evolved. The popularity of Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of<br />

Philosophy (2000) was an early symptom of the appetite that<br />

existed for this genre of self-improvement literature. Online<br />

platforms, such as Brain Pickings and The School of Life, now<br />

package the wisdom of the greats in a format that is convenient<br />

for our consumption. An interesting shift in tone has accompanied<br />

the popularization of this niche of self-help. Continual<br />

adjustment and betterment of the self is seen as paramount to<br />

happiness, and naturally it is not hard to find an audience that<br />

is willing to be convinced that self-improvement via philosophical<br />

reflection is an easy way to change ourselves for the better.<br />

This is why, often enough, just reading these articles is invigorating,<br />

because the belief in the possibility of such a transformation<br />

is already gratifying.<br />

TED encourages speakers to stifle their appetite for nuance,<br />

and to package problems and their innovative solutions as<br />

being beneficial on a global scale. But their videos are perhaps<br />

equally as masturbatory as the mantra that living the good<br />

life is a matter of adjusting our mindset. Each speech creates a<br />

warm glow of inspiration, because it turns out that the social,<br />

economic and environmental problems of global importance<br />

could be solved, if we were only to tweak our thinking. What<br />

is even less surprising than the success of this format is that<br />

this new industry of ideas tends towards banality. The formula<br />

of the TED talk all but mandates a satisfying conclusion, and<br />

allows the speaker to go largely unquestioned by the audience.<br />

TED’s virality is no more a mystery than why each talk, with its<br />

18-minute time limit, still feels like a sales pitch (a format that<br />

admittedly does a disservice to some of the conference’s most<br />

reputable contributors).<br />

Philosopher Slavoj Žižek quipped that the cost set by<br />

Starbucks of being more than just a consumer is built into<br />

the price of a Grande Latte whose profits support fair-trade<br />

Ethiopian coffee farmers. The ultimate consumerism allows us<br />

to be self-congratulatory; and perhaps succeeds at countering a<br />

deeper discomfort with being born onto the luckier side of social<br />

inequality - as the main demographic for self-improvement<br />

porn and TED seems to be. The temptation that TED feeds is a<br />

desire to succumb to belief that the world is better for our individual<br />

exposure to these life and world-changing ideas. Brian<br />

Cooke’s recent podcast Philosophy can Ruin Your Life, in which<br />

he discusses with philosophers the true impact of a life spent<br />

with ideas, is more aptly titled. It is an appetite that delays<br />

our mustering the courage to admit that only knowledge in the<br />

service of the collective is worth it, and that individual comfort<br />

may be the last thing it brings.<br />

48 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Kids these days:<br />

is pop music losing<br />

its intelligence?<br />

By Matthew Edwards<br />

Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges<br />

Engaging with music is a time-tested human tradition,<br />

that crosses all cultures and backgrounds. Thanks to the<br />

internet, we now have access to broader samples of musical<br />

genres, and it's now easier than ever to listen to what you like.<br />

Yet there is still one genre of music that is ubiquitous in the<br />

disdain it inspires: pop music. While travelling in the car, bus,<br />

or taxi, you might have listened to the radio, and you may have<br />

said to yourself, "Is this what's popular these days?" Or, perhaps,<br />

"This song is pure garbage!" You may have then plugged in<br />

the AUX cord or put on your headphones and listened to your<br />

own tunes. But not all is lost – there has been something of a<br />

resurgence in pop music in the last two years. Some pop songs<br />

are becoming more lyrically complex and thematically sophisticated,<br />

and most have been gaining traction on the charts.<br />

I think it’s worth taking a look at some of them, to see what<br />

works and what doesn’t.<br />

It's no secret that pop music can sometimes be pure garbage.<br />

In 2014, data blog SeatSmart conducted an analysis of lyrical<br />

intelligence, or the graded reading level of a song’s lyrics, over<br />

ten years of music. No musical genre or artist was safe: the<br />

study showed that lyrical intelligence in popular music has been<br />

on a downward trend since 2005. Artists like Maroon 5 and<br />

T-Pain scored particularly low on the scale, with lyrics rating<br />

lower than a second-grade reading level. Let's look at a sample<br />

from T-Pain's entry, the 6th lowest song on the list, Buy U A<br />

Drank (Shawty Snappin') from 2010:<br />

I'mma buy you a drank<br />

I'mma take you home with me<br />

I got money in the bank<br />

Shawty what you think 'bout that?<br />

Find me in the grey Cadillac<br />

We in the bed like ooh, ooh, ooh<br />

We in the bed like ooh, ooh, ooh<br />

It reads less like a song, and more like a message from a<br />

horny 40-something man on OkCupid desperate to impress a<br />

member of the desired sex. He’s just going to buy her a drink<br />

and take her home in his nice car to have casual, non-committed<br />

sexual intercourse, which according to Mr. Pain, will sound<br />

like “ooh, ooh, ooh” …? Not a lot of room for interpretation<br />

there.<br />

But I think it’s important to make some distinctions. A “low”<br />

song does not necessarily equate to a bad song. Many songs<br />

that scored low on the SeatSmart list – Hey Ya by Outkast and<br />

Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry just to name a couple – are songs<br />

that have some lyrical complexity to them. Hey Ya is about a<br />

relationship being dysfunctional, despite things looking fine on<br />

the surface. This superficiality is reflected in the upbeat mood<br />

of the track, and something the song actually acknowledges in<br />

the lyrics. Take the last part of the second verse:<br />

… If what they say is “Nothing is forever”<br />

Then what makes (then what makes)<br />

Love the exception?<br />

So why, oh why<br />

Are we so in denial<br />

When we know we’re not happy here?<br />

(Y’all don’t want to hear me, you just want to dance)<br />

That last line is drowned out by the hook (the “hey ya”<br />

part) coming back in, and it marks a shift in tone for the rest<br />

of the song. Singer Andre 3000 goes into “denial” too, and<br />

famously tells us to let go of our emotions and “shake it like a<br />

Polaroid picture”. This entire song exemplifies the deeper lyrical<br />

complexity hidden within pop music that I think a few other<br />

popular songs share at the moment.<br />

Mike Posner is no stranger to criticising popularity. His<br />

2010 track Cooler Than Me was a massive hit, and describes a<br />

girl Posner was supposedly interested in and rejected by, who<br />

he describes as rich and stuck-up. According to him, she “needs<br />

everyone’s eyes just to feel seen” and acts like a wannabe celebrity.<br />

Since then, Posner has remained in the strange shadow<br />

of the formerly famous. He disappeared from radio while he<br />

fought the depression that came with his sudden notoriety.<br />

That’s where I Took a Pill in Ibiza comes in.<br />

Ibiza was recorded in 2015 as an acoustic track, before it<br />

got picked up and remixed by Norwegian EDM duo SeeB a year<br />

later. It deals with Posner’s complicated feelings towards his<br />

own fame, and the new lifestyle that it brought him. The song<br />

is straight-forward and blunt in its message, describing the<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 49


“rollercoaster” of his popularity that left him feeling “all alone”.<br />

In the third verse, which doesn’t feature in the remixed version,<br />

Posner warns his fans about his journey:<br />

…I walked around downtown<br />

I met some fans on Lafayette<br />

They said tell us how to make it ‘cause we’re getting<br />

real impatient<br />

So I looked ‘em in the eye and said<br />

[Chorus] You don’t wanna be high like me…<br />

The song has since charted on the Billboard Top 10, and<br />

Posner is aware of the irony: a song about the dangers of fame<br />

has made him famous once again, thanks to no particular effort<br />

on his part. But it is an important message, and one that is<br />

shared with another song that deals with the loneliness that<br />

comes with modern life.<br />

UK duo Snakehips’ All My Friends is that song. It’s about the<br />

negative effects of the millennial party lifestyle: alcohol, drugs<br />

and incessant clubbing are turning people into “vultures” and<br />

“cannibals”. Singer Tinashe’s memorable chorus describes that<br />

maybe all-too-familiar feeling of being in a club you hate surrounded<br />

by people that couldn’t care less about your wellbeing<br />

while being wasted out of your mind. It’s a sad fact of modern<br />

society, but it’s not all a negative song. Chance the Rapper<br />

hopes, in his verse, that “the sand will leave a tan” and people<br />

will realise the dangerous results that this lifestyle can have.<br />

The songs that we’ve looked at so far have explored lyrical<br />

complexity in their own right; they deal with complex themes<br />

and emotions while still being ‘trendy’ songs. But I think there<br />

is more complexity to be found by analysing some of these<br />

trends, as they are an important part of pop music. They are<br />

just as eclectic as society itself, and they have varied over time,<br />

but the dominant trend that has pervaded through popular<br />

music of the last year and a half can be traced back to Jamaican<br />

music and its many subgenres. After Bob Marley made reggae<br />

a worldwide phenomenon in the 1970s and 1980s, musicians<br />

back in Jamaica began to turn to up-tempo sounds again. The<br />

release of B-side albums (that is, instrumental tracks of songs<br />

on the other side of the record) allowed Jamaican DJs to sing,<br />

and essentially rap, over these versions. This is the precursor<br />

to American hip-hop, but it also spawned another genre in<br />

Jamaica: dancehall. DJs were able to electronically distort these<br />

B-side tracks, or riddims, and perform over them.<br />

No artist better represents this cultural phenomenon than<br />

Rihanna; particularly in the lead single from her latest album,<br />

Work. The lyrics incorporate aspects of Jamaican patois and<br />

Creole, in an obvious nod to her Caribbean heritage, and the<br />

song is one of the first dancehall songs to chart since Sean<br />

Paul’s Temperature in 2006. Lyrically, Rihanna sings about fragile<br />

relationships, and working hard no matter what’s happening<br />

in your life:<br />

Work, work, work, work, work, work<br />

He said me haffi (He said I have to)<br />

Work, work, work, work, work, work<br />

He see me do mi (He saw me do my)<br />

Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt<br />

So me put in (So I put in)<br />

We’re getting a<br />

broader range of<br />

experiences from<br />

the representation<br />

of different cultures<br />

and the sounds they<br />

produce.<br />

Work, work, work, work, work, work<br />

When you ah guh (When are you going to)<br />

Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn, learn<br />

Me nuh cyar if him (I don’t care if he’s)<br />

Hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurting<br />

In a time where politics is dominated by movements like<br />

#BlackLivesMatter and tirades of racism and xenophobia, it’s<br />

refreshing to see Rihanna proudly showing her cultural roots<br />

in the pop music scene. You can’t help but imagine being on<br />

a tropical island when you listen to this track, and a verse<br />

featuring Drake only sweetens the deal. Similar to Hey Ya, the<br />

mood and beat mask a frustrated undertone that speaks to the<br />

reality of a difficult situation, and how people deal with those<br />

situations.<br />

I’m all about giving credit where credit is due, and I feel like<br />

the songs I’ve mentioned deserve some credit in regards to<br />

what we refer to as “pop music”. We’re certainly getting more<br />

interesting songs in contemporary pop, both production-wise<br />

and lyrically, and we’re getting a broader range of experiences<br />

from the representation of different cultures and the sounds<br />

they produce. I like where today’s music is headed, and I’d like<br />

to see more of this complexity going forward. It’s opened my<br />

eyes to a range of genres I’ve never listened to before, or genres<br />

that I never thought I’d like until I heard what they had to offer,<br />

and that’s what I think music is about: a shared experience that<br />

anyone and everyone can enjoy.<br />

50 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Food fight<br />

By Layla Homewood<br />

Illustration by Natalie Ng<br />

It's that time of year again. Winter is creeping up on us,<br />

casting grey clouds over our university, while sheets of rain<br />

stunt our motivation for those 9am lectures (okay, so we never<br />

had the motivation for them in the first place, but the rain isn't<br />

making them any easier). And as our winter approaches, everyone<br />

seems to be jet-setting off on a European adventure to soak<br />

up the rays which are so rudely ignoring our part of the world.<br />

And we know what summer in Europe means; festivals.<br />

Around this time, we expect crazy and vibrant and exhilarating<br />

festivals for any reason. But in my memory, one event<br />

in particular stretched the limits of every possible expectation.<br />

Hosted every year, on the final Wednesday of August in Bunol,<br />

Spain, is the world's largest food fight, otherwise known as La<br />

Tomatina. Before going to this 70 year old festival, I had come<br />

to terms with the fact that Spain was a lot more full on than<br />

where I'm from. But I was not prepared enough for what I had<br />

to face at the festival. No matter how much you're told about a<br />

certain place, or how much you research or prepare for it, you<br />

will never be completely ready until you're there, and this was<br />

no exception.<br />

I know what you're thinking. "I already know what the<br />

Tomato festival is. It's where a bunch of tourists get drunk and<br />

throw tomatoes at each other." Well, look, you're not wrong.<br />

But there is so much more to the event than you may originally<br />

believe. Before the tomatoes come out, before the chaos and<br />

mayhem of the brutal war even begins, a whole host of other<br />

traditions must first take place.<br />

Exactly how the bizarre tradition began is still speculated.<br />

Some say it all started with some young children from the<br />

town, a horrible busker, and a hand-full of tomatoes used to<br />

shut him up. Others believe a parade through the streets of<br />

Bunol went awry when a fight broke out near a vegetable stand.<br />

Either way, the act managed to stick and be repeated for many<br />

years to come.<br />

Now, over 50 years after its inception, hundreds of stalls<br />

are perched on the side of the road trying to sell traditional<br />

sangria as you, a humble warrior in this mighty war, make your<br />

way to the street where the fight takes place. Not only do the<br />

locals embrace the annual tradition by selling traditional food<br />

and drink, but those who actually live in the street where the<br />

fight occurs (yeah, there are people living there) flock to the<br />

roofs of their buildings with even more sangria and massive<br />

buckets of water, to pour on the sweltering people below. As<br />

the tiny, narrow street fills with tourists and locals combined,<br />

drenched in sweat, alcohol and fresh water, a courageous bunch<br />

of individuals will try to climb a two-storey-high pole covered<br />

in slippery animal fat and claim the leg of ham perched atop it.<br />

Yeah, you heard right. For hours before the first tomato is<br />

thrown, everyone attending the festival crams into the slender<br />

street and cheers others on as they make every many and<br />

varied attempt at claiming the leg of ham. And it's no easy<br />

challenge. In the past few years of the tomato festival, the leg of<br />

ham has remained untouched and unclaimed, leaving a string<br />

of disheartened, animal fat and tomato covered festival goers<br />

in its wake.<br />

So by 11am, you can imagine 22,000 excited people all waiting<br />

for the first cannon to signal the beginning of war. You can<br />

imagine the ancient street, the width of only two cars where<br />

they're all crammed in. And you can imagine the anticipation.<br />

Whether you scaled the building walls for a better scope of<br />

the juice-drenched crowd (careful! If you stand on something<br />

tall, people tend to see you as an easy target), or were thrown<br />

around in what was affectionately coined "The Kill Zone," the<br />

area where truck loads of tomatoes would be unceremoniously<br />

dumped every 10-15 minutes for a frenzy of festival goers to<br />

dive upon, you'll end up completely a part of the festivities.<br />

By the end of the fight when the final cannon has sounded,<br />

you're literally shin deep in a brutal mixture of 50% tomato<br />

juice, 20% sangria, 20% water, and 10% urine and vomit (urine<br />

from people who didn't want to lose their precious place before<br />

the fight, and vomit from people who suffered one too many tomatoes<br />

to the mouth or one too many sangrias to the stomach).<br />

So while your friends are off gallivanting amongst the<br />

European sun, while you're struggling to think of a new way to<br />

put off that 3000 word essay, remember to expect the unexpected.<br />

But most importantly, if you're expecting a massive<br />

tomato fight, expect to be standing shin deep in someone else's<br />

urine too.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 51

Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges


Parlour Games<br />

By Kiowa Scott-Hurley<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 53

Illustration CREATIVE<br />

by Natalie Ng

POETRY<br />

Sirens<br />

By Ed Jessop<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 55

56 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />

Illustration by Michael Wilkinson


Funding<br />

By Justin Jones Li<br />

A<br />

hint of jasmine fought valiantly against Cuban cigars<br />

in the dark, smoky boardroom. The space was lit by a<br />

circle of scented candles that stood in the middle of the table.<br />

Organic. Hypoallergenic. Bespoke.<br />

The attendees all rested their elbows on the table and tented<br />

their fingers. Everyone had something different hovering above<br />

the table. Magda Copperfield had a string of pearls draped over<br />

her fingers; Carmen Wentworth had a ribbon of purple silk.<br />

Priscilla Fairfax-Montgomery tapped her platinum and<br />

rhodium rings together, and all eyes fell on her. “I now open<br />

this month’s meeting of the First Women’s Committee. The<br />

first item on the agenda, which I will present, is the wonderful<br />

news that our proposed funding increase has been approved.<br />

This year’s budget has been increased to match that of the First<br />

Men’s Committee.”<br />

There was a brief silence before the room collectively sighed<br />

contentedly, and plumes of smoke inwards from the edge of the<br />

circle. As the candlelight almost perished, the gleam of Selena<br />

Babbage’s rubies flickered in kind.<br />

Priscilla continued, “We’ve worked very hard for very long to<br />

achieve this. I’m probably understating it massively to say that<br />

we can all give ourselves a pat on the back. This is all thanks to<br />

our advocacy and dedication. I thank you all.<br />

“Now to the second item on the agenda, I believe a few of<br />

us have prepared something to present. In this meeting, we<br />

will vote on how to use this extra funding. I especially adored<br />

Christine’s idea.”<br />

“Thank you,” said Christine, Duchess of Lowbury, “I propose<br />

to set up a grant for women who ordinarily cannot afford to<br />

become a member of this committee. As Priscilla said, it is only<br />

because of our steadfast commitment that we were able to<br />

achieve equality in funding. It is high time that underprivileged<br />

women finally get an opportunity to effect real change.”<br />

Another wave of smoke filled the scene. The room approved<br />

of Her Grace’s idea.<br />

“Of course, there needs to be stringent requirements for<br />

eligibility,” said Diana Penfold VII. “She would have to be<br />

exceptional. Years of community service, a wide industry network<br />

and she would definitely need to be well travelled.”<br />

“Excellent suggestions,” Priscilla chimed. “Are there any<br />

more”—<br />

Priscilla’s phone began to ring. Acting against the weight of<br />

its diamond-encrusted cover, she laboriously, though successfully,<br />

picked it up.<br />

“Hello? Oh hello! I see… Oh, that’s terrible… Wait, I’ll put<br />

you on speaker.”<br />

“Wait, what? No, I’d really rather not.”<br />

It was, however, too late. The First Women’s Committee<br />

could already hear the conversation, and everyone was eager for<br />

the message.<br />

“Oh okay… I’m Aisha Talwar from the Second Women’s<br />

Committee. I was just letting Priscilla know that our committee’s<br />

funding has been cut. Apparently, there were some<br />

unforeseen circumstances, and some of the money that was<br />

earmarked for us has been reallocated.”<br />

The room was plunged into a hell-scape of horrified gasps.<br />

“How beastly!”<br />

“This is unjust!”<br />

“I think I might swoon!”<br />

Aisha began to mumble. “Everyone, I’m sure this is a solvable<br />

problem.”<br />

Pandemonium gripped the First Women’s Committee.<br />

“I just don’t understand!”<br />

“I know it doesn’t affect me, but I just can’t help it!”<br />

“My god, I’ve just swooned! Somebody call an ambulance!”<br />

Aisha tried again. “Everyone, this is a little counterproductive.<br />

I think I have an idea about how to proceed. If you could<br />

just give me a moment…”<br />

The uproar continued. Everyone was in tears. Aisha hung up.<br />

Priscilla spoke up again.<br />

“I move that this meeting be closed so that we can all take<br />

things easy for a while. Do I have a seconder…? Yes? Okay.<br />

Carried unanimously!”<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 57

POETRY<br />

In Search of<br />

Lost Time<br />

By Isaac Reichman<br />

I remember, something.<br />

The smell of violets in a violet room,<br />

Forced to resume and presume the most;<br />

Around a table in the violet room.<br />

Where we sat upon the chairs we made;<br />

Sat upon our hands and ate,<br />

The scones and jam and cream.<br />

The violets predicting and premising<br />

Future scenes in a room with cakes and coffee.<br />

The past calls to scene,<br />

A notion of moment-less imposition;<br />

Remission of consciousness,<br />

And a ray of light cast upon the table<br />

Stained with the afternoons gone by.<br />

So it seems<br />

Maybe… something… gleams.<br />

Perhaps in another dream.<br />

Yes, so it seems,<br />

Perhaps, I’ll resume<br />

The clock has fallen off the wall<br />

In days gone by.<br />

The clock has fallen on the floor.<br />

Time is yet to present itself again<br />

Resting on the table,<br />

Beneath a vacant shawl.<br />

Days are spent undoing frayed knots,<br />

Rearranging bookends in new ways.<br />

Time presents and rests within a book,<br />

Not yet returned to its familiar place.<br />

The flicker of daylight passes by.<br />

Reflections of memories cast upon<br />

The midnight moon’s pale eyes.<br />

Diffraction and detracting from the simple.<br />

Now you know, evening glows for who you know.<br />

And the moons pale eyes wink with a feeble smile,<br />

Casting waves upon the shore,<br />

Turning shifting tides into mystic lore.<br />

The moon passes by and coats the sky with cheap paint<br />

From a corner store.<br />

Clouds move and dusk sets in place,<br />

Being worn by the night as a gown of silken lace.<br />

Can you recall what it was like to breathe;<br />

To breathe without the air catching in your throat?<br />

The fray of spring precipitating on your car window;<br />

Driving to strive for something unknown.<br />

A boat, a car, a plane,<br />

Can pass the time but no distance you hope;<br />

We are not hopeless,<br />

And so we cannot float upon the roses.<br />

Instead we drove and stopped for toast,<br />

Instead we walked upon the pitted wood of the pier<br />

And dove in.<br />

As with time and quite soon,<br />

The violets wilt in the violet room.<br />

Along with the cakes and coffee beans,<br />

Along with the people that presumed.<br />

58 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>

Illustration by Stephanie Dim




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