Is status anxiety ruining kiddie parties?

Two weeks ago I was at a ‘cake smashing party’ – for one-year-olds. Ten babies were lined up in front of ten cakes as ten excited sets of parents hovered with their iPhones.

Unfortunately, one-year-olds are not terribly advanced. Most prefer grabbing at other babies or singing and clapping with people they know over orchestrated photo-opportunities. Instead of cutely gobbling cake as he was meant to, the birthday baby immediately started howling and begging to be picked up. As did the baby next to him. Within seconds all ten babies were crying and crawling away from the cakes while their parents pleaded with them to ‘just smile and smash the cake once, please darling, then I’ll pick you up, ok?”

Is the gender pay gap a myth?

Ever wondered what to say to that friend / relative / co-worker who tells you repeatedly that the earnings gap between men and women is BS because ‘they’ve never seen it’? All the rebuttals at your fingertips. Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! 

I know it’s International Women’s Day because there was a free morning tea at work. By the time I got there the ladies had already scoffed the best muffins, with no thought to me or their waistlines. I left when they started banging on about the Pay Gap …

Don’t you mean the ‘so-called’ pay gap?

Yes! It’s a myth just like the three-breasted woman.

Workplace sexism: Australian women do it tougher

In Australia the ideal female worker is white, good looking, shrugs off sexism and loves being part of the boys club.

It was the first evening of product manager Katrina’s company conference and the CEO had just started the audio visual presentation.

“It began with a woman’s naked silhouette and went downhill from there,” she said. “The company had paid an actress and filmed her sucking on a lollipop and talking about having sex with a piece of equipment our company distributed.”

Things I’d do if I wasn’t afraid of appearing masculine

Reddit recently asked men what they would do if they weren’t afraid of appearing ‘feminine’. ‘I’d knit so hard, bro,’ was one response. ‘Drape myself in velvet’ was another. ‘Wax my butt crack’ was unexpected, but it did get me wondering what I’d do if the question was reversed.

So here are the things I’d do if I wasn’t afraid of appearing masculine. (Ladies and transgender ladies, add yours in the comments!)

Does brain training really work?

(I first published this one in Australian Women’s Health. Loved you in Dead Calm, Our Nic)

On the outside, I am calm and ordered. I’m a massive fan of lists. I keep three jobs on track – uni tutor, writer, yoga instructor. I rapidly switch between tasks without missing any major deadlines. But on the inside … inside my brain there is a pack of wild brumbies, careening out of control.

Teachers: how to de-stress while still in the classroom

I started my yoga teacher training six months before I began teaching at university, and thank God for that! By incorporating simple yoga philosophies and practices into my teaching, I saved myself a whole lot of extracurricular stress. Now, I enjoy teaching so much more. While classes can still be energetically taxing, they’re also extremely enjoyable. I know. I’m one of those people.

What the Kardashians can teach us about Christmas spirit

Don’t say I don’t write about the important things. We’re very sad that this is the first year the Kardashians MAY NOT continue their spectacle/tradition of dressing up as the credits on Friends for their annual Christmas card. But dry those tears – let’s take a fond look back at their Kards of Yore (and Merry, Merry Christmas to YOU dear reader)

When I was eight, my best friend’s aunt converted to Mormonism and ran off to Utah, and after ten long years of silence she finally sent them a Christmas card of her new family. My friend showed it to me, and we gawped at this family with their, all seven of them in matching white t-shirts tucked into high-waisted jeans, each person was holding a gun.

Are we offended yet?

I try and be fearless in my writing, yet I’m often afraid to say fairly basic things in columns, lest it be ‘wrong’ – inadvertently construed as somehow offensive.

Over the weekend The Australian did a follow up to an opinion piece I wrote for the Age newspaper, on how in being so quick to call out racism and sexism we miss addressing the real problems (in this case, school resources and helping schools cater to two vastly different learning levels) and therefore finding real solutions.

Predictably, many were offended. And it made me sad. Because we live at a time when being offended is the fastest way to shut down a discussion.

Wedding staff tell: how not to start a marriage

We love a fairy tale wedding, and judging by our reality TV (Married at First Sight), we take marriage seriously. (Sure, we won’t have marriage equality on the grounds that it disrespects the tradition of marriage, but we’re happy to watch shows where brides score other brides’ weddings out of ten (Four Weddings) and two couples duke it out as their marriage deteriorate before our very eyes (The Seven Year Switch).

As impartial, unsentimental observers, they can spot the telltale signs of conscious uncoupling from the get-go.

Here are the warning signs wedding staff notice:

How to (really) pull ourselves up by our bootstraps

As Trump puts his cabinet together and the world waits to see what happens when the most powerful nation on earth decimates what remains of its social services, I came across this report on the long-term effects of childhood abuse. (I know, cheery. But my next post is a fluffy one, I promise)

I’m all for pulling ourselves up by our boot straps. Being an adult means taking responsibility for our own prosperity, happiness and health. (Yay for that, hello to my friends on the Right) … And yet: