Education

11 Feminist Podcasts You Need To Subscribe To

These feminist podcasts are taking down the patriarchy, one issue at a time. 

Trump Just Stopped Funding The ‘Let Girls Learn’ Initiative

Michelle Obama’s program will no longer be supported.

Here’s Why Parents Have No Right To Police Their Daughter’s Virginity

Your daughter is NOT obligated to promise you anything about her body.

Did Betsy DeVos Buy Her Secretary Of Education Appointment?

It turns out money can buy you everything, after all…

Meanwhile In Texas: 35kg Three-Year-Old Has Diabetes

In a case that is probably (and unfortunately) not a surprise; a Texas three-year-old girl has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The little girl weighs 35kg (5 stone), and is the youngest case of the disease ever recorded. Her parents, who reside in Houston, are also obese. According to Dr Michael Yafi of the Department of Paediatric Endocrinology at the University of Texas, this was a result of “poor family nutritional habits with uncontrolled [consumption] of calories and fat”. There is no family history of diabetes.

RELATED: Fight Childhood Obesity With Good Nutrition For Kids

Fortunately, the child has been successfully treated; over the last 6 months she has been given the drug Metformin to control her blood sugar levels and a low calorie diet. This has resulted in enough weight loss to return her blood sugar levels to normal, and the diabetes has been reversed/cured temporarily. However, it may return if her nutritional habits descend to their former (non)glory.

This case reveals an explosion of diabetes in children and teenagers. Dr Yafi stated, “The incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically worldwide in children due to the epidemic of child obesity. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of type 2 diabetes even in very young obese children. This highlights how important it is that children get a healthy start to life.”

Children in Texas fare worse than most; 32.2 percent of Texas children are overweight or obese, which is above the national average in the USA. Similar figures have emerged in the UK.  The youngest known case of type 2 diabetes in Britain is a seven-year-old, and approximately 1,300 young people under 18 have been diagnosed with the illness.

Considering the (usually) quick metabolism of children and teenagers, it is a wonder that previously healthy children are able to gain the excess of weight required to trigger type 2 diabetes. The amount of food consumed would have to be astronomical, and the resulting lifestyle so sedentary that there is little hope of turning it around. So how does it get to this point? How do parents look at their severely overweight children and fail to recognise a problem?

Perhaps the first logical answer is lack of education about food and nutrition. The 2004 documentary Supersize Me, in which Morgan Spurlock self-tests the effects of eating nothing but McDonald’s for a month, brings this to the forefront. Spurlock takes to the streets and asks a selection of people whether they know what a calorie is. A disconcertingly large amount of people say they do not. Some give semi-ludicrous examples of what they think a calorie may be, each more inaccurate than the last.

It is very rare to meet a person who knows the specifics of the effect sugar/high GI foods have on insulin levels. Too few people are aware of the recommended daily calorie intake of females vs. males. And the magnitude of food in people’s shopping trolleys (cereals, raisin-bread, yoghurt, etc.) masquerading as healthy is frightening.

The second answer is economics. Healthy, unprocessed, organic food is expensive. The price of peanut butter loaded with salt, sugar and preservatives is often less than half the cost of its just-peanuts healthier counterpart. It is infinitely cheaper and less time consuming to buy the family dinner basket from KFC than shop for, cook, and serve a real family dinner at home.

It seems the obvious solutions are to ditch the idea that pointing out unhealthy weight is “body shaming”. It’s not. Children/their parents should be formally educated on the nature of nutrition. Making healthy food cheaper and more accessible wouldn’t hurt either; but hey, finding an economic way to do that while ensuring distributors don’t go broke is a tricky one. However, if we want to truly combat childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, we must find a way to facilitate any remedy we can.

Image via Hsj.co.uk

Sex Ed 101: Consent Is Not The Absence Of ‘No’

In the heat of the moment, consent can be a murky area. It’s a common story; a boy and girl are at a party, the alcohol is flowing, and things get a little lovey-dovey. Soon they end up smooching in the back room and he gets it into his head that this will go further than she intends. Before you know it, he leaves with a great story to tell his mates, while she leaves with bruises, an aching groin and a guilty conscience.

RELATED: He’s A Stud, She’s A Skank: The Double Standard of Slut Shaming

This, by reasonable standards, is sexual assault. However, the problem with the scenario is that the girl did not actually utter the word “no.” Whether owing to fear, or the unfortunate notion that she was obligated to succumb, that oh-so-significant two letter word did not leave her lips. Any guy with a booze-addled brain and a questionable personality would take that as a guilt free pass.

Unfortunately, a frighteningly large number of people assume that because the girl didn’t vocalise “no,” it isn’t assault and she should have known better than to be with the guy in the first place. This attitude of slut shaming, victim blaming and the ridiculous idea that girls are more in control of their sexual urges than boys is inherent to our societal makeup. It’s a problem because, aside from the blatant double standard, it leads to these horrific incidents.

I’m not saying that all guys have a ‘rape gene’. That’s a terrible, misandrous assumption. Most guys are lovely. I have seen inebriated boys take even more inebriated girls to a couch, clean up the vomit, find a blanket, leave out some water, stay until the poor thing falls asleep and then return to the party. The thought of taking advantage of her wouldn’t even enter their heads, because they are GOOD PEOPLE. However, #notallmen does not change the fact that there are too many young guys who would, without question, handle that situation somewhat differently.

In summary, these particular guys are nasty little shits who watch too much porn. The attitude of male entitlement/privilege has been bashed into them from the age of about 10, when they accidently stumbled across their big brother’s dirty magazines. However, even the nastiest little shit can be educated and I don’t mean being beaten about the head with the phrase: “Respect women!” What should be taught is this simple principle; consent is not the absence of “no.” True consent is a clear and resounding “yes” from both individuals involved.

Clarifying this shouldn’t be limited to boys. More sexual assaults would be reported and perhaps avoided, if young women were taught what consent is, and when/how to give it. However, in high school this seems to be severely lacking. My memory of year 11 is that girls were taught how not to get raped and boys were taught how not to get arrested for it. That was 10 years ago, but the attitude hasn’t changed. As a result, both genders grow up believing that victim-blaming is acceptable and have no understanding of the psychology of sex.

Look, we can’t change all the nasty little shits in the world. But if the definition of consent was made clear from adolescence, maybe we could (to a degree) nip sexual assault in the bud. Perhaps, if this idea is firmly asserted long before the booze-fuelled house parties start, boys would think twice before barrelling in when the moment feels good. Perhaps girls will learn to define their sexuality not by the whims of men, but by their own needs and desires. You can beat the vocabulary of sex education into teenagers until the cows come home, but if consent isn’t part of the dialogue, it’s a lost cause.


Image via Lexloro.wordpress.com

Benefits of On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training involves learning in and amongst day-to-day work and can occur in the normal working environment or via specific training with a more experienced member of staff. On-the-job training is seen as the most popular and effective form of staff training – here’s why.

The first and most obvious advantage of on-the-job training, when compared to organised distant courses is often the cost. By getting new staff started straight away, employers do not have to invest in expensive training schemes or lose new members of staff to lengthy external training courses. It is also worth noting that once the employee has completed the training there is nothing to stop them deciding to quit and not go through with their job, if they realise it is not what they expected.

In a similar way, building experience and training while working means that the employee is likely to be bringing home a wage. This is especially important when trying to join careers such as teaching which require training before further examinations. By enrolling on a scheme with organisations such as EduStaff you are able to gain key training whilst working on-the-job.

It is also certainly worth mentioning the depth of passive training you will receive while immersing yourself in the actual role and learning from your experienced colleagues. All jobs and workplaces will have a myriad of different processes and cultural nuances that you simply cannot fully understand without settling into your new team and job.

Aside from the benefits for the new employee going through the process, on-the-job training is a great way for management to demonstrate the value they place on the more experience members of staff who help with the training. Tesco often asks experienced members of staff to conduct on-the-job training for new recruits. This demonstrates the trust the organisation has in those long-serving staff members who may not be suitable for other forms of acknowledgement, including promotions or raises.

One benefit that may only be applicable for some roles is that showing new recruits the ropes, while getting them started, can act as a canny assessment technique. Training new staff in exactly what their role entails means that their ‘sink or swim’ moment naturally comes early and both the organisation and the new recruit will know if they are likely to stay on in the long-term.

So, next time you go through training yourself, or plan training for a new member of your team, consider what you would be missing out on if you were subjected to external training from a faceless corporation who know little about the culture of the company and what your new role will truly involve.

Which Australian Cities Are The Most Well-Read?

Bookworld, Australia’s biggest bookstore, has released the annual list of the most well-read cities in Australia for 2013-14, with some interesting results.

Canberra topped the list for the second year in a row, with Melbourne, a UNESCO City of Literature, making the most movement from last year jumping from #7 to #2. New additions to the Top 10 list, which is compiled using sales data of over 500,000 Australian customers over the past year, include Newcastle and Sydney.

Australia’s most well-read cities, in the correct order, are:

  1. Canberra-Queanbeyan
  2. Melbourne
  3. Geelong
  4. Newcastle-Maitland
  5. Brisbane
  6. Toowoomba
  7. Sunshine Coast
  8. Sydney
  9. Adelaide
  10. Hobart

Some quick and interesting facts from our research:

  • Canberra was again the literary capital of the year, as the only city to have 4 literary titles making the top 10, with Eyrie by Tim Winton topping the sales list
  • In a marked departure from last year’s trends, the only city still reading 50 Shades of Grey is Brisbane
  • Perth and Darwin dropped out of the Top 10 to #13 and #17 respectively
  • The Sunshine Coast was the most interested in health and food books – with The Fast Diet and Make Peace with Your Plate the two bestselling books
  • Toowoomba proves its family focus with the most kids book sales for any of the cities
  • Newcastle-Maitland debuted onto the list at #4 with sales of Boganaire: The Rise and Fall of Nathan Tinkler about the Hunter Valley Region self-made billionaire, boosting their position
  • Geelong moved up one position to #3 thanks to Hold the Line: My Story by Matthew Scarlett, local Geelong Cats superstar
  • Save with Jamie was the number one book overall, appearing in the Top 10 for every city and topping the list in 5 cities
  • The most popular kids book was Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 8: Hard Luck, followed by YA novel The Fault in our Stars
  • Burial Rites was the clear superstar in ebooks, coming in as the most downloaded eBook ebook in 7 out of the 10 cities

Image via giveagradeago.com

Why Reading To Your Child Is Crucial

Reading is one of the most important skills we can teach our children.  It sets the foundations for a child’s ability to succeed in school and later on in life.  It is never too early to start reading aloud to your child – even while your baby is still in the womb it’s learning to recognise your voice and once your baby is just a few months old they will begin focusing their eyes on patterns and colours on the pages.

As your child grows so do their skills and abilities.  Reading aloud to your child gives them an opportunity to develop listening skills, it enhances concentration, and it improves their vocabulary and memory retention.  All of the above are invaluable and crucial for children when they start school.

Reading aloud to your child brings you closer together and helps to improve the communication between you and your child.  When you finish reading a book quite often other issues, thoughts or feelings arise opening the door for discussions.  The discussions you have will ultimately lead them to expand their understanding of the world they live in.

Reading aloud to your child also helps to stimulate imaginative play.  When a child watches television they don’t need to use their imagination – everything is happening right in front of them but when we read a book and look at pictures the child needs to use their imagination to determine some elements of what is happening in the story.

Certain situations including the loss of a loved one, potty training or divorce can be extremely confusing for children.  A story that explains the position your child is in can be a great aid in making these situations slightly easier to understand.  If your child is struggling with a stressful situation or major milestone consider finding a book that relates to that milestone to read to your child.

So now that we understand how important reading aloud to our children is, the next question might be how do we make it fun and engaging?  Here are some tips to help keep your little ones from wandering too far during story time:

  • Create a unique space especially for reading. Set up a ‘cuddle corner’ with pillows or cushions on a rug, in a tepee or underneath some hanging paper lanterns. It should to be somewhere your children feel comfortable and cosy.
  • Don’t be shy. Vary your voice for different characters, be loud or whisper and use appropriate sound effects to bring the story to life.
  • Buy or rent books that you know will interest your child. For example if your child loves dinosaurs then select books that feature dinosaurs in them.
  • Let your children choose the book. Your children are more likely to be interested in the story if they have chosen it from the shelf themselves. Don’t be worried if you’re reading the same book time and time again – the fact that you are reading at all is the most important thing.
  • Select books with colourful illustrations or touch and feel textures. Toddlers are stimulated by sight and touch, so select books where your child can pull or push tabs, feel different textures or be excited by the pictures.
  • Board books are great for toddlers because they’re easy for them to hold and they can learn to turn the pages without ripping them to shreds.

Reading to your child shouldn’t be a chore – it should be fun, a time to bond and an activity that you never deny your child from doing.  The next time your child picks up a book and asks you to read it consider this quote from Dr Seuss:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Image via betterparenting.com

By Karyn Miller

Stick That In Your Google – and De-stress

You can read too much when you’re pregnant; you can read too much as a mum. But we like to do our homework. We like to be prepared. ‘Just in case’ is a refrain that beats in the head of every imminent parent and the words don’t switch off once our precious little one is here. If anything, they get louder.

There is so much more to worry about. So many decisions to make. Vaccinations: Do you? Don’t you? Nappies: Cloth or disposable? Breast or bottle? How’s your milk production? Not enough? Why not? Stress levels up? (No, you mutter to yourself and the breastfeeding clinic, I’m fine. No stress at all. Just FINE.) And late at night, perhaps around the time of the midnight feed when your whirling thoughts won’t let you return to sleep (or perhaps you can’t sleep, always listening out for a cry) you log on.

You research; you read. You find out. After all, you want to be prepared … Then you really can’t sleep. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing sure, but too much? Worse, much worse. Or at least, it’s as bad.

In the age of ‘Google-it’ you can find an answer to every question – but you can also find information overload. Worrying about your child’s development? The Internet offers dozens of progress charts to measure your little one against – and none of them are consistent. Google letting us down? What’s the world coming to? It’s enough to depress anyone.

The simple truth is that there is no manual for motherhood and while the Internet can offer you piles of opinions, reams of conjecture and millions of pages of general information that have everything, or little, or absolutely nothing to do with what you want and need, this kind of Googl-it is can lead to more stress and confusion for many imminent and new mums.

At a recent gynaecologists’ appointment, a friend looked pale and sick from sitting up all night reading about how ‘older mums’ (translation = over 30) are more at risk of complications for themselves and their baby. Her doctor, a wise man not much younger than herself, advised her to ‘de-Google’.

“That’s my job,” he said. “If there’s a problem, I’ll tell you. If I tell you nothing, there is nothing. Stick that in your Google.”

Here are a few tips from a group of doctors:

  1. Anything worrying you? Ask your doctor. No inquiry too minute, and doctors are paid not to laugh.
  2. Avoid self-diagnosing online: Advice given without proper, professional examinations is likely to be useless, or at worst, dangerous. There’s a reason doctors need to see symptoms to pronounce a diagnosis or offer a considered medical opinion.
  3. Find two or three websites or blogs that you find helpful and supportive, signup, subscribe, whatever – and filter all the others out (those you select may change as you move through the various phases of parenthood; from pregnancy to birth, that all-important first year, toddlerhood and right through to starting school and the teenage years). Your email inbox, at least, will thank you.
  4. The same with books – one or two for each ‘phase’ of your parenthood is more than enough. What To Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff is very thorough, and new editions also cover baby’s first year – so you’re all set.

After all, as you’ll quickly discover (if you haven’t already) no blog can prepare you for the rollercoaster ride you’re already on. All you can do is buckle up, shut your eyes tight, screeeaaam – and enjoy.

By Gillian Clive

Don’t Be A Beauty School Drop-Out

Model, WAG and new mum Rebecca Judd is about to change the beauty education landscape with the launch of independent beauty school, Beauty EDU. A passionate advocate of the beauty industry, she sees the school as a great way to share her knowledge and an opportunity to continue learning from the renowned industry experts offering the benefit of their experience directly to students.

After working in the industry for many years, Rebecca believes the beauty and makeup career path doesn’t receive the respect it deserves. She says:

“I’ve seen first hand how highly skilled the best in this field are. Beauty EDU’s unique offering – creating the next generation of luminary industry experts – really appealed to me.”

Beauty EDU’s education model moves away from the traditional approach to teaching and training students in favour of developing skills immediately applicable to the modern beauty industry. Rebecca explains: 

“Our model is built on two key pillars; real industry requirements and ‘hands on’ practical learning. From an industry perspective, we’re really excited to have some of the country’s most talented and renowned beauty specialists on board as advisors, ambassadors and lecturers.”

At the heart of each campus is a beautifully designed, fully-functional salon, giving students an opportunity to service real clients and receive hands-on industry experience. The aim is to inspire students to have creative vision, the most up-to-date skills and more importantly, the business acumen and professional rigour needed to enter the workforce and become leaders in their field.