The More I Bleed The More I Learn – Part Two: The Hello Kitty Maternity Hospital

Ever woken up, checked the calendar (okay, more realistically the date on your phone) and thought “oh golly gee, seems like I should be surfing the crimson tide today” (okay, more realistically “fuck it, my period is due sometime soon”)? And like, it’s never really a good day when you realise that (if it comes it’s a 4 or so day bummer and if it doesn’t…blargh let’s not go there) – you’ve gotta find silver (crimson) linings where you can though, it’s the small things y’know? Like the excitement of reading the fun facts in the Libra wrappers. Yeah, life is really peaking.
For more info on why I write about the facts on Libra wrappers, check out part one here or read on below for part two….

FACT # 2: There is a Hello Kitty themed maternity hospital in Taiwan.

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So I assume that the clever people in the Libra marketing department make the conscious decision to include fun facts on the wrappers of their sanitary napkins as a casual distraction from the fact that not only are you suffering grave discomfort but you’re also surfing a tidal wave of emotions, inexplicably having thoughts of the devastating way that your year 6 crush was also the boy that spearheaded the campaign for you to be known all over the school yard by the descriptor rabbit teeth – that was a really tough time emotionally. “Why do you I keep playing the moment over again in my head”, you wonder, “where he said to my face that he’d ‘be surprised if anyone could kiss you without getting bitten by your massive chompers’ – he was actually really mean. But he was pretty hot for a 13 year old”. A sentence that is probably going to get me on a watch list somewhere.
Anyways, I rekon Libra put the “fun facts” in their wrappers to distract you from thought processes like that.

Like all people in modern day marketing, often they get it wrong – and this “fun fact” (okay so they don’t call them fun facts, they call them “odd spots” which is a cute little period pun (probably a phrase that should never be used)) is actually not really that fun when you actually start to think about it.
You see on the surface learning about the existence of a Hello Kitty themed maternity hospital in Taiwan seems fun. Quirky – how “Kawaii” (yes, I am aware that is a Japanese term and this is about a hospital in Taiwan, themed around a Japanese cat, I think I am being culturally appropriate enough but if not, deal with it), but dig a little deeper, think a little harder when the hormones are hitting hard and it won’t be long before you’re having an existential crisis as you process this information. Think about it babe, you’re living in a world where women choose to give birth in a hospital where a giant statue of Hello Kitty dressed in a doctors uniform greets them as the first stages of labour kick in – but luckily miss Hello Kitty (is that her name?) is there to (in the words of the hospital) “ease the stress of childbirth”.

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Image of what looks like a birthing suite designed for a child (sorry not sorry) sourced here: https://goo.gl/images/xab2UF

Women enter a pink elevator filled with yet more Hello Kitty imagery and their new born babies are dressed in Hello Kitty themed rompers while being tended to by nurses dressed in pink uniforms with cat themed aprons. You get the picture. You don’t want to though because the more you picture this the more you begin to wonder if you still want to live in this world.

The hospital claims to be the only medical institution of its kind which has been authorised by the company to which I say “good” – though I would be interested to see the kind of people who would be attracted to a Hello Kitty themed cosmetic surgery hospital. I’ve heard of women getting work to look like Barbie…but this is something new.

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It’s not okay. Image via: https://goo.gl/images/NywIFO

When researching this I found the following extract from an article; “The director says he hopes the white, mouthless cat that is one of the world’s most recognisable characters will ease the pain and fear associated with childbirth and being admitted into hospital” which was basically too good not to share.
Personally I consider Ronald McDonald or perhaps Big Bird to be more recognisable – and I wouldn’t want either of them making an appearance if in a situation where I’ll likely shit myself.

Anyway, long story short, this is why seeing the aforementioned fact while at the most emotional part of my cycle made me doubt the world we live in – I just hope that I’m not alone on that…

 

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Snag a Snag: The Lazy Girls Eating Guide

Today I stopped by Bunnings just to get a sausage. I wandered in the door to make it look like I had a legitimate reason to be there and all I did was pat a dog (yes, people can and do take their dogs to Bunnings, note to single men out there, take your dogs to Bunnings, it is an excellent place to pick up).

Once I felt like I’d done enough to disguise my reason for visiting, I jumped in line, surrounded by people balancing bags of soil, new plants to shove in their garden and genuine power tools. There I was, empty arms, free hands ready to grab the snag as it was placed in front of me. I certainly didn’t feel even a pang of guilt (okay, maybe just a little…)

You see, the only thing that I’d achieved so far at that stage in the day was getting out of bed, showering (the thoroughness of which could be questioned) and meeting a friend for brunch. Yep, you read that correctly; I ate fancy hipster brunch (I paid $14 for a toasted sandwich that, granted, tasted like it had been carefully constructed by heavenly angels) and as that substantial yet probably overpriced jaffle was still digesting, I took a detour on my way home just so that I could shove a charity snag down my gullet too. $2.50 is what I directed towards the Mile End Rotary Club (I’m not sure of their profit margin, maybe they only made 50c out of that interaction, maybe they pocketed $2).

I think guilt and shame were probably the two biggest things I felt at that moment, closely followed by confusion as to why I felt so strongly about having consumed a sausage in any way at all. Surely I had more important things to be concerned about? Nah not really, it was a Saturday afternoon and I’m a middle class white woman. Sure there are still plenty of challenges facing us but I have a strict “feminism in business hours only” policy (I’ll explain it some time, but it’s the weekend now so I can’t) so I was feeling fairly care free.

One thing I do know about myself is that regardless of how full I am, there are certain things that I will always make room for in my stomach; brie, double brie, triple brie, vintage cheddar with pickled onions, chocolate covered pretzels and Bunnings sausages. So help me God if all of those things are readily available in the one location at the one time.

Should I feel ashamed about the power that my tastebuds hold over me? From an ethical stand point, probably. From a social stand point though? Nah, get stuffed. Life was made for living and Bunnings sausages were made for binging on. There’s just something about them that makes them way better than the snags that you’ll consume at a family BBQ but I just can’t put my finger on it…oh yeah it’s the relative anonymity (if you choose a Bunnings far away enough) and the lack of judgment from Aunty Joan; “If you eat another bite you’ll never look good in a white dress dear.” Oh shut it sugar, at least I’ve still got time to fix myself, you made that mistake 20 years ago sweets – and it wasn’t your ass that was the problem, it was your face. Yeah.

Despite the fleeting confused feelings earlier in the day, at home later I realised; when you can make a microwave meal without double checking the box instructions then you know you’re in a special place in life. You’ve been eating meals of sadness just long enough to be aware exactly how they should be prepared but not long enough to just hit up eat now or Uber Eats every day (that’ll come in about three months time).
I’m not stuck in that place forever but that’s where I found myself today. And shit, they’re getting so good at making meals in a box that I rekon I’ll just stay home and dodge queues at the hardware store – especially if someone starts a delivery service where an average looking guy brings over a dog and lets you pat it and suddenly you think he’s an absolute hunk.

Yeah.

Hey Australia, I’m Not Okay.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve had to write a post like this. I hope and pray that it is the last but I’m not that naive.
I’m the one who’s always making a joke, always up for a bit of fun and general silliness but I can’t make jokes about this because it’s tearing my heart in two. Every ounce of my being aches as I write these words, as I think about the state of the world that we’re living in today.
As I write this, we’re in the midst of a controversy in which media personality Sonia Kruger, after stating that she had “a lot of good friends who are Muslim” went on to state that, in regards to the immigration of Muslim people in Australia that “I would like to see it stop”.

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Image via: https://newmatilda.com/2016/07/18/today-show-host-invokes-dead-child-to-call-for-muslim-immigration-ban/

I know that I’m not the only one who is commenting on this and of course Sonia isn’t the first person in a position of power to voice this view.
In the fall out to all of this, I’ve seen countless people on my Facebook feed share updates supporting the comments made by Kruger and to those people I say, delete me if you must, and ignore my views if you will. Should you choose to agree with the opinion of someone so clearly ignorant then I don’t want or need you in my life.
It’s tough enough making it through the day without being reminded that there are selfish, cold hearted individuals living along side me. This is one of the very few things that I wish I could be ignorant to.
The crazy thing is though, I was originally motivated to write this a few days ago, by a completely different situation, but thought that I’d sit on it and let myself calm down before I got behind the key board. Guess what? I stayed away and somehow I ended up even angrier. It all started on Saturday. I’ve been having a bit of a tough time, feeling a bit blue and everything was starting to feel a little overwhelming – basically the realities of modern society. I decided to take some ‘me time’, to get a massage to try and unwind. It was a solid ¾ of the way through the treatment and I was finally starting to feel somewhat relaxed when I heard a woman chatting in the room next door. In the typical manner that middle aged white women seem to address anyone from a background not the same as theirs, she was patronising the massage therapist – but in the sweetest way possible (the kind of way that you just pass her attitude off as result of her generation) however things turned nasty -she said something that enraged me beyond belief. She began talking about the Bastille Day terror attack in Nice. She explained that “in the Quran it says that good Muslims must kill all non believers, which is why we really shouldn’t be so welcoming of their kind”.
WHAT? Now I am of course supportive of free speech (but certainly not in the way that “we cry FREEDOM OF SPEECH” kinda people are) however I just wanted to scream SHUT UP SHUT UP. IT’S IGNORANT, UNEDUCATED PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT MAKE THIS WORLD DIFFICULT TO LIVE IN SO JUST SHUT IT ON UP.

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Here’s a heap of my friends in Turkey, I’m one of the blonde ones – yes there were questionable hair styles…

 

I am SICK to death of the ignorance and prejudice that is running rife in this country. A year ago, I was verbally and physically attacked for wearing a scarf on my head to cover my hair from the rain, so I can’t imagine how my friends, from all manner of backgrounds face the day in a nation where things like this are just brushed off as ‘freedom of speech’.  When someone can preface a hateful comment by saying ‘It’s okay, I’ve got *insert target minority de jour* friends” and think that it’s okay to behave in such abhorrent ways, then something is inherently wrong in the world that we’re living in.
I’ve been closely following social media accounts of my friends (yes, friends, people who I know personally and share incredibly special memories with) living in Turkey. Living in true uncertainty. These are my friends and I would never, ever dream of grouping them with extremists based on their religion. Because they are my friends, I know that in many ways they are just like me. They want the best life they can have for themselves, they have hopes and dreams. Since I first met them, they have become artists, musicians, nurses and police officers. We went out dancing together at night, discussed upbringings and beliefs and shared many meals. That is what you do with a friend Sonia, you don’t assume things about them and you certainly do not use them as a scapegoat for your ignorant opinions. You learn from them and you become a better person for opening your mind to a world beyond that in which you reside.

 

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Out, drinking, dancing, having fun in a secular nation that happens to have a 98% Muslim population. Though it was a different, safer time than it is now, I never felt endangered just because of the religion of the people I was with. Anyone who thinks you should needs a serious wake-up call.

A friend of me has a child who is being raised by herself and her former partner. Her former partner follows the religion of Islam and therefore their child is being brought up with both Islamic beliefs and those held by my friend – which are probably as “dinky-die Aussie” as you can imagine. To some, it probably sounds like an interesting mix but it works and I can’t sing the praises of this kid enough – she’s an absolute champion. But I can’t imagine having to explain to her that she lives in a country where she might have to learn to defend her very identity. That would hurt.

Sonia Kruger said that “I want to feel safe and see freedom of speech”, Sonia, I want my friends to feel safe, I want my mates beautiful little kid to not have to learn defensive mechanisms to get through life and I want those escaping horrors that you will never ever be able to truly comprehend to come here, to a safe place.

It’s never going to be an easy ride but if we throw hate out the window it sure as hell is going to be a lot less bumpy. Why not start by chatting to someone whose life is inherently different from your own – and talk to them like the equal that they are, shit, you might actually learn something.

Your opinion sucks – sorry, I mean “I feel that your opinion sucks”

The Internet has given us a voice where for many of us we previously didn’t have one. Amazing things have happened – stories have been shared from war torn nations, people from cultures with years of bad blood have been able to amicably connect and a guy traded a red paper clip for a house!
As we all know though there are plenty of things that the Internet has provided us with that haven’t been so good – in my opinion the 24/7 constant stream of information about everything Kardashian is a little bit overkill however plenty of people totally dig that. It’s what they live for – and who am I to throw shade their way? Be it good or bad, and I’m totally open to this being argued either way, it truly has given us all the chance to have a voice and for that voice to be heard but sometimes, just sometimes I think that maybe we need to reassess the way in which we frame our voices.

It's a thing.
It’s a thing.

I’m gonna go a little bit ranty here but I think it needs to be said – and heard- people of the Internet and you know what, people at the pub, the water cooler and work kitchen, please remember that your opinions are subjective. They are yours and for the most part they are complex and diverse and incredibly unique to you. They are not gospel – even if you write them on a forum or in the comments section of a Facebook post or article.
You may think that the Bachelorette is the single worst show in the history of the world and of that opinion you are entitled however you probably should say something along the lines of; “I THINK that the Bachelorette is so terrible, if you watch it, I feel like you could likely contract eye cancer” (and yes, I used to date a guy who said these things, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!)– as opposed to; “That is the worst television show in the known universe, people who watch it deserve to die” – you see, the first shows that what you are saying is your opinion, while the second makes it seem like you are trying to talk on behalf of all mankind, which I can assure you is not something you want to do, if you are bagging out the Bachelorette. You will have angry mobs after you if you make outlandish claims involving Osher and beautiful, lovely, wonderful Sam Frost. You do not want that however, feel free to express YOUR opinion- just phrase it as such.

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Why would you mess with this guy? or his hair?

This is a gripe that really hits home when it comes to comedy – one of the single most subjective communication mediums going around. Reading posts about comedians, by comedians or promoting comedians you will no doubt see comments along the lines of; “*insert well known comedian here* is terrible, they should just give up now, their jokes are low grade and dick jokes aren’t even that funny” – contrasted with a comment saying; “oh my gosh, funniest shit I have ever seen” – see, different courses for different horses. The first comment, however, tries to speak for everyone. Just because you say someone is terrible, does not mean they are. You can say that you THINK they are terrible, but who are you to signally decide in entirety that they are?
Finally, and this isn’t what most post is about, it is about the use of subjective terms – duh, but (and this is one that really, really hits home), have you ever said something along the lines of; “women aren’t funny”? That’s okay, you’re allowed to think that. You would be wrong for a thousand and one reasons, but you are entitled to your opinions however next time try saying; “I personally do not find women to be all that funny and that is my personal opinion because I am a backwards asshole who has no concept of what is good, in fact from time to time I like to eat dirt because it pleases my cultureless palate”. To which I would respond; “good day to you sir, now I bid you adieu so that you may comfortably climb back into the hole which you somehow escaped from”
Good night.