Saturday, 14 August 2010

Vaginal Corona

When I was 18 I went out with a guy named Ben. It was our first year out of high school, we were overseas together and we were in love. One warm night we were so in love we decided to bequeath our virginities to one another.

Afterwards Ben said he was surprised that I hadn't bled. I mumbled something about horse riding, tampons and masturbation, then I fell asleep.

Fast forward 18 years to a few days ago when I web surfed my way to a pdf booklet put out by RFSU (the Swedish organisation for sexual enlightenment), which starts like this:
Known by the established term "hymen," the vaginal corona is the subject of many myths and misunderstandings. The most important of these is the notion that a woman’s vaginal opening is covered by a membrane that ruptures on penetration. This is incorrect. There is no such membrane. RFSU wishes to dispel the myths and promote knowledge of the true facts. In this booklet, we aim to give you a more accurate idea of what you will find just inside the vaginal opening of every woman.

Holy popped cherries, batgirl! My entire life I thought I had a hymen, and that somewhere along the line between being born and meeting Ben, this precious proof of purity was disturbed.

Between clitoris and labia in my Cambridge Illustrated Thesaurus of Biology is the listing for hymen:
Thin membrane partially closing the vagina in a virgin woman. It is ruptured when coitus first occurs.
Ha! One more myth of the patriarchy debunked. I wonder if there's a word for the membrane that seals a closed mind.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


Thank you Rachael for my care parcel!

I don't know which I was more excited by, the packaging or the contents.

The contents: Sugru.

Sugru feels like modelling clay, or Blu-Tack. It fixes in 30 minutes into whatever shape you mold it, and is ready to be used after 24 hours. It fixes soft because it's made from silicone. It sticks to metal, plastic, glass and ceramic. It's waterproof, dishwasher-safe, heat resistant, cold resistant, electrically and thermally insulating.

I don't write this to advertise, merely to explain.

Or if you're more image inclined:

After I fixed the ring and knife handle I was walking around the house like a woman possessed, trying to find broken things, considering what I could chip or bust or smash, just so I could mend it. I gave myself a high 5 I was so excited, when I remembered the missing bit at the bottom of the food processor.
I must admit I had hesitations at first, thinking of all the energy that goes into creating Sugru, but then I thought that anything that promotes the Repair Manifesto, over buying new gear, is definitely a good thing by me.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


The train leaves the platform. After sitting silently for a while, a woman looks up from her newspaper and says to her friend, "It says here that 90% of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century because of industrial fishing."

Her friend looks up in dismay.

The woman continues. "Only 10% of the whole world's tuna, swordfish, marlin, cod, halibut, skates and flounder are left. In the whole world! That's it—I'm never eating tuna again."

"Are you serious?" Her friend says. "I'm going to eat as much as I can before it's all gone."

Sunday, 1 August 2010


Just over a year ago I was deeply moved as I took part in Deborah Kelly's tribute to one man's stance against the tyranny of his government.

So when PJ and I received an email about Ms Kelly's latest project, Muffled Protest, we jumped at the chance to be involved.

Here are some photos from yesterday's action in Melbourne, that aimed to highlight the overwhelming injustice of incarcerating asylum seekers and their children in detention camps—how blind we have become to the suffering of others.