cw: death, capital punishment, drugs, drug trafficking
Merri Utami is one of ten death row inmates whose execution had been canceled temporarily by Attorney General Office. It has been two years but Merri’s fate is not clear yet. She is waiting still in Cilacap prison to be return to her home.
It’s 3am in the middle of the week and I am inevitably completely awake and watching an easy to digest blockbuster in complete darkness. It’s an action movie that came out in 2010 and I’m watching it because it was on Netflix and my insomnia told me it was what I needed at that exact moment. While at three in the morning I’m not exactly at my mental peak, I’m still conscious enough to pick up on details that bother me with one of those details being that, in an ensemble cast of six, there’s one woman. It’s a dodgy as fuck ratio. But it’s 3am and I’m not going to spend another half an hour being a slave to the indecision that Netflix always seems to bring out in me. So I watch.
TW: sexual assault
The first thing I must make crystal clear is that emotions are constantly categorised and socialised into two opposing groups: good or bad. But this isn’t the reality, they must be seen as either comfortable or uncomfortable.
Truth is, all emotions have their gifts, and anger gets a pretty bad rap.
Podcasts are one of my favourite things. They are like lazy learning, the ultimate way to switch off and still feel productive, especially if I am learning things whilst being dazzled by brilliant women. I am constantly on the hunt for female power teams on the podcast app, and these six shows are the fruits of my labour, please enjoy:
Meet the hipster sexist…
The hipster sexist is your intelligent friend in his skinny jeans, sipping on his chai latte, shutting down your opinions on the latest band because “he knows more about it”.
The hipster sexist is your dad jokingly telling your mum to “get back to the kitchen” with a wink and a grin in front of his friends.
The hipster sexist is your boyfriend who's "really not like most guys" but ironically/not-ironically treats you like a porn star in bed.
“I don’t know why I have these conversations with you”, my mum sighs, as she slowly retreats to her bedroom. “I always end up in the shame corner.”
We’ve been arguing for half an hour about everything from Islamophobia, to trans issues, to Nicki Minaj (who I always seem to go back to).
But when the argument reaches a boiling point she walks away, defeated, and I’m suddenly hit with a wave of sadness and guilt. The anger in my words wells up as tears in my eyes. I realise that we weren’t arguing, I was lecturing again. Again I’ve failed to use my words effectively, and again she has walked away feeling disillusioned and uncomfortable.
“I’m sorry”, I say softly as she leaves the room. “I just wanted to talk to you about these things”.
In 2015 the YWCA Victoria got in contact with me via twitter and asked if I’d be part of their upcoming TinaTalks alongside Clementine Ford and Caitlin Stasey. This was around the time of the launch of Caitlin Stasey’s fabulous feminist website, herself.com, which had left me awestruck at her awareness, courage and brilliance. It was also around the time (which also happens to be all the time) that Clementine Ford was speaking up about hard to touch topics and fighting the good fight in support of women everywhere. Needless to say I was honoured to be included beside them.
Needless to say I was shitting my pants.
I felt nakedly under qualified to be included alongside them, and to be given the microphone in what I knew would be a room full of hundreds of the coolest, most well-versed feminists in Melbourne. I felt unworthy and I felt like I was going to screw up big time and everyone was going to witness it.