If we thought the topic of wellbeing was huge this is topic is GIGANTIC! We also know based on past submissions – this is what matters the most to our contributors.
Young people around the world are standing up “for the Greta Good” amid droughts, bushfires and once-in-a-lifetime environmental disasters that are happening every other week. We’re advocating for change within the political space, standing with and for female rights and providing a different lens on what it means to be a migrant in this country.
WhyNot has published thoughts on Roe vs. Wade, our political system and what voting really means to you. We got angry together and we educated each other when publishing unique points of view. But it doesn’t stop there, and there are many new ideas, or causes, thoughts and events that are creating new conversations in this space.
Ghandi said “be the change you wish to see,” so we’re inviting you to share your story or opinion and advocate for that change!
e.g LGBTIQA+ / Social Justice / Change / Sustainability / Current Affairs / Youth Empowerment
This following unfiltered thoughts may contain themes that might be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.
Being old must be really strange. I don’t mean getting older, I mean being really, really old. Like, 85. At one point you’re a younger person and the progression of the world hangs on your every decision, then, in the blink of an eye, you’re in everyone’s way on the bus. You’re slow, you’re tired. You don’t know how things work. There aren’t targeted ads for you. There’s only the inevitability that you’re getting slower, and tired-er. Maybe your mind starts to go. And between the brief glimpses of nostalgia and the realisation of your mortality, is that feeling that your choices created the world that would eventually forget you. You spend so long not worrying about time, you forget time doesn’t give a damn about you.
Nik (he/him), 25 Vic
Growing up being a child with ADHD, your world is seen through neurodivergent glasses, while everyone else has their ‘normal’ ones.
It’s weird, whacky and wonderful when you understand how your mind works but in primary school everyone views it differently because you’re not seen as ‘normal’, but you don’t know what their version of ‘normal’ is.
Many years trying to discover what makes you special.
Many years comparing yourself to others and their abilities vs yours.
Many years seeing the world differently with glimpses of hope thinking you’ll become like them –
but many years later you realise that you were made to be different, you’re made to be you.
Penny (she/they), 18 Victoria
I was thinking about pros and cons lists, and the way they’re kind of pointless.
I think we’ve all turned to them at some point, anyone who hasn’t been plagued by indecision at some point in their life is lying, or at the very least, they certainly aren’t a libra.
But now that I reflect, we often think whichever decision has the most pros is the correct one. Yet, aren’t some pros worth more than some cons. Or vice versa.
You see, my parents told me that relationships are like a petrol gauge. Sometimes you might upset your partner and the gauge goes down a little bit, but then you might buy them flowers and the gauge goes back up. I always thought of the gauge as a measure of pros and cons.
Pro: They’re funny. Gauge goes up. Con: They forget your birthday. Gauge goes down.
On a pro con list these two would equal out, but I don’t think the gauge would balance out. I always thought a good relationship means there’s more pros than cons, but I think I’ve finally realised it’s more nuanced then that. Even if there’s 10 times more pros, the gauge might be a little empty. Don’t settle for an empty tank.
Luna (she/her), 18 NSW
Time stops and yet the world proceeds
Encased in four plaster walls
Suffocated by the sweet aroma of berry-scented disinfectant and the lingering taste of a black current soother
Shakily inhaling recycled air into lungs that already feel as though they’ve been filled
Wanting nothing more than to feel the golden warmth of the sun,
Desperately hoping that a 7 day absence isn’t long enough for someone to be forgotten.
With no one but myself for company, one might assume that isolation feels lonely
Which at some moments, it can be
But there is also something renewing about spending 7 days with no one but yourself,
You learn to know yourself intimately,
Which I suppose is why people drive themselves mad in solitary confinement.
The inner workings of your own mind can induce a catatonic state,
But it can also make you love yourself a little more.
Luna (she/her), 18 NSW
For me, school is tough for many reasons. The main one is homophobia.
I am a trans male. I’d never felt the need to hide it.
When I moved to my new school, I thought others in my grade would be supportive. However, that wasn’t the case. I could no longer walk down a corridor in peace, instead, I resorted to putting on my hoodie and taking the slurs that were thrown at me. This happened for a long time.
Recently, a new boy joined my class. Everyone liked him straight away. He sat next to me in class and eventually he told me he was trans. I was horrified because at the time I had internalized homophobia.
He assured me that being trans was normal and that there were other people who are trans in the world. It took a long time, but that friend helped me realise that yes, it is okay to be trans and that it wasn’t normal to feel the way I felt at the time. That friend saved me from my internalized homophobia.
Atlas (he/him), 16 NSW
Free period products in educational facilities
We need free period products in all schools and universities.
The amount of time my friends have spent off school and uni because they have not had the products on them or have been in pain is way more than it should be. If there were free products including hot water bottle libraries and pain relief medication we wouldn’t need to take as much time off. This could not only work on those with female reproductive systems feeling more comfortable in educational facilities but could also increase the quality of education being given to women. The side effect of this initiative would be the destigmatisation of period-related issues.
Ayva (she/her), 19 ACT
Sexism in regional private schools
At my regional high school, the only teachers to get sexist boys in trouble for misogyny or harassment, are the women. So many of the male teachers just stand there and let it happen, inadvertently encouraging it. The constant objectification of girls at my school, concerning uniforms, drives me up the wall too. At our swimming carnivals, so many girls got in trouble for wearing two pieces (even if they were appropriate) but all the shirtless boys or boys in speedos are completely fine. Not only that, my desire to be a politician is often mocked and or met with a snicker from certain students around me. Some teachers have even questioned my abilities, despite my significant interest in politics, and reputation for engaging in political discussions. The ignorance of teachers when they say no, when students ask to go to the bathroom, is unfair too, especially for female students. My school used to lock the bathrooms during classes because of people vaping and vandalising and didn’t stop until some of us female students protested. They are so ignorant of the risks of TSS, heavy periods, endometriosis and other menstrual issues that female students face daily. I’m done with the sexism permeating through high schools.
Madeline (she/her), 17 NSW
We know that women face challenges. We know that the female existence is complex, a struggle, multifaceted, and difficult to understand. When we focus on the struggles and barriers that exist for women, however, we must also consider the experiences that women of colour face.
Have you heard of intersectionality?
It is an analytical framework used to describe how different aspects of an individual’s identity (race, gender, sexuality, etc.) can overlap to accentuate the experiences of discrimination. I am a second-generation immigrant. I am a woman of colour. English is my second language. And my experiences are specific to my race, and not just my gender only.
Women support women
“Women Support Women,” I say to myself as I pack my schoolbag full of pads and tampons, even though I’m not on my period, just in case someone needs them.
“Women Support Women,” I think to myself as I try not to call that girl a bitch, just because I don’t like her. Because just because of all the things she’s done to me, just because I think she deserves it, doesn’t mean I should call her a bitch. Someone needs to set the standard.
“Women Support Women,” I whisper to myself as I drive a girl that I just met to the hospital from a party.
Despite these factors, I know that I have to support as many women as I can because if I don’t, who will?
Elise (she/her), 16 NSW
A holistic and collaborative approach to tackle gender inequality
Here are a few ideas I think will help create a holistic and collaborative approach to tackle gender inequality, from various angles, involving multiple stakeholders and addressing systemic barriers.
Education: Integrate comprehensive gender education into curricula from an early age. Encourage critical thinking and debunk gender stereotypes in educational materials.
Economic Opportunities: Implement affirmative action policies and equal pay initiatives to ensure equal access to job opportunities and equal pay for equal work.
Legal Measures: Strengthen legal frameworks against discrimination, harassment, and gender-based violence. Ensure proper enforcement and encourage the reporting of such incidents.
Media Representation: Advocate for fair and diverse representation of all genders in media, advertising, and entertainment to counteract harmful stereotypes.
Engaging Men and Boys: Actively involve men and boys in gender equality conversations and initiatives, promoting the idea that gender equality benefits everyone.
Support Systems: Develop accessible resources and support networks for individuals facing gender-based discrimination or violence, including helplines, shelters, and counseling services.
Intersectionality: Acknowledge and address the intersection of gender inequality with other forms of discrimination, such as race, socioeconomic status, and disability.
Corporate Responsibility: Encourage companies to adopt internal policies promoting gender equality, diversity, and inclusion, and hold them accountable for their progress.
Grassroots Mobilization: Support local, community-driven initiatives that empower individuals to actively participate in promoting gender equality and challenging discrimination.
Rodney (he/him), 27 NSW