"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm writing up a lesson for my student just like the ones my teachers wrote up for me; and I remember the great debt I owe them for teaching me all that I know, and for giving me the courage to pass that knowledge on.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Comfort Women

You are the daughters of comfort women

Perhaps not.
Perhaps not all.
Perhaps some of us
Are the daughters of happy wives

Perhaps some of the grenade martyrs died
With bile in their mouths
And ‘Mother’ on their lips

That is your story, little white boy
Clutching poppies and rosemary at dawn

This is mine.

Perhaps some of my conquerors
Died scraped-knee, grass-stained boys
Without the scent of a woman on their skin

Some of them went home
To make comfort women of their unhappy wives
Making love to a memory
Of guns, germs, steel
And the stench of death

Making love with our blood on their hands

Our lost childhoods
And our dead babies in the river
Are lost to the history books

But blood is thicker than water
And sticks to the conscience like mud

Lest we forget.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Old Friend

What a grand thing it is, old friend
That I can finally be myself around you
You have turned out exactly as I expected

You realized too late
How ardently I cared for you
In our rose thorn, sun baked,
Thistle and beer bottle childhood

But I am all woman now
And what a man you have become

It has not yet been a decade
But it feels like an eternity
Since our childhood escapades

First love, golden boy

And though your apologies come
Years too late, I do not mind
But don’t step any closer, old friend

You and I both know, I think
It is now my turn
To be too good for you.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Anglo, bitch.

I am what they call a ‘second generation immigrant’.

Actually, I am what I call a ‘second generation immigrant’, because, you know, I’m doing an English degree and happen to know my shit. You wouldn’t believe how many fights I’ve gotten into with white people saying that I am a first generation immigrant, because apparently my parents don’t exist.


People also often fail to wrap their heads around the fact that I am bi-cultural; biracial they can understand, probably because of the colour difference, but in general too many hyphens and country names in a person’s ethnicity tends to confuse people. My mother is Singaporean. My dad is Korean. My mother didn’t even know where Korea was on the map before she met dad. They don’t have the same mother tongue or anything in common.

So I am, like a lot of Asian Australians, caught between three worlds. I am not Korean. I am not Singaporean. And my passport claims I am Australian but my fellow Australians beg to differ.

I am also very Anglicized; and a lot of Asian Australians, especially bicultural or biracial Asian Australians and second-generation Asian Australians, are quite Anglicized. I am monolingual. I don’t fit any stereotypes. The cultures of the lands that gave me the colour of my skin are as foreign and uncomfortable to me as WASP culture. It’s double alienation and it is a deeply uncomfortable identity. People read my existence as an act of rebellion, an awkward slice of post-colonialism that doesn’t really fit anywhere into their Great Man narrative.

Constantly being cast as ‘the Asian’ is endlessly frustrating, because I am not. If you know me, as a person, you’ll know that I very rarely do anything out of character. But if you see me as an Asian, everything I do is random and weird and cause for discussion and criticism. I can’t science to save my life. I’m not particularly skinny or waifish. I don’t really like K-Pop. I can’t speak another language. I’m an arts student. This is not ‘Asian’; but I’m not Asian. I’m me.

Australians are a deeply patriotic people; patriotic to the point of bigoted, sometimes. So are Koreans. Singaporeans treat their nationality more as an elite club than as a nation, but whatever goes. And I have been routinely rejected by these people over, and over, and over again; since before I was born, when my parents casually caused a ruckus by casually eloping and producing Mudblood children. You may take patriotism with a pinch of salt, but I cannot begin to tell you what it feels like to know that you don’t have your own people; you don’t have your own team, and there’s nobody rooting for you.

And I don’t need the criticism. I can’t cook anything more Korean than instant noodles. Shoot me. I’m monolingual – but so are you; my parents, like your parents, only have English as a common tongue. I was rejected by the Asian community for being a wild, loud child and now for being a wild, loud slut; but they still rage when I don’t date their sons. I don’t need to be criticized for my lack of Asianness. The Asians don’t want me.

Let me own my Anglicization. It’s not an act; it’s not an aspiration to be white. It’s what I am. And as the child of three cultures, and the pariah of all of them, this is all I have.


There is a man who loves me
Because I speak for his woman

But I am afraid to say
That when I was her champion
I was also her murderer's friend

There are words I cannot say
Things we cannot acknowledge
Apologies that are a silent shout into the void

But I will say them, once,
Just here.

I am more sorry than I can say.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Now Playing: Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? by The Offspring (your eyes told a tale of an act of betrayal I knew that somebody did)

I love clubbing. I don't go out much, but when I do, I love it. I love the night. I love the thrill. I love wining and dining with my friends and dancing the night away.

And yes, I hook up. As is my right; I'm single, I don't have a child to care for or a partner to consider or a family to bring home the bacon to. There are some things, as my mother says, that you can only do when you're nineteen.

But these experiences - these beautiful, breathtaking, dizzying, heartbreaking experiences of growing up, of falling in love with strangers, of dancing the night away, of nights with clothes strewn across the floor, are marred by fear. Fear that I can't go out, be young, and be myself without being hurt.

The recent conviction of Luke Lazarus hit a raw nerve, for me; because I remember, so vividly, my eighteenth birthday. It was a few days after I turned eighteen and I was nervous and excited about going out for the first time. I was with a small group of friends I trusted but, for the briefest second, I was separated from the group and had to brush off a few creepy strangers.

I could have been that girl that Luke Lazarus raped in an alleyway. So many of us could have.

I am angry at Luke Lazarus; not only because he thought himself entitled to someone's body and to ruin someone's life, but I am angry that it is men like him that force women like us, in this day and age, to be afraid. To feel guilty when we are not doing anything wrong. And we are not doing anything wrong.

I adore the few male friends that I have. I love their fearlessness and confidence. But I worry about them endlessly, too, because most of them are young and stupid and far too fond of their liquor. But I have come to admire their lives of affairs and excitement and curious, wandering hands and I am so angry that I cannot have this life for myself.

Girls, believe it or not, need outlets just as much as men. Girls, believe it or not, want to, and are allowed to, go out, get drunk, and have fun. We do not deserve to be raped for living the lives our men are encouraged, and sometimes obligated, to lead.

But I am most angry at the people who have flocked to defend Luke Lazarus, calling his conviction 'completely unreasonable' and saying that he is a 'good, upstanding young man with a bright future'. Fuck you. You are the people who are responsible for the rape culture that has made me walk the streets with keys weaved through my fingers.

Women are not ignorant to the dangers of living in women's bodies; we are so hyperaware that we come off as crazy, overreacting, irrational, even stuck-up - more than once I've been told 'you'd be lucky if I raped you'. But we are, however, much more well informed than geriatrics bemoaning that women can't keep their legs shut and so get what's coming for them. I know that I can be assaulted in my home, by a partner, by a relative, in broad daylight, by a friend, in public or private spaces. Nowhere is safe, and nothing I do will change the fact that I am treated like a walking target. Don't tell me not to go out. It's not a crime to go out. It's a crime to rape, and nothing will change that.

We also have to stop seeing women as the weakest link; the people most likely to fix this problem, the people we can talk to, unlike those psychopathic monsters who lurk in the dead of the night like a vampire or a werewolf in a children's fairytale. Luke Lazarus is someone's son. He is someone's brother. He is your colleague, your friend, your rugby team member. He is someone you could have talked to. He is someone you failed to talk to. We are failing women, but we are also failing men by treating them like the rapists that some of them become. We tell women to be responsible for crimes committed against them but we don't tell men to be responsible for the crimes that rape culture and a lifetime of entitlement will lead some of them to commit. That is the failure here; not that a woman's skirt was too short, or that conviction will dash a young man's dreams. The failure is that we don't talk about rape, and when we do, all fingers point to the sluts who should stay behind locked doors, as if that will keep them safe.

I don't need some old tottering mayor to tell me that my behaviour is risky and that I am putting myself in danger.I don't need a bunch of idiots to tell me that men who prey on girls just like me are decent human beings. I don't need to be told to feel sorry for convicted rapists. I don't need people to moan about how rape convictions ruin young men's dreams of being sportstars and CEOs. I don't need anyone to tell me that I am the problem; that by having a female body that I have done anything wrong.

Luke Lazarus raped a teenage girl in an alley behind his father's nightclub. Luke Lazarus. Remember that name. Keep looking at his face. He deserves his humiliation; his victim does not deserve hers. She does not deserve to be told that she is the problem. We women deserve better than this.

And all of us deserve to live our lives without this threat of violation hanging over us like the sword of Damocles.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I have lived in this town so long
That I forgot that there are stars in the sky

My life is city smog and suburban drawl
Of vipers that creep through the sun-baked thistles

I got lost on never ending roads to nowhere
Gum-tacked pavement, cheap nasty coffee
And cold night air

I forgot that there are stars in the sky
Up above the world so high

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Green Eyed Monster

Once, when I was awake beside you
When you stretched, yawned
Rolled over, and locked yourself around me
And muttered, eyelid flutter, like a child

I thought of him
My Green Eyed Monster
Who hated you
And hated me

But I loved him
So in the darkness, in a whisper
That was no more than a shout into the void
I said 'Hush, Green Eyed Monster,
Go to sleep'

And so he slept next to a witch
And dreamed of hypocrisy.

And now, when I sleep alone
In my cold, quiet bed
I put my hand on my heart
And say 'Hush, Green Eyed Monster,
Go to sleep'

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Had we met in another place, another time
You would have called me my lady,
And served me on bended knee

I would have thought nothing of it.
I would have thought nothing of your torment
Just as you have thought nothing of me
Perhaps I pay for the sins of my proud grandmothers.

Your torment here,
In the here and now
Is to be loved by a daughter of kings
Brought to her knees

You are no king.
You are but a vicious, spoiled cub
And you seek red toga comfort with a cat's-paw

I was once silk, you know

And I am still the blood of kings
On my knees

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Dairy-Free, Lactose-Free Milk


1/2 cup of any of the following ingredients:
- Desiccated Coconut
- Rolled or Steel-cut oats
- Nuts (almond, walnut, cashew, macadamia)
- Cooked rice (any kind)

You should have 2-2.5 cups of the above ingredients total.

For the nuts, soak in cold water overnight, then drain. Peel almonds. If not using oats, add nuts to blender with 1 cup water

For the oats, soak in cold water for 1 hour, then bring to a low simmer with 1 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered, and allow to cool. Speed up cooling time by adding 1 cup water for every 1/2 cup of rice or nuts to the oats

For the coconut, soak in boiling water for 1 hour, then add water and coconut to blender.

Blend ingredients for 5 minutes, slowly increasing speed. Strain using a fine sieve or cheesecloth

Add pulp back to blender with 1 cup water, blend 5 minutes, and strain into milk. Pulp can be mixed into bread, oatmeal, or added to bath.

Rinse blender, then add milk. Dissolve 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon salt in 1 cup hot water, add to blender. Add two tablespoons of nut butter, tahini or tofu. Add cinnamon and/or vanilla essence if desired. Add more water if too thick. Blend milk for 5 minutes, strain again. Store in fridge for up to 5 days.

Monday, April 06, 2015


I gave you the staircase
Where I first fell in love

I gave you my Juliet balcony

I gave you my mausoleum
Of heartbeats and heartbreaks

Think of my childhood fingertips
Brushing the balustrades
Think of the sweat and eucalyptus
Hovering in the playground

Think of the fireflies after dark
Violin cases strapped to white backs

And think of your perfume
And your long, manicured nails
And your shrill, frustrated snarl

Drowning my memories out

I gave you the place where I stumbled
And wept
And dreamed of a future with




I suppose it really is the death of innocence

That you have everything

Even the staircase
And the century-old corridors
The gum-tacked lockers

The blinding sun on the pavement
And the eerie, silent whistle
Of the solitary tennis court

Have it all, then
Have it all.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

the fuckability of being an f-word.

Now Playing: Fuck Love by Iggy Azalea (it's my life, I'mma do who I want to, do what I want to, and I don't want you)

Three years after high school and I called it quits, I still remember the incredible pressure, conflict and contradiction surrounding sexuality.

I remember being endlessly frustrated that I couldn't express myself for what I was; that, because I looked and behaved a certain way, because I could do some things and couldn't do other things, I wasn't considered a sexual being.

Of course, most of the girls I grew up with were not, and still don't consider themselves to be, sexual beings. They were sex objects; things people found to be sexually appealing. Of course, this kind of degradation is not everyone's cup of tea, so I was lucky to escape that.

But I still felt stunted. The idea that I would have a sexuality was laughable; the idea that just because specific people didn't find me appealing somehow meant that I never found anyone appealing was stuck fast in everyone's minds.

I joke a lot that I was the 'unfuckable feminist' in high school. Nobody actually called me that - to my face, but trust me, I've heard *all* the talk - but that's how I was treated. I wasn't acting like a girl, so I didn't get the boys. Simple.

To this day, when the feminist debates get really fired up, the first thing that is picked on is my sexuality. My lack of sexual appeal, my excessive sexuality, the way that this doesn't curve in an appropriately Photoshop way, the fact that I have the audacity to eat pasta and this has cost me my career as a catwalk model.

I get endlessly frustrated when feminists say that sex is always, always, always, degrading, humiliating, and just more risk than it's worth for us females. That we should be 'better' than that, that we don't 'need' that, that life is so much moooooore.

My goal as a feminist, though, is to humanize the female experience. And humans, in general, get their freak on. And, for me, it is empowering to be open about my sexuality, which is such a huge part of what I am, and is something that I was taught to be so ashamed of for so long. And in a world where feminists are subjected to all sorts of 'you'd be lucky if you got raped' vitriol, being in control of one's sexuality and having happy, healthy sexual relationships is something that I am really, openly proud of.

A lot of people have told me that all my 'arbitrary rules' about my body and sexuality is going to get me nowhere - in the world, with men, and in a man's world. So it's endlessly infuriating to my detractors that I have, somehow, even though feminists are all fat ugly lesbians and men are apparently terrified of non-supermodel bodies and body hair, managed to have a personal life on my own terms, where everyone is safe and happy. It's a paradigm shift; I refuse to believe that men need to chase and I need to be caught or that there's something wrong with switching that up or eschewing that altogether.

There is a certain confidence in pursuing, and then demanding, the kinds of sexual relationships that I am happy with as a feminist. There's a certain confidence in walking away, in demanding better, in expecting more of people. But from that, a different sort of confidence is gained; and when men attack and ridicule my sexuality, there is a confidence in knowing that you are the fully fledged sexual being they claim you are not, and in knowing that there are people out there, who, in spite of hostility and gender feuds and rape culture, can give that to you. And that confidence is what keeps me going.

We have to stop thinking about sex as something good or bad or damaging or empowering. We have to stop stressing about what our necklines say about our emancipation, or the feminist logistics of virginity and promiscuity (you can be both. That is a thing. Especially as they are both constructs, you can indulge in more than one patriarchal delusion at a time.) I'm a feminist. I love the company of men. This is what I am and my job as a feminist is to make sure all women have the opportunity to be their true selves; and I'm starting with myself.

When I was younger, I believed that somewhere in between my feminism and leg hair and Asian-ness and love handles that I would never be able to be what I wanted to be; in all things, but especially as a fully realized sexual being. I was so ashamed of what I felt and had no idea how to express it. But shame is a lie that somebody told me, and I refuse to believe it. Feminism, for me, is going out there and getting what I want.

Which for me would be, of course, consent and pasta. Mmmmmm.