aliljoy started life as the personal blog space of a good friend of mine, Yaz, where she discussed her thoughts on love, life and society. In 2013, she inspired her friends to start writing for the site and relaunched aliljoy as a collective. Number one on the list is spreading joy whilst tackling real issues, and finding the treasure in the trial. Yaz recruited me in December 2013 and I have been writing for aliljoy ever since.
Here’s a little look at the pieces of joy I’ve shared recently:
Four Reasons I’m Shaving My Head for Charity (31.5.2016)
1. Short hair on women looks badass.
2. Binary gender stereotypes are best challenged on the body.
3. My sister lost a significant portion of her hair to cancer treatment.
4. The charity receiving my donations makes wigs for children dealing with hair loss from cancer treatment.
Gender stereotypes are played out on the body. I’ve long imagined the female body as the ideal space for these to be challenged. Long hair is one of the primary things that makes me recognisably female, and one of the few that is distinctly impermanent. Cutting off all my hair – pushing my appearance to the extreme – is an ultimate act of rebellion against binary gender norms that surround me.
I’d thought I was pretty clued in about women’s health, but I had never even heard of this, often hereditary, condition that women worldwide were suffering from.
What I didn’t know was that my friend had endometriosis.
Doctors often recommend that women with endometriosis take the contraceptive pill. My friend had allergic reactions to several varieties of the pill that she was instructed by doctors to try. The only other “cure” that medical professionals continued to offer was to have a baby. The first time she heard this, my friend was seventeen. Way to encourage an intelligent young woman to take charge of her health, NHS!
Just because they don’t get to vote for their government, or don’t have the economic stability you do, or don’t have access to the same resources we take for granted, doesn’t mean those women don’t fight for their rights just like you. In fact, you might be surprised at how far they’ll go to get what they want.
My New Ex: Anger (29.2.2016)
Exploding with fury as tears roll down your cheeks and steam pours from your ears is easier than actually dealing with the feelings themselves because people expect you, maybe even want you, to be upset by having to face up to the fact that your partner had other partners before you.
Check out all my articles on aliljoy.com: Articles by Cas Sutherland