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Tara Moss is not a fictional woman
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Tara Moss is not a fictional woman
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"It’s not inevitable that a woman is murdered by her partner or former partner every week in Australia."
Conversations
18 May 2016

Tara Moss is not a fictional woman

Interview by Berry Liberman
Tara Pearce

Berry Liberman on Tara Moss

Intimidating. Beautiful. Glamazon. Phenomenon. Mother. Advocate. Woman. Tara Moss has worn her fair share of labels over the years. We all have. That’s where our conversation begins. If done thoughtfully and from a place of insightful examination, naming things can prove to be very healing. When done unconsciously and from a place of ignorance, it causes violence, shame, even death.

I first saw Tara speak on Q&A, a high-rating public debate program on Australian TV. She was, and I’m sure is in many situations, a visual anomaly on the panel— strikingly tall, beautiful. The conversation on the panel was about asylum seeking children being held in detention. It took just a few seconds for her resonant voice to pierce any assumptions, and for her thoughtful, informed opinions on refugees, children in detention and violence against women to cut straight to the heart.

Tara Moss began her career as a model—travelling, seeing the world and becoming independent. What began as a journey of self-discovery for a wideeyed teenager resulted in many close calls and ultimately head-on collisions with violence. These experiences, of being assaulted and raped, were Tara’s secret. A successful modelling career was followed by a long period exploring the edges of pain in her best-selling crime novels, many of which fictionalised a feminist heroine who escapes violence and emerges from it the victor. For Tara, this was still a way of hiding, of not putting herself at the centre of the story.

When we meet for a chat in Dumbo Feather’s Airstream caravan as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival, the issue of male violence is discussed from almost every angle: the current context, the history, the burden we have as a global community to turn the tide on these oldest of problems. She is a fountain of statistics and knowledge, having just released her tenth book, a memoir, The Fictional Woman. In it she explores the harrowing story of her own experiences of abuse and then widens the lens to include a picture, thoroughly examined, of violence against women in the world.

Now an ambassador for UNICEF, Tara devotes her life to raising awareness around the plights of others. But this isn’t some weird celebrity moment—a beautiful person feeling bad for everyone else. She has thought hard about the issues, put herself in tough situations and challenged those in positions of power. She is not really afraid of anything anymore.

Then there is her red lipstick, her love of everything vintage, a flower in her hair. I’m curious: how do we celebrate beauty and femininity while addressing these issues? It can be uncomfortable to see beauty where you hear despair. What place does beauty have in an ugly world? Tara insists that colour, theatre and a little glamour are the salve needed to make people smile. To bring joy. When we begin I wonder if we can ever escape the fictional woman. Tara argues that our current social problems are not natural or inevitable. There’s a historical context for where we find ourselves, and with a little consciousness we can change things.

This story originally ran in issue #41 of Dumbo Feather

BERRY LIBERMAN: I’m so glad you’re here.

TARA MOSS: I’m so surprised to find you here—in this incredible caravan! It’s gorgeous. You know about my vintage thing?

I do! How come you love vintage?

For a lot of reasons. I like the historical connection, and I like that there are so many beautiful things already made that are a bit forgotten. And I love the rejection of mainstream consumer habits, of being able to have beautiful or interesting things in a very frugal, non-wasteful way. I see it as adopting old things, whether it’s shoes or clothes or a caravan. I’ve got an Australian made vintage Viscount caravan that’s about 40 years old that we have done up to look 50, so it’s not quite as old as it looks. But we take it on the road and that’s my preferred way of holidaying.

So cool.

I love caravan parks.

[Laughs].

I really do! You meet the nicest people in caravan parks. And it’s like a cubby house on wheels for my daughter, who’s three and a half.

But do they get a bit weirded out—the folk  at the caravan parks who are slumming it, and then you come out of the ’50s caravan?

Well, it’s always the most popular caravan in the park. We put pink flamingos out the front.

Brilliant.

And I come out in this vintage, tattered, leopard-print robe with my hair up, feathered slippers, and head to the amenities block in the morning. You know, kind of: “La la la la la!”

I love it. With a little hot dog on a stick?

Yeah, all that kind of stuff. It’s really fun. The kids love it. They all gravitate towards the caravan ‘cause it’s so different. It just brings a sense of colour and theatre to camping.

I was actually going to ask you about dressing up. You’re putting on the red lips, the beautiful flower in your hair. You’re really celebrating your femininity. But you’re also a strong feminist. How does that work?

I remember interviewing Doctor Valerie Steele about 10 years ago. She’s a well known fashion historian who curates the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. And I remember asking her: “How does it work, fashion and feminism?” She responded along the lines of: ‘The world can either be without art and without paintings—we can be utilitarian or we can have colour and beauty. And that’s your choice. If you want to, you can just wear completely utilitarian clothes. You can have your walls blank. But adding beauty doesn’t affect what’s inside.’

This story originally ran in issue #41 of Dumbo Feather

This story originally ran in issue #41 of Dumbo Feather

I find that if I’ve had four hours’ sleep, like I did last night, a hair flower helps. It’s just a little thing that makes me feel brighter. And a lot of people smile. It’s a social thing to do.
Yeah, I agree.

And I think there is also something to do with the way—as we’ve moved towards greater equality socially, which is obviously extremely important and needs  to continue—we have moved towards a more utilitarian way of dressing, which actually closely represents masculine dressing. So whilst it’s totally acceptable for me to wear a suit, it’s not totally acceptable for a man to wear a dress. Right? I think we need to allow colour and movement for everybody. I’m not ashamed of the parts of me that are feminine. If we look back at the red lipstick of the mid-century—the part of history that I find the most interesting—we see women in war wearing lipstick in part to say, ‘I’m working in a factory, I’m also part of the war effort. But I’m not becoming a man. I’m still a woman.’ We have the ability to celebrate who we are. And frankly, I like make-up on men too.

[Laughs].

But they very rarely wear it. Give me Johnny Depp eyeliner any day.

Totally! So it’s that idea of celebration and joy and colour and life.

Look at all the dandies. We have these fantastic men who are dandies who dress beautifully. But it’s not often done in the Anglo-Saxon, hetero-normative culture. You see it coming more from the fringes, or overseas, in Europe. There are still some incredible dandies in the UK. But we don’t have enough of that sartorial experimentation here in Australia.

I’ve been thinking the same thing. There are no eccentrics anymore. There’s no ‘play’.

There’s something called ‘The Great Masculine Renunciation’ which is a term coined by John Flügel, a British psychoanalyst from the early 1900s. And he looked at how, with the rise of capitalism, men’s dress traditions became much more sober. So everybody started to look like businessmen.

Because they wanted to be trusted?

Because there was status associated with business, and the status associated with all other social activities diminished. What we’re finding is we’re leaving behind a lot of men wearing feathers and velvet and lace. As women have become more emancipated we’ve tossed the corsets, which is quite sensible to say the least, but many have also observed that women’s clothing— particularly professional clothing—has become more stereotypically ‘masculine’. They used to wear all these really beautiful items, you can call them feminine, you can call them masculine, whatever. But they were more decorative. And there was a social aspect to doing that. Today, it’s something uncommon. You’ll only find it at costume parties and dress ups.

Yeah. I think it’s also because we want to judge each other really quickly, to put people in a box. It makes us feel safe. One of the things I find really interesting is that you are so beautiful, you celebrate your body, your face, and you are also incredibly smart; a passionate advocate for the disempowered in our community. You’re someone with a strong public voice. Why do you think that’s challenging for some people?

We live in a very image-saturated culture where we see lots of advertisements, and the women are almost always of the same demographic: white, young, thin. We don’t see a lot of variety, which is a problem. But when a woman who is frequently seen in that context also does something else, we get our backs up: ‘You’re supposed to be silent, you’re one dimensional, that’s all we want from you.’ It’s not the biggest problem we have, but it is a problem, because if the vast majority of women who are symbolically visible in our culture are also women we’re saying are dumb or vacuous or bimbos or whores, then we have a real issue with the way women in general are viewed. It seeps out. So there’s a complex series of problems there. One is the lack of variety in the women that are celebrated and symbolically visible: older women, women of different cultural backgrounds, women with different careers.

That’s why we put Jane Goodall on a recent cover. Because how often do you see that?

You don’t see it very often. Sometimes, but not enough. You will more often see the authoritative older man or wise man on a cover. And it’s one of the things that I talk about in The Fictional Woman—that we still have an issue, particularly with older women. They become symbolically invisible. It’s a broader social problem.

On so many levels it’s a problem. We’re silencing the wisdom.

Right. We’re silencing a particular type of wisdom. Wisdom that has been around for centuries but has never become part of our dominant archetype. So in the book I talk about the three major archetypes for women that have been storytelling traditions for centuries. We see them in fairy tales and in other types of storytelling and media representations. Essentially, there’s the whore slash femme fatale, the virgin slash damsel in distress, and the witch slash crone.

I’m so bored.

It’s hugely boring. But you’ll notice what we don’t have is the wise woman. We do have the wise man slash wizard.

The wise woman will often be mixed with the witch. Isolated, alone…

Yeah, isolated, alone, but also bad, right? Suspicious. And that’s not consistent with wise women through the centuries who’ve been incredibly important to society. But in the Middle Ages you weren’t allowed to be a woman with power and knowledge.

That gets to the big question. Why, when women are fabulous and strong or even struggling, why is there so much violence against them?  Across the world you see it in all cultures—in ours we’re luckier because we can struggle and fight. But what is it all about? I’m stumped.

Yeah. You’re stumped? Okay. One of the things I’m interested in is the historical context for the things we see as social problems today.  It’s not inevitable. It doesn’t need to happen. But what we see is that these social problems are not natural. In other words, they’re not inevitable.

It’s not inevitable that a woman is murdered by her partner or former partner every week in Australia.

Every week?

Every week.

Shit.

On average. The people within our culture who have less power are the ones who are more often victimised. So women and children are most affected by violence, statistically speaking. Obviously as boys get older they’re less frequently victimised on average. Note, I’m talking about reported incidents, and we know that the abuse of boys and men is underreported. But it’s a general pattern that we see.

Why haven’t women risen up? I keep having these fantasies of women rising up in the world. Why isn’t that happening?

Well, they’re not in charge of the world. Women are half of the population, “half the sandbox” as Geena Davis would put it, but we don’t have institutionalised power in the same way. If we look at our cabinet for instance: it’s 100 per cent white and 95 per cent male. And then you look at the fact that women are more often victimised. As are people who are disabled. They have a much higher rate. Women who are disabled. Women who are indigenous. Women who are gay. Look at the abuse they cop. So it’s not only gender, it’s intersectional. We can see relationships between all of these different issues. And it’s to do with that dominant power. I’m a fiction writer and I understand the importance of stories. Policy and law is hugely important, but what often takes longer is cultural change.

The stories we tell ourselves.

Exactly. And stories have always been important, ever since the beginning of humankind. Storytelling has been the way we’ve passed information from generation to generation—information about identity and how the world works. As a novelist I’d love to believe that this means my novels might change the world, but they won’t— not in the same way that our dominant stories do. And our dominant stories are those remade as blockbuster cinematic stories. I target Hollywood cinema in this. Because it is the form of storytelling that is most dominant. It has the most financial backing.  It reaches the largest number of people. And then you look at who the storytellers are.

Of course the nature of the storytellers affects the story.

What is it, only one woman has won an Academy Award for best director?

Yeah, Kathryn Bigelow. That was the first time any female director had won in the entire 86 years. So if we look at 2002 just as an example, 91 per cent of the directors were men. This is of the top 250 grossing films. Eighty-five per cent of the writers were men. Eighty-three per cent of the executive producers were men. 98 per cent of the cinematographers. And again this would be from an overwhelmingly white, Anglo-Saxon background. That’s one demographic telling the stories.

Our stories.

Yeah. ‘Our’ stories. We are more diverse than that. But we hear and see so little of it, which of course affects how we see ourselves and our place in the world.

The thing is, with so much of the really dominant narratives, there are still those cultural gatekeepers. We do have social media now. We do have incredible entrepreneurs who are breaking some of those moulds that are so tightly held and have been that way for so long. But there’s still some way to go. As an example,  in family films there are on average three males to every one female character  on screen. And that has been the same since World War Two.

I find women are powerful early adopters.  And that’s what’s exciting. They’re often the first to show up to be a part of a conversation.

And they’re readers. Women are readers. On average, more women buy books than men do. So there is an interest there in wanting to learn about the world and other people’s lives. Having said that, my book has been really well received by a large number of men who have daughters or granddaughters. And also boys who are in high school who actually identify as being feminist or pro-feminist and are getting bullied.

You keep touching it. You keep touching the book all the time. It feels to me like a map for you.

It is. There are little morsels in here. I call them “stat bombs” or “intellectual ammo” that you can kind of go, ‘Okay, you have a problem with my mentioning that there’s an inequality issue. Well here are some stats. Here’s the dictionary definition of feminism. Here’s some basic fundamental stuff. Now let’s talk.’ Because if you’re starting from the basis of total misconception, there really can never be positive communication. That’s why I have so many stats in this book, and go back in history to show how we got here. ‘Cause it’s really not surprising. We’ve had an amazing amount of progress. But the disparities we see in parliament, in the media, in cinema, in storytelling—they all have a really clear history.

And we need a map for ‘where to from here’

Yeah. My daughter is three and a half, and she already has an interest in displaying a broad range of masculine and feminine behaviours. So she’s got her little palaeontologist shirt and wants to go to the Australian Museum. But at the same time she really likes flowers in her hair. She also likes caring, she’s very warm and emotional and affectionate— qualities we should be encouraging in girls and boys.

Every day from birth there’s a reinforcement of what gender you are, what category you are and what is appropriate for that category.

Right down to people freaking out if a boy likes pink or wants to hold a doll. Actually, when you think of dolls, they were made for kids to develop caring instincts. So if we say to boys, ‘We want you to have an action figure with an Uzi,’ what kind of view has that encouraged? I think the issue of underestimating the feminine and also being embarrassed by it can be stopped. And if we stop defining the masculine in these really brutish terms, these sort of stoic, financial and powerful terms, it would be a fantastic thing for both boys and girls.

How can we escape the fictional woman?

Being very conscious of what we’re doing is a great way to approach any issue that involves cultural change. The moment you’re aware that you want to see cultural change, you start to instigate it, one step at a time, for the rest of your life. You just stop participating in this repetition of a damaging cultural issue, which might be creating an unfair playing field for various groups of people. Because it’s about notions. It’s not about biology, it’s not inevitable, it’s not nature. It is about a historical issue which is continuing to reverberate in our world today. And the vast majority of us go, ‘Oh yeah, I think everybody should be equal and should have equal opportunity regardless of their cultural background, their gender, their age, their race, their ability,’ and so on. But in reality we continue to be involved in perpetuating those inequalities. So when we’re more aware of it, we can do more to change it.

Do you think big things are shifting with these huge investments in women’s empowerment?

Yeah. But “huge investments” is not accurate. There are specialist organisations which are pushing for that, but as of yet it really isn’t a reality. From what I’ve heard from organisations like the Women’s Donor Network, the stats are really bad.

Really? Because I thought the shift in the last 10 years has seen women in positions of power and influence investing in women for the first time.

But those women who are in positions of power and influence are massively outnumbered. There’ll still be something like nine men to every one woman in a boardroom.

Do you think making an economic case for the empowerment of women will spark change?

Well, some people are making a very solid economic case. All the numbers—I’m not an economist, but many economists are quite aware of this—show that if you empower all of the population rather than half, it’s both better economically, and in terms of harnessing the existing talent.

If you look at Ruby Payne-Scott, for instance, a breakthrough scientist for the CSIRO in Australia around the middle of the century, she actually developed a new type of technology called radio astronomy. But because the regulations said women couldn’t continue working once they were married, she was fired when she got pregnant. What a waste of talent. She had hidden her marriage for years because she and her husband loved each other, they wanted to get married, but she didn’t want to quit her work. That might not be as acceptable now for organisations to fire women when they’re pregnant…

But many aren’t hiring women of a certain age, because they could get pregnant.

That’s precisely it. There’s something called the “motherhood penalty”, which means you’re less likely to be hired if you’re a mother or if you seem to be of the age and desire that you are likely to be a mother. Also you’re going to be, on average, paid less. So it’s not as in your face. Ruby Payne-Scott would not have been fired now. But depending on the organisation she was in, she might have been penalised. Some organisations do have best practice and have done a lot in this regard. But a lot haven’t.

You have to build it into the DNA of business.

Yes. And that’s the problem. The DNA of a lot of business is masculine. It has that chromosome. It’s completely historical. Women were not allowed to work, earn money and own property until relatively recently. Our grandmothers were, for the most part, considered lower class to be in paid work. We still see today that a lot of women consider it unfeminine to talk about money. So it’s a cultural hangover. It’s not that women can’t work. It’s not that workplaces can’t accommodate men and women. It’s that workplaces were built around men because women were not allowed. And that hasn’t shifted as much as we’d like.

I’m seeing huge movements like B Corporation saying, ‘How can we redesign the DNA of the business?’

And that’s exactly what we should be doing. We need to be parent friendly across the board. So not just for women, but for fathers as well. And all the data I have in the book really emphasises the fact that there are huge numbers of fathers who aren’t getting workplace flexibility or are afraid to ask for it for social and cultural reasons. There’s also a huge number of women who, thankfully, are in a position where, say they’ve been to a girls’ school, they’ve seen a lot of women in leadership positions, they’ve never felt that they’ve been discriminated against because of their gender, and maybe they haven’t. And then they hit a particular age and this motherhood penalty creeps in, whether they want to be parents or not, and it’s a wake-up call that actually our system isn’t balanced enough yet. And there still needs to be changes both in culture and policy.

When a woman who has a baby leaves the house, she is asked, ‘Where’s the baby?’ A man leaving the house is asked, ‘How’s the baby?’

I actually experienced this! The implication was that I was an irresponsible parent because I’d gone to pick up the mail while my husband was looking after the baby.

You know what? I’ve never pinpointed what stresses me out about that question, but I am asked it in a panicked way—“Where’s the baby?”

I say, “Oh I left her at the casino parking lot again. My bad.” And they go, “Oh!” And I’m like, C’mon, give me a break. So you’re coming up against push-back a lot. And for my husband, he came up against push-back a lot being a hands-on father. People ask him, “Well, what do you do?” And he’s like, “I’m a full-time dad. I’m also writing a book.” “Yeah, but what do you do?” Whereas me writing a book and being a full-time mum receives: “How are you coping?” They’re imagining this child being badly done by because their mum also works.

Why did you decide to speak up about social justice?

I had to. I had to! I couldn’t sit back anymore, no way!

Did you? Sit back?

It may seem like I didn’t but I did, because I was writing fiction. That was my way of sitting back. I was kind of designing my own life, as someone who didn’t really want to do the expected mainstream things. Nonetheless, I was writing fiction and I was writing “strong, interesting female protagonists” as they call them. But I got  to the point where I felt I couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore. And I wanted to speak about issues of social justice directly. I had gained enough of a platform that  I could do that and be helpful—“helpful” as analysed by UNICEF or people who are on the front-line of women’s services.

Has it been worth it?

Oh it’s hard sometimes, only in so much as—how do I describe it? You’re immersing yourself in some really traumatic things on a regular basis so that you can articulate it to the public. These are emotional things you have experienced yourself—sexual violence, rape, miscarriage. And not everyone wants to listen;  they don’t have to listen. But to have a public voice on these sensitive issues means you have to be really well educated. And that means that it’s not always fun, right?  This is why—and I know it sounds silly—but this is why I want to have a vintage caravan, why I want to have a hair flower, why I want brightness and cheeriness in my life, because the other aspects of my life are dealing with issues like rape, domestic violence, children in detention, abuse. We all need to find a balance.

If we find something that does keep us relaxed and focused on the fact that life is also beautiful and people are also wonderful—not everyone is doing horrible things to other people—we should embrace that.

In a way, you’ve become the go-to person to hold the space for that conversation. That’s a heavy load.

It is. And one person can’t do it alone. Thankfully there are lots of people who’ve been doing this for decades. But they don’t always get a voice. So they’re still doing their work but are quite unrecognised. As unfair as it is, occasionally this role comes to someone who’s in the public eye and it’s temporary and eventually they’ll move on to something else.

Who do you admire that’s doing great work in the world?

Norman Gillespie who’s the CEO of Australian UNICEF. Luciano Calestini who’s the emergency coordinator for UNICEF. He’s been in Lebanon working with refugees. And Karen Willis who is the CEO of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia. She’s been doing that for decades, really heavily involved in front-line services for women. I mean these people just work tirelessly. And the average person doesn’t know their name. I want to use the microphone I’ve been given to highlight people who are doing really incredible work, and also the work that still needs to be done. And I want to show how we can all help to make that change happen. Saying that, it’s about doing what’s right for you. So I’m not going to sit here and say the right thing for everyone is to speak out on these issues, particularly publicly.

Really? I just want everyone to speak up on all the important issues.

I think you can. But the public space does bring with it particular challenges. And I don’t think it’s for everyone.  But we can all have the conversation in our day-to-day lives. We can all be part of changing that cultural repetition and go,

“No wait, stop. I’m not going to participate in slut shaming. I’m not going to participate in this idea that because someone’s on the street and homeless they deserved it. I’m not going to participate in that.”

And maybe it’s not with a microphone, maybe it’s just for them at the watercooler, at home over the dining table, whatever. We all have the ability to do something within the boundaries of what we’re actually capable of.

I was, just on a personal note, super shocked by the amount of violence that you’ve experienced. Male violence. At first  I thought it was unusual, but then it dawned on me it’s not.

It’s not unusual. It’s not unusual at all. I think it’s important for us all to remember that if someone’s talking about an experience they have had, it is almost certainly shared. And that’s where data is interesting. So if you’re a young woman thinking, I’ve never had this experience. What’s the big deal? and you see the stats, you go, “Oh right. One in three women will experience this. Okay. I’m one of the other two. That’s good for me.” But that doesn’t change the overwhelming prevalence of the issue.

No, but it made me really aware of the lens through which I viewed the world and it felt problematic. I realised that empathy encompasses all the data.

Yeah, that’s it. That’s why I chose to tell each of the stories in The Fictional Woman—because it relates to a bigger, broader issue that I wanted to focus on. So it’s not a memoir in the sense that I’m just telling people what I’ve done in my life. It’s specifically looking at these big social issues and I use my personal experiences as a jumping-off point. And also because it is important at times to put a face to data, otherwise we can just kind of brush over it.

Yeah, I think it’s genius. I wonder, having survived all of this, what are you afraid of?

Not much.

Wow.

Of course I’m afraid for my daughter and my husband or other people that I love. I want them never to experience pain and heartbreak and trauma. Which is unrealistic. We all want that. But for myself, I don’t really fear very much to be honest.

Is that a new thing? Having stepped out and stepped up?

I guess so. I don’t think I ever really feared things before. As soon as I’m aware that I’m afraid of something, I have a tendency to just get up and do it. That’s why I’ve fired guns, and been set on fire and choked unconscious. Because you’ve got to go, ‘Okay, I got through that, that was all right,’ to understand the unknown is not something to fear. It doesn’t mean it’s not horrible. There are horrible things and unfortunately I’m very aware of those horrible things. But to fear them is just giving them far too much power.

The DNA of a lot of business is masculine. It has that chromosome. It’s completely historical.

I wonder, if you were prime minister what would you do about violence against women and violence in community, given your work as a refugee activist?

Well, first of all, I would like in my lifetime to stop seeing children in detention. There’s just no excuse for it. It contravenes international children’s rights laws and it’s unnecessary. And hugely expensive. There’s just no reason to further traumatise kids who are escaping war, conflict and poverty. It’s not okay. So if I was prime minister I would be the first independent who’d ever stepped up because both major parties have been involved in the prolonged detention of children. And there may be times when you have to temporarily detain a family as you try to discover what their status is or whatever, but kids who are in detention for over a year, something Australia’s been doing, is definitely not okay.

No.

The other thing I would do is fund women’s refuges—for homeless women, for women who are escaping domestic violence and for their kids. We need to continue to fund these homes that are intermediary safe places for women in trouble. And I don’t know what the situation is in Victoria, but in New South Wales a lot of the women’s refuges have been defunded.
So you have the rhetoric of politicians going, ‘Oh yes, this is a terrible scourge on our society, we must stop this.’ And then they’re actually taking away funding for the specialist services that look after women so that they can get out of a domestic situation that is violent. Because it’s all well and good to say, ‘Just leave,’ but often people actually have nowhere to go—especially if they’re the primary carer. They don’t have their own finances. The number-one reason for homelessness among women and children in the country is domestic violence. So we need to have safe places. We can’t just talk about it. We actually have to put money into the services that support people.

I feel like you need your own show.

[Laughs] oh no. There are enough shows.

Oh really? Just to maintain this platform for the conversations you do so well.

I don’t think many people want to hear about social justice on a regular basis, though. They’d be sick of me pretty fast if that’s all I talked about. It’s like,

I’m really glad that I’ve managed to slide in sideways and get on the top drive-time radio shows, and they all want to ask me about something quite frivolous and I go, “And by the way…!” And I can throw it in.

But people aren’t going to want that all the time. And that’s okay too. As long as we continue to touch on issues of social justice regularly, keep connected to the fact that we might be very lucky and other people are not, and that might be us one day, the unlucky ones, then we’re doing okay.

 

If you or someone you know needs help, we’ve found online directories for a few countries. Please let us know if there are places in your part of the world we should provide a link to on our website:

Australia: whiteribbon.org.au
International: rainn.org       

Berry Liberman

Berry Liberman, Dumbo Feather’s publisher and editor-in-chief, drives our passion and purpose. While she’s not immersed in the heady scent of old fashioned flowers, she’s also the Creative Director of Small Giants and a mum to the three cutest kids in the world.

Tara Pearce

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