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Sex is not the rent you pay to be a woman.

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Image by Simone Becchetti via the Huffington Post.

“You can’t just change your mind after it’s happened,” he told me.

“You can’t decide later you didn’t want to have sex with them.”

At the time, I agreed with him. I was eighteen-years-old and naïve. He was a friend—let’s call him S—and he was of the opinion that women couldn’t change their minds about whether they wanted sex with someone. Allegedly, he’d slept with a woman, who had later said she didn’t want it to happen.

To him, she’d lied. To him, she’d changed her mind, purely for the purpose of making him to look bad. But what if she’d never wanted it all along? What if she’d acquiesced? What if she hadn’t thought her input was all that important—only to realise otherwise later?

Last year, I was dating a guy who cheated on me. Instead of breaking up—like we really should have—I desperately tried to make it work. That night, we slept together—even though I really didn’t want to (I mean, who would after finding that information out?).

At the time, I brushed it off. At the time, it didn’t seem important. And even though I didn’t want to, he was pleased—so it was okay, right?

Wrong.

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Sometimes we don’t realise what it is until later. Image via Women’s Agenda.

After we finally broke up, I realised how messed up that was. I’d told him no. I’d tried to push him off. But eventually, I gave in. I didn’t have the effort to fight him. But acquiescing isn’t consent—and I don’t think even he realises what happened.

Sadly, this isn’t an uncommon theme for women. Every female friend I’ve spoken to told me similar stories—stories where they say no, but give in anyway.

But we don’t talk about it. Because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of people like S telling others we’re making it up, that we’re just trying to make them look bad. We’re afraid of telling the person—only to have them become angry and hurt us. We’re in a culture where women are belittled and objectified.

If you haven’t consented, if you’ve actively tried to stop it happening, it’s rape—even if you eventually relented. And it is not your fault.

Ladies and gentlemen: sex is not the rent you pay to be a woman—to be a human. You don’t have to sleep with anyone. And yes, you sure as hell can change your damn mind.

Zoe is a journalist with a passion for all things wacky and strange. Like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter for more!

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Team Quoll: Supporting Quoll-ity Research in the Illawarra

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A crowdfunding campaign is being launched by Team Quoll’s Elira Reynolds in order to determine the situation, and ensure the survival of the endangered spotted-tailed quoll in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands region. The University of Wollongong honours student hopes to raise $4000 in order to purchase necessary equipment, and access remote areas.

Since last year, Ms Reynolds and other members of Team Quoll have set up 109 camera sites around the Illawarra. Only three quolls have been detected, which is a success rate of 2.8%.

“It’s a lot less to expect than if the quolls were doing well in the area,” Ms Reynolds said.

The spotted-tailed quoll is the largest remaining carnivorous marsupial on Australian mainland. Very little is known about the species—particularly in the Illawarra region.

“It’s been estimated their range has contracted about 50% since European settlement,” Ms Reynolds said.

Ms Reynolds intends to use odour treatments and additional camera sites to study the quolls, as well as the impact of the red fox—no quolls were found in areas where foxes were detected.

“We don’t know if the population is stable, increasing or decreasing, and we don’t know how the species needs to be managed to ensure its survival in the region,” she said.

The spotted-tailed quoll is the only quoll species found on the east coast since the extinction of the mainland eastern quoll in 1963.

Team Quoll citizen scientist Craig Murrell said more studies are needed to determine how the situation can be improved.

“If we don’t do something very quickly, very soon, then we’ll also lose the tiger quoll, along with the eastern quoll,” Mr Murrell said.

“If you care about quolls, and if you want to see quolls return . . . the way they used to be here, then giving a donation is . . . a really good way to do that,” Ms Reynolds said.

You can donate to the crowdfunding campaign here.

Team Quoll are an animal activist group concerned with the sparse population of the endangered spotted-tailed quoll in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

QUOLL INFOGRAPH

Want more Team Quoll? Follow them Twitter.

Guess who’s back?

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So, I have been super slack with this blogging thing for about a year. But have no fear! I am back!

So basically, this will be articles i’ve written for the University of Wollongong website (and magazine), as well as assessments and other opinion pieces. If you’re reading this, you’re awesome. I will strive to make this a fairly entertaining and informing blog! Stay tuned!

ItBeginsWithZ 2.0!

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Whenever I’m sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.

“You can’t cont…

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“You can’t control all the crazy stuff that happens to you. All you can control is the way you handle it.” -Amy Lee

It begins with Z: It begins with me

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If you’re reading this, I guess you must be pretty bored. That, or i’ve forced you to look (Mwahahaha!). My name is Zoe and i’m studying a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of Wollongong. 

My only blogging experience to date has been what i’ve had to do for uni assignments; turns out I kind of like this. I’m not completely sure what will be posted on this blog, but i’ll figure something out. Most likely it will be humerous rants on social injustices.

You can view my other academic blogs here:

SomethingbeginningwithZ

The Diversity of University

I’m pretty sure you should stay tuned!