Ive Got Cancer, Whats Your Excuse?: A Journey Through Black Dog Days, the Big C and Laughter

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Tim Rider's article C-Word Ban was also about the contentiousness of 'Christmas': "They do not want any mention of what they call the C-Word because they are worried it will offend followers of other faiths" , as was the article Merry C-Word in Los Angeles Times , which urged readers to say 'Christmas' despite its controversy. Yet another article, headlined Just Don't Mention The C-Word also concerned the festive season: "Ditch the dreams of a white Christmas", as did Jay Nordlinger's article December's C-Word "people could not bring themselves to utter the C-word", Cricket experts were aghast at the "inappropriate use of the c-word"", in a spoof article headlined Kevin Pietersen In C-Word Drama That final example, from The Sun 's coverage of a speech by Gordon Brown, also resulted in a Sun leader column headlined C Ironically, after David Cameron goaded Brown for not saying 'cuts', when Cameron himself became Prime Minister, he used the euphemism 'difficult decisions' to avoid saying 'cuts'.

  • What if I know the lyrics.
  • What if it was not a major hit?.
  • What if I know the lyrics;
  • Cunt: A Cultural History of the C-Word!
  • Say What?!, What You Say is Your Future!!

The sheer extent of the 'cunt' lexicon supports Scott Capurro's assertion that it is "plainly the most versatile word in the English language" Capurro also notes the variety of reactions provoked by the word: "the reaction can be so varied. Some people will try to be smug about it and think, "Well, that does nothing for me".

And the person sitting right next to that person could be completely moved by the word, emotionally drawn to somebody who uses that word, you know. And the person sitting next to that person could be someone who's completely disgusted by it. It's one of those great words that can get many, many different reactions from people. This ideology, which was originally termed cunt-power, sought to invert the word's injurious potential - to prevent men using it as a misogynist insult, women assertively employed it themselves: "The old cunt was patriarchal, misogynist.

The new cunt would be matriarchal, feminist" Peter Silverton, The feminist Cunt-Art movement incorporated the word into paintings and performances, and several female writers have campaigned for its transvaluation. In my evaluation of the ideology of cunt-power, I discuss the extent of its practicality, popularity, and longevity. However, words do hurt us, and they can be used as weapons. Walter Kirn has called 'cunt' "the A-bomb of the English language [ Verbal weapons cause intense emotional pain.

GQ has noted that "No word is more hurtful or destructive than the C-word" Catherine MacKinnon cites numerous examples of abusive language provoking distress and resulting in litigation. Asserting that "A woman worker who was referred to by a [presumed male] co-worker as a 'cunt' could present a strong case for sexual harassment" , she quotes "Cavern Cunt", "stupid cunt", "fucking cunt", and "repeated use of the word 'cunt'" as phrases resulting in convictions for sexual harassment.

Just as 'cunt' can be a violent word, its use can also have violent repercussions: it is "a word so offensive that it would earn you a slap if you called someone it in a bar" Adam Renton, By contrast, however, a more recent case was dismissed when it was ruled that the word 'cunt' did not constitute sexual harassment: the court concluded that the word, while being "one of the most derogatory terms for a woman", could also be regarded as complementary Kevin Vaughan, A female student at Colorado University had alleged that another student called her a 'cunt'.

Hoffman was ridiculed by the press, not least because the name of her university is commonly abbreviated to 'CU': "In CU President Betsy Hoffman's world [ When men use the word 'cunt' to insult women, courts have deemed the act to be unlawful. When men use it to insult other men, as Julia Penelope demonstrates, their usage is still inherently insulting to women: "[words] used by men to insult other men, motherfucker, son-of-a-bitch, bastard, sissy, and cunt insult men because they're female words" The other male insults cited by Penelope are also tangential insults to women: to call a man a 'motherfucker' implicates both him and his mother, 'bastard' implies a man's mother is a slut, 'sissy' insults a man by likening him to a woman, and 'son-of-a-bitch' can be seen as an indirect insult to a man though a direct insult to his mother.

He calls it "the four-letter word a man can use to destroy everything with a woman [ Kirn explains the offensiveness of 'cunt' with reference to its plosive phonetics and its semantic reductionism: "The word is an ugly sonic package, as compact as a stone [ It strips away any aura of uniqueness". A character in the Hungarian film Taxidermia also notes the ugliness of the word, or rather its Hungarian equivalent. Somewhat insensitively, Kirn feels that women over-react to the word when it is used against them: "It doesn't bruise.

It doesn't leave a mark. Yet women treat its deployment as tantamount to an act of nonphysical domestic violence". He also ignores the word's feminist reclamation, stating incorrectly: "you'll never hear someone call herself a cunt, let alone call another woman one. Essentially, Kirn's article is a macho defence of what he sees as the male privilege to call women cunts: "I'm grateful for the C-bomb, and thankful that women have nothing with which to match it.

When a man has already lost the argument and his girl is headed out the door [we] have one last, lethal grenade to throw". Unsurprisingly, women wrote to GQ to take issue with Kirn's article. Kim Andrew stressed that Kirn's definition of 'cunt' as "the A-bomb of the English language" does not apply to the UK, where it is used more freely than in America: "The word cunt is only an "A-bomb" in American English. M Restrepo's reaction was that, provided 'cunt' is not used insultingly as Kirn employs it , it should not be tabooed: "What era is Walter Kirn living in?

Cunt is no longer taboo. In welcome contrast to Kirn's article, Jonathon Green criticises the inherent patriarchy of the slang lexicon: "Slang is the essence of 'man-made language', created by men and largely spoken by him too" This is a trend which has noticeably increased over time, as Germaine Greer explains: "The more body-hatred grows, so that the sexual function is hated and feared by those unable to renounce it, the more abusive terms we find in the language" [a]. Specifically, the status and deployment of 'cunt' as "The worst name anyone can be called [and] the most degrading epithet" Germaine Greer, [a] , and especially as the worst name a woman can be called, serves to reinforce the tradition of cultural patriarchy, as Jane Mills points out: "the use of 'cunt' as the worst swear word that anyone can think of says a great deal about misogyny in our society, and I think it reveals fear, disgust, and also [a] denial of female sexuality" Kerry Richardson, Joan Smith agrees: "It is impossible not to make a link, as lexicographers and feminist writers have done, between the [ Smith calls 'cunt' "the worst possible thing - much worse than ['prick'] - one human being can say to another" and Simon Carr calls it "the worst thing you can say about anyone" As Deborah Cameron notes, "taboo words tend to refer to women's bodies rather than men's.

Thus for example cunt is a more strongly tabooed word than prick, and has more tabooed synonyms" Jonathon Green concurs that "the slang terms for the vagina outstrip any rivals, and certainly those for the penis [ William Leith notes that "We may have equality of the sexes but we do not have equality of sexual organs [ I can print the words prick, cock and dick as much as I like", adding coyly: "but I know I have to be careful with the c-word" Ed Vulliamy makes the same point: "the c-word is different.

The inequality of 'prick' and 'cunt' is also explored in the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm David Steinberg, , after the central character uses 'cunt' as an insult towards another man:. So what! Pricks and cunts, they're equal. Cunt's much heavier. According to Brigid McConville and John Shearlaw, 'cunt' "reflects the deep fear and hatred of the female by the male in our culture. It is a far nastier and more violent insult than 'prick' which tends to mean foolish rather than evil.

This violent usage is a constant and disturbing reminder to women of the hatred associated with female sexuality and leaves women with few positive words to name their own organs" The 'cunt' taboo is but the most extreme example of a general taboo surrounding the lexicon of the female genitals: "Mild, non-specific [ The word 'vagina' is also subject to this taboo: "Even the word vagina has not easily entered public space". Braun and Wilkinson cite examples of the term being banned from billboards "the London Underground banned a birth control advertisement - deeming it 'offensive' for including the word 'vagina'" and theatrical posters "Promotional material for theatrical pieces whose titles contained the word vagina has been censored [ Indeed, after surveying women's own attitudes, Sophie Laws discovered that they even felt obligated to self-censor their own discourse: "[women do not] refer to their sexual and reproductive organs in any way except in the most private of interactions" Virginia Braun and Celia Kitzinger published a 'survey of surveys', revealing the extent to which 'vagina' is a tabooed word: "Many people appear to consider women's genitalia to be unmentionable.

The German equivalent is even more demeaning: 'Schamscheide' 'vagina' translates literally as 'sheath of shame'. Word-meanings are dictated by consensus and contemporary usage, thus negative meanings can be reversed when pejorative terms are systematically reappropriated: "There have been several recent instances of a particular group explicitly reclaiming a taboo word previously used against them" Susie Dent, Melinda Yuen-Ching Chen and Robin Brontsema have both described the specific reappropriation of 'queer', though they also discuss the concept of reappropriation in general.

Brontsema provides a succinct definition of the terminology: "Linguistic reclamation, also known as linguistic resignification or reappropriation, refers to the appropriation of a pejorative epithet by its target s " He views the process as a harnessing and reversal of the original invective: "[the] injurious power is the same fuel that feeds the fire of its counter-appropriation. Laying claim to the forbidden, the word as weapon is taken up and taken back by those it seeks to shackle - a self-emancipation that defies hegemonic linguistic ownership and the a buse of power".

Chen defines reclamation as "an array of theoretical and conventional interpretations of both linguistic and non-linguistic collective acts in which a derogatory sign or signifier is consciously employed by the 'original' target of the derogation, often in a positive or oppositional sense" The focus here is primarily on feminist reappropriations, specifically on feminist attempts to reclaim 'cunt' and other abusive terms: "Girls and women can thus reclaim the words in our language that have been used against us" Gloria Bertonis, The mainstream success of reappropriations, however, depend upon the consensus of the population as a whole: "you cannot demand the word ['cunt'] be used only as a hallelujah to the flower of your womanhood; like all words, its meaning had been decided through collective use" Andrew Billen, The commonest derogative term for a woman - 'bitch' - is on the road to reclamation.

A woman should be proud to declare she is a Bitch, because Bitch is Beautiful. It should be an act of affirmation by self and not negation by others" Casey Miller and Kate Smith discuss this transvaluation of 'bitch' and also cite "Groups of feminists who choose to call themselves witches [ Other formerly derogatory terms for women have also been reclaimed: "The feminist spirit has reclaimed some words with defiance and humor. Witch, bitch, dyke, and other formerly pejorative epithets turned up in the brave names of small feminist groups" Gloria Steinem, Mary Daly has attempted to reverse the negative associations of words such as 'spinster', 'witch', 'harpy', 'hag', and 'crone'.

Where she is able to demonstrate non-pejorative etymological origins of these terms, she advocates a reversal of their current definitions. Daly does readily admit that not every modern negative term was originally positive 'crone', for example, has always implied old age , though in these cases she assert that negative connotations are a patriarchal perception: "ageism is a feature of phallic society. For women who have transvalued this, a Crone is one who should be an example of strength, courage and wisdom" In an episode of the sitcom Veep , 'crone' is confused with the c-word: "I called the president the c-word I was like, 'What an old crone!

Regularly used as a pejorative term [ As Roz Wobarsht wrote in a letter to the feminist magazine Ms : "I think a female's use of words abusive to females defuses them. Our use takes away the power of the words to damage us" Jane Mills adds that "crumpet has recently been appropriated by women to refer to men [and] women today are making a conscious attempt to reform the English language [including] the reclamation and rehabilitation of words and meanings" Maureen Dowd notes the "different coloration" of 'pimp' and charts the transition of 'girl' "from an insult in early feminist days to a word embraced by young women".

A less likely pioneer of reclamation is the self-styled 'battle-axe' Christine Hamilton, though her celebratory Book Of British Battle-Axes nevertheless marked a re-evaluation of the term. Julie Bindel cites 'bird' and 'ho' as "blatant insults [ Patrick Strudwick praises Bint Magazine for "reclaiming the term "bint" from the huge slag heap of misogynist smears and turning it into something fabulous" The offensive term 'slut' has also been reclaimed as an epithet of empowerment: Kate Spicer suggests that 'slut' is "a term of abuse that has been redefined by fashion to mean something cool [ In the s, Katharine Whitehorn famously used her column in The Observer to self-identify as a 'slut', using the term in its original sense meaning a slovenly woman.

In , Bea Miller released the song S. In , the campaigning group SlutWalk Toronto organised a series of 'slutwalks' - demonstrations in which women marched while wearing sexually-provocative clothing and holding banners reappropriating the word 'slut'. The SlutWalk campaign provoked considerable feminist debate, with Gail Dines and Wendy J Murphy arguing that the protesters were fighting a lost cause: "The organisers claim that celebrating the word "slut", and promoting sluttishness in general, will help women achieve full autonomy over their sexuality.

But the focus on "reclaiming" the word slut fails to address the real issue. The word is so saturated with the ideology that female sexual energy deserves punishment that trying to change its meaning is a waste of precious feminist resources" Germaine Greer was more enthusiastic about the SlutWalk phenomenon, though she cautioned that "It's difficult, probably impossible, to reclaim a word that has always been an insult" and she should know.

Here, the principal is the same as that pioneered by Madonna: sexual aggression, feared by men and characterised by them in disrespectful terms such as 'slut', can be redefined as an assertive and positive attribute. It is not simply the word 'slut' that is being redefined, it is the lifestyle that the word represents - the meaning of the term 'slut' has stayed the same, though the cultural acceptance of its characteristics has increased.

As Chinese is a tonal language, the same word can have multiple meanings depending on its pronunciation; this has been used subversively by women to reappropriate the pejorative term 'shengnu' 'leftover women' , which can also mean 'victorious women' when pronouced with a different tone. This "pun that turns the tables on the prejudicial description" gained popularity following the television series The Price Of Being A Victorious Woman Tatlow, [a].

It is important to note the distinction between changing a word's definition and changing its connotation. Women have sought not to change the definitions of for example 'cunt' or 'slut', but instead to alter the cultural connotations of the terms. Thus, the reclaimed word 'cunt' is still defined as 'vagina' and the reclaimed 'slut' still means 'sexual predator'. What have been reclaimed are the social attitudes towards the concepts of vaginas and sexual predators: whereas these once attracted negative connotations, they have been transvalued into positive concepts. In a sense, this is true of a large number of terms which are regarded as positive by some yet as negative by others: for example, 'liberal' is used as an insult by conservatives, and 'conservative' is used as an insult by liberals.

Salman Rushdie gives examples of older political terms which have also been reclaimed: "To turn insults into strengths, Whigs [and] Tories [both] chose to wear with pride the names they were given in scorn" Also, in Thailand, poor farmers protesting against the aristocratic political system wore t-shirts with the word 'prai' 'commoner' as a symbol of pride, in "a brilliant subversion of a word that these days has insulting connotations" Banyan, After Republicans derided Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as 'Obamacare', Obama himself began using this more concise though originally derogatory term, professing that he liked it.

Richard Herring notes the paradox that, while the vagina should be celebrated, 'cunt' is an inexplicably offensive term: "it describes quite a nice thing. If you give words the power then they are nasty. But you can turn things around and use them in a different way" Anthony Barnes, Thus, reclaiming abusive language requires a change not in meaning but in attitude.

Whereas Madonna is perhaps the most significant embodiment of this transvaluation - female sexual empowerment being asserted as liberating and subversive - the theory behind it has been articulated most dramatically by Germaine Greer in her essay for Suck on the word 'whore'. Germaine Greer - who instigated the cunt-power movement, of which more later - wrote I Am A Whore , in which she consciously identified herself with the word 'whore', attempting to show that it can be positive rather than negative: "Whore is a dirty word - so we'll call everybody whore and get people uptight; whereas really you've got to come out the other way around and make whore a sacred word like it used to be and it still can be" [b].

Greer's biographer fundamentally misjudged her suggestion, calling it "a direct betrayal of what feminism was supposed to be about [ In fact, far from identifying as a prostitute, Greer was implying that the word 'whore' could be removed from its pejorative associations.

A term with similar status is the racially abusive 'nigger', which has been reclaimed or 'flipped' by African-Americans such as Richard Pryor's Supernigger , and is used in this context as a term of endearment. Jonathon Green suggests that this use "as a binding, unifying, positive word" dates from as early as the s Jennifer Higgie, Its reappropriation is not universally accepted, however: Spike Lee has criticised what he perceives as Samuel L Jackson's insensitivity towards the word's history.

Similar attempts to reclaim other racially abusive terms such as 'paki' notably the PAK1 clothing brand have been equally contentious: "even now this "flipping", as it is called, has not been totally successful" Sarfraz Manzoor, In his article A Bad Word Made Good , Andrew Clark notes the reappropriation of 'wog', formerly a term of racist abuse though later used self-referentially amongst Australia's Greek community: "the term has metamorphosed in the Antipodes.

Greek[s] happily refer to themselves as wogs [ Furthermore, Todd Anten cites the increasing transvaluation of 'chink', noting that "Virtually any word that is or has been a slur can be reappropriated by the target group" Lenny Bruce made the point that the social suppression of taboo words such as 'cunt' and 'nigger' serves to perpetuate and increase their power: "the word's suppression gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness" He argued that only through repetition can we remove the abusive powers of taboo words: "If [you said] niggerniggerniggernigger [ The film's director later explained that he was consciously attempting to "take everything that's negative in the language and turn it into a positive thing" Criterion, The editor of the Jewish magazine Heeb intended its title as a transvaluation of the term, a variant of 'hebe': "We're reappropriating it, but with a twist of pride" Peg Tyre, Annie Goldflam self-identified as both a 'kike' and a 'dyke', in Queerer Than Queer : "I am both a kike and a dyke, derogatory terms for Jews and lesbians, respectively, but which I here reclaim as proud markers of my identity" The homophobic term 'queer' has also been positively - yet contentiously - reappropriated, for example by Queer Nation: "In recent years 'queer' has come to be used differently [and this] once pejorative term [is] a positive self-description [ Ratna Kapur and Tayyab Mahmud cite 'fruit' amongst other terms "appropriated by the gay community as words denoting pride, self-awareness, and self-acceptance" The gay-oriented cosmetics brand FAG: Fabulous And Gay has helped to reclaim 'fag', and Todd Anten cites the company's mission statement: "to abolish the negative connotation of the word fag and reposition it [ Larry Kramer's book Faggots began the transvaluation of another homophobic term.

Another book title, Christopher Frayling's Spaghetti Westerns , was also intended as a positive reappropriation of a negative term: "The book's title was deliberately polemical, seeking to turn what had initially been a put-down into a badge of honour" Edward Buscombe, The similar film term 'chop-socky' has also been "repurposed" David Kamp and Lawrence Levi, The various epithets used to insult mentally handicapped people represent a further lexicon of reclaimed pejoratives.

Mark Radcliffe profiles "people with mental health problems tak[ing] the sting out of stigma by reclaiming pejoratives" , citing 'Crazy Folks' and 'Mad Pride' as groups whose names "reclaim some of the stigmatising language". This consciously humorous appropriation of 'crazy' and 'mad' must, however, avoid being misinterpreted as a trivialisation of those whom it seeks to empower. The term 'punk' has become associated with a musical genre, though it also has an insulting definition, as it is used to describe men who are raped by fellow prisoners in jail.

Robert Martin, who was repeatedly gang-raped in prison, has now spoken out against jail-rape while also celebrating the term 'punk': "He has taken the word "punk," which in its nonmusical context has always been a term of derision, and turned it into an emblem of honor. He has performed the same etymological magic trick that others have done with [ Finally, we should consider 'otaku', 'geek', and 'nerd', all of which are negative terms implying anti-social obsessive behaviour.

Increasingly, people are self-identifying as geeks, otakus, and nerds, using the terms proudly: a computing magazine called Otaku was launched in , David Bell cites 'geek' as "Originally a term of abuse for people overly-obsessed with computers - though now reappropriated as a badge of pride" , and 'GEEK' and 'nerd' t-shirts are on sale.

The comedy film Revenge Of The Nerds celebrated the atypical victory of nerds against jocks in an American school. It is clear that "The conversion of a derogatory term into a battle cry by radicals is not uncommon" Hugh Rawson, , though 'cunt' itself has yet to emerge as a fully reclaimed term.

Presently, the initial stages of its reappropriation are more contentious and complex than those of the epithets dicussed above. Todd Anten categorises slurs into two types, to distinguish between words in different positions along the road to reclamation: 'close' words "which are at the end stages of reappropriation", and 'clear' words "which are at the beginning stages".

He also notes that it is not only words that can be reclaimed: "The power of reappropriation is not limited to textual slurs; visual slurs may also be reappropriated". He cites as an example the pink triangle used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals: "[it] evolved from a mark of Nazi hatred into a symbol of gay pride".

An especially intriguing aspect of reappropriation is that of trademark applications. Aware that potentially disparaging words are denied trademark status, Todd Anten argues that such restrictions should be lifted for "self-disparaging" terms: "The reappropriation of former slurs is an integral part of the fostering of individual and group identity [ He also cites Joe Garofoli's comment that "[S]elf-labeling defuses the impact of derisive terms by making them more commonplace".

In the latter case, 'jap', Anten notes that the term "may disparage multiple groups": it was intended as a reclaimed term in a Jewish context, though it may still offend Japanese people. Reappropriation is indeed a minefield. The marginalisation of the feminine is apparent not only in relation to language but also in cultural attitudes towards the sexual organs themselves.

A large penis is equated with potency and sexual prowess: 'size matters' has become a cliche, though it is still perceived as an index of masculinity by men. Phrases such as 'well hung' maintain the male obsession with penis size, and John Holmes became one of the world's most famous porn stars thanks to his fourteen-inch erection. Size and the female reproductive organs, however, have a reversed relationship: "while men want their pivotal organ to be as big as possible, women want theirs to be small" Arusa Pisuthipan, A large vagina is seen as indicative of copious copulation, prompting accusations of prostitution or nymphomania.

Or, as Germaine Greer puts it: "The best thing a cunt can be is small and unobtrusive: the anxiety about the bigness of the penis is only equalled by the anxiety about the smallness of the cunt. No woman wants to find out that she has a twat like a horse-collar" [a]. Corrective surgery - namely a laser vaginal rejuvenation operation - is available in such circumstances, to make "the vaginal canal smaller and the opening of the vagina smaller" Nicola Black, , whereas male genital surgery serves to enlarge the organ rather than reduce it.

Crude terms such as 'big cunt', 'bushel cunt', 'bucket cunt', 'bucket fanny', 'butcher's dustbin', 'spunk dustbin', 'bargain bucket', 'billposter's bucket', 'Big Daddy's sleeping bag', 'ragman's trumpet', 'ragman's coat', 'turkey's wattle', 'raggy blart', 'pound of liver', 'club sandwich', 'ripped sofa', 'badly-packed kebab', 'stamped bat', 'wizard's sleeve', 'clown's pocket', 'Yaris fanny', 'fanny like a easyjet seat pocket', 'a fanny like Sunderland's trophy cabinet', 'cow-cunt', 'double-cunted', 'sluice-cunted', and "canyon-cunted" Jim Goad, [b] , equate dilation with repulsion: "Here, the rule is to imply the owner of the vulva is unhygienic; that it has sustained so much sex it has lost its shape" Matthew de Abaitua, Thus, alongside the linguistic suppression of 'cunt', the vagina is also physically suppressed: "The importance of [vaginal] size is evident in contexts as diverse as slang, comedy, and surgical practices to tighten the vagina" Virginia Braun and Celia Kitzinger, [b].

The penis is an external organ whereas the vagina is an internal one, therefore the penis is naturally the more visible of the two; there is, however, a cultural emphasis placed upon this difference that acts to reinforce and extend it. The bulging male groin 'lunchbox' is identified as sexually attractive, whereas women are encouraged not to emphasise their groins but to camouflage them: "the vagina is a culturally obscure little organ. Phallic references and penis jokes litter daily discourse, whereas vulval imagery is seemingly limited to pornography" Joanna Briscoe, The venerated male 'lunchbox' can be directly contrasted with the condemned female equivalent, the 'cameltoe'.

The female group Fannypack released a single called Cameltoe in which they criticised women for "grossin' people out with your cameltoe[s]" :. Similarly, the male codpiece's exaggeration of penile protrusion can be contrasted with female chastity belts that lock away the vagina. Also, excessive female pubic hair the 'bikini line' is shaved to render the area indistinguishable from any other part of the body: "If we do receive any information about the triangle between our legs, it is almost entirely negative; the [ Oliver Maitland contrasts artistic representations of the vagina with those of the penis: "For thousands of years, the vulva in art was sculpturally, graphically and pictorially erased [whereas] the male member [ The physical differences between the male and female sexual organs are central to Sigmund Freud's theory of penis envy.

This is the notion that a girl perceives her clitoris to be the result of her castration, and, faced with what Freud terms an "inferiority" , develops a desire for the visible, external symbols of virility possessed by men. Joan Smith answers this with the proposition that "it's time to start talking, pace Freud, about the terrible problems men have in overcoming their cunt envy" , a timely riposte to Freudian phallocentricity. Germaine Greer's key feminist text is titled The Female Eunuch , though accusations of penis envy serve merely to trivialise the feminist feeling of physical and linguistic marginalisation.

The 'female eunuch' is symbolic of the desexed representation of the female sexual experience, rather than representing a literal desire for a male organ. Patriarchal marginalisation is not, therefore, a literal neutering of women, though it does generate this metaphorical effect; while the penis is exaggerated, the vagina is rendered subordinate. This is graphically illustrated by Tom Cruise's character in Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia , whose mantra is: "Respect the cock and tame the cunt" Male attempts to marginalise the vagina lexically, physically, and pictorially can be seen as symbolic attempts to suppress female sexuality.

The myth of the vagina dentata discussed in more detail later is appropriate in this regard, as there are many mythological instances of toothed vaginas being blunted by male weapons: "Gruesomely, it is the removal of vaginal teeth symbolising the devouring aspect of female sexuality by brave male heroes that is a core component of many dentata stories. A Mimbres bowl drawn by Pat Carr from a Zuni Pueblo original depicts a man's club-like penis inside a vagina dentata to illustrate a myth involving two men who meet eight women with vagina dentatas: "their grandmother warned them specifically to stay away [ They have teeth in their vaginas.

They will cut you and you will die. The blood ran. When the oak members were worn out, they put them aside and took the hickory ones. By daylight the teeth of these women were all worn out" Pat Carr and Willard Gingerich, Symbolically, this male domination over female sexuality - using a tool to cut vaginal teeth - clearly represents the power of the phallus and the weakness of the vagina, or, in other words, the Magnolia mantra quoted above. According to Pueblo mythology, the Ahaiyute would "break girls' toothed vaginas with false wooden penises" Marta Weigle, A Jicarilla Apache Indian myth describes four 'vagina girls' who swallow men with their vaginas, until a medicine administered by the male 'Killer-of-Enemies' neutralises their power: "When Killer-of-Enemies had come to them, they had had strong teeth with which they had eaten their victims.

But this medicine destroyed their teeth entirely" Catherine Blackledge, In a similar example, "There was a Rakshasa's [demon's] daughter who had teeth in her vagina. When she saw a man, she would turn into a pretty girl, seduce him, [and] cut off his penis" - the only way to neuter her was to "make an iron tube, put it into her vagina and break her teeth". Pueblo Indian artwork depicts "efforts to remove a woman's vaginal teeth with a false penis made out of oak and hickory", and this ceremony is now symbolically re-enacted: "Re-enactments of vagina tooth smashing can be found in some culture's rituals.

In Venerating The Cunt-Demon-Conquering Metal Penis God , Colin B Liddell describes a similar legend, in which a metal penis is used to blunt the teeth of a vagina-demon: "According to the legend, a demon, escaping from a Buddhist priest, hid out in a young girl's vagina. Provoked by the sudden intrusion, the demon responded by biting off the young man's pecker". The woman's "cock-chomping beaver" was subdued by an iron dildo, an object which is still celebrated on the first Sunday of every April at the Kanamara Matsuri event in Kawasaki, Japan.

Our environment is becoming increasingly saturated with sexual images, justified by the maxim 'sex sells'. This situation, which Brian McNair terms "The sexualization of the public sphere" , predominantly involves images of women, appealing to heterosexual male desires at the expense of heterosexual female ones.

Significantly, however, they represent a "tit-and-arse landscape" Barbara Ellen, , with the breasts and buttocks over-exposed and the genital area airbrushed away. As Germaine Greer notes, these images are "poses which minimize the genital area" and "The vagina is obliterated from the imagery of femininity" [a] : the imagery may be sexualised yet it de-emphasises the vagina as an erogenous zone. Greer returned to the subject in The Whole Woman , her sequel to The Female Eunuch : "Male genitals are drawn on every wall, female genitals only on doctor's blotters [ Catherine Blackledge ascribes this prejudice to Christian misogyny: "the emphasis in the western world post the advent of Christianity has mainly been on hiding or veiling the vagina, rather than revealing or celebrating it" Albert Ellis explains that our culture's obsessive interest in breasts and buttocks and disinterest in the vagina is the result of subconscious displacement: "Males in our culture are so afraid of direct contact with female genitalia, and are even afraid of referring to these genitalia themselves; they largely displace their feelings to the accessory sex organs - the hips, legs, breasts, buttocks, etc.

Germaine Greer's explanation is more direct: she blames the linguistic and cultural marginalisation of the vagina on "centuries of womb-fear" [a]. She has actually incorporated a drawing of female ovaries into her signature, in a personal attempt to increase their visual representation. Germaine Greer's term 'womb-fear' highlights the underlying reason for both the cultural suppression of the vagina and the linguistic suppression of 'cunt'.

Make sure you've finished this carton before you use that milk, a I'm sure he will arrive before you get there. By the time b I reckon the journey to Cornwall is over miles. By the time we get c After keying that report, could you perhaps check this order for me? When that d I'm sure Helen will have got there before everyone else. Helen is e We will fax you further details on receipt of your completed application form. Having Q Fill each of the blanks with a suitable word or phrase.

Example: All the best things will have gone if we don't get to the sale soon.

I am looking for a particular song, how can I find it?

Next October I'll have been playing with this team for ten years. He'd been driving for hours and he needed a rest. The Past and Present Perfect Simple can suggest the action is finished: I'd been staring at the computer screen all evening when a solution suddenly struck me. I've been reading 'War and Peace' again. I was wondering if you wanted to go out this evening. Were you looking for anything in particular?

Note we can't use I was thinking with whether or if: X I was thinking whether you'd like to come round to my place for cojfee? I was wondering whether you 'd like to come round to my place for coffee? Several cyclists are thought to have been taking drugs during the race. Example: Which sentence would be said after one particular meal?

J b I've been eating too much.

What if it was not a major hit?

Which would you say to your other colleagues when you get to the office to explain why she was there? Sometimes both may be possible. The first has been done for you. Not because I don't like it but because it's just a habit I have never got into. Q Match the questions with suitable answers a-h. Z 7 Why were they apprehended?

Q Write a new sentence as similar as possible in meaning to the original sentence, but using the word given. Example: My original intention was to drive all the way. You'll be sick if you eat more chocolate. I'm going to stop in a minute. Look out! We're going to hit the car in front. We're going to the cafe. Won't you join us? The coach leaves in ten minutes. Don't phone too early because I'll be putting the baby to bed. We'll be working on this until the end of the year. I'll give your letter to him - I'll be seeing him later. We'll have driven over five hundred miles by the time we get there.

We'll have been living here for ten years next May. He is to be given an award.

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You're to stay here until you've apologised. However, it is becoming increasingly formal - its most common current use is in polite offers or to ask advice see Unit 3, Section 1. What shall we do now? However, with conditional clauses after if, unless, providing, etc. Harry asked me if I would help him out. We're due to meet in half an hour. I'll finish this tomorrow e We'll be sending you more details in the post.

Fill each of the numbered gaps in this passage with one suitable word. Yes, I know. No, I'll 5 out by twelve,' I stammered. I'm 8 in less than fifteen minutes. The flies, ants and cockroaches will soon 9 partying in a punctually vacated apartment. Have no fear. Example: I was just about to have a cup of coffee when Sue called. The first two have been done for you. Despite all the lessons we have learned from history.. During this century, so many changes have 2 taken place that any idea as to what new invention is about become 3 an integral part of our lives has become more of a guessing game 4 than ever.

For a start, in ten years' time, today's 5 innovations will probably have out of date. But what 9 we have little idea about is how this affect our personal relationships. Will they still be able to find a friendly shoulder 14 to cry on when they feeling low? In the long run, who knows? They describe states that stay the same rather than actions or events that change.

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The most common stative verb is be. Do you prefer to travel by bus or by train? She's being rather obstinate at the moment. A small group of verbs with meanings related to mental activity, e. We don't use them in the Continuous except for emphasis: Are you actually denying that you took my pen? Practice Q In the following pairs of sentences decide if one or both are acceptable. Example: I'm owning over CDs. Decide whether the underlined verbs are in the best tense. Topic: Describe someone you like or dislike I don't like to admit to disliking anyone, but I have to confess that there is one of my classmates who I am particularly disliking 1.

We have studied 2 together in the same class for the last few years and I begin 3 to feel that I have been having 4 enough. It's not that he is an unpleasant person, in fact in other circumstances I am feeliftg 5 sure that we would get on fine. It is just that when you have sat 6 next to someone for so long in such an artificial environment as a classroom, you find 7 that the smallest thing can start to get on your nerves.

I thought 8 about this only the other day after the person in question - let us call him George, though that is not his real name - had been trying 9 to help me with an exercise in our text book. I was realising 10 immediately that he really wasn't knowing 11 what he talked 12 about. This was not a problem but what annoyed 13 me was the fact that he refused 14 to listen to my explanations. The exercise was consisting 15 of reading a text and answering questions on it and I am not thinking 1 6 that he had been reading 1 7 the text.

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I didn't know what to say. I was going to tell 18 him to stop being so stupid but that would have been sounding 19 rude. So in the end I just sat 20 and said nothing. Q For each of the following sentences, write a new sentence as similar as possible in meaning to the original sentence but using the word given. Example: I may go to work overseas. Words that occur together frequently 'collocate'. Words that don't collocate never occur together. Other words are not possible and so we can learn these compounds and common phrases as a combination of words.

We can also think of idiomatic expressions and dependent prepositions as types of collocation: I had to go on a crash course to learn Spanish. The children arrived safe and sound. My boss usually arrives at 8 o'clock on the dot. I'll be back in a flash. I want you back here on the precise dot of eleven. Will they honour their election pledges? Please arrive in time for the meeting.

Q In the following text, circle the underlined word that collocates with those around it. Q Underline the word or phrase that best completes each sentence. It's only after a few weeks that you begin to feel at home here. You won't He's almost certain to leave before we do. By the time Lucas was last heard of a week ago. Nobody Theo is the most infuriating person I've ever met. I've yet This is This type of car used to sell very well before the more modern was produced. Since It appears that they sent us the wrong information.

They It seems we made a mistake. We The President clearly felt the ministers he sacked had not acted swiftly enough. The ministers sacked I'm glad I got out of there: it was hell. I'm glad to 2 Fill each of the blanks with a suitable word or phrase. Many towns and cities around the world 1 up a particular image or memory as soon as they 2 mentioned, whether it is due to a catastrophic earthquake that shattered it, an aeroplane that came down just outside it, or a madman with a gun 3 amok through the streets in the dim and 4 past. Glastonbury is now established as 5 to this group.

Almost certainly it will be a reference to the twenty-odd-year-old Festival of Music whose home it is. In the last year or so, a sometimes quite heated argument has 10 out along the lines of Are you too old for Glastonbury? Never 11 been to such a festival before, 1 7-year-old Nathalie Worsnip failed to see why somethings who 12 had their day should spoil things for people like her who 13 going to Glastonbury for the first time.

She suspected the former would be ' 14 like mad for middle-aged has-beens' and ignore up-and-coming young bands who had 15 to break into the big time. On the other hand, reformed hippie and university lecturer, David Stone, pointed out that it was his generation who had 16 Glastonbury on the map. There had 17 nothing like it before, and he failed to see why they could not follow through what they had 18 in the late seventies.

The Festival's future and its ethos seem uncertain. Will grandfathers still 19 attending in ten years' time, or will they 20 been banned in the interests of today's and tomorrow's! As time 1 , the power of newspapers seems to be on the 2. This is odd because in the relatively 3 past people were predicting that the influence of the written word would diminish in 4 proportion to the rate of increase of the spoken word and moving image through TV and video. The Internet, cable and satellite television, Teletext and multi-media computers in 5 other home should surely have 6 for newspapers by now, particularly alongside a perceptible resurgence in the audiences for news-carrying radio stations.

How have these organs survived, let alone 7 , particularly on a Sunday? Why do people who have seen a football or tennis 8 live or on the small screen rush the next day to read a 9 version of it in four or five columns which surely cannot mean more to the reader than that self-same viewer of the previous afternoon or evening? Why would anyone who has seen a film and formed a 10 impression of it the following day read a review of the 1 1 film in a newspaper? Isn't that what friends are for?

Don't we have colleagues for just that purpose - to see if our ideas on any 12 song, film or programme tally with others'? What is this product that 13 of not much more than outrageous headlines, wayward comment, subjective editorials and hyperbolic sports pages still doing in our lives? It seems for the time 14 to be leading a charmed life. When it finally goes, though, many may come to mourn its NJ 31 1, nit two Passives Entry test 1 Finish each of the following sentences in such a way that it is as similar as possible to the sentence before it.

My motorbike b Second prize was awarded to an unknown author from Patras. An unknown author from Patras c The judge refused him permission to appeal against the decision. He : d Blur have earned several million pounds from their new album. Blur's new album e They suggested we try a new method of checking how much we were spending. That dress b We watched the men sail the boat into the harbour. We watched the boat c I dropped the glass and cracked it. The glass cracked d I added flour to the sauce and thickened it.

The sauce e They're selling a lot of copies of that new single. They ought to have been punished more severely. Having been beaten in the semi-final, she flew home the next day. See Section 3. In an active sentence, the 'agent' the person or thing that performs the action usually comes first and is the subject of the sentence: Subject Agent Action Result Olympiakos scored the first goal.

This active sentence is principally about Olympiakos. This passive sentence is principally about the goal. We choose between active and passive because of the topic we are talking about, especially when reporting information. An English newspaper, assuming its readers are interested in the England football team, makes the England team the topic.

It is likely to report: England have been beaten by Germany in a penalty shoot-out. A German newspaper, more interested in their own national team, is likely to report: Germany has beaten England in a penalty shoot-out. Coffee will be made available after the meal. They may be adjectives: I was worried we would be late because of the traffic. We are interested in the action itself, who or what is affected by the action, or what is the result of it see Overview.

Mentioning the agent We mention the agent when we think the information is important, especially if we want to say more about it, for example with a relative clause: I remember being taken to the fair by my father, who rarely showed any interest in such things. The survivors were picked out of the water by a cruise liner which had heard their distress call.

A slice of cake was cut for him. We were suggested a new time. A new time was suggested for us. The book earned him a fortune. Let me wish you luck. We can see this if it is replaced by an adjective: They declared him President. He was declared President. The doctor declared him dead.

He was declared dead. Add the appropriate extra information a-e to the passive sentences O Where possible, rewrite each of the following sentences in two different ways, using a different subject each time. Some sentences may be rewritten only one way. Cr Fill each of the numbered blanks in the following passage with one suitable word. Twenty-four hours after arriving in 8 the country, I 1 told to leave. The security police, the country's largest employer, came to my hotel, politely asked me what I i thought of the city and then recommended that I leave on the morning plane.

I asked them why I was 2 expelled and they said it was not a question of my being ' 3 out', they were simply recommending that I leave. I refused and the problems started. My passport and plane ticket 4 stolen from my room after my key 'disappeared'. The police shrugged their shoulders and decided not to interview the leather- jacketed youth who 1 5 been pressed up against in the lift. I For three days I was 6 by two not very secret policemen everywhere I went. I visited a I fellow-journalist whose address I had 7 given.

He lived in j a beautiful old house which would 8 demolished the following year by the government to make way for a block of 'modern' flats. Everybody would be 9 in it as soon as it was ready but where they would live in the meantime had not been 10 out. Massive taxation was 1 1 imposed on the people to pay for these supposed improvements. I went back to the hotel, still 12 followed by the two policemen, and felt very depressed.

In the passive, we use a to-infinitive: Active Passive J heard him shout at He was heard to shout at his brother. They've made him promise He's been made to promise not to come before six. Let v. We use allow: My parents let me do what I wanted. I was badly let down. I've got to write this essay before Friday. If I'm going to do it by then, I'd better get a move on. There's so much to be done. This essay has got to be written before Friday. If it's going to be done by then, I'd better get a move on.

Active or passive infinitive? There are three main patterns: It's thought by the press that the chairman earns too much. The chairman is thought by the press to earn too much. There are thought to be disagreements among senior ministers. I One knows She recalled having been taken there when she was young. Having been stung by bees, she has no love of insects.

Example: New measures to combat crime are to be introduced at the end of the year. Finish each of the following sentences in such , a way that it is as similar as possible to the sentence before it. Example: Many people believe that Stonehenge was built as some kind of time-keeping device. Stonehenge is believed by many people to have been built as some kind of time-keeping device. I b Nobody ever let me study the piano at school. I c It is often said that Shakespeare never revised anything he wrote. Shakespeare d There were once thought to be canals on Mars. It e From what we understand, there was an attack last night in the vicinity of the beach.

There is f It's a widespread assumption that George was wrongly accused. These football boots are h Under no circumstances should you cross this line. This line is. Q For each of the sentences, write a new sentence as similar as possible in meaning to the original sentence, but using the word given. Example: A lot of people are saying that he's working undercover, rumoured lt'5 rumoured that he's working undercover. Example: He didn't remember that he had been ordered to appear before the judge. She has vague memories of b It's never very nice when people laugh at you.

Being c Stewart was criticised for his extravagance and was more careful after that. Having d I really wish I hadn't been pushed into giving a speech. I really regret e Because I was told it was quicker, I naturally took the mountain road. I'll have the waiter bring you the menu. Note that have is much more common in American English; get is common in spoken British English. This is usually informal: They got punished by the Principal for making so much noise. Poor Vassili - his dog got run over last night.

Don't get your family involved in the business. The subject is the person who experiences what happened: I've had my car stolen. Compare: My car was stolen. He's had his application for citizenship turned down. Compare: His application for citizenship has been turned down. My mother's had her letter published in The Times.

Compare: My mother's letter has been published in The Times. Consider: They had their fence pulled down. He tried to escape but got caught. They were aiming to walk the entire route but got tired in the end. It was last May, while we were taking our annual late- spring break on Lindos that we 1 our house broken into.

All our TV and video equipment 2 stolen, but what was worse was when we discovered that the final draft of my husband's latest novel 3 4 torn into pieces and the disks he 5 6 writing it on 7 disappeared. Of course, you hear about people who 8 9 their properties vandalised and others whose most prized possessions 10 11 taken, but it's a terrible shock when it happens to you, when you know that your home.

Finish each of the following sentences in such a way that it is as similar as possible in meaning to the sentence before it. Exam-pie: Hasn't that film been developed yet? Haven't you had the film developed yet? Can it be true that I'm b One of the others agreed to post my letters for me. I got c My dentist is supposed to be capping my two front teeth this morning.

I'm d My car really needs servicing. I really e Why did you let them go without signing the receipt? Why didn't you.. Example: His arm is in a sling after he got it stamped on. Q For each of the following sentences, write a new sentence as similar as possible in meaning to the original sentence, but using the word given. The words must not be altered in any way.

Example: Computing is just something you take for granted after a while, get Computing is just something you get used to after a while. Example: film to has just be That seen. We don't mention or even imply an agent. Verbs that allow us to change the subject to 'the thing affected by the action' without using the passive are called 'ergative' verbs. By changing the subject of the sentence in this way the active transitive verb becomes intransitive: The dog opened the door.

That jumper does up at the neck. The car crashed into a post. The soup thickened. The sun had dried their clothes by the time they got home. She broke her pencil because she was pressing too hard. His life changed completely when he moved to Denmark. Their clothes had dried by the time they got home. Her pencil broke because she was pressing too hard. Other examples include: begin vary decrease expand increase open close finish fade stretch crack smash watch out! We can't use all verbs describing change in this way. For example, destroy and demolish must stay transitive: X The old building demolished.

The old building was demolished. Describing movement Other verbs that we can use in this way describe movement of some kind: Transitive Non-passive intransitive He reversed the car into the garage. The pilot landed the plane on only one engine. He moved his chair closer to hers. A car reversed round the corner. The plane landed on time. That new restaurant has moved. Simmer the stock for an hour. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Your composition reads well.

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Put a cross X next to every sentence that is incorrect. Write the correction. Example: a Drop a line when you get there. Add any prepositional phrases necessary. Example: The sun has melted the chocolate. The chocolate has melted in the sun. Example: The first act of your play is very well written, reads The first act of your play reads very well. Example: The amount we can spend on technical equipment has fortunately increased. My neighbour's been arrested! Stockholm has been dubbed the Venice of the North. A reminder will be sent by post.

The stadium was built in Make any necessary changes. Some verbs are so commonly used in the passive, without mentioning an agent, that they work in a similar way to -ed adjectives see Overview, Watch out! Tuscan truffles are particularly prized for their pungent aroma. I'm gutted! Here are some examples: The threat was couched in the vaguest possible terms. We've been conditioned into accepting TV as essential.

The athlete was acclaimed as a national hero. The old man has been indicted as a war criminal. I don't think any of these remarks could be construed as positive. I've been swamped with requests to do concerts all over Europe. I've been called many things in my life but never 'inspired'. I was so caught up in my book that I failed to realise the time.

The get-out clause was written into their contract. Q Fill each of the gaps with the most appropriate word from the list. Jill is so different: 8 with an ability to get on with everyone, 9 with genius, already 10 by her company for a top job and 11 to be a success in whatever she does, she's 12 of just about every quality Jack lacks. Q Fill each of the gaps in the following sentences with an appropriate verb from the list. The verbs should be used in the passive. Phrasal verbs are verbs which are always followed by an adverb, e. The meaning of a phrasal verb is sometimes obvious from the meanings of its parts, e.

But the meaning is often more idiomatic and so less obvious, e. Phrasal verbs can be either transitive or intransitive: When you get to the next crossroads, turn off. Would you turn off the radio, please. The preposition is part of a prepositional phrase: Who lives across the road? What are you looking at? Please turn off the radio. We can't put the object between a verb and a preposition: I've come into money. I came into it when my father died. However, the most common are by used to mention the agent , with used to mention how something is done or what it is done with and in: They're being cared for by a neighbour.

It was prepared with great patience. Man was first discovered in East Africa. Any gain must be balanced any potential loss. In these cases, we use other verbs: They all ran laughing into the room. X The room was run into. S The room was soon filled with people laughing. Practice O Choose the preposition that best completes each sentence. The piazza from all sides. Agreement after hours of negotiation. The hole with concrete. The room through a sort of tunnel. The stadium as the fire spread. Q Underline the word that best fits the sentence.

All b I don't think they should have pressure put on them to make a decision. I don't think they should be c The price is exclusive of airport taxes. Airport taxes d The way the managing director behaved last night really shocked me. I e Several people came up to me to congratulate me. I f I grew up in a little village on the Scottish border. I was g The letters will have your name printed on them. The letters will be h The couple didn't tell the police about the theft until it was far too late.

The theft i An old woman once tricked my father into giving her several hundred pounds. My father was once conned out j Government guidelines really do emphasise the importance of starting education early. A lot of emphasis Q For each of the sentences below, write a new sentence as similar as possible in meaning to the original sentence, but using the word given. A popular character in the nation's top television soap is 1 for something of which she was probably innocent. Having been 2 guilty of a series of fraudulent acts, she contemplates months of incarceration.

A good story-line, but wait! Within hours the television station is being 3 with calls of protest. A national newspaper soon 4 up a campaign to have her freed. Thousands of T-shirts are printed with slogans 5 for her release. Wellbeing campaign in Otautahi, where she is based. The book follows Caleb, a teenager in his last year of high school, and his experiences going through and coming to terms with mental illness. I have the basics: food, shelter, money, clothes.

Donuhue writes as Caleb in the first person and in a poetic style that powerfully captures his experiences. It expresses those moments when are our thoughts are not fluid narratives; moments of fear, dread and disconnect. Because Everything is Right but Everything is Wrong is a beautifully written and important book. I would absolutely recommend this book. Listen to an interview with the author, Erin Donohue.

Aza lives with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder OCD. Green has spoken openly of his own experiences with mental illness, and his decades of reflection on what this experience really is, combined with his sharp eye for the details of what it means to be human have paid off with a fully-realised character who lives with mental illness and is so much more than her diagnoses. Aza is bright, curious and capable of deep self-absorption combined with moments of great empathy for others. The plot starts off slowly and then rips along. It is, at times, very theatrical, but so is adolescence.

The characters crackle into life, preternaturally eloquent, able to distil complex philosophical ideas into quippy sentences, but nevertheless complex, flawed and likeable. They wonder if they are real, if they can control their own thoughts or actions, if what they think or do really matters. They also do their homework, bicker, fall in love and write fanfiction. Sometimes this book made for very intense reading.

Aza compulsively self-harms, and that makes for difficult reading. Sometimes I needed to take a break, but it was never far from my thoughts and I was eager to finish it. I went back and forth on whether I would recommend this book to a young person who experiences mental illness. Ultimately, I think I would, because being a teenager is a fundamentally lonely experience for many, and I remember well the comfort of recognising parts of myself in the pages of a book. I also remember what it meant at the time to be taken seriously, and John Green never fails to take young people and their hopes, dreams and worries seriously and kindly.

A warning though, the self-harm is graphic and specific and unusual enough to leave an impression.

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There is humour and warmth here, but it is, ultimately, a dark book. There is no shiny, happy ending tied neatly in a bow, but there is an ending — a surprising one. I really enjoyed it. Just about everybody knows a person who is on the autistic spectrum. Children living with autism often feel or act differently to other kids, but the great thing about All My Stripes is it not only stresses the unique gifts that we all have to offer, but also lets kids with autism and their parents, caregivers, teachers and siblings know that kids on the spectrum have something to contribute to the world too.

The book is fantastic for using in the classroom or kindergartens so other kids can understand what it is like to have autism and how something like the feel of paint can upset or cause issues for someone who has sensory processing issues for instance. The book has a great reading guide and note for parents and caregivers at the end. Not only does All My Stripes break down barriers, it promotes discussion which, in a classroom of primary school aged kids is a great thing especially when trying to get kids to understand something as complex as the autistic spectrum.

This book is a guide to living with intense grief and finding your way through, without letting grief take over. Is this book useful? Yes, I think it is. I live with grief myself, having lost my son and sister to suicide in recent years. My resistance focuses mostly around thinking — yeah well, the research is all very well ha! And there is value in feeling the pain, even as we heal. Guess what, grief fucking hurts, it just does. It is what it is. No getting around it.

You grieve because you loved. But I agree with Lucy — while unavoidable, grief is not something you want to leave in control of your life. Grief can cause damage and dammit, grief is sneaky. It permeates everything and causes havoc in subtle and not so subtle ways. Strategies for dealing with it are very useful and this is what this book offers.

You can read this book chapter by chapter or dip in and out as you please. Or ask someone you trust to read it to you and help you with the exercises it suggests. As time goes on, the way we look back and understand our grief and the way it works can change. Likewise, scientific perspectives can shift. I think it would be a fascinating conversation. Read this book? Yes, it is compassionate and offers thoughtful personal observations with well-researched perspectives. Do or believe everything it says?

No, not necessary. As Lucy notes, everyone grieves differently and no two bereavement experiences are the same. This book is part of a series that introduces cognitive behavioural therapy CBT skills to kids to help them deal with stress, anxiety and anger. The author, Kate Collins-Donnelly has worked as a therapist, psychologist, criminologist and anger management consultant based in the UK for many years. She aims to provide the information in a 'simple, activity-filled, easily readable and interesting way'. I think she achieves this especially with the workbook format.

The worksheets are set in a wider context by including an introduction for parents and professionals about evidence- based CBT. It also includes safety guidelines noting when people start to explore their anger it may raise some difficult issues and she encourages the reader to seek support. In this version for young people, which she states is suitable for children aged 10 and over, it has some examples from her real clients aged between 13—18 years.

They refer to complex life issues such as a year-old boyfriend cheating, a year-old being picked up from the police station and a teen abusing a family member who has come out as gay. I am not so sure my son, who is almost 10, would relate to these scenarios, though I guess it would give him a sense that uncontrolled anger can cause problems and get you in trouble! This book would be most suitable for young people who have more serious anger issues.

I hurt her really bad once. I'm horrible. I punch her. Collins-Donnelly has also penned a similar workbook for younger children called Starving the Anger Gremlin for children aged 5 —9. This has more of a focus on emotions and develops skills through a range of puzzles and drawing activities. I think both books impart valuable CBT skills that help young people identify unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours and give them tools to move towards more healthy ones. This therapy modality is accepted as effective and the author has clinical training.

The choice of which book to read may not depend so much on physical age, but the emotional age of the child and what issues they may be experiencing. These are a series of illustrated children's picture books, aimed at year-olds, designed to help children deal with confidence issues, change, loss and grief, managing anxiety and fears, bullying and worries. So my daughters and I dived straight in. But the story became dark, as did the pictures. I then sought to read, by myself, The Grand Wolf … who dies. I mean, I get it, this stuff is real for some kids.

But the plot or focus, eg, death, or in the previous book, fear, is developed quickly in these stories. It comes as a bit of a shock. I am very impressed. I feel this should be included with the actual book! And I would know everything to do and say when my daughter begins to worry about the Shadow Monsters actual existence! I think overall most of these books have some good ideas but some of the stories and images could scare children. I liked that the shadow book tried to teach kids that you can use your imagination to feel better magic and less scared, to make your fears go away.

The book on bullying is a great story with a great meaning. It teaches kids that if you are bullied to stay strong and that you can beat the bad feelings and still have fun. In the one about worries, that baby dragon has so many worries bottled up inside him and it makes him feel heavy. This book teaches kids to share their worries with people, overall a good story. Feelings are a big topic in our household. Our household consists of myself and my two tamariki, a year-old with an awesome Asperger's brain and a delightfully demonstrative 6-year-old.

Feel a Little contains 14 poems, each one about a different feeling with illustrations to match. The day I brought the book home I suggested to my year-old he may like to read some of the poems to his sister. Much grumbling ensued, but he was persuaded to read just one of his choice. So he started with Happy:. It may have been the bright, bold illustrations, or the easy upbeat rhythms, but many more poems were recited, one after the other with much enthusiasm.

Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood

However my 6-year-old lost interest quickly, perhaps a few too many feelings being described "at her" all at once. A few days later when I sat down with her one-on-one and focused on one poem she engaged better but still struggled with some of the more complex ideas. Feel a Little clearly has an older target audience in mind. I found many of the poems beautifully captured the essence of an emotion, the physical sensations as well as the nuance of how people may experience a feeling.

However, that was also a wonderful aspect of the book, as it enabled reflection and discussion with children about how they personally experience feelings. What words would they use to describe an emotion? My year-old really liked how some of the poems gave some advice about how to manage emotions such as Angry :.

But apart from that I think the book is a fantastic way to get children and adults to reflect more about their emotional world. Giving children a way to explore, discuss and express their feelings, in my opinion, is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children and Feel a Little provides an excellent medium to do just that. I first came across the resource on The Spinoff, in an article by Stack called How depression saved my life. Stark frankly detailed his experience of depression simply and without embellishment and his article resonated with me and the people I shared it with.

Stack has recovered and now has a job he loves, financial security and is surrounded by great people. I clicked over to the website, handed over my email address and was immediately emailed a free copy of the resource. I read it in one big gulp. I loved it. The resource is full of hope and positivity without being condescending — a tricky balance to achieve in my experience. It never lets you forget depression is manageable and recovery is possible, and reading it was a really uplifting experience.

All the advice is scientifically-proven and includes some background information about why, for example, getting sunlight is important, and then includes tips to put that advice into action. I particularly appreciated the inclusion of advice for those who are in debt debt and mental distress often go hand-in-hand as being in financial difficulties can place a huge burden on mental health.

Fuck Depression is a free resource. Download it at fkdepression. To save you time reading all the way through this review, let me just sum up at the beginning by saying I really, really liked this book and recommend it for professionals, parents and kids. I do believe this book has what it takes to turn worriers into warriors and the writer deserves a big high five or fist pump! So why am I such a fan? The writer, Dr Dan Peters, tells us about his anxiety, he is deeply empathetic and his experience helps to normalise anxiety. Peters leaves no leaf unturned in explaining absolutely everything!

Peters begins at the biological goings-on moving through to the ways and reasons we worry. The idea Peters gives that the Worry Monster is a bully, is a great message to start from and work with. However, this might be the clue for older children that this book is for a younger audience, so be clear that this is an "idea", and may be useful for your older child, but all the other strategies are the same for any person child or adult wanting to overcome anxiety, and importantly, they work.

Peters extensively explains the effects of worry, especially on behaviour. I love that these plans start with something a child knows they can manage, then they move their way up to more challenging tasks or situations. I have recommended this book so many times since reading it. Warriors we are! Conversations for Change is an amazing new resource that reTHiNK has created as part of Like Minds, Like Mine to challenge stigma and discrimination toward mental health issues and encourage social inclusion.

It's comprised of a set of five activities to use with groups of young people aged 15—24 and is written so that teachers, youth leaders or young leaders can safely and effectively facilitate it. Although I read through the physical copy, it's free and easily downloadable from their website which means accessibility is not an issue. All learning styles considered Looking through the contents, what stood out to me was the fact that all learning styles were considered when compiling and creating the information. You'll find audio, visual, and practical activities and resources to utilise alongside the written content.

The team at reTHiNK has also done a good job at ensuring that activities are written in a way that all age groups can understand and engage with, which sets it apart from similar resources. As a young person myself, I feel that this resource will help educate those in high school to be more mindful and aware of things that they say, while also informing the older generation about the real issues we're facing and to not just brush these things lightly.

One key thing that comes across is that the resource represents the New Zealand community. This comes across through the real life stories and quotes that are used throughout. I would highly recommend individuals who work with groups to tap into this resource to help educate people about mental health and wellbeing. I hope that this resource will also help those going through tough times to realise there are places and people who can help them and that asking for help is a courageous thing.

It started a great conversation about why you would stop the sun, what would happen, and if you needed help who were the people you could ask for help. The discussion then flowed to making a stand when you knew things were right and believing in yourself regardless of what people said about you and your goals. We asked the kids to give us the Bryan and Bobby world famous book rating system we use at our reading group — thumbs up or thumbs down.

This autobiography was gifted to the Mental Health Foundation's library and is quite an interesting read as Colegate writes well. The book follows his immigration to New Zealand in the s and the journey of his family as they support each other through periods of mental unwellness. Colegate's mother and son both experienced schizophrenia, and Colegate himself was diagnosed with bipolar in his mid-twenties. He writes in more detail about his mother and son than his own mental health journey, but it would have been nice to know more about his experience with bipolar.

However, you do get to know about him through his storytelling and you learn what's important to him, which I assume are the same things which aided his recovery and kept him well. Threads that emerge include; humour, curiosity, being with family, connecting with people, whakapapa, travel and adventure.

The book is sprinkled with family photos from the family album, eulogies and insights from his children and you get a real sense of the unity of his family despite some difficult times. Colegate describes his wife Ann as the rock of the household through difficult times and we learn she also brought this strength to community work for which she received a Civic Award for her contribution to the Like Minds, Like Mine public awareness programme. Even though this is more a memoir than a book about bipolar, that in itself shows that mental illness does not need to define you or limit your ability to lead a rich life.

My understanding is Colegate is in his eighties and still giving presentations and advocating that people talk about mental health issues and seek help. I'm sure the work Colegate and his family have done over the years to advocate and encourage others as a result of their life experiences has impacted positively on many.

Turnbull, G. These words from someone who had experienced traumatic stress piqued my interest in reading it. At over pages, it's not a book for the time poor. However, it's very easy to read and holds your interest. Among others, he treated first responders involved in the Lockerbie air disaster in Scotland in , the Kegworth air disaster in , returning soldiers from the Falklands, RAF pilots who had been shot down in the Gulf war, hostages freed from Lebanon, and later in his career, civilians suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD at the Ticehurst Centre in England.

They, by and large, saw PTSD as a psychopathology — as an illness. This was why Lockerbie had been so life-changing for me. It was difficult — impossible, actually — for me to believe they had developed a psychopathology. Unresolved trauma is often an underlying cause of a range of symptoms that can, if not treated, be debilitating. The book outlines numerous forms of therapy that are helpful and healing for PTSD. It can be dipped into for different aspects of understanding trauma and its effects and the modes of treatment now available. The book is available for loan from the Skylight library.

Phone to arrange for it to be sent out to you. For information about other books available in the Skylight library and all their services, visit www. Porr, V. Oxford University Press. The book is written to support the families of loved ones with borderline personality disorder BPD. My second thought is that the book takes a very compassionate approach. The book focuses on two things; increasing your understanding of the disorder and giving you skills to handle the situations that arise.

Knowledge is power Understanding BPD is a crucial first step to increasing the compassion you feel for what your loved one is going through. Porr explains the science behind the disorder — how brain scans show heightened emotional reactivity in the amygdala, slower recovery from these reactions, and impaired working of the executive functions of the brain that perceive, reason, and plan actions. She paints a picture of the impact of these changes and what it must be like to live with the disorder. The rest of the book gives you tools and techniques for responding to and helping your loved one.

These are grounded in two effective therapies for BPD — dialectical behaviour therapy and mentalisation therapy. Dialectical behaviour therapy is based around a set of skills which can help tolerate distress, regulate emotions, and improve communication and relationships.

While aimed at those with BPD, these skills can equally help families communicate and successfully navigate their own relationships with their BPD loved one. Learning these skills, particularly validation, together with a new appreciation and understanding of what was in front of me, was the turning point in restoring some hope to our family relationships. Helpful, practical skills Porr is not a believer in the tough love approach for BPD.

Developing and using the skills she teaches tends to reduce the levels of confrontation and conflict in and of themselves, but she does also address ways a family member can set limits if they feel abused. Mentalisation is the skill of intuiting what other people are thinking, and Porr devotes the last chapter to why misunderstandings occur so often, and what you can do about it. This is a book I have gone back to again and again, for information, for skills, and to feel my experience is validated.

Reviewer chose not to be named to protect her privacy. Edited by Slade, M. Cambridge University Press. In recent years interest has been growing in how positive human traits and environments can be an intervention for creating better personal and population mental health. Despite this, relevant theory, models and evidence have been limited. This is probably largely due to wellbeing interventions in mental health being a new field, and the inertia of current research agendas focussing on deficit approaches to mental distress.

The area of wellbeing for mental health research is gaining momentum however, and Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health provides a good overview of areas of current inquiry. For wellbeing enthusiasts who are excited about the possibility of wellbeing and positive mental health approaches becoming part of mainstream mental health policy and services, this volume will be a useful resource providing up-to-date evidence and thinking on the benefits of approaching mental health holistically.

Wide range of topics The book also gives a good sense of the diversity of research and inquiry around mental wellbeing being an agent in reducing mental illness and assisting in recovery from mental illness. The range of topic areas covered across the 26 chapters includes:. There are many examples of Australian and New Zealand wellbeing research in the book, reflecting the location of the editors, and this should make the text more attractive to readers in this country.

Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health shows that incorporating wellbeing and positive mental health into mental health policy and future service design will continue to provide opportunities for more engaging and strength based mental health service practice. As a result there will be challenges for the mental health system as wellbeing broadens the scope of how we view mental health in our public health service systems.

Suicide postvention is the support of those left behind after a suicide.

  • I am looking for a particular song, how can I find it?.
  • English proverbs (alphabetically by proverb).
  • The Royers of Renfrew A Family Tapestry.
  • The Resurrection Testament (The Ocean).
  • What’s Your Resilience Score??

This approach was developed by Edwin Shneidman and Norman Farberow, pioneers of suicide prevention in America in the s. I think they would be cheering for this book which carries on their work. Expert contributors. Contributors are researchers and clinicians, also leaders and experts in postvention. Topics covered include current demographic and clinical issues, coronial processes, mental health, support groups, support for youth, therapy, counselling, online support, indigenous healing practices, spirituality, cluster suicides, murder-suicides and development of postvention guidelines.

As each chapter stands alone, these can be read in any order or as suits. Part 1 looks at current knowledge and what this implies for support. Part 2 covers suicide bereavement support in different settings, while parts 3 and 4 look at different populations and countries. New Zealand is located in the Asia- Pacific section and is represented by Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, who writes on her work to develop postvention guidelines for Pacific communities. Her approach involves keeping voices of Pasifika suicide bereaved central, allowing communities to identify their own issues and ways forward.

Informative and inspiring From a work perspective, I find this book valuable. It prompts action. On a personal level, as someone bereaved by suicide, I find it validating and reassuring to be able to dip into a book like this and learn that my experiences matter, while finding out more about current research and initiatives in suicide bereavement and postvention. Wealth of information This book holds a wealth of information that supports goals related to developing effective postvention supports.

Postvention is prevention. Postvention is action. It inspires. It educates. It leads. I really enjoyed this book. The author takes us through a journey of the six key principles which drive things to catch on. These are Social Currency we share things that make us look good , Triggers top of mind, tip of tongue , Emotion when we care we share , Public built to show, built to grow , Practical Value news you can use and Stories information travels under the guise of idle chatter.

He uses really interesting examples to guide the reader through each of these steps, such as the telephone booth that was in fact a door to a secret restaurant and why a NASA mission boosted sales of chocolate bars, so it's a really interesting and fun read. It's described on Amazon. The worlds of these two young men collide through a chance encounter, and as a result, they begin to question their life situations. This connection sparks a shared journey of self-development; one which brings about necessary changes for both men. I found their relationship very interesting, what was perhaps not so plausible was that Tyson was a drug dealer and yet he was also a leader and teacher, although ultimately he gave that lifestyle away.

The book is great in that it clearly describes a type of mindfulness practice which we know can be very helpful for many people both with mental health problems and those without. Reviewed by Janet Peters, registered psychologist and writer. Cuddy, A. Orion Publishing Group Ltd. When she was a teenager she was involved in a car accident that left her with a serious head injury.

Doctors told her she may never fully recover and to not expect to graduate high school. This is the mantra that sets the tone for her book. Power pose your way to confidence Presence has six key elements — being confident, passionate, enthusiastic, captivating, comfortable and authentic. Instead of approaching an opportunity with anxiety, power posing can help you feel more confident and help you be your true self. At times, the ideas are overshadowed by her own research findings and personal stories from people who have been using power poses. So, before my next big challenge, you might find me in a corner somewhere doing my two minutes of power posing before bringing my true presence to the situation.

In this harrowing book, New Zealand academic and writer Aimee Inomata tells the story through the unfolding narrative of her own relationship with Holden — first as a neighbour and friend, now as his partner. She invites us to join her in coming to terms with his horrific crime, his long and painful journey through the forensic psychiatric system, and his rebuilt life in the community. Holden's is a story of simmering trauma, systemic neglect, substance abuse, despair, noncompliance, ever more blurred boundaries.

Is a person in forensic mental health care in fact imprisoned, or simply there to get well? The answer is fraught with conflict, and its management is a perilous dance between legal precedent, public opinion, clinical judgment and risk assessment, and human intuition. In a realm that has always been mysterious, it's a relief to hear a voice of experience. Is it really possible for mentally unwell offenders to recover? Is the experience of psychosis inherently dangerous?

Is there life after the most terrible loss? How should we treat those of our community whose lived experiences encompass such devastating violence? The Special Patient will be a thought-provoking read for clinicians, and an ultimately challenging and hopeful one for people living with the effects of mental distress and substance dependence. For the general public willing to understand more about a frightening and mysterious corner of human experience, this dense and well-researched book will be worth careful reading. American Ruby Wax is best known as a comedienne, actress and writer, but who knew she had a Masters in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford University?

She believes mindfulness is the answer to the modern-day problem of stress and feeling frazzled. I was just a front; and, behind the front, no one was home. Mindfulness for everyone The book covers everything from what mindfulness actually is, to mindfulness for parents, teenagers, children and even babies. In this chapter, I show off how smart I am, giving neurological evidence as to why mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is so effective when dealing with stress. There is also a six-week mindfulness programme in the book that you can try out.

Wax injects her trademark humour into the book, which at times gives it a light, readable feel. The book definitely could have done with a good edit — more practical information and less of Ruby talking about Ruby would have been better. Saw Woom Tor Charitable Trust. Self-published and supported by the Mental Health Foundation. Mental health is still a taboo subject in many Asian cultures. This booklet addresses sensitive issues with a gentle approach that has been well received by the Korean community in New Zealand.

The booklet is written in Korean and provides a lot of information about mental health. It helps members of the community learn about mental health and the professional support services available to them. Many people in the Asian community are prejudiced towards people with experience of mental illness, and their families. The booklet can significantly help Korean people have a better understanding of mental illness and the mental health system in New Zealand.

It focuses on Asian-specific mental health service providers and stakeholders, which is relevant to new migrants with limited English skills. It also addresses a diversity of views, ethnicities, acculturation levels, values and cultural beliefs. The booklet is very interesting and inviting — it also uses plain language making the information easy to read. This is not an academic booklet. However, it contains a wide range of useful clinical information, resources and evidence-based information with references to studies and original sources in a way that readers can understand.

It also contains mental health service information and contacts. I was drawn to read this book as I live with depression. I have read many medical books on depression which often only give an impersonal explanation of what depression is and how to manage it. I wanted to read about the experience of others and was hopeful of finding some commonalities and perhaps some new information and ideas for treatment. She started to write down what she felt and through sharing her writing, it signalled a turning point where her family began to understand her depression and it helped them also.

Tolkien quotes are featured throughout the book and I initially wondered what the relevance was. The author explains at the end of the book that when she was low with depression she watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy hundreds of times. She likened the fights between the Middle Earth characters to the fight between light and darkness in her own life. I thought this was an excellent analogy. The book is an easy page read and features a contents page which provides good structure. It flows from what depression feels like for those who live with it, to tips and advice for managing depression, how to help your loved ones when you have depression, how to support a loved one with depression, stories from family members, triggers and warning signs, success stories, through to a conclusion and topics for discussion resource.

I certainly felt less alone in my depression by having read this book. I found myself relating to many of the feelings expressed such as cancer of the feelings, and not being able to snap out of it. I learnt about the Zentangle Method a relaxing way to create images by drawing structured patterns , which I checked out and am keen to try. And I thought some of the ideas around how to support a loved one with depression were particularly valuable as often family and friends are at a loss as to how to support someone with depression.

One of these stories is about a year-old named Shannon. Her world was rocked by the death of her paternal grandmother, which she was not prepared for. She descended into drugs and alcohol. I read this book and had to gather my thoughts around partnerships and indigenous wellbeing. Yes, there is room for us to practice our cultural practices within mainstream but my thoughts will be always, how will our Treaty partners accept this?