• Nicole Sherwin

Flipping an American Eagle-Sized Bird to Social Taboos

It's time to lift the lid on the social pressure cooker


Trigger Warning: This article deals with miscarriage which someone may find distressing.

Source: Liveliberated.com.au


This segment is from the Large Almond Latte Podcast Episode: "BAIII Social Taboos, Avoiding Vicious Felonies & Million Dollar Beach House."


This week, while I was strapped to my couch with my eyes held open Clockwork Orange-style being forced to watch The Bachelor so I could bring you our #1 Voted recaps, something that tickled my nogging. I was excited and inspired, so it obviously was not the show itself that was causing these rousing emotions.


Well actually it kind of was. In a bachelor story as old as time, all of the girls continue to be perplexed that Locky is dating more than just them. And I thought about how it's totally acceptable for Locky to date 25 girls at once as long as he's in the walls of the mansion, but if had 25 girlfriends outside the mansion and was openly spreading his love germ around like COVID, other, that's still not something society is cool with. Blue tick revoked. And look obviously the show was not holding my attention, so I started thinking about other social taboos we still have to deal with and I got revvvvved up like your neighbour's 1993 Commodore.




So fans, I put it to you in the Facebook group and I spoke with some of my friends and we came up with a bunch of social taboos we’d like to throw in the dumpster and set fire to. There were some taboos that crossed my desk juicier than a 2L Just Juice, but as a cis, white, straight female, some of them, like Locky's polyamory, I am just not qualified to talk about them. It would feel akin to, say, a celebrity chef offering medical advice. But keep an eye on the Facebook questions in coming weeks, because I have been inspired to get some actual qualified people to come on the pod to talk about them. So fans, here are some of the social taboos we're more done with than this lockdown season:



Periods Don't Exist

Source: lovelibra.com.au


Periods are as intrinsic to the female sex as boobs. We can talk about, or even obsess over boobs, but after six million years of human existence, we still can't talk about 'periods.' 4 out of 5 women still feel a stigma associated with periods. It honestly explains a lot about society as a whole. We bleed some times regularly, sometimes irregularly, but it's always painful. If you’re someone who hasn't had a period, imagine being kicked in the balls, but constantly for five days straight. The pain is stronger than UV rays, it burns from your uterus through to your lower back. If you have Endometriosis, it’s even worse and that affects 1 in 10 Australian & New Zealand women. That’s like having your insides shredded with burning pokers. So, when you say "Oh, someone’s got their period" when we’re in a mood - yeah we probably are, because we’re angry at how much pain we’re in.


Source: GIPHY


Aside from the pain, here are some fun stats that I have taken the liberty of guesstimating:

- We have to bid farewell to approximately 5.8 pairs of underwear and 2.1 sets of sheets per year due to rogue blood travels;

- Depending on our preferences, some of us forgo sexy time approximately 12.3 times per year;

- We live in perpetual fear of the white bullet dropping its string out of our bikinis at the beach each summer and

- We uncontrollably ‘Kim Kardashian’-style cry during any scene that evokes the slightest emotional twinge.

But we go through all this so we can literally keep humanity from extinction. So, here’s a few things we can all do to thank us for our bodily sacrifice each month.



Louder. Source: GIPHY


1. Give us a sick day when we have our periods if we need it. It hurts to have your uterus shedding itself and we should be able to say that’s exactly what’s happening. We shouldn’t have to put on our sick voice to get a rest.

2. Call it ‘a period.’ I love a nickname. Calling your period the ‘Crimson Wave’, or the ‘Red River’ is like when you take flavoured Panadol. You know it’s still shit, but the cherry flavour makes it a little more palatable. But at the end of the day, I can call it a period, because that’s what it is. If you can’t say the word at all, it’s because you don’t want to know about it, or acknowledge it and you’re part of the problem.

3. Stop hiding your products. Whatever. Slide a pad across the table, chuck a tamps across the road to your desk buddy. At the least, it will let people know to stay the fuck out of your way for the next few days, which now that I’m saying it, why haven’t I thought of this sooner? At best, it’s a little step to fighting the stigma and taboo.



Women Don’t Masturbate

Source: GIPHY

LOLZ, ok. I can understand why this is a taboo in a man’s world. It’s a classic case of them overstating their own abilities. Why would women need to masturbate when they have us, hey boiz? Well let me tell you, in a recent study I just made up, 98% of males could not find the clitoris even if Siri was giving them directions. But I think I can pinpoint where this taboo comes from. Well, it’s a two pronged pin.

Source: GIPHY


One - Culture. Every single film or tv show that has a teenage boy going through puberty has a scene where the mum finds a dirty sock in the room. It’s a prerequisite. But where’s the scene where the girl gets her first rabbit with bunny ears for her Sweet 16th? It doesn’t happen because of Prong Two - Education. Melbourne sexologist Chantelle Otten said in her chat on the pod Nasty Woman Club, that we’re not taught about sex for pleasure in school. Which is ironic because when you’re 16 you’re not banging to make babies, usually. But she says you’re taught about safe sex, how to put on a condom and avoid STI, but not how to enjoy it! But don’t worry teachers - girls are smart little cookies and we figured it out all on our own. A+. Whether you started when you were two or 22, we’ve worked out that we have our own direct time to Pleasureville and we are using it.


Women Must Have Children

Source: GIPHY


Obviously, that’s why we have periods, says fan Jess. But until divine intention strikes again and like Mary herself women are magically impregnated without the aid of man swimmers, I’m fairly sure women have control over their own bodies and can choose.


And just like how I don’t want a cat, some women don’t want a child. It’s really that simple. But you don’t ask me at every family gathering when I’m getting my new short haired tabby, so stop asking women between 20-40 years old when they’ll be having children. I know it’s a conditioned go-to conversational question, just like talking about the weather. And honestly, I was GUILTY as OJ Simpson on these charges, until I was on the receiving end. But I got a hot tip from a friend, who said whenever she gets asked that or "When are you getting married?" she asks right back, "When are you getting a tattoo on your face?" Because to her, that’s an equally as ridiculous question to ask - and it works.

Not only do some women choose to enjoy their lives without the burden of crotch fruit, some can’t have children or may have recently lost a child, so I hate to be the PC Police, but your question can also be more painful that literally being stabbed with a machete. Up to one in five pregnancies in Australia end in miscarriage, which is another social taboo on its own.

So mind your p's and q's and please just go back to talking about how nice the sun is today.


Your BB Must Have The Dads Last Name

Source: Channel 9


This is a super personal choice and totally up to the individual, but the key being that it is a choice, not a default setting. But I'm not married, which thankfully I think we're done with that being a taboo, but 99.85% of people I told were so shocked to find out that my bb was getting my last name. If my partner had a famous last name like 'Roosevelt, Rockefeller or Judd' absolutely I wouldn't even think twice, I'm shallow like that, whatever. But since he's a regular proletariat, I'll get my argument on. The baby lived in my body for nine months rent free, and absolutely destroyed the place. While she was in there I couldn't drink, eat cheese, sushi, cold meats or poached eggs. I was sick ALL. THE. TIME. Sneezing was a huge risk and when I finally did evict her, it was agony. In comparison my boyfriend, well he got to have lots of sex. So who deserves their last name to be passed on? Me. It's me.



You Must Love Your Job

"But do you?" Source: GIPHY


This is literally the cause of the quarter life crisis, says fan Polina. You watch movies like How To Loose a Guy in 10 Days and assume you’ll be a high flying writer for Cosmo, or an Ad Exec with a totally tolerant, non-toxic workplace and living in your own apartment. In reality, you’ve chosen a career path at 17 despite knowing absolute zero about it practically. You go into a job with no life where you put up with harassment, 18 hour days, and less money than when you were 15 working at McDonald's. Strong cause for a breakdown. I also spoke about this in the very first podcast episode where we talk about the 1/3 life crisis. By the time you get to 30, you realise that people who have been working for years in their job aren’t necessarily good at it, it’s impossible to find a mentor you actually look up to, the wage gap is real, workplace politics have more power than Trump and you just don’t care. You work to live. Your job is just a pair of golden handcuffs. The good news is, we will change careers 5-7 times in our lifetime, so hopefully you’ll enjoy doing at least one of those jobs.



Pregnancy Taboos

Source: GIPHY


There are more pregnancy taboos than there are Kardashian-Jenners, because so many people gave birth, or know someone that did and everyone has an opinion, but that’s an episode for another day, that I'll probably never do because I know when you don't have babies it's super boring when people talk about their babies and pregnancy, so I’ll just give you two of them that we have to deal with.


When my friend was going in for her C-section, the nurse worded her up before the surgery. She said, "Just remember that whatever happens over the next few days while you’re recovering here, you’ve made the best choice for you and your baby." This was in a Melbourne private hospital where cesareans are well above the national average of 1 in 3. She thought it was super weird, but was like, whatever, until while she was recovering the nurses constantly shamed her for her choice. Like, why you are a midwife?! I mean, I know we just talked about not loving your job, but this seems very counter intuitive. It would be like being a cosmetic nurse, but being totally against plastic surgery.

I feel. Source: GIPHY


Some women just don’t want to go through labour and I can confirm, it's best avoided. Again, if it's safe, it's totally your choice how you birth, because it's your body. But what I cannot understand is the hero complex of insisting on birthing naturally against doctor’s advice, whether it's yourself or you shaming another woman, “because women have been doing this for thousands of years.” Yes, well thousands of years ago it was 15-year-olds giving birth in a paddock and a lot of them were dying in labour, if not, they probably were only living to 34 anyway. So, you know - times change.



Sometimes women have 11-pound babies coming and don’t want to tear from their vag to the bum hole and sometimes the doctor just advises it’s best. People always love to say, "It’s your choice, but make sure you do your research." What research am I going to find on Google that’s better than the knowledge of an obstetrician that studied for 10 years and deliveries babies every day?


Cesarean Party. Source: Washington Post


But this is such an Australian taboo. Brazil has the highest C-section rates in the world. A Caesar is literally a party. Party planners, hair and make up artists and caterers are all involved in this wedding-like spectacle, which is watching the mother give birth through a glass window. There’s even a hospital in Sao Paulo with a ballroom and wine cellar, although I feel maybe the birth mother won’t be attending the post-birth celebrations. This feels like...a lot. I barely wanted my boyfriend at the birth, I don’t know how I’d go with 30 of my closest friends and family. But to each their own.



Breast Is Best

Source: Wix


There’s also the fun taboo that ‘breast is best.’ It sounds like it should be easy. Like your S.O has no problem sucking your titties, why would a baby? Well it’s actually hard for a baby. It takes them like 45 minutes to have a drink, they chafe your nips, your nipples crack, they burn, your milk ducts can get clogged and that hurts even more and sometimes the baby can’t even latch to get milk at all. So you give them formula instead. Or you choose to do that from the start because of your lifestyle. But bitches be like, ‘breast is best.’ Mmm, I feel like ‘fed is best.’ You’ve never heard of an instance where someone goes, "Oh, I bet they were formula fed." Like, 'Oh Trump, he must have been formula fed." It’s not a thing. Lay off. Having a newborn is hard enough without your unsolicited judgement.


Okay, let’s end on a light note.



Adults Shouldn’t Play Video Games

Source: Wix


This is from fan Mark. Well Mark, no they should not, they should be helping to raise their children. But okay I’ll humour you, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Mark says, "When we were younger, we read children’s books, when we got older we didn’t stop reading, we just started reading adult books. That’s like video games. We used to play Nintendo, and now we play adult games." Well Mark, I used to play with barbies and children’s toys, now that I’m older I...oh okay. Point taken.


I would have been much harsher on this, but I’ve mentioned video games in our 'Escapisms' episode, and it turns out that if consumed in moderation, it’s a really therapeutic way to escape reality. That is why video games where you’re literally in another world are so popular. So, I will begrudgingly accept eliminating this taboo.

___


So fans, I hope you’re inspired to leave a bag of burning dog poop on the porch of social taboos and if you want to chat more feel free to slide into our DMS.


Thirsty for more? Enlighten your earholes with a new ep of the Large Almond Latte Podcast every Tuesday.



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