Australian Writer, Blogger, Womens Advocate and Activist
Melanie Sheppard is a writer, blogger and a passionate activist for women's rights. Through her writing, she exposes herself and her life with the goal to open up conversation about every day topics creating a forum that connects people through dialogue, opinion and life experience.
There is a wonderful line in the movie 'Shirley Valentine' when, from the gloom of her modest home in Liverpool, Valentine turns to the camera and says: "I have allowed myself to lead this little life...
Who actually determines how many sexual partners a woman can have before she is labeled a "slut"? And why is it such a bad thing for a woman to have multiple sexual partners? The stigma and guilt associated with sex needs to be removed as it is just another area in which women are held back and labeled.
Citizens of Australia, we have a problem. This problem is directly impacting our entire population. It can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body issues, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction and social isolation. The problem is the sexual objectification of women, and at the root of that is misogyny.
On Friday evening, I was alerted to the fact that a group of Year 11 students from an elite private boys school had set up an Instagram account. The purpose of the site was clear; to humiliate young girls, or "young sluts" as they were called. My daughter, who is in Year 6, was featured in one of these photos.
I am always amazed at how differently men and women are wired. While I adore men and am very much attracted to them, sometimes I just want to sit them down, make them a cup of tea and educate them on how to impress a woman.
Gender equality is a topic that has been spoken about for years. We all know what it is, most of us agree that it is essential, yet as women we are still confronted by the disparity between the sexes, sometimes at the hands of women who claim to be fighting for the cause.
People using dating technology seem to make up their minds within minutes whether they see a future with a person and if not, they move on fast with one click of the mouse. What happened to the days of getting to know a person before deciding if there was chemistry or not?
At a recent dinner with friends, the topic of conversation turned to Donald Trump and his misogynistic vitriol on the topic of abortion. He recently commented (and later retracted) that any woman who...
Can you imagine picking up a GQ or Maxim magazine and reading an article about Obama's corns or Brad Pitts nipple slip? It just doesn't happen, because not only are men judged on their intellect, they themselves do not scrutinise each other's physical appearance like women do.
Last year, my friend committed suicide. She was fragile like a sparrow -- it was one of the things I loved most about her as it made her authentic. But her fragility was such that life suffocated her to a point where she could no longer breathe.
I felt like I needed to do something radical. Do I move to an ashram in India and spend the rest of my years in a silent meditation? Do I shave my head and join the Hare Krishnas? What do I need to do to slow down the years that are approaching, because the past 45 have slipped by so fast that it takes my breath away.
One by one their questions were answered honestly and we reassured them that we were safe and that there are more good people in the world than bad. But when they went to bed I couldn't help but be angry, my kids had just lost a slither of their childhood innocence.
At a recent girls lunch, one of my friends mentioned that, in the last month, four of her friends, all in their fifties, announced that they were getting married. Each one of these people had been married before and, after a hiatus of about seven years, had decided to take the plunge into matrimony again.
Until there is an honest and transparent investigation and restructuring of teaching within the Catholic system, I question the involvement of the church and its clergy in relation to the moral and physical development of children.
Three years ago, one of my closest girlfriends was nearly beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend. With the help of intense therapy and a determination to not allow this event to define her life, she has moved forward, but her scars remain.