Is There Any More Room For More Feminist Bloggers?

It’s been announced that Australia’s Hoopla site is about to close down, despite the reasonable amount of traffic from it. The reason? According to founder Wendy Harmer and Jane Waterhouse, there’s too much competition. While the size of the ABC has been blamed for stifling competition, I think it’s more likely that the “feminist” blogsphere is becoming crowded. Do I have a point?

I’ve got to say, I’m grateful for the traffic I receive on my blogs (I’ve got three others currently. one of which I have one follower… got to start somewhere), however, I’m aware that there for all I write, even though I try to be original most of the time (I do “reblog” content sometimes, but quite rarely), there is already someone somewhere who has written about a similar topic. For example, one of my blogs is Asexuality In A Sexual World. Am I the only one who writes about asexuality? Of course not (some of the other blogs are brilliant by the way).

Look, “feminist” blogs do only have a limited market if all the writers and publishers are going to write about similar things: sex, relations, some commentary etc. Maybe that’s what the market is too full of?

I did read a comment on another blog that said that the downfall of Hoopla was when they introduced subs and it was too hard for readers to access and share articles. So, could that be a reason why it folded only four years after it was created by Wendy Harmer?

Another thing, (I’ve wrote about this before), should feminist blogs be more open to hearing about various women, not just those that fit the left – wing, predominately Caucasian, middle – class groups? Should they be more open to conservatives (to their credit on this point, Mamamia welcomed Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop as a guest columnist on the blog). Do feminist blogs simply need to evolve to remain relevant?

 

Obviously, I don’t know what the future holds, even in my blogging. I hope to continue to reach people in what I write. I hope I don’t feel like I have to cave in anytime soon. As long as people want to read, I’ll continue to write. And for that, I thank all my readers and followers. Even those who’ve glimpsed at my blogs.

How Can We Discuss Personal Safety?

The murder of 17 – year – old Doncaster student, Masa Vukotic has put safety of young women in the spotlight, yet again. Last night on Sydney’s 2GB, Steve Price  expressed concern for his three daughters and the importance of talking to teenagers and young adults how to remain safe in public. However, on news.com.au, earlier today, Jo Stanley condemned police’s advice on how women should behave in order to feel safe, slamming it as victim blaming.

This isn’t the first time that controversy has erupted over the issue of personal safety and victim blaming. Susie O’Brien was was condemned last year over her comments about women drinking and sexual assault. Now, I’ve been a reader of Susie O’Brien’s blog for a while, and I can say, from what I’ve read that she doesn’t condone violence and discrimination. Period. Mia Freedman, a self – described feminist publisher and founder of Mamamia.com.au has also been accused of victim – blaming. Can we step back for a moment and answer this question? How should we discuss personal safety, especially for young people without it becoming a screaming match and accusations of victim blaming?

 

There are a few things that are often said that people shouldn’t do to ensure personal safety in public – not accepting drinks from strangers in clubs, meeting potential online dates in a well – lit and crowded public area, keeping an eye on drinks to avoid drink spiking and staying close to trusted friends when out. These are the ones I can think of that are mostly bought up. Does that mean that anyone who doesn’t do these things deserves to be attacked? Obvious answer: no, of course not. Does that mean that any attackers, in this case, Masa Vutokic’s alleged killer Sean Christian Price should be let off the hook if found guilty, because it’s seen that Vulkotic made some mistakes? Are you kidding me?! Of course not! But why can’t we have a frank discussno about how to keep ourselves and each other safe when out in public? Why, for example, are suggestions to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum for safety reasons always screamed down as victim blaming? (alcohol didn’t play a role in this case – she was underage). Something needs to be done. Yes, people say that the courts in Australia are a mess, but while we wait for that to be cleaned up, then what? Maybe a safety talk with young people may not be such a bad idea.

We Have To Get Real About Bullying!

Trigger Warning: This post talks about suicide and bullying. If these issues are triggering with you, please proceed with caution. Get the help you need.

I just read that it’s been just over a year since former model, Charlote Dawson was found dead after taking her own life. She had a public battle with depression and war with cyber – bullies, particularly on Twitter. I really want to talk about this. I’m so militantly passionate about it, it’s not funny!

Dawson was very candid in the media about her struggles, starting when she was a child growing up in New Zealand when she was a vicitm of child sex abuse. She was also very candid about her ongoing battle with depression. Her battle with cyber – bulliies, particuarly on Twitter, was also made very public. What she went through, nobody, should have to go through! The abuse she received on social media was vile and downright sick! No matter what you thought about her on Australia’s Next Top Model (which I never saw), or anything else, NOBODY deserves the attrocious things that she endured! We HAVE to get real abou this!

Unfortunately, not long ago, Mamamia posted video where female media personalities read abusive tweets that had been written about them. (Content Warning: This may be distressing to some readers. Some of the Tweets that are read may be triggering for some people).

 

When I first saw this, my heart broke. It’s truly sad, but also disgusting how this can go on. This isn’t a game! We need to get it through our heads that such things can ruin people’s lives. If it’s compounded by such thinngs such as childhood trauma and ongoing mental illness, then, as we should realise by what happened to Charlotte Dawson, abuse can be deadly. It really can.

In closing I will say this. Need a reason not to bully someone online. Think about this: you don’t know what the person on the other side is going through. You most likely have no idea whether someone is in a continuous battle with depression. You won’t know what could potentially push someone over the edge. So, simply, don’t do it!

If this has raised any issues with you and your in Australia, you can call LIfeline on 13 11 14.

Kudos To The Daily Telegraph

I was watching Q and A on Monday night, while tweeting. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph’s columnist Joe Hilderbrand wrote a tweet:

I got to admit, at first, I thought he was pulling people’s leg (he sometimes gets in trouble for his humour on “Studio 10), but, with a little bit of research, I found out, it’s actually true! There are heaps of female columnists that work for the Daily Telegraph! These include, Miranda Devine (of course), Sarrah Le Marquand and Annette Sharp. They’re “Opinion” columnists. They are in the same position as such personalities such as Andrew Bolt, Andrew Clennell and Simon Benson.

I wrote a post a few months ago about whether women were being discriminated against in the journalism industry, especially women over 40. Honestly, finding this out on Monday night was a pleasant surprise.

It’s great to see the biggest papers in the country. from the Murdoch Press (Newscorp) giving women a go, particularly in the editorial/ opinion roles. I get people don’t always agree with the likes of Miranda Devine… I don’t. But her voice is out there, as well as the other women I’ve mentioned, and, to me, that’s got to stand for something, doesn’t it?

Also, their not all 20 something’s either. At least two I know are over 40. OK, yes, they may have started when they were in their early 20’s, but the fact is, they’re still there! That’s a contrast to the “Channel Ten” controversy over the sacking of a female news reporter a few years ago which sparked accusations of sexism and ageism in the media (I wrote to also the controversy over Melissa Doyle leaving “Sunrise”. Fortunately for them they curbed a complete backlash by putting her on the 4.30 timeslot to replace John Mangos (well, he was the one I usually saw on there).

 

Does that mean that there is no sexism in the media industry in Australia? No. But I think it’s good to see that one of Australia’s major newspapers do value women’s contribution to news media. I think it should be applauded.

 

 

International Women’s Day: Gender Equality – We’ve Got A Long To Go

We’ve just celebrated International Women’s Day. While progress has been made, there is still a lot to be done, both in Australia and worldwide. For example:

  • Sexual harassment is STILL experienced by women in the workplace across the board, across all industries. I just heard earlier this morning about how sexual harassment is still rife in medicine against female doctors and nurses. Those that do speak up risk not being promoted.
  • 75% of countries do not protect women from being raped in marriage
  • A survey last year revealed, scarily, that a fair percentage (a third I think) of people thought that sexual assault victims were at least partly responsible for being attacked
  • According to the World Health Organisation, more than 125 million young girls in Africa and the Middle East suffer female genital mutilation (FGM). This is of no benefit to the girls (who are often children or teenagers), and  an result in a number of health problems including miscarriage during birth and death
  • In 2005, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that only 19% of female victims of sexual assault reported the crime to police. Reporting of physical assault only faired a bit better at 36%. This makes it very hard to know exactly the true rate of violence toward women in Australia.
  • it’s estimated that Aboriginal women are up to 80 times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence than Anglo Saxon counterparts

Dare I say, these statistics show that we have a long way to go in combatting sexism around the world. Attitudes still need to change, despite the advances that have been made. I think the talk surrounding violence against women in Australia need to be extended to include non – Anglo Saxon women, particularly Aboriginal women. Why has feminism  become so whitewashed? Political correctness? Is it because people are too afraid of protest in fear of accusations of racism or meddling in Indigenous Australians’ lives? Whatever the reasons… or excuses are, it’s not acceptable.

What do you think still needs to be done to achieve gender equality?

Why Don’t More Feminists Speak Against Atrocities Happening To Women and Girls In The Middle East?

Trigger Warning: This post deals with sexual abuse. Proceed with caution if this is triggering for you. 

Rape, torture, a young girl being executed by hanging for ‘adultery’ because she was a rape victim. These are realities that women face in the Middle East. No, I’m not talking about the Middle Ages. It’s been happening this year. Right now. Unfortunately, many feminist and most of the mainstream media have been silent on these issues, or have only. mentioned it once with no action, nothing.

There could be a number of reasons… no… excuses as to why everyone is usually silent. These may include, fear of causing offense to the Muslim communities, fear of violent retaliations against Muslinms, ignorance of what’s going on… people could probably make their own list. Yet, women suffer, Muslim, Christian and, on Iraq, Yazidi.

Pollitical correctness has gone too far. Sure, most people don’t want violent attacks to occur against people based on their race or faith. I get that. But what the likes of IS and other Islamic fundamentalists/ extremists continue to do to others, including women and children, is beyond barbaric and needs to be condemned.