What’s Happening to Women’s Media and Journalism?

I read with a degree of sadness that Anne Summers’ magazine (that I didn’t know existed until a few seconds ago), is stopping production and the company is in debt. This is one of a string of publications started by women that have stopped production. The site by Wendy Harmer, The Hoopla stopped making updating content last year. In March this year, women’s magazine, Cleo stopped production after 43 or so years.

Print journalism is obviously an industry that is declining, rather rapidly, with the Fairfax papers collapsing, and, according to the Institute of Public Affairs, an extra 20 to 30 Fairfax journalists were made redundant in the first week of May this year.  Fairfax papers are getting thinner and thinner as time goes on. The one produced in an area near where I live is anyway.

Back to to women’s media productions in particular – where do women fit in modern journalism/ on – line publications? Is the genre just too crowded? Too outdated? Is existing media outlets drowning the independent publications out? I do have one theory.

If you look at the post from Andrew Bolt’s blog about the collapse of Anne Summer’s magazine, just looking at the covers, you find a sort of regurgitation of information and commentary from other, more developed outlets, such as Mamamia. It gets to point that women’s media lacks variety in opinion, information and critique. There is a lack of debate on these sites; everyone agrees with one another. At least in Newscorp papers you do have a variety of socio – political opinion and a variety of topics covered:childcare, at – home shopping, same – sex marriage, you name it. These are topics that raise discussion, debate (sometimes heated) and a platform where different people from different opinions can get a medium that expresses their views. Where as, what does much women’s media cover? Sex? Men? Gay rights? Sure, these topics are talked about everywhere, but maybe that’s the problem. There’s too much of the same – old, same old.

 

It’s still doesn’t make it any easier though. Young women (and men), who want to pursue journalism and related fields should be able to. I’d hate to see the industry collapse, especially if it gets to a point where there is a lack of diversity in perspectives and publications that people can work for. The market for aspiring journalists, bloggers, writers, etc just seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

So, what do you think? What’s the future for women in media? Is the independent media/ blogosphere just too crowded? Let me know what you think.

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Unrealistic Images of Weight Loss

Trigger Warning: eating disorders, body dissatisfaction. 

Due to recent events, I’ve put off posting about this, but I decided to go ahead with it since I promised my FB followers that I’d post about this from Mamamia. It’s about an unhealthy attitude toward a “healthy lifestyle”, and how it can become disordered eating and exercising.

Everyone knows that even too much of a good thing can be bad. When I read this, what struck me is how obsessed we are with so – called “health” and weight. . I mean, duh, it’s obvious, I know. But this article made it more… obvious I guess.

We all know that being overweight can harm your health. We know that not enough exercise or not eating healthy aren’t good. But I think the obsession in media and society is gone into overkill. Think of the amount of advertisements you see: Weight Watchers, Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation, Jenny Craig, Lite ‘n’ Easy, you get it. It’s a crowded market. What I realised, is that when you see, say the Lite’n’ easy, the people (usually women), are ALWAYS on the go.

In mainstream media and news outlets, the obsession’s the same. How many times have you seen Michelle Bridges being interviewed and NOT have anyone mention her fitness business or her time at TBL? I can’t think of ONE time. Can anyone else? The weight loss obsession

In fact, obsession over healthy eating is characterised as a type of eating disorder known as orthorexia. It isn’t yet a disorder recognised in the DSM V, but is still harmful. Excessive dieting can cause symptoms such as: irritability, depression and heightened risk of an eating disorder (bulimia, anorexia or binge – eating disorder).

 

We need healthy balance in our lives. Unfortunately, the media seems to make it a bit harder to do.

NOTE: If you suffer an eating disorder, or know someone who does and live in Australia, The Butterfly Foundation can be contacted by their Support Line: 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673 or send an e – mail via here.

“Rape Culture” and It’s Affects On Young Men

Many people have probably heard of the case of Brock Turner, a 20 – year – old student at Stanford who was convicted of raping an unconscious female. His father, Dan, caused outrage when it seemed like he was trying to excuse his son’s behaviour and blame the then unconscious girl. However, I read this post from Clare Flourish, and I can see where she’s coming from.

She argues that Brock – the Stanford student convicted of rape, may have felt pressure from the culture of Stanford. That’s not excusing what he did. But it does shine a light, I think on how pressure to “get some” so to speak can affect young men, and, sometimes, tragically, like Turner, make a tragic error in committing an assault on a defenceless woman.

Many radical feminists, like Clementine Ford, talk about rape culture extensively. They argue that men rape because they are entitled and because society permits men to use women as they wish. Rape culture exists because of the emphasis on things like women and what they wear, and demanding that women make themselves safe, rather than telling men not to rape. But maybe there’s more.

 

Are men overly pressured to “score” – as in get to have sex with a woman, or even multiple women? One of the core aspects of masculinity that is often emphasised is women – how they “get” women; whether to sleep with, marry, etc. Sure, sex is a natural part of a relationship for most men. But has it got to the point that, for too long, it’s become compulsory – or at least it’s appeared that way to many young men?

Another point: who was there to for Brock to talk to about his insecurities about his relational or financial status? If he talked to someone about his fears, would’ve the assault not have occurred? Which brings to me to this – men and boys NEED to be told that they can talk to someone whenever they need to if they feel troubled and insecure.

Maybe men talking about, or at least dealing with their feelings needs to become, not just a suggestion for society to make, but an expectation. Men should be expected to deal with their emotional baggage before any abuse of any sort happens: coward punches, sexual assault, abuse of drugs, etc. We should make it an expectation of men to get their crap together because ABUSE IS NEVER OK.

Here’s the thing: If you have problems, DEAL WITH THEM. Because you DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT  to take it out on someone else and ruin someone’s life. Period.

Wom*n Grow Up!

Apparently some students at a Melbourne university want to replace the ‘E’ and ‘A’ of words like ‘woman and ‘ women. Reason? Probably patriarchy.

For heaven’s sake, grow up!

Seriously, how is this helping any woman, here or abroad? All it’s doing is giving feminism a bad name! Why something so petty? Enough’s enough.

Fight for women’s RIGHTS everywhere. Fight for womenin the Middle East. Fight against violence. Demand better services for those escaping domestic violence (fighting for shelters and whatnot). ENOUGH WITH THE PETTINESS ALREADY! It’s become beyond a joke.

Let’s Fight Real Battles Shall We?

Australian of the Year, David Morrison has warned against using the term “guys” at work in favour of diversity. .

I’m all in favour of gender equality, but really, can we get to a more important issue? I mean, I use the term “guys” heaps. And not always talking to (or about) men either. I find it quite gender – neutral term today.

This is a non – issue in my opinion. Let’s get some discussion on real issues.