First Cleo, now Dolly – what does that mean for women’s media?

First, women’s magazine, Cleo finished production earlier this year. Now, teen mag Dolly has faced the same fate. Publisher Bauer Media Group confirmed the closing on Wednesday. Former Editor – and the youngest editor they ever had, Lisa Wilkinson said that the closure was “inevitable”, and put it down in part to the magazine not adapting to the digital age quick enough.

Dolly was a fairly large part of my life growing up, in a way. I read it from 14 to about 17 – the age target. I generally skipped over the model, celebrity and boy stuff. I read the Dolly Doctor and gained some fairly useful information from it. I read articles on things that,  weren’t talked about around me…. I’ll leave it at that. I also loved the career articles they had. I remember when I was about 17 – 18, I read about working in Marketing and I was obsessed with the idea of studying it – especially when I found out that it was available both in a town near where I live and through Open Training and Education Network (OTEN). It didn’t come into fruition, obviously (yet?), but, it peaked my interest, anyway.

 

Another iconic magazine has ended, now what? What does that mean for women’s media? Will print media survive at all? Will this give rise to more independent media outlets? Questions remain, but one thing seems to be certain – the media landscape is changing. Traditional media, without modification – can  no longer survive. I wonder if this also goes to content as well. Do teenage girls want more from their magazines? More of what, exactly?

I wonder whether the collapse of women’s magazines industry is partly due to simply the rise of the Internet. People don’t have to turn to magazines anymore for advice on sex, relationships or even celebrity gossip. It’s all on – line, including social media (following celebrities on Instagram, liking the Pages on Facebook, etc). Yet, digital media hasn’t been totally immune from being shut down, either. In March last year, women’s site The Hoopla created by ABC’s Wendy Harmer announced closing down the site, citing tough competition from the likes of Newscorp, according to women’s site, Mumbrella.

 

So, what now? Maybe media outlets, bloggers, etc who’s target is women need to change their whole approach – the media types (i.e. incorporating print with digital), but also content – what do women – particularly young women – want to read? Times are definitely changing. Maybe attitudes and demands are changing, so are needs, wants, values of women around the world – particularly the West. The question is how can a media organisation or independent blog/ site creator create content that suits these changes, because somewhere along the line, wants are not being met, at least from what I see.

Anyway. I’ll leave further speculation to others.

 

Did you read Dolly? What did you get out of it? Feel free to share your experiences in the coments. 

Child brides in Australia and the broader issue of sexual abuse

Trigger warning: child sexual abuse. Please proceed with caution if this is triggering for you. 

Yes, you read that right. According to Peter Kurti of Rendez View, Daily Telegraph:

According to Australian Federal Police figures released recently, the number of reported forced marriages rose from three in 2014 to nearly 70 this year.

Three is too many, obviously. Nearly 70 is abominable. Before anyone makes a snarky comment and putting this on the same route as same – sex marriage, let me paraphrase the above quote slightly: According to Australian Federal Police figures released recently, the number ofcreported GIRLS BEING RAPED BY MEN USUALLY OVER TWICE THEIR AGE rose from three in 2014 (atrocious) to 70 this year (you can’t be serious!). 70 prepubescent girls are being FORCED to ‘ marry men and ultimately be raped. Tony Abbott’s former Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin was spot on on Sky’s ‘Paul Murray Live’, last night, this is paedophilia. Pure and simple.

This, of course, has made Andrew Bolt Australia’s immigration policy, yet, a young man has been accused of rapingvhis 12 year – old foster sister before she was reportedly killed.

This is happening in Australia in the 21st Century. What the hell is going on? Why are young girls, often barely pubescent, being abused like this by people who are meant to look after and love them? Why has the Australian media largely ignored the horrendous spike in child brides? Political correctness? Fear of being seen as racist? Whatever excuse people may have, this is just not on. If a person or family come from a country where this occurs, they need yo leave it when they come here. As a community, we need to make the protection of children against abuse paramount. And we need to demand any family who comes to Australia that they do the same.

 

This isn’t the only instance of children being let down by their own families. 12 – year – old Tiahleigh Palmer, who was murdered by her foster father allegedly after her step – brother sexually abused her. Friends of the young girl have told the media that she regularly expressed that she didn’t want to go home to her foster family. According to Kidspot, the foster father, Rick Thorburn has been charged after waking from a coma. This case has bought back a lot of painful memories, one survivor of Paramatta Girls’ Home , Bonney Duric has to,d news.com.au of horrific abuse she and her late sister duffered. The abuse cases were heard in the Royal Commission into the Institutional Response of Child Sexual Abuse.

 

 

Too many children are being let down by those who are suppose yo protect them. The safety and well  – being of children should be paramount to evrrybody, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. Anyone who fails their duty of care abd are either active or complicit in the abuse and/ or death of children should feel the full extent to the law. No more excuses. Stop letting generations of young girls down.

 

If this has bought up any issues for you, you can contact Lifeline: 13 11 14.

 

 

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?