Media Keeps on Flowing

What are the differences between dominant flows and contra-flows? Why are contra-flows important? How do they affect us here in Australia?

Media has traditionally been dominated by America and Europe due to economic, technological and political power, and rapid advancements in communications. When my parents grew up, they would watch television shows like the Brady Bunch and Happy Days, listen to music like the Beach Boys and Bay City Rollers, and want to be like Sandy from Grease and fall in love with Danny. Whilst I still enjoy the occasional Grease song, growing up and consuming media in the 21st Century was drastically different because of the endless options the Internet provides. I can read Japanese anime, listen to Korean Pop, watch strange Norwegian films, extravagant Bollywood films as well as enjoy a classic Hollywood film like the Notebook.
Beach Boys
K-POP group Jewelry
K-POP group Jewelry

This change over time not only represents how globalisation has dramatically altered our media consumption but also the differences between Dominant Media Flows and Contra-Media Flows. Dominant media flows are generally associated with worldwide popularity like Disney, MTV and Google (Thussu, Table 1.1, pp. 12, 2006). However the ‘one-way flow of US programming to the periphery of the world system are being reassessed in light of increasing multi-directional flows of media imagery’ (Curtin, pp. 131, 2003). This change has led to the emergence of contra-media flows which are associated with ‘national corporations, governments and national audiences’ (Thussu, pp. 30, 2006).

Contra-media flows such as Al-Jazeera (Middle Eastern and North African news) and (a Chinese version of Google) have had significant effects on dominant media because consumers want to be able to relate and understand media from a cultural and personal perspective. The emergence of contra-flows are important in today’s interconnected society as they ‘can shape cultural identities, energise dis-empowered groups and help create political coalitions and new transnational private and public spheres (Thussu, pp. 20, 2006).

TNT magazine - Best of Australia and the UK
TNT magazine – Best of Australia and the UK

For example, I lived in London last year and found that I was losing track of Australian politics, events and most importantly… sport. A century ago, it would be practically impossible to keep updated, however, there is the wonderful TNT magazine, specifically made for Australians living in London. They include topics like current trends in Australian politics, who’s favoured to win the State of Origin AND relevant information about events in London such as housing prices, cheap travel options and pub crawls (that’s all Aussies do in London). This contra-flow allowed me to feel engaged in both Australia and the UK and by combining them with dominant media flows (with a little help from my friend the Internet) allows me to stay up to date with current events across the globe.

We are all aware of dominant media flows such as Disney, however, we are not all aware of the little guys (contra-flows) that are making a big impact in our lives and across the globe. I believe that contra-flows will become more important and prominent as the forces of globalisation threaten cultural diversity. It’s a nice feeling knowing wherever we go in the world, we’ll be able to know what’s happening in Home and Away.


Further Information


Curtin, M. 2003, “Media capital: towards the study of spatial flows”, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 202-228

Thussu, D.K. 2006, Media on the move: global flow and contra-flow, Routledge, New York

What do we want? Nollywood! When do we want it? Now!


Movies have a way of delving into our homes and hearts, conveying important messages, themes, social issues, morals and great acting. Directors push the boundaries, question certain restrictions and spark debate over social, personal and political issues. This is no different for the world’s 3rd largest film industry in the world… Nollywood.

With hundreds of films being churned out on low budgets, basic and amateur equipment and taking only 10 days to produce a film, Nollywood films possess a strong sense of realism, reflecting, raising awareness and questioning current issues. Nollywood films aren’t generally viewed in the traditional way we in Australia are used to. Instead of sitting in the lounge room with just your family watching a film, the streets of Lagos become the loungerooms of Nigeria. This ‘street audience’ that occurs on the street corners bring people together to engage with eachother and the film (Okome, 2007). Popular culture, in Hollywood or Nollywood, helps with the ‘construction of identity (in relation to) environment’ and is ‘locus of public debate and of individual and community agency’ (Abah, 2009).

Nigeria is plagued by corruption, and their is a strong desire for social change. According to Abah, social change occurs through ‘communication, coordination and collective action by groups of citizens who wish to change institutions and policies which govern them’ (p 737, 2009) Because of the amount of people who access Nollywood films, the way in which they engage with them, independency from government, potentially allows Nollywood to act as a mediator to generate and encourage social change and improve the democratic process by providing a ‘progressive outlook; equitable distribution of power, curb injustice and the enforcement of civil and sexual rights’ (Abah, p 738, 2009).

Media, especially film has the potential to create social change not just in Nigeria but across the globe. The sense of unity created through national film industries can strengthen communities an countries and together can create change. It is far easier in a place like Australia or America where we are influenced by liberal Hollywood cinema where we have better democratic processes, unlike Nigeria where corruption, lack of education and poverty intervene with citizens power to act on their ideas. As Nollywood gets stronger and stronger, so will the citizens of Nigeria, allowing Nollywood films to mediate and encourage the country’s much needed social change.


Welcome to Nollywood – Trailer – YouTube. 2014. Welcome to Nollywood – Trailer – YouTube. Accessed 28 August 2014

Okome, O 2007 Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption, Postcolonial Text, Vol 3, University of Alberta.

Abah, A.L. 2009, “Popular culture and social change in Africa: the case of the Nigerian video industry”, Media, Culture & Society, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 731-748., Accessed 28 August 2014

International Education: Easy as ABC?

In the thriving 21st Century, finishing school and completing a university degree is simply not enough. Employers are now looking for employees with life skills and life experience; something that studying abroad facilitates. ‘International Students have a broader mindset’ (Top Universities, 2014), a desirable trait for companies in the current globalised economy.

International Students generally possess ‘high levels of motivation and dedication’ (Khorana, 2014). International Students but why do some International Students experience loneliness, isolation and anxiety when they come to Australia?

Surprisingly enough to us Aussies, Australia can be a very confusing place for people who have never been ‘Down Under.’ We do not speak ‘English’ as International Students are taught at schools. Instead we speak with a distinct Australian accent in a strange Australian language. Slang and colloquial words are used regularly in every day speech, we tend to shorten words like afternoon to arvo and university to uni which ‘confuse students who are used to a more formal type of English.’ (Kell and Vogl,2006). We don’t live lifestyles like those on Home and Away (or maybe those lucky enough to live in Wollongong might). What might seem like ridiculous stereotypes to us Aussies, can be expected from International Students who have had limited exposure to Australian culture. So when we’re not wearing thongs, singlets, have tans, a surfboard under our arm or cooking a shrimp on the barbie, it can be difficult for International Students to identify and connect with Australians. Some International Students can sometimes see ‘only Anglo Australians as ‘real’ Australians.’ (Kell and Vogl, 2006), however, according to the 2011 census, 1 in 4 Australians are born overseas. (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Scene from Home and Away: Beach, Surfboard, Caucasian skin, tanned… Australian right?

I interact with International Students on a daily basis. I live at a university college… ‘International House,’ home to both Australians and International Students, and I now have friends from across the globe… Iceland, France, Sweden, America, Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia, teaching them some vital Australian slang along the way, I too would like to go on exchange one day and seeing the strength, maturity, responsibility and confidence of International Students  I have come across, it is truly inspiring and motivating to take part in the global education the world has to offer.


Graduate Jobs: What Employers Look For , Top Universities. 2014.Graduate Jobs: What Employers Look For | Top Universities,, accessed 20 August 2014

Khorana S, 2014, BCM111 Lecture Slides, Internationalising Education- Cultural Competence and Cosmopolitanism, delivered 13 August 2014

Kell, P., Vogl, G. 2006, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion. Everyday Multiculturalism Conference, Proceedings of the Everyday Multiculturalism Conference of the CRSI – 28-29 Sept. 2006: Online Publication, : Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, Macquarie University. Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011 Census reveals one in four Australians is born overseas. 2014. 2011 Census reveals one in four Australians is born overseas Accessed 20 August 2014

Globalisation of Media and its effects on the world

‘Globalisation could lead to the homogenisation of world cultures, or to hybridisation and multiculturalism’ (Khorana, 2014)

This statement delivered to us in our second lecture of BCM111 expresses the benefits, disadvantages, concerns and welcoming of globalisation. And the media plays a big part in this global change. Khorana defines globalisation as  ‘an international community influenced by technological development and economic, political, and military interests. It is characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information’ (Khorana, 2014). This is illustrated through multi national companies like McDonalds, Dior, HSBC and Barbie.

There are 5 cultural flows which contribute towards globalisation and some argue, towards cultural homogenisation, where cultures become increasingly similar or ‘Americanised.’

  1. Ethnoscapes – the movement of people/politics
  2. Mediascapes – the movement of images/news
  3. Technoscapes – the movement of technology
  4. Financescapes – the movement of capital (currency/stock)
  5. Ideoscapes – the movement of content/ideas
Could cultural homogenization let this occur?
Could cultural homogenization let this occur?

Globalisation is usually viewed as a one way movement, from America to the rest of the world, which is known as cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism is ‘how one culture spreads its values and ideas culturally, (for example) the global reach of Hollywood films’ (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2012). O’Shaughnessy and Stadler reference a media theorist, John Thompson, who explains how it can be detrimental and play a homogenising force within the world by ‘the globalisation of communication being driven by the pursuit of commercial interests of large US-based transnational corporations, often acting in collaboration with Western political and military interests; and this process has resulted in a new form of dependency in which the traditional cultures are destroyed through the intrusion of Western values’ (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2012). In this regard, it is believed that globalisation of media leads to homogenisation.

However, this view disregards multidirectional media flows, such as those coming from Asia, which influence American and the rest of the worlds cultures. For example, Japanese anime is becoming increasingly popular as well as K-Pop (Korean Popular Music) and Hong Kong films. The view of cultural hybridisation refers to the fact that different cultures will adapt certain aspects from other cultures that will benefit them. People will also hold on to cultural traditions like religion, dress, rituals, food, etc because it is so embedded in their everyday life, a few Hollywood movies won’t affect that.

Globalisation is often associated with the domination of McDonalds and Coca Cola, however, think about the types of media you consume and the products you use. Yes you might use a Mac computer, but where was it made? Globalisation from all cultures is all around us if you look closely enough.


Khorana, S 2014 International Media and Communication, BCM111, University of Wollongong, Delivered 6 August 2014

O’Shaughnessy, M. & Stadler, J.M. 2012, Media and society,Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic

Academic Blogging 2.0 (Reloaded)

Hello Everyone

It’s that time of year again. The beginning of Spring Session. Whilst Spring tantalises us with sunny days at the beach and fresh flowers blooming, Winter has left its mark with many readings, assignments, essays, and the biggest chill, group presentations.

So, as I carry Winter’s cool breath forward into Spring, I’ll be using this blog for my BCM111 (International Media and Communication) subject at university. I am looking forward to diving into the newspapers, magazines, blogs and media of companies and individuals from all around the world.

Comments, questions, queries or any feedback on this blogs would be greatly appreciated.

So keep posted and to all of the other university students out there, I hope the Spring sunshine dawns quickly!


Alcohol: The Forbidden Drop

In response to SBS’s Insight program ‘Beer Goggles,’ I have reflected on my friends, family and my alcohol habits.

Being a poor university student, I am very price sensitive when it comes to choosing my pre-drinks of a Wednesday night. And seemingly, so is every other uni student, with Passion Pop selling out on weekends at bottle shops. We pre-drink to save money at overpriced bars and clubs where you can pay up to $10 (even up to $15 in Sydney) for drinks you can purchase much cheaper at a bottle shop. When we go out, we dance, have fun, meet people, drink some more with many drunken/regrettable decisions being made, and it’s all part of college life. Or so we’re made to believe. Every movie/tv show featuring college life features alcohol, even our college song talks about ‘getting drunk last night, and the night before.’ It is suggested that binge drinking is consuming over 4 standard drinks and I can safely say that on a big night out, we would drink 3, if not 4 times that.

Sourced from,,6361644,00.jpg
Sourced from,,6361644,00.jpg


I myself binge drink probably once every 2-3 weeks, and yes, I realise there are many short and long term effects of this. Trust me, the hangover in the morning is punishment enough. In the moment I enjoy everything about drinking; the taste (except Passion Pop or Goon), the feeling (flushed cheeks, confident, suddenly a great dancer), the friends I’m with, the drinking games we play and the following days we spend talking about the hilarious events of the night. To be honest, why would I give all of that up? And I have many friends who are much heavier drinkers than I am, yet they are still studying, succeeding in personal, social, academic, sporting areas, traveling the world and are nice, genuine people who have never caused trouble.

Alcohol is a part of Australian society and culture and there is no denying that. When used properly, it can be used to celebrate, bring people together, meet new people and socialise in the community. However, there are many negative social and health problems associated with alcohol abuse; drink driving, unprotected sex, drink spiking, rape, liver (and all other organs) problems, dependency, violence… the list goes on. When suggested in INSIGHT ‘should alcohol be banned?’ there were a number of people agreeing yes it should, along with the drinking age being moved to 21, with someone suggesting 25! However, as correctly pointed out, drugs are illegal, yet people still consume and abuse them, what exempts alcohol from this rule? It does seem that the negative side effects far outweigh the positives, but as the politician on the program states ‘politicians are here to implement the possible, and outlawing alcohol does not fit into that realm.’ And raising the drinking age will not stop anything if people are consuming alcohol from the age of 13.

Instead of just shutting alcohol out of a very alcohol focused society, we should increase education and awareness of these problems, not in year 10 when students are already 16 and have tried alcohol before. But when they’re 12 and 13, before they try alcohol. According to the program, people are first trying alcohol when they are between the age of 13 and 14. Personally at school, we focused on drugs and alcohol for approximately 1 or 2 terms of school, whilst we face years of ongoing peer pressure, alcohol fuelled situations. These strategies should be more heavily funded and implemented by the government for all Australian children.

Alcohol is found everywhere in today’s society. Most of us consume it regularly or know someone who does who still has their head screwed on. Yet we all know someone who has been negatively effected by alcohol. What frustrates me is that it is mostly adults making decisions for the younger generation after they ‘made their mistakes and have learnt from them.’ Why not ask for our input? Our stories? Our experiences and take action from them? I have confessed that I ‘binge drink’ but really, is it an issue?


The full episode of INSIGHT can be found here. 

How does convergence affect the relationship between media technologies and audiences?

How does convergence affect the relationship between media technologies and audiences?

In today’s interconnected, technologically shaped society, the world is actively connected to a broader community across various platforms through convergence. Convergence of technological platforms, such as Tinder, greatly affects media technologies and especially audiences, and these outlets in return influence Tinder. The audience aspects of accessibility, participatory culture, activism and online identity shape a strong relationship between Tinder and its users. Tinder is radically influencing social changes regarding romance, where it’s the audience who are generating content and contributing to this change.

Convergence applies to many media platforms and technologies like apps, devices, being both a technological and cultural process (Moore, 2014). Technology and society is continuously changing. Technologies such as Tinder reflect the demands and values of society, and society reflects and influences changes in technology; they are both interconnected and shape each other. Convergence is a term supported and explored by Henry Jenkins, Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts at the Univeristy of Southern California. Jenkins defined convergence as ‘the flow of content across multiple media platforms. Convergence describes technological, industrial, cultural and social changes’ (Jenkins, 2006, pp 2-3). Convergence is triangulated. It shapes and is affected by audiences and technologies, through the movement of information across the world. Technological convergence is shaped by; minimizing costs, user friendliness and practicality. Convergence is also defined as ‘coming together of two of more distinct entities’ (Jones, 2007), which encompasses technology and society. Convergence is a broad term used to describe a broad range of people, technologies and platforms, all of which are affected by convergence.

Cultural and social changes in regards to online dating, relationships and intimacy are epitomized through the dating app, Tinder. Developed in the University of Southern California in late 2012 by three self-confessed hopeless romantics, Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen, they created Tinder to connect you with other people who are interested in you. (App Store, n.d) Tinder exemplifies the concepts of convergence, as described by co-founder Sean Rad, ‘it is a digital extension of our instinct to connect on a deeper level with one another, romantically or otherwise.’ (Rad, 2014) Tinder is a convergent technology because of the various content (photos, text, personal information) flowing across different mediums (apps, websites, smart phones) from people across the world. Tinder requires its users to have a Facebook account for identity verification, where it displays your age, interests and mutual friends along with six photos. Tinder also requires various platforms to function and you can also exchange email addresses, phone numbers and meet in person, emphasising the state of convergence of Tinder. Whilst the app is wildly superficial, Tinder does reflect the current changing societal perspectives of relationships, intimacy and hook-ups (Morris, 2014). The strong relationship the audience has with this technology is enhanced by the relationships created on Tinder, satisfying the migratory audience’s online social desires.

Tinder complies with the concepts of convergence predominantly due to the ease of accessibility and limited gatekeeping, allowing high rates of participatory culture and audience engagement. Tinder is a diologic[1] technology, which has minimal gatekeepers[2] or restrictions promoting participatory culture (Moore, 2014). This is achieved through the accessibility of the app. A user must have a Facebook account to download the app for free on Apple and Android phones, and once your identity is verified, you are ready to use Tinder. With lack of monitoring and gatekeeping, it permits people to more actively engage with Tinder and creates a unique participatory culture, where people use computer screens as a mask, where we aren’t confronted by the consequences of our actions, where we gain a false sense of freedom and confidence’ (Haynes, 2014). You can access the app on your phone anytime of any day, permitting you have internet access, with users checking Tinder approximately 11 times per day (Ayers, 2014). Along with the ease of using the app, the technology of Tinder influences and affects its audience, where they can engage in easy social interaction with minimal effort. The ease and freedom of Tinder is a primary convergent concept, strengthening the relationships between audience and technology.

Through the ease of accessibility comes strong participatory culture, where the audience connects with people and the app itself. Jenkins defines participatory culture as ‘a culture with low barriers to expression and engagement, support for creating and sharing, the audience believes their contribution matters and they feel a sense of social connection’ (Jenkins, 2006). Audiences engaging in Tinder initiate or receive conversations with their ‘matches’[3] creating a sense of community as participants talk about themselves and their interests. The majority of Tinder’s audience are Millenials[4] who are more likely to engage is casual hook-ups than serious relationships at university (Bogle, 2008), making this app incredibly appealing and addictive. The app was not designed specifically for hook-ups like its competitor Grindr[5] however, it’s the changes in attitudes of society, which have embraced these opportunities and shaped the purpose of Tinder ‘to get laid’ (Epstein, n.d) … new stigma attached to dating app @tinder#bcm112(@missaaadelaide, Tweet, 2014) explains how Tinder is changing the societal stigma attached to online dating, through this media it explains the changing affects Tinder has on audiences and the technology itself. Tinder’s audience have a shared understanding that it’s for hook-ups, contributing to the online community created. This convergence of the audience utilising the app has ultimately lead to the success of the app and satisfaction of its users.

Tinder provides many opportunities for its captivated users, requiring the audience to transform from ‘clicktivists’ to ‘activists.’ Clicktivism[6] and Activism[7] is mostly associated with ‘participatory politics,’ however, on a smaller, non-political scale, lies Tinder, which resembles similar difficulties of turning clicktivism into activism. Whilst engaging in clicktivism, you can be swiping left and right, and chatting to matches from the comfort of your home in your pyjamas, requiring minimal physical effort. Obviously depending on the individual you have been engaging with, the act of meeting up to go on a date requires a lot of physical effort, and doing so is converting clicktivism and a lot of flirting to activism. An active user admits he meets with ‘3-4 of those matches per month’ (Thrillhouse763, 2014). The expectation is that you will eventually meet one of your matches as Tinder’s Tweets suggest ‘here’s how to pick the perfect restaurant in London for your #Tinder date: via @Grazia_Live’ (@Tinder, 2014). However, it is mostly used by clicktivists who where Tinder ‘complements (their) lazy and attention-seeking personality’ (Kent, 2013). According to co-founder Sean Rad, there have been over 1billion matches on Tinder (Rad 2014) where the app is responsible for over 1000 engagements (Piazza, 2014), which is a 0.0000001% success rate, representing that users are remaining clicktivists, or the Tinder flame just doesn’t burn. Despite the convergence of personal information across not only Tinder, the audience appears to leave their dates on their phones.

Individuals who participate in convergent technologies such as Tinder inherently create an online identity, which can expose them to ridicule and abuse.  This online identity can be vastly different from their ‘real’ identity because a screen acts as a mask, giving the user a sense of anonymity and associated power. Women have faced many issues throughout history, and now, online, with ‘internet misogyny (often) paralleling the real world.’ The constant misogynist perspectives shown through comments online are; ‘women who have the audacity to show their faces online are asking to be demeaned and threatened with sexual violence’ (Filipovic, 2007-2008). Purely because you identify as a female on Tinder, it immediately opens you up to an influx of sexual messages purely because you are a female. Messages such as, ‘sit on my face’ and ‘I could’ve called heaven and asked for an angel but I was hoping you’re a slut instead’ (Parham, 2013). Whilst perhaps intended as a joke as Parham suggests, the constant bombardment of sexual harassment, slowly takes its toll on the morale of individual women online (Dreher, 2014). Dreher passionately speaks of the struggles of women’s equality online and if change is going to occur, we must stop hiding behind technology to abuse others. With convergence, unfortunately brings some disadvantages for women. Despite the light-hearted nature of Tinder, the affects of the technology on its audience can be more severe than intended.

Tinder encompasses diverse aspects of convergence, with the flow of information greatly affecting its audience and the app itself. Tinder encourages audience engagement and strong participatory culture. Limited gatekeeping addresses social issues, questioning clicktivism and activism, and the constant battle of online identity and equality of women. Whilst Tinder may appear a little app that is a craze of popularity, it epitomizes the key concepts of convergence and how it affects and shapes societies, where society in return shapes Tinder.




@Tinder 2014 Tweet accessed 27/05/2014 http://Https://


@missaaadelaide, 2014, Tweet, April 15, accessed 31/05/2014,


Apple Store (N.d) Tinder, accessed 23/05/2014 http://Https://


Ayers, C 2014, ‘Tinder, the dating app that’s setting the dating scene on fire’. The Australian, 31 May, accessed 31/05/2014,


Dreher, T 2014 #mencallmethings: Identity and Difference Online, BCM112, University of Wollongong, accessed 31/05/2014, http://Https://


Epstein (N.d) Dating with Tinder, Ask Men, accessed 24/05/2014, http://Http://


Filipovic, J. 2007-2008 ‘Blogging While Female: How Internet Misogyny Parallels “Real-World” Harssment’ Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, pp295-304, accessed 27/05/2014, http://Http://


Haynes, A. 2014 The Power of Anonymity, A Worldly Addiction. 15 May, accessed 28/05/2014, http://Http://


Jenkins, H 2006, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, NYU Press, New York and London, pp 3, accessed 23/05/2014, http://Http://


Jenkins, H 2006, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Cutlure : Media Education for the 21st Century (Part One), weblog post, accessed 2/04/2014 Confessions of an ACA-Fan, The Official Blog of Henry Jenkins October 20.


Jenkins, H 2012, ‘The New Political Commons,’ Options Politiques, November, accessed 31/05/2014,


Jones, A. 2007, “Convergence”, Information Security Technical Report, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 69-73, accessed 31/05/2014,


Kent, C 2013, Tinder Review: a woman’s perspective, The Telegraph, 19 September, n.p, accessed 20/04/2014,


Moore, C. 2014 Audiences – power, access and participation, BCM112, Lecture delivered 1/04/2014, University of Wollongong


Morris, A 2014, ‘Tales from Millenials’ Sexual Revolution’, Rolling Stone, 31 March, accessed 20/04/2014,


Parham 2013 50 funniest pick up lines on tinder, 25 July, accessed 31/05/2014, http://Http://


Piazza, J 2014 Newest Tinder Trend: Marriage  3 April, accessed 27/05/2014, http://Http://


Rad, S. 2014 Tinder Co-Founder on the Hot Dating App’s Viral Success Interviewed by Kim Lachance Shandrow 17 March 2014, accessed 23/05/2014


Thrillhouse763, 2014 How many matches do you usually get? self confidence taking a hit  Reddit, accessed 24/05/2014, http://Http://





#Yesallwomen – My Experiences


Sourced from
Sourced from

The #yesallwomen has swept the Twittersphere in response to the murder spree Elliot Rodger embarked on Saturday 24th May, killing 6 innocent civilians. The #yesallwomen has been a way for women across the world to express their anger, emotion and state of fear that every women has experienced in their life. Rodger has been described as a misogynist due to authorities finding an autobiography/diary, confessing how women constantly rejected him. The #yessallwomen is far bigger than some lunatic, but has sparked important conversation that it’s absurd that in today’s society… the inequality of women. We all know the case of a man buying a girl a drink at the bar, but that is not a one way ticket to her pants.

I am not at all implying (nor is anyone on Twitter) that all men are evil. Men in my life are respectful, responsible, mature people who are the kindest human beings I’ve ever met. And I’m certainly not saying that every woman is perfect, because there’s some crazy ladies out there too. However, I believe the reason this # has taken off is because every woman has experienced some sort of inequality from men, whether that be sexual, physical or verbal abuse, expectations, crude comments or behaviour etc. And I acknowledge that it is from the minority, but sometimes, all it takes is a few beers and next thing your honking your horn and yelling sexual comments from your bar stool where you sit on your pedestal.

I’m a young women who is just trying to find her place in the world. After exploring different corners of the globe, regardless of what country your in, one thing is a guarantee, and that is men will not hesitate to express their sexual, physical desires, fantasies and dreams which I can apparently fulfil. For some reason, that is not an attractive quality. Perhaps try something like; approaching me, smile, buying a drink, being genuinely interested in me, ask for my number, give me a kiss goodnight, and call me the next day, with no other intentions or expectations. Now that is attractive.

Gentlemen please. If making howling noises from a car is how you want to portray yourself to women and the rest of society, go ahead… but you sir are an ass.

Be kind. understanding. confident. approachable. respectful. And never assume that we owe you anything because you spent your valuable night buying us drinks.

To all of you gentlemen out there who are being gentlemen… Thankyou.




The Power of Anonymity


Sourced from
Sourced from

Every one has a unique identity in the real world. But why is it that when we hit cyberspace, our ‘identity’ can change so much, that we morph into a completely different person? The power of anonymity is a strong one. It can promote freedom of expression, exchange of ideas and intrigue. However it can also contribute to online fraud, scams, violation of privacy and abuse online. (Himma & Tavani, 2008) And why? Because our computer screen act as a mask, where we aren’t confronted by the consequences of our actions, where we gain a false sense of freedom and confidence to attack someone and something we can hide behind.

Some like Randi Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerber’s siter) believe that “anonymity on the Internet has to go away… People behave a lot better when they have their real names down. … I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors.” Cyber bullying allows the perpetrator to disregard the consequences for their actions and vilify their victims anonymously. Victims invite the bully into their home through their laptops and phones leading to constant harassment where this has lead to depression, anxiety, isolation and every suicides. 

There is also a big advantage to being anonymous online. Because you don’t need to deal with the consequences of your words, it automatically grants the writer power, because they are seen as unbiased. They can not be judged or ridiculed due to their gender, sexuality, race, religion or physical appearance, which occurs especially to women, transgender or homosexuals. The anonymous, have the ultimate power to express themselves free of judgement. Brooke Magnanti (writer for the London Daily Telegraph) says “the loss of a right to anonymity far outweighs whatever potential harm abusers may cause.” (Rooney, 2013) We all value the freedom of speech and I believe the power of people’s words should not be defined because of who they are. 

[If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression/anxiety/bullying, visit or seek professional help]

Further Readings/Videos


Himma, K.E. & Tavani, H.T 2008 “Online Anonymity” in John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, USA, pp. 165-18, accessed 15/05/2014,

Ben Rooney 2013, The Debate Over Online Anonymity, Dow Jones & Company Inc, New York, N.Y. accessed

Penny, L 2014, Online bullying isn’t freedom of speech, Al Jazeera, 22 February, accessed 15/05/2014,  


Bring Back Our Girls, Bring Forth Your Support


Bring Back Our Girls has been a twitter phenomenon, capturing global attention on the 234 Nigerian school girls missing due to internal terrorist regimes. This horrendous incident occurred on the 15th April, taking a few weeks for awareness to capture the world. I became aware of this movement a week ago and have since actively followed, retweeted and researched the development of the #bringbackourgirls.

Sourced from
Malala Yousafzai showing her support. Sourced from

I personally support and participate in this online ‘clicktivism’ because being a young woman in the 21st century, I know and believe that education should be granted to all, regardless of race, religion, culture or gender. With the admiration of activist Malala Yousafzai and her powerful words “Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons,” (Yousafzai, 2013)I hope to one day be an activist involved with human and especially women’s rights. 

Clicktivism is the online activity of sharing, liking, commenting, retweeting information about a concern or cause, whereas activism is the physical act of doing something such as protesting. (thetrashlab, 2013) Despite the criticisms of clictivism being ‘slacktivists’, activism would not be possible without the online support of the clicktivists.

However, here I am, sitting at my computer screen, here in Australia, and not in Nigeria protesting and pressuring the government on a physical level. But does that mean that my support is insignificant? Despite the fact I may just be involved in the ‘clictivism,’ creating awareness is the biggest and most difficult step in order to make a difference. That’s why the involvement of high profile celebrities (as pictured below) furthermore perpetuates awareness and involvement.

 High profile people showing their support and creating global awareness, such as Justin Timberlake, Drake and Bradley Cooper Sourced from
High profile people showing their support and creating global awareness, such as Justin Timberlake, Drake and Bradley Cooper
Sourced from

 Whilst I might not be able to make a physical contribution to the issue in Nigeria and I am absolutely privileged to have the freedom, rights and opportunities to attend university (which is even financially supported and encouraged by the government), I am able to fully appreciate and maximise the chances I have here in Australia. The youth of the world are the future, (Strauss, 2011) we have power and we have the ability to make change, whether it be online or in the real world.


Further Related Readings/Videos



Yousafzai, M 2013, ‘Our books and pens are the most powerful weapons’, transcript United Nations, The Guardian, 12 July, accessed 07/05/2014,

thetrashlab, 2013 Slactivists vs. Activists (online video), 15 April, viewed 07/05/2014,

Strauss, J 2011, Youth movement in a culture of hoplessness, Aljazeera, 8 October, accessed 07/05/2014,