Girl Bashing

http://birdeemag.com/bitch-dont-call-me-that/

This is an incredibly interesting article about why we have to stop calling women sluts and whores (thank you Tina Fey). Because they are women only slurs, the words are inherently misogynistic, degrading and damaging.

It’s an interesting article because I am guilty of using these terms amongst friends but I’ve never meant it in a way where I’ve purposely set out to hurt someone. I think that these days the word ‘bitch’ is used very loosely and can even be used amongst friends. Slut I don’t agree with but am guilty of describing a girl that I don’t like very much as a slut, and upon reflecting on this really bad habit, it’s not a nice thing to do and I’m sure there’s many other words out there that could be used to describe someone.

But where’s the limit? Do we keep asking for more? How morally and politically correct can we actually be in a world full of people who are inherently different? But I do agree that we should fix up our vocabularly because we should be lifting women up, encouraging and supporting them other than ripping them down.

Peace and love to all you beautiful women and men out there!

xxx A

Source
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Flirting with Feminism

This clip is an incredibly insightful, confronting and enlightening discussion between a variety of women who have varying views of feminism. From not identifying as a feminist due to feminism being targeted at middle class white women, the forward motion of feminism and how it needs to include women of colour, transgender women and disabled women, to feminism being more than an individual happiness and needs to be a collective movement, to not wanting a definition because definitions by nature are limiting and the feminism movement must continue to be dynamic and fluid, all of these women’s views are equally interesting and informative.

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A part of the discussion which really challenged my preconceived ideas of feminism is the idea of femism being so much more than individual acceptance and behaviour. How it not ok to make personal decisions and behave in a way that you deem ok and excercising a right of freedom to make those decisions, where those decisions can have adverse affects on women kind as a whole. I guess this brings in the whole ‘not asking for it’ movement which despite what a woman wears – whether it be jeans, jumper, bikini, bra, shorts, crop top or a dress – she’s not asking for it (IT being sexual abuse). I completely agree with this movement and believe that regardless of what a woman wears despite how ‘slutty’ or ‘provocative’ it may appear, she does not deserve any mistreatment or abuse. However, are individuals, especially those of power like Miley Cyrus who do wear provocative clothing really contributing to woman kind in a positive way? Yes, individuals like Miley Cyrus are excercising their right to make their own decisions and wear what they want to wear, but in the long run, is it undermining the very notions of feminism as a collective movement?

I guess we are in this world together and we as a society should act upon the interest of that society, however at the end of the day, all we really have are ourselves. Is it ok/justified to do what you want and to make your own decisions based on your individual wants/needs, OR, should we change our frame of mind and act/make collectivistic decisions based on the success and liberation towards woman kind as a whole? I can’t make that decision for women everywhere, but I do know that it is important to maintain the key values of feminism in our every day lives and fight against injustice.

xxx A

The City of Beauty, Fashion, Morals and Of Course… Sex

Sex & the City is the modern woman’s answer for a bible. It offers us guidance, reassurance, faith, the promise of redemption and stresses the importance of red wine. Whilst it was only last year that I watched the epic 6 season girls guide to life, I have since seen every episode about 3 or 4 times and each time it gets better and Big-ger (hehe get it?) So here is what the four women, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Miranda can teach each and every one of us, and yes boys, you included.

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Being single can be fabulous – For a long time, we were all told that the ultimate goal in life is to get married and have kids. Then we can live a fulfilled life baking cakes and picking our kids up from soccer practice. Well those ideals can f*ck off right back to the 1950’s. These days being single doesn’t mean you’re unattractive, unwanted or undesirable. It means you’re taking time for yourself. Giving yourself the time, love and attention you deserve. We’re allowed to explore ourselves, discover what we want and allowed to have standards and expectations. Being single gives us more time to ourselves, to be ourselves.

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Love and relationships are difficult and confusing – even if we do happen to find someone, it’s bloody difficult. There’s unspoken social rules that need to be followed, expectations, thoughts, experiences, when to call when not to call, Facebook likes… these days there’s so many things that interfere, distract and can get in the way of relationships. There’s so many complex relationships; Carrie and Mr. Big, Carrie and Aidan, Miranda and Steve, Charlotte and Trey, Charlotte and Harry, Samantha and Smith, Samantha and everyone… but regardless of their relationships and connections, they kind of make you feel like any sort of relationship or ‘thing’ you have going on in your life, is kinda normal.

“They say nothing lasts forever …dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.” – Carrie Bradshaw

Friendship will overcome all things – True friends are friends for life. They’ll be with you through thick and thin. Regardless of time or distance, when you need someone to talk to and hold you, your best friends will be there. Through a break up, a bad life choice, a broken fingernail, they’re there for you. The best things about having girlfriends is that you can tell them anything and everything. They’ll never judge you and always be there to give you advice and paint your nails with.

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Fashion is everything darling! – Unfortunately guys, I’m not sure you’ll ever understand the age old struggle of having a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. Don’e judge us if we take 20minutes or 2hours to get ready, we just want our outfit to match our confidence and inner beauty!

There’s no such thing as a normal *insert noun here*- relationship, penis, date, face, vagina, man, woman, dress… All the different escapades the girls get up to kind of justifies anything you have going on in your life.

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Sex is sex – Sex is a natural part of life which for decades has been smothered by taboo and secrecy. But Sex & the City, true to its name, destroys all sexual stereotypes and taboo. We talk openly about love, life, friends and family, why not sex?

Every woman has a little bit of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda in them- Samantha is a confident, strong, successful, sex crazed woman who sleeps with a new man every episode and always offers the blunt truth. Charlotte is an innocent and hopeless romantic woman who dreams of a fairytale happy ending. Miranda is a cynical strong lawyer who has questionable fashion choices but is a loyal friend. And Carrie, the slightly annoying pushover whose kryptonite is the man she keeps running back to. And me? Well I like to think I’m a bit of a Carrie and Samantha.

We’re all beautiful people who deserve the best and nothing less than butterflies!

xxx A

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) http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/love-me-tinder-dating-in-the-new-app-era/story-fnii5yv4-1226880118593 … 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: bit.ly/1mEr1nb 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.

 

Bibliography

 

@Tinder 2014 Tweet accessed 27/05/2014 http://Https://twitter.com/Tinder/status/461943139386011649

 

@missaaadelaide, 2014, Tweet, April 15, accessed 31/05/2014, https://twitter.com/missaaadelaide/status/456256752212656128

 

Apple Store (N.d) Tinder, accessed 23/05/2014 http://Https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/tinder/id547702041?mt=8

 

Ayers, C 2014, ‘Tinder, the dating app that’s setting the dating scene on fire’. The Australian, 31 May, accessed 31/05/2014, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/tinder-the-app-thats-setting-the-dating-scene-on-fire/story-e6frg8h6-1226933263450#

 

Dreher, T 2014 #mencallmethings: Identity and Difference Online, BCM112, University of Wollongong, accessed 31/05/2014, http://Https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/219614/mod_resource/content/1/BCM112mencallmethings%20copy.pdf

 

Epstein (N.d) Dating with Tinder, Ask Men, accessed 24/05/2014, http://Http://au.askmen.com/dating/curtsmith/dating-with-tinder.html

 

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://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/yjfem19&collection=journals&id=299#299

 

Haynes, A. 2014 The Power of Anonymity, A Worldly Addiction. 15 May, accessed 28/05/2014, http://Http://aworldlyaddiction.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/the-power-of-anonymity/

 

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://www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf

 

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. http://henryjenkins.org/2006/10/confronting_the_challenges_of.html

 

Jenkins, H 2012, ‘The New Political Commons,’ Options Politiques, November, accessed 31/05/2014, https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/152365/mod_resource/content/2/jenkins.pdf

 

Jones, A. 2007, “Convergence”, Information Security Technical Report, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 69-73, accessed 31/05/2014, http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/science/article/pii/S136341270700009X

 

Kent, C 2013, Tinder Review: a woman’s perspective, The Telegraph, 19 September, n.p, accessed 20/04/2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/10317832/Tinder-review-a-womans-perspective.html

 

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, http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/millennial-sexual-revolution-relationships-marriage

 

Parham 2013 50 funniest pick up lines on tinder, 25 July, accessed 31/05/2014, http://Http://www.complex.com/tech/2013/07/tinder-pick-up-lines/46

 

Piazza, J 2014 Newest Tinder Trend: Marriage  3 April, accessed 27/05/2014, http://Http://www.elle.com/life-love/sex-relationships/tinder-dating-app-marriages

 

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 http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232211

 

Thrillhouse763, 2014 How many matches do you usually get? self confidence taking a hit  Reddit, accessed 24/05/2014, http://Http://www.reddit.com/r/Tinder/comments/1zzj7x/how_many_matches_do_you_usually_get_self/

 

 

 

 

#Yesallwomen – My Experiences

#Yesallwomen

Sourced from http://www.theprovince.com/cms/binary/9878330.jpg
Sourced from http://www.theprovince.com/cms/binary/9878330.jpg

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.

https://twitter.com/midwesteventer/status/470936915307270144

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.

Ciao

X

 

Looking Back to Move Forward

“The Media”

These two simplistic yet extravagant words, evoke diverse emotions and reactions within individuals across the world. The denotations of the media are relatively basic –the means of communication, such as radio and television, newspapers, andmagazines, that reach or influence people widely.” However the connotations of the media are exponential. From political corruption, sexualisation of children, a mediated public sphere, mass communication, controversy, exploitation, heroes, the list goes on. 

MEDIA - generated on Wordle by Adelaide Haynes
MEDIA – generated on Wordle by Adelaide Haynes
Social Media Logotype Background
Sourced from http://www.australianchurchrecord.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/social_media_0.jpg

I always thought that my knowledge on the media was current and knowledgable. That is until the #BCM110 took over my spare time and I was exposed to the big wide work of the media. Extending far beyond celebrity hot gossip, sport highlights and natural disasters… it is the unheard stories on unheard mediums, addressing unheard concepts which captured my attention and heart.

Some of these new concepts were difficult to initially understand, helping me criticise, debate, comment and re-evaluate certain aspects of my knowledge. The concept of “Media Ownership” challenged the way I viewed everyday ‘news.’ Was I hearing biased, personal, edited stories from the likes of Rupert Murdoch or Gina Rineheart?  By figuring out the small network of people who own various aspects of the media, it allows myself and others to critically assess the validity and integrity of specific media platforms.

Sourced from http://mediasmarts.ca/sites/default/files/images/eroticization-girls.jpg
Sourced from http://mediasmarts.ca/sites/default/files/images/eroticization-girls.jpg

The discussion of ‘corporate paedophilia’ regarding the sexualization of children in the media and moral panic, is a very controversial topic, one in which I am interested in investigating further. “Children’s general sexual and emotional development is affected by exposure to advertising and marketing that is saturated with sexualised images and themes,” (Rush and La Nauze, 2006) highlights the impending issues regarding such a sensitive topic and its importance to address it. We all treasure our childhood and children should be innocent and carefree as long as they can, before the pressures of growing up/adolescence/adulthood kick in. I don’t believe it’s a cause of ‘moral panic’ due to the long term effects it has on each individuals sexual and emotional development.

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Sourced from http://oreowriter.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/dove-campaign-real-beauty-women.jpg

Being a woman in today’s society, I am very passionate about equal opportunity for everyone on this earth and unfortunately, the media is blamed for its misrepresentation of women, which can limit these opportunities. It is a renowned fact that ‘sex sells’ and from a young age, we are told that beauty is a primary concern, other than intellect or personality. The media is both the solution and the problem and a path I would like to further develop is working towards positive representation of women in the media.

Throughout this journey of awareness, understanding and evaluating the media on a local and global context, I have learnt many things about the world and myself. It has reinforced my passion for exploring and learning about places, events, people and concepts which ultimately shape who we are.

References

Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze, Corporate Paedophilia, The Sexualisation of Children in Australia, http://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP90.pdf, October 2006, accessed 9/04/14

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Miss Representation, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZkC_fNxmQk, 2011, accessed 9/04/14