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Women in Media – Stereotypes, Representation and What Audience Wants… but is anyone listening?

I was planning to write a post about The Boob himself (aka David Koche) on Sunday afternoon but ended up out of action after pinching a nerve in my back (ouch!).  Thankfully while I’ve been laid out, Clementine Ford published an opinion piece yesterday at smh.com.au that gets to the crux of the issue: the lack of female voices in our main stream media.

As Ford says, “The problem with recent comments about breastfeeding by Channel Seven’s David Koch isn’t so much about ignorance, it’s that they are legitimised by a broadcast media populated by bumbling blokes in a society that heralds laddish masculinity.
Koch is clearly not a stupid man. His blokey everyman schtick sits comfortably with the kinds of values we allow to dominate Australian broadcast media. Our idea of acceptable Australian masculinity is reinforced by the kinds of male voices we allow to set the mainstream social agenda – think Kyle Sandilands, Sam Newman, Chris Smith, anyone on the Footy Show and all of 2GB. There’s very little room for intelligence and thoughtful compassion, with most broadcast strategies deferring to an entirely outdated construction of masculinity whose cornerstones are mateship, blokeyness and hilarious sexism.

Society allows its (extremely well paid) male hosts to behave like undisciplined little boys, and consequently it also excuses and punishes their transgressions as such. What can you do? Their humour is ”edgy”. Boys will be boys. Here come the PC police! We’re sorry if you were offended.”

Perhaps Kochie is entitled to his view and perhaps it’s a view shared by others.  Or perhaps if there were more female voices on the airwaves, we’d see a shift in attitudes.

But one thing is clear: in order to make that happen, more men and women would need to demand change. 

While the #DestroyTheJoint movement has rallied the efforts of some Australians on the issue, it clearly hasn’t yet filtered through to the airwaves and certainly not the ratings figures.  I wonder if it’s it’s women who need to speak up more, or men, to make that change happen.  Or if there are some things that will never change anyway.

Your thoughts?

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1 month ago

Jen Dalitz

What are the lessons you’re teaching your kids? We took the opportunity of a holiday long weekend to visit my mum interstate as the timing of the trip coincided with my son’s favourite AFL team battling it out against my mum’s beloved team. Perhaps only those of you with the love for AFL will appreciate why we’d plan a long distance trip around a game of footy, but suffice to say it was a passion project! With every ounce of anticipation, the game was a tough, tight duel and could easily have gone either way. Yet when the final siren sounded, it wasn’t our team that was smiling. It sure is tough for a 10 year old boy to sit within a crowd 41,000+ people all cheering for the opposite side. It was tough for him to see the exhaustion and disappointment on the faces of the players he adores. And yet, it’s so important for him to learn that his team won’t always win. There’s so many lessons in that, but the one I chose to instil is that you won’t always back the team that wins but you’ll always back the team that you love. That’s why I asked him to wear his team colours home the next day, and show his support even when the chips are down. That’s the kind of commitment I want my son to learn and the kind of team player I want him to be. PS. #gotheGiants @GWSGiants #neversurrender ... See MoreSee Less

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3 months ago

Jen Dalitz

I haven’t been here in a while as the writing has been on hold. But I was reminded today that there are things in our life that light us up. That might take us out of our comfort zone but, once you sit with it, bring you both joy and a sense of “I can do this” achievement. These moments are such a gift. So I’m curious, what’s your special thing that lights you up?

Despite (or in spit of) my professional career, these moments for me normally involve my horses. I’ll never be an equestrian Olympian, but I take great pleasure in all the lessons my horses teach me. They remind me that it’s a team effort, we’re in it together, and that if I’m prepared to give a little bit more, they will too. That’s true whether we’re on the ground taking care of their feet, or grooming, or when I’m atop riding as one. Two hearts one team.
It’s hard to describe the adrenaline and joy they bring to my life. But I’d love to know, what lights you up??
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And so, maybe time does change some things. Or women do.

Skavlan Talkshow
– They let me go at 42 because they told me I was too old to represent women's dreams. #kvinnedagen

Watch our talk show interview with Isabella Rossellini here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRa7UptZ3qw
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