5 Misogynistic Mentalities I Will NEVER Understand – Column

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Despite society’s progressive advancements, discriminatory and misogynistic mentalities are still very prevalent. Although these mentalities are slightly more subtle than they used to be, there are still certain social stigma and limitations for the actions of women.

1. Women are STILL earning less than men. Yes, it’s true. After years of fighting for equality, female employees are still earning a significant amount less than their male counterparts. In the USA, “Democrats have argued that wage disparities persist, and pulled out the oft-cited figure that women, on average, earn 77 percent to a man’s dollar.” How is this still happening?!

2. The attempts to make abortion illegal. People have their own reasons for needing an abortion, and although it definitely shouldn’t be used as a form of regular contraception, you need to do what’s best for everyone involved. If someone is not ready for a child – whether that be due to financial circumstances or the inability to properly care for a child at that point – they should not have to go through with it. If a person can’t afford a pregnancy, they DEFINITELY cannot afford a child.

3. Women are STILL blamed for being raped. NEWSFLASH: It does not matter what a women is wearing/how she looks – RAPE IS NEVER OKAY. No one is ‘asking’ to be violated in such a horrific manner. No one is ‘asking’ to be sexually assaulted. Rape victims should never be blamed for what they couldn’t control or couldn’t stop.

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4. Only men can ‘sleep around’. For some bizarre reason, casual sex and relationships only seem to be available to men, and this appears to be for a variety of reasons; women are perceived as ‘too emotional’ to handle casual relationships, whereas men are perceived to be more ‘laid back’ and ‘comfortable’ in those kinds of situations. Men are also praised for their ability to engage in casual sex, whereas women are chastised and portrayed as “sluts”.

5. The over-sexualisation of the female body. There’s no doubt that the media definitely takes advantage of the current sexualised mentality surrounding the female anatomy, and it’s not difficult to locate an advertisement that thrives off of this sexualisation. The brand American Apparel is particularly known for an emphasis on sexualisation:

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I mean, is this really necessary?! I’m sure there’s a way to advertise the garments without the exposure of a woman’s backside. For the women who enjoy sexualising their bodies, go right ahead! It’s your body, and it’s your choice. However, the constant string of media advertisements portraying women as mere sex objects are continuing to be especially harmful in the perception of women as a whole.
It is clear from these mentalities that humankind still has a long way to go in regards to total equality, and we can only hope that society one day reaches that point.

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‘Pitch Perfect 2’: A Review

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   Pitch Perfect 2 touched down on Australian shores on the 7th of May, bringing the promotion of sisterhood, female empowerment and acapella along in its wings. The Barden Bellas are back, and audiences all over the globe have gathered to witness the next stage of their acapella success, eager to escape into a world of music, friendship and hilarity.

With any solution there must initially be a problem, and the storyline of Elizabeth Banks’s Pitch Perfect 2 is no different, as the film begins with a wardrobe malfunction at Lincoln Center involving the character, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), and the malfunction evolves into a media scandal resulting in the Barden Bellas being banned from competing and auditioning in the USA. However, there is a loophole, and the Bellas set out to both gain back their status and win the acapella world championships – which no team from the US has ever won before.

Despite the prominent focus on acapella and the Bellas’ right to perform, there is also an underlying theme throughout the film of ‘moving on’; Beca (Anne Kendrick) attends an internship at a music production company and Chloe (Brittany Snow) is desperate to keep the Bellas together due to her fear of graduating and creating a life outside of her acapella group.

The script is clever and the lines are very quick-witted, with the broad selection of musical numbers really accentuating the light-heartedness of the film in the best way. The characters are extremely relatable to their audiences, and although there is a shift in some of the characters’ roles in comparison to the original film, the audience does not leave feeling as though they have missed out. The film’s easy humour allows it to reach people of all ages, and it is the perfect film for a laugh without having to think too much about what’s happening.

Despite the many good points of the film, the plot did feel slightly repetitive of the first film at times. The need for the Bellas to prove themselves and the testing of their friendships are evident in both the first and second film, and I do believe that the film may have been a little more enticing had it followed another sequence of events or plotline. There were also a couple of instances in which the humour was a little too easy or ‘overused’, and I was left feeling slight second-hand embarrassment rather than particularly humoured.

Overall, the film was hilarious and enjoyable, and I would recommend making time to see it on the big screen. The music will have you dancing in your seat, and Fat Amy’s inappropriate comments will almost have you crying with laughter. A blockbuster movie featuring a range of various music genres and ages does not come around very often these days, and with all aspects of the film considered, I’m definitely praying for a third installment.

‘What Is Hidden’ – My Assignment Proposal

For weeks now I have struggled to come up with any ideas for the final assignment, and even now I am slightly unsure. Many of the ideas I have had so far seem quite far-fetched and unlikely for a mere Journalism student to complete. However, I have luckily had an idea that could very well work. I am hoping to investigate the change in society’s attitude towards depression, comparing societal attitudes of the 1980s/1990s to attitudes of 2014. Therefore, I am hoping to discover whether we, as a society, have become more supportive and more accepting of those suffering from depression in the past 30-40 years. For the talents, I will be using one of my close friends who has been diagnosed with depression in the past few years, and perhaps my mum who has lived with depression since her younger years. The music accompanying the assignment will be slow and perhaps a little dark in order to establish the mood of the assignment, and the ambient sounds will include doors closing, panicked breathing and perhaps the removal of anti-depressants from their packets. The videos will include the talents going about their everyday lives, whereas the original photographs will show the talents possibly hiding away in their bedrooms and isolating themselves from society. I will also be sourcing posters and videos from organizations aimed at supporting those with depression and including them in my assignment. As for the use of text, I will be presenting statistics and facts about depression, along with the stories of my talents. With this assignment, I am hoping to show how societal attitudes have changed in the last 30-40 years. I am quite excited about this assignment as I do enjoy using iMovie and such, and I am hoping to create something powerful and informative.

****** 26th of October 2014 – Edited my idea

After conducting my first interview and then also conducting a spontaneous one straight after, I have decided to slightly alter my topic and discover rather how society perceives depression now and how the symptoms can be “hidden” and such. For this topic, I have interviewed two of my close friends who are currently struggling with depression and anxiety. Instead of photographs showing the talents hiding in their bedrooms, I have decided to take happy photographs of them and then have them discussing their experiences with depression in a video, juxtaposing the two moods.

Women vs. Journalism

“It is about equal treatment of men and women, and encompasses issues such as equal pay for equal work, equal access to decision making bodies, employment, pensions, health care, promotions, maternity and paternity leave. In journalism it also means fair gender portrayal in the news, the use of neutral and non-gender specific language, and women not being pigeonholed as ‘lifestyle’ or ‘soft’ news reporters.” – Getting the balance right: Gender equality in journalism

In the journalistic community, discrimination due to gender is still evident, and many women are often found reporting on lifestyle and social issues, rather than “hard” news (International Federation of Journalists, 2009, pp.3). Despite the fact that statistics prove that more and more women are continuing to enter the field, the amount of women in senior jobs (International Federation of Journalists, 2009, pp.4) within journalism are surprisingly low compared to that of men.

The pay gap between male and female journalistic voices is also alarmingly wide, and research in the UK found that political news, opinion writing and sports journalism are areas which hold very few female voices. Sport is perceived to be a male dominated industry, and a 2011 survey in Germany concluded that only 8% of the sports related articles were written by women. In the UK the number is even smaller, and less than 5% of sports journalism was written by females.

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Jodi Enda of Nieman Reports claims, “We no longer sit in the balcony, but neither do we have the best seats in the house.” Enda suggests that women have changed the face of news, as there is now more focus on education, welfare, and children. She claims that without females in positions of authority in the field, female journalistic voices have a much more difficult time being heard and respected, and there is much less chance of them having the ability to report on “hard” news.

Although we can see a increase in the presence of women in the journalism field, it is evident that it is difficult for women to achieve senior jobs or higher positions, proving that gender inequality is still very evident in the field.

References:

International Federation of Journalists. 2009. Getting the balance right: Gender equality in journalism | UNESCO. Belgium. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001807/180707E.pdf [Accessed 30th May 2014)

There is no escape from bias.

In our world of journalism, it is practically impossible to find an article completely and utterly free of bias or bias intentions. Although it is not always necessarily the writer’s fault, it is important to remember the impact of bias’s influence when reading an article or news story. The term ‘media bias‘ refers to the way in which news reporters and various other journalistic voices report and cover their story. Since it is not possible to report absolutely everything, selectivity is practically inevitable in journalism, and therefore bias is born. The Rhetorica Network claims, “There is no such thing as an objective point of view.” However, The Rhetorica Network also states that although objectivity is not always reached in journalism, journalists generally try to do the right thing.

FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Journalism) suggests that in attempting to detect bias in journalism, it is important to decipher the sources that the journalists are utilizing, as many claim to receive their information from “official” sources, such as government and corporate sources. FAIR also suggests that in order give a fair and accurate report or story, journalists must ensure that they are receiving their information from a variety of sources, including progressive, female and minority voices.

The Conversation discussion the apparent gender bias within the journalism field, claiming, “The pay gap between male and female journalists remains stubbornly wide, and older women – especially if they have taken a career break – find it difficult to retain a place in the industry,” and also states that it is not as common for women to rise to senior positions. Gender bias is also evident within opinion writing, as research conducted by The Guardian found that women count for a mere 26% of opinion pieces.

Therefore, it is clear that although journalists may have the right intentions, circumstances and life experiences of journalistic voices will inevitably contribute to the bias of the media.

The life of a baking extraordinaire and pun lover

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Anca Milosescu, lover of baking and creator of brilliant puns, began studying a double degree of a Bachelor of International Studies and a Bachelor of Commerce – hoping to soon switch to a Bachelor of Psychology –  in 2014 at the age of 18. Besides her sometimes stressful study load, Anca’s hours are full of a range of activities, including baking, reading, listening to music, partying or spending time with family and friends.

Originally from Romania, Anca moved to Scotland with her mum, dad, and brother, Tudor, at the age of eight, and in November 2011, they migrated to Sydney, Australia. Anca attended Kirrawee High School for years eleven and twelve, completing her HSC in 2013. She was quick to establish a close group of friends at her new high school, and was welcomed with open arms. However, when adjusting to live in Australia, Anca found that there were quite a few things that she missed about Scotland, such and the food she has become accustomed to, her favourite shops and – let’s not forget – Irn-Bru.

On the weekends, Anca often bakes cookies and brownies with her mum, and spends time with her family and friends. She often combines her baking with movie marathons, some of her favourite movies being Shutter Island, The Goonies, Silver Linings Playbook, The Great Gatsby, 10 Things I Hate About You and the new Disney motion picture, Frozen.

Anca also reads a range of books and magazines, but claims to prefer books. She also enjoys a wide variety of music and finds enjoyment in many different genres. Her favourite songs include ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Nirvana’ by Sam Smith and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana. Along with Sam Smith and Nirvana, she also has a wide range of favourite artists, including Kings of Leon, A$ap Rocky, Paolo Nutini, Frank Ocean, Sticky Fingers, Tame Impala, Arctic Monkeys, Haim, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Beyoncé, Lorde and The 1975.

On the weekends, Anca also enjoys attending house parties or going clubbing with her friends, whether they are keeping it local or journeying into Sydney city. You can find her either on the dance floor, dancing to ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, or sipping on a vodka orange or piña colada – or two.

Anca claims to not travel much, but states that occasionally she may take a trip around Australia with her family. So far, she has mainly travelled around New South Wales, but in the recent summer holidays, Anca also journeyed to New Zealand with her family and also spent New Year’s in Perth with a close friend from Scotland. She hopes to one day travel to the Netherlands – perhaps on cultural exchange – and also visit her family and friends in Romania and Scotland.

Once she has completed her degree, Anca hopes to establish a career within the psychology field, due to her passion for helping others and interest in the field.

 

When ‘Vogue’ becomes vogue.com

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With the continuous advances in technology and the rise in social media, many journalistic outlets are choosing to establish their own online presence, sparking debate among both readers and those who work within the journalism field. Upon interviewing five journalism students at the University of Wollongong, I was able to gather their opinions regarding the debate over online journalism. Four of the five students interviewed believe that online journalism is useful in the distribution of news, whereas one interviewee believes that online journalism defeats the purpose of traditional or print journalism.

Many believe online journalism to be more accessible than traditional journalism, as you can access online articles and stories from home. Liv Gee, an aspiring investigative journalist, also finds online articles to be useful in following other articles for further information on the chosen subject, and also shows where the writer gathered their information for their story. Liv claims, “If I’m reading something and am feeling a bit iffy about the writers perspective or credibility, it’s easy to look up another article on the same topic, or look at comments on the original article and see if there’s a raging argument.” However, Brittany Rogers – a student hoping to be a feature writer, travel writer or editor – believes that online journalism defeats the purpose of traditional journalism, claiming, “I think it takes away a lot of jobs from traditional journalists… if we didn’t have online journalism we’d have more print journalism.”

The majority of the interviewees believe that online journalism will – for the most part – dominate the industry, as technology continues to advance and we become able to access journalistic articles from a wider range of devices. Tisha Rabe, an aspiring fashion and beauty editor or head editor for magazines such as Cleo and Cosmopolitan, states, “with technology on the rise and the cut back on the use of paper for environmental reasons I do see journalism being more online in the future.” Caitlyn Ellender hopes to one day work in the marketing and advertising field of media, and agrees that the takeover is almost inevitable. However, she also adds, “I believe people still enjoy a physical copy of a magazine or newspaper.” Jarrett Wall, who is undecided between sports and music journalism and teaching, suggests that some aspects traditional journalism will survive, but also predicts, “they’ll have a changed role.”

The credibility of online journalism can also be questioned, as the rise of citizen journalism is apparent. Brittany suggests that it can depend where you gather your information when it comes to online articles, as blogs may not be as credible as, for example, The New York Times. Jarrett believes, “…there will always be a need for trusted news sources and with the lack of reliability on the Internet, traditional sources that we trust become more important…”

Despite the rise of online journalism, all interviewees agree that it can be more relaxing or pleasing to actually have a newspaper or magazine in front of them, and it was suggested by Caitlyn that online journalism is more a more useful and easier alternative in researching for assignments or essays.