This is somewhat of an experiment in flipping the gendered construction of news media wherein male voices and experiences are privileged as “normal” and that of women either erased or dismissed. I decided on it today having finished reading Helena Kennedy’s brilliant Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice which demonstrates just how much women are othered. I want to explore getting my news mainly from women’s organisations, female journalists and female bloggers and see how difficult it is to erase the voices of men; since it is very easy to silence women’s voices in the media.
Interestingly, I had thought I was following only a few men on twitter but I actually deleted 135 different men from Jon Snow at Channel 4 News to Chuck D and a number of male comedians I don’t actually like. I also deleted a number of animals which, I think, proves that I need to pay more attention to who I chose to follow. I was actually quite shocked at the number of men I was following because I was under the impression that I was mostly following the women of MN and women writers.
I had already expanded my #readingonlybookswrittenbywomen policy into only buying music written and/or produced by women. This started when I tried to make an International Women’s Day playlist for my teenager as a present. Turns out, I listen to a lot of music written, performed and produced by men. I turned to MN for help, which, in retrospect, has not been good for my credit card. It did, however, spawn a thread by InmaculadaConcepcion celebrating women’s music. I’d go for listening to only music written, performed and/or produced by women but I’m rather attached to the Red Hot Chili Peppers which is, I know, deeply unfeminist but I think I am allowed one vice and I am choosing them.
So, this is the experiment: reading not only fiction written by women but ensuring that I get most of my news, political analysis and social awareness from women. In this, I have to suggest the brilliant Women Under Siege Project who are currently mapping the sexualised violence experienced by women in conflict zones: violence that is frequently erased from mainstream media sources.
I’m looking for any and all suggestions of women to follow!