In this episode Erin and I discuss her article that shares her wishes that she be allowed to say “I’m a woman, and I have NOT had a bad time.” *see her article below and I hope you enjoy this episode. subscribe to our soundcloud if you want to hear more
CHANGING THE TONE OF FEMINISM by Erin Wallis
I don’t feel like I’m disadvantaged in society, and I’m sick of reading that I’m supposed to feel that way.
A friend sent me an article last night, and both the article and her sending it really pissed me off. It is amongst a slate of articles to be read about women being objectified, unequal, having to ‘overcome this’ or ‘put up with that’.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s an awareness job to do here – you can’t create change, without awareness of a behaviour first – but I cannot help but feel down-trodden and angry when I read articles about how tough going it is being a woman.
A study in done in the States a couple of years ago showed that white boys’ self-esteem increased with TV consumption, because of the way they are represented on-screen (heroes, main characters, successful). In contrast, girls and black children’s self-esteem decreased as they are often represented as marginalised in some way.
You can probably see the parallel I’d like to draw between this study and the way women are being written about. It’s important for females to be exposed to female role models. Thus, we need to be thrusting inspiring representations of women into media, rather than continue to perpetuate a negative image. How are we ever going to feel inspired, if the only way we read about ourselves is as marginalised?
To exemplify through my own circumstances, for which I whole-heartedly acknowledge is why I don’t feel disadvantaged by society, and for which I’m truly grateful – I have grown up surrounded by positive female role models:
My mother grew up in a time when she was not expected to be educated past year 10. Luckily for me, that meant she proactively pursued an education when she was older and I was around. So I grew up valuing that education allows you to develop a sense of empowerment, independence and identity.
I have also pursued a career in an industry that has a particularly high proportion of women, and again, I am personally lucky to have worked with a gamut of inspiring women who have engrained a belief that I will achieve corporate success, and it isn’t at the sacrifice of my sense of compassion.
Beyond this, I’m so proud of my group of (female) friends for all their individual achievements and sense of self. Whatever they’ve defined as their path of personal success, it has been inspiring to watch them attain it.
None of these women have inspired me because they’ve told me about the hardships they’ve beared, they’ve inspired me just by being and doing. As is the case with any role model, they have simply led by example… and they just happen to be women.
My point is, that for those women who aren’t as lucky as me, we need to perpetuate an image that is inspiring. We need to tell as many stories about as many representations of successful women as possible.
We need to move past writing about what needs to change and start being the change.
To provide a topical example, I’m sure you’re familiar with the recent outrage over the lack of a Rey piece in the Star Wars edition of monopoly, following this mother posting her daughter’s letter to Hasbro online. While it’s easy to lay responsibility on Hasbro to have created the character piece in the first place – and in fairness, they have responded to this onus – there is a more constructive story to tell:
Why not just create a Rey character piece with your daughter yourself, share instructions on how you did so, and use that story to insight change?
The undertone of the story changes from “another example of how women are being marginalised” to “let’s inspire the change that needs to happen”.
And so, I implore you to write and tell as many positive stories about as many sorts of women as possible. I implore you to share positive stories about women with other women instead of negative ones. I implore to you to BE the change, instead of talking about it needing to happen.
In this episode we discuss the subject of loneliness in an attempt to understand exactly what it is and why it might be the next ‘mental health’ subject after depression and anxiety, that we need to focus on. Amber believes loneliness has ‘it’s own voice’. Erin believes her grandfather passed away because of it. We talk to Professory John Cacioppo from the Chicago Center for Cognitive & Social Neuroscience
University of Chicago, about this internal study on what he calls ‘THE LONELINESS EPIDEMIC’
I really love the whole world of podcasting. I love the freedom it gives you to go and seek out the sort of content you want to hear. The sort of people that truly interest you. I rarely listen to radio much these days because I’m busy listening to my favourite podcasters. It made me think about starting a podcast myself to talk about the sorts of things that I wish other people might like to consider. I’ve also been a big believer in the the world we live in today, should not be a world of ‘us and them’, depending on your age. I understand being 45 that I grew up without the technology I have around me today. I didn’t even grow up with a mobile phone, which I know to some of my younger friends, like my co-host of this podcast, seems kind of crazy and odd. We used to actually dial a number and speak to the other person in order to still stay in touch. We used our voices, not just one finger to communicate. I know that the young girls and guys who I work with don’t really recall much about the time when social media wasn’t a part of their every day. I want to learn from them when I hear there’s something new and exciting emerging in the digital space, but I also want to learn just as much about the world that existed before I was around, or at least a small kid. I want those that came before me to tell me what to look out for as I head into a different ‘tick box’ in life. And I don’t want these wise older souls to feel that they are obscelete in a world that seems at times like it is leaving them behind. I think we all have something to learn from each other no matter what age, who we are, or what we’re doing with our lives. So this is where I hope this podcast and future episodes will take both me, my younger, incredibly smart friend Erin, and maybe even you? Thanks for listening. x
Once upon a time I was on a breakfast radio show called The Rabbit, Amber & Cosi show. Interesting days to say the very least. I am grateful for the lessons and for being able to love on the job. Not so much the early starts.
Our Gotcha Call that was so silly we all turned into cartoon characters.
I was probably the most gullible on our team at SAFM. Actually hang on, ‘probably’ is a word easily thrown around by those that might still be clutching to denial. OK, so I got done really bad by Rabbit’s Gotcha’s more than any other person in the history of him doing them. There I said. Here’s a highlight reel that I’m pretty sure got added to beyond this point. Much to my gullible annoyance…
I wasn’t always gullible though, sometimes I was just really tired. No really, I was.
You never quite knew what to expect in an average week on SAFM. A WEEK IN REVIEW…
Like all good FM radio shows sometimes we used our position to sing songs. In the vague hope that someone might discover us. Cosi and I still think it’s a little odd that Will I.Am has spent so much bloody time in Australia filming THE VOICE, yet he hasn’t bothered to pick up the phone to at least tell us, that you know what, “You guys nailed this song. Your interpretation of the lyrics were clever and you both, more so Amber, hit all the right keys.” Thankfully we’re not the types that need praise.
As an FM radio show, we were of course always committed to uncovering the truth on a whole range of important subjects. No more so than which guy on the show do I think is the most sexy?
It wasn’t always easy sharing an interview with two other people. Especially when you’re interviewing Keanu Reeves nd you’re pretty sure, like 23% sure that Keanu and you were meant to be together romantically, yet our first conversation ever includes two handbrakes in it. I do feel 18% sure this is why it never worked out with myself and Keanu. I’m still free if you’re reading this now Keanu. You can reach me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. x
It wasn’t always talking total shit on our breakfast show, there was two minutes in 2008 when I turned 38 that Cosi was a really good shoulder to lean on, on and off air as I had what can only be commonly known as A SINGLE GIRLS MELTDOWN. It hit me hard that year that I was not like all my friends, most of which were happily married and had gorgeous kids, and I wasn’t sensing any of this was coming for me. And guess what? I was right. But I’m ok now. I have a dog.
And then somewhere around the first half of 2010, the boss at SAFM called me in to tell me it was time for me to leave the show. I was shocked, humiliated, hurt, but I drove off that day of my last show knowing I had made this happen. The universe had shut a door I had been fantasizing about closing myself. It was kind of tough to get on air and our there in the media telling people that it was my choice to go. But you know what, it’s part of the radio deal. You get ‘boned, knifed, and welcomed back’ by smiling faces that may have once given you the flick. My only regret was that I went along with one final segment on the show where the boys (driven by one of the bosses), sent me off to record audio pretending to find me another job. Not quite a respectful concept to forced on the girl who’s just been given the boot. But hey, that’s FM radio for you folks. Here is my leaving ‘tribute’ piece.