#freethenipple Case Study: Part Two

So, the question we are all really asking is: Will the free the nipple campaign eventually lead to gender equality?

Two young women, Zoe Lennox and Amanda Haworth, organised a #freethenipple picnic In Orleigh Park in Brisbane where approximately 50 women, mothers, children, non-binary and transgender people, gathered on rugs, lay in the sun and shared their stories as a scattering of men sat on the edge and watched (Mitchell-Whittington, 2016). The girls created the event in order to “create a safe space where women didn’t feel sexualised or shamed for freeing their nipples” (Mitchell-Whittington, 2016). Police were also understood to have drove past the event, however, no arrests were made (Mitchell-Whittington, 2016).

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Looking into this further, Pacific Standard interviewed Sarah Murnen, a social psychologist from Kenyon College in Ohio, who’s research specialises on the increasing sexualisation of young women (Wheeling, 2015).

Murnen’s initial impression of the campaign was that she wasn’t “sure thats the best way to do it, given that our culture already sexualises breasts to a great degree. I think there might be other ways to make that point – allow women to breastfeed in public places, emphasise less the objectification of women. I think one of the general issues is the extent to which women are objectified, and when people are shown as objects they often get treated by objects” (Wheeling, 2015). Murnen also believes that the campaign might actually contribute to the objectification of women’s bodies (Wheeling, 2015).

Although free the nipple is raising awareness around the world in regards to gender inequality issues, Murnen feels “like this focus on women’s sexuality as a form of empowerment is distracting us from the real issues that exist in terms of wage inequality, parental leave issues, etc. I think it’s a distraction, and it’s not really going to result in women’s empowerment to be able to bare their breasts in public. We need to focus less on defining women by their bodies in my view” (Wheeling, 2015).

In 2014, an image was removed off Facebook showing a new mother breastfeeding her premature baby for the first time due to a user complaining it contained “offensive” nudity (The Telegraph, 2014). Instead of trying to normalise the nipple straight away, a better angle the campaign could take is to normalise breastfeeding. This would be a lot more effective in advancing women’s issues and desexualising breasts (Milano, 2015).


References

Milano, A. (2015). I Worry ‘Free the Nipple’ Works Against Equality. [online] Time.com. Available at: http://time.com/4029633/alyssa-milano-should-we-freethenipple/ [Accessed 22 Aug. 2016].

Mitchell-Whittington, A. (2016). Brisbane ‘free the nipple’ picnic an intimate affair. [online] Brisbane Times. Available at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-free-the-nipple-picnic-a-quiet-affair-20160117-gm7sxs.html [Accessed 22 Aug. 2016].

The Telegraph. (2014). Facebook removes mother’s breastfeeding photo. [online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/11195373/Facebook-removes-mothers-breastfeeding-photo.html [Accessed 22 Aug. 2016].

Wheeling, K. (2015). Will the Free the Nipple Campaign Lead to Gender Equality? An Expert Weighs In — Pacific Standard. [online] Pacific Standard. Available at: https://psmag.com/will-the-free-the-nipple-campaign-lead-to-gender-equality-an-expert-weighs-in-a3e7dceefffa#.kensxdat4 [Accessed 22 Aug. 2016].

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#freethenipple Case Study: Part 1

GLOBAL INEQUALITY ISSUE: GENDER EQUALITY

CAMPAIGN: FREE THE NIPPLE

On an average summers day at the beach I will probably encounter around 200 mens nipples flying around and that is totally normal, right? But why do people get excited when they walk past a female sun baking topless and mutter things under their breath like “OMG did you see that chicks tits OMG?!”. Why is it socially acceptable for men to get their nipples out compared to women?


Free the Nipple is a gender equality campaign, mainly on social media, which argues that women and men should be granted the same freedom rights. The movement also aims to close the gap on gender equality and to oppose sexual objectification (Wikipedia, n.d.).

Lina Esco the creator of the movie “Free the Nipple” explains that she “ came up with “Free the Nipple” because it’s engaging and funny—and the fuel we needed to start a serious dialogue about gender equality. The shaming of the female nipple is a direct reflection of how unevolved this puritanical country is. You can pay to see women topless in porn videos and strip clubs, but the moment a woman owns her body, it’s shameful.” (Esco, n.d.)

Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram have strict guidelines which prohibit any and all “graphic content” including a womens areola (Turco-Williams, 2015). Due to numerous complaints, Instagram has reviewed their terms and conditions making them more “transparent”. In an interview with TechCrunch, Nicky Jackson Colaco (Instagram’s director of public policy) said “We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.” (Turco-Williams, 2015)

Although Instagram says that some photos of female nipples are allowed, the majority of images posted in response to the Free the Nipple campaign have been either reported or removed due to a breach in guidelines. In response to this, Esmay Wagemans uses art to protest Instagram’s censorship policy by covering up female nipples and male nipples… who would have thought?! She creates “nipple casts” from a type of latex which allows the wearer to show nipples without showing any skin (Frank, 2015). Wagemans says “I really like the design of it myself because it is located exactly at the crossing line of nudity and non-nudity. If you look at it a little longer, you’ll eventually start asking yourself: is what I’m seeing nudity?” (Frank, 2015)

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Instagram – @esmaywagemans

33 out of 50 states in the US currently allow women to be topless, however law enforcement can still arrest women for ‘disorderly conduct’ (Matsuo, 2015). With the help of activists, rallies and campaigns like Free the Nipple, hopefully the equality gap between men and women will close. 

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References:

Esco, L. (n.d.). Founder Lina Esco: ‘Free the Nipple’ Is Not About Seeing Breasts. [online] TIME.com. Available at: http://time.com/4029632/lina-esco-should-we-freethenipple/ [Accessed 7 Aug. 2016].

Frank, P. (2015). Artist Creates Nipples To Put On Her Nipples Because #FreeTheNipple. [online] Huffington Post Australia. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/esmay-wagemans-second-skin_us_5643af90e4b045bf3ded9dcb [Accessed 7 Aug. 2016].

Matsuo, A. (2015). The 33 States That Allow Women To Be Topless. [online] TheRichest. Available at: http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/lifestyle/the-33-states-that-allow-women-to-be-topless/ [Accessed 7 Aug. 2016].

Turco-Williams, N. (2015). Instagram finally updates its confusing policy on nudity. [online] Dazed. Available at: http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/24456/1/instagram-finally-updates-its-confusing-policy-on-nudity [Accessed 7 Aug. 2016].

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Free the Nipple (campaign). [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_the_Nipple_(campaign) [Accessed 7 Aug. 2016].

A Selfie A Day Makes The Followers Stay

“Hold on, can we just take a selfie”, is a phrase I find myself saying every single time I go out with friends without fail. Over the past few years, selfies have become something almost everyone with a phone or camera does. In 2013, the term “selfie” was even put in the Oxford Dictionary!

Selfie – A photograph that one has taken on oneself, typically taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media

In order to take the perfect selfie, you must make sure you have good lighting, flawless makeup, position your face in the most flattering angle and make sure you take no less than 20 of the same photo to pick out the best one. If all these things are done correctly, then you are almost guaranteed to get at least 100 likes on each selfie posted on Instagram. If you get the likes, then you get the followers flowing in, leading you straight down the hallway to being “Insta-famous”.

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Selfies have become one of the biggest photography trends of our time. The majority of people post selfies on social media sites to create an image of themselves that they want their friends and everyone else to view them as. Selfies can be seen as a form of control, as you choose when, where and how you take the photo, compared to someone else taking it in bad lighting or when you weren’t ready yet. An invisible set of rules and standards have been made when posting and taking selfies that you need to follow in order to “fit in” or get the most likes and followers.

There are some people who go through great lengths just to make sure that the person in the photo is exactly the person they want people to see. It can be crazy what some people go through to make sure they hide their flaws, in order to curate their best online self. I know some of my friends, and my 16 year old sister in particular can be the biggest culprit of this. My sister and her friends can be very conscious of what is posted on Instagram and Facebook of them, to the point where they end up yelling at each other saying “omg no stop this is so gross” or “omg that was my bad side, take another one”, and then they go through the process of making people untag them in photos and even delete them if they think its that bad.

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Is all the stuff that people go through to post the perfect selfie really worth it? Petya Eckler, of the University of Strathclyde conducted a recent study and spoke to several hundred female students in regards to taking selfies. The team found that spending time on Facebook looking at selfies is linked to negative feelings about body image.. Another study conducted by Ohio State University, found that men who posted more photos of themselves scored higher in measures of narcissism and psychopathy. The researches also found that editing photos of oneself was associated with higher levels of self-objectification.

Sometimes it can be frightening to see the negative impact that a selfie or a single number of likes can ruin someones self-esteem so quickly. Nevertheless, no matter how much I hate to admit it, I am and will always be a sucker for a good selfie.

 

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25 To Life In A Concrete Tank

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits or reasoning skills to inanimate objects or animals not capable of such dimensions. I think it would be safe to say that most of us are guilty of anthropomorphising something at one stage in our lives – I know I have extensive conversations with my dog on a daily basis. However, anthropomorphism can be an uneasy subject in regards to animals in captivity.

Blackfish is a documentary concerning captive orcas at SeaWorld, the deaths of three trainers and the consequences of keeping orcas in captivity. After watching this film, I immediately developed some kind of attachment and emotion towards these animals. Anthropomorphism can occur unintentionally e.g. me talking to my dog, but in regards to SeaWorld’s treatment of the orcas, it can create all kinds of issues.

Following the release of the documentary, Blackfish drove activists and protesters on a mission to put an end to the orca theatrical shows. SeaWorld has recently decided that they will stop the breeding of the whales and this will be the last generation of orcas at SeaWorld. The film also had a very large impact on SeaWorld’s financial side of things. According to SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. Reports, SeaWorld suffered an 84% drop in its net second-quarter income; from $37.4 million in 2014 to $5.8 million in 2015.

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Evaluating the film, I recognised the ways the trainers were treating the animals were totally humane. We are told that the whales are kept in enclosures barely big enough to contain them in and separated whales from their families. I believe that because of this type of treatment, led to the aggressive behaviour that some of the whales have demonstrated. The film explains that there have been many trainer-related injuries and deaths during shows and training, but there have been no reports what so ever about a killer whale harming a human in the wild.

When referring to Tilikim’s state of mind in the movie, there are a lot of “he seemed” statements: “He seemed to enjoy working with the trainers” … “In the morning he seemed happy to see us”. He was also described as to be “frustrated” and even suggested that he could have been in a psychosis. The trainers explain how they formed “special bonds” with the animals, and I think by treating them this way, they had somewhat shut out the real identity of the animal and what they are capable of.

 

#bloggoals

In my eyes, reflections are always the hardest blog posts to write, because I actually have to think back to square one (I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning). When I signed up to communication and media studies, I had very little idea that blogging was about to take over my life. Now that I am in my second year of my degree, I still have no idea what I’m doing when I’m blogging, but I weirdly enjoy it. I have embraced the fact that I am UOW’s biggest procrastinator and leave all of my blogging to the last minute, but hey, I guess I love the thrill trying to submit an assignment 0.01 seconds before its due?

From blogging in this subject in particular, I have found the easiest way for me to blog and actually enjoy it, is speak in a tone I would usually talk to people in. Sometimes it can come off as 16-year-old-teenagerish, though this is the way I feel I engage people best. I definitely have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to blogging. My strength would be my ability to put together a blog post that is both interesting and informative and my weakness is time management and now that I’m writing this, my weakness is recognising more strengths and weaknesses, maybe I’m just really great.

I think BCM subjects are very social media driven and being aware of what is going on in the media around you. A lot of my peers have been using Twitter for a while now, in or out of uni. When I got told to use Twitter to expose my blogs or follow other people or re-tweet things (I think thats what its called?), I was so confused and a little nervous at the fact I had to make a Twitter account. When signing up, I actually realised I had already had one from in year 9 and I posted what the weather was like every day. I have utilised Twitter as much as I could by linking WordPress and Twitter so my blogs automatically posted (thank god). Other than that, I still haven’t got the hang of Twitter as much as everyone else, apart from the occasional drunk tweet.

The use of hash tagging on WordPress an Twitter helped a lot regarding the exposure of my blog posts. I click onto my statistics section on WordPress when I am bored and people have seen my blogs in countries I haven’t even heard of. Cool, right? I also tag all random words in my blog regarding what I am writing about in hope that someone will read my awesome work.

The topics that were blogged about each week were actually interesting once I researched more about it. These topics opened my eyes to the media and its theories which I didn’t know much about before BCM240. My favourite posts to write were the ones in the first couple of weeks when I got to talk to my mum about her Television when she was growing up. This was exciting to write about as I got to hear what it was like for my mum when she was younger, especially because she is from New Zealand and comparing my blog to others showed a huge difference between how televisions were used in families. Also, the blog post regarding rules and regulations of mobile phones really allowed me to connect and reflect on my mobile phone etiquette and those around me. I actually went out to dinner with my mum after writing that post and I could see my phone on the table and all I could think about was my blog post and not using phones at dinner. In each post, I learn a little bit more of my writing capabilities and sometimes surprise myself with what I can do and display on my blog.

I had never used a blog before starting uni, so when it came to designing it I had no idea how to use WordPress or how to set out my blog posts. This process was fun and I loved experimenting with different layouts until finding the perfect one to display my posts. I frequently change my background images to funky things that also reflect my personality, and we have to include a selfie in there somewhere. I only discovered the categories section half way through BCM240 which now makes my life and my teachers who are marking this lives so much easier. I was able to create a menu on the left hand side of my blog of all the BCM subjects I have blogged for, easily sorting them into categories.

When it comes to writing in a public space, I always feel so daunted by the fact that anyone can read my work. I always ask myself if it is good enough? or does it make sense? or will people agree with what I am saying? But towards the end of my blogging, I have realised that it doesn’t matter what other people think of my blogs, or if they agree or disagree, because thats the point isn’t it? To engage and create discussion? I think having this frame of thought has helped me through blogging in this subject as I feel more confident with what I post, as I usually just spontaneously smash out a blog post and post it straight away without thinking twice. I like to think this technique gives my posts a more down-to-earth personal approach.

Until next time, BCM.

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Must…look…at…text message

My mobile phone is something that I always have by my side. Constantly texting, instagramming, snap chatting, face booking, you name it. But there can be some circumstances where I probably shouldn’t be on my phone as much as I am.

If I am in my bedroom or somewhere by myself I feel totally fine being on my phone all the time, because I am not usually controlled by rules and regulations in these particular spaces. Depending on the situation and people I am surrounded by, determines how I act and use my mobile phone.

In my family, we usually sit on the lounge eating our dinner most nights, but when we go out for dinner or sit at the table, the no mobile phone rule is enforced. I don’t think this rule has been properly established, but I feel like it has come about from my mum or dad commenting on my phone habits during dinner and have made this rule up myself. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle trying not to look at my phone. Although this is sort of a rule in my family, my sister still is glued to her phone during dinner which kind of annoys me because I see dinner time is family time. But to my sister, it is prime time to upload a selfie and get all the Instagram likes.

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“Studies showed that if a mobile is visible during a conversation it causes people to feel less positive towards the person with whom they are chatting”, according to research conducted by the Daily Mail Australia. Daily Mail reported a study where a team of psychologists asked 37 pairs of strangers to talk for 10 minutes about an exciting event that has happened in their lives in the past month. In this study, the participants sat on chairs in a private room and a mobile phone was put on a desk next to them. Concluding this study, the researchers found that those who had talked with a mobile phone present were significantly less positive that the other participants whom didn’t have a mobile phone nearby.

Canstar Blue put out a survey and found that 2/5 Australians use their phone when in the company of friends and family – even at the dinner table. Research also found that Gen Y survey respondents were 3 times as likely as Baby Boomers to commit mobile etiquette crimes, and women were worse than men. 2/3 of those surveys admitted to feeling guilty when using their phone instead of paying more attention to the people they are with.

Referring to these two studies, I think using a mobile phone at dinner or while talking to someone will get slightly more acceptable as technology is evolving and is such an important part in society now. Although mobile phone regulations and rules may not be set in stone, in my opinion not using your mobile phone in intimate places is just being polite.

Cinema or Netflix and chill?

When I found out we had to go to the movies for this weeks blog topic, I was really excited. I texted all of my friends asking them to come to the movies with me. Most of their responses were “sorry I’m too poor”. I realised my friends and I all have unhealthy online shopping habits and would rather pay $20 in shipping expenses rather than on a movie ticket. Considering i’m a broke uni student and have a subscription to Netflix, staying in and watching movies online seemed like a much better idea, and my bank account thanked me for it.

Along with the lack of money I have at this point in time, another reason as to why I never end up going out to the movies is because 1. I can’t stand people behind me in the movies talking or crunching on popcorn and 2. My bed is way more comfier than the seats in the cinema.

Torsten Hagerstrand, a Swedish geographer established 3 constraints in relation to time geography:

  1. Capability constraints: Can I get there?
  2. Coupling constraints: Can I get there on time?
  3. Authority constraints: Am I allowed to go there?

These 3 elements weren’t specifically designed for going to the movies, but can be related to almost any event. In regards to the capability constraint, my best friend who I would have gone to the movies with doesn’t have her drivers license, therefore I would usually drive to pick her up since she only lives a couple of suburbs away from me, and then go to the movies from there. In other words, getting there would be easy if we could actually be bothered. The coupling constraint reflects if one can get there on time. I don’t like being late to things, but when it comes to movies, I cannot stand sitting in the cinema for 30 minutes prior to the actually movie watching advertisements and 50 movie trailers that come out in like 2 years. So if I was to go to the movies, I would probably go a bit later than the time stated on the ticket so I can avoid watching unnecessary ads. Lastly, authority constraints refers to certain institutions which determine whether you can perform the activity or not. I would have been able to relate to the authority constraint more when I was 14 years old trying to get into see a MA15+ movie, but considering I am now a 20 year old mature young adult (minus mature), there are limited authoritarian constraints that affect my ability to go and see a movie.

With the rapid emergence of online streaming websites and programs to download movies illegally, I personally think that cinema attendance will decrease slightly in the next few years. Considering there are so many alternative ways to create the ‘movie experience’ in your own home, unfortunately going to the cinema isn’t as popular as it was in the previous years. The Australian Government conducted a study which displays the decrease of movie attendance in Australia’s major cities in the last 19 years. In 1996, the average number of visits to the cinema a year was approximately 11.1 and in 2014, the average was as low as 6.7, nearly 50% less.

From looking at me and my friends movie habits, 99% of them have a subscription to Netflix and 0% of them actually go and pay $20 to go to the cinema to see 1 movie, where we can quite happily lay in our own bed watching 100 movies for $8.99 a month. Looks like I won’t be rushing to the cinema any time soon.

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