#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].

#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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Whats worse than slow internet? Nothing.

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If you were like me and thought the NBN was a sports channel on Foxtel… NBN actually stands for the Nations Business Network. NBN aims to enable access to fast, reliable and affordable phone and internet services. Now, to any households that struggles with slow internet connection, this NBN shin dig sounds awesome! Except, it may not even be available where you live. I know my household is unable to get NBN #sadface.

I live at home with my mum (who I interviewed a couple of weeks ago), my dad and my little sister. For a small family of four, you’d think a small internet data plan would suit us well, right? Nope, we have had to upgrade to unlimited data and install two WiFi modems in the house to cater for our daily dose of internet.

My household consists of 3 computers, 4 laptops, 2 iPads, 4 mobile phones and 1 subscription to Netflix (the most important part). Considering we have so many devices that use the internet at our house, now it seems acceptable that we (by we I mean mum and dad) pay a billion dollars a month for unlimited data. Even so, I still find the internet exceptionally slow… especially when I am trying to watch a TV series on Netflix, do Uni work, talk to my friends on Facebook and upload selfies on Instagram all at the same time…

So I decided to google a couple of things as to why Internet is so slow in my house, and you know what? It isn’t just my house… Its most of the households in Australia. Since Australia is one of the most highly developed countries in the world, you’d expect decent Internet services… BUT AUSTRALIA IS RANKED NUMBER 44?!??!?!? Pretty ridiculous if you ask me. But nevertheless, the Australian government is trying the NBN thing out… would help if if it was actually available in the majority of houses in Australia.

Speed-of-NBN

For my mother, the Internet plays a major role in her job, as she works from home a few days a week. Battles between the horrible internet connection and the WiFi constantly timing out is not very convenient for mum when she is trying to do online banking. My dad isn’t an avid internet user, but he set up a WiFi modem in the lounge room so he could connect it with the internet TV channel (which we don’t even watch), and this ended up cutting off the WiFi connection to the other end of the house, which is why he had to install an extension WiFi thingy in the middle of the house. My sister and I use the Internet lots. For talking to friends, Netflix and chill and also for doing uni and school work… mostly social media though. But the lack of fast internet connection doesn’t stop there! This extension WiFi sometimes decides it doesn’t want to reach my room… causing my laptop and phone to drop out of connection (this is why i go over my phone bill $200 every month).

Even though the internet can be very frustrating at times, it is certainly a very important aspect here in the Davies household. But until NBN arrives in my area, I guess we will have to put up with the internet connection we already have.

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Why does it matter who controls the media?

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Morning news, midday news, prime time news, midnight news, news is everywhere.  Listening to the news every day is a common factor in the majority of peoples lives. You may watch the news while eating breakfast, driving to work or school, on your lunch break and then again when get home and flick on the TV and the news pops up in almost every ad break. Unknowingly, the media is controlling the thoughts in our head; but the real question is, does it matter who ‘controls’ the media? Of course.

If you’re not into the news or up to the date with the current media owners ill give you a quick break down:

News Corp owned by Rupert Murdoch:

  • Satellite TV Asian Region (STAR TV)
  • MySpace
  • The Australian
  • REA Group
  • HarperCollins
  • Fox Film Music Group
  • Fox News Radio
  • 20th Century Fox
  • (Just to name a few!)

Fairfax Holdings owned by Gina Rinehart:

  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • The Age
  • The Canberra Times
  • The Brisbane Times
  • WA Today
  • Australian Financial Review

And the individually owned media platforms:

  • Facebook- Mark Zuckerburg
  • Twitter: Jack Dorsey
  • Tumblr: David Karp
  • YouTube: Steve Chen

These days people rely on traditional forms of media such as the news on TV and in the news paper rather than news posted on Facebook, Twitter and any other “new age” media platforms.  This is mostly because the smaller companies don’t have the high credentials like the bigger companies such as Fairfax Media and News Corporation.

The media is dominated by a small handful of extremely powerful people in Australia. It is said that Australia’s media ownership diversity is so insignificant, that is has resulted in our country ranking 28th in the Press Freedom Index.

Freedom of the Press Worldwide 2014

So why does it matter that these media owners have such control over the media? Considering News Corp and FairFax Media owned by Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart are the most significant forces in the media in Australia (and in the case of News Corp, worldwide). Being such large corporations, viewers rely on the information processed through TV, newspapers and the radio initially influencing their thoughts and actions towards the news. This is extremely worrying. As a result of the extremely diverse media ownership, the information available is extremely diminished as the news organisations own and controls the majority of TV channels and forms of communication. For example, News Corporation owns Fox News, Wall St Journal AND the New York Post. So it is more than likely that one news story produced by a company, may be broadcasted on all of their channels, which push the agenda, and ideologies of the owners of the media shaping the thoughts and ideas of the viewers.

 “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”media-ownership

 


References:

Poposki, Claudia. “Who Owns Who?.” Weird Little Words, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <http://claudiapop13.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/who-owns-who/&gt;.

Unknown. “What online brands and assets does Fairfax Media own?.” Fairfax Media Subscriber Services, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <https://support.fairfaxmedia.com.au/entries/23385147-What-online-brands-and-assets-does-Fairfax-Media-own-&gt;.

Unknown. “News Corporation.” Wikipedia, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_Corporation&gt;.

Unknown. “Media Control: Does It Matter?.” Pen & Print, 2013. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <http://melyssatroy.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/media-control-does-it-matter/&gt;.

Unknown. “Fairfax Media.” Wikipedia, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairfax_Media&gt;.

Unknown. “Reporters Without Borders.” Rsf.org, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <https://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php&gt;.