Post 8: Process and Possibilities

The research process that I have undertaken over the past 6 weeks, regarding the subject of gender equality, has given me a strong, foundation-level understanding of the issue and has revealed a number of key sub-issues within the broader topic. Some of the more specific areas that I have focussed on include the pervasive sexist stereotypes that exist in our society and the inherent sexism that exists within our subconscious attitudes. The process has made it clear that every problem related to gender inequality is rooted in the basic attitudes of society and that, to affect meaningful and lasting change, it is these attitudes which must first be addressed. A big focus towards the later stages of the research process has been the role of language in the promoting of gender equality/inequality and from that idea, some of the possible design responses I have identified as a result of the process are:

  • An investigation and subsequent visualisation of how and why people default to a particular gender when explaining words such as strong or caring in the form of a sentence and expanding this to show how it represents the general sexist stereotypes we hold as individuals within society.
  • Creating a series of illustrations or possibly a short animation that visualises genderswapped stereotypical male or female roles, but in such a way that it highlights the ridiculousness of assigning genders to particular jobs or social roles.
  • Identifying the language used commonly, even by those who identify as feminist, which contributes to the problem, and visualising a set of these terms in a series of posters which explains why they can be harmful words or phrases even though they may seem innocent or harmless in isolation.
  • Creating an app or plugin that highlights potentially sexist language in social media interactions and offers an explanation of why it may be problematic as well as offering alternative means of phrasing the same sentiment.
  • In the form of a short animation, explaining the true definition of feminist in its purest sense and dismissing some of the negative connotations associated with what should, in my mind, be regarded as a solely positive term.

 

At this stage I am still unclear as to which path I will follow in my final proposal but as a draft proposal that is, as yet, still broad in its precise method of execution, I wish to conduct a further probe of a broad range of people asking them to use particular words in a sentence. Through recording the responses and breaking down the use of terms such as ‘he’ and ‘she,’ I will explore and challenge the gender-based assumptions related to non-gender specific terms such as smart or emotional.

 

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Post 7: Mapping Mindsets

Mapping has formed an integral part of the blog-writing process thus far and now, at this later stage of the process, is a particularly important exercise as it allows for collaboration with others. The collaborative process is useful for gleaning new perspectives on an issue as it can offer contrasting viewpoints that hadn’t previously been considered as well as supporting arguments that identify the problem in the same frame of mind but from a different angle. In this particular example, I found the collaborative mapping exercise allowed me to see a different area of the broader issue of gender equality that was a refreshing shift away from my more specific focus.

Along with the advantages of working in a group, I also found the actual activity of mapping to be particularly beneficial as it provided an opportunity to visually view the various connections of stakeholders and perspectives within the issue as a whole, something that tends to get lost when focussing on a specific aspect of the issue. Mapping the ideas of each person within the group builds a strong picture of the broader issue and offers context for the particular areas that I have been looking at personally as well as a sense of scale and where various facets of gender equality sit in relation to each other.

This particular exercise in collaboration and visual mapping was evidence that it is sometimes important to step back and look at the issue, whatever it may be, from a big picture perspective and that sometimes the best way to further develop your own personal perspective can often be listening to someone else’s ideas. From the maps that were generated, I was able to draw out some key ideas that may provide a foundation in looking at the potential for action to create change. It is clear that any future action taken to shift the current imbalance must address the obvious disconnect between the attitudes of men and women regarding the issue as there are recurring themes of injustice and entitlement amongst many of the terms and phrases recorded in the third map.

map1map2

map3

 

Post 6: Bots and Bossiness – An Automated Process

 

Twitter is a public, social media platform which, according to their own statistics, has 313 million monthly active users. Users are able to post ‘tweets’ of up to 140 characters as well as sharing pictures, videos or external links. As one of the so-called ‘Big 4’ social media platforms, Twitter is one of the biggest mediums through which people are able to voice their opinions as well as read and absorb those of the people and accounts they follow. AS the pioneers of the hashtag function, Twitter conversations can often be dominated by a specific topic for a particular period of time depending on the popular/trending hashtags.

Of all the social media platforms, Twitter draws one of the most diverse audiences spanning age, gender, political inclination and a broad mix of individuals and brands. It also has the advantage of conversations which are free from a lot of the noise that is inevitably found in conversations on on other platforms such as Facebook. It is unclear whether this is indicative of the type of people that use Twitter or a result of the system itself, limiting the amount users are able to say which in turn makes every word more precious; but either way, it is a unique advantage that Twitter holds against other social media platforms.

The automated task I set up on twitter was quite basic however it was a set of results I was interested in recording and comparing. I first set up a search rule to record every time the exact phrase “women should” was used in a tweet written in English before repeating the rule with the phrase “men should.” From a quick scan of the results I realised that they were unfairly skewed by references to a quote/quotes from Phyllis Schlafly, an infamous conservative activist, who had died on September 5. I adjusted my search parameters to remove any tweets which contained the words Phyllis or Schlafly as well as those which contained the hashtag #PhyllisSchlafly and plotted the result on the bar graph below:

should

The results confirmed what I had expected before conducting the process however it is interesting to see just how starkly contrasting the two figures are, particularly when visualised as in the above graph. The obvious flaw in my automated process, as I have conducted, it is the short time period of only 5 days. Ideally I would have liked to conduct the process over a period of at least 2 weeks to get an accurate gauge however the methods and applications I was using only recorded as far back as September 2. In saying that, the sample space I ended up with was still comfortably in the thousands as it is obviously a commonly used phrase amongst twitter users, so I still feel I was able to gain a somewhat accurate insight into the broader trends.

Following on from this initial, simple automated process, I decided to look more closely at the tweets containing “women should.” This second stage involved taking a sample of the words or phrases that followed “women should…” in the previous tweets to get a more in-depth sense of what twitter users think. Partly inspired by the example regarding ‘smells like’ in the lecture by Chris Gaul, I took a random selection of 20 of the collected tweets and recorded how they completed the sentence “women should…”

 

women_should
Examples of different ways twitter users finish the sentence “women should…”

 

It is clear after this exercise that there is another major flaw in my automated process, particularly if I wish to use it for more than simply comparative purposes. The simplicity of the search parameters and filtering in my initial probe means that it ignores factors such as sarcasm or satire and does not take into account the general context of the statement so in actual fact the tweet could read “women should not…” or perhaps be a retweet of someone else’s statement which the person retweeting disagrees with entirely in their own part of the tweet. Determining context or intention in a written medium can be complex even for human readers so it is intrinsically tricky to program into a robot and is something that is likely beyond my current skill level however if I were to repeat this task in the future, I would ensure that I was able to find some way to achieve a set of results that more accurately reflected what I was searching for and allowed me to work more with the resulting data.

In terms of a visual design response that could be generated from the data/results, I think it could be interesting to move away from the comparison between men v women graphics that tend to, unfortunately, make a large portion of the audience switch off. Instead, I think an interesting visual response could be to visualise, possibly illustrate, some of the more ridiculous things that people on twitter believe women ‘should’ do as a means of highlighting how we as a society need to stop thinking we have the right to tell anyone what they ought to be doing with their life, regardless of gender.

Post 5: Sexism in Sports and Social Circles

For this particular entry, I developed an observational task to be undertaken over the period of a week for one of my peers to complete. The task I devised involved listening and observing their day-to-day life and taking note of any inherently sexist or gender-based discrimination they noticed and also recording a brief outline of who said it and the context or situation that it occurred within. The aim behind this task was to glean an insight into the prevalence of sexist attitudes a certain demographic is exposed to on a daily basis, in this case a student in their mid-20s living in the inner-west of Sydney.

The results that came from this task were in some ways expected but there were also some surprising aspects. What came as no surprise is that there remain a lot of sexist attitudes within the media, particularly apparent during much of the recent coverage of the Olympics, which highlights one area of society which needs to address the issue and make a concerted effort to eliminate these underlying sexist themes which continue to fuel gender inequality.

A result of this task which was slightly more surprising was that when it came to comments or remarks by individuals in a personal context, ie. From friends or people that the participant was actually interacting with, that reflected a gender-imbalance in our broader social attitudes actually came from females. This reflects an area of gender equality which is rarely addressed, that in order for progress to be made, women need to stop putting each other or themselves down and, just as importantly, stop using language which reflects negative attitudes towards women. In order for equality between the genders to be achieved, there needs to be a strong foundation of all women first viewing each other as equals.

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While this task achieved some interesting results and led to me conducting further research in some areas I hadn’t previously considered, I feel that it was limited by its scope. For the sake of comparison and also gaining a broader picture, a number of participants from different demographics would be ideal and also possibly executing the task over a longer period of time.

 


 

I also conducted an informal interview regarding the changing perception of feminism and the significance of gender inequality as an issue in today’s political and social context. Some of the key points and opinions raised by the interviewee included:

– There are a number of common goals between modern feminism and the LGBTI movement.

– The term ‘feminism’ has been comandeered by those with extreme or radical views, which has played a part in the shifting perceptions of the term itself.

– There are still a lot of men who don’t want to understand feminism and who might try to twist the words of people who use feminist rhetoric and causes.

– The internet has been a particularly major factor in the spread of ‘radical feminism’ as it offers people a voice and a level of accessibility that wasn’t always available.

– In the opinion of the interviewee, addressing gender inequality is one of the most significant issues in the current political context, ranking perhaps only behind climate change as the most important issue of our generation.

The emphasis on the role of the internet is the idea that has interested me the most as I hadn’t previously considered how influential a factor it undoubtedly has been on the changing face of feminism. The new platform for people to express their views, often under the safety of total anonymity, has perhaps lead to a regression, particularly among young men, in regards to many of the attitudes that had been successfully shifted by previous feminist movements.

Informal_Interview

Post 4: ‘Not Buying It’ – An App Creating Social Change through Social Media

 

One of the biggest contributing factors towards the sexist and discriminatory attitudes ingrained within our culture is the imagery and messaging purveyed by the media. According to The Representation Project 3 out 4 teenage girls feel depressed, guilty, and shameful after spending 3 minutes leafing through a fashion magazine and according to a 2008 study, 47% of girls were influenced by magazine pictures to want to lose weight, but only 29% were actually overweight. Social Justice organisation The Representation Project, responded to this blatant and widespread sexism that exists within the media and advertising by creating the app Not Buying It as well as an accompanying hashtag. With this app you can now easily upload images, stamp them with #NotBuyingIt and send messages directly to the companies producing damaging media.

Since 2012, the #NotBuyingIt hashtag has been used by tens of thousands on Twitter to challenge brands and companies that rely on misrepresentations of gender and extreme objectification to sell their products. The creation of the app gives users the ability to create, join and win campaigns against sexism in the media as they witness it as well as act as part of a database that names and shames brands or companies that are guilty of supporting sexism or appealing to outdated stereotypes. Utilising the newfound power offered by mobile technologies and social media to create change, the app has led to a number of campaigns to force companies/brands to remove particular pieces of media or products that carry strong sexist undertones or stereotypes.

The rapid, global rise of mobile technology has created a brand new platform for designers and creative to explore in the form of app design and development. The Not Buying It app is an example of using emerging technologies to combat an existing issue, in this case gender inequality, through a medium that people are familiar with and constantly engaging with in the form of their phones. The hashtag that led to the development of the app, #notbuyingit, represents the other emerging technology, social media, which has opened up enormous new potential in the area of designing for change as it allows for unprecedented reach and individual engagement. Not Buying It, shows how combined, these two technologies are able to harness the power of the collective voice and make a meaningful contribution to affecting change surrounding an issue.

 

 

 

 

 

Post 3: Stakeholders and Snapshots

Map-01.jpgIn the mapping task which required us to produce a map of the participants/stakeholders (human and non-human) involved in our selected issue, we generated a number of different maps reflecting different perspectives as we had come to the conclusion that the issue of gender equality is more complex than simply one set of ideas. The map I selected to refine (above) represents the current status quo with male dominance at the top and how that filters through different areas of society which all inevitably affects women as a whole. I have isolated what I consider to be the stakeholders with the strongest voices as it stands today so while it is not a complete map of every stakeholder that may be involved in the issue, it captures the key actors who carry the greatest influence in shaping society and also, have some of the greatest potential to affect change.


 

Image 1: 

Drawing-mmcsweeney3@gmail.com-Gmail
http://theairspace.net/insight/gender-equality-in-the-media-the-new-social-movement/

This image highlights one of the biggest issues of female stereotypes and the way they are presented within the media, specifically in relation to body image. The media is often guilty of valuing women based on their physical appearance above all else and this places pressure on women, particularly young girls, to aspire to unrealistic standards which can be incredibly detrimental to mental health. This is also indicative of a broader issue of women being judged on their appearance while men are judged on their intelligence.

 

Image 2:

 

Gender
http://www.shortpacked.com/index.php?id=1998

 

 

In this short comic, the hypocritical nature of men in regards to equality is highlighted and called out, particularly those of a certain demographic. The comic uses Transformers as an example but could be referring to any number of pop culture icons that have made an effort to promote gender equality in what was preciously a heavily male skewed product and the inevitable outrage from the male fanbase. The interesting point raised in this comic is that those same male fans who claim to be outraged by the fact that gender is being unnecessarily assigned to non-gendered characters, are unable to fathom the idea that this only becomes an issue when characters are made female because ‘non-gendered’ characters are inherently assumed to be male by default.

 

Image 3:

 

Ima
http://www.upworthy.com/feminism-fighting-for-equality-for-women-this-comic-breaks-it-down

 

This image is not so much a commentary on gender equality as it is a response to the increasing disillusion with the term feminism and many people, women and men, wishing to distance themselves from the label. The second panel is particularly interesting as it addresses one of the most debated aspects of feminism which is the conflicting views on objectification vs. empowerment. The statement in the bottom right captures the idea that there is no right and wrong, that feminism is an ongoing discourse that encompasses anyone fighting for women’s right to equality across the board. It matters less that all feminists agree on the methods and more that they are all fighting for the same outcome.

 

Image 4:

 

EPSON MFP image
https://pt.pinterest.com/pin/9218374215884787/

Changing the terminology used to describe female actions compared to identical male actions is one of the key areas which still has a long way to go to reach equality. This image offers an example of how negative, often condescending language is used to describe the actions of a woman or women whereas the exact same actions are phrased entirely differently and in a much more positive light when they involve a man or men. Language is reflective of attitudes so once again, it is clear that there is still work to be done to shift attitudes and in turn foster constructive and equal language.

 

Image 5:

 

Obstacles
https://au.pinterest.com/pin/389139224031829481/

 

 

There remains a large section of the male community who believe that we, as a society, have reached gender equality and believe that there is no longer anything for women to ‘complain’ about. This image visualises the fact that while it is true that it is now possible for women to achieve many things that they were previously unable to, they still face far more obstacles than their male counterparts. Those same males who believe we have reached equality tend to simplify the issue and insist that because women are now allowed equal rights in many areas, equality has been reached, completely ignoring the larger issue which is the attitudes and stereotypes that are culturally ingrained in our society which create endless obstacles to women actually progressing to positions of power. This image is effectively a visualisation of the privilege enjoyed by men but also not recognised by men.

 

Image 6: 

Panel-chart2.0
http://www.vox.com/2016/8/1/12108126/gender-wage-gap-explained-real

 

The graph in this image, other than highlighting the fact that women consistently earn far less than men of equivalent qualification, indicates that having children remains a major hurdle for women in the workplace. The consistent dip in the ages between 30 and 40 is a clear indication that, on the whole, women will suffer financially relative to men due to having children. The other issue that this creates, not clearly indicated by this chart, is the fact that even when they return to work, a woman will inevitably face an uphill battle to make up the missing time against her male colleagues. It is the less tangible issues such as these that need to be more deeply considered by governments as well as businesses in order to create well-rounded solutions to encourage true equality in the workplace.

 

Image 7:

PayGap
https://au.pinterest.com/pin/549228117030983851/

The Gender pay gap is often discussed in terms of percentages or cents to the dollar however this graphic positions the pay gap in a more evocative way by instead speaking in terms of days. The 59 days figure is far more powerful than any percentage or dollar value and paints the gender pay issue in a context that it is not often considered.

 

Image 8:

Stats
https://au.pinterest.com/pin/418482990353692046/

Using the example of economic inequality, these simple bar graphs offer a visual representation of the unfathomable imbalance between the genders that still exists despite those who may claim otherwise. The use of hard statistics is an effective way of positioning the issue as it is far more difficult to debate, particularly when the stark difference is presented with such simplicity.

 

Image 9:

toxic_masculinity_7
http://bust.com/arts/16202-artist-drags-sexism-toxic-masculinity-and-double-standards-in-epic-comic-takedowns.html

This simple, hand-drawn image addresses one of the biggest perception problems surrounding gender equality and the general concept of sexism in the modern context that is people believing it to be a case of two opposing sides where in actual fact, the solution starts with unity between men and women in working together to achieve a common goal. This image alludes to the idea of sexism hurting men and women, referring to the toxic masculinity purveyed by the media and cultural stereotypes that surround boys and young men. Many of these stereotypes are borne out of negative stereotypes against women and the idea that a boy shouldn’t want to be “like a girl.” It is this point which perhaps needs to be discussed more often, that the eradication of sexism against women would have hugely positive ramifications for men who are held to many sexist cultural stereotypes and standards themselves.

 

Image 10:

 

wage-gap-working-more-1200
http://leftycartoons.com/category/feminist/

Even when men accept the fact that the gender pay gap exists, many still seek to justify why there are perfectly sound reasons why it does. This comic exposes just how ridiculous many of these justifications can be and again highlights how the majority of men are blind to their own privilege. The idea that looking after children, taking care of household tasks and chores are of far less value than other, paid forms of work is one of the most harmful stereotypes that remains just as prevalent as ever in the modern context and is a key example of how we as a society, particularly men, need to reassess our attitudes and ideas in regards to where we place value.

 

 

As a whole, this collection of images reinforces many of the ideas I had come across in my text based sources and individually they each represent one or more of the stakeholders identified in my mapping exercise.

Post 2: Actions and Attitudes

 

Professor Beth Gaze is an academic at Melbourne University who specialises in areas such as anti-discrimination law and feminist legal theory. She teaches equality and discrimination law to JD and LLM students, and regularly speaks at conferences and seminars on issues in anti-discrimination law. In an article written for the legal journal Precedent, Prof. Gaze frames the issue of gender equality in the broader spectrum of human rights issues by making the point that the rights which specifically concern women are deemed less important because they are not regarded as ‘universal.’ This idea has a knock-on effect in that it propagates the sense that the issues important to mean are universal and thereby more important. Gaze identifies legislation that overlooks the inherent balance of power amongst the broader society, saying “Laws that focus only on protecting the right to speak, but fail to notice whose voices most benefit, overlook substantial aspects of women’s disadvantage and lack of power.”

Joan Lemaire is the senior Vice President of NSW Teacher’s Federation and has reported on advancements for equality since the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995, which she attended as the ACTU adviser to the Australian Government delegation. Lemaire’s article written for the Federation publication, Education, examines the effects and aftermath of the UN’s ‘Platform for Action’, speaking of a need to look at the relationships and attitudes that exist in society regarding gender equality. Lemaire quotes The UN Division of Women as saying “the concept of gender, recognising the entire structure of society and all relations between men and women within it had to be re-evaluated” which reinforces her own idea that to truly move towards equality, a restructuring of society and institutions is necessary.

Both of these authors suggest that the issue of gender equality is fundamentally linked to the attitudes and perceptions of society as a whole. In the first article, Gaze states that “Even where the law recognises rights, actually enjoying them needs more: it requires attitudinal change by everyone, but particularly by men.” Which appropriately summarises the position of both two articles in positioning the issue as one that requires a transformative approach.

 

 

References

Gaze, B. 2015, ‘Gender Equality: Do women enjoy human rights in Australia?’ Precedent, Issue 128, p.21-25

Lemaire, J. 2015, ‘Power and privilege: equity sticking points,’ Education, Vol.96(6), pp.14-15

Rhys James – Post 1: Issues and Ideas

 

Gender Equality and discrimination is an issue which remains highly relevant in today’s world however it is often dismissed and/or trivialised by those in the media, positions of power as well as the attitudes of the general public. It is an issue that many people hold very strong opinions about and manifests itself in many different contexts. Through the selection of articles I have analysed, I attempt to canvas the variety of different contexts in which gender equality remains a significant issue.

 

Young men oblivious to pay gap

This article makes heavy use of statistics and survey results to prove that, while men of all ages are aware of general gender bias, an incredibly small percentage of those believe that it directly affects their workplace. As someone who has always been acutely aware of the disadvantages and discrimination that women face in the workplace, as it was something that was often explained to me from an early age, it’s quite amazing how few men were aware. The suggestion of a ‘not in my backyard’ mentality is an interesting point and one that I hadn’t really considered previously. This suggests that it may not be an issue of broader awareness as such but rather that it may be an issue of making it clear to young men in particular that the problem exists everywhere and affects all workplaces.

An interesting point made at the end of the article is that women mistakenly assume that men are ambivalent towards the issue of gender equality. However, although a majority of men who responded to the survey acknowledged that there is an imbalance between the genders, it is another thing entirely to do something about it. The author is clear on her stance that she believes it is important to involve men in the discussions and problem-solving regarding gender equality, particularly in the workplace.

 

The Hack article

This article is written for triple j’s investigative program “Hack” and as such is tailored to triple j’s core, youth demographic. The article dissects the various levels of female representation within different sections of the music industry, from festival lineups to radio airplay, and overwhelmingly concludes that female artists are hugely underrepresented across all facets of the music industry. Interestingly, the article and its author Ange McCormack do not shy away from acknowledging that triple j are just as guilty as anyone else and does not suggest they are in any way leading by example, yet.

The article relies heavily on statistics and comparative figures which lends credibility to the argument especially as none of which suggest any particular bias towards triple j but are simply used as evidence to support the opinion of the author. This article is particularly significant to my choice of the topic as it was the discussion surrounding women on festival lineups, on triple j, that was a key topic that initially interested me. Though this article talks specifically of the music industry, again relating to triple j’s core demographic, it shows yet another par of the broader community and popular culture where male dominance remains the norm and gender inequality remains a real issue that needs to be addressed.

 

A man speaking on women’s behalf

This article was one I searched for specifically as it is perhaps the most relevant to my own investigations. I was raised by a staunchly feminist mother who made clear to me the casual sexism and pervasive discrimination in everyday life and our general culture and for this reason I have always had no hesitation in referring to myself as a feminist. Malala Yousafzai said in an interview with Emma Watson, feminism is another word for equality, something I have always personally believed. In this article written for the Daily Telegraph however, makes the point that too often there are men in positions of power speaking ‘for women and agitating on the behalf of women.’ Susie O’Brien makes a point of clarifying that she does believe it is important for men, particularly those in positions of power, to stand up for women’s rights and commends the man in question, David Morrison, for doing so.

The point made by O’Brien’s article is that while all men should support equality and the rights of women, it is indicative of the larger problem that it falls to a man to make the issue heard. The fact that it takes a man’s voice to make the issue heard is representative of the broader problem. The solution and conclusion that can be drawn from this particular article is not for men to stop fighting for women’s rights, but for more women to be appointed in positions of power to break the cycle of powerful white men rewarding other powerful white men.

This article highlights my own reservations in speaking as a white male about issues of gender equality, but although I strongly agree that it is women whose voices need to be heard, I also strongly believe that it is the attitudes of men, particularly those in power, which need to change and that everyone, regardless of gender, should be as educated as possible on the subject.

 

The problem with merit-based appointments

One of the most commonly heard arguments used to defend the imbalance between men and women in positions of power is the idea that appointments should be ‘merit-based.’ In an article written for independent website “The Conversation,” Lisa A Williams makes the argument that even supposedly merit-based appointments aren’t free from gender bias. Williams, a senior lecturer in psychology at UNSW, believes that gender-based stereotypes regarding the ‘roles’ men and women should occupy in society exist subconsciously in everyone which in turn has an effect on how merit is judged.

One of the most interesting points raised by this particular article refers to the fact that the entire idea of merit is based on how well an individual has performed in past roles and situations however this does not take into account the fact that often women may not have been afforded the same opportunities as men for those previous roles. It is this idea of subconscious gender bias driving a cyclical process that is perhaps the strongest argument against those who profess merit as the gold standard.

Williams outlines the key aspects to the reform process as “A hard look at our own thinking, the structure of our society and the metrics against which we evaluate others.” This position is consistent with those who support the application of quota systems to improve the proportion of female appointments however it doesn’t necessarily support quotas as the solution but rather suggests we take a more extensive look into the systems and metrics that we apply as a society.

 

Great Expectations and harsh reality

In an article for the Sydney Morning Herald, Judith Ireland tells the story of Julie Mckay, former executive director of UN Australia, using her opinions on the matter to support her own thoughts and theories. The overarching idea presented by the article is that while we have made encouraging progress in the move towards gender equality, there is still a long way to go.

Ireland references policies on paid parental leave and the shifting attitudes of businesses towards addressing some of the issues while making the point that a broader shift in attitudes within general society is required, stating “Until we, as a community, accept we’ve got a problem [with gender inequality], it’s very hard to solve.” The opinions and ideas proposed within the article are supported by statistics, particularly regarding parental leave, as well as links to quotes and policies from the treasurer and other government members. There is a clear sense that Ireland places the onus squarely upon those in power, alluding again to Mckay and their shared ideals saying, “McKay says there needs to be a radical reshaping of how we view leadership, power and success.”

As a journalist, Ireland carries no additional credibility compared to her peers that may write about the same topic, however, as a woman and, more significantly, by using the words of Julie Mckay, the statements made within this particular article are particularly credible. The support of an expert in the field, Mckay was in the role of UN women executive director for 9 years, takes what could be considered a simple opinion based article and lends it considerable credibility and resonance.

 

Conclusion

Having gone through this process of research and analysis, I have identified a plethora of sub-issues that would warrant further investigation however the 3 that interest me particularly are: “the role of men in reducing gender inequality,” “Gender Equality in the music industry” and “Why don’t people want to identify as feminists anymore?” I have identified these particular issues because they align with my own relationship to the issue as a man, a music lover and someone who would proudly use the term feminist.

 

 

References

Stewart, C. 2016, ‘Young men oblivious to gender pay gap: study,’ Australian Financial Review, viewed 29th July 2016, <http://www.afr.com/brand/100women/young-men-oblivious-to-gender-pay-gap-study-20160717-gq7fpy&gt;

McCormack, A. 2016, ‘By the numbers: women in the music industry,’ Triple J, viewed 29th July 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/girls-to-the-front/7223798&gt;

O’Brien, S. 2016, ‘Women have a man speaking on their behalf. Again,’ The Daily Telegraph, viewed 29th July 2016, <http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/women-have-a-man-speaking-on-their-behalf-again/news-story/0a69b8074becf54db68e9265ff98f053&gt;

Williams, L.A. 2015, ‘The problem with merit-based appointments? They’re not free from gender bias either,’ The Conversation, viewed 29th July 2016, <https://theconversation.com/the-problem-with-merit-based-appointments-theyre-not-free-from-gender-bias-either-45364&gt;

Ireland, J. 2016, ‘Great expectations and harsh reality: Australia’s gender equality progress,’ Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 29th July 2016, <http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/great-expectations-and-harsh-reality-australias-gender-equality-progress-20160406-go0cju.html&gt;