Sunday, 3 April 2016

Women And Society - They're Not Exactly BFF'S...

Ever since the beginning of time women have been thought of as less powerful than men. Thanks to many brave and courageous figures in the past, discrimination against women is not as harsh as it was. However, it is still too often that women are depicted as nothing more than useless accessories throughout society and not shown the respect they deserve as human beings.


In order to understand society, we must first understand media. Female stereotypes continue to thrive throughout the media we consume every day. Everywhere we look - television, advertisements, movies - the misrepresentation of women never ceases. Even young children are receiving messages through the media they consume. Look at all the Disney princesses for example - with their unrealistic waistlines, ditzy princess dresses and giant, glistening eyes. How are women and girls supposed to feel confident about themselves if they are surrounded by pathetic role models like these every day?!


Society is like an unbeatable enemy - no matter how hard you hit it down it just keeps coming back for more. Many women around the world aren’t just trying to convince men, but themselves that they should be treated with dignity. It’s very hard to convince yourself you are worth just as much as a man if you’re living in a world that contradicts the exact idea.

If we want to create a bright future for ourselves in society then we must start by fixing the terrible way that the media portrays us. With it playing such an influential role in our society it is vital that they set a good example and empower women the way they deserved to be.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Social Media - It's Impact On Youth Culture





We all know that social networking platforms are relatively new and haven't been apart of the youth culture of past generations. So, I find myself sitting here and wondering - What role is social media playing within my youth culture? Is it a lot bigger than some may think?


Throughout human history, new technologies of communication have had a significant impact on youth culture, and this generation has been influenced by it more than ever. The average teenager now spends 10 hours a week online! Tell me you've never heard of Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Youtube or Facebook, exactly you can't! This is because these social networks have become integrated into our everyday lives as teenagers. A whopping 85.5% of Australian teenagers claim to use social media every day. I can't imagine this statistic being anywhere close to this number in past generations.


So now you know the facts, it's time to ask ourselves is something as small as a few apps really playing such a significant role in our youth culture? Well, the answer is yes. Social media plays an inevitably big role in today’s youth culture, it has become the new way of communicating and socialising. Anyone a part of Generation Z will know what I'm talking about. This technology has become more than just a way to kill time, it has become a necessity in the everyday lives of a lot of teens.


A generation or two ago, teenagers would be seen outside with their friends any chance they got. Nowadays it has become a world of online socialisation and your chances of catching a teenager outside playing a game of cricket with the neighbourhood or riding their bikes have become scarcely low.


The world of social media can be a scary and dangerous place. It has caused many major health issues in today's society. From obesity (due to lack of exercise) to anorexia (due to unrealistic body images) it causes problems in every aspect of a growing teens life.


Social media has just become an excuse for our generation not to really socialise and interact with each other. If we let this epidemic continue for generations to come, the media that deems itself to be social will turn our society into a bunch of heads staring down at their phones. This has gone too far and our generation needs to be the ones to stop it for good.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Paula Orbea

(And there are much more!)
Earlier this month, Paula Orbea, a guest speaker, came and spoke to the whole of Year 8 about women's representation in the media.


Paula is a blogger, activist, teacher and mother to two girls who is most famous for her campaign against 'Wicked Campers' in 2014 for their sexist and discriminatory slogans on the panels of their vans. Her story began when her 11-year-old daughter spotted the disgustingly demeaning slogan depicted to the right.


She really raised a few interesting points. The first one that grabbed my attention was the notion that brains do not have a gender. We all know that women are physically different from men in many ways but the brain is definitely not one of them. If there were a male and a female brain on the floor you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them would you? That was the point that Paula was trying to make, women are just as capable of doing everything men can do.


Another idea she introduced was the way in which women are trying to gain their power. In the media, men are always seen fully clothed, which is perceived as more powerful. Meanwhile, women are shown in skimpy and hypersexualised clothing. In the so-called 'powerful' and 'feminist' song "Run The World" by Beyonce they aren't seen wearing respectable clothing or being empowering role models for girls. It is far from that, instead, they are seen wearing leotards and lingerie and rolling around on the floor.
I don’t know about you, but if I was trying to convince someone that girls should run the world I definitely would not do it in this way!

All in all, it was a very inspirational and moving speech that made me realise the importance of how women allow themselves to be portrayed in the media. She inspired me to stand up for things I don’t approve of, and have a voice rather than wait for someone else to do it.
Because after all "If not me, who? If not now, when?" - Emma Watson.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

GIRL

Girls...

What are they?

The Oxford Dictionary states that a girl is 'a female child', which is technically true, but we are so much more than that. So, how do we define a girl? That's the problem, we can't, and we shouldn't have to! Although some try to define who we are, it is impossible to fit billions of girls into one definition. We are all different in endless amounts of ways, inside and out. To limit a girl to one set of ideals is insane and unfair.

Society today is very harsh on girls, giving them all the wrong ideas of what to eat, what to wear, who to like, who to dislike, where to go and even who to be. These are not things that girls at such young ages should be worrying about. It is especially important as we are at such a crucial stage in our lives that we be completely ourselves and aren't too heavily influenced by the crazy world around us.

So to all the girls out there, don't pay attention to what people say - be loving, be strong, be smart, be happy, be you and most importantly don't be afraid to just be a GIRL!

-Aoife Hickey