Sunday, 2 November 2014

The power of journalism: Sexism speaks out

So recently there has been much talk over street harassment, mainly in regards to how women are constantly being heckled, harassed and preyed upon by men.  Hollaback!’s recent video featuring actress Shoshana B.Roberts highlights the tiresome, misogynistic harassment women have to endure everyday on the streets. Perhaps more surprisingly, has been the overwhelming coverage of this issue by well-known newspapers.

Women such as Laura Bates, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and Lean Green have also all campaigned to raise awareness of how street harassment is effecting women around the world on a day-to-day basis.  Bates launched the Everyday Sexism Project in April 2012 after deciding that everyday sexism needed to be addressed.  She also now writes a regular blog on sexism that is featured via The Guardian.  Fazlalizadeh has created a public street art campaign after becoming sick of men commenting on her body and telling her to smile, and Leah Green turned the tables on sexual harassment after producing a video of herself undercover, making inappropriate comments towards men.

Hollaback!'s video, along with responses from campaigns, has generated a lot of feedback.  This particular issue has also prompted many female journalists to share personal accounts on this matter, helping to highlight just how unnaceeptable street harassment is.  Bryony Beynon, Louise Callaghan, Rosie Swash and Jessica Valenti are just a few of the women who have dedicated articles solely to this issue.  Their significant input, along with many others, has really shown just how important journalism is, and can be.  With newspapers such as The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph all reporting on the effects of street harassment, it has given sexism a well-deserved (and long-overdue) amount of stature.  Content that is reported and shared via such newspapers is often far more respected and read than say, blogs or magazines.

An increase in articles addressing sexism is also something to be celebrated; it shows a growing demand for such issues to be raised, listened to and dealt with.  In the past, where sexism and feminism was perhaps not taken as seriously, it now demands to be heard.  Women will not be silenced and they owe something to the power of journalism for giving them an even bigger voice.

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