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This blog collates writing on women and media from across Scotland. If you’ve written a blog and are happy for it to be featured here, or would like to write something specifically for this site, get in touch.

Free Online Course - Gender Representation and the Media

We are thrilled to announce that registration is now open for our new online course, offered by the University of Strathclyde. The idea for this course grew out of discussions at previous GEMS events and we're delighted that it will be starting in January 2020. This course is designed for anyone who wants to be able to engage with media more critically or know more about gender inequality, media representations of women, media studies, feminist activism and feminist analysis. So whether you're a student, a journalist, working in the women's sector or just an interested individual we hope you'll find it useful!

You can read a bit more about the course below or follow this link to view the trailer.

#MeToo and the work of ending men’s violence against women

November 25 to December 10 marks the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. “16 Days,” as it has become known, was launched and continues to be coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. The dates for the campaign were chosen to link violence against women and human rights and emphasise that gender-based violence against women is a violation of human rights: since 1991, the campaign has been active between November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day.

On the final day of action, we're publishing Professor Karen Boyle's contribution to the 16 days blogathon, hosted by GenderED at the University of Edinburgh, the Australian Human RIghts Institute at the University of New South Wales and Ambedkhar University in Delhi. It originally appeared on Day Four, and you can view the other contributions here.

Pass the Mic: Women of Colour Commentators in Scotland

Black History Month often brings into sharp focus how far we still have to go in terms of tackling racial inequalities. In the panel discussion that followed our recent screening of Knock Down the House, our excellent speakers noted how difficult political engagement can be as a woman of colour. The lack of representation of women of colour in the mainstream media was often cited as a contributing factor to this difficulty. This problem is far-reaching and deeply embedded in media production and practice. Innovative and new approaches to tackling this issue are very much needed, such as the new Pass the Mic website.

The website and database of women of colour commentators offers an exciting and much-needed resource for journalists, researchers and event organisers. Women of colour commentators exist in Scotland. They are educators, academics, researchers, campaigners, policy makers, community activists, writers, workers, carers and experts in many areas. However, they are missing from our media; rarely are they seen on our screens, read in our papers or heard on our radios. Even when the issues being discussed are about race and/or gender.

The backlash against #MeToo in online humour

By Maja Brandt Andreasen

This month marks the 2-year anniversary of Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s New York Times article which exposed Harvey Weinstein as an alleged serial sexual abuser. It also marks the anniversary of Alyssa Milano’s #MeToo tweet: by encouraging her followers to write ‘Me Too’ on their timeline, Milano kickstarted a massive outpouring of stories about sexual harassment and abuse. The hashtag #MeToo also (eventually) brought attention to a broader Me Too movement started by Tarana Burke a decade earlier. The cultural impact of #MeToo cannot be denied and industries outside of the Hollywood film industry have now experienced a “#MeToo moment”, destabilising structural sexism and initiating conversations about the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment.

Told and Untold Stories

By Karen Boyle, University of Strathclyde

For more than 20 years, the Women’s Support Project have hosted a Screen Debate at Glasgow Film Theatre each September. The Screen Debates use films and television shows about child sexual abuse as a launchpad for typically wide-ranging discussions about media responsibility, public attitudes and the experiences of victim/survivors. For us at Gender Equal Media Scotland, this offers a useful space to reflect on the role of the media in challenging and changing (or condoning and perpetuating) men’s violence against women and children.

When the Screen Debates started, finding a suitable film or television programme to screen could be something of a challenge. Child sexual abuse is never an easy thing to represent on screen, for reasons which are ethical and legal, as well as commercial. Yet, in the UK context, the range of dramas, feature films and documentaries focusing on child sexual abuse has exploded in recent years, not least as a result of the Jimmy Savile case. This year’s event took that case as a starting point, with a screening of Olly Lambert’s documentary Abused: The Untold Story, first shown on the BBC in the weeks following the 2016 publication of Dame Janet Smith’s report into Jimmy Saville at the BBC. It is an incredibly powerful documentary, centring the experiences of those abused by Savile and his associates.

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