I was confronted with another exclusively male panel this week. It was at the RSA (again). Unfortunately, the RSA is not alone. Ellie Mae O’Hagan wrote this week ‘on misogyny and female columnists‘ in the New Statesman. Many activists communities often replicate the same man on the podium women as supporter, organiser and helper model. I blogged about the problem at a “Radical” Communication Festival (and received 57 comments). In my experience this problem is evident in the Transition movement. I have heard stories about it being a problem in Uk-Uncut and I am aware that women have been organising to address the problem in the Dark Mountain community. Women tell me that it bothers them but they would not like to consider themselves the kind of woman who publicly challenges these all male line ups. Why not? How did womankind slip into such passivity only a couple decades after our mothers’ demanded that they were heard and granted the rights we now enjoy. How come our historical memory is so short? Continue reading
I am interested in how representations of Nature in the media and popular culture effect our attitudes towards Nature. I would like to study this phenomenon and could use some help from you, yes you reader. I need more examples. I am going to try and crowd source visual samples. Please help me out by visiting this new blog. Read the brief descriptions of the main themes under investigation. Think about it a bit and if you come up with some samples that reflect the themes, please send them in or let me know. I hope to make it worth your while in the end by writing something useful. Many thanks.
Above: Oil and Water – photoshot by Vogue summer 2010 on the theme of the Gulp Oil spill.
Response to Channel 4
Last night’s ‘What the Green Movement Got Wrong’ documentary launched a Twitter storm of protests to the one-sided misinformation calculated to discredit traditional green values and political projects. The debate on Twitter was entertaining yet unfortunately most viewers will not have been sitting at their computers and will have been subjected less critically to the one-sided polemic that hit the airwaves. Towards the end of the two-part programme the dismal lack of female voices on the Channel Four documentary became apparent and a new sub-theme emerged on Twitter regarding the exclusion of women from the debate.
Channel Four editors claim they could not find any women and that those that they asked refused. I can certainly understand why a woman would refuse to allow herself to have her position misrepresented, ruthlessly discredited through biased, severely selective, and ill-informed journalism. If women environmentalists were enabled to make a document about ‘What the Green Movement Got Right’ we would have a fair platform. Unfortunately, what Channel Four wanted was a few environmentalists to argue their positions in a mosh-pit debate in a little post-documentary forum. By fabricating an illusion of fairness they attempt to escape properly presenting the green arguments. Although some debaters did an excellent job at debunking Channel Four’s corporate green spin – the show still managed to disseminate some deeply anti-green ideas as described by George Monbiot this morning in this blog post ‘Deep Peace in Techno-Utopia.’
The women vs. men issue is not about tick boxing. It is about presenting powerful and dominant political positions as the only perspective in town. It’s about recognizing that power inequalities exist due to historical exclusion of women’s voices from public debate. Ultimately, the environment is a feminist issue.