Joshua Haines

Joshua Haines

Self-Published Author. Marketing Coordinator at the WA Student Law Review.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics


Antisocial, Social Media: A Response to Comments on "Post-Weinstein" Article

My article on post-Weinstein and Social Media has received many compassionate comments, but also a few disparaging ones. When writing it, I knew the reception could be hit-or-miss, as I do speak out and alongside the MeToo campaign. It wasn’t just something the entertainment industry needed, but also greater society.

Certain viewpoints were “don’t turn this into ‘pity the poor men’”, and “women have had to deal with it for ages.” It was hard to advocate for the dissolution of hyper-masculinity, when it was met with “that’s meninist!” Across Australia we’ve had a new campaign of adverts, they’ve been subtle, but powerful. They have spoken out against “boys will be boys” in relation to knocking girls down in the hallway or playground. The child then turns to their parent and says, “so it’s okay for someone to hit me.” The parent is railroaded and comforts their child, “that’s not what I meant.”

When my son receives unwanted attention from a woman (or a man) in power, or is assaulted/harassed in a sexual way; am I to turn to him and say, “that’s a female issue, not a male one.”?

No. Because it was MeToo, not UsToo. It was a powerful campaign meant to be inclusive of all genders, because individuals in the industry were taking advantage of those wanting to progress their career. The truth is, assault and harassment on any spectrum should be defended and a voice given to those who are too frightened to speak up — regardless of gender.

Instead, defending a man’s experiences with sexual assault and harassment meant I inherently believed women are unintelligent. I’m a survivor of such acts, and men have told me stories of theirs after the article was published. Stories of rape in gay culture – loosely tying in with the acts of pedophilia conducted in Hollywood and the disgusting antics of Weinstein.

My views, morals, and compunction to speak for the voiceless has come from the many strong, opinionated, and vivacious women who have been in my life. It is also from them that I’ve learned to be compassionate, retrospective, and open-minded.

Gender is a social construct, but compassion is universal.

  • Hi Joshua, You are breaking ground with your voice and please keep in mind that your article may save many boys whose parents may previously not have been vigilant to look for signs of abuse. While parents can't always protect their children from the harsh realities and abuses of life, they can stop anyone from prolonged exploitation. Even if there is pushback, the action is still worth taking. I loved your article and hope to write my own on freedom of speech sometime this year. Munjeera : ) – Munjeera 7 years ago
  • Thank you for being so honest and sharing your story on a public platform with us. Many others would stay silent. Masculinity is wildly different than femininity. However, both men and women are victims of sexual assault. Members of the LGBTQ community are especially ignored. You have an amazing piece here that tells your story. Personally, I will always support victims regardless of their gender. I hope you remember that there are women who feel this way. I enjoy a follow-up article, but this topic is so unique it deserves its own platform. I would rethink the title. – Emily 7 years ago
  • I think it's important that one group of people is not ignored or maligned in an effort to hear the voices of another. As a woman, I have had to deal with factors that men usually do not. I was telling my husband today that women often carry the fear that unwanted attention will lead to something potentially violent because we know we can be physically overpowered. It is good for men to hear that, so they can understand where we are coming from. However, it is equally important for women to hear the voices of men in the areas where they struggle. It is called valuing people. – tclaytor 6 years ago

Is Gay Literature still in the closet?

Compared to gay and lesbian teen fiction, sales of gay-themed books for younger children remain “very dicey and very different”. It has been proven that the majority of the LGBTQI people who have come out across social media have had an incline since their younger years. This topic is in no way advocating for strong gay-themes, but in line with the short film “In a Heartbeat”, themes of love and social acceptance should be made available to anyone who is questioning, without fear of prosecution.

That isn’t to say that there is no gay-themed literature circulating. A quick google search, across all ages, will list must-reads.

But there still persists a closeted mentality in revealing characters to be gay. It wasn’t until after the series had finished, that J.K. Rowling announced that Dumbledore was homosexual. Outside of mainstream literature, the only medium I have ever witnessed open homosexuality has been within comic books. Furthermore, many mythologies exhibit homosexual themes, and even consist of deities who were openly gay, or bisexual in nature. The very philosophers who have contributed to societies mainstream thinking, and understanding, partook in homosexual acts and love; Socrates, and Plato to name a few — and even wrote about gay love.

There are many factors that can answer why gay literature is still only mentioned quietly, even in today’s age many countries are still very conservative. But with the rise of opinionated millennial’s, who for our very credit ask why we must be a certain way, this stodgy mindset could change – in no small part to social media, and online influencers.

It’s time we brought more focus to these types of literature, and have them available for those in the community, or who may be questioning. But where do we start?

We start by writing some great fiction, and getting it self-published. If you know of any writers, or stories, message them below so that someone questioning or who is actively seeking gay-themed content, can connect with a character not usually seen in mainstream media. It’s time this genre came out of the closet.

  • I think this is an important discussion to have. As even though there are a plethora of queer characters that are occurring in literature, if they are the protagonist in literature it is often only unspoken, or allegorically suggested, and if they are openly queer then the text as a whole gets sidelined into Queer Literature, rather than remaining as mainstream literature. I think this is a disservice to today's youth that do appear to be more open minded and accepting. As with feminist literature, it really is only through the immersion of queer protagonists in mainstream literature and television that significant changes will start to occur. – SaraiMW 7 years ago

The Rise of the Strong Female Lead in Modern Cinema

In the last few years, we’re seeing a rise of strong female characters in lead roles – especially in Action Films (the most prominent being Rey, in Star Wars). These strong characters are everywhere in literature, but tend to be overshadowed by the sequel or the reboot – and if they are picked up, tend to be altered in some way to make the film more marketable: for example, making that female character more masculine (atypically stoic, cold natured, oblivious, and otherwise displaying a shallow level of emotional value – "beefing up" the character, whilst almost ignoring the duality of a strong female character, and their ability to rise to the occasion with a strength of mind and heart; Rose Dawson from Titanic, or countless literary figures from the age of Jane Austen). Are we stepping in the right direction, or is this another false Hollywood campaign?

  • By the way it's 'Rey'. I think an interesting point is how shallow her 'strong female character' really is. She doesn't have much of an arc ('I have to stay at home because some people might come back but we haven't established that they mean anything to me other than a brief memory' to 'I'm gonna find me a Skywalker!') and she's magically good at everything she does/touches, including Jedi mind tricks which she's apparently never seen before. – jackanapes 7 years ago
  • I agree to a certain extent. It is true that lately the presence of female characters has risen significantly in books and films, and also that such characters tend to be portrayed in masculine terms (see Ripley in Alien). At the same time, figures such as Katniss in the Hunger Games or Furiosa in Mad Max Fury Road, in my opinion, are redefining femininity onscreen, as they eliminate the idea that a film with a male character is more successful, and also offer a more complex and layered portrayal of women. In light of this, it would be interesting to explore such ideas in an article! – CostanzaCasati 7 years ago
  • I personally think that it is great that female actors are taking on such diverse roles in the film industry. – claraaa 7 years ago
  • I agree that we are seeing an increase in female lead characters, which is a positive for the film industry and women in general. But at the moment, I'm not sure if it's a huge problem that many of these characters are made more marketable, as we need to take small steps in the right direction. – Courtney 7 years ago
  • There is an increase in female lead characters recently. After seeing shows like Jessica Jones I can't help but hold onto the hope that maybe Hollywood is redeeming itself. Jessica was a complicated and flawed character whose strength wasn't just physical but mental too. The creators did a good job of portraying that and using other female character like Trish Walker and Hogarth really cemented the fact that women can be complex characters. on the other hand, Hollywood seems to be great at taking a strong, female lead and sticking her into the 'romantic subplot device' peg hole. Black Widow is the ultimate example of this (Avengers 2). – norcelona 7 years ago
  • The idea of "masculating" a female character to make her strong or tough is a really interesting one. People seem to forget that women can be and are often powerful and forceful people, without falling into a masculine role. Some examples of female characters that are both feminine and awesome are Mikasa in the anime Attack on Titan (her deep and emotional love for the protagonist drive her every move and allow her to be stronger than anyone else in the show barring one or two characters), and Buffy from BTVS (Buffy never gives up her femininity for her strength, she has boyfriends and wears makeup and cries and loves, but only grows stronger as she does so.) There are an unfortunately large number of Hollywood examples that fall into either the "woman is good character because she is big tough man on the inside" or "woman is a pretty lady who the protagonist gets with when he defeats the baddies" category. I adore seeing both strong and feminine characters on the big screen, we really don't need to pick one or the other, woman can and should be both. – Sabrina Thompson-Cook 7 years ago

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Latest Comments

Joshua Haines

Really loved the different ways of bringing about writing. I’ve struggled with the motivation, despite the stories bubbling up – even turning to film-making as a different medium to storytelling. But I need to get back. This article was really helpful!

A Writer's Essential Steps to Staying Motivated
Joshua Haines

Although I don’t know this story personally, Poe has always been one of my favourites. He has inspired a lot of my darker stories, alongside Lovecraft – I really found the deconstruction helpful, not only in regards to this story, but for my own horror writing.

Terror and Horror in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado"
Joshua Haines

Really well written, and structured. It’s a shame that Hollywood isn’t taking enough chances in anime-inspired films – despite certain backlash of those they have done. It’s time the era of the sequel died out.

Pacific Rim: In-depth study of the influence of Anime