Self-Published Author. Marketing Coordinator at the WA Student Law Review.
Junior Contributor III
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.
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.
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?