rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

#FierceVoices launches in Vancouver

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

On Wednesday, March 25, women and allies gathered despite the rain, at Heartwood Community Café, to hear speakers chat about women's representation in media, and create media engagement tools. This was the first in the #fiercevoices women and media series, organized by rabble.ca and Women Transforming Cities (WTC).

The evening was kicked off by founder and editor of gender-focus.com, Jarrah Hodge, as well as popular radio personality and writer, Jen Sookfong Lee. They both spoke of their personal experiences as women involved in media in various capacities. They also provided an overall analysis of female representation.

Hodge elaborated on media double standards facing women, including female politicians, and the need for media consumers to hold those with power accountable. Lee spoke about the realities for a young female literary writer of colour, and the marginalization and stereotyping facing Asian female writers.

After both speakers had finished, #fiercevoices attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and the floor was opened up for group discussion on the issues and analysis brought up during the speakers' period. Following this, the space was arranged for various activities, designed to help critically consume media and provide an outlet for media activists to share their voices. These activities included re-working oppressive and problematic news headlines, and creating #fiercevoices stickers with messages to place in magazines and in public places where feminist voices and criticism is nil.

The #fiercevoices series was created after a discussion between folks at rabble.ca and WTC about the need to see more women accurately represented in media as well as involved in media production. The series aims to highlight and build space, especially for marginalized voices and those silenced by mainstream media. A major component of this is building capacity and skills for women and girls to take up space in media and form an accessible movement, far beyond the capacity of both organizations.

Though the #fiercevoices concept and organizing efforts will continue well into the future, next on the horizon is a similar interactive speakers and workshop event on April 30 (location to be announced shortly). On May 23, the series will culminate in a keynote event at the SFU Wosk Centre, with a focus on young women and media, featuring a media panel and small info fair.

Stay tuned for more details and for opportunities to raise your #fiercevoice! And in the meantime, join the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #fiercevoices or email tania[at]rabble.ca to get involved! 

Photos 2-3: Erika Sommerville

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.