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Girl on a Wire: Women and Social Media

When

The problem of verbal and emotional violence against women online remains insufficiently – or often, mistakenly – addressed. Headlines about online harassment continue to focus on victims rather than perpetrators, while platforms like Twitter and Facebook struggle to define and act upon the difference between free speech and abuse.

But there’s also the upside: social media’s potential for women who are seeking to mark out a space of debate, discussion and disagreement. Largely unmediated, social platforms offer the promise (if not always the purest realisation) of ideas being able to speak for themselves. Women are able to connect with each other, and with their publics, in ways that transcend the ‘motherhood penalty’ and other gendered factors of the traditional workplace.

Jane Gilmore, Rebecca Shaw, Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Lucy Valentine are writers who put their words, beliefs and opinions on social media – with the intention of connecting, challenging others and pursuing change. With host Sophie Black, they’ll talk about #writingwhilefemale. How do women participate in digital discussion? How do they end up in arguments, decide when to continue them … and what do they do when argument becomes abuse? And, in this odd amalgam of public and private space, how do women edit their own balance of the political and personal?

Featuring

Jane Gilmore

Jane Gilmore is a freelance journalist, with a strong focus on data journalism and male violence. She was the founding editor of The King’s Tribune, and now writes regularly for the Sydney Morning Herald. She has been published by the Guardian, Meanjin, the Age, the Saturday Paper,&... Read more

Rebecca Shaw

Rebecca Shaw (aka brocklesnitch) is a writer and creator of the parody Twitter account @NoToFeminism, which was developed into an illustrated book. She was on the writing team at Tonightly with Tom Ballard and has written for Hard Quiz and Get Krack!n. She was a writer for the Backburner and deput... Read more

Sophie Black

Sophie Black is head of special projects at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the writers scheme The Next Chapter, the podcast mentoring scheme Signal Boost, the multi-award-winning podcast, The Messenger, and the ABC RN program, Talkfest. Previously she was editor-in-chief... Read more

Lucy Valentine

Lucy Valentine is a Melbourne based comedy writer and enemy of the state. She writes regularly for SBS Comedy and co-hosts the Boonta Vista Socialist Club podcast.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-born Australian mechanical engineer, writer and social advocate. Yassmin worked on oil and gas rigs around Australia for almost half a decade before becoming a full-time writer and broadcaster. She published her debut memoir, Yassmin’s Story, at age 24, then... Read more

Location

The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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