I am filled with such gooey love for the Melbourne writing community at the moment after going to the weekend town conference for the Emerging Writer’s Festival. But this is not a blog post about the weekend, which I will have to write later due to the final of Eurovision on distracting me. I see feathers and flying neon-vested dancers… Oh my goodness!
So, what I would like to share with you briefly is a bit of an extract from EMF’s book Emerging Writer: An Insider’s Guide to Your Writing Journey Edited by Karen Pickering. Phew! Bit of a mouthful. So I bought this baby and I have just started reading it and it’s amazing. Here’s a little snippet from an essay by Van Badham regarding females who generally have low self confidence with their work in the writing industry: “It’s not you, its us (on eating biscuits”):
“Do you like horror movies? Enjoy the sensation of having the bejezus frightened out of you? Then read everything on the website of the website of the Geena Davis in Media. Because when you read just the research page and absorb that the stats on ‘how girls and women are portrayed in family media’ has not actually changed in SIXTY YEARS, the dreaded realisation will dawn that we have had this bullshit gendered behaviour and identity instilled in us from when we were very,very small. What cripples women culturally is an INSTILLED (IT IS INSTILLED!) lack of a sense of entitlement because if you can’t see it, it’s hard to believe you can ever be it. We are living in the consequence of a narrative deluge that tells girls that the best thign EVER, ever is to be pretty enough for a boy to love them, while boys get to save humanity and fight dinosaurs and drive monster trucks and run the world and shit.
Simply, sisters: we were not born this way. It’s not you. It’s the culture we live in. “
This book is jam-packed with lots of thought provoking essays on being a new writer. I went to a talk today on Women Writing with Emily Maguire and Anna Barnes on Women Writing which I think Van Badham’s essay sums up pretty well. I would like to keep writing about this but the lure of Eurovision and a woman who appears to have a poo dreadlocked on head is too strong.