– Alankrita Malhotra
Haven’t we all heard of the saying, “little girls should neither be seen nor heard?”
Guided by this extremely misinformed belief, society in the olden times (even now to be very honest) did not give women a chance to express themselves. They were told to sit quietly and look ‘pretty’.
“From the depths of oppression are created heights of character,” as said quite aptly by Nelson Mandela.
How did anyone expect women to not rebel? To not find ways to express themselves having the human right of talking taken away?
For centuries, women have turned to journalism to find their voice in a male dominated society. Despite recurring prejudices, despite society trying to put women in a closed room cutoff from any opinions or ideas even representing slightly different views, women arose to challenge society and their ‘norms’. They turned to journalism.
Publishing periodicals about feet binding in China, Universal Adult Suffrage and education, they make themselves seen and heard.
We’ve all heard about Nellie Bly, who launched a whole new kind of investigative journalism and travelled around the world in 72 days, a challenge no one, except Jules Verne’s imagination could rise to.
Initially, women were restricted by custom from access to journalism occupations, and faced significant discrimination within the profession did they try to pursue it.
Even today, in most newsrooms across the world the leaders who head media organizations or edit news channels or papers are men. Women comprise more than half the world’s population. Yet why do men routinely decide what news women should hear and read? What is the impact on women when the news is constantly reported from a male point of view? In other words, every news story or investigative report is bound to be coloured by the patriarchal mindsets of the males, never mind how liberated or pro-women or progressive they are. I would like to end with one question. Do we, the next generation, the so called harbingers of change, want to live in such a world?