Edition #19
July 16th 2021
On my mind this week:
I just finished watching a new TV show called
Ms Represented produced by Australian journalist and author Annabel Crabb. In her show she interviews 6 women from all sides of the political spectrum. Across a diverse range of ages and cultural backgrounds, from different political parties the one thing they all have in common is that they were pioneers and have made lasting impacts on the Australian political scene. The other thing they have in common is that they all spoke about being ignored or having their ideas appropriated by their male colleagues. It didn't matter if they were in leadership 30 years ago or now in 2021, Crabb and her team edited together an incredible piece where though each was an individual interview, the women manage to collectively tell the exact same story. The notion of being a minority in a room, of being the one who is different in some way, is a feeling I haven’t really had very often. Going to an all girl’s high school and then studying and working in a female dominated profession like teaching I very rarely found myself in situations where I have been the only woman in the room. Moving into the advertising world and the media (albeit mostly working from laptops perched on our kitchen table) has been eye opening. Three moments stand out for me as some of the first times I was really conscious of what it means to be in a more male dominated industry and sometimes be the only woman.

One was when I attended a podcast conference in Copenhagen and a male photographer asked to take a picture of all the ‘women in podcasting’ like we were unusual, performing monkeys. We all had to pose on a stair case like debutantes and it was frankly incredibly patronising. I mean some of those women were the best audio producers in the world posing with their hands in front of them like school girls in a class photo. That was weird I thought.

The second moment was when I started being interviewed on a few podcasts here and there. For some reason all the podcasts I have ever done have been with men expect for the ones I have produced or created myself. I remember one in particular was a comedy podcast and I was the only woman with 3 other blokes. In a room of women I feel quietly confident that I can make them laugh because I feel at home and I also feel like they will understand my humour. So I walked into the studio not even thinking about what it would feel like to be the only woman. And it was weird. The guys were really lovely to me but I felt like a fish out of water. I felt incredibly nervous when it was my turn to speak and suddenly things I would have said without thinking about my experience of the world I heard through their ears and they suddenly felt strange or too much or completely out of their realm of understanding. This may mostly have been my own self in my own head, but I definitely felt myself morphing into a different type of me. One that self edited more than usual and laughed at the inane stream of dick jokes I didn’t really find funny.

The final experience that comes to mind was when I went to the pub with some guys from an advertising firm we were working with. All three were really friendly but it was such a hyper masculine way to engage. We could have run our meeting at any time but they chose 5pm at the pub. I had a lot of fun bantering back and forth, quietly amazed at this way of working, as teachers we would literally never have the time to sit around on a weekday after work drinking and patting ourselves on the back about how amazing we are at our jobs. The worst bit was when one of the guys saw a friend in the crowd who came over to sit with us. He promptly began to regale us with how glad he was that he was missing the bed time routine so by the time he got home (drunk presumably) his kids would be asleep and what a relief. I laughed along but the whole time in my head I was thinking, who is that woman at home cooking dinner, bathing your kids, reading them stories, finding them clean PJs and how does she feel that you are deliberately here with us so you don’t have to help out. Did he mean that he really didn’t want to see his kids? Or was it a thing that you say around your mates to sound funny or cool. I guess I’ll never know.

All this is to say that if you haven’t watched Ms Represented you should do so immediately. Even just for the history lesson it gives you and the feeling that we have come such a long way but also have such a long way to go towards a government in Australia that feels representative, safe, professional and a place that we can be proud of as a nation. Something clicked into place for me about some of the terrible, messy decisions that seem to come out of that place. For instance, the alcohol levels of some of the MPs are outrageous and the lack of a HR department is mind boggling.

Something to listen to:
Last week on
TONTS. I interviewed Hilary Holmes who is a make up artist with a big story to tell. Our chat was broad and deep and covered a lot of difficult topics including bullying, body image, disordered eating and being an outspoken woman. I loved it and I hope you do too. Hilary is a kick arse, brave and strong woman who runs her own business and advocates for women in a really beautiful, honest way.
This week on TONTS. I interview the comedian Zainab Johnson and I can not wait to share our conversation with you. She is whip smart and funny and deeply spiritual. We also deep dive into her favourite film
Coming to America and her perspective on it is so valuable. I rewatched it before our podcast so if you’d like to follow along at home definitely give it a rewatch before you listen to this week’s TONTS.

Something to watch:
The new season of
This Way Up with Aisling Bea has just dropped on Stan and I can’t get to watching this fast enough. It is a funny, heart wrenching love letter to sisterhood and mental health and it is a joy.
No recipe this week! I But I have a killer one for next week I promise. Sending you lots of love and hope you're going along okay out there.

Tonts x

I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which I write today, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and pay my respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Copyright © 2021 Tonts, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
20 Ovens Street Brunswick

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp