31 May 2015

Singer targets smart young women with new online outlet

From Mediawatch, 9:08 am on 31 May 2015

Has a sudden a surge of sexism taken our mainstream media back to 1950 again for women?

Lizzie Marvelly tells Mediawatch's Colin Peacock that's one reason why she's launched Villainesse.com.

Lizzie Marvelly

Lizzie Marvelly Photo: Supplied.

On the 27th of May, singer Lizzie Marvelly  http://lizziemarvelly.com/bio/  who’s well known for singing the national anthem at major sports events and for her own albums - found herself in the middle of a breaking news story.

Her hometown paper, The Rotorua Daily Post, put her in the headline alongside Sir Bob and it was headline news nationwide as well, with TV3, for example, saying Bob Jones booted from Air NZ flight

but Lizzie Marvelly was also able to publish the story herself on her own media outlet. Just one week earlier, she launched villanesse.com which claims to offer:

"No Filter, No Bullshit Media for young women".

Her opening Villanesse editorial asks: When did New Zealand become so sexist?

Quite recently, she reckons.

The first country in the world to give women the vote seems to have faceplanted back into the smoky gentlemen’s chambers of the 1950’s.

Eleanor Catton, NZ Pork, TVNZ, The Bachelor and #PonytailGate. All in less than six months. New Zealand, the 1950’s called. They want their backward sexist attitudes back.

And she's not the only one who thinks our media are taking women back to the 1950s. 

When Prince Harry recently visited, the media fixed on female fans flocking to see him - and actively sought to find him a Kiwi bride. In the Sunday Star Times, David Slack wrote:

They poked their microphones at the single ladies and asked them to pretend that it was 1950 and they were dreaming of a white wedding and a tight girdle.

While the paper's editor Jonathan Milne said it was "an extraordinary anachronism to see New Zealand treating Prince Harry as an eligible bachelor".

Lizzie Marvelly told Mediawatch she was startled to be named a "suggested single" for Prince Harry by Woman’s Day magazine

On Nine to Noon, an irritated Kathryn Ryan said all this was actually a symptom of something more significant. She spoke of a regression in the past five years that has put things back more than five decades.

Lizzie Marvelly told Mediawatch she agrees there's a deep seated sexism in our media - and it’s on the rise. But the biggest problem she's trying to address with Villianesse she says, is a dearth of media for - or featuring - smart and opinionated young women.

But plenty of people have launched online outlets, hoping to host worthwhile in-depth journalism. Not many succeed or bring in money in the long term.

Colin Peacock asks Lizzie Marvelly if she can make her online outlet with a feminist perspective go the distance?