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Fixed It: Violence and the Representation of Women in the Media

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On average, at least one woman is murdered by a current or former partner every week in Australia. Far too many Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence. Only rarely do these women capture the attention of the media and the public. What can we do to stem the tide of violence and tragedy? Finally, we are starting to talk about this epidemic of gendered v On average, at least one woman is murdered by a current or former partner every week in Australia. Far too many Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence. Only rarely do these women capture the attention of the media and the public. What can we do to stem the tide of violence and tragedy? Finally, we are starting to talk about this epidemic of gendered violence, but too often we are doing so in a way that can be clumsy and harmful. Victim blaming, passive voice and over-identification with abusers continue to be hallmarks of reporting on this issue. And, with newsrooms drastically cutting staff and resources, and new business models driven by rapid churn and the 24 hour news cycle journalists and editors often don't have the time or resources bring new ways of thinking into their newsrooms. Fixed It demonstrates the myths that we’re unconsciously sold about violence against women, and undercuts them in a clear and compelling way. This is a bold, powerful look at the stories we are told – and the stories we tell ourselves – about gender and power, and a call to action for all of us to think harder and do better.


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On average, at least one woman is murdered by a current or former partner every week in Australia. Far too many Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence. Only rarely do these women capture the attention of the media and the public. What can we do to stem the tide of violence and tragedy? Finally, we are starting to talk about this epidemic of gendered v On average, at least one woman is murdered by a current or former partner every week in Australia. Far too many Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence. Only rarely do these women capture the attention of the media and the public. What can we do to stem the tide of violence and tragedy? Finally, we are starting to talk about this epidemic of gendered violence, but too often we are doing so in a way that can be clumsy and harmful. Victim blaming, passive voice and over-identification with abusers continue to be hallmarks of reporting on this issue. And, with newsrooms drastically cutting staff and resources, and new business models driven by rapid churn and the 24 hour news cycle journalists and editors often don't have the time or resources bring new ways of thinking into their newsrooms. Fixed It demonstrates the myths that we’re unconsciously sold about violence against women, and undercuts them in a clear and compelling way. This is a bold, powerful look at the stories we are told – and the stories we tell ourselves – about gender and power, and a call to action for all of us to think harder and do better.

30 review for Fixed It: Violence and the Representation of Women in the Media

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Anderson

    Lucky enough to read an early copy of Fixed It - this is a brilliant book! More later!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    Review coming soon

  3. 4 out of 5

    ✨ Jasmin ✨

    I'm not giving Fixed It a rating because I think rating a book like this doesn't encapsulate the complexities that this book covers - It definitely has the feeling of academic text. (I listened to the audiobook read by the author while I read along in my physical copy) There's also a lot of discussion around very sensitive topics. Jane Gilmore put it on herself to add trigger warnings where the most potentionally harmful chapters are and for that, I nod my hat to her. This book is incredibly conf I'm not giving Fixed It a rating because I think rating a book like this doesn't encapsulate the complexities that this book covers - It definitely has the feeling of academic text. (I listened to the audiobook read by the author while I read along in my physical copy) There's also a lot of discussion around very sensitive topics. Jane Gilmore put it on herself to add trigger warnings where the most potentionally harmful chapters are and for that, I nod my hat to her. This book is incredibly confronting, especially to women. Seeing all the the statistics and evidence in the same place is mind numbing. The writing was very well done and like I said, it felt like reading something academic of nature. A hard read but an eye opening one - one that you now can't close your eyes too because you see it everywhere. 'This book is mostly about the way the media reports men's violence against women and it hasn't been a pretty picture. However, despite all the terrible examples I've included, there is reason to hope the book will one day become a curio, interesting only because of its description of what used to be rather than what is.'

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

    I thought this book was a thought provoking and this issue has definitely been in the media a lot more. It was a 3.5 for me. I enjoyed the personal stories a lot more than the statistics.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Jane Gilmore got so sick of seeing news headlines about violent crime which either blamed the victim, lauded or hid the perpetrator or sensationalised the event that she started a movement called 'Fixed It'. In this, she takes headlines and rewrites them with a red pen as they should be written, then posts them on social media. Although it hasn't completely changed how the media portray women, particularly those who are either victims or survivors, every now and then her actions get through. This Jane Gilmore got so sick of seeing news headlines about violent crime which either blamed the victim, lauded or hid the perpetrator or sensationalised the event that she started a movement called 'Fixed It'. In this, she takes headlines and rewrites them with a red pen as they should be written, then posts them on social media. Although it hasn't completely changed how the media portray women, particularly those who are either victims or survivors, every now and then her actions get through. This book is essentially a summary of what she's fighting against. It starts out by outlining how sexist and sensationalist most reporting of violent crime against women is, offering lots of statistics and examples which show some of the worst that journalism can produce. She talks a lot about domestic violence, child rape and sexual harassment, and she doesn't pull punches. My only criticism of the book was that I felt it tried to be a bit too broad. I applaud the author for seeking to bring to light all kinds of journalistic issues, but the shift to the coverage of female politicians could have been covered in a whole other book, and I feel took the focus off the bigger issue brought up by the book about crime against women. The audiobook was read by the author which was fabulous and you could hear her passion in every sentence. I hope this movement continues in its fight, because while things stay as they are, the public perception of violence against women will always be skewed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    This book is so great and so necessary. Jane Gilmore's no nonsense approach to the issues will arm you with every fact and commonsense response you've ever needed to change the minds of people around you. Some of the statistics in Australia are, frankly, confronting if not downright terrifying, but that just shows that this is a problem we should no longer be ignoring. This book, and this issue, is nothing short of urgent. This book is so great and so necessary. Jane Gilmore's no nonsense approach to the issues will arm you with every fact and commonsense response you've ever needed to change the minds of people around you. Some of the statistics in Australia are, frankly, confronting if not downright terrifying, but that just shows that this is a problem we should no longer be ignoring. This book, and this issue, is nothing short of urgent.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Well written, researched, and presented, this book is incredibly important to the discourses around gender inequality, violence against women, and the language used to convey these horrific events by the media and those in charge. I can only hope that it serves as protagonist of change.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Frankie

    Listened to this as an audiobook, it was a really enjoyable delivery of some familiar and right on content.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    A masterpiece. This book was enjoyable and easy to read (in the literal sense, not in the emotional one). I wish everyone would read it. Gilmore explains her point of view clearly and presents all the facts to back it up. I am going to use this book as my bible whenever I'm in an argument with someone about eliminating men's violence against women and the role of the media. Loved it. A masterpiece. This book was enjoyable and easy to read (in the literal sense, not in the emotional one). I wish everyone would read it. Gilmore explains her point of view clearly and presents all the facts to back it up. I am going to use this book as my bible whenever I'm in an argument with someone about eliminating men's violence against women and the role of the media. Loved it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    AnoushkaB

    Two words: thank -and - you, Jane Gilmore. This book is a much-needed critique of the misogynistic media framing of men's violence, and also, its routine trivalising of women in general. It thoroughly analyses the landscape of the media and provides useful insider information into how commercial media operates. It defines media roughly as a mirror that reflects society and also, as a conduit that feeds/translates news from power (e.g. business, politics) to the regular person. Here, we can see t Two words: thank -and - you, Jane Gilmore. This book is a much-needed critique of the misogynistic media framing of men's violence, and also, its routine trivalising of women in general. It thoroughly analyses the landscape of the media and provides useful insider information into how commercial media operates. It defines media roughly as a mirror that reflects society and also, as a conduit that feeds/translates news from power (e.g. business, politics) to the regular person. Here, we can see that media itself wields considerable power as it seeks to define reality for the public. This gets problematic when we consider that these gatekeepers are mostly white, male and middle-class. The project which inspired the book and title seeks to illuminate how media headlines often erase the male perpetrator and that a crime occurred e.g. 'woman found dead' is more common that 'man murders woman'. Furthermore, headlines and content in media often minimise and trivalise sexualised violence - for example, rape is conflated with sex, even when the victim is a child. This book would be especially useful to media/comms undergrad students as it illustrates how the relatively new shifts from the older one-way transmission models of media (e.g. paper, TV, radio) to new internet and social media platforms have enabled more audience participation and power in speaking back to these traditional gatekeepers of information. Far from the former monoliths, the new media is now a 2-way transmission wherein editors are often forced to revise stories due to public outcry. Furthermore, this book provides inspiration for any 'minority' group alienated by the white male heterosexual overlords as it shows that this group now needs to listen to criticism and to apply it in order to remain competitive in a consumer-focused heterogeneous society. Gilmore is sympathetic to the plight of individual journalists impacted by freelancing and the sped-up news cycle that digitalisation has enforced - but also holds them to task for their responsibility for contributing to cultural myths around violence and sexist stereotypes. In all, this book is agood critical review of how the media, as with other institutions, is facing an impetus to turn away from its old guard of white middle-class male supremacy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Really interesting, not anything in particular that I didn’t really know already but a good intro for readers new to the subject. At times felt like a lot of content packed into the book, eg discussions about media portrayals of violence against children felt like it was added in with not a lot of thoughtful interrogation

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jackie McMillan

    I found Fixed It hard going. With an almost brutal precision, Gilmore sets out the structures & mechanisms that hold women back. It’s a depressing list of media and politics intersecting with contributing things like beauty myths, rape myths, advertising & film all uniting into what seems to be an insurmountable wall for us to leap over. “The statistics can be eye-wateringly boring to pore over, but such collections of data show that feminists are not simply a bunch of whingeing killjoys when we I found Fixed It hard going. With an almost brutal precision, Gilmore sets out the structures & mechanisms that hold women back. It’s a depressing list of media and politics intersecting with contributing things like beauty myths, rape myths, advertising & film all uniting into what seems to be an insurmountable wall for us to leap over. “The statistics can be eye-wateringly boring to pore over, but such collections of data show that feminists are not simply a bunch of whingeing killjoys when we talk about the cause and affect of shutting women out of power structures.” (Page 235) For a feminist like myself who had already followed along everything from the (frankly bizarre) interest Gillard’s ear lobes, to the horror headlines about Mayang Prasetyo’s murder by Marcus Volke, to the apologist commentary about rapist and athlete, Brock Turner, it was a depressing litany of moments that made me livid with rage; so I had to read it in small doses, insulated by fiction. That said, I am glad Gilmore had the stomach to academically set out this mostly depressing analysis of the situation of (mostly white - she highlights race needs its own book) women across Australia, the UK and America.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Purdie

    I skim read a lot of this. Not because it wasn't good to read, but because it's stuff that I have read so many times before. What fills me with despair is the fact we still need books like this to be written. What fills me with even more despair is the fact the people who need to read this are not the people who will. Do I sound cynical? That would be because I am. As Jane Gilmore points out things are changing. Media organisations are more likely to consider the way they word their headlines. V I skim read a lot of this. Not because it wasn't good to read, but because it's stuff that I have read so many times before. What fills me with despair is the fact we still need books like this to be written. What fills me with even more despair is the fact the people who need to read this are not the people who will. Do I sound cynical? That would be because I am. As Jane Gilmore points out things are changing. Media organisations are more likely to consider the way they word their headlines. Victims are named, perpetrators are not named "good blokes" and victims aren't blamed. However, Gilmore's website Fixed It, still has plenty of fodder to work with. The reality is I skim read this because I'm sick of reading about appalling statistics about women's representation in media, sport, politics. I sick of the #notallmen rhetoric and I'm tired of this battle we fight for myself and my daughter. Is this book essential? Yes. Is it worth reading? Yes. It even gives me some hope, but change cannot come soon enough.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    Once you start seeing it, you see it everywhere. This is a phenomenal book that takes a deep dive into how violence against women is reported in the media. Not only this, but it also delves into why - is it the limited representation of women in media and politics? Is it a case of 'its how it has always been reported'? Or is it something more insidious like the underlying beliefs of society? Jane Gilmore presents the statistics in an engaging and stark way. These are tied in with real headlines f Once you start seeing it, you see it everywhere. This is a phenomenal book that takes a deep dive into how violence against women is reported in the media. Not only this, but it also delves into why - is it the limited representation of women in media and politics? Is it a case of 'its how it has always been reported'? Or is it something more insidious like the underlying beliefs of society? Jane Gilmore presents the statistics in an engaging and stark way. These are tied in with real headlines from media outlets and personal accounts from dv survivors. This is another brilliant example of the wake up call that our world needs. Be prepared for a serious emotional response to this book from anger and rage, sadness and hopelessness, pride and awe of survivors stories, and finally, hope.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Daisy Thomas

    This book was informative, covered a number of important topics, and paid respect to survivors of domestic and family violence. I think this is important reading for people who work within this sector to refresh their knowledge of the interrelation between media reporting, politics, and the other male-dominated systems that can excuse or reinforce gender-based violence. At times, it was difficult to read this book, not due to a failing of the author, but because the topics themselves are infuria This book was informative, covered a number of important topics, and paid respect to survivors of domestic and family violence. I think this is important reading for people who work within this sector to refresh their knowledge of the interrelation between media reporting, politics, and the other male-dominated systems that can excuse or reinforce gender-based violence. At times, it was difficult to read this book, not due to a failing of the author, but because the topics themselves are infuriating and confronting and remain systemic issues in society. But this book also provided some hope and discussed changes that have already occurred / that are emerging.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Casey Mitchell

    This book is so important; Jane Gilmore explicitly demonstrates all the ways that current journalism and the language used continues to spread myths about rape, men’s violence against women and women in general. Everything is covered from headlines that rapists aren’t even mentioned or the misuse of words (such as child sex rather than rape) to ageism within the entertainment industry. I highly recommend this book and also suggest you follow @fixeditheadline on Instagram and @JaneTribune on Twit This book is so important; Jane Gilmore explicitly demonstrates all the ways that current journalism and the language used continues to spread myths about rape, men’s violence against women and women in general. Everything is covered from headlines that rapists aren’t even mentioned or the misuse of words (such as child sex rather than rape) to ageism within the entertainment industry. I highly recommend this book and also suggest you follow @fixeditheadline on Instagram and @JaneTribune on Twitter to get frequent updates of questionable headlines and how she Fixed It.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    Sadly, it's all too easy to compile all the horrendous stats and examples of violence against women and women's disadvantaged position in Australia. This book is best explaining the author's campaign to fix media headlines about violence against women, which is a brilliantly simple way to highlight the problem. The later chapters about pop culture and sport have a sense of being added to extend it to book length. But this is still a powerful read one can only hope reaches the right audience – no Sadly, it's all too easy to compile all the horrendous stats and examples of violence against women and women's disadvantaged position in Australia. This book is best explaining the author's campaign to fix media headlines about violence against women, which is a brilliantly simple way to highlight the problem. The later chapters about pop culture and sport have a sense of being added to extend it to book length. But this is still a powerful read one can only hope reaches the right audience – not just the already converted.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Are you familiar with Jane Gilmore's 'fixes' to news headlines? It's not surprising that she continues to have regular material to work with, but that doesn't make it any less astounding and depressing. Her book examines gendered violence, and in particular the language used to describe that violence. Gilmore provides a thorough analysis of the media industry (newsrooms drastically cutting resources, and business models driven by the relentless 24-hour news cycle) which provides important contex Are you familiar with Jane Gilmore's 'fixes' to news headlines? It's not surprising that she continues to have regular material to work with, but that doesn't make it any less astounding and depressing. Her book examines gendered violence, and in particular the language used to describe that violence. Gilmore provides a thorough analysis of the media industry (newsrooms drastically cutting resources, and business models driven by the relentless 24-hour news cycle) which provides important context for discussion about victim blaming and over-identification with abusers. Gilmore intersperses parts of her own experience with journalistic reporting. I found the 'reporting' sections occasionally got bogged down with facts and figures, which I suspect would have been better read than listened to. This is unquestionably an important book but as I listened, I had the uncomfortable feeling that Gilmore is preaching to the converted - the people who 'should' read this book, won't (and although we might expect that changes in reporting are driven by editors and journalists, as Gilmore describes, the move to online news puts the consumer in a powerful position).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dot

    Whilst the premise was interesting and the stats where well researched sometimes it felt like the books went on off on a tangent about men that just wasn’t what I was there for. I understand that this kind of work needed prefaces and disclaimers, but I really was interested in the language used in journalism and I felt it just kept apologising to men for the actions of other men. Still! I think this is valuable work, and even if I think it wasn’t strong enough when it did talk about language and Whilst the premise was interesting and the stats where well researched sometimes it felt like the books went on off on a tangent about men that just wasn’t what I was there for. I understand that this kind of work needed prefaces and disclaimers, but I really was interested in the language used in journalism and I felt it just kept apologising to men for the actions of other men. Still! I think this is valuable work, and even if I think it wasn’t strong enough when it did talk about language and how it’s used and how crime reporting has to be written about I enjoyed learning.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Written primarily for journalists and reporters, Fixed It brings to light how many headlines and news articles engage in victim blaming and reduction of magnitude when reporting on sexual crimes and rape. It is an important read for anybody and now, after reading it, I see these sorts of headlines all the time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hester

    Everyone should read this book - an important read not just for women. Jane Gilmore covers many complex issues with clarity, heart and statistics to back up the numbing reality women face. Although some sections do seem rushed the book provides painful insight into the world of media and reporting of violence against women.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Manny.Lavisyahoo.Com.Au

    I firmly believe that everyone should read this book, especially politicians, men and people in positions of power. I do not think of myself as a feminist, but I definitely seek fairness for every human being, man or woman. I strongly recommend this book and I think that the author was very brave.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I listened to the audio book that is told by Jane herself. This book is absolutely phenomenal! Jane has put a lot of effort in and so much research it's crazy. The nitty gritty facts are there and I had myself in the car amazed on the way to work each morning. A very motivational ending too! I listened to the audio book that is told by Jane herself. This book is absolutely phenomenal! Jane has put a lot of effort in and so much research it's crazy. The nitty gritty facts are there and I had myself in the car amazed on the way to work each morning. A very motivational ending too!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    Listened to the audiobook Very sensitively handled a difficult topic, while remaining entertaining - not an easy task Only thought would be to tailor to the format - not reading out the list of phone numbers for instance. Not a criticism per se, just the only stand out negative I can think of

  25. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Rand

    Sometimes it's understanding the problems that you never even noticed, that you always accepted as correct, that's the hardest part of changing your mind. I don't know how many people are buying this book that don't already agree with it, but the original concept of taking a read pen to headlines certainly smacked people in the face with their unquestioned beliefs. Sometimes it's understanding the problems that you never even noticed, that you always accepted as correct, that's the hardest part of changing your mind. I don't know how many people are buying this book that don't already agree with it, but the original concept of taking a read pen to headlines certainly smacked people in the face with their unquestioned beliefs.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Niamh

    One of the best books I've read this year. One of the best books I've read this year.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Meg Vann

    It’s so interesting to read the research behind this groundbreaking project.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Margi Smith

    Do your self a favour read this book you will never read or listen to headlines in the same way.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe

    Interesting content but at times the book felt a bit surface level, I would have liked some more in-depth discussions/investigations of the issues.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Brilliant and no bullshit. Everyone should read.

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