Author: Catherine Marshall

  • MEDIA

    2015 in review: Images that empower women

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 15 January 2016
    1 Comment

    Studies confirm that sexualised images of slim young women used in advertising and popular culture lead to body dissatisfaction, psychological impairment and eating disorders. A new initiative from the non-profit LeanIn.org is fighting this entrenched culture through a partnership with Getty Images. It has created a photo library depicting females in many sizes, cultures and styles of appearance, but all strong and determined and in-charge.

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  • MEDIA

    My mother's last Christmas

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 18 December 2015
    4 Comments

    On her last Christmas, my mother produced a Christmas dinner for 14 people on an ancient anthracite stove in the kitchen of the farmhouse I'd recently moved to. Nothing could distract her from the preparation of this Christmas lunch on a stove that was built last century - except for the pain that had been growing for some months just beneath her ribs. As she stirred the stock and pressed cloves into the ham I saw a wave of discomfort wash over her. It was uncharacteristic and unnerving.

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  • MEDIA

    My trip down the grubby tabloid rabbit hole

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 20 November 2015
    3 Comments

    The best thing I ever did was give up reading the Mail Online. I'd log on at the end of a long day for a dose of what I thought was harmless, digestible fun. But it wasn't long before this mental junk food started to bloat my mind. When Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry appeared before a committee at Sacramento's state assembly to press for the introduction of laws aimed at protecting children from the paparazzi, I realised I was engaging in a despicable act: the consumption of other people's private stories.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Building gender equality from the playground up

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 23 October 2015
    15 Comments

    Sissies are on their way out on British playgrounds. Guidelines produced by the Institute of Physics for the Department of Education recommend that teachers strongly discourage sexist language at school. While internet forums are replete with admonitions from members of the public furious at the erosion of so-called free speech, the guidelines are a welcome tool in the long and exhausting fight for female equality, and Australia would do well to consider adopting such procedures too.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ecuador's example for Australia's neglected arts

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 25 September 2015
    1 Comment

    On a terrace just below the house is the beloved, late Ecuadorian artist Guayasamin's masterpiece, La Capillla del Hombre. A collection of his imposing artworks fills the space, works that ask the unanswerable question: why is man equally capable of such cruelty, and such compassion? It is a question that all good art should pose — a point that Australia's newly appointed Minister for the Arts would do well to remember.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't fence me in

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 28 August 2015
    5 Comments

    As immigrants settling in Australia, the relative lack of fences and security measures was a sign that we'd chosen a safe and respectful country. This erasing of margins implied at once both mutual trust and an innate respect for the invisible boundaries that demarcated people's personal space. But 13 year later, I'm noticing the emergence of fortified residences boasting shiny black fences and firmly shut gates.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Celebrity fury not enough to tame lion killers

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 31 July 2015
    5 Comments

    The epidemic of African wildlife poaching returned to the headlines this week with news that an American hunter had killed a much-loved lion, Cecil, in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. Such 'leisure activities' speak to a base instinct to control, brutalise and defeat. Yet the outpouring of fury at Cecil's killer by celebrities and the public on social media platforms feels somewhat hypocritical and opportunistic.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Feminism colluding with religion to manage men's sexual desire

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 03 July 2015
    25 Comments

    British student Hanna Yusuf declared her hijab to be not an instrument of oppression but rather a feminist statement: 'In a world where a woman’s value is often reduced to her sexual allure, what could be more empowering than rejecting that notion?' But reducing a woman to her sexual allure is precisely what the hijab does.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Roman holiday's graffiti highlight

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 05 June 2015
    1 Comment

    You can never see a city again for the very first time, and so instead I observe my son as the Rome he's heard about comes alive before his own eyes. His greatest fascination is not its stand-alone antiquities, but the graffiti that blooms all around them. To me, these are displays of vandalism; to him they are cultural constructs as important to modern subversives as gladiatorial contests were to the Romans.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Curious names subvert Cuba's politics of exclusion

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 08 May 2015
    1 Comment

    Roger Blanco Morciego is a young Cuban man with an English name, who grew up in a communist country ostracised from the rest of the world. 'In my neighbourhood we have seven Rogers. I think we were named after Roger Moore'. I have my own theory about this: people who are shut out will do anything to explore and understand the realm they've been excluded from. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Responsible travel in a broken nation

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 10 April 2015
    1 Comment

    Myanmar is metamorphosing like a vast time-lapse image, sloughing off its old skin and replacing it with a glittering new facade. But decades of military rule cannot be dismissed so easily, and there is much for the traveller to consider. In the first place, is it ethical to visit at all? Travellers have long taken their cue from Myanmar's beloved democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Images that empower women

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 06 March 2015
    7 Comments

    Studies confirm that sexualised images of slim young women used in advertising and popular culture lead to body dissatisfaction, psychological impairment and eating disorders. A new initiative from the non-profit LeanIn.org is fighting this entrenched culture through a partnership with Getty Images. It has created a photo library depicting females in many sizes, cultures and styles of appearance, but all strong and determined and in-charge.  

    READ MORE

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