HAS the #MeToo movement changed anything, in real terms?
This is one of the questions to be discussed during the fourth annual Women in Leadership event in Bendigo this week.
Women leaders in arts organisations account for four of the five members of the panel, which will explore topics such as the impact and relevance of the #MeToo movement, how to achieve a truly equitable art sector, and how to ensure the voices of all women are heard.
State Library Victoria director of library services and experience Justine Hyde said her keynote speech would draw on western literature to address the silencing of women.
“Women’s voices have been silenced all through the history of western civilisation,” Ms Hyde said.
“Starting with Homer’s Odyssey, I’ll trace the evidence of this silencing of women’s voices right through to the Twitter conversations of today.”
She said the ways in which women were silenced had changed, with ‘mansplaining’ and being cut off by men among the modern forms.
“If women’s views have been silenced throughout history, perhaps they will be silenced again,” Ms Hyde said.
She questioned where the #MeToo movement had left us, as a society, and whether it was really the pivotal moment it appeared to be.
Ms Hyde said #MeToo was a significant movement that had started conversations that weren’t previously being had.
“But has it changed anything in real terms?” she said.
She and her fellow panelists will discuss the need to ensure there were opportunities for women’s voices and stories to be heard.
Panelists include Penny Rowland from The Australian Ballet, Australian Print Workshop director Anne Virgo, Bendigo Art Gallery curatorial manager Tansy Curtin and La Trobe University Professor of Finance Amalia Di Iorio.
Ms Hyde said achieving equity in the art sector could take the form of women being equally billed in the performing arts, or having access to publishing opportunities.
The Women in Leadership event, itself, provides opportunities for regional students to achieve their leadership goals.
Proceeds from the $25 ticket sales support La Trobe University’s regional women in leadership bursary, which was awarded to six Bendigo campus students last year.
The annual event, which La Trobe hosts, last year raised more than $6000.
This year’s event is on Friday at The Capital in View Street, from 6.30pm.
Click here to buy tickets.
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