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The Knowing Women Video-1: Reaching women

Women of the world today have countless media options literally at their fingertips and little time to engage with them, so to reach them you need to live in their shoes, says Marina Go.

The general manager of Hearst Brands Australia, the Bauer JV that has Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan in its stable, says the first step is to understand the individual in the audience.

“We look at her mindset, we look at her habits and behaviours and we create the content in accordance with that,” Go says.

“Each of our (media) brands has a really specific audience and we’re quite forensic in the way we approach them.”

Bauer Media Sales Director Tony Kendall says the much-loved magazines are still the vehicles through which deep connections are made with women. Building on those connections is the key these days with magazines the core from which we “create a 360 degree interaction with her” he says.

“Our websites perform part of that, the events that we do perform part of that function, we’re going to get more into branded content, licensing content, licensing the IP of our great brands to help advertisers grow their business.”

That’s music to the ears of Priceline marketing manager Allana May.

“It’s crucial that we’ve got full 360 degree advertising channels around us and we’re utilising each of them for their best purpose so they’re actually being the most meaningful way to communicate to women of all ages.”

Communicating to women of all demographics is something of a Bauer speciality, according to Head of Digital Commercial Strategy Monique Harris.

“We’ve basically got all women covered from the age of 13 with Dolly right through luxury with Harper’s and Elle…all the way through to a mass audience with The Australian Women’s Weekly.

“It means that if an advertiser comes to us and wants to reach women we can reach them at every stage in their life.”

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Henry Sapiecha

THE DECISION THIS WOMAN MADE TO END HER LIFE SO HER NEW BABY CAN LIVE

 

A New York City mom made the ultimate sacrifice — giving up her own life so her baby girl could live.

 

Doctors told cancer patient Elizabeth Joice that she would never get pregnant, so when she did last year, it was something of a miracle.

 

But joy quickly turned to heartbreak for Elizabeth and her husband Max when doctors presented her with an impossible challenge: terminate the pregnancy and begin treatment — or put her life in danger.

 

It didn’t take Elizabeth long to reach her decision.

 

“Having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her,” Max told The Post. “She said, ‘If we terminate the pregnancy and it turns out I can’t have a baby [later], I’ll be devastated. She knew this might be her only chance.”

 

Elizabeth and Max were together for two years in September 2010, when an MRI showed that what doctors thought was a herniated disc was actually a tumor.

 

Elizabeth Joice and her husband Max

 

“The day the doctors called us with the results is also the day I proposed to her,” Max said. “She said, ‘If it’s terminal, I’m not even going to fight. Let’s travel the world until I keel over.’ ”

 

Max made a beeline for the kitchen and returned with an engagement ring made of tin foil.

 

“I said, ‘You don’t have the option not to fight’ and proposed to her then,” Max said. “We got married a month later.”

 

Elizabeth, 36, described as fiercely independent and optimistic, endured four rounds of chemotherapy, a surgery and even more chemo to make sure the tumor was eradicated.

 

She was declared cancer-free for three years but still longed to have a baby, even though doctors told her it was impossible.

 

Undeterred, the couple moved from the Upper East Side to Roosevelt Island in June 2013 to prepare to raise a family. Within a few days, Liz discovered she was pregnant. “I totally blew a gasket,” Max said. “They said there was no chance this was happening — and here it was happening.”

 

But only a month later, they received the devastating news: the tumor was back.

 

Doctors removed the mass, but because she was pregnant, Elizabeth couldn’t undergo full-body MRI scans and her oncologist couldn’t see whether the cancer was growing.

 

The baby was due March 4, but the doctors could no longer wait. In January, a surgeon performed a C-section and beautiful baby Lily was born.

 

Elizabeth’s health quickly declined as her cancer spread. Tumors invaded her right lung, heart and abdomen “We said our goodbyes,” Max said. “It was like something out of a movie. We sat there and cried. We tried to tell stories, talk about all the great things.”

 

“Liz came home five days after Lily was born,” Max said. “That one night at home was all we had.”

Henry Sapiecha

 

WOMAN’S GUIDE TO THE FEMALE ORGASM

Dr Gabrielle Morrissey discusses the parts that trust, honesty and attention play in achieving an orgasm.

THE ORGASMIC WOMANS FACE IMAGE www.goodgirlsgo.com

(Q) I’ve been seeing a guy for a few months, but I’m less experienced than him – which is intimidating. I’ve only ever slept with three guys and have never had an orgasm with any of them. Is this common? Is there a way I can fix it? Reaching orgasm has never been important to me, but it is for him and I don’t want to hurt his ego.

(A) Less than 30 per cent of women orgasm during sexual intercourse, and many find it difficult to orgasm through oral sex and other forms of sex play. As a result, nearly 45 per cent of women admit to faking orgasm while making love.

It’s important at the start of a sexual relationship not to fake arousal or climax. This only starts a vicious cycle of lack of pleasure for you, and less chance of orgasm, because you’re sending the message to your partner that what they are doing (which isn’t working) is what helps you climax.

ORGASM HEAD BACK

There could be several causes for you never reaching orgasm.

Perhaps none of your partners stimulated you the way you need to be to reach climax. Do you know what kind of stimulation it takes to achieve climax? Can you bring yourself to orgasm? It also might be that the stimulation is there, but you are unable to relax. Often, fear is a factor in preventing a woman from letting go into orgasm.

She may be self-conscious about her body, she may hold negative sexual messages about pleasure, and/or she might be afraid to be vulnerable and trusting with her partner. She might be afraid of intimacy and letting someone else bring her to full pleasure.

If any of these apply to you, it’s important to discuss it honestly with your partner. The more he understands what is preventing you from climaxing, the better you are both able to explore your pleasure together. However, if you feel the issue has more to do with a lack of the right kind of physical stimulation, open communication about what feels good to you is important.

It’s often important for a woman to feel aroused mentally and physically, beyond the genitals, in order to climax, so explore each other’s erogenous zones from tip to toe. Mind-blowing sex takes investment, attention and action. If you both want to have orgasms together, then rather than making it a goal each time, make it a discovery process you both invest in.

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Henry Sapiecha

THE WOMAN POWER OF 49%

WOMEN VOTING AS A BLOCK CAN ENFORCE CHANGE WORLD WIDE

Comprising 49 per cent of the electorate, Indian women could easily skew the general elections any which way they like, says Averil Nunes.

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Women form 48.46 per cent (as per the 2011 Census) of the largest democracy in the world. How does that translate into 11 per cent elected representatives in the Lok Sabha (as per PRS Legislative Research) and a mere 14 per cent of women in senior management positions (as per the Grant Thornton 2012 International Business Report)? We could blame patriarchy, we could debate the reservations policy, or we could do something to change the status quo.

“Work as a block, vote as a block,” suggests actress and activist Gul Panag. “Dalits vote as a block, Hindus vote as a block, Muslims vote as a block, Communists vote as a block. Why can’t women vote as a block to effect change?” The question then becomes, can women unite despite the diverse cultural, communal, regional, and religious beliefs that often define their identities? We’re skeptical on that front.

“We want women to understand the power of their vote and to use it wisely, based on how political parties respond to their issues. Women’s votes in India usually go to the party that the men in the family vote for, but the issues women face are different from those that men face. Logically, there is no reason for women to always vote with the man. The Power of 49 campaign is also a message to politicians, that women can make or break them, because in India they form the single largest voting block,” explains Vikram Grover, Vice President, Tata Global Beverages (TGB), the company branded by the popular Jaago Re campaign.

Yet, is there a party or even a single candidate with a vision to change the way things work for women in this country? The candidacy of women in the general elections has been less than 10 per cent in the past. Should more women be contesting the elections? “Women would certainly be better leaders. They are far more caring, compassionate, patient and non-violent than men,” says socio-political activist Sudheendra Kulkarni. “They have proven their capability through the one/third reservations at the Panchayat level. There are 1.5 million women representatives in local self-governing bodies. Through micro-finance and self-help organisations, they are already making a difference to their families and communities. But the shackles—family restraints as well as gender biases in political parties—need to be broken for women to play an active role in public life.”

The idealistic Jaago Re campaigns are generally followed up with practical measures. For instance, a voting campaign prior to the 2009 elections led to over six lakh voter registrations on Jaagore.com. Another Jaago Re anti-corruption campaign “Khilana band, pilana shuru”, resulted in two lakh people pledging never to bribe again. And then, there’s the famous, “Bade badlav ke liye, choti shuruvat” ad released on Women’s Day, 8 March 2013, where Shah Rukh Khan vows to list women before men in his movie credits. An oath he honoured with the Chennai Express credits. Will the Power of 49 campaign make a difference to the women of India before the upcoming general elections? As cause partner for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) 2013, the campaign garnered a lot of support from the stars of India’s favourite city, Bollywood.

Chances are these stars will come out to make the Power of 49 come alive, in the run up to the elections. The plans are hush-hush for now. So we’ll have to wait and watch. Or better still, apply our minds on ways to take the Power of 49 from concept to reality.

The Paradox
Women form 48.46% (as per the 2011 Census)of the largest democracy in the world. How does that translate into 11% elected representatives in the Lok Sabha (as per PRS Legislative Research) and a mere 14% of Indian women in senior management positions (as per the Grant Thornton 2012 International Business Report)?

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Henry Sapiecha

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GOOD GIRLS DON’T DANCE…!! A FILM FOR THE MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL

Oh really? Padmalatha Ravi’s 15-minute documentary presents prejudice at its worst. Rama Sreekant attempts to decipher the ‘good girl’ checklist.

Padmalatha Ravi

16 December 2012 is a black date in Indian history. Angry voices, national outrage, high decibel prime-time debates and a case that set a precedent on how the judiciary responds to cases of rape. It was not the first rape we, as a nation, witnessed; it was not the last either. While most of us engaged in online rants, armchair conversations and dinner-table discussions, Bangalore-based Padmalatha Ravi decided to walk the talk.

GOOD BUT BAD
A journalist, by profession, Padmalatha who has written extensively on gender-related issues, was pushed to the brink after the Delhi rape. That the pen is mightier than the sword may be true but Padmalatha wanted a voice for her words, a voice that would question the stereotypes, the moral policing and the misogynist attitudes. “The debate on whether the victim was right in stepping out at night that too with a man she was not related to, was loud. I had to understand why this was so, hence the film,” she says.

Good Girls Don’t Dance, a 15-minute documentary, is Padmalatha’s first independent crowd-sourced film that questions the notions of society’s reactions to sexual harassment, molestation and rape.

Released earlier this year, the film attempts to understand why victim-blaming is so rampant. It explores how individuals define  ‘good girl’ and ‘bad girl’ through interviews with 45 people from Bangalore, across age groups, social and economic backgrounds.

The list to check off while attempting to be a “good girl” is long. But the don’ts outnumber the dos. “The conversations in the film will tell you that our reactions depend on whether the woman is considered good or bad. Notions of good and bad are ruled by morality and patriarchy, which are so deeply entrenched we don’t even realize it,” says Padmalatha.

THE BLAME GAME
Long after the Delhi and Shakti Mills rapes, questions like ‘Why did she go out so late in the night, what was she wearing?’ are still being asked. And being asked by the fairer sex, as well. In a recent interview, actress Gul Panag had categorically stated, “Women, in India, are their own worst enemy.” But Padmalatha refuses to understand the urgency to blame women for their own plight. Women, she says, are a part of the same society that has confined them to gender stereotypes for several ages. In her opinion, the question to ask is, “When will men realise that women are people too; and that women need not be a means to show off their machismo?”

Just like the hijab has, in France, a special power to inflame public debate, in India too, what women should wear has been a point of argument, for decades. Can clothes  really be a yardstick of virtue? Padmalatha firmly believes that this is the biggest myth that has been perennially recycled. “Sexual violence is never about lust, it is about power and domination. It will happen no matter what clothes women do or do not wear, as long as the man thinks it is normal to subjugate a woman,” she explains. Campaigns such as Pink Chaddi and Sampat Pal’s Gulabi Gang were born of these attitudes.

While both movements garnered an equal amount of brickbats and bouquets, they have often been trivialised by pseudo-moral conformists. More recently, actor Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi Pandey hammered home with a satirical online video, Rape, it’s my fault!, which lamented the deep-seated patriarchal belief system wherein women are invariably held responsible for inviting sexual harassment. Sustained campaigning is the need of the hour, according to Padmalatha. Many outspoken traditionalists have openly declared that women should cover themselves, not go out after sunset, be ‘good girls’ and obey other moral bindings.

It’s a matter of perspective, she says. “Many of the dance forms that we are so proud of today were once considered immoral. In the early days, only Devdasis and courtesans performed, not women from ‘decent families’. Today, we respect artists and revere their art forms,” she elaborates.

Good Girls Don’t Dance, was recently nominated to be a part of the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival. While it didn’t win an award, Padmalatha was moved to see that, “young women took away the fact that you cannot be blamed for what you are wearing.” She now plans to have screenings of the film at various colleges and start a sustained discussion. While a well-known college in Bangalore turned her down, “because the subject was too controversial,” Padmalatha continues to be hopeful.

When will men realize that women are people too and that women need not be a means to show off their machismo? — Padmalatha Ravi

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Henry Sapiecha