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Media calls

hi there – Meredith here.

So as most of you probably already know, I write a blog as part of my Master’s research project. The blog (found here) is a collection of writings (I try to post at least a few times a week) on the issue of pubic hair — or to be more specific, the waning of pubic hair on women in mainstream culture.

And sometimes it happens that what’s happening in the world lines up just perfectly with the sort of stuff I like to write about.

That’s how it happened that I ended up writing about ‘Julyna’ on Tuesday afternoon. If you’ve been shielding your eyes from the ridiculous stuff that sometimes passes for ‘news’ these days, then you might not know what I’m talking about. That’s ok.

‘Julyna’ is a fundraising/awareness raising campaign for cervical cancer dreamed up by a group of women in Toronto. Apparently they were feeling left out of the ‘movember’ movement (when men let their moustaches grow in November in honour of raising funds for prostate cancer research) and wanted a ‘fun’ fundraiser of their own.

The idea behind ‘Julyna’ is that for the month of July, women are supposed to ‘style’ their pubic hair in a bid to raise funds for cervical cancer research. Don’t believe me? Here’s the official site.

Anyway, since it was sort of up my alley, research-wise, I decided to blog about it (here‘s the post, if you’re interested).

As I hit the ‘publish’ button, I said aloud to a friend who was working nearby, ‘this is totally the kind of thing the media is going to be into.’

And low-and-behold, yesterday the first media inquiry came. I ended up discussion ‘Julyna’ (and the reasons why I thought it was an odd strategy for a fundraiser) with a reporter from the Globe and Mail.

Thankfully, the journalist was also critical of ‘Julyna’, and so we had a light, fun chat. I expect that the article will run tomorrow or on Saturday.

All this to say, that it’s amazing how suddenly you can be pegged as an ‘expert’ in something. There was a time when I wouldn’t have been the ideal candidate to critique a cancer fundraising tactic, but now that I write a blog on a specific topic, I suddenly have some authority. It’s kinda funny.

We’ll see how the article turns out. Maybe everything I said ended up on the ‘cutting room floor’, so to speak? Maybe I’ll end up sounding like an unsympathetic crazy person who hates fundraisers? Whatever happens, I have definitely learned a lesson. Claiming your voice gives you a voice – and the more you use it, the more authority the world will give you to use it.

I’m off to Ottawa for the weekend for some dance performances. I’m doing my best to meet a at-least-700-words-a-day deadline on the paper I am writing to support my thesis — I want to make sure I have lots done before I head out of town for the weekend. I don’t want anything hanging over my head…

Enjoy the sunshine, everyone!

Posted in SGS Blog 2010-2011, Student Perspective
One comment on “Media calls
  1. anon says:

    I was also contacted to comment about this article and declined. I’m glad it’s a critical piece, I honestly thought this was a hoax. So many issues with this attempt, not the least is the lack of mention of the HPV vaccine. With both ‘movember’ and this attempt, both prostate and cervical cancers, as easily detected, treated and with HPV vaccine, preventable, ovarian cancer (for example) the most deadly gyne malignancy is not easily detectable and in many forms is chemo-resistant. Glad you commented on the article, it seemed to need a feminist response, which I’m assuming from the topic of your master’s thesis. Good luck on your research and I’m sure you will make the article!

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