Best of free-to-air TV: Cyberhate with Tara Moss 5/5 stars

‘A ferocious ambassador for human rights, Tara Moss wastes no time in debunking the sentiment behind the playground chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Her opening statement makes clear that real people write the real words that impact on real people on the other side of the computer screen.

Unlike Ian Thorpe, whose two-part series, Bullied, starts an hour earlier on the ABC’s flagship channel, Moss has a personal connection to her subject. She reads aloud some of the sexually violent abuse she received on Twitter after a 2014 appearance on Q&A made in the wake of the launch of her memoir, The Fictional Woman. It was in that book that she revealed that she was a survivor of rape.

Wearing her journalist’s hat, and perhaps that of her other alter ego as a crime novelist, Moss is able to detach herself from her painful experiences, at least while the camera is rolling, and drive this intelligent exploration of the issue…Thoughtful and provocative, this is essential viewing for anyone partial to expressing themselves online.’

Why rape is not ‘sex’ and survivors don’t ‘confess’

Stories have always mattered. Media coverage helps inform our view of the world, and cements – or challenges – social attitudes. Rightly or wrongly, much like the parables of old, news and media stories can carry the weight of lessons.

When we read the news today, what do we learn about issues like sexual assault and violence against women? Let’s take a look at some examples…

Tara Moss: ‘I wear a corset for pleasure, but also to avoid pain’

As many of my readers will know, I have scoliosis (curvature of the spine). It was discovered when I was a teen, and by the time I was in my 20s  a respected Australian doctor had strongly suggested I have a rod inserted in my back. I said no.

I’ve managed my pain and back health in many ways over the decades, from osteopaths and Alexander Technique, to pain killers and yoga, even writing my books while reclining and surrounded by pillows (Hey, it works for me).

Since October 2015, corset wearing has become an effective and rather miraculous part of my personal health arsenal. In this contribution to the anthology Solaced: 101 Uplifting Narratives About Corsets, Well-being and Hope, edited by Lucy Williams, I explain why, and how prejudices and misinformation about corsets and their function made it all but impossible for me to discover this inexpensive, drug-free method of pain relief until recently…

Why are women’s voices judged more harshly than men’s?

Acclaimed author Tara Moss speaks out in an edited extract from her new book, Speaking Out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, looking at how gendered perceptions and old-fashioned social norms impact the way we listen – or don’t listen – to women when they speak out:

‘Fortunately, not many people these days will openly admit to not wanting to listen to women, but a surprisingly large number of people still angrily comment on how annoying women’s voices are, apparently in the belief that the female-ness of the speaker is not the issue, but that they just “sound wrong”.’

Girls will be Boys

If it’s true we are all androgynous, why are we so rigid about dress? Tara Moss maps her journey from tomboy to “full dude” Victor Lamour in homage to the unsung genre of Drag King.