Rants & Raves: Pretending To Be Men To Open Doors, Female ‘Lord Of The Flies’ Reboot & Keeping Real Journalism Around

Posted on September 1, 2017 by Natasha Zena

A short commentary on the awesome and shitty things female entrepreneurs are dealing with …

 

Rave

Fed-up entrepreneurs Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin decided to do something about the sexist and disrespectful behavior they were receiving when they launched their e-commerce startup, Witchsy. This month they told Fast Company after being mistreated by male designers and developers, they created a fake male cofounder, Keith Mann, to see if the treatment would change. Did it?

Dwyer said, “It was like night and day. It would take me days to get a response, but Keith could not only get a response and a status update, but also be asked if he wanted anything else or if there was anything else that Keith needed help with.”

Raves to these female founders for doing this. I’m sure many women running companies have experienced this. Dawn and I once asked a vendor a question about something we didn’t understand and we simply got an email back saying it was fixed. Our concern never answered or even acknowledged. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. It makes you not want to give them your money.

Rant

Warner Brothers recently announced a reboot of the film “Lord of the Flies,” based on the novel by William Golding. OK, I read this book in high school and fell IN LOVE with it. It was intense, scary and made you question humanity and the whole mob mentality (when people lose control of their inhibitions and take on the mentality of the group.)

I found the movie just as satisfying so when I hear one of my faves is getting a reboot, NO! And an all-female reboot, double NO! Did I like the female reboot of Ghost Busters? Sure. Did I need it? NO. Taking old favorites and rebooting it with women does not give Hollywood a pass to underpay actresses and not put women in more quality leading roles. Create new stuff. Please. Don’t rewrite history to attempt to fix your wrongs. I won’t do it here, but HuffPost.com already rounded up the hilarious responses of women on Twitter who also think it’s a shit idea.

Rave

The essay over at The Atlantic on “When Silicon Valley Took Over Journalism,” was superb. Franklin Foer totally reveals the plight of journalism today — volleying for readers while trying to deliver quality content, worrying about going viral versus long-form storytelling. And then you have the President calling legitimate news organizations “fake news.” Yeah, doesn’t help.

Years ago when blogs really began to become a hit, even back then I worried about the potential ramifications of it on journalism. Some guy sits behind his computer and writes his opinion about a political topic (with limited research and without speaking to one person) and it begins to circulate on the Internet as if it’s a piece of journalism. Eek! I’ve long stopped clicking on these shitty pieces when they pop up in my Facebook feed and because of that, thankfully, Facebook no longer puts it in my feed.

As publisher of digital media company, I am constantly trying to balance news reporting with what one of our advisors calls, “short, snackable content.” It’s a real balancing act. I consider myself a part of the next generation of publishers, something I take very seriously, and what I do know is that it is up to us all to fight for the future of journalism.

What do you want to rant & rave about this week?

All opinions expressed in this op-ed are solely those of the author.

About Natasha Zena

Around age eight Natasha Zena was told it was a woman’s job to take care of the home and since then she has built a career out of telling women they can do whatever the hell they want to do. Cofounder of Lioness For The Female Entrepreneur, as publisher Natasha has created an online news platform to educate, elevate and support female entrepreneurs. Natasha was recognized as an emerging leader in digital media by The Poynter Institute and the National Association of Black Journalists. She has mentored entrepreneurs at a number of accelerators, Startup Weekends and conferences, including The Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, Calif. In her spare time, she writes short fiction and spends time with her son, Shaun.

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