Worldwide, less than one out of every four people we hear from or about in the media is female and men outnumber women in parliament by four to one. If half of humanity's experiences, perspectives and possible solutions to world problems are under-represented, or entirely unheard, all of us lose out.
Tara Moss has spent 20 years in the public sphere and has had to face down nerves, critics and backlash. She has become a leader in speaking out. In this handbook she offers advice on preparation, speaking out and negotiating public spaces. With a special focus on public speaking, social media and online safety, she offers tips on how to research, form arguments, find support and handle criticism.
This is a guide for women young and old that not only helps them find their voice, but argues passionately for why it matters.
Review by Caroline Baum
Since she wrote her frank and powerful memoir, The Fictional Woman, Tara Moss has become an outspoken writer and activist. Always a feminist, she is now an ambassador for UNICEF, a campaigner for asylum seekers and many other causes and has learned how thick a skin you need to develop if you are going to step up into the increasingly shrill and combative public arena where women's voices are often interrupted and silenced. With her always calmly delivered views have come trolls and haters, as well as fans and followers.
Speaking Out is the sister book to The Fictional Woman, the next step in the evolution of Moss as one of our most intriguing and accomplished media personalities. Here she shares the wisdom - and some of the wobbly moments - she has accumulated since her very successful book tour with her previous bestselling title, encouraging her female readers to find their voice and use it. This book has the practicality of a how-to combined with a friendly tone that makes it user-friendly.
Along the way are tips about presentation, research, how to face down critics, deal with social media hostility and vicarious trauma. Few people will gain access to the kind of exposure that Moss generates, but no matter where or when we want to defend a right, at a community meeting, a march, a rally or any other situation which requires eloquence, courage, indignation or a desire for change, there are valuable tools and skills to be learned here from one of the best in the business.
(PS: a good companion to this might be Shrill, a memoir by US columnist Lindy West which looks at various unsavoury aspects of social media and pop culture from the perspective of a feminist performer who uses comedy with serious intent)
Praise for The Fictional Woman
'This book, part memoir, part manifesto, catapults [Tara] into the frontline as a public commentator who demands serious attention.' Caroline Baum
'A nimbly argued, statistic-laden exploration of the various labels we give women and the impact this has on their lives.' Catherine Keenan, ABC, The Drum
'Hits its mark with sharp-shooting precision . . . Moss' skill is in marshalling the evidence and communicating it in a way that is accessible, warm, open, lucid and passionate . . . Moss is a serious thinker.' Dr Clare Wright, The Age
'A remarkable book - the kind that rewires your brain and its preconceptions in the best way possible. Intelligent, riveting and invigorating.' Benjamin Law, Australian journalist and author
'This is a book which needs to be read by men and women. Well written, clearly argued, informative, powerful and thought provoking. Forget everything you thought you knew about Tara Moss, with The Fictional Woman, Tara sets the record straight and takes her place as one of our generations great commentators.' John Purcell, Booktopia
'The most insightful book about women since The Feminine Mystique.' Eve Mahlab, AO
'This book will rejuvenate the feminist in you and make you proud to be one.' Professor Hannah Dahlen, Midwifery Matters
'The Fictional Woman . . . hits sits mark with sharp-shooting precision.' Clare Wright, Sydney Morning Herald
'It is Moss's relation of her own experiences - common to many women - merged with the clearly communicated research that makes this book accessible.' Newtown Review of Books
'The Fictional Woman is a 21st century must-read for all women and their men . . . ' Taranaki Daily, NZ