The term inclusive writing in regards to journalism, blogging and writing may make journalist giant Rupert Murdoch writhe in his soon-to-be grave, but inclusivity is an important aspect of modern journalism. I like to think of my writing as inclusive of all genders, ethnicities and sexualities. I make an effort to do so. 2015 in journalism was the year that recognised transgender individuals. With Laverne spreading the transgender awareness flag around the globe, it’s time writing started to reflect social progress.
Some may roll their eyes at this concept, citing freedom of speech and various other ‘I can be an asshole if I want’ comments, but here are my thoughts.
Blogging has become a bit of a marketing giant these days. Let’s start to think about it.
Don’t gender your audience or the products/items you use
This sounds quite obvious. But there are ways to target your audience without necessarily involving gender pronouns persey. Not everybody who is into make-up is a female, for example. Not everybody is comfortable being defined in gender binaries e.g. male or female. Who knows you could have somebody that is intersex reading your blog? And if I was going to put this in more blunt forms, it makes those that often feel uncomfortable in modern society feel comfortable reading your writing (and who doesn’t want that?!)
Sometimes these aren’t needed. If you’re writing a blog post about a sensitive issue and it’s pretty clear in the title what the blog post is about, then yes, probably not needed. However, if you’re writing a blog post with a slightly ambiguous title containing a sensitive issue (which is completely fine!), it might be a good idea. I’ve benefited from trigger warnings and it isn’t a case of me avoiding ‘the trigger’ content itself, it’s just sometimes I don’t want to read about a particular topic. Oftentimes, I find it quite comforting reading triggering content! But it’s considerate to mentally prepare your readers.
Confront the industry you write on (if they do something out of line)
Some of you may be familiar with a certain Benefit incident a couple of months ago… But if you’re not, the beauty & fashion industry are riddled with problems regarding how inclusive they truly are (E.g. Body Image/race) Expressing via social media that something is not okay with you is a surefire way to make your followers a little more attracted to you and to certain minorities. It also makes them aware that you’re not a terrible person (Remember Sam Pepper?).
Writing about ‘controversial’ topics is… well, controversial. But it shows principle. If you have any beauty habits that are ‘unusual’ – Blog about it if you’re comfortable doing so. Don’t shave your underarms? Write about it!
Micro-aggressions are everywhere and if you don’t know what they are, everyday feminism can help you out. They’re practically embedded into language. One way bloggers can make a difference is by changing these little things in how we write.