By Sharmadean Reid
elcome to The Stack, British women’s media reimagined to level-up the fortunes and wellbeing of women as we embark on a new era of unapologetic female-led revolution.
I am Sharmadean Reid MBE, and I first read a broadsheet newspaper when I was 14 years old. In the absence of pocket money, I got a job as a weekend waitress in a local family run hotel, and it was in these early teenage years that I discovered stilton cheese, silver service, and the Sunday papers.
I snuck the newspapers home after my shift, spreading them out on the kitchen floor while my mum made our Sunday dinner, Jamaican style. Money, power, politics and people tumbled out of those pages showing me that a big wide-world existed outside of my small town of Wolverhampton, and I wanted in.
Newspapers, magazines, films and radio became my world. Whether it was Melanie Griffith in Working Girl or Madonna on the radio or Robin Givens in Boomerang, the media I consumed completely defined how I saw everything. From Sugar magazine, to Kiss FM and Jerry Springer, what I didn’t realise at the time was that media companies who decided which words, music and moving pictures made their way into my still-forming mind, were mostly, almost always, run and owned by men.
It meant that my media, and my world, was designed by men.
Since then, the rise of female empowerment over the last 10 years has shifted the British news agenda, or has it?
Real issues such as the ongoing murder of women by their ex-partners, childcare policies that keep women out of the workplace, and the economic gap that keeps women in poverty over their lifetime never make the front pages. It was during the summer of 2020 when we saw how many women, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, were being forgotten during the pandemic, and instead the British media distracted us with lightweight stories keeping the real issues out of column inches putting politics before truth and progress. Who cares about whether your hairstyle makes you look old, when women are still second class citizens?
Achieving Gender Equality, involves moving many needles. From private to public sector, to cultural shifts and policy change, it takes us all working together to create change. The UN Sustainable Development Goals remains the best framework for a better world, and a big part of achieving that is by changing the ideology around women. Much of that comes through culture and media, it trickles down through society and all the way into our homes and into the minds of our children. It has to change. For the short time that I’m on this planet, The Stack World is my contribution towards that change.
We are committed to building a new, community driven media company that doesn’t diminish women's power, but gives women the knowledge, insight and information that we all need to make choices with consciousness and autonomy. We will write about, and investigate, the topics that matter to all women with scrupulously nonpartisan, authentically serious and uplifting editorial standards.
'We are committed to building a new, community driven media company that doesn’t diminish women's power'
We make a pledge to ban language which perpetuates internalised misogyny (when the belief in women's inferiority becomes part of one's own worldview and self-concept), and instead we will tool women up.
With our five content pillars of Beauty, Wellness, Business, Culture and Society, we are determined that the issues that impact women's lives, from The Budget to Domestic Abuse, The Stack exists to serve your whole self. Caring about moisturiser doesn't mean I care any less about what pension provider is best for me.
Thinking back to my teenage self trying to make sense of the unfamiliar language of those giant broadsheets, I can’t help thinking what would those headlines look like if they had been written for women, rather than men? Written for women like me, and you.
The Stack is a community-led womens media platform with the aim of sharing knowledge, insights and experiences to help women achieve higher ground.
By Sharmadean Reid
The Stack speaks exclusively with Greek designer Mary Katrantzou on her new Lipsy London collection, welcoming indecision, and unlocking a new sense of bravery since becoming a mother.
In 2012, Dr Torfeh was appointed as the UN Director of the Strategic Communication and Spokespersons Unit in Afghanistan. Here she shares her expertise with The Stack on the power shifts she thinks will occur there following the West’s recent withdrawal.