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Steph Guthrie

Feminist Advocate for Gender, Culture & Technology

Steph Guthrie is a feminist advocate, organizer and analyst focusing on the intersections of gender, culture and technology. As founder of Women in Toronto Politics, she produces events and online resources to promote a more gender-inclusive civic discourse.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Online violence and redefining the “trolling” & “cyber-bullying” narratives
Last summer I fell into advocacy for women online when I confronted on Twitter a young man in Sault Ste Marie who made a video game that let players simulate beating the crap out of feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian. This was a particularly disgusting example of the kinds of online harassment and bigotry faced by women, people of colour, queer people, the whole gamut. From Anita Sarkeesian to the Toronto photographer on Reddit who anonymously confessed to taking secret photos of unsuspecting women’s body parts on the street, to the vicious harassment and slut-shaming of B.C. teen Amanda Todd (which may have been what claimed her life), the past year has borne many instances of how sexism and misogyny manifest online.

Getting more women into politics, technology, and media 
As founder of Women in Toronto Politics I’ve spoken and facilitated numerous discussions looking at how women are included, treated, and characterized as political voices – not just politicians themselves, but women who are interested in politics, women who discuss politics on social media, read and comment on articles about politics, women who study political science, etc. These are women whose passions are pushing them toward politics and not nearly enough of them run for office. Many factors influence these decisions, but the hideously sexist ways in which the media and the general public talk about women in politics is definitely one of them. A new Tumblr called “madampremier” does a great job of illustrating this.

Social media and activism
It’s no secret that social media can be a great tool for getting the word out about a cause or issue, but that only scratches the surface of how useful it can be for an activist. Social media isn’t just for broadcasting your initiatives (in fact, that’s a pretty old-school way of thinking). It’s also for brainstorming ideas, finding collaborators and volunteers, and identifying the timely issues, moments, and problems that are ripe for an activist’s intervention.

Platform Plus

Reel Talk | Interactive Film Screening

A night filled with fun, accessible discussions about depictions of gender, race, sexuality and other aspects of identity in pop culture. Through humour and pop culture criticism, Steph Guthrie & the team at Reel Talk guides audiences in exploring Hollywood’s good, bad and ugly sides when it comes to topics like feminism, consent, objectification and mental health. This is a new and engaging way to bring awareness to these relevant campus issues.

Challenging the Narratives: Sexism online, in the media, and our everyday lives

This workshop addresses the systematic discrimination and stereotypes that shape our societal norms and values. Furthermore, it explores the link between rape culture, the internet, and inequality.

  • Steph Guthrie was an accessible and engaging speaker. She was able to hold the students’ attentions in a busy food court during lunch hour on the difficult topic of violence against women. She broke the presentation into smaller chunks which allowed people to come and go throughout the presentation and still take away valuable information. Her talk generated discussion among students and the feedback obtained from participants was all positive. She addressed both historical and intersectional aspects of violence against women very well and exceeded our expectations in this area.

    - Events Coordinator, Programming & Events |Students' Association of Mount Royal University
  • Steph’s presentation to our company’s management team was extremely well-organized, professional and thought-provoking. Her use of various multimedia platforms made for a visually engaging presentation and her speaking style was the perfect mix of being assertive enough to capture the passion of her own views while still being open and flexible enough to make those with other viewpoints feel comfortable. I would strongly recommend Steph to any forward-thinking organization interested in modern and intelligent insight on gender equality.

    - Staff Development Manager, Long & McQuade
  • Stephanie’s presentation on media representation of sexual violence in campus spaces was direct, clear and accessible. Her contribution to the learning event for journalism students was invaluable because it was grounded in fact, solid gender-based analysis, and incorporated engaging storytelling elements.

    - METRAC
  • I listened to Steph Guthrie deliver a truly powerful presentation at TEDx Toronto. I was wowed by her talk. It opened my eyes to not only some real ugliness, but more importantly how to carry the fight forward with dignity.

    - Attendee, TEDxToronto
  • Moved, inspired and deeply affected by [Steph's] TedxToronto talk.

    - Attendee, TEDxToronto

Summary Profile

As a consultant Steph helps groups in the public and non-profit sectors expand their reach and deepen their impact, and helps businesses ensure their products, services and customer engagement are gender equitable. Her favourite type of consulting work is creating educational resources, which she has done for organizations including Mozilla, the National Film Board and the White Ribbon Campaign. She also designs and leads workshops, develops content strategies and produces events.

As a public speaker and facilitator, Steph creates comfortable spaces to discuss uncomfortable things. Her passionate and accessible keynotes, panels and workshops challenge long-held ideas in our collective consciousness about topics like rape culture, the internet and inequality. She illuminates constructive and compelling alternatives to the status quo that help audience members envision their roles in cultural change and galvanize them into action.

Steph’s work has been profiled by outlets including the Toronto Star, CP24, the Globe & Mail and CityNews, and her comments on politics, feminism, technology and pop culture have been featured on CBC’s The Current and The National, ET Canada, Global News and FLARE Magazine. Steph holds a Master of Arts in Communication & Culture from York and Ryerson Universities.

RT @NewYorker: As a teen-ager, Attiya Khan was abused by her boyfriend. In the documentary “A Better Man,” she meets up with him again, to… (2017-11-19 08:27:15)
There’s a beautiful piece on @ABetterManFilm by @dstfelix in @NewYorker & I’m not crying, you’re crying!… https://t.co/JVybpOgEC8 (2017-11-19 07:54:25)
@marilynk_ @ABetterManFilm It is coming to Edmonton! Screening will be announced soon. (2017-11-11 08:40:54)