Clementine Ford On Joining Nova And Finding A Woman Friendly Space In Media

Clementine Ford On Joining Nova And Finding A Woman Friendly Space In Media
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Clementine Ford made a name for herself as a loud feminist that offended plenty of men, but now she’s carved out a warm and cosy place for herself on the internet, and her latest podcast with Nova feels like a lovely extension of that.

Ford is often described as “divisive” or “controversial,” Words we often use to describe women with whom we disagree. 

But if you visited her Instagram page in the last year, you’d probably walk away describing her more as “intellectual,” and “fun.” She used her time in lockdown to talk about pop culture, relationships, love and all the in-between stuff, and she’s also built her community up to 215k. It’s a place she wants other women to feel seen. She even started her own podcast in Lockdown, The Big Sister Podcast.

 

 

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Now, she’s teamed up with Nova for a podcast: Dear Clementine. that has a similar format to the one she started and finished during a lockdown. It’s where she offers advice to women, the kind of advice that she hopes makes an impact. “If a woman comes to me and asks if she should leave her boyfriend because she’s unhappy. I’m going to tell her, she doesn’t need a bigger reason for that.”

For Ford, it’s all about permitting other women to feel empowered, and Ford is currently feeling pretty empowered herself. She’s started her own pateron because her followers value her content so much they are also willing to pay for it, and she’s stepped away from what made her famous writing opinion pieces and getting in Twitter fights. Instead, she is stepping into cultivating a community. 

Ford told B&T, “I had this amazing experience of being able outside the experience of working for a corporate newspaper, and I feel like I was able to expand in ways I didn’t think about doing before.”

So why Nova? Well, surprisingly, although Ford is one of the loudest voices in media, she actually finds it hard to find places that are willing to work with her and not against her; Ford said: “So many places get gun shy with me. The people at the Nova, there are so many women there that get what I do. I find a lot of other places with more men in charge don’t feel all that comfortable because they misunderstand what I am about. I really love Rachel Corbett and the team there. I’m so glad to be doing stuff with people that aren’t trying to tell me what I can say.”

Podcasting is also a place where Ford feels safe. In fairness to Ford, she’s spent so much of her career coping with heavy attacks online. So, it makes sense that she’d want to create her own oasis. 

Ford said: “When I was working for newspapers and writing columns. I found that men don’t even read what you’ve written, but they still add their two cents in the column box. Men are much more active in those spaces, and you get torn down. Whereas with podcasts, men aren’t really in that space; it is a much more women-friendly space. Women are doing all of it, presenting, producing, creating.”

Still, while the concept is as old as time, it’s always fascinating to know what made gave Ford the confidence to feel ready to be the one offering advice, “It’s tricky. I feel that same level of imposter syndrome we all do. I think women, in particular, feel it. I’m sure men feel it too. But there are different social and cultural factors that women deal with. 

“Even the way women speak, does that make sense? Is a phrase so many women use when they already know they’ve made sense. It’s just an example of how often women are asking permission to be heard. I just have to keep reminding myself that I do have things to say. You do know what you are talking about. I’m at that point where I can offer wisdom to other young women.”

So what does Ford wish people knew about her? Before they listen to her new podcast, “They think I’m just one note, but I’m the mother of a boy, and I can see the impact patriarchy has on men.”

Perhaps the greatest joy of the podcast is hearing Ford in her element, engaging and empowering other women.

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