Writer Joy Jennings is here today to talk about her memoir I’m Not Your “Baby”: An Australian woman’s tortured life of sexual harassment and assault.
Joy Jennings was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. At seventeen, Joy and her family moved to Queensland where she spent over thirty years living on the Gold Coast.
Following in the footsteps of her father, published author and newspaper columnist, Joy realized her own talents as a writer with the debut of her artfully crafted memoir.
Joy currently resides in Ontario, Canada.
Welcome, Joy. Please tell us about your current release.
In this suspenseful and riveting memoir about a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Australian beach girl, Joy faces the battle of her life against the not-so-friendly bronzed Aussie bloke.
Through her raw, dark stories of frightening sexual assaults, shocking rapes, non-stop abuse, violation and street harassment, Joy Jennings shares of how she tried to make her way in her coastal home town, while being hounded, followed and tormented at every turn.
Her powerfully moving story throws you into a world of tradies, hoons and bogans, who behave in the world’s most vile, vulgar and sexist of ways. With her candid and compelling recollections of being choked to within an inch of her life, having her car window smashed into her face, being stalked and having men rip the very clothes from her body, this memoir will not only keep you captivated, but also astonish you with every page.
What inspired you to write this book?
My book is a raw and dark personal memoir about a tortured life of sexual harassment and assault in Australia. It wasn't inspired by any other author or book, just a truth that needed to be told and the deep desire to help other women and girls. I wrote it with the hope of being able to help other women, especially young women who can learn from my mistakes and to teach them how to protect themselves against male predators. It is even a larger hope that it can bring about new male attitudes and behaviours, especially in Australia, although it is needed worldwide. I can only tell my truth and bring awareness to a problem that is escalating in our society, a problem that desperately needs to change.
Many leered and snickered and called me over like a dog. Some would grab their crotches and ask me if I wanted some. They whistled, hooted and hollered and made sexual gestures with their hands, fingers, mouths and tongues. Driving a car often became dangerous because of the aggressive and risky manoeuvres males would make trying to catch my attention. They sped up, slowed down, blocked me in and hung out of their windows, whistling and hollering out at me, weaving their cars into my path. I was in constant fear of being driven off the road and crashing into something.
What writing project do you have in mind next?
Being such a personal and challenging memoir to write, I don't have any immediate plans to write another book, but I am only starting phase two of my life, so we shall have to see what happens.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not until the day of my book’s release.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I work part time at a bill-paying job while the rest of the week I dedicate to working on spreading my message.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Needing to write the Australian way first. We abbreviate everything and use our own Aussie slang and colloquialisms. Once it’s down, I then have to re-write it all so the rest of the world can understand what I’m saying. It’s a process.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A genie who lives in a bottle who eventually marries an astronaut.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I truly hope that my message continues to be shared for the sake of women everywhere. Every male needs to read this or at least have their girlfriends or wives read some of it to them because they need to get it.
Thank you for being here today, Joy.