Dejan Jotanovic

freelance writer


Based in Melbourne, Australia, my words typically spin around feminism, gender theory, queer history, pop culture and policy. Open for commission.

Archer Magazine
Exclusionary spaces: On 'male-only' venues

was deep into Melbourne's second lockdown, writing an article on COVID's impact on queer nightlife, when my editor showed me queeringthemap. The interactive tool allows users to geographically map queer memories and landmarks, recording "the cartography of queer life". Sifting through notes pinned against Melbourne's most recognisable fixtures was beautiful and haunting; a showcase of...

Bitch Media
"The White Lotus" Shines Its Tiki Torch on Settler Colonialism

In 1954, William Golding published Lord of the Flies , a thought experiment about the horrors that unfold after a group of British schoolboys are marooned on a desert island. Initially organizing themselves around the principles of democracy and governance, things quickly deteriorate: Hierarchies are formed, differences are sniffed out, tribes are negotiated, and a war is waged over power results in murder.

Bitch Media
Beware the Rise of the Queer Elites in TV's New Reboots

To say that New York City has had a rough 16 months would be a gross understatement. With more than 780,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 100,000 hospitalizations and, most tragically, more than 28,000 deaths, the city has been devastated by the global pandemic.

Bitch Media
"Josie and the Pussycats" Predicted the Reigning Tyranny of Our Time

Long before the CW dove into strangely sexy teen soaps, the town of Riverdale was home to Josie and the Pussycats, a cinematic ode to the Archie Comics/Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Featuring singer-guitarist Josie McCoy (Rachael Leigh Cook), drummer Melody Valentine (Tara Reid), and bassist Valerie Brown (Rosario Dawson), the 2001 film depicts an all-girl rock group's rapid rise to fame.

Assemble Papers
Hot Pursuit: Melbourne's Queer Nightlife | Assemble Papers

In 1967 French philosopher Michel Foucault presented a lecture to a group of architects. He invited them to consider ordinary places as something a little more distinctive: "...there are also, probably in every culture, in every civilisation, real places... which are something like counter-sites."

HuffPost UK
The Male Beauty Industry Boom Is A Sign Of Regression - Not Equality

I have to admit, I'm rabidly obsessed with skincare. I begin with a gentle foaming cleanser, massaging it into my skin for a full sixty seconds like the gurus recommend . A hydrating toner next; sprayed. I'll then dab in a peptide serum, wait to dry, followed by antioxidant-rich aloe vera-based hydrating serum to offset those free radicals.

Eureka Street
The rising corporatisation of queer identity

Pride is politically messy. When you stir together an alphabet soup of people, all of which have other intersecting identities (race, class, religion, political allegiance), you will invariably plate up a political mess. And the 2020 Sydney Mardi Gras dished quite the menu.

The Spinoff
Stereotypes and stigma: Drug use in the LGBTQ community

Judgement prevents understanding, which in itself is a barrier to preventing unsafe behaviour. Are different approaches to harm reduction in the Rainbow community needed? Sex. Drugs. Carly Rae Jepsen. This is the iconography that tends to be massaged into mainstream conceptions of gay culture. D

Bitch Media
Can We Change the Direction of Gendered AI?

During last November's Cyber Monday, I bought a new home companion. She had a coral shell, an Australian accent, and answered to "Hey Google." The more we spoke, the more I thought about her consciousness. How was her personality programmed? What were her defining characteristics?

The Independent
Opinion: This is how artificial intelligence is undoing women's rights

Voices Through AI we are unpicking the seams of what feminism and the women's movement has long fought for: agency, women's liberation and the idea that men and women have equal capabilities Before Siri and Cortana, pop culture offered up several versions of feminised artificial intelligence - but none of the artists perhaps envisioned how the reality could take us backwards rather than propel us into a new, more equal world.

Eureka Street
Reimagining standards of masculinity

One computer forecasting model claimed that if 80 per cent of Americans wore public masks the infection rate would 'plummet' - a recommendation the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention had advocated since the start of April.

Bitch Media
Revisiting "Chicken Run," the Film That Pecked out the Poultriarchy

Chicken bones. When we perish all that will be left is piles of chicken bones. And, of course, plastic. Or at least that's what the Smithsonian prophesied last December. After Popeyes updated its menu in summer 2019 with a record-breaking chicken sandwich this probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

the Guardian
Why do most people find us vegans so annoying? | Dejan Jotanovic

The vegans are at it again. 2019 - much like every year - has been a difficult one for us green-collared criminals. While supermarkets across Australia have seen overwhelming expansions in their plant-based offerings, public perceptions of our lifestyle remain as low as our feared B12 count.

Netflix's Sabrina Is The Angry Young Feminist We're Looking For

The rise of witches in pop-culture mirrors the rise of angry young feminists. Witches are officially back. Between The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Suspiria, the Charmed reboot and Lana Del Rey's hexes against Trump, witches are officially making their presence known in the mortal realm.

The Antoni Effect

In February, Netflix's Queer Eye debuted to gay screams and finger snaps across the globe. The eight-episode reboot followed a familiar format: the Fab Five help disheveled (often) heterosexual men come to terms with living in the modern world.