A Clash of Isms

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Originally published in qmunicate magazine, issue 124

In the last few years feminism has been enjoying another moment in the sun. Journalists can’t get through an interview with a female celebrity without asking her whether she considers herself a feminist, but as we fawn over Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, do we ever consider what that feminism really means? I’m not the only young woman to have asked myself this question. In a recent interview for Vice, Maisie Williams bucked the trend by admitting that she doesn’t identify as a feminist. She believes there is no need to label ourselves in order to prove that we support equality. Rather than viewing herself as a feminist, Williams prefers to call non feminists out for what they are; sexists.

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A Controversial Classic?

Originally published in qmunicate magazine, issue 123

When news of Harper Lee’s death broke, talk of her classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird dominated discussion. This is understandable. The book gained worldwide fame, and sold millions of copies. It is rare for a classic novel to maintain the love of its readers throughout the generations despite its ubiquity. I even made it through my higher English personal study with my love for Scout, Jem and Atticus intact. But Lee’s most recent novel, Go Set a Watchman, was absent from much of the commentary surrounding her death.

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Glasgow Protests Trump’s Inauguration

 

Originally published at https://qmunicatemagazine.com/2017/01/21/glasgow-protests-trumps-inauguration/

Protests were held in the city centre of Glasgow yesterday regarding the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States. A protest in George Square was organised by a number of Glasgow organisations, including Glasgow Free Pride, as an alternative to the Stand Up To Racism rally at the Donald Dewer Statue. The latter had attracted controversy due to the organisation’s links to the Socialist Workers’ Party, a far left group which in 2013 was found to be protecting senior members accused of rape.

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A Left Wing Defence of the Poppy

meadow-76358_960_720Originally published at https://qmunicatemagazine.com/2016/11/12/poppy-perspectives-a-left-wing-defence-of-the-poppy/

Since the first Poppy appeal in the 1920’s, the changing of the seasons in the UK has been marked as much by flashes of red on lapels as the leaves falling from the trees. In recent years’ debates surrounding the morality of the poppy have become as ubiquitous as the plastic flower itself. It’s easy to see why so many people feel uncomfortable with the often garish yearly show of support for “our boys”.

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Self Harm is a Feminist Issue

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Originally published at https://qmunicatemagazine.com/2016/10/10/self-harm-is-a-feminist-issue/

It’s that time of year again. As autumn arrives along with colder weather, most of us are begrudgingly retrieving our jackets and oversized knitwear from the back of our wardrobes. But for people like me this season marks the end of months of anxiety. I first self-harmed 11 years ago. A particularly tough spell of depression last winter has left me with fresh thick red scars to join the silvery white lines of scar tissue across my arms. For me, summer is a season of excuses. I tell my family I’m not really that warm as I fan my red face. But no matter how deep the shame, there is only so much sweating in long sleeves that one person can take.

I came to this conclusion while doing dissertation reading in a West End café on a particularly hot summer day. As the sun beat down on me through the windows, I finally gave in and peeled off my cardigan. Exposing my scars usually elicits no more from others than a rude stare or an uncomfortable expression of acknowledgment. I never could have predicted what would happen next. As the pair of middle aged women sitting next to me rose to leave, one spotted my marked arms. She looked to her friend, tutted and muttered “Silly girl”. I would love to tell you that at this point I stood to confront the woman, calling her out for her stigmatising attitude and rudeness. I was so taken aback I shrank in my seat, hiding behind my hair.

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Who You Not Gonna Call?

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Originally published at https://qmunicatemagazine.com/2016/10/09/who-you-not-gonna-call/#more-10396

As a teenager, I feared nothing more than being dumped by text. This was considered the ultimate embarrassment, and it seemed to become commonplace as everyone gained access to a Nokia 3410. But dating trends move on just as fast as technology, and my hours spent poring over Mizz magazine failed to prepared me for the cruelty of ‘ghosting’, a social faux pas of such a scale it’s earned its own Urban Dictionary definition.

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EU Referendum: Fear over Hope?

eu-1473958_960_720Originally published at https://qmunicatemagazine.com/2016/06/23/eu-referendum-fear-over-hope/#more-9280

It’s widely accepted that the independence referendum marked a sea change in Scottish politics. Despite the referendum ultimately ending with a no vote, a spark had been ignited which it would be difficult to put out. The yes campaign was far from perfect. The profile given to supporters such as Brian Souter and Wings over Scotland by the campaign undermined their claim of representing social progression. However the grassroots campaign did seem to offer a sense of hope that had been missing from British politics for far too long.

The EU referendum has failed to inspire the same engagement. Only in the last few weeks has public attention really been drawn to the issue at all. The remain side has failed to gain momentum. Jeremy Corbyn has struggled to make the public believe in a union which he doesn’t truly believe in himself, whilst David Cameron has been overshadowed by the personality and public likeability of Boris Johnson. Farage has been strangely quiet, as the leave campaign has turned into a glorified fight for the Conservative leadership. Continue reading