Me too*

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Two words: Harvey. Weinstein. The media is awash right now with Hollywood types of all ilks rushing to distance themselves from the mogul turned sexual predator. Hillary Clinton has expressed her ‘shock’ at the behaviour of her former friend and James Corden has rightly received a good dressing down for making jokes about the serious allegations which have began to emerge.

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Manchester – an acquaintance I’d be proud to call a friend

Manchester, our hearts are breaking fMCRor you and our thoughts are with you as you try to make sense of the senseless and come to terms with what has happened in your city.

When I moved to Leeds a decade ago from the cozy but monocultural confines of rural Devon, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to feel at home in a large Northern city. I was terrified for my life everytime I tried to cross the road and couldn’t sleep properly at night for the sounds of the city, living, thriving, partying and striving on my doorstep. Little by little though I fell in love with excitement that is city life and developed a deep affection for the friendliness of northerners. I found spaces where I felt more welcome and connected than I ever did in village back home, and in a place that once seemed too large to be close-knit, I discovered the meaning of community in a way that I had never envisaged possible before. I lived and breathed in vibrant, diverse spaces, ate a ‘proper’ curry for the first time and learnt that one does not have to pay through the nose for safron if you know where to shop! I revelled in interesting conversations with strangers at bus stops, talked politics and family with taxi drivers and slowly began to feel comforted by the ever present pulse of my city. Continue reading

Thoughts on the Manifesto – a list of the good stuff!

“We will measure our economic success not by the number of billionaires, but by the ability of our people to live richer lives.” Labour Manifesto 2017

I was planning to write a long blog post reviewing and analysisng the 2017 Labour Party Manifesto when it came out earlier this week. I sat down with a coffee ready to start picking it apart and making notes but all I really got was a long list of really awesome, well thought out and properly costed policies that don’t really require any further explanation. I’m disappointed that theres no mention of freedom of movement following Brexit and that the commitment to Trident renewal remains, despite even Jeremy’s longstanding objection to it. However, below equates to a very basic overview of some of the really good stuff that’s in the manifesto and I can’t recommend enough that you give it a read for yourselves and think long and hard about the real differences we could make to people’s lives when we cast our votes on 08/06/17.  We now have real answers to the problems which are plaguing people’s lives, dehumanising, humiliating, disenfranchising and curtailing all of us. We have the opportunity to vote for a government that is forward looking, progressive and rooted in progress, fulfillment and fairness for all – the many not just the few.

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Not a Foregone Conclusion- Coming Clean a Supervisor Meeting

I’ve been in a PhD funk for a while now. I had thought it was an inevitable symptom of my ongoing mental health problems re-surfacing, but the more I thought about my thesis the more uninspired I felt. Having been working on this PhD since 2011 (and with an expected completion date of 2020), I was beginning to feel as though the moment of my research had passed me by. Talking about Raunch Culture and hypersexualisation seems so passé, as though the conversation has moved on and the paradigm shifted. Already my own opinions on the matter have changed drastically. From being naively critical of lapdancing clubs and pole fitness classes I have reached a stage where I view the whole field of my research in a more nuanced (and thankfully more sex positive) way. My criticism now is not with any particular depiction of ‘sexy’ (or the people in those depictions) but on how few variations are present in those depictions. Continue reading

Seeing Green, Voting Red and coping with activist envy.

freedom-2218616_1920I want, and have always wanted to change the world. It’s a bold statement and one that as I get older makes me feel increasingly embarrassed and naive to say out loud. Somehow as we age we become less ambitious in our goals; I have inevitably become more aware with age, of the complex dynamics of change, the barriers, the costs, the obstacles and hurdles. Subsequently, more often than not I find myself adding the quantifier ‘I want to change the world…in some small way.’

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