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Far Away, This Ship Has Taken Me Far Away

May
12

Daniela Pichardo writes about her experience as a Mexican immigrant in Canada and the bittersweet nature of the question, ‘Where is home’?

A road in Chilliwack, Canada.

A road in Chilliwack, Canada.

There are few things that make me hesitate as much as when someone asks me, “where’s home for you?”

It should be a fairly easy question to answer, except that I’m honestly unsure of how to answer it. Where do I live? Where do I spend most of my time? Where do I come from? Those could be easy and clear questions to answer. But where is home for me?
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Your Reluctant Diplomat

May
07

Jessica Harby talks to England about Donald Trump as part of our HOME / AWAY series.

Photo by Sayed Hasan.

Photo by Sayed Hasan.

I wasn’t fully American until I left America. Until then, my “Americanness” never really occurred to me. If I had any geographical identity, it was always smaller scale, more specific. I was working-class Midwestern. I was from the poorer neighbourhood of apartments in our high school district. I was a Chicagoan.
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Interview: Vic Valentine of the Scottish Transgender Alliance

Mar
31

Today on the blog, in honour of Transgender Day of Visibility, Anna Hodgart speaks to Policy Officer Vic Valentine, of the Scottish Transgender Alliance about their work.

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Thanks very much for chatting to us Vic, can you start by introducing yourself and telling us a bit about your role at STA?

Hey, my name’s Vic and I’m the Policy Officer at the Scottish Transgender Alliance. I’ve been working at the STA for a little over 9 months – I’d lived in Edinburgh previously as I did my undergrad here and was excited to move back when this opportunity came up! My role as the Policy Officer here is pretty varied – I spend most of my time delivering training, organising community research, and talking to other professionals about how to make their services or workplaces more trans-inclusive; whether this is through redrafting their policies or talking to their staff so they have a better idea of trans identities and some of the particular issues faced by our communities.
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A Bloody Mess

Aug
04

Kate Bailey writes about her weird fascination with our monthly cycles…

rf-uterus

I was reading a lot about periods, and realised I knew nothing about the bloody mess we’re dealing with.
 
Why am I so fascinated by periods? They were socially taboo for so long now I’m talking about intimate traumas of the monthly ordeal with friends, and strangers in the bathroom of the pub? It’s as if I have awakened the 9-year-old in me, who struggled to understand the absurdity of humans having to pay for toilet paper and nappies because it just seemed like shit people needed to survive. 9-year-old me is Caucasian and of middle-class privilege, FYI. Apparently not, either way.
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Interview: Cora Bissett

May
29

Natasha Rapkin speaks to director Cora Bissett, mid way through the run of her new show Rites. Rites is a piece of verbatim theatre that explores and comments upon the difficult, emotionally-loaded topic of female genital mutilation. 

RITESPROD-3 photo credit Sally Jubb (1)

Paida Utonomo enters the stage during a crescendo of music and recorded newsreader voices layered on top of one another. Her first words are “I am real”, immediately clarifying that the dialogue we are about to hear and the characters we are about to meet are based on real people alive today. The lights go down and she then plucks us from the auditorium into her character’s story with vibrant music and dance – the suggestion of a family celebration – but there is a sinister undertone as she is blindfolded by the two women dancing with her.
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The Bishop and The Pawns

Nov
19

An opinion piece by Kate Bailey on feminism in Australian politics. We’re looking at you, Julie Bishop.

We’re going to discuss Australia here, but the events there are merely a catalyst for seeing our governments across the globe, repeating the same mistakes and perpetually delaying the plight of equality. Here’s the thing: when applying for government jobs in Australia, ‘women’ are listed in the selection criteria of ‘diversity groups’. Names are required on application. Because names are usually gender indicative, any lady hater or dude hater can immediately allow their prejudice to make a decision, subconsciously or otherwise. But now, women are a diversity group? How do we diversify from being a human being?

Regardless of the ‘real’ reason it’s there, one does infer a sense of inequality and in the very least, an expectation of differentiated treatment. If either were not the case, then why is it relevant at all? Any possible relevance points towards the discrimination we’re told doesn’t exist.
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The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative

Nov
12

Kate Bailey writes about a UN programme designed to provide equal access to education.

UNI107029

Whilst we live in a world filled with organisations dedicated to gender equality, thankfully, it is worthing many are not as powerful as the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). Powerful is the term, indeed – in that many of the world’s most powerful feminist academics have come together to form an accountable, actionable plan for gender equality on behalf of the world’s largest human rights entity, the United Nations.

The UNGEI began in 2000, and is focused on bring change through the education of females. An effort which will only enhance the next generation of females, as we continue to progress towards equality. The need for the UNGEI was recognised by the Secretary-General, who begun the initiative with the aim to assist governments in bridging gender disparity in education.
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Knowledge Is Change

Nov
06

Kate Bailey writes about the social media response to a recent viral video involving Sarah Silverman and the promotion of equal pay.

Sarah Silverman recently released a video to promote a crowd funding campaign for the National Women’s Law Association (US) so they can fund a legislative fight to finally bridge the gender pay gap that has been plaguing women, since forever.

As I always do, I sat ready and excited with the fancy headphones, and watched the video through. After which, I entered the dark hell mouth that is the comments section. Personally, I was elated by the video. Funny, satirical and trivialising the ridiculousness of the mindset that a gender pay gap is acceptable. I expected to read a barrage of support. Considering where I was, how could I even be surprised by what I found?
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Hey, Patriarchy: You’re Fired

Oct
22

An opinion piece by Kate Bailey on feminism and when saying enough is enough.

We’re in a time of change. It’s exciting. For the first time in a long while, it feels like the equality movement has momentum. The revolution is far from over but the discourse is changing in a positive, progressive way. It’s quite ironic how our capitalistic attitudes encourage us to discard people, places and things when they do not perform to standard, but when it comes to our own system of societal governance, we just give it a warning and send it back to it’s desk. When it happens again, we’re shocked?


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Simple Math

Oct
09

Kate Bailey writes about the feminist organisation We Are Equals.

Prod-Logo-WeAreEquals

In 2014, much of the feminist debate is about defining what a feminist is, incredulously enough. A certain amount of young women will avoid the feminist label because to them it connotes a man-hating probably-lesbian. Hardcore feminists loathe women who have a perceived apathy towards them movement. For the infighting and label-claiming, we overlook the idea that this is about equality. Really though, both groups want the same change. One organisation that cuts through all this activism red-tape is We Are EQUALS. In their own words, EQUALS “is a partnership of leading charities brought together by Annie Lennox to celebrate International Women’s Day and encourage a new generation to step up the call for a more equal world.” As an organisation themed around unification, EQUALS shines as a vocal piece for achievable change.

Their description continues: “The EQUALS coalition is a partnership of charities that believes that men and women are equals, and that women should have equal rights, equal opportunities and equal representation in politics, education, health, employment, family life and media and culture.”

Well, it’s simple math when it’s said like that!
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