Hosting the NEON Social

On International Women’s Day – this is what I am going to be doing…. in the words of NEON, and not me.

pie 2Tickets here.


 

What happens when a super-shero journalist gets on a sofa with a feminist economics guru surrounded by kick-ass activists from all corners of civil society?

…NEON’s March Social is what happens!

That’s right, in honour of International Women’s day journo Dawn Foster will be chatting to the brilliant Polly Trenow of the woman’s budget group all about her new book, Lean Out, and why (contrary to Facebook Chief Cheryl Sandberg’s famous business advice) it’s time to hold neoliberalism and patriarchy to account for the ever widening inequality that hurts women most.

NEON Women of the World: Lean Out!

March London NEON social

With Dawn Foster (Guardian), Polly Trenow (Women’s budget group) and special guest tbc.

Tuesday 8th March 2016 from 6pm

Venue: TBC!

But that ain’t all. Joining Dawn and Polly on the sofa will be another (currently hush-hush) special guest to give us the down-low on the biggest intersectional feminist struggles happening right now and what NEONites can do to plug in.

NEON London socials happen on the second thursday of the month are an opportunity to meet other brilliant folks campaigning for social and environmental justice. Come along, get involved in the conversations, and have a drink or two if you fancy (bring your own – alcoholic or not). Don’t worry if you’ve never been to a NEON social before – there’ll be lots of friendly people waiting to welcome you. We’re also happy to meet-up beforehand if you fancy a chat – just get in touch. Our venue is fully accessible.

Hope to see you there!

Jannat, Jessie and the rest of the NEON team

 

 

Clore Social Leadership – Emsee Fairbairn Fellow for Gender Equality

I am absolutely2016CloreSocialFellows-20151104094413721 thrilled to be named one of two Gender Equality Fellows for the Clore Social Leadership programme.

The programme, develops people working in the social sector – charities and enterprises to become better leaders. It was established by the Clore Duffield Foundation to improve leadership in the not-for-profit sector.

This year’s intake includes new specialist fellowships in the fields of gender equality, youth social justice and migrant communities.

We will go through a 12-month personalised programme that will include residential courses, coaching and mentoring, and a secondment.

 

Going on the Today Programme

IMG_3403As someone who is dedicated to feminist economics I understand that this is (wrongly) considered by most to be quite a niche subject and will rarely warrant discussion on national radio programmes. So you can imagine my delight when I was asked to appear on BBC Radio 4’s the Today Programme to discuss this very issue.

It was all thanks to Yvette Cooper who in her leadership speech in Manchester had said we must organise the family in a feminist manner, so Today thought they would get some of us on to discuss it. You can listen here until it expires – I’m endeavouring to permalink. I’m on in the last 10 minutes of the programme.

 

 

Feminism and YouTube – a summer in the city

IMG_3381So yesterday I went to the Creator’s Day at Summer in the City the YouTubeconference. It was a brilliant and bizarre experience which started by me finding this three page spread on feminism in the middle of the official programme (I’m not quite sure why they’ve said ‘a-feminism’ in the title…I think it might be a massive typo).

Contrary to my expectations the turnout was 80% women. Young, alternative women many of whom probably like watching hair demonstrations by Zoella but many others watching rights-based empowering channels like Laci Green or Hannah Witton or both. Despite the trolls, I actually think YouTube might be prime space for developing and discussing feminism. I also met loads of people from LGBQT communities and had some summer in the citygreat conversations with transgender women and men about feminism. My prime concern was that it was a 99% white speaker line up talking to a mostly white audience.

However, I was delighted to see Bpas – British Pregnancy Advisory Service represented there and met some cool people from Shelter and Young Women’s Trust. The Creator Day was very useful for someone just starting out, but it looked like the I made the right call not going for the rest of the weekend which seems it will mainly consist of lining up to meet YouTube stars I have never heard of…

Gender and identity at Archbishop’s Holgate School, York

It is always great to have a whole day to work with students, so I was really excited to go up robin-thicke-blurred-lines_13to York and to the Archbishop’s Holgate School. We started with a whole year assembly on gender and gender identity. We talked about sexuality and gender stereotypes using Disney as a prime example. For too long Disney films have produced one dimensional women who rely on men to save them and men whose job it is to go around beating baddies, it was great to be able answer questions about what the difference is between transexuals and transvestites (thanks to Eddie Izzard for support!)

I had had the next two sessions with a group of female students who were really engaged. We lookesnoop-dogg-snoop-dogg-who-is-snoop-dogg-feat-snoop-dogg-snoop-doggy-dogg-songs-by-snoop-dogg-snoop-dogg-music-new-snoop-doggd at relationship progression – from holding hands to having a baby and everything in between. The students got to choose their own relationship progression and discuss it with friends.  We looked at consent and role-played saying no and then the students thought up some great ways to say no pressure from other people. Finally we looked at women in the media – looking at the male gaze and then using that to think about when people post pictures of themselves online.

With the lads we looked at sexual name calling – what do words like ‘slut’ and ‘bitch’ really mean? Why do we use them? We examined the issue of sexual bullying and harassment in the workplace and the consequences it has to your career.  We talked about consent like with the female students and then finally examined porn and the impact it might have on how we feel about our bodies and our sex lives.

It was great to have good long sessions with these young people as it can take a long time to get them to open up around sensitive issues. Thanks for having me Holgate!

Feminist economics at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

I was delighted to be asked to come and discuss feminist economics at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in York. I did two sessions – the first was a general talk about the ways in which gender interacts with the economy, you can see that session captured in the video below. The second was a session for the policy staff who asked a lot of tough questions! We looked more specifically at some of the measures the Women’s Budget Group advocate for in order to create a more equal society.

Great to be up in York with you all!

Porn! At King Alfred School, London

I was excpornited to go to King Alfred school and discuss pornography and sexting. I held an assembly on the issue, which was a bit tricky, but the students were very receptive and we ended up having a good chat.

We examined what porn is, why we might watch it and how we can compare sex in pornography to sex in real life. I tried to make it as unjudgemental as possible –  I don’t think you can engage young people in issues like this by telling them something is wrong.  We did examine some stories of ex adult movie actors who talked about their struggles and we also talked about orgasms in pornography and how real they were.

The issue of sexting is more black and white – there are many laws that prohibit the sending of sexual images to other people. Releasing pictures of yourself naked can be a minefield and very few young people (or adults!) are prepared for the consequences if these pictures make there way on to the internet which they very often do.

All in all, a fascinating morning!

 

 

Talking about feminist economics on the Weekly Economics Podcast

I had an excellent time last week joining the Weekly Economics Podcast as their first ever guest. This week I was talking about the Women’s Budget Group response to the Budget 2015 and what ‘social infrastructure’ really means. I’ll be sure to link to the podcast once it’s published.podcast @ NEF 20150410