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

 

 

Media coverage in the Colchester Gazette

It was lovely to be featured in the Colchester Gazette a few weeks ago. I was interviewed by Vanessa Moon who was

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interested to know about how I got into this line of work and some of things I was most concerned about. Media interviews can be tricky especially on print as you are never quite sure how you will come across but I think she did really well.

In particular I wanted to make it clear that young girls should be allowed to wear pink and dress up as princesses, but there should be lots of other options too… but currently there aren’t.

I would have liked something about feminist economics in the headline as I don’t campaign on page three or wolf whistling and I’m not sure my face needed to be quite so massive, but you can’t win them all!

When edgy becomes idiotic: the Dalston Social poster debacle

NWA_dalston_social_460A few weeks ago I was walking down Kingsland Road on the phone to my Mum. As I passed by a bar I had never been into I was stopped in my tracks.

“Oh my god” I said down the phone, “hang on, hang on”. Mum thought there had been an accident, but I was actually taking a picture of one of the most shocking posters I had seen in a long time.

Now I may be a professional feminist, but I tend not to get my knickers in a twist about images that objectify women. This is for the most part because it is so ubiquitous and even feminists need a break, so I tend to keep my outrage confined to working hours. But this poster was so violent and horrid that I was completely stalled.

The poster depicted photographer Terry Richardson who has had several allegations of sexual harassment made against him by the models he has worked with. In cartoon format, Terry is pushing the barrel of a gun up the ass of Kate Moss who is naked except for a nude coloured basque. But it’s ok, she’s smiling.

Phone conversation over, back at home and a picture of the offending ad on my phone. Whats a lonely feminist to do on a Friday night than start a social media campaign?!

I looked up both the managers of the club night – Nothing Without Attitude and messaged them on Facebook. Then I commented on their own picture of the poster. After sharing it on my own page, several of my friends commented, but NWA just appeared to be deleting our comments. Not cool.

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Will Russia’s restrictions on abortion boost their population?

Earlier this month the Russian government passed controversial legislation to limit women’s access to abortion.

With a rapidly declining population and the highest abortion rate in the world, the Russian authorities have placed a cap on abortions at 12 weeks and imposed waiting periods, ultrasounds and counselling on those seeking abortion.

But is this the right way to do it?

Whatever your stance on abortion, few believe a high level of abortion is a good thing. Some argue that the easier it is for a woman to get an abortion, the more likely they are to do so, but is this true?

Russia has an alarmingly high abortion rate (73/1000 births) yet it has virtually the same access to abortion as the Netherlands, which has one of the lowest rates in the world (10.4/1000).

If ease of access to abortion will increase the rate of abortion, then why the disparity?

The difference in the abortion rates of Russia and the Netherlands can be explained partly by national attitudes to contraception.

For decades abortion in Russia was almost easier to come by than contraception, with choices being limited to thick standard issue condoms or unreliable IUDs.

Yet as soon as contraception became more widely available abortion rates dropped quickly, falling by 61% between 1988 and 2001 as contraceptive use rose by 74%.

Conversely, the Netherlands have had an open attitude to contraception for decades. Publicly funded family planning, widely available contraception and concerted efforts to tackle to unwanted teenage pregnancies preceded abortion and contributed to their low termination rate.

To some it seems logical that restricting access to abortion would reduce its prevalence, but evidence from other countries suggests otherwise.

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