2014

When edgy becomes idiotic: the Dalston Social poster debacle

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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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Becoming an FGM educator

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young people speak outLast month I was delighted to be invited to join Forward (Foundation for Women’s Health and Development) as an educator on female genital mutilation.

Forward have been working on this issue for decades and working in schools for four years. They run a youth programme working with young people across the country empowering them to speak out about it. Over the last few years the issue of FGM has grown in public consciousness and they have been increasingly asked to give talks in schools.

In order to manage increasing demand, they have employed 15 educators to work across schools in London, I am delighted to be part of that team.

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More councillors being sexist!

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The report I wrote for the Fawcett Society really took off. I had my first appearance on Woman’s Hour, which for a professional feminist is about as good as it gets. It also appeared in the Sunday Times,The Argus, The Guardian, The Yorkshire Post and The Belfast Telegraph and the Metro.… Read More »More councillors being sexist!

The male gaze in Jane Eyre

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I had great fun doing a two hour workshop with A-Level English Literature students at Oaklands School, Tower Hamlets. We were looking at the male gaze in Jane Eyre which they were studying for their course.  This video is an excellent introduction to how the… Read More »The male gaze in Jane Eyre

Sexism and local government

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https://soundcloud.com/polly-trenow/polly-trenow-talks-about-sexism-and-local-government-on-lbc-news

Delighted to have been on LBC News this morning talking to Jim Diamond about the report I wrote for the Fawcett Society on sexism and local government.

Here is the press release from the report:

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