feminist

Hosting the NEON Social

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On International Women’s Day – this is what I am going to be doing…. in the words of NEON, and not me. Tickets here.   What happens when a super-shero journalist gets on a sofa with a feminist economics guru surrounded by kick-ass activists from… Read More »Hosting the NEON Social

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.

Read More »When edgy becomes idiotic: the Dalston Social poster debacle

Will Russia’s restrictions on abortion boost their population?

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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.

Read More »Will Russia’s restrictions on abortion boost their population?