Our Week Summary 11/10/12

Here at the blog we like to roundup the best posts made on our discussion board every week because sometimes it they get buried under piles of even more great debate.

There was a lot of discussion this week regarding the unfortunate tradition of sexism in freshers’ party culture, society inductions and general lad culture. Hattie Samuel linked to an article on the Independent that eloquently discusses the “horrific normalisation of sexist attitudes and sexual pressure during the week’s festivities.” Callum Hughes linked to a similar article in the Guardian that pointed out the institutionalised sexism inherent in event such as: “Slag’n’Drag”. “Geeks and Sluts”. “CEOs and Corporate Hoes”. They’re both great and relevant reads.

Duncan Smith linked to a video in which the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard calls out opposition leader Tony Abbott for his history of unapologetic  misogyny. Gillard is Australia’s first female prime minister, she’s unmarried, has no children and is an atheist. While her term hasn’t been without questionable and illiberal decisions (see the terrifyingly xenophobic ‘Pacific Solution’ that sees asylum seekers transferred to offshore ‘processing centres’ where they can be held indefinitely), she’s completely right on this front and it’s nice to see her calling out misogynistic bullshit when she sees it.

Last but not least Hannah Dunlop, Charlie Goodkind and others shared the ongoing story of an amazing young Pakistani woman, 14 year old Malala Yousafzai. Malala campaigns for and writes about women rights and education in Pakistan but was tragically shot by Taliban militants this week. Incredibly she survived the attack and as she recovers people, schools and organisations throughout Pakistan and the world have shown signs of support and solidarity. Novelist Nadeem Aslam once remarked that: “Pakistan produces people of extraordinary bravery. But no nation should ever require its citizens to be that brave.” Malala is an incredible woman and deserves all of the praise and support she has received.

Thanks for everyone’s contributions this week, see you next week for another discussion group roundup.

Oliver Balaam

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