UEA Feminist Society Discussion: Reproductive Rights – This TUES and THURS

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Hi everyone! If you hadn’t already guessed from the picture, this week we’re having a  discussion on Reproductive Rights.
Come and join in the debate on Tuesday at Union House Room 1.31 at 5pm OR Thursday at Arts 2.03 at 5pm. We’d love to see you there!

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Our Weekly Summary: 22/11/12

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.

Starting on a light note, Hywel Wilkie linked to Alpha Nail, a nail varnish brand that’s definitely overcompensating. “Designed by Men. Worn by Warriors”,  it’s either an ingenious parody of the hyper-gendered advertising industry or the work of a depressingly insecure marketing executive. Either way, it’s worth a look, make sure to check out the video.

Elsewhere Jack Brindelli posted his entertaining and belated Skyfall review which heavily critiques the film’s conservative views on women, homosexuals and political activists. Annie Mary-Kate Kelly added that the film’s oedipal portrayal of its queer-coded villain Silva “was some Victorian era psychology shit” and she’s pretty spot on.

Hattie Grünewald linked to an article about a Swedish school that is attempting to de-emphasise gender at a social and linguistic level. They do this by removing masculine/feminine references and pronouns from their language, often using the genderless pronoun ‘hen’ instead. It’s fascinating read and the school’s attempts to combat the gender binary at its lingual root is extremely commendable. Nordic countries seem extremely active and intelligent when dealing with sexism and gender inequality and I only hope that the rest of Europe takes heed.

Thanks for everyone’s contributions this week.

Ollie Balaam

Our Weekly Summary: 17/11/12

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.

Although the US election is over, the issue of women’s reproductive rights is back on all our minds once again when Amber Griffith-Monk shared the story of the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in the Republic of Ireland. Halappanavar died of septicaemia after being refused a life-saving abortion in Ireland, where the procedure is still illegal. We discussed the protests in Ireland following Halappanavar’s death, but Rachel Knott provided a sobering voice by reminding us of the ongoing legal battle over Case X. Hannah Dunlop shared a timely opinion piece by consultant Dr. Frances Marks, reminding us the importance of keeping even late-term abortion legal.

Pop music was also up for discussion this week when Robyn Sands linked to a review and discussion in The Guardian about Rihanna’s latest album and her controversial duet with Chris Brown. Annie Mary-Kate Kelly made some great points regarding the media’s vilification of the pop star for her renewed relationship with Brown and how society judges victims of trauma and domestic violence. The issue of race, and how the public’s reaction to Rihanna and Brown is affected by the fact that both are POC, was also discussed.

Women’s officer Tessa Gilder-Smith shared an article from Fem2pt0 about the insidious ways women are pressured into agreeing to sex. Meanwhile, we also discussed UEA professor BJ Epstein’s reaction piece on the Huffington Post to Cameron Diaz’s comments about “70s bush” on The Graham Norton show.

It wasn’t all bad news, however; Max Bull made us smile by sharing the story of father Mike Hoye, who hacked his daughter’s Legend of Zelda game to turn Princess Zelda herself into the hero.

On Tuesday and Thursday, in place of regular meetings, UEA careers advisor Adrienne Jolly came to lead our members in a wonderful careers and interviews workshop specifically aimed at female candidates. We hope to bring her back in the spring term.

And finally on Thursday, members of the society enjoyed a trip into Norwich to go bowling.

Hattie Samuel

Our Weekly Summary: 03/11/12

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.

Starting uncomfortably close to home, Hannah Dunlop spotted this van in Norwich. It’s an unfortunate example of how deeply sexism is ingrained into the institutional fabric of many office spaces. It’s also some of the worst graphic design I have seen this side of Word Art 95.

Speaking of management class sexism, UEA TV’s Jack Brindelli produced a fantastic and funny exploration of the vampire genre as both a vehicle for feminist criticism and a method of patriarchal reinforcement. It’s definitely worth a watch.

Elsewhere Tessa Gilder-Smith posted about Halo 4‘s developers 343 Industries implementing a zero tolerance policy of lifetime ban for sexist abuse in online play. Matt Finucane pointed out the logistic issues of trying to enforce this, indeed they have already run into issues with the system pre-release, but it’s definitely an important step in the right direction from one of the most prominent studios in the industry.

Cal Corkery linked to a Concrete article about Lad culture that’s received  a fair bit of attention over the past week. Most of the discussion agreed that its heart was in the right place but it was slightly problematic and ‘mansplainy’. Sophie Witts, Concrete’s news co-editor suggested that someone from feminist society could write a response piece. Concrete relies on active student voices and if any students feel they aren’t represented they’re invited to represent  themselves. So far nobody has taken her up on the offer, if you’re interested you can submit an article to concrete.comment@uea.ac.uk.

Thanks for everybody’s discussion contributions this week. I hope to see you on Tuesday for our screening of Easy A.

Oliver Balaam