Our Weekly Summary: 31/01/13

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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.

Our most discussed post this week was an anecdotal post made by Jon Bent after hearing the heartbreaking confession of a year 8 pupil who, after being labelled a slut, sket and slag, felt pressured to change her behaviours, her appearance and even self harm. The discussion that ensued shed some light on the appalling treatment of young girls both by their contemporaries and the schooling system itself. Rachel Knott recalled that a vicar:

“recently came into my younger sister’s high school and gave the girls in her year a speech on dressing modestly to avoid gaining a reputation. They were told to be careful of acting ‘tarty’ and that it is unattractive for young women to be too confident.”

Similarly Tilly Wood remembered attending several victim-blaming “uniform talks about how we were basically inviting year sevens to look up our skirts if they were too short and not to distract them…”

In an environment like this it’s no wonder that young kids become the vindictive, misogynists little shits that plague so many schools.

What followed was an eloquent, level headed debate between students and teachers about the limits and uses of dress-codes, it’s definitely worth a read.

As a budding alcoholic and a life-long advocate of £1.50 pints, I can often be found propping up the union bar. I was there this week when, with my bleary eyes, I spotted the consent advert pictured below. Thanks to Sam Clark for posting after finding it on our discussion group. Add this to the current LGBT+ campaign that’s plastering famous faces from Steven Fry to Lana Wachowski around campus and UEA is looking particularly progressive this month.

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Elsewhere Hywel Wilkie linked to a Channel 4 documentary about the different forms of legalised prostitution around the world. It’s a thought provoking watch and links nicely with this week’s theme of “Raunch Culture”.

Another documentary about the international struggles of women is Duma (Dolls), which chronicles the stories of five women who dare to reveal the sexual abuse they endured in their close circle of family and friends in Palestine. UEA’s own Dr. Eylem Atakav is introducing a screening of the film at Cinema City next month, which will be followed by a Q/A with her and the film’s director, Abeer Zeibak Haddad. I’m going, tickets are available here.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this week’s discussion, I hope to see at our meeting today in Arts 2.03 at 5pm.

 

Ollie Balaam

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