Tag Archives: conservatives

Obama vs Cameron

Before the last US election, I was out on a night out in Aberystwyth and drunkenly bought a copy of Esquire just because Obama was on the cover. This was how much I hoped he would be elected and I wholly bought in to his mantra of change. I was nevertheless still slightly scared to wake up in the morning with a bad hangover and with Obama staring me in the face as I’d passed out with the magazine next to my head.

It hasn’t ended up as I think most of us had hoped (as this article from Owen Jones captures well). But the scary thing is that under Romney everything would no doubt be worse, particularly in terms of gender equality, as this article by Emma Brockes captures when she looks at the influence that female voters had on the election result. Here’s hoping Obama does something in his second term to revive the hope that so many people had before his first term. Still, even if he does manage that, not sure if I want to wake up so close to his face again anytime soon.

In stark contrast, can’t say I had any hope when the Tories had the largest share of the vote in the last election. Dame Helen Ghosh has said that Cameron is out of touch as only 3 women are permanent secretaries. Can’t say the fact that Cameron is out of touch is a big surprise.

But it seems that it’s not just Cameron that’s out of touch, turns out most of us are to some extent. This article about a week of sexism by Laura Bates shows just how widespread sexism is in our society and how we don’t really question these things. I can’t claim to have any moral high ground here. Until a couple of years ago I’d laugh along to many dubious jokes, it’s only recently I’ve felt confident enough to challenge this and be the uncool guy in the corner being uber-pc. But it’s something I plan to do more of, and not just in terms of gender either as I think we all need to do more to challenge everyday discrimination.

On a slightly nicer note, thousands of people have decided to try to lobby for Malala Yousafzai, the young blogger who wrote about the struggle for young women to get an education in a Taliban dominated area. Which is pretty awesome. I’m off to sign the petition now and I suggest that you do the same as it’s a well good idea!

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Olympics madness and more!

Here in Cardiff, the Olympic torch is on its way. Cooper’s Field looks like it may get heaving! However, not everything is well in a time when the UK is getting ready for the Olympics – Saudi Arabia may field a team that only includes men.

Never thought I’d blog about Rihanna, definitely not my cup of tea musically, but Jezebel have written a good article about how she’s judged for her sex life.

Afghanistan does not seem like a cool place to be a woman at the moment. Kate Allen of Amnesty International has outlined why for the Huffington Post.

Closer to home, Demos have written a report on women’s role in the Conservative Party. Despite not really putting the policies in place to protect women from the recession, it seems the party has a lot of very capable female MPs that inform the parties policies in the future.

I’d never considered Feminism for those with multiple partners, here’s a report that’s been produced on it. It’s called Polyamory for those of us that didn’t know!

Here’s a good post by Liz Lutgendorff on the battle for being Pro-choice. A really good well thought out argument I think. I do agree with her though!

Here’s a good article by the Good Men Project on why scientifically men and women are similar. As my girlfriend’s badge reads – “Men are from Earth, women are from earth. Deal with it.”

Laurie Penny‘s on fire as per usual, here she writes on why wolf whistles suck.

Not entirely sure about James Bell’s article for the New Statesman though. Some good points, but tying breast cancer funding to feminism is a bit of a leap. Also that powerful women are viewed well and is a positive image? Not sure that’s a view universally held.

Ally Fogg has written a rather different review on the Second Sexism book than Suzanne Moore’s in my previous post.

Lastly Steven Baxter has written about why he hates it when people say he should grow a pair! The New Statesman seems to be writing about men’s issues a lot, wonder if this is conscious decision following the recruitment of the Vagenda team?

Lots of info there…. phew! Enjoy!

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The Budget..boom!

Right, yesterday Anna Bird from the Fawcett Society spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour about her fears that child benefits would be cut. Interesting hearing the debate about universal benefits, especially as we in Wales have universal access to free prescriptions, parking at hospitals etc. My personal opinion is that everyone should have equal access, or there cannot be genuine equality. But that is a very state-centric view. Means more tax, plus more government interference in home life. Yet the Mail agrees with me?! Pinch me!

Interestingly, the proposals weren’t as bad as expected for a change. Unfortunately regional pay differences will still be pushed through, which still will punish public sector workers (majority of whom are women) who work outside London. Good analysis from Ed Cox of IPPR North on the issues in the New Statesman, and here’s another with a Welsh focus from Victoria Winckler of the Bevan Foundation.

Here’s a report from Chwarae Teg and the Institute for Welsh Affairs on encouraging men to adopt flexible working. Interstingly emlpoyers make reference to how they can encourage men to adopt more family friendly working throug policy implementation (p.27-28).

They reported uptake of flexible working among men, including those in traditionally “male” occupations such as manual labouring positions, that exceeded their expectations. That men actively desire to be involved in caring for family members is a view supported by the survey evidence presented earlier.

Yashar Ali has also written for the Huffington Post  about men talking the opportunity to recognise gender inequality. He talks about when he had a completely different conversation with a video store worker than two women. Mine was when a former colleague who worked with me ages ago felt she had to join a union just to have a decent chat with her Manager. Crazy stuff.

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