Feminism must be inclusive in the fight for equality

by Cass Macgregor

TW: transphobia

Like many other women I arrived at a deeper understanding of feminism through the experience of sexism and I have come to realise that we need action rather than words to progress. To advance equality for women, political parties such as the Scottish Greens have commitments to offer a gender balanced list of candidates at election. What this meant for me in 2014 was that when not enough women put themselves forwards for the initial Westminster selection in Glasgow, I had to change from my ‘someone else better qualified than me will do this’ to carrying my anxiety and low confidence along on the journey to selection and candidacy. It turned out I was perfectly well qualified, learned a lot and realised I had unwittingly internalised a lot of the sexism I had experienced.

Feminism as an ideology has a lot to offer: advancing gender equality and difference, theorising sex and gender, taking on the patriarchy and abuse of male power. Being a left leaning Green I find it impossible to separate out patriarchy and capitalism, both systems relying on women to do unpaid domestic labour and exploit the environment. I give you the Conservative and Unionist party as a case in point.

However, with recent government consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) bringing the issue to the fore, feminism today might feel like a battleground between those who support progress for trans rights and those who don’t. Particular to feminism is recognising both trans and cis women. There is another divide in the debate, which is that only one group of people actually has the lived experience of being trans. Continue reading

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Social media politics: is it worth it?

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Diane Abbott (image: notey.com)

 

Alasdair Duke

I am starting to wonder whether people, public debate, and therefore politics, would benefit from sticking to transparent, traceable, on-the-record communication only. It seems clear from innumerable documented incidents that the corporate entities of Twitter and Facebook are, all too often, passive in responding to online abuse. Not all of this abuse is political, but the patronage of politicians and other public figures lends social media an air of legitimacy that aids those who circulate abuse. If almost every politician – from local council candidate to POTUS – were to abandon Twitter and Facebook, they would have to resort to more formal methods like face-to-face communication, letter-writing and (whisper it) paper publications. It would also send a signal to private sufferers of online abuse that none of this is acceptable.

Continue reading

“But you’re looking so well!”

Down With the Sickness

The number one thing I’d suggest never to say to a disabled or chronically ill friend, relative or acquaintance is “But you’re looking so well!” or, worse yet “Everyone was saying that you’re looking so well!” “You’re looking so great!” is slightly better, but has a lot of the same issues.
I genuinely get it. When you see someone that you probably don’t see a lot of, especially when what you hear from them is a lot about illness, you want to tell them how pleased you are to see them, how glad you are that they’ve made the effort to come out to this occasion (even if it’s just for coffee), and how glad you are that they’re not a heap of tubes and limbs in the corner. You may wish to say that you can see the effort they’ve put in to dressing and presenting themselves well and…

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Re-building Jerusalem – Brexit and the need for English Land Reform.

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By Morvern Rennie

Deep in the forest a gentle breeze rustles the canopy above me wafting the smell of hay and rippling the dappled light across the ground. My children squeal and giggle, the dog pants, somewhere a cockerel crows. The softly undulating hills vanish into a vermillion sky where great marshmallow clouds puff lazily eastwards.

Hobbiton?

Or perhaps a parallel time machine has transported me to the fabled brexit yesteryear?

No.

This is England. 2016. Continue reading

Currency Poll

The Common Green

£1 Note - Scottish Parliament Commemorative Issue

I’d like to run a straw poll to help inform some thoughts I’m having on currency.

So imagine you are in charge of the newly reformed indyref2 campaign. You’ve been asked to direct the currency question strategy. What’s your preferred “Plan A” going into the campaign?

Feel more than free to expand on your thoughts in the comments below.
(If it’s your first time commenting on this blog you may end up in a moderation queue. I’ll approve as quickly as I can)

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Referendums should be used sparingly

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In Dumfries and Galloway, 46.9% voted to Leave (image: Dalbeattie Town Hall, Wikimedia Commons)

Alasdair Duke 

Constitutional referendums should be avoided if it is likely that the winning side will only carry 50-59 per cent of the vote. This margin leaves too many people disappointed, and the bargaining begins. The trade-offs that follow may not be popular or transparent, so they risk undermining the whole democratic process. A referendum on a minor single issue might withstand a narrow winning margin, but constitutional change benefits from a greater consensus. Continue reading