Typical of a politics and international relations student, the hot topic in every single class was the US elections this week. Funnily enough, the topic for this week’s class and lectures was voting preferences and we discussed what factors had mattered in the US elections. Primarily talking about Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, otherwise known as the “blue collar states”, we were asked why they had voted Republican when, as most models had suggested, the vote would have been a democratic one on an individual level. Answers such as anti-establishment, nationalism, and valence came up and was swiftly followed by ‘post-materialist’ issues. Continue reading “Scratching the Surface of the US Elections”
On the 27th of February, I attended a lecture at LSE on “The Ideas of Equality: Feminisms of the 21st Century”. I was privileged to hear a panel of four different speakers: two of whom left a big impression on me. Many of the subjects that were touched upon resonated deeply with me. I hope to write on some of those themes later on but primarily, I want to discuss a topic that was brought up: the illusion of equality.
SOLA, The School of Leadership, Afghanistan, also meaning ‘peace’ in the Pashtun language was founded by Shabana Basij-Rasikh in 2008. It is an Afghan-run non-profit organisation dedicated furthering educational and leadership opportunities in Afghanistan, particularly Afghan women. SOLA enrols both middle-school and high-school girls in a comprehensive curriculum centring on civic leadership skills, English literacy, and cultural self-awareness.
Sola’s mission revolves around the maxim: “Educate a boy, you educate an individual; educate a girl, and you educate her family, her community, and her countrymen.”
Disclaimer: this article aims to compile a balanced view of events before and after the 2014 military coup in order to provide some context the media struggles to convey.
The phrase “white privilege” is one that rubs a lot of white people the wrong way. It can trigger something in them that shuts down conversation or at least makes them very defensive. (Especially those who grew up relatively less privileged than other folks around them). And I’ve seen more than once where this happens and the next move in the conversation is for the person who brought up white privilege to say, “The reason you’re getting defensive is because you’re feeling the discomfort of having your privilege exposed.”
I’m sure that’s true sometimes. And I’m sure there are a lot of people, white and otherwise, who can attest to a kind of a-ha moment or paradigm shift where they “got” what privilege means and they did realize they had been getting defensive because they were uncomfortable at having their privilege exposed. But I would guess that more often than…
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Earlier this year, Grayson Perry (Turner Prize winning artist) published an article in the New Statesman detailing why he thinks the ‘heterosexual white man’ must be dethroned. Perry makes excellent points within the article and brings up an issue which is often forgotten. The straight white man has become the standard of what is considered ‘normal’ today, as Perry rightly calls them ‘the default man’. We often compare racial minorities and homosexuals to the average man which is almost never referred to directly as the ‘straight white man’. Continue reading “The privilege of straight white men”
Several weeks ago, a new short film entitled #StartWithTheBoys was released with aims to challenge the convention that ‘boys don’t cry’. The short film, directed by Bollywood filmmaker Vinil Mathew and starring Madhuri Dixit, is part of Vogue India’s campaign #VogueEmpower to raise a national awareness that women’s empowerment should not be fought for by women alone.
Recently, the World Economic Forum released a report on the global gender gap for 2014. The index was averaged from four factors including: economic participation, educational attainment, political empowerment as well as health and survival. The index is calculated through ratios with the final score calculated to be between 0 and 1, with 1 being complete gender equality in those countries and 0 being complete inequality. There is no country in the world with a perfect score of 1, where gender equality truly exists.