Kettle Mag - Issue 2, Women's season

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November 2015 Women’s season

OUR FAVOURITE WOMEN As voted for by Kettle readers

Slut shaming Myley Cyrus Feminism LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET DOLUP

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...and more!

LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET DOLUP Velignieni asped earum voloreh enietur, aligent, officto to iliasimus eaque comniention pero is excea nonem resent que omnimpo stemolu ptatis aut velentorunt auda dempore molutatenis velibeat verunt.

LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET DOLUP Soluptium fuga. Et veroria assum harum fuga. Sed que veliae que dit andes ad qui accupta que vererchilis re, senda eos doluptatem quo estinti nvelectis et aut quas eium verupta pore aspel elit.


Why love thwe ISSUE

MALALA 12 Jun 2015



Kettle: The best student writing - in print. Womens’ Season




Independent men’s fashion, reborn... 2

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The stigma of women’s periods

After Kiran Gandhi ran the London marathon without a tampon, Nadene Chandler asks whether the stigma of a woman’s period is irrelevant.





Slut shaming

Sian Abigail looks at the slut shaming of promiscuous women and asks why are women held to different standards to men?


Is feminism still relevant?


Miley Cyrus: Overly sexual or an empowered woman?


Rebecca Marrow and Halimah Manan explore how feminism can still be relevant today.

Miley Cyrus is one of the most controversial stars of our time. Laura Brown considers if Miley’s overly sexual or actually an empowered young woman.


Women in Journalism

Lerah Barcenilla looks at how far the feminist movement has come in the fight for gender equality, and how far is left to go. Womens’ Season




EDITORIAL ...the famous, the ordinary, the world leaders, the school teachers, the mothers, the daughters...


elcome to Kettle’s Women’s season - a season of articles Dedicated to..erm... women. So over the past few weeks, Kettle writers have been focusing their efforts to celebrate women - their achievements, their successes and their strengths. This season aims to highlighting some of the issues women face and how difficult it is, in a male dominated world, to create anything in life outside of the traditional roles of wife/ mother/object of desire.

Additionally, we would also like to recognise the successes made by women who are celebrated less often: ordinary women. Every woman who has had a positive impact upon themselves or upon another should be celebrated. Every woman that supports their family, their friends. Every woman who bares and raises a child, creating a family and another generation. All women should be celebrated. With our Women’s season, Kettle hopes to celebrate all women - the famous, the ordinary, the world leaders, the school teachers, the mothers, the daughters - because all deserve recognition for their successes.

LEON WINGAM MANAGING EDITOR Kettle Magazine Managing Editor Leon Wingham Deputy Editor Kealie Mardell Issue Editor Kirstie Keate


Kettle Magazine

@KettleMag Contributors Kayley Gilbert, Nadene Chandler, Halimah Manon, Busra Mutlu, Laura Noakes, Halimah Manon, Rebecca Marrow, Rebecca Parker, Kirstie Keate, Silvia Paoletta, Laura Brown, Sian Bradley, Jessica Wells, Lauren Wise, Madhya A, Scott Wilson, Rebecca Spayne, Rebekka Chaplin, Mina Green, Alex Veeneman, Holly Wade, Ellie Leddra, Joshua Daniels, Naomi Duffree, Lorna Holland, Shernel Wickramaratne,Nathan Price, Tayler Finnegan Photo Editor Nick Banks

@KettleMag Designer Christopher Wolsey Advertising Printing Dalziel Printing & Distribution Kettle Mag is published by Red Chilli Publishing Ltd 273-287 Regent Street London W1B 2HA

Womens’ Season




Why celebrate women? To launch Kettle’s Women’s Season, which will remember women’s achievements and assess the progress of gender equality, Women’s Editor Kayley Gilbert asks, “Why should we celebrate women?”


ver the last month we have had a wonderfully creative US Season. To continue on with this success, Kettle are launching a Women’s Season to celebrate the achievements of women. While many may think it’s quite controversial to dedicate a season entirely to women, we would like to remember the success of women from all around the world and everything that women throughout history have given us today as well as look to the future.

Celebrate women’s achievements There have been great achievements made by women throughout history, achievements that we would love to celebrate. Annie Jump Cannon, who developed the stellar classification scheme still used today, Mary Anning, whose geological discoveries were central to uncovering the earths history, Ellen MacAthur, 6

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who became the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe non-stop singehandly, amongst many others. There have also been many movements, especially for equal rights, that have been pioneered by women. These achievements and discoveries have given us the world in which we live today, pushing forward our knowledge in many different areas. There are also a great number of successes made by women who are celebrated less often: ordinary women. Every woman who has had a positive impact upon themselves or upon another should be celebrated. Every woman that supports their family, their friends. Every woman who bares and raises a child, creating a family and another generation. All women should be celebrated. With our Women’s season, Kettle hopes to celebrate all women - the famous, the ordinary, the world leaders, the school teachers, the mothers, the daughters because all deserve recognition for their successes.


For every £1 a man earns, a woman will earn 80 pence for doing the same thing. The progress of gender equality Another cause to celebrate women is with the aim to create a better future. Many developments have been made in the name of gender equality; however a report from the European Institute for Gender Equality, published earlier this year, showed that there has been only slight progress towards equality within the EU since 2005. Based on data collected between 2005 and 2012, the report even suggests that women’s rights have not progressed in the UK. Whilst all progress is a cause to rejoice, there are still many areas where a gender divide remains.|

Pay The gender pay gap has been a topic of much debate over recent months, especially when Prime Minister David Cameron announced he wishes to solve the issue within a generation. So although there have been notions to make change and small amounts of progress has been made, the fact still remains: women are paid less than men even if they do the same job. For every £1 a man earns, a woman will earn 80 pence for doing the same thing. This meant that in 2014, after a small rise in 2013’s pay gap, women effectively worked 57 days without pay in comparison to men.

Sport The gender pay gap is just as clear, if not clearer, in the world of sport. In 2014, the prize

money for winning the men’s World Cup stood at $35 million. In comparison, after winning the women’s World Cup earlier this year, the American team won just $2 million. Further, the total payout of the women’s World Cup stood at $15 million, and yet the team placed fourth in the men’s 2014 World Cup were awarded $20 million. The losing men’s team received more than all the teams participating in the women’s World Cup put together! Whilst women’s sport has been increasingly popular more recently, sexism in sport is still prevalent. Many still believe that women shouldn’t compete in sports dominated by men, such as football, rugby and even judo. Unfortunately, this was particularly blatant around the 2012 London Olympics, a topic which Jessica Wells touches upon brilliantly here. As you can see from just these two brief examples, there is still a gender divide and sexism is still rife in certain industries. And that’s without even touching upon topics such as the media, sexualisation, education and political representation, or considering underdeveloped countries. To me, it’s clear: we still have a long way to go in order to achieve gender equality. So, not only will our Women’s season reflect the great achievements made throughout history, but it will also shed light upon the present. Through this we hope to highlight the feminist cause and its continued relevance in today’s society to fight for a future where all genders are equal.

Womens’ Season




The woman behind Maxim’s first man Lauren Wise takes a look at Kate Lanphear’s success, and the reaction to her new post as notorious lad mag Maxim’s new editor-in-chief.


ast week the release of US Maxim turned a few heads for the right reasons. Instead of being confronted by a scantily clad seductress, The Wire’s Idris Elba smoulders from the cover in his suave leopard print coat. Kate Lanphear has been praised as the brains behind Maxim’s new image; toning down the lad mag and adding a hint of class to steer the magazine in a new direction. This change, pioneered by the former style director of Elle USA, is one of many reasons why Lanphear is a worthy idol for women. This said it seems apt to pay homage to the woman changing the face of lad mags by learning a bit more about the woman behind the operation. Lanphear grew up in a traditionally Irish catholic family in Virginia, where she developed a grungy style through her teenage years, donning guns and roses t-shirts and skinny jeans. Today the editor-in-chief of Maxim is a style icon, complete 8

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with her own cult following. Her androgynous look is formed through a combination of platinum blonde hair and a rock-n-roll couture wardrobe. Lanphear has a strong style background behind her working for brands such as Australian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle USA. So it’s not surprising that the decision for her to become editor-in-chief of Maxim was a shock to its readers. And a lot of them didn’t take to the idea at all... But then there are those who proclaim from the rooftops (or at least Twitter) this is the best decision the magazine could have made. In the height of Women’s Season here at Kettle, this change from a degrading objectification of women’s bodies to a sophisticated look focusing on talent and accomplishments couldn’t go uncelebrated. Idris Elba adornes the front cover of Maxim Kate Lanphear,


Is the stigma of a woman’s period irrelevant? After Kiran Gandhi ran the London marathon without a tampon, Nadene Chandler asks whether the stigma of a woman’s period is irrelevant.


or us women, our monthly gift from mother nature isn’t really the nicest gift you’ll receive in your life. Periods can come on at the most irrelevant of times, often just before or during a holiday, during exams and other important dates. Some women like to control their periods and take certain birth control to know precisely when their period will come on, or stop your periods.

on at the most awkward and inappropriate of times, this article is really based on a women’s inspirational story which has recently flooded through the news. Basically, a women ran the whole London Marathon without a tampon to fight the ‘stigma of periods’. Any women reading this will see just how amazing Kiran Gandhi is. Would you be able to go to the shop without a tampon? I certainly wouldn’t, let alone run a marathon! You can read her experience on her blog.

Period discretion

Kiran’s marathon

There’s a lot for us to do, it’s the ‘norm’ to wear a bra, and when our periods do come on, we’re often very discreet. Wearing tampons and trying to be as discreet as possible when changing them at school. It’s not just the blood that comes along with the period, we also can experience terrible cramps and mood swings. Every women experiences periods differently to others, one months period may be completely different to the next months.

Kiran ran the marathon for Breast Cancer Care, she raised a spectacular £3,800. She originally planned to run the marathon for family, but due to starting her period the night before the big day, that also included running for feminism. It takes some pure determination to decide to run a marathon without a tampon. If that were me, I’d be curled up in bed in pain or stashing lots of tampons into my bag. For Kiran, she decided that she didn’t want to run 26.2 miles while wearing a tampon. So yes, she ran all 26.2 miles in four hours, 49 minutes and 11 seconds with blood dripping down her legs. She did this for all women out there saying: “I ran with blood dripping

Recently, there has been a lot coming from women about not wanting to hide away. There’s the #freethenipple campaign in full swing. Going back to when a period comes

The amazing Kiran Gandhi - an inspiration to us all. Oh and she knows here way around a drum kit too. See more of her here: Image, Twitter @MadameGandhi

down my legs for sisters who don’t have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn’t exist”. All I can say is preach! Hallelujah, there are some lovely people out there. It’s made me realise that women shouldn’t have to feel that they need to hide their period. Of course, be discreet about it if you wish. I’m certainly not open enough to mention anything like that to people. I keep my period to myself, and only my closest friends know if I’m on mine or not. Here is a quote from Kiran which has me beaming full on, I love this women and her determination:

“I thought, if there’s one person society won’t f *** with, it’s a marathon runner. If there’s only one way to transcent oppression, it’s to run a marathon in whatever way you want”. It makes you think, did her period stop her confidence? Of course not, if any, it made Kiran more determined and it empowered her. She’s definitely on my list of inspirational women and I’m sure has made a lot of people consider if the stigma of a women’s period is really irrelevant. Womens’ Season




Of course women can propose to men! Stop with the stigma and let women propose to men, says Halimah Manan.


lthough Katie Hopkins’ opinions are not a gift, she does keep on giving. In her new panel show, she weighed in on marriage proposals, stipulating that only men (or ‘blokes’) should propose, in heterosexual relationships. Citing a combination of respectability, being old-fashioned and expecting a man to be chivalrous, she served up a plate of gender roles which many in the audience ate up, resulting in a 64 to 36 vote in favour of Katie Hopkins’ ‘rule’. However, while many agree, it’s time we move away from distorted perceptions of gender roles and embrace both men and women proposing.

Why? Despite many explaining that they want a ‘traditional’ wedding, which would supposedly involve a man proposing, the word ‘traditional’ is a little misleading. What era of ‘tradition’ are you talking about? The 10

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mid-20th century, when white wedding gowns, diamond engagement rings and towering cakes came into fashion? (All a concerted effort by the wedding industry to encourage people to buy from them, by the way.) Or, perhaps, prior to that, when dowries were a crucial part of weddings? (Some would argue that they still are, with insistence on brides’ families paying for the wedding.) I’m going to go ahead and guess the answer is a resounding yes to the first and no to the second.

agree that women should be able to propose, only five percent of marriages have put that into practice, according to an Associated Press-WE tv poll.

So, despite the use of the word ‘traditional’ implying a solid definition, the word is topical and always subject to change, just as how society works also changes; after all, pressure to be a stay-at-home wife is (mostly) a thing of the past! Why, then, can’t tradition come to embrace women proposing to their boyfriends or partners any day of the year, rather than just in the leap year?

Although these respondents have every right to wish for a man to propose, the reasons given make it clear that society’s pressures are far more likely to be behind the belief that only men should propose. In my brief research, I found four different (but closely linked) reasons for which people are unlikely to agree women can propose, including those which came up in Katie Hopkins’ new show.

Well, while three out of four Americans

Also in a 2012 survey conducted in UC Santa Cruz (while not the most replicable as only 277 undergraduates responded), only 2.8 percent of women claimed they ‘kind of’ wanted to propose, with reasons against listed as: emasculating, embarrassing and more.


1. Women shouldn’t reduce/lower/embarrass themselves by proposing. When a woman wants to propose, it’s seen as an act of desperation. But, when a man proposes, he’s congratulated for it. Does anyone see the irony here?

...only 2.8 percent of women claimed they ‘kind of’ wanted to propose, with reasons against listed as: emasculating, embarrassing and more.

The truth is, proposing, no matter who you are, is an incredibly courageous thing to do; to put your heart on the line and confess your innermost feelings is no easy feat. While women who do propose are seen as ‘go-getters’, in the most negative sense of the word, this could not be further from the truth. If you really want to get married, there’s no sense in hinting around and waiting for your partner to figure it out; set aside this ridiculous stereotype which suggests women who ask for what they want are coming on too strong, or lowering themselves, and just go for it.

2. It’s romantic if a man proposes. This one goes hand-in-hand with the first one: why is it romantic if a man proposes but not if a woman does? And where is the romance if you know a man is only proposing because of convention? As I noted above, Liz Nolan claimed she coerced her ex-husband into proposing to her; while this is certainly not the case for all men, it is peculiar that manipulating a man into proposing and his subsequent proposal is considered more acceptable than a woman proposing. Is that really the standard we should hold up as a reason for which women cannot propose? ‘Romantic’ is defined as ‘conducive to an expression of love’; proposals, no matter who they’re championed by, are expressions of love and women are absolutely just as capable as men of expressing their love in such a way.

3. Women will emasculate their partners by proposing. Oh no! Your fragile concept of masculinity will be shattered when a woman professes her love for you! How dare she do such a thing? If you really believe that a woman taking the initiative to propose is emasculating, you clearly don’t respect whoever you’re dating very much. And, if your identity relies on your ‘duty’ to propose, what kind of identity is that?

4. A man’s proposal is proof that ‘chivalry isn’t dead’. Let’s get one thing straight: chivalry is dead. And that’s not to say that men can’t continue to open doors for people (emphasis on people) and do any of these other things. But chivalry is a toxic concept, not least because it’s based on men acting honourably towards women, in an effort to court them. Courtesy, or being polite, shouldn’t be something men only consider when they’re trying to gain a partner. Especially because chivalrous efforts to court are based on a blanket impression of what women want and need – as if we’re all alike. Besides, chivalry is just another word for being polite. Though it is a politeness steeped in assumptions that men are more able to take care of women. Which isn’t to say that wanting to be taken care of is bad but, equally, wanting to take the lead and propose is not, either. So, while it’s all well and good if you want a man to propose to you, or you want to propose to your girlfriend, it’s equally great if a woman wants to do the same. A romantic gesture, such as a proposal, should not be relegated to one gender, simply because of ‘tradition’ and certainly not for any of the reasons above. Next time you find that a woman has proposed to her fiancé, remember this article and remember that there’s never a good reason for telling women not to propose if they want to.

Womens’ Season




Our ten favourite women of all time... As part of our Womens’ Season, here are our top ten favourite women - as voted for by you!

Over the last four weeks, we have run a Women’s Season here at Kettle to celebrate all that it is to be a woman as well as to highlight some of the continuing issues regarding gender equality and women’s rights around the world today. As part of this Season, we polled Kettle readers to discover who your favourite women of all time were. The poll was very simple - we weren’t necessarily concerned with who was the most righteous or the most influential or indeed who had done the most for society. We simply wanted to discover who your favourites were. We even allowed people to choose fictional characters - just to keep the whole thing lively, you understand! So, to round off our wonderful Women’s Season, here is a countdown of Kettle’s favourite women as voted for by you!

10) Beyoncé

Famous for hit songs such as Crazy in Love, Déjà vu and Single Ladies, it’d be rare to find someone who hasn’t heard of the ‘Queen of Pop’. Although slightly controversial, many consider Beyoncé to be a strong role model. With meaningful and empowering lyrics, a healthy body image and great confidence, Beyoncé is a great woman to look up to. She also knows how to bust a few moves:

8) Angelina Jolie Pitt

Having taken the world by storm as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider Series, Angelina Jolie Pitt is now a household name. Having starred in everything from Salt and Mr & Mrs Smith to Maleficent and Shark Tale, she is certainly a multi-talented all-round actress. She’s been awarded for such talents with many awards including several Golden Globes and an Oscar! Today, Jolie Pitt is perhaps better known for her humanitarian and charity work where she has worked tirelessly to make a difference. The projects created, charities supported and publicity gained for these causes by Jolie Pitt are too numerous to mention here, but you can find more information here.

8) Queen Elizabeth I

Considering the issues that she faced and the time in which she lived, Queen Elizabeth I should not have been as successful and influential as she was. A strong and determined Monarch, Elizabeth reigned for over forty year and today is known as ‘The Virgin Queen’. She is also known for her intelligence. Tutored from a young age, Elizabeth was a brilliantly minded woman, especially when it came to languages. As a country, Britain has a great deal to thank Elixabeth for. 12

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7) Laverne Cox ‘Trans is beautiful’.

Best known for her role in Orange is the new black, Laverne Cox is an American actress and LGBT activist. As a transgender actress herself, Laverne does much to raise awareness of the trans community as well as black women and the oppression that they face. Cox is thus a great inspiration to many.

6) Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo is an artist, who is today famous for her self-portraits. Frida Kahlo is regarded by many as a feminist icon. Her creativity has been celebrated widely and she has been named as an inspiration to many designers.


5) Emmeline Pankhurst

Without a doubt, one of the most important people in British history. A political activist during the Women’s Suffrage movement, Pankhurst is best known for founding the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903. WSPU members are more widely known today as suffragettes. They led increasingly radical campaigns for the right for universal suffrage, which often resulted in the arrest and abuse of many protesters. In 1928, women gained the right to vote on equal terms with men, much due to the suffragette movement (as well as many other important campaigns) of which Emmeline Pankhurst was a key component.

4) Emma Watson

A much loved and award winning actress, Emma Watson is best known for her portrayal of Hermione Granger, a strong-willed, brilliantly minded character from the Harry Potter series. She has since gone on to star in many other wonderful films including The perks of being a wallflower that have also been largely successful. More recently, Emma Watson became UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to campaign for women’s rights and gender equality. Watson is a leading light in the UN’s He For She campaign, amongst others.

3) My mum!

Your mum created you, brought you up, taught you how to brush your hair and put on socks. Your mum will always love, care and worry about/for you. Your mum cooks, washes and cleans up after you. Your mum packs you off to uni, and welcomes you home with a few tears and a big hug. Will always be there to support you, the first one you go to with all your worries. Your mum will always be the best mum there is!

2) J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series is celebrated by children and adults alike the world over. The fantasy wizarding world has taken the world by storm, as has its talented author, J.K. Rowling. Rowling is a wonderful role model aspiring authors everywhere. She is refreshingly unafraid to court controversy or to speak out when need arises and her public speaking is simply wonderful. Indeed her speech to the Harvard graduates of 2008 has become the stuff of legends. She also totally rocks on Twitter:

If you’re waiting for universal popularity, you’ll be on Twitter a VERY long time. xxxx @jk_rowling 1) Malala Yousafzi

The youngest ever recipient of the Nobel peace prize, Malala Yousafzi is known worldwide for her incredible story and campaigns. As a young girl in Pakistan, Yousafzi stood up for her right to an education and, for doing so, was shot in the head by the Taliban. Having survived the attack and undergone surgery, Malala continues her activism in support of education for girls. Malala Yousafzi’s passion, strength and determination is a wonderful inspiration to all. Malala received one third of all votes in this poll, you can read more about why we love Malala here. And there we have it, Kettle Mag’s Top Ten Favourite Women as voted for by you!

The amazing Beyonce Knowles - who else? Clockwise from top: Queen Elizabeth 1st, Emma Watson and founder of the Suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst

Womens’ Season



Why we love Malala


Nadene Chandler profiles Malala Yousafzai - Kettle’s No1 favourite woman

n a recent poll, Kettle readers voted Malala Yousafzai as their number 1 favourite woman of all time, taking nearly 30% of all the votes cast.

Malala is a human rights and female education activist and the youngest person ever to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. She rose to fame when as a 12 year old girl, she stood up to the Taliban, who at the time were occupying Swat, the region of Pakistan in which she lived. This single act would have catastrophic consequences and would propel her into the international limelight. Like most girls, Malala lived a normal life, enjoyed being a teenager and attending the school that her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai founded. In September 2008, when the Taliban was attacking girls’ schools in Swat, Malala gave a speech to the local press club in Peshawar, with the title: “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education.” She also started to write a blog about life under Taliban rule, to let the world know what was happening. Needless to say, the Taiban was none too pleased that an 11 year old girl was exposing its regime and its destruction of local schools.

Malala’s assassination attempt On 9 October 2012 Malala was targeted for an assassination attempt by the Taliban whilst she was on her school bus in Swat, Northwest Pakistan. She was just 15 years old when the Taliban boarded the bus, demanded to know who Malala was and then shot her three times - including once in the head. The attack left Malala 14

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unconscious and fighting for her life. However when her condition stabalised some days later, she was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for rehabilitation. The world was understandibly outraged by the attack. US President Barack Obama shared his feelings of the attack as: “reprehensible, disgusting and tragic.”

“The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.” The aftermath Since the attack, Malala has remained and studied in Birmingham - receiving some amazing GCSE results, including six A*s and four A grades. She also marked her 16th birthday by addressing the UN during its first ever youth takeover, to talk about the importance of education. Back in January 2013, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle wrote that Malala may be the most famous teenager in the world. In 2015 it seems unlikely that she will


Nobel Peace Prize At the end of 2014, Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest person ever to receive the esteemed accolade. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said: Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzay [sic] has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education. Three years since the attack, Malala continues to champion education. In partnership with her Father she founded The Malala Fund, a charity that aims to “raise girls’ voices and ensure every girl has access to a quality secondary education.”

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai. There is a book that tells her story: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban and the film, He named me Malala is due to go on general release in a few weeks time. In an age of selfies, Kardashians, vanity and consumption, it is refreshing to see such an intelligent, brave and passionate young woman, standing up for those who have little or no voice. A woman who had the courage to voice her beliefs even though they nearly cost her her life. A woman who has above all, put the needs of others before the needs of her own. We thank you, Malala.

Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai receiving the Nobel Peace Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi of India

Womens’ Season




Slut shaming: How women are held to a different standard than men. Sian Abigail looks at the slut shaming of promiscuous women.


, along with many other women and men, am guilty of calling someone a slut, a whore or a slag. These are terribly derogatory terms, but I’d been conditioned to believe they were suitable.

The idea that it’s OK to call a woman a slut is because we live in an environment of double standards, where men are just ‘having fun’ but women are cheap and easy. The word slut means to describe a very promiscuous woman, but it’s thrown around like a basketball, with no real consideration of the impact.

Definition Inequalities

Slut is another way to oppress women, as if being intimate with a man gives people an excuse to devalue their opinion and control them.

The word slut is very gender specific with vicious intent on insulting women and stripping them of any value. I’m sure I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve heard the term “man-slag”, and I’m not even aware of any technical terms for a promiscuous male. The reason for this is simple; women are not granted the same sexual freedom as men. This sexism is actually built into evolution. Women were expected to be picky about their sexual partners, because eggs are valuable and they want their partner to stick around. Men were supposed to chase as many sexual encounters as possible. This age old psychology has transmitted itself into modern society, as we punish girls who enjoy casual sex and tease men who can’t get laid. The notion of slut-shaming is unfair and frankly ridiculous. The last time I checked, it took two to tango and definitely two to have sex. So how can we possibly treat the same behaviour differently, dependent on gender?


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It all comes down to the view of promiscuous women not making good wives. This is laughable, because the same man who judges this young woman as not being marriage worthy is sleeping with everything that says yes, and not thinking twice about it. Women; be loyal, be funny, be beautiful, be sexy (but not too sexy). Men, do whatever the hell makes that little guy happy. Now, I’m not attacking men. I’m attacking the twisted system within which we all function. We are all, including females, guilty of holding women to a different standard to men, and believing that their amount of self-respect comes from how often they decide to close their legs. I had been in a four-year relationship, but am no better than any woman who has lived differently. Slut is another way to oppress women, as if being intimate with a man gives people an excuse to devalue their opinion and control them. If a woman wants to be in a committed relationship, that’s fine. If a woman wants to remain celibate until she finds someone special, that’s fine. If someone wants to sleep with every Tom, Dick and Harry, that’s fine too. Because, although it may have escaped our attention, it’s her own rightful choice, as long as it’s safe and protected.

who is as laid back about sexual intercourse as men should not be scrutinised and frowned at by the public. By consistently associating sex as “bad” when it comes to women, we are continuing the stark and troublesome gender inequality Women, even women I know, worry about numbers, about the societal backlash that will come from heading into double figures. I even know someone who lies to her male partners about their sexual past, to appear more desirable. Whenever I muse over this, I think; do men suffer from this inner turmoil? Of course not. We live in a society where men and women have completely contrasting goals. We cannot progress forward with feminism if we allow men the freedom of sexual expression but not their female counterparts. No one can even decide to what extent you need to sleep around before you are a ‘slut’. So when you next sit down with your friends and talk about that girl whose been sleeping with ‘too many’ men, think about the men she’s sleeping with, and whether they suffer the same abuse. I bet my life savings on him being celebrated for securing the bang.

Society Pressure The ability to enjoy sex is a fantastic and valuable trait. A woman Womens’ Season




Are female film stars getting a fair deal? Busra Mutlu investigates whether female stars are getting a fair deal in Hollywood.


t was recently revealed that Oscar winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and Christ Pratt will be starring in a romantic sci-fi drama Passengers, directed by Morten Tyldum planned to be released next year. Although the film is still pre-production stages it has already made huge headlines regarding the actors fees. Sources have revealed that Pratt will be earning $12 million, which is a $2 million increase from his previous pay cheque and Lawrence will be getting $20 million. This is isn’t the first time an actor is getting paid such high sums, Leonardo DiCaprio has been charging $20 million for almost all of his films since Titanic. Bradley Cooper who is a frequent co-star of Lawrence made $20 million for starring in American Sniper last year, however his salary did not make the headlines. So why is it such a big deal for an Academy, BAFTA and two Golden Globe Award winner Lawrence to be earning more than her co-star? The answer is simple: actresses in Hollywood RARELY get paid $20 million let alone earn more than their male costars.

Leaking scandals

Jennifer Lawrence wins the Best Actress catgory at the 2012 Academy awards, for her role in Silver Linings Playbook Image: Tumblr, Jennifer Lawrence


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During the Sony Pictures email leak. last year it was revealed that Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid 7% of the profits made by AmericanHustle, while Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner earned 9%. It’s important to remember that Adams has five Academy and five BAFTA nominations, much more than her male co-stars. Obviously the amount of awards an actor has isn’t the only factor when considering their fee, it’s also how much fanbase they have and how bankable they are at the box office. However, when Lawrence was filming American Hustle she already had two blockbuster franchises under her belt, Hunger Games and X-Men. Notably with Hunger Games, she took on the main character role and the first film made more then $650 million at the box office, with the sequel making more then $850 million and they

both were released before American Hustle.

The struggle Actresses have been struggling with unequal pay for a very long time. In 2003 Cameron Diaz made the headlines for being the second actress to join the $20 Million Club after Julia Roberts when she signed on to do Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. However, demanding that high amount for a film wasn’t unseen, even back in 2003. Tom Cruise was already earning $20 million in 1996 and Will Smith’s salary for Ali in 2001 was also $20 million. This year The Hollywood Reporter revealed the big names in the $20 Million Club, which includes Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Denzel Washington and Sandra Bullock. It’s sad to see that out of the five actors only one is a woman. Unequal pay in Hollywood doesn’t only affect actresses, but also female employees within studios and film companies. The Sony leaks also revealed that there are seventeen employees of Sony Pictures that have an annual salary of $1 million or more. Out of the seventeen employees, only one is a woman. When Patricia Arquette went on stage to receive her Best Supporting Actress Award at the 2015 Oscars she gave a very powerful speech for equal pay: “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” Women in Hollywood have been fighting the salary gap for quite a while now and Lawrence’s success will be a great example for women in Hollywood along with Charlize Theron who will receive the equal salary of her co-star Chris Hemsworth for Snow White and the Huntsman prequel. It has been reported that the Sony leaks has helped her in demanding equal pay in a time when the industry is at the highest criticism of the unequal pay.


Where are all the women? The big fashion houses seem to prefer male creative directors, but their customer base is predominantly female. Rebecca Parker asks, why are women not rising to the top?


n light of the recent #HeforShe campaign headed by Emma Watson the actress and U.N Women Goodwill Ambassador has extended her campaign for gender equality to the fashion industry. Teaming up with British Vogue to create a three-minute video Emma talks about wanting to ‘get this dialogue happening specifically within the fashion industry to ask the leading voices about gender equality’. The video looks at issues such as sexual harassment and body image which are highly reported on by the media, however other issues often remain un-discussed. Something that often get under the metaphorical carpet is the fact that fashion still isn’t an equalopportunity industry, especially when looking at the big bosses. So how comes women make up the majority of core consumers yet fashion brands are headed by males? With males at the head of finance, distribution, design and ownership, it’s clear to see that those who are buying and digesting fashion are not responsible for running it. The Business of Fashion BoF 500 is the definitive list including those that control and shape the global fashion industry. 94 people of this list include CEOs of some of fashion’s most successful brands, publications and retailers. Yes, there may be female ‘icons’ included in the BoF 500 list but out of these 94 executives there is only a grand totally of 15 females. Those in charge of Hugo Boss, Tom Ford and other high-end designers are men. Chairmen also run Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop and Miss Selfridge. The bottom line is women may be entering the industry at the bottom but they are not rising to the top. Is it fair to blame men for this? The fact that women cannot access crucial support such as maternity leave or in-office-day-care are massive contributors that have been discussed at great length, and while they do need to be acted on, more pressure should be placed on those at the top of the industry to explain why the highest paid earners are predominately male. It’s hard to ignore the systemic and mostly covert sexism where male-dominated directors will pick from a pool of former male CEOs to join them in their elite position. This sexism is also seemingly getting worse. In January Frida Giannini was removed from Gucci and replaced with Alessandro Michele. Likewise Adam Andrascik was named creative director of Guy Laroche despite being a relative newcomer. Dior, Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga may have

hired new creative directors over the past five years but women’s names are rarely uttered in the hiring process. However, there are women that have succeeded against the statistics. Stella McCartney, Alessandra Facchinetti, Jenna Lyons, have all managed to create and run creative studios. Carol Lim co-runs Kenzo, one of the biggest brands of the past five years, and not to mention Net-a-Porter’s executive Natalie Massenet. Women are certainly filling the most successful jobs in the creative sector Mary Katranzou for her stunning designs and Anna Wintour editor of arguably the world’s most prestigious fashion magazine. Although these women are making their mark in the creative sector, this doesn’t mean that gender equality in the fashion industry has been achieved. Those that are dealing with finances and decision-making are mainly male. Finding a balance shouldn’t be difficult to achieve. If proportionally females rose to the same level as their male counterparts there would be more women than men running the fashion industry. For most it may seem difficult to comprehend that males are ultimately dictating fashion choices. Cynical as it may be, this can be seen as the reinforcement of a patriarchal society, which most would, or should, agree is extremely outdated.

How do we solve the problem? Deciding how this should be tackled is also controversial. Why change a system when it works? Because women in the industry should be championed, that’s why. With so many creative designers working at the helm of the industry it makes sense for the hierarchical structure to naturally include women at the peak. Likewise it’s very easy to leave things as they are, but what if changing the system meant that brands could actually achieve a competitive edge? Think about it. What actually differentiates one brand from another? Whether it’s high-end luxury fashion or high street there is very little to distinguish one from another. Perhaps this is due to the male attitude of ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it’. Nonetheless with females in control of finances, advertorial, and business plans perhaps these brands can start to form a competitive edge that pushes the fashion industry forward. We’re not Neanderthals anymore and perhaps it’s time that we actually made the transition into the 21st century. Womens’ Season




My 5 greatest female, literary characters of all time. As part of Kettle’s Women’s season, Laura Noakes tells us of her most inspirational female figures in literature.


ettle’s Women’s Season is the perfect time to celebrate some truly great literary women. Whilst there are many fictional ladies who deserve to be celebrated, these are the five I feel I have the greatest connection with, and have had the biggest impact on me (seriously though - I could probably make this list a top one-hundred!). These women are strong, independent and aweinspiring.

Elizabeth Bennet Elizabeth Bennet is amazing. End of. She’s intelligent, witty and acutely aware of her own value. In Pride and Prejudice Lizzie navigates through a society that is patriarchal, a mother that is determined to marry her off to the highest bidder, all whilst maintaining a razor sharp sense of humour. Lizzie’s popularity can clearly be seen through the many adaptations of Pride and Prejudice throughout the years - there have been movies, TV shows and even a web series on YouTube! The popularity of her character is testament to Jane Austen’s creation of a woman who seems real, has 20

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wants and desires and likes to crack a sarcastic joke or two. Elizabeth Bennet is one kick-ass female character.

Hermione Granger This list would not be complete without the incomparable Hermione Granger, the girl who made it cool to be clever. Hermione is a triumph, without her I am pretty sure that You Know Who would be running the wizarding world, because - who are we kidding - it was Hermione’s smarts that saved Harry and Ron numerous times during the series. I love Hermione because she is everything girls are traditionally warned not to be; she is bossy, smarter than everyone else and not afraid to speak her mind or assert her opinion. She’s also not presented as sexless because she’s clever - I mean the girl snags Victor Krum for goodness sake! Hermione is a strongly written female character who is definitely one of the greats.


Matilda Wormwood Matilda Wormwood is a character that faces awful adversities as a child, but manages to overcome them with her wit and charm (and psychokinetic powers). She is neglected and unloved by her awful parents, and terrorised at school by the evil headteacher, Mrs Trunchbull. But Matilda seems to take these setbacks with a pinch of salt - she plots revenge and dives into her books. Roald Dahl was an expert storyteller, and Matilda clearly shows this skill. She places value on kindness, and cleverness and does not subscribe to the vapid lifestyle of her parents. Matilda is a character that has inspired a movie and a musical, and is still one the most beloved children’s characters of all time.

Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser Claire (her surname is dependent on what time period she is in) is the main character in Outlander. In it she is a nurse just after the conclusion of World War Two, on a second honeymoon in Scotland with her husband, Frank Randall. Her life changes when she suddenly finds herself in Scotland in 1743, and she has to adapt quickly to the Highland way of life. Claire is feisty, brave and utterly determined to get back to her own time period. She is also funny, and not afraid of a well placed swear word. Claire is another female character that seems real - she is multifaceted and this clearly shows throughout the book.

Ginny Weasley I know I’ve already mentioned one Harry Potter character, but I am certain that Ginny Weasley does not get enough love in the HP fandom. Ginny is a tough cookie - she is the youngest and only girl of the Weasley family and an amazing Quidditch player. Although a lot of people focus on her itty bitty crush on the chosen one, I like to look at how she got over that crush - she grew up, went out with other people and got on with her life. I also love how she wasn’t afraid to stand up to Harry when he was being a bit of an idiot, and that she went to the Yule Ball with Neville Longbottom - Ginny was an amazing friend! She was also a fantastic witch and all around great person - Ginny is another amazing female character - well done J. K. Rowling.

Kiera Knightly as Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet and youngest member of the Weasly family, Ginny. Quentin Blake’s brilliant depiction of Matilde Wormwood

So those are my top five female literary heroes. It was a HARD task to cut down to five, and I am one hundred percent sure I missed out some amazing female characters - which is kind of a good thing, because the more amazing female characters there are in literature, the better. Womens’ Season




Is the feminist movement still relevant today? Rebecca Marrow and Halimah Manan explore how feminism can still be relevant today.

...the argument that feminism is no longer needed in society ignores the role that social media plays in giving women the support and platform that they need in order to call out misogynistic behaviour.


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lthough many have become disillusioned with, and tired of hearing about, feminism, the movement is still important. The definition of feminism – the belief in the equality of men and women – has yet to be realised and, sometimes, yet to be fought for; certain issues have often been pushed to the sideline, overwhelmingly those of people of colour, and LGBTQ+, and plenty have been oppressed by ‘white feminists’. If the feminist movement is to continue, changes must be made. From the often polarising hashtags which are popular among celebrities, like #FreeTheNipple, to the white saviour complex which has penetrated feminist activism since its inception, there is much to be desired.

LGBTQ+ There’s no denying that feminism has been a huge help in changing attitudes towards LGBTQ+ women. However, the movement’s tendency to assume that all women’s problems are identical is not incredibly progressive. Despite the positive effect that the movement has had on the community, mainstream feminism often perpetuates the idea that women who are trans, queer, or gay face exactly the same issues as cisgender straight women - and this is not the case. Hate crime against women in general is high, but hate crime against LGBTQ+ women is even higher. The suicide rate amongst trans people is alarmingly high, with nearly half of young trans people attempting suicide, and many LGBTQ+ women find themselves homeless – with a lot of them being rejected from homeless shelters due to their sexual orientation or gender. Not to mention more general LGBTQ+ problems, such as heteronormativity, bi-erasure and the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of LGBTQ+ people in the media. With these factors in mind, it is clear that feminism is still needed in society. Yes, cisgender straight women are in a much more equal position than they were fifty years ago, but the LGBTQ+ community still has a very long way to go – and although the feminist movement is being helpful by campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights, the assumption that all women face the same problems, no matter what, is problematic. For the movement to remain relevant, feminists would do better to recognise that LGBTQ+ women face hardships specific to their gender identity and sexuality, and take a more intersectional stance on the issue.


POC For people of colour (poc) like myself, the feminist movement is steeped in controversy. On one hand, it poses a great way to challenge discrimination and objectification but, on the other, many feminist issues are Western-centric. And, when they’re not focused on the West, issues picked up tend to be painted in such a way to deride a whole culture and are overwhelmingly narrated by white people; their cultural ignorance is taken as law over the voices of poc who have candid experiences of such issues. For example, the popular (and mostly debunked) myth that female genital mutilation (FGM) is primarily an issue in Africa and the Middle East, implying a vast continent is complicit in such violence and that the West is somehow superior. While this isn’t particularly new – the suffragists used imperial rhetoric about saving their ‘Indian sisters’ to prop up their claims to the vote – it is outdated and exhausted. Such cultural ignorance can be extended to the popular perception of Muslim women, who have been widely racialised as ‘oppressed women’ without enough reflection on the many differences between us. There are some feminist movements – or individuals – who have ignored our voices and, if feminism is to continue to be relevant, this is an example of what must change. From topless protests demanding we take our clothes off, to porn exploiting the figure of the ‘oppressed Muslim woman’ under the guise of ‘empowering’ us, and general comments on how our choice to cover up is not our own, the insensitivity and saviour complex has got to go. Members of FEMEN toting signs with slogans such as ‘Muslim women let’s get naked’ and ‘nudity is freedom’. However, that’s not to say that feminism isn’t and cannot continue to be for people of colour and other marginalised groups. Merely that intersectional feminism must recognise our voices and give space to them, as opposed to drowning them out. The internet and social media, in particular, have given rise to various publications and websites which advocate specifically for the voices omitted from the mainstream: Media Diversified, Muslim Girl and Black Ballad – plus Gal Dem (launching in September) – are a few of many.

well as recognise that, as horrified as you might be, the West (read: mostly Britain and then America) is complicit in misogyny across the world because of colonialism and the hegemony that followed, through the structures of power left behind.

Social Media One of the ways in which the feminist movement has adapted itself to stay relevant is its use of social media. The use of hashtags like #EverydaySexism and #FreeTheNipple demonstrate how feminism is making good use of sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to advocate change. The movement has used the internet to educate people and inspire women to fight back against the sexism they suffer on an everyday basis. Despite these noted benefits of social media as somewhat functioning to diversify narratives in the movement, it should also be recognised that the most popular or ‘mainstream’ social media, tend to be white. For example, in April, Akilah Hughes pointed out that YouTube rarely promotes black YouTubers. Additionally, movements like #FreeTheNipple, which have gained plenty of traction recently, don’t always cater to women of colour, though they can often take precedence over more pressing concerns. Regardless, the argument that feminism is no longer needed in society ignores the role that social media plays in giving women the support and platform that they need in order to call out misogynistic behaviour. Feminism’s adoption of social media to further its cause not only demonstrates how it is keeping with the 21st century, but also how many women are still onboard with the movement – clearly so many of us identify with the term ‘feminist’ – and how relevant the movement still is. So, whether feminism retains its historically-charged name or not, it is still relevant in today’s world and can continue to be so with a rise of intersectionality and solidarity. While some might believe feminism has done all it can, until equality is fully realised for women of all races, genders and sexualities, the feminist movement has not run its course.

Even so, to continue to be relevant, the feminist movement must acknowledge and remember that violence perpetuated against women, while manifesting differently across cultural boundaries, is not endemic to culture but to the patriarchy. As Womens’ Season




Is the glass ceiling still an obstacle? Business editor Kirstie Keate looks at the age old problem of the glass ceiling and asks if it’s still a problem for women in the workplace.


he glass ceiling has been a phrase touted since the 80’s when Thatcher was Prime Minister. The heady days of boom time economy and yuppies. Back then women were proving themselves in careers traditionally dominated by men, particularly in the City. But whilst performing as well as, or better than their male counterparts, weren’t getting the promotions, bonuses or salaries of their male colleagues because of outright discrimination. And they still aren’t, but the picture now isn’t as black and white as it used to be. Whilst it’s still an undeniable fact that men are paid more than women as outlined in the graph below, it’s not as straight forward gender discrimination. As men and women get older, the pay gap widens and it starts to widen at roughly 25-30, the age when most women start having families, and work gets just that bit more difficult. And that is the problem. Yes, women, on average, get paid less than men a fair amount less than men, but that’s the average across the workforce. Whilst they are paid less than men from the very beginning, the gulf only really starts to widen when women start having children.


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Why the ceiling on women’s wages? The reality is, there are many more factors at work here. Let’s face it, if employers really felt they could get away with paying 40 year old women in the same job with the same skills as a 40 year old man the current difference in salary of £15,500 less, wouldn’t every profit line savvy boss in the country be falling over themselves to get hold of this pool of cheap labour? There wouldn’t be a woman in the country without a job. Firstly, whilst women’s salaries start to level off at the age they start having children, simply pointing the finger at bosses saying they won’t pay or employ women in good jobs for fear they will run off and have babies is, although sadly one element, it’s a decreasing one. There’s a famous phrase, ‘everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life thinking it’s stupid’, and it pretty adequately explains what’s going on here. Women’s productivity in the workplace is being assessed on male standards. Who can work late and who has to rush out the door at 5pm to pick up the children. Who turns up every day with leave booked well in advance, and who calls in taking ad hoc days

off because the 3 year threw up last night and so nursery won’t let him back in for 48 hours. Who was here all last year, and who had a year off for maternity leave. I’m not disputing that men are increasingly taking on an ever increasing share of child care, but at the end of the day, generally, the bulk of it falls on mothers, and certainly pregnancy and labour is something that’s exclusively a women’s domain. And it’s this that is increasingly affecting salary and promotion prospects rather than the bad old days of straight forward discrimination. Employees are judged on how reliable you are, how wide awake and efficient you are when your there (regardless of your dear offspring keeping you up all night because they’re teething), how willing you are to get in early or work late, and many other things, that are quite simply easier if you don’t have children and a home to worry about. Now, this isn’t to say women can’t be equally as committed or hard working with a family. But, as I’ve previously argued here, women who have childcare responsibilities need a different working landscape to other employees. They need flexibility with working hours, and working location.


Getting back to work This isn’t the only problem, for many mother’s it’s getting back into work they’re qualified for after a few years off raising children. Whilst the law says that you are entitled to apply for part time or altered working patterns if you have any caring responsibilities once you have been employed for six months, there’s no onus on an employer to look into employing someone with this pattern on initial recruitment. Therefore, many women who don’t want to, or more often can’t because of school hours and holidays, work full time, have no choice but to look for part time roles, which, more often than not, are in positions far below their skill set and their earning potential. Take for example a woman I met the other week. Prior to having children, she’d been a paediatric surgeon. Now, she’s a part-time GP because working practises wouldn’t give her the time or flexibility to parent. Now, I know from experience the marvellous job GP’s do, but this is a highly qualified woman who has gone from improving, and sometimes saving, the lives of children, to diagnosing sore throats and the flu. How is that in the best interests of anyone, let alone her salary or career prospects?

only working part time, you are only gaining part of the experience that full time colleagues get, part of the opportunities. All the things that add toward your promotion prospects are just not as available. There’s also the bigger economic argument. Part time workers are, by default, earning part time wages, reducing tax income to the treasury. And part time low paid jobs, exacerbates the problem. Not only this, but low wages, particularly in the case of sinlge mothers, mean they’re more likely to rely on benefits. Glass ceiling implies that women can only get so far because of prejudice, but that’s not the problem so much anymore, although of course there are pockets of discrimination preventing women from progressing. The reality is that many women are getting so far, then actually going backwards. It’s not a ceiling, it’s a diversion. A diversion that instead of taking you to your dream destination of Tahiti, is taking you to an industrial wasteland in Siberia. More and more, the problem women have is that progression is inhibited by archaic, restrictive working practices that are unnecessary, bad for women, bad for business, bad for the economy and bad for society overall.

And, ultimately, not being able to work full time itself deepens the problem, if you are Womens’ Season




Video Editor Silvia Paoletta explains why The Rose of Versailles aka Lady Oscar is such an inspirational woman among the anime/manga characters.

Lady Oscar: The Rose of Versailles


egun as a shōjo manga of ten volumes (1972 - 1973), The Rose of Versailles (Berusaiyu no Bara) by Riyoko Ikeda became an anime animation series of 40 episodes (1979 - 1980) produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. Aired first in Japan, it then was broadcasted in Europe and Latin America where it’s known as Lady Oscar.

The Plot Set in France during the time of French Revolution, The Rose of Versailles focuses on the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, but even more on Oscar Francois de Jarjayes. Oscar’s father—a French general—desperately wanted a son, but after six daughters and with his biggest wish still not granted he decided to raise his youngest one as a man, who then became the commander of the Royal Guards. Although Oscar always proves to be a great and loyal militant, she is also kind and quite compassionate and that’s why she’s touched by the lower class. She may be torn between her duty and her desire to help the poor, but her inner strength will always inspire both royalty and not.

There are two kinds of love in this world: a love of joy . . . and a love of agony. – Oscar is and how difficult it is for her to suppress her feelings, she is always willing to sacrifice her inner desires at the cost of her own happiness, and all because she needs to be faithful to her duty.\ She can’t choose to be a woman because from the moment she was born—and her name is proof of that—she was given a mission, to be Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, a man of honour and the heir of the General Jarjayes’ dynasty. Yet, she’s not really a man... She is admired by both men and women and while a few ladies at court prove to be quite jealous mostly of the attention she inadvertly calls upon her, others inevitably fall for Oscar’s beauty and strength. And how can they not? This female anime/manga character is perhaps the first who teaches girls that the aesthetic aspect is not what really makes them so beautiful. She is quite a beauty herself indeed, but it’s her inner strength that really shines. She shows us how to stand up for what we believe in, how to be brave, strong and how we can fight back. After all, roses have thorns...

“Please accept. I may be a woman, but I am still a warrior. This is the only way to protect my Oscar: Hero & Heroine honour!” – Oscar Oscar is an energetic fighter whose loyalty is truly admirable. Once she reaches adulthood she starts feeling something and, although she recognises what that means, she tries to bury these feelings and stay focused on the task at hand–her job as the commander of the Royal Guards. It doesn’t matter how really tormented she 26

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The Rose of Versailles aka Lady Oscar remains one, if not THE most influential anime of all times, one that keeps being appreciated by both sexes from a young age not just because of the fascinating story, but right because of this amazing, inspirational main character who steals everyone’s heart.

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Miley Cyrus: Overly sexual or an empowered woman? Miley Cyrus is one of the most controversial stars of our time. Laura Brown considers if Miley’s overly sexual or actually an empowered young woman.

Miley Cyrus is one of the most controversial stars of our time. As part of Kettle’s Women’s Season, Laura Brown considers if Miley’s overly sexual or actually an empowered young woman.


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iley Cyrus is undoubtably one of the most controversial stars of our time. From her music videos, to instagram posts, to her MTV VMA perfomances she is regualarly criticised for being overly sexual and acting inappropriately. Her skimpy (or lack of) clothing and provocative actions often cause a storm, but is she wrong? Is she behaving in a way we shouldn’t be praising or is she actually an empowered twenty-something woman? Is it all just very clever PR?

Overly sexual? The 2013 VMA award coverage was dominated by Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s perfomance together. Aside from all the issues surrounding ‘Blurred Lines’ as a song, Cyrus’ dance moves and underwear-esque outfits came under fire. She was seen as ‘shocking’ and the word ‘slut’ was even used by many on Twitter. It seemed that her actions were just too much and she was pushing things too far for some people. It could be said that there was no need for her to push things as far as she did and to take things further than the original video. This criticism has been something which has continued in many other things that the star has done; anything she does is reported as shocking or a scandal. Many feel that given her fanbase of generally young females she should be ‘classy’ and tone down the things that she does in order to give them a good impression and not encourage them to follow suit.

Empowered? There’s no doubt that Miley is a sexual young woman, but is it a totally bad thing? Is she actually just embracing female sexuality and putting it out there as something to embrace? Over the years women have always been seen as sexual and visual objects, especially within male music videos. Miley seems to be continuing with this but also putting herself at the forefront of it all. She’s not shy about the way she acts or dresses and seems to be reflecting this across her social media and through public appearances. She exudes confidence and doesn’t see the need to apologise for the way she acts, and why should she need to? It may simply be that she is making these decisions herself and merely expressing how she feels, which happens to be more sexual than both the media and the public are used to. This embracing of female sexuality could be seen as something that we should be celebrating and praising Miley for doing, after all why shouldn’t we challenge traditional stereotypes? She’s taking control of her body and her actions, and surely that can only be a good thing.

I think she’s both, aware of her sexuality and is not afraid to use it, controversially or otherwise. @MsChantall

Cyrus is a consenting adult... nobody blinks if a male artist is topless in a video @bridiepjones

Male artists sexualising women is a bigger problem but faces far less criticism - and that’s sexist. @wolff_alice

inappropriately sexual. Do some women use ‘sexual liberation’ to mask that they really want men to lust after them? @CassyNelly

Just good PR? Though it seems that Miley is making all these choices herself, there has been some doubt as to whether it’s all just good PR and causing a storm to get coverage. If that’s the case then congratulations because it has been completely successful. Whatever it is, she’s doing something right and getting people talking about women and female sexuality.

Wrecking Ball’s video was a weird mash-up of vulnerability and empowerment. @b3wilderbeast On it like a... um... a car bonnet... Miley on stage in Vancouver. Image: Wikipedia

Womens’ Season




Bic’s blunder: Regression in gender equality. Bic’s Women’s Day campaign causes outrage with advert that says “look like a girl, act like a man”. By Sian Bradley


e can learn a lot from advertisements, and companies use a myriad of techniques to get us to use their product. Bic, however, decided their chosen technique was blatant sexism with a hint of 1970’s misogyny. This technique didn’t take very well, as their Women’s Day campaign, sparked outrage as it told women to “Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man and work like a boss.” It seems that Bic has a lot to tell women about how to function with their lady-brain in this male-dominated world. Social media’s reaction to this so-called “empowering” social media ad was instantaneous, charged, clever and sometimes downright hilarious.


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The message offended both men and women, who took to photoshopping the image to suit 21st century ideals of gender roles. Bic was later forced to apologise; twice, because it messed it up the first time, but I’m still left reeling as to how this horrendous ad was allowed to run in the first place. In order to prevent this from becoming a disordered rant, let’s dissect what’s wrong with each line.

“Look like a girl” Ah Bic, not only are you pandering to the gender-specific stigmatism that women are valued on their looks, but you also decided to sexualise children and infantilise women. Bravo, bravo. These four words tell us a whole lot about

the position of women in society. According to pen manufactures, (whose talents, rather unsurprisingly, do not lie in gender equality), a woman in business cannot be successful unless she looks prepubescent. How very paedophilic. Bic, therefore, are implying that looking underage will get you that promotion you desire. Perhaps in Toys-R-Us, but not elsewhere. What does “looking like a girl” even mean? I’m assuming they mean a good-looking girl, as I resembled a potato around the age of 12, and I don’t believe this would fit into the narrow-minded image based ideals of Bic’s business woman.


“Act like a lady” Reading this line sent me back into a time of kingdoms and castles, Kings and Queen’s; it’s all a little ‘Game of Thrones’. Under this line of thinking, Bic could be telling us to be independent, feisty, and powerful and birth three dragons. Sadly, I think this bizarre statement actually goes back to the whole “act ladylike” nugget. This is the epitome of entertaining the patriarchy, telling women to button up and shut up. Only speaking when spoken to may not be the best career plan. Your employees may end up sitting there dumb founded as you smile brightly in your knee length skirt, willing someone to talk. This line is tiresome and reminiscent of rigid and out-dated gender roles. It seems “equality” or “individualism” is not in Bic’s dictionary.

“Think like a man” Speaking of individuality, we come to the part of the message which manages to offend both genders instantaneously. Which “man” are we supposed to think like, exactly? It seems us women have the privilege of deciding which man-thoughts we want to replicate, at least. This sweeping statement serves to dehumanise all men into a same-brained robot. What on earth happened to thinking like ourselves, as unique and individual human beings?

gender roles on men too, but let’s forget about them for a while. I mean, this is for Women’s Day, after all. Women are not inferior to men, and neither are their brains. This ad is suggesting that you cannot excel in business as a woman, because our level of intellect doesn’t match up to a man’s. I wish I could convey how ridiculous this is. This statement leaves me almost lost for words, but this could be because of my silly woman brain.

“Work like a boss” This is quite possibly the most confusing, as I’m not sure if they are talking about a cooperate boss, or referring to someone who runs things in the hood. Anyhow, the word holds quite negative connotations, of a pompous, hard-ass who doesn’t have a life outside work and wields not respect from employees. Bic are once again proving how behind they really are, by reverting back to a traditional role of “boss”. I’d prefer to work as an inspiration, a leader and as myself. Let’s cut Bic some slack with this one and allow them the benefit of the doubt with using the term. Instead, consider how they are suggesting women don’t already work as “bosses”. I guess this is because they are too busy having babies and shopping. Look, act, think, and work how you want to. Learn, grow and react to the world around you. Just don’t do it with a Bic pen in hand.

Bic are attempting to place the restricting straight-jacket of

Womens’ Season




Top five Classic female authors Madiya Altaf looks at her favourite five classic authors for Kettle’s Women season.


t’s Women season here on Kettle Mag and I’ve compiled a list of my favourite classic female authors.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen is one of the world’s best known writers in English Literature, with six novels written. Her most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice, highlights society’s pressure for a women to marry in to a good home. What’s not to love about Austen? Her novels have sold millions of copies worldwide and through her use of literary realism, she tells captivating stories of 18th and 19th century women who are strong, independent and contemporary. Austen suggested through her novels that women should marry for love and not for status or of society’s pressure. Austen herself discards the female conventions of a women having to marry, as she rejected her suitor Harris Bigg Wither the day after they got engaged and she never ended up marrying. Austen is truly a marvellous female and writer!

Agatha Christie

Above: A young Jane Austen From top: Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, The Bronte Sisters, Louise May Alcott


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I had to have Agatha Christie on my list! She is the ‘Queen of Crime’ with over sixty five detective novels under her belt! She once wrote a novel in a weekend which is remarkable considering it took me five months to write 10,000 words for one of my Creative Writing modules. Christie developed the detective conventions set by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and with her impressive writing skills and suspenseful whodunit plots she created truly addictive novels! Not only did she write detective fiction but also wrote plays, including the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. She is also the only female writer to ever have three plays running simultaneously in London’s West End.


Virginia Woolf I love Woolf’s writing style! She breaks the conventions of traditional literary techniques by experimenting with the stream of consciousness. Woolf rejects the traditional narrative form and instead produces her own distinctive narrative style. Her writing allows the reader to receive a deeper insight into the thinking of a character and the emotional understanding behind a character. Woolf suffered from various illnesses throughout her lifetime from anorexia to depression, and having written nine novels and multiple short stories while being plagued by the mental illnesses is a massive achievement.

The Bronte Sisters This one is kind of a cheat but I had to include ALL three of the Bronte sisters. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte are all well-known writers and poets. Because of the prejudice against female writers at that time the Bronte’s published their works under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. All three sisters started writing at an early age and published a volume of poetry at their own expense. After the death of their two older sisters, the sisters were often left at home and often wrote during this time. Their novels which were published included social commentary and realism which led to the success of their novels. The Bronte’s were hugely talented and have had their novels today adapted in TV series and films.

Louisa May Alcott Louisa May Alcott most famous novel is Little Women which is loosely based on her childhood experience with her three sisters. Growing up, Alcott had many jobs from being a teacher to a domestic helper and writing soon become an escape for her. Even though Alcott was commissioned to write a story for girls in which she first rejected as she wanted to publish a collection of short stories, she soon agreed. After publication, the ‘girl story’ became a new category in publishing which at that time paralleled boys’ adventure stories. Something I found out while researching Alcott was that she too, like Austen, was unmarried during her life. What I love about Alcott is that she wrote a story about girls that was relatable and appealed to different classes and backgrounds of women at that time! I know there are many more fantastic classic female authors that I haven’t included, if I did my list would be endless! Let me know what your favourite classic authors are by commenting below or tweeting us @KettleMag! Also check out Laura’s 5 greatest female literary charaters here! Womens’ Season




Why women’s sports are under-reported in the media Sports Editor, Jessica Wells examines the reasons why women’s sports are under-reported and how the media can change this.


s an avid sports fan, I try and keep up with the news and results of my favourite athletes and teams. Following women’s sports however is being made excruciatingly difficult by the media as their progress tends to be sporadically reported. There are many different reasons why the media fails to report on women’s sports and sexism is often assumed as the cause. I myself have experienced sexism in sport and I do not expect the media to echo it either. If you examine the recent attention female sport has received though, it could be argued that sexism is not to blame.

Yet even with the media coverage that supported these sporting events, it appears to be limited. There is a demand for women’s sports - that much was shown by the millions of viewers that tuned into to watch the late night clashes in the football World Cup or the enthralling match between Serena Williams and Heather Watson during Wimbledon on the BBC. When it comes to reporting the matches though, there are limitations. would be difficult for publications to justify providing coverage of women’s domestic sport that only attracts a few hundred spectators

Ever since the London 2012 Olympics, interest in women’s sport has increased. This interest has been helped with incredible campaigns by England in the Rugby World Cup and the Football World Cup to name a few. 34

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During the FIFA World Cup’s highs and lows, the morning papers saw less than a quarter of their articles dedicated to women’s sports according to Women’s Sports Media (@WomenSportsPress) on Twitter. What is really preventing media coverage? There has been much discussion in recent months about inequality and sexism in the media and this must be extended to women’s sports. There is such a large

opportunity for popular publications and TV stations to change the way the public perceive women’s sports and it simply has not been utilised. I spoke to Anna Kessel, a sports writer for the Guardian as well as the co-founder and chair of Women in Football, who believes that the lack of women’s sports reporting was not founded on sexism but instead on the lack of culture. She said: “To cover relatively newly established sports such as women’s rugby, cricket and football requires extra resource at a time when newspapers are struggling to cope with the live events roster they have.” Kessel argues that it would be difficult for publications to justify providing coverage of women’s domestic sport that only attracts a few hundred spectators when they do not cover men’s championship or lower league football that attracts many more spectators. Whilst this is a dilemma faced by many publications, without media coverage women’s sports will not be able to grow to the levels their male counterparts have achieved.


Governing bodies also need to invest more into the marketing teams that support women’s sports in order to extend their reach. By investing more into marketing, the public will not only learn about the women’s teams in their local areas but the team’s themselves will have bigger crowds supporting them. The FA Cup this year saw a record crowd but the first match and big header games of the FAWSL saw only a fraction of those numbers. There are women’s sports that are more frequently reported on such as tennis and athletics due to the fact that they are sports that have sat for a long time on “roughly equal footing” according to Kessel, but they are still sitting in the shadow of the men’s game. In athletics especially, the reporting can often be very male dominated with the men’s events billed as the main events.

Too much focus on look There tends to be “frequency of images associated with “conventionally attractive” female athletes, the titillating stories about their outfits, or grunts, in some media”, Kessel argues, as media bias once again rears its ugly head.

BT Sport’s elite athlete survey revealed that 67% of female athletes believed that the public and media prized their looks over their achievements. This shocking statistic alone shows the improvements needed to be made in the reporting of women’s sports. Trying to change the way in which women’s sports are reported is another matter. In recent months, more women are challenging the sexist and misogynist values held by some corporations across different sectors. We need to extend this to the media and the reporting of female sports. The fact there is a focus on the attractiveness of athletes or the sounds they may make when playing is quite frankly demeaning and must be reassessed. That is not the only challenge facing the coverage of women’s sport though. In order to make coverage equal, we need to see a steady trickle of stories about women’s fixtures and results. Instead, the stories about women’s sports at the moment are saturated in features.

“The biggest current challenge, in my opinion, is to move on from great features about women’s sport – which we are seeing more of – to regular coverage of live women’s events” Whilst features on women’s sport are certainly contributing to their growth and success in the United Kingdom, they are not the answer. Kessel was keen to see governing bodies pay publications to send writers to events and to provide financial assistance to struggling media organisations, as well as providing more information to publications themselves so that researching fixtures, results and stories would prove an easier task. Nevertheless, whilst coverage of women’s sport has certainly improved since the London 2012 Olympics, additional steps need to be taken. The public need to show media corporations and sporting governing bodies that women’s sports stories are in demand and that we need to rethink how women’s sports are reported both in general and in the media.

Kessel said: Womens’ Season




How 50:50 Parliament is talking about gender politics and why we should listen. Sian Bradley speaks to Francis Scott of the 50:50 parliament campaign.


Kettle Magazine

CURRENT AFFAIRS Politics drives this country through giving MPs the power to change laws, hold debates and make campaigns. The most important decisions of our country are made in the Commons, decisions which change the course of our lives. The question therefore remains; why are these decisions made predominantly by men?

50:50 Parliament campaign Frances Scott asked this question, and decided enough was enough and set up the the 50:50 Parliament campaign with a petition at This activist has a strong and well-founded desire for better gender balance in Parliament and wants Party Leaders and Parliament to debate this historic problem and sort it out. She says “It’s strange that we have only ever had 450 women MPs [historically],when there are 459 men in the Commons right now. 50:50 want Parliament to come up with solutions. I would like a more gender balanced Parliament which includes the best of both, men and women, working together in order to build a better society for everyone.” 50:50 aspire to a Parliament where women and men legislate the laws of our land together in roughly equal numbers. Women have experience and opinions concerning many aspects life and some topics affect them more than men. The work that women do and the roles that women have in society are relevant and important. Scott says “Women have a wealth of experience, expertise, skills and talent. Parliament needs them.” Dubbed the “21st century Suffragettes”, this movement echoes a lifetime of women’s struggle for equality, and it’s really gaining momentum. Scott said: “I think the Suffragettes were fighting a much bigger cause than ours, but I feel like we’re trying to finish the job.”

The time for change is now The time for change is now, as we live in a democracy where men outnumber women MPs more than 2:1. There are 268 more men in the Commons, they occupy 459 (71%) of the 650 seats, whereas women have only 191 (29%) seats. I believe this echoes the political struggle women have always faced. Cast your mind back to 1918, when women were finally granted the right to vote. Women died for this right, and now we need to continue this fight. The 50:50 campaign is supported by all genders, men and women have united in this together

because better balance benefits everyone. The first MP in the campaign t-shirt was Ben Bradshaw The validity of a politicians view is not based on their gender, and I’m not stating that more women means better decisions. Nor do I believe that equality can merely be based on the ratio. I do, however, feel strongly about how presence can equal power. As Prof Joni Lovenduski observed ‘ Evidence from more balanced legislatures than ours shows that as membership of women increases so does the sensitivity of male MPs to the range of women’s concerns. So men can act for women, but they may be more likely to do so when there are more women around.’ The more we expose and allow women a podium to share their opinions, the more we move towards a society in which their opinions are valued.

Women sitting on the front benches provide role models but we need women on the back benches as well. It’s good for women to seen to be playing a part in Parliament and public life. Miss Scott, whose passion for fairness is instantly apparent, said: “Women sitting on the front benches provide role models but we need women on the back benches as well. It’s good for women to seen to be playing a part in Parliament and public life. ” Visibility of women in a range of careers is beneficial to all of society. If there were more women in Parliament newspaper coverage and the public perception of women would become more balanced, it would be necessary to report their opinions, ideas and actions. It’s important to share political power because we need to smash the glass ceiling which holds so many women down, and allow them to flourish in a job which has been so out of reach.

Scott said: “50:50 is about harmony, not division. We are talking about women and men working together.” 50:50 Parliament is a cross-party nonpartisan organisation campaigning for a principle. Famous faces from all sides of the political spectrum agree with their aspiration, there are many photographs of MPs in their campaign t-shirt on The All Party Parliamentary Group Report “Improving Parliament” July 2014 states “All parties are united in their belief that gender parity is critical to having a modern aspirational and representative Parliament.” However, the Suffragette saying we need “Deeds not Words” is still relevant. Recently labour leader favourite Jeremy Corbyn, also says he wants to front a cabinet which is 50% women and wants to “work towards” an even balance across Labour MPs. Both the granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, Dr Helen Pankhurst, and Philippa Bilton; an ancestor of the famous suffragette Emily Wilding Davison who died on Derby Day, support the campaign. Miss Bilton signed the petition “so that ancestor suffragette did not die on Derby Day for women to be still fighting for equal representation 100 years on” 50:50 is here and rightly so, because without it, at the current rate, it could take over half a century to achieve equality. Frances Scott is the founder and director of 50:50 Parliament, and she is working hard to raise awareness of this aspirational campaign. To be part of this historic movement for change: Sign and share the 50:50 Parliament Petition at change. org/5050Parliament Like Follow twitter @5050Parliament Become a 50:50 Ambassador and help spread the word of inclusion in politics email : 5050parliament@g§

I’m tired of gender being the how and why we decide whether someone is suited to a job, how well they will do it, how they should think act and breathe. We should be concentrating on combining all individual and unique ability. Womens’ Season




My top 7 albums from female artists As part of Kettle’s women’s season, Scott Wilson talks about his favourite albums with female leads.

Lorde – Pure Heroine


Pop music can be alienating and extravagant. As someone from a small town, I’ll never relate to the glitz and glamour of those wearing designer labels on the covers of Vogue. How refreshing it is then that Lorde’s Pure Heroine is a celebration of the normal and the everyday of suburban living. “I love these roads where the houses don’t change” contrasts with the Beverely Hills lifestyle of A-Listers, while ‘Team’’s “We live in cities you’ll never see on screen, not very pretty but we sure know how to run things,” makes it okay to be happy with what you have and where you live. Instead of celebrating celebrity culture, Pure Heroine is an album for the everyman and woman.

Nightwish would sound bigger on later albums, adding in orchestration to an extent unseen in metal music before, but on Century Child, the combination of symphonic elements, fantastical imagery, and bombastic choruses is at its peak. ‘Ever Dream’ could be the band’s best moment, an epic love story with a climactic key change that sends shivers down your spine, while ‘Dead to the World’ was a rare moment of reality in their fictiondominated narrative. The epic ‘Beauty of the Beast’ continued their token lengthy track trope, and was their best up until that point. Century Child also contains their incredible cover of ‘Phantom of the Opera’, with the live End of an Era version being one of their best live performances ever.

Taylor Swift – Speak Now Taylor’s most realised pop record. From start to finish, Speak Now is hit after hit. No longer a wide-eyed teenager like on Fearless but not yet the young adult of Red, Speak Now is a snapshot of grown-up life hitting you for the first time. ‘Dear John’ is a heartbreaking ode to the realisation of being taken advantage of, ‘Enchanted’ holds on to the fairytale romance of youth, and ‘Long Live’ is a triumphant celebration of getting things done together. She’s yet to release a bad album, but Speak Now is the crowning jewel in her catalogue thus far.

Nightwish – Century 38

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Kimbra – Vows Most widely known as the woman who sings on the Gotye mega-hit ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’, Kimbra’s Vows is the most rewarding pop record in quite some time. Rather than seeing pop music as uncool, Kimbra turns up the funk factor, makes beats you can’t help but move to, and makes the simple seem complex and the complex seem like second nature. The layer-uponlayer development of ‘Settle Down’ starts with your head bobbing and doesn’t stop until your legs and hips are shaking by the climactic chorus. ‘Cameo Lover’ is a celebratory ode to pop music at its poppiest, and ‘Come Into My Head’ is a chaotic polyrhyth-


PJ Harvey – Let England Shake One of the best albums of the decade, Let England Shake sounds patriotic while singing about the toils of war upon the land. In a modern world where the concept of the album is dying, Let England Shake is a work to be experienced as a whole, as PJ Harvey takes you across the rolling lands of England as they are covered in scars.

Myrkur – M Black metal can seem like a hyper-masculine, church-burning genre of exclusivity, but every now and then an act comes along that breaks down those barriers. Deafheaven had crossover appeal that let hipsters into the genre with their fusion of black metal and shoegaze, and now Myrkur has received acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork for being a dominant woman in a genre not known for femininty. She also works as an actress, a model, and has an alt-rock band too, but she’s a self-professed black metal girl at heart, and Myrkur’s debut is an amalgamation of blast beats, dark production, celtic melodies, and guttural howls.

Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe

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Electronic music is very much in vogue in 2015. Whether it’s Calvin Harris with his club anthems or Avicii with his...well, club anthems, it’s hard to escape the digitised sounds of right now. The debut from Glaswegian trio Chvrches was a refreshing relief from the electro monotony. With a heavy emphasis on the ‘pop’ in ‘synthpop’, The Bones of What You Believe arrived on a massive wave of hype and delivered on all accounts. ‘Recover’ still feels as necessary to the scene as it did when it was released, while ‘Tether’ with its slow burn crescendo made this small bunch of musicians from Scotland sound huge. It helps that they all seem lovely too – Lauren Mayberry’s TYCI is an empowering community for women, and she has never shied away from calling out misogyny relating to the band and how women are treated generally. One of the best bands in the world at the moment.

Ceperitas abo. Sequiatent andae porectecest, senihitin cori volupis apera etur aut autate laut dellistio ea conse sedis ne id molende sequia doluptur?Ducia conecea quatem vellanihicab illabo. Tia as aut.

Womens’ Season




Inside the Mind of a Girl Gamer The ramblings of a girl gamer discussing how discrimination, specifically homophobia and sexism, affects the girl gaming community. By Rebecca Spayne


Kettle Magazine



suppose you could say that I wasn’t your typical girlygirl child, the one all mothers dreamed of dressing up in pretty, pink, floral dresses, and doing their hair in french plaits. No, I was that one kid you had in your class who you were a tad scared of because you didn’t understand why they would wear baggy, boys’ hand-me-down jeans with a chain lolling pathetically at their side in a display of outright rebellion. I was a ‘Skater Girl’ who listened to RUN DMC (rapping all the words obviously) and who played two games predominantly: My Brother’s 18+, Def Jam Vendetta, ,an underground, brutal wrestling game, which I was drawn to due to the concept of the forbidden fruit, and SSX Tricky. As an immature child, I think part of the attraction to this snowboarding game was the close letter association to the word ‘sex’, as well as the provocative language and clothing that littered the game. Yes, unfortunately, I was very much aware of what I looked like, and how I acted… and I loved it. For most fellow girl gamers that I have come across in various lobbies, they were along the same lines as me as a child, and continue today, to maintain that ‘I’m just going to be a little different’ attitude to life. I am an avid gamer. I game every day and night and still manage to juggle Uni, a job and life on the side, so I’m not entirely a festering ball on the sofa, just to clarify! However, having said that, the theme tune to my life is ‘EA Games... *whispers*... Challenge Everything...’. And with that I will finally enlighten you folks into one aspect of girl gaming that I find increasingly interesting.

within a group of ones peers, and nobody prevents this. Needless to say, the gaming community is a tough place for the average girl to become part of, and therefore, the majority, in my opinion, of the female gaming population are either part of the LGBT community, like myself or are the feisty girlfriends of male gamers who are more mature than the average boy gamer you come across, and so disregard the opinions of little boys. There are exceptions of course, before you begin to start thinking to yourself, ‘Well I’m not a lesbian, and I’m single, and yet I love to play Fifa’.

Growth of the girl gaming community I’m going to make a big assumption now, with lack of evidence, only my own experience and the experiences of fellow GGs that I have met, so bear with me and keep an open mind. I believe that the girl gaming community has grown substantially within the past few years, and I think this correlates strongly with the fact that equal rights within the gay community is slowly rising up world wide, with the legalisation of gay marriage in America, as well as the whole of the UK (key places where gaming is most common). This causes younger teenagers, who are struggling with their sexuality, to feel more accepted in the wider public, without having to conform to the social critique. Although coming out at a young age, or at any age, is difficult, It is, and always has been, easier to come out in a less personal setting, such as the Internet world. Therefore naturally, gaming takes up a large section of that, and by creating your own avatar, name and bio etc. on a gaming console, it allows one to project the persona that they wish to present to the world, and have people like them for them and not just for a face in a crowd.

To be fair, the majority who think about them [Girl Gamers] anyway are merely prepubescent boys lusting over the concept of an ‘ideal girlfriend’

Sexism and gaming Sexism is one crucial factor that not many people consider when thinking of girl gamers. To be fair, the majority who think about them anyway are merely prepubescent boys lusting over the concept of an ‘ideal girlfriend’ who they can teach how to game. However, it is becoming a recurring theme in my day-to-day gaming career. Granted, I am a COD girl through and through, meaning that it is a first person shooter game which appeals, predominantly, to the younger male generations, so I am completely used to being in a lobby surrounded by rowdy twelve year old boys shouting at each other. However, what I shouldn’t be accustomed to is the consistent abuse that I receive both in game chat, as well as private messages. These messages are typed out purposely in order to insult me due to my gender, because, naturally ‘girls should not be gaming’, and therefore should not be at the same or a better level than the average boy playing... The ‘Lad Culture’ concept that snakes through the younger generations, whose boys have not become men mentally yet, I believe is the root of this. It is deemed socially acceptable and almost comical to discriminate

However, for every light, there is dark. Being merely a face behind a screen, allows for cyber bullying, which is something that, in the gaming world, Microsoft, Sony, Treyarch etc, all the ‘big names’ need to tackle. Which they are not doing very successfully. All that has been done, so far, is the banning of any LGBT account names or emblems etc. on XBOX to ‘prevent victimisation’. .. Do not attack the attacked; attack the attackers. In spite of its flaws, gaming is one of the releases that I look forward to after a hard day at work, it can also be the quiet night in with drinks, food and your closest friends, or it can be the sweet, amusing, memories you make with your partner. Don’t let it pass you by until you give it a shot, so grab a controller from your friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, sibling, whoever, just sit and have a game and show ‘em who’s boss. Let’s widen the girl gaming community together.. Womens’ Season




It’s time to talk Vaginas Health Editor Rebekah Chaplin explains how the taboo surrounding vaginas is affecting the female population’s health.

Every woman has a vagina. Every woman has probably worried about some aspect of vaginal health.... Would it not make you feel better to share that worry with a loved one? 42

Kettle Magazine


agina is the clinical name for female genitalia, yet most of us are more likely to call it the vajayjay, foo, private area, lady garden… the list goes on. If we can’t even bring ourselves to use the actual term, it is hardly surprising that women tend not to talk about their vaginas. A recent survey talking to 1,000 women found that 66 per cent of 18-24 year olds in Britain, find talking about their vagina to be deeply embarrassing. It also found that of these women, 48 per cent were afraid of having their hoo-ha examined by a doctor. Not surprisingly, this is affecting women’s

health. Physical changes, discharge, non-menstrual bleeding, lumps, bumps, and pain or discomfort during sex, are all issues that can arise in our nether regions. These may not necessarily indicate a problem, but if we are too scared to even talk to our friends about it, it is hardly likely that we will go to a doctor for advice in such a situation. What if these changes are the result of health problems down below? Are we really happy to leave it, cross our fingers and hope it goes away, simply out of embarrassment?.


Ceperitas abo. Sequiatent andae porectecest, senihitin cori volupis apera etur aut autate laut dellistio ea conse sedis ne id molende sequia doluptur?Ducia conecea quatem vellanihicab illabo. Tia as aut.

Why the Taboo? For starters, the vagina has been massively overly sexualised, with males and females alike often thinking of vaginas only in terms of sexual activity. Of course you are going to feel uncomfortable talking about your vagina or showing it to a doctor if you only view it as a sexual thing. Sex is a private thing after all and showing your vagina to a stranger is not something women do on a day-to-day basis. From this perspective, it’s understandable that talking about vaginas makes us nervous, and that the idea of someone poking around down there makes us want to run and hide in a corner. The lack of discussion between mothers and daughters, female friends and family members, is another factor. For men, conversations about penises start at a young age. Little boys playing with their private parts is a common occurrence, perhaps because it is an external feature. However, for girls conversations about vaginas tend to only come up at puberty, and often feature

a quick chat about the birds and the bees in hushed tones in a private corner. Even in sex education, little is taught about how to spot problems down below or what to do about them.

The need for change. Now I’m not suggesting that we all start throwing vagina parties and munching on vagina cake, (although any excuse for cake is good in my personal opinion,) but the taboo surrounding our vaginas is affecting our health and something needs to be done about it. Even just talking to a friend about any worries you have is a step in the right direction. Every woman has a vagina. Every woman has probably worried about some aspect of vaginal health at some point in their life. Would it not make you feel better to share that worry with a loved one? They could be worrying about the exact same thing, or they may have experienced what you are going through and therefore, be able to offer help or advice.

If you are in a relationship, why not talk to your partner about your worries? One of the benefits of being in a relationship if having someone you can talk to about anything, so if your vagina is a cause of worry, why not share that worry? If you are scared to go to the doctor alone, sharing your fears with your partner, a friend or family member (whoever you feel most comfortable talking too), could lessen that fear. They could provide support and may even offer to go to see the doctor with you. There is no need to keep your worries to yourself and suffer in silence.

A final word It is time we admit that vaginas are seen as a taboo subject. The female population’s health is at risk as a result. There is only one way to break the taboo surrounding vaginas and that is to talk openly about them. It is time we break the taboo.

Womens’ Season




Our obsession with Disney Princesses: where have all the real women gone? Mina Green discusses perceptions of female body image on social media through the ‘Disney Princess’ trend.

Our rabid obsession with fictional characters and analyzing their appearance, particularly of women, has provided a gateway for us to project our own insecurities onto outdated Disney characters existing within outdated, patronizing and sexist plots.


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crolling through our Facebook feeds on a daily basis soon becomes a dilapidated activity, usually combined with a morning hairstyle bordering on ‘Hey Arnold’ circa 1998. Social media has become a platform upon which we express ourselves, perhaps more coherently than we do with our actual vocal chords in a meeting at work about sexual harassment. It has become the essence of contemporary thought; a digital means of sharing a global consciousness. Then why is it the case that most of its content feigns relevance to our reality? A prime example would be the recent ongoing trend of Disney princesses. You know, the kind of click bait Buzzfeed stuff that we read on the train to work with minimal facial expression, aside from wincing when the chubby guy next to us farts. There are so many to choose from: ‘If Disney did princesses with realistic waistlines’, ‘If

Disney princesses had Instagram’, ‘If Disney princesses had short hair’. My favourite is ‘Disney princesses imagined as different ethnicities’ - what a way to transform our childhood nuggets of nostalgia into clones of Rachel Dolezal but with better outfits. Our rabid obsession with fictional characters and analyzing their appearance, particularly of women, has provided a gateway for us to project our own insecurities onto outdated Disney characters existing within outdated, patronizing and sexist plots. One of the most popular posts was ‘Disney princesses with realistic waistlines’, a post manipulating Ariel’s waist to make her look ‘normal’ with the aim to highlight the ridiculous body standards that young girls are expected to uphold. This post was encouraging as it did analyse and tap into the unhealthy body standards that are thrust upon women by the media on a constant basis, and forced us to reflect upon those standards as a result.


#LoveYourLines However, instead of drawling lines over fictional characters and pointing out their perfections, it would be more refreshing and encouraging to discuss real women and real body issues, and I don’t mean how good Kendal Jenner’s legs looked in that mini-skirt last week. I mean trends such as Twitter’s #LoveYourLines, a hashtag used as a means for women to express pride and not shame for the natural blemishes of the human body. Despite there being many articles and trends on social media which are body positive, as Eleanor Birkett wrote in her controversial article in the NY times last month, ‘nail polish does not a woman make’. We are told that our appearance is the only thing that matters, even by goodnatured Buzzfeed articles. These articles do not focus on strong female characters, or the intricacy of our essence as humans, they merely point out ways that we can morph fictional characters’ aesthetics to

match ours – I mean, after all, aren’t we all princesses who just want to find our prince Of course, these articles are just a bit of fun; I don’t mean to be a party pooper by turning a light-hearted post into something that requires deep reflection. But sometimes it’s worth digging out the underlying reason why these articles are so popular, so concerned with beauty standards and so blatantly directed at women. You won’t find any articles critising the body image of Disney princes, because remember men are heroes whatever they look like, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is an example of this. He’s humiliated because of the way he looks, but he still gets to be the hero at the end and save the damsel in distress. As much as the Disney princess craze did highlight important issues concerning expectations of body image and helped women stand up against the issue, it was still a

constant reminder that within our society, our worth as humans is based solely on our appearance. If only there would be more discussion of women as strong, motivated humans who contribute to society with opinions, dreams and feelings, rather than simply a walking set of pretty orifices who get annoyed when a cartoon looks better than them. Where have all the real women gone? When it comes to being bombarded by social media posts such as the Disney princess trend, we should take some time to reflect upon the blatant subconscious indoctrination that these articles elicit rather than the sometimes-ok points they skim concerning women’s issues. So instead of stressing about your thigh gap (or lack thereof), or deeming yourself worthless if you can’t do the #bellybuttonchallenge, think instead of the countless women you know who are more than just bodies.

Womens’ Season




Favourite female character: September from Catherynne Valente’s Fairyland Series If you could be any female literature character who would you be? Laura Noakes shares why she would choose September from Catherynne Valente’s Fairyland Series.


Kettle Magazine



lthough there are many female characters in literature that I love (Lizzie Bennet, Hermione Granger and Matilda Wormwood spring to mind), there is one less well known character whom I would LOVE to be and it’s one many people haven’t heard of. Her name is September, and in Catherynne Valente’s excellent Fairyland series, she is spirited away to the magical land of, you guessed it, Fairyland, to have all sorts of amazing adventures.

September is a twelve year old girl, living in Omaha in the midst of World War Two when she is whisked away to Fairyland by the Green Wind

The Fairyland series is the perfect combination of my favourite childhood classics, Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Wizard of Oz, but turned completely on their heads. Simultaneously a homage and a parody of the fairytales that inspired it, Fairyland is a wondrous and imaginative world that is full of whimsy and magic. The books are beautifully written, so much so that it feels almost like poetry. The mischief and magic that September and her friends get up to is enchanting and hilarious. But what I really love about this series is our protagonist, September. September is a twelve year old girl, living in Omaha in the midst of World War Two when she is whisked away to Fairyland by the Green Wind. September is a richly drawn character, she makes numerous mistakes throughout the series and solves problems using her smarts. September is for me, what separates this series from the classics. Because, although I adore Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, I was always slightly baffled as to why she was so desperate to escape the magic of Oz and return to the dusty and boring Kansas. And whilst The Chronicles of Narnia will remain one of my favourites, I was always so angry on behalf of Susan when she was unjustly thrown from Narnia for the crime of discovering boys and makeup. And it really annoyed me when Alice woke up just as the Queen demanded her head, and Wonderland was revealed as a dream.

Why is September my favourite female character? If I was any female character I would be September not only because she gets to go to Fairyland (duh!) but because she is a more complex character than these three. She is not a passive damsel in distress, but a hero, a knight in her own right. She is smart, determined and yet also naive. September seems real, and that is what separates her from other young heroines. September is a kick-ass female character, and refuses to let her gender stop her from being restricted in any way. There is an emphasis on September’s ability to problem solve, and she grapples with her personal morales and beliefs throughout the series. September is very much a feminist main character, and this is another reason why I adore her so much. If you like imaginative, well crafted fantasy reminiscent of the classics, but with a strong female lead that is constantly developing throughout the series, you NEED to read the Fairyland series.

Womens’ Season




Why women are the future for journalism Alex Veeneman examines the issue of women in journalism from the perspective of Kettle editors, and asks what this says about the issue of gender in journalism.


little over three years ago, in April 2012, I received notification that I had a new follower on Twitter. The follower was identified as Kettle, a publication aimed for student writers who wanted to expand their craft and opportunities. As I was trying to expand my CV, I found the opportunity one I could not resist, so I emailed about writing for the site. I was accepted and became a contributor. A few months later, I became their first political editor. At that time, the number of 48

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Kettle editors was limited, but the majority of them were men. Since then, much has changed, especially how the student body of universities is composed. As the number of students seeking spots at university went up, so did the number of women wanting to pursue journalism, with data from UCAS indicating that more women are now studying journalism compared to men. This trend went against the culture of most of the modern journalism industry, still heavily male-dominated. The trends also had an effect on student

media. According to research from Epigram, the student newspaper at the University of Bristol, 64 per cent of student publications have either a female editor or co-editors where one is female. In addition, the chairs of the administration of the Student Publication Association, which represent student publications in the UK and Ireland, in the last 2 years are women, Sophie Davis for the 2014-15 academic year, and Jem Collins for the 201516 academic year. (For the record, Kettle is a member of the SPA, and I also hold a personal membership with them.)


‘The aim should be great content’

newspaper editors on digital strategies.

Indeed, our editorial team has more women than men. At this writing, we now have 28 editors, 23 of them are women, a reflection of the current trends in place.

“To be successful in journalism today, you have to wrap your head around all things digital,” Goode said. “Women are almost more willing to learn these things. Senior male editors in their 50s are reluctant, women are willing to embrace it. With the fact that Kettle is remote, women are equal. We all share the same voice and same ideas.”

This isn’t the first time I personally have worked in an environment where most of the editors are women. The same rule applied when I was working on my student newspaper at university. Indeed, many of my colleagues who I spoke to while researching this piece said they hadn’t noticed the gender ratio was in favour of women until they discovered it was the case later on.

It is rare for a publication like Kettle, an outlet which appeals to both genders, to have a domination of women in its editorial team

Instead, their focus was on the journalism, and building the Kettle brand even further, in spite of the culture of sexism in the industry. Emily Murray, Kettle’s film editor, says it should be about the journalism, not gender. “It is rare for a publication like Kettle, an outlet which appeals to both genders, to have a domination of women in its editorial team,” Murray said. “I think it is great that publications like Kettle are promoting women in journalism, however again the aim should be great content and great journalists, whether this is a team dominated by men or women. Of course sexism in the journalism industry is an unwanted fiend, but publications shouldn’t aim to just hire more women. They should be hiring good journalists, no matter what gender they are.” Further, on the issue of sexism, Deputy Editor Kealie Mardell does not consider it a threat. Instead, Mardell says women can change that perception. “I don’t want young female journalists to be put off by a perceived role of women within media and journalism, I want them to realise that they could be the ones that change those roles,” Mardell said. “If there are issues surrounding gender within the media industry then platforms that exist outside of that inequality are more important than ever. Being a part of Kettle allows those women to build a professional portfolio that they can use to prove their worth within the industry.”

Over the course of my career thus far, I have had the opportunity to work with many talented writers and editors, many of them women – women who will go far in the ever changing media industry. In my view (in spite of the rarity of me writing comment pieces), Kettle is championing women in journalism, and allowing a new perspective – taking on writers not just for their gender, but because they are good at what they do, and saying through actions that women should not be afraid to look at sexism in journalism in the eye, and proclaim, bullshit. In the end, Mardell tells me, she hopes that other publications can follow suit, and Kettle can lead by example. “Kettle is sending the message that there’s no excuse for women to not play a greater role within the media industry,” Mardell said. “Whether that’s student publications or on a greater scale, Kettle shows how successful a publication with a greater ratio of female editors can be. I would love to see this position and the opportunities Kettle provides more widely publicised with a focus on the issue of women in journalism, in order to encourage more female contributors and to encourage other student media and publications to follow suit.” So while the industry itself continues to change, the number of talented women who want to enter the profession will increase. There are many talented women who enter the profession not for the money, but to make a difference for others around them. One can only hope the industry will put that thought forward, before looking at the application field marked gender – for journalism’s sake.

A question of attitudes Indeed, TV editor Alex Goode says, there is some hesitation among major Womens’ Season




The top ten women in F1 right now F1 editor Holly Wade looks at the top ten females gracing the sport right now


ormula 1 has always been a male-dominated environment, but things are changing. From drivers through to presenters and all the jobs in between plenty of females are making waves within the sport and here are our top ten to look out for right now.

her way up from karting and has battled continuously for equality, being forced to drive in a pink car during her DTM days. Now Wolff has found her place in the sport where she is Williams’ test driver and at the 2014 British Grand Prix she became the first woman to compete in a race weekend since 1992 after partaking in the free practice session.

Susie Wolff

Claire Williams

Susie is probably the most well-known female in the paddock at the moment. Though there have been doubters over her F1 involvement, people claiming nepotism due to the fact that she is married to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, Susie is the epitome of dedication to the sport. She has worked

Claire is the deputy team principal of the Williams team, named by her father Sir Frank who formed the team in 1977. Before people call out more cries of nepotism Claire has shown that the sport really is in her blood as she became a press officer at Silverstone after her graduation from New-


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castle University in 1999. Moving into the family business she has worked her way from the bottom through many promotions to stand in the role she now holds.

Monisha Kaltenborn Monisha is the current team principal at Sauber and is the first woman to hold this position in Formula 1. She also has a third share of the team and has a huge say in how things are run. Though she has had some tricky times, most recently the contract mix up with Giedo van der Garde and talk that she could face prison, she has always worked incredibly hard with the team and they have always finished in the top ten of the constructors championship since she took on the role.


Suzi Perry Suzi really does wave the flag high for female motorsport presenters. Having been the face of Moto GP for 13 years she made the move into Formula 1 following Jake Humphrey’s departure to BT Sport. She has been the main host for the BBC F1 team since 2013 and adds a great new dynamic to the team of David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan who flank her come race weekend. Suzi has become the first female to take on a fulltime main anchor role in the sport on British television and there is even speculation that she’ll be joining Chris Evans as a host of Top Gear.

Lee McKenzie The daughter of motorsport journalist Bob McKenzie Lee has climbed the ladder to success through a lot of hard work and determination. Before Suzi Perry was given the coveted F1 anchor role Lee would often step in for an absent Jake Humphrey and became the first woman to take on such a role in British TV. Since 2009 Lee has been the BBC’s pit lane reporter and also presents the Inside F1 show for BBC News. Lee doesn’t just do F1 though - she’s covered plenty of sports for the BBC and seen annually at Wimbledon.

Jennie Gow Jennie is a dab hand at radio and TV, having Moto GP, Radio 5 Live and BBC F1 presenting under her belt. She replaced Perry as the host of Moto GP for the 2010 season and went on to be the Radio 5 Live pit lane reporter a year later, a job which she still holds. She also now works for ITV as the lead anchor for their coverage of the new Formula E championship.

Natalie Pinkham Natalie began her F1 career as the Radio 5 Live pit lane

reporter for the BBC but after only one season she transferred across to Sky Sports where she is the pit lane reporter, giving all the latest information and access across the race weekend. She also hosts The F1 Show and the glamorous sport has led to friendly links with the royals – Zara Phillips was just one of the many famous guests at her wedding in 2012.

Carmen Jorda

She has worked her way up from karting and has battled continuously for equality, being forced to drive in a pink car during her DTM days.

Carmen is a racing driver, having competed in Le Mans and the Indy Lights Series. From 2012 until 2014 she was part of the GP3 series and is now a development driver for the Lotus F1 team. Like Susie Wolff Jorda has worked hard to move into the sport and her role within the team is vital for Lotus moving forward within Formula 1.

Alice Powell OK so Alice hasn’t quite made it to F1 yet but at the age of 22 she is the only female to gain points in the GP3 series and the only woman to ever win a Formula Renault championship. In 2013 she came second in Formula 3, having won five races that season, and looked set for a place in the Caterham F1 team but sadly they went into administration. Talk about making waves Alice is definitely one to look out for in the future.

Beitske Visser Though Beitske hasn’t made it to F1 yet she has been a part of both the Formula Renault 3.5 series and GP3, scoring her first ever point at the former in Spa, a notoriously difficult circuit. The 20-year-old is currently still in GP3, competing for the Trident team, and was the first female to join the Red Bull Junior team. Though no longer with them she has plenty of time to try and move into F1 and shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.

Above: Carmen Jordan and Sauber Team Principle, Monisha Kaltenborn Left: F1’s first female competing driver, Susie Wolff

Womens’ Season




Are men objectified as much as women? Halimah Manan examines Natalie Dormer’s claim that TV opens men up to as much objectification as woman.


Kettle Magazine


he objectification of women has been a well-documented phenomenon by feminists in recent years. From Everyday Sexism, a website where people post personal experiences, to feminist magazines such as Bitch and Ms., there are plenty of discussions of the way the female body is objectified.

As far as the dictionary definition goes, to objectify is to ‘degrade to the state of a mere object’.

However, when Natalie Dormer, Game of Thrones actress, told Radio Times that television sometimes opens up both men and women to equal scrutiny, it raised the questions: have we come to a point in time where men are objectified as much as women? If so, in which ways? Has it brought about, as Chris Pratt suggested, equality? Or is it a way for people to undermine the persistent institutional problem of objectification, particularly in other, non-sexual ways, more often levelled at people of colour? And, focusing on Game of Thrones, are men and women really equally objectified? Before we can get to the point of this article, it’s important to clarify what I mean by ‘objectified’. As far as the dictionary definition goes, to objectify is to ‘degrade to the state of a mere object’. By far, this issue is also present in clothes and perfume advertisements (American Apparel springs to mind) but TV shows are guilty of it too. An example of objectification in a perfume advert. An objectification of this kind occurs when characters, or their plotlines (romantic, sexual, or otherwise), solely exist for the motivation of another character, or for the audience’s gratification. Overwhelmingly, these characters tend to be people of colour. Case in point is arguably Oliver, played by How To Get Away With Murder’s Conrad Ricamora who is half-Filipino, as he mostly exists to be Connor’s love interest. Equally, in The 100, three of the main characters who are tortured (Raven, Bellamy and Lincoln) and one who suffers a meaningless death (RIP Wells!) are people of colour, whose pain is used to motivate other, usually white, characters.

What about Game of Thrones?

Game of Thrones actress, Natalie Dormer

Of course, there’s plenty of objectification elsewhere, some of which occur in Game of Thrones (contrary to Dormer’s implication that her projects are equally objectifying). In the case of white characters, this has been predominantly a sexual objectification. From a dishonest portrayal of Osha’s (Natalia Tena) naked body in season 1 with a distinct lack of hair, to unnecessary and gratuitous rape scenes diverting from the book, to season 5’s questionable plotline (plus another

CULTURE unnecessary rape scene) for Sansa, it’s hard to believe Natalie Dormer. Particularly when you realise the camera focused on Theon, emphasising that the plotline was more for his benefit than for any character development (as if rape could possibly ever pass as a device for development) of Sansa’s. In fact, along with The Mary Sue, Lee-Ying, a second-year student at Kings College London, stopped watching Game of Thrones after Sansa’s questionable scene. “I didn’t watch on til the end of the season,” she said, “after Sansa’s rape because I was tired of having to see sexual violence against women all of the time…” “People have argued that Sansa’s arc … has been used to further Theon’s redemption arc. It feels like she’s already gone through enough; there was no reason to put her through more, especially as it diverges from the book…” These cases certainly make Matthew Macfadyen’s outrage at the objectification of Aidan Turner’s Poldark look tame. After all, what’s a questionable six-pack to the repeated use of gratuitous portrayals of sexual violence perpetrated against women?

Does it matter? However, while these examples may suggest that women are objectified more than men, in more overt and obvious ways, the question posed by this article has been somewhat misleading; to compare objectification is reductive. Rather, it’s necessary to acknowledge that objectification manifests itself in different ways and is damaging for men and women, though to varying degrees. Even so, to say that one is more pressing a concern than the other would be unfair and untrue; feminists have long campaigned against both. So, while there is no doubt that Natalie Dormer is right about the objectification of men, the statement has become polarising. You need only glance at this Telegraph article to get a taste of the worst side of this assertion. The acknowledgement of men’s objectification does not reduce the institutional problem of objectification posed against women and perpetuated in TV, even if television does allow more diversity than films. Ultimately, it’s hard to say that men are objectified as much as women while sexual violence continues to be used as a plot device in critically-acclaimed shows, like Game of Thrones. Regardless, both forms are damaging and should be held in similar regards as to their consequences rather than compete for attention. Womens’ Season




My favourite woman in music: Carole King


As part of Kettle’s Women’s Season, culture editor Ellie Leddra tells us why Carole King is her favourite woman in music.

efore Adele’s 21 there was Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill, and before Alanis came Carole King and Tapestry. What do all of these things have in common? They’ve been called the greatest break-up albums of all time. My love for Carole King grows every day. When I heard Tapestry for the first time, I’d never heard anything like it before. I heard such a pure, honest voice singing emotional songs which I never could grasp the words of until I personally experienced a break-up. Everything she sang felt so relatable, even though I didn’t fully understand what she must have been feeling. But in the end, it only takes one album to change your life.

Born and Raised in New York City With fingers on the piano from 4 years old, Carol Joan Klein was the heart and 54

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soul of a working family in Brooklyn. Soon forming a band called the Co-Sines in high school, she then made demo records with her friend Paul Simon of the esteemed Simon and Garfunkel, for $25 a session. Her name change came soon after she got a real taste for music and decided to become Carole King. It was even reported that Neil Sedaka’s ‘Oh Carole’ was written about King and how she wouldn’t date him as she wanted to focus on her career. King soon responded by writing a hit tune called ‘Oh Neil’. At 17 she wrote and recorded her first hit, ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ which she wrote for The Shirelles, with her songwriting partner Gerry Goffin. King soon went on to marry Goffin, still only at 17. He supported their family and worked as a pharmacist while King, who soon fell pregnant, took care of their kids all whilst penning some of the biggest hit tunes for musicians.


Writing and singing the classics While most people associate King with her groundbreaking album Tapestry, before her success King was behind some of the most classic songs ever penned. Together Goffin and King became one of the most highly sought-out couples, selling songs week after week with much competition from fellow lyricists Cynthia Weil & Barry Mann. Eventually the couple gave up their jobs and took on being lyricists full-time. They wrote classics such as ‘The Locomotion’, ‘Take Good Care of My Baby’, ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ and eventually, ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman,’ which catapulted Aretha Franklin’s career. Although their songwriting success was ever growing, King and Goffin found themselves drifting apart and soon divorced due to personal conflicts in their marriage. It was reported Goffin became addicted to LSD and didn’t want to live the quiet life with King. Moving on with her two children, Carole moved from NYC to LA and began to write an album that would change her life.

Tapestry While writing in LA, King went on to meet musicians James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, who gave her the confidence to start writing music again after a

Ehentia ped eaqui to quaepudiora debitio nsequis audae repudan dicatem. Ovidunte consequam aut offic to inis si te molorer iatiandis atur reptas nusam sime videliq uiatur?Optur sitat lam que sam, nonsawe much needed break from music. King started to pen Tapestry and called it a healing experience as she felt she had lost her confidence following her divorce. She went on to release Tapestry, featuring tracks such as ‘I Feel The Earth Move/Beautiful/You’ve Got a Friend’ as well as original penned tracks such as ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman’ and ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ King’s voice gave the tracks their own distinctive sound, compared to the group harmonies once provided by The Shirelles. Released in 1971, Tapestry spent 5 weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard

Charts and sold over 25 million copies sold worldwide. Rolling Stone’s Jon Landau commented on King’s album, saying, “Carole’s voice has often been criticized for being too thin. That it may be, but on Tapestry it is marvelously expressive from first to last. On the opening cut. “I Feel the Farth Move” (one of six songs she wrote entirely on her own), she begins on a raunchy note and works herself into a very bluesy mood. Then, when the song reaches the chorus, the melody blossoms into a pretty pop line as Carole’s tone goes from harsh to soothing and she sings”. The album won four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Record of the Year (“It’s Too Late,”) and Song of the Year, with King becoming the first woman to win the award (“You’ve Got a Friend”). King was hailed as one of the most creative influences in music.

A musical for the musical genius In 2012, writer Douglas McGrath and producer Marc Bruni took a unique show to broadway. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical told the story of the early life of King, covering her early start in the industry with Goffin and climbing to the release of Tapestry. The show sold out its entire run and was hailed as a success for the portrayal of King’s career. The show won a Tony Award for its lead actress, Jessie Mueller, who played King. Mueller went onto comment, “I guess that’s why I love playing Carole. She’s this woman figuring out who she is, and grows into herself before the audience.” Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has since opened in the UK. In 2000, Joel Whitburn, a Billboard pop music researcher, named King the most successful female songwriter of 1955–99 because she wrote or cowrote 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2005, music historian Stuart Devoy found her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts 1952–2005. King has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be honoured. Womens’ Season




Women’s Season: Being a male feminist Feminism isn’t just a cause for women - it’s a cause for equality between all genders . Time then for it to be embraced by all. This piece was co-written by Joshua Daniels and Camila Vergara.


n the United Kingdom, this week, two women will be killed by their partner or ex-partner. One incident of domestic violence against women is reported to the police every minute. That’s going to be five women by the time you reach the end of this article. That ranks the UK as worse than nearly every other European country. It’s equally bad in terms of the gender pay gap. Women earn less here compared to men than most other European countries - 17% less per hour, some £300,000 in accumulated losses over their career. The UK needs, desperately, to pursue gender equality. The pursuit of gender equality has another name: feminism. The UK needs feminism.

Feminism needs you And feminism needs you. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. Polls suggest feminists are more likely to be female, so this piece is directed at everybody else. Feminism is diversifying: this isn’t the first wave, and it’s not the early twentieth century. Sexism is pernicious - it’s subtle, sometimes invisible. It needs to be combatted not by one gender but by all genders. Being knowledgeable about feminism, even knowing the basics - that can make a huge difference to your outlook on politics, on social justice, on women. The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one. The genders are not equal. Even if the flame of altruism doesn’t burn within you, consider only that equality of genders (and by extension the advancement of women) benefits everyone. A more egalitarian society would result in a stronger economy and a stronger workforce, as women would no longer be limited to less skilled jobs. In other words, feminism would make us richer. Gender roles and norms affect men in the exact same way they affect women. Male victims of domestic violence aren’t taken seriously, and neither is assault against men. Punitive sentencing against men is also negatively biased. These are issues that feminism could address. These are areas where a real, meaningful difference could be made.

Opposition to feminism Unlike other social movements, opposition to feminism tends to stem not from ideology but from ignorance. 56

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Outside of various profoundly oppressive countries, most people intrinsically support equality. Opposition to feminism therefore comes from simply not knowing a great deal about it. You don’t have to spend much time on the internet to hear the tried and true ‘Women don’t need feminism anymore’. Ironically, the same people who claim feminism is obsolete perpetuate the misogyny that necessitates it. There is staggering evidence that feminism remains a positive, relevant and potent movement. One example of this is 2003 Sexual Offences Act. After intense campaigning by feminist groups, the law in this country was changed. A new, broader definition of rape was adopted. Further, men were no longer recognised as the sole perpetrators of the crime. This represents an example of when feminism directly advanced not just women but men as well. Feminism is the pursuit of gender equality but with each new generation, the goalposts move. Where once feminists strived for the vote (the Suffragette movement), they now strive to address issues like the gender pay gap and domestic violence. These issues are different but no less important. Many protections are already enshrined in law but creating a practical reality is the next frontier. There’s already equal pay laws in most Western countries, but in not a single one has the gender pay gap been closed. Feminism also needs to begin to play a part in influencing foreign policy - should we continue to trade with states that have notorious Human Rights records, especially with regard to their treatment of women, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar? Kettle is a student magazine. That means that it’s readership are the next generation of activists and lawyers and policy makers and politicians and citizenry. It means that soon, if not already, the baton of social justice gets passed to you. If you’ve gotten this far you’ve seen the statistics and heard the arguments. You likely realize that there’s a compelling case to be a feminist, a compelling case for feminism. If you’re reading this in a Western, liberal country, like Britain, remember your freedoms are not free. They were payed for with activism, with sweat, tears and blood. None of you need martyr yourselves for feminism but the highest patriotism is a critical one and there is always more work to do.


BECOME A KETTLE CORRESPONDENT Kettle is looking to add university correspondents to it’s “Student Life” section. If you fancy representing your university and reporting on from around your campus then please contact Hannah or Alex on

Womens’ Season




My favourite woman in music: Taylor Swift As part of Kettle’s women’s season, Music Editor Lorna Holland explains why country star turned pop sensation Taylor Swift is her favourite woman in music.


Kettle Magazine



aylor Swift is one of the most talked about people in the music industry right now. Whether you love her or hate her (how could anyone hate her?) you can’t deny she’s everywhere at the moment.

Humble beginnings

the last 12 years. Taylor has been inducted into the prestigious Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, is one of the bestselling artists of all time, and this year she became the youngest woman ever to appear on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list, coming in at number 64.

Taylor first made her name as a fresh-faced 14-year-old carving out a career for herself with her heartfelt lyrics, pop-country vibe, distinctive vocals, and trademark curly blonde hair. Her debut self-titled album was released in 2006, firmly establishing her as a country star in her own right. The third single from the album, ‘Our Song,’ made her the youngest person ever to have singlehandedly written and performed a number 1 song in the Hot Country Songs chart. But that was just the beginning for the rising star.

All that is pretty impressive for a 25-year-old.

Two years later Taylor released her second album, Fearless. My personal favourite of her albums to date, Fearless went on to become the best-selling album of 2009 in the United States. It also won her 4 Grammy’s, including making her the youngest ever Album of the Year winner.

It started with the wishes and dreams of fairytales and happy endings prevalent in her earlier work, which acted as the perfect soundtrack for teenaged me’s Disneyfied outlook on life and love. Then as I grew up, songs like ‘Mean’ just seemed to relate to events happening in my own life. Going to university was hands-down the most challenging part of my life to date, and there was a time when I couldn’t listen to ‘Never Grow Up’ without tears. Without even meaning to, Taylor’s music has unintentionally accompanied a big chunk of my life.

Rise to fame From there it was only onwards and upwards for Taylor. Her third and fourth albums, Speak Now and Red respectively, won her more Grammy Awards and fast became global hits. Her fifth album, 1989 (named after the year she was born), was released in 2014 and is much more pop-oriented than her previous output. Yet it only proved to increase her success, as the album provided 3 number 1 singles as well as selling more copies in its opening week than any other album in


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Ever since I’ve been into music, Taylor Swift’s songs have been among my favourites. I’ve always been able to relate to her songs, like so many other teenagers around the world. Taylor is one of those songwriters who manages to take exactly how you’re feeling and translate it perfectly into music, and because of that there’s been a Swift song for every stage of my life so far.

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Although I don’t listen to Taylor as much as I once did I still enjoy her songs, and hearing certain songs can instantly take me back to a time from the past. And that’s why Taylor Swift is my favourite woman in music – because so much of my life is wrapped up in her music. Womens’ Season




Is unisex clothing truly unisex? Fashion is exploring gender blurring whereby clothing is deemed as unisex. Catwalks and campaigns have been quick to put men in heels and dresses but where are the women walking in men’s shows?


015 has been a marvellous year in terms of freedom. So far this year, we have seen the legalisation of gay marriage in America and a huge awareness being drawn to the transgender community. Fashion being influenced by social movements has obviously been impacted by these changes and gender blurring has become more apparent within the industry. Catwalks such as Jean Paul Gaultier’s Paris Couture Show have embraced gender blurring through the Australian-born model, Andreja Pejic. Pejic, a transgender woman, who until 2014 was billed as an androgynous male model was discovered just before she turned 17 while working a shift at McDonalds. Two years on, it would appear that Pejic captivated audiences through the JPG show in a wedding dress. Since the Gaultier show, Pejic has featured in a number of catwalks modelling womenswear. Couture wear is made for the tall, twiggy and flat bodies that most women (even models) don’t have. Ideally couture is the perfect fit for a lean/lanky man. As a result of this, it would appear easier for men to adapt into walking in women’s shows rather than the other way round. Gender-mixing has heightened significantly - from Coach to Jeremy Scott seeming to cast women to walk the runway to show their 2016 spring collections for men. 10 women out of the 55 models at Gucci’s Men’s Spring/Summer 2016 Fashion Show were seen to embrace gender blurring. The only real gender signifier was whether the model was wearing nail polish. According to Gucci’s press release, this season’s show was titled “détournement” - French for “hijacking”. ‘Détournement’ is explained as a political movement. “It’s strength lies in the possibility of transgressing what already exists and offering glimpses of new possibilities of freedom and emancipation.” With the number of women in their show - and men with unapologetically feminine features, it’s not hard to read this as a metaphor for the genderless fashion movement. Valentino’s Pierpaolo Picciolo echoed the same sentiment in The New York Time: “We don’t think that we need new labels. I don’t think you need to show what you are. I don’t care about men and women - I just care about people.” One thing has become clear within the industry: the representation of women during Men’s Fashion Month has gone from one-time appearance to supporting role. Speculation now occurs to whether similar casting will correspond with the women’s shows this September. 60

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Womens’ Season




Marta: The best women’s footballer of all time

Nathan price takes a look at the fascinating career of Marta. The all time World Cup record goalscorer and best female football of all time.


omparison’s in football history are difficult, a lot has to be taken into consideration. From trophies won to the difficulty of teams played against, judging the greatest player of all time is a tremendously tough task. Many hours have been spent debating over Pele, Maradona, Messi and more, though when it comes to women’s football it isn’t that difficult. Asking “Who is the greatest female football player of all time?” will only get you a one word answer: Marta.

Marta - as good as Pele Being referred to as “Pele with skirts” by the man himself is some high praise indeed, but Marta is deserving 62

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of it. The highest goalscorer for the Brazilian female team, Marta possesses all the attributes Pele had. Pace, skill and a deadly eye for goal combine to make her a goalscoring machine, terrorising defences in the Swedish league for FC Rosengård and with her nation Brazil. Discovered at the age of 14, Marta played her first professional games for Brazilian big guns Vasco da Gama. Unfortunately for her this development would be short lived, as Vasco cut their women’s team in 2001. A solid two years at Santa Cruz followed, as Marta began to shine. Scoring 18 goals in 36 league games is a strong return for a 17 year old. Though the true skills of Marta were about to come to light.


Her current tally for Brazil is a staggering 92 goals in 95 games, at the age of 29 she also has years left in her to get to triple figures.

Shining in Sweden

2012 stint with Tyresö FF.

At Umeå IK Marta tasted glory instantly, after her first season she had won her first team honour, the UEFA Women’s Cup. Scoring 3 times over the two leg final, ending in a 8-0 aggregate demolition of Frankfurt. Marta was the only non Scandinavian player in the team as Umeå enjoyed a remarkable season. They narrowly missed out on the treble, finishing second in the league by one point and losing in the domestic cup final 2-1. Marta was the player to score that singular goal, just as she had scored 22 league goals in her debut season.

Tyresö FF had never won a title before Marta arrived back in the Damallsvenskan, that was soon to change. With a large contract being paid by external sponsors, Marta plundered 30 goals in 45 games at her time for the Swedish club.

Arguably her second season was even stronger, storming the league as Umeå finished undefeated. Marta finished top scorer with 21 league goals, a feat she would repeat in the next season as Umeå again finished undefeated. Marta and Umeå’s dominance continued as they won the Damallsvenskan 4 years in a row between 2005 and 2008. This coincided with her phenomenal achievement of winning FIFA World Player of The Year 5 years in a row, as she slammed in 111 goals in 103 appearances for the Swedish side. It would to be the last time Marta would spend a prolonged period of time at a club. Despite not particularly finding a home since then, the goals did not dry up at all. In her only season for Los Angeles Sol, Marta top scored in the league with ten goals. A three month loan to Santos also produced further trophies for the Brazilian, as she scored in both the Libertadores final and the Copa do Brasil victories. Los Angeles Sol then folded, leaving Marta as a free agent to join fellow American team FC Gold Pride. As usual with Marta, she lead them to the title while top scoring in the league. Winning MVP and the Golden Boot for the second year in the row, though it appeared it wasn’t meant to be in America as FC Gold Pride also folded to leave the striker without a club again. Another loan to Santos followed, though this time the trophies did not. Western New York Flash picked up the third year of Marta’s previous FC Gold Pride contract as she returned to America once again. Unsurprisingly she helped them on to the league title as a third golden boot made its way into Marta’s hands. That’s what has followed Marta throughout her career, titles and goals. It’s frightening to look at how consistently she has brought glory to the clubs she has joined. In Marta, clubs get a one woman goal machine that boosts their chances at silverware by an unbelievable amount. This was again showed at her

Unfortunately financial difficulties occurred again, as all the Tyresö players were listed as free agents as the club went under. Marta made the domestic journey to FC Rosengård and will likely bring additional trophies to the club. Though her domestic goalscoring is outweighed by her continued heroics for her national side.

World Cup heroics Making her Brazilian debut in 2002 as part of the under 20’s World Cup team, within a year she was playing at the full World Cup and scoring three goals at the tender age of 17. It was to be the start of her love affair with the tournament, as she’d go on to become the World Cup’s highest goalscorer. At the following tournament in 2007 Marta took the cup by storm, plundering in 7 goals. Brazil came runners up as Marta was awarded the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball for the best player. Scoring 4 in the group stages alone, the skill displayed by the Brazilian was breathtaking as she scored a stunning goal against U.S.A in the semi final. Come the 2011 World Cup Marta would be joint all time top goalscorer (with German Birgit Prinz) despite Brazil crashing out in the quarter finals. In 2015 she finally broke the record with a penalty against South Korea, exactly as her first World Cup goal had been scored 8 years ago. Although Brazil disappointedly left the tournament after losing 1-0 to Australia in the knockout stages. Her current tally for Brazil is a staggering 92 goals in 95 games, at the age of 29 she also has years left in her to get to triple figures. The only argument against Marta is the fact she is yet to get her hands on the World Cup, something that is also regularly used against Lionel Messi in his quest to become the best ever. Though with Marta’s ridiculous domestic record and skill it’s hard to look past her as being the queen of the Women’s game, it’ll certainly take a lot to knock her off the throne.

Womens’ Season




Women in Journalism: Now and Then Lerah Barcenilla looks at how far the feminist movement has come in the fight for gender equality, and how far is left to go.


ournalism has revolutionised tremendously over the past few years. There was a time when the mere thought of a female journalist evoked shock, surprise and even scorn from the general public. Although women’s voices are gradually being heard in journalism, they are still not as widespread as they should be.

Gender equality in journalism Today, the move towards gender equality is noticeable but gradual. The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) found that only 32% of hard news stories were either written or covered by female journalists and in 2000 – 2006. It also revealed 57% of news presenters were female but only 29% of all news stories were written by women. A 2011 study found ‘that women made up approximately 28% of those identified as principal staff members at online news outlets included in the Columbia Journalism Review’s database.’ A direct link has been made between the difficulty of raising a family while working in journalism. In the United States, women told researchers that a journalistic career is incompatible with raising a family and that managers frown upon journalists who place family first (Everbach and Flournoy, 2007), while Robinson (2005) found that the majority of female reporters in Canada do not have children, whereas less than a third of male reporters are childless. Ultimately it’s one or the other, you cannot have both. But looking at how far women’s influence in journalism has come, many would agree that the last thirty or so years showed growth in the presence and influence of women in the media. This change is an undeniable progress considering only fifty years ago journalism was an almost exclusively male profession. Despite the changes in recent years, the battle for equal rights, paved by the early women of journalism, still has a long distance to reach their goal. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, journalism was viewed as a ‘man’s job’. They believed it would be too dangerous a job for females, fearing women will be placed in unexpected situations where they will fail to react – at that time, women were viewed 64

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as ‘frail little mothers, whose sole purpose in life is to cook, clean and take care of the children’ (The International Federation of Journalists). But some women thought otherwise. ‘They sought to find and conquer anyone that tried to prevent them from writing’, one of them was Elizabeth Jane Cochran, also known as Nellie Bly.

Nellie Bly Her daring, courageous efforts named her a great leader in the world of journalism, showing the men of the business she could handle the job just as much as the next man. She is just one of many evidence of the negative attitudes towards women and journalism at that time, as everywhere she went to look for a job, she was met by mocking laughter and cutting words of ‘Go back to the kitchen where you belong’ (Nellie Bly, Biography). So she decided to take matters into her own hands. Fuelled with the anger from the harsh treatments she received from men, she decided to prove them all wrong. She wasn’t just a ‘frail little housewife’ – she was just as brave and willing to venture out into the unknown and find a story. And a story she did find. Feigning insanity, Bly was admitted to New York’s Blackwell’s Island Asylum in one of her daring works titled ‘Ten Days in a Madhouse’ (1888). Through this, she was able to write first-hand accounts of what she had actually seen, experiencing the frontlines in a battle. What she found triggered a chain reaction, not only in the journalism world but also in the field of psychology. Writing about the rat-infested and abusive conditions experienced by the women admitted at the institution, Bly also brought to light the stigma attached to mental illness; how easy it was to be admitted by merely feigning insanity and the difficulty in proving your sanity when both doctors and nurses dismiss your words as the mindless mumblings of the insane. Once released from the asylum, she published these experiences in The New York World, leading to a mass of letters which forced the City of New York to spend $1,000,000 more per annum to care for the insane.


Eleanor Roosevelt Eleanor Roosevelt is another example. The First Lady started writing a column called ‘My Day’ in 1935; its focus on the concerns of women. By 1939, the topics had expanded from women’s’ issues, to key events such as Pearl Harbour, Hollywood, television, race segregation and the Cold War. These articles not only offered light to issues such gender equality but also racial equality and support for youths - she made sure African Americans were receiving relief from New Deal programs and helped found the National Youth Administration in 1939 which helped thousands of high school and college students find part-time work. These cases demonstrate the power of words in society – they raise issues and create ideas, spreading like wildfire until actions are taken to bring solutions and positive change. In the media

women, it will take another 75 years to achieve gender equality in the media. Moreover, standards of feminine beauty are constantly presented in almost all forms of media, assaulting women with unrealistic images of what is considered to be the ‘ideal body’. Numerous studies conducted in many countries have found that nearly three-quarters of women reported negative views on their body image after seeing images of models in magazines and advertisements. With airbrushed images of thin and seemingly perfect models, it is no wonder that this unattainable image of beauty, the social pressure to stay thin and maintain a perfect image has generated an unhealthy environment for young girls in the form of eating disorders.

she made sure African Americans were receiving relief from New Deal programs and helped found the National Youth Administration in 1939 which helped thousands of high school and college students find part-time work.

On the other side of the spectrum is the controversial portrayal of women in the media and how this influences us and helps in establishing our own beliefs, albeit, demeaning towards women. Constantly objectified and represented as passive, these portrayals of women not only affect a young girl’s perception of herself and the world, but also convey to young boys that women are rewards and objects of their use.

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (2003) showed that although both men and women suffer from eating disorders, women aged between 12 and 25 are the most affected. Anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder characterised by not eating in hope of becoming thin, is a result of a distorted body image. Furthermore, studies indicate that about 50% of those who begin an eating disorder with anorexia nervosa later develop bulimia, another serious eating disorder which involves a destructive pattern of binge-eating and purging.

‘The glamorous sex kitten, the sainted mother, the devious witch, the hard-faced corporate and the political climber’ – these are the litany of common images of women in the media as described by a UNESCO report, emphasizing the objectification, sexualisation and stereotyping of women in the media. Released in 2009, this report states that at the current rate of progress in the portrayal of

Top: Nellie Bly Inset: Eleanor Roosevelt

Womens’ Season



CULTURE Standards of beauty are reinforced through commercials of beauty products with thin, flawless women and their bodies and so the public absorb this message – beauty is the norm. Therefore, as humans, we conform. We do not see beyond these media portrayals, how industries maintain profits by exploiting women’s insecurities which, ironically, stems from these very industries and their unrealistic ideals. These mediainduced insecurities mean women are more likely to buy beauty products, new clothes and diet aids in an attempt to look like these models. They may even go as far as participating in crash-course diets, no matter how unhealthy and bizarre they appear to be. The diet industry alone is worth between 40 and 100 billion a year selling products while in a recent study of 10,000 girls aged 8 to 12, 17% induced vomiting or used laxatives and diet pills to lose weight. By the time these girls reach adolescence, eating disorders are the third most common illness afflicting them. And this does not only occur in Westernised cultures. In South Korea, for example,

the growing popularity of the ‘hallyu wave’ (Korean wave) has brought these ideals to shore. With increased exposure to television and the media and to idols with their sculpted faces and perfect choreographies, the public is constantly exposed to idealised beauty of big eyes, pale complexion, a sharp pointed nose and a small chin and jaw. Much evidence indicates that this beauty ideal is not merely a trend, but a very real standard that is growing deeper in the Korean society, to the point where appearance is starting to play a bigger role in the work place. As a result, even high school student graduates undergo plastic surgery as graduation gifts in an attempt to look like their favourite idols, actors and actresses, which can also contribute to the high diagnosis of depression in the general Korean public. However, it is not only eating disorders that plague women exposed to these warped ideals. Poor body image can also lead to depression and anxiety; bombarded with impossible images of extreme ideals, any individual’s psyche will take a beating with the worry of living up and conforming to what they believe is expected of them –

what they believe society expects of them. By having more women in the world of media and journalism, these issues about gender and self-image may be addressed. There is no argument that women are not capable of handling harsh situations; that they would buckle beneath the subject of war or politics or crime. Female journalists such as Nellie Bly and even the former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt are proof that women are just as capable as men. Although this is not to say that all journalists should be women, the argument stands that there should more gender equality present in the media. Men and women perceive things differently. What men see may not necessarily be what women see. Like pieces of a puzzle, each perspective is equally important and disregarding one means part of our society is placed under darkness, less noticed and obscured – without a balance, without equilibrium, this puzzle will not be complete.

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Why does baking still have a feminine stigma? Baking is not just for women, and the success of the Great British Bake Off shows why.


hanks to a certain amateur baking programme, millions of people across the nation are donning their aprons and whisking up a storm.

Founder of the Clandestine Cake Club (CCC) Lynn Hill attributes her club’s success to the inclusivity of the show: “You can imagine that baking a whole cake and having to eat it yourself can be a bit daunting, so I think people like having an outlet for their baking.” With 195 groups and counting, there is no denying that people are enjoying the revival of the domestic activity, but why does baking still have a feminine stigma attached?

Baking: not a female-only territory Baking is traditionally the legacy of the Women’s Institute: safe and heteronormative. There’s no room for that type of jam and Jerusalem stereotyping in 2015, however. Happy housewives fighting against austerity through the medium of dough have been replaced by male bakers such as Paul Hollywood and the Fabulous Baker Brothers. Fabulous indeed. Domestic goddess Nigella Lawson- arguably the first TV chef to venture into the previously untouched realm of cakes- professed the unfair advantage that cooking has over baking: “Baking is the less applauded of the cooking arts, whereas restaurants are a male province to be celebrated. There’s something intrinsically misogynistic about decrying a tradition because it has always been female. I’m not being entirely facetious when I say it’s a feminist tract.” Nigella makes a valid point. Baking is constantly demoted to something that only women do. I think the thing to be taken from her statement is not that baking is only for women, but that it should be celebrated- in the same way cooking is- for both sexes. In the TV culinary world, cooking is “skilful” and “masculine”, while baking is “trivial”, “quaint” and “feminine”. These damaging stereotypes are represented by MasterChef and the Great British Bake Off, which are unfairly lauded and criticised, respectively.

Nigella Lawson’s counterpart, Jamie Oliver, burst onto the culinary scene in the 1990s and made cooking exciting. He had men concluding that they too could be a “Naked Chef” (not literally, thankfully). While men should be encouraged to bake, women should not shun doing so just to avoid conforming to the gender role. Women should be proud of their abilities in the kitchen- and, come to think of it, everywhere else; we are simply amazing.

Male bakers are sexy and you dough it The success of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off has shown that men can, and do, bake. In fact, in the show’s history, two of the winners have been male. Edd Kimber lifted the glass cake stand at the end of the first series in 2010, while in 2012 John Whaite was decided as the winner. Let us not forget that 2014 contestant Nancy Birtwhistle referred to Paul Hollywood as “the male judge”. Brilliantly, the fact that he was male and a judge was more bizarre to her than his status as a male baker. Suffice to say that from that week on, she was my winner. This year’s Great British Bake Off commenced with six male contestants of the overall twelve. By now, we are naturalised to the sight of grown men whisking, glazing and ganaching to their heart’s delight. The male/female divide seems to have been manufactured and then perpetuated by the media in a bid to evoke shock horror when someone other than a woman enters the Bake Off tent. Men! You are kneaded, sorry- needed, to help break down gender stereotypes that belong in the 1950s. If men want to bake then there is no reason why they shouldn’t pick up the gauntlet- or, more aptly, the oven glove- and join the baking revival. Having more Paul Hollywood–type figures in the world can only be a good thing. Womens’ Season





achel Gadsden is a visual artist “exhibited internationally and who works across the mainstream and disability art sectors, presenting cross-cultural visual dialogues that consider the most profound notions of what it is to be human.”

As a promoter of human rights and champion of the disabled I was interested to hear Rachel’s views on women in the arts world. Recently Rachel has performed in collaboration with Abigail Norris at the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival in a special celebration of the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I asked her what had inspired her to develop this project.

An interview with visual and performance artist, Rachel Gadsden Rachel Gadsden talks to Naomi Duffree bout her work in the Middle East, projects at home and whether she sees a gender divide within the arts world.


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Frida Kahlo is one of my long-term artistic heroes, so it was with huge delight that I learnt I was to be commissioned to be part of the incredible GDIF Four Frida’s outdoor extravaganza in 2015. GDIF Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings and I had discussed our shared passion for Frida Kahlo’s work and her social and political vision about 5 years ago over a cup of coffee and since then it had been a hope that one day a project like this might come into fruition. My role was to create an animation that was to be projected onto a giant Frida Kahlo dress that she wore in her childhood; I regularly work with filmmaker Abigail Norris and so I commissioned Norris to co create the animation with me. This particular dress was from her childhood, a dress that had straw wings. As a 6-year-old child Frida had been so excited to receive the dress from her parents, and then equally distraught when she realized that she couldn’t actually fly in it. Wings are a reoccurring theme throughout Kahlo’s imagery, a metaphor perhaps that addressed her ongoing physical immobility due to the horrendous accident she had as a young women, in a tram crash, where her spine and leg were seriously damaged. Disability was part of Frida’s experience and as a disabled person myself, I do relate to her work, and of course she is a women too. Have you been aware of gender discrimination within the arts world? If so can you tell us about how it has affected you in any way? When I was at art college I remember the art tutors telling us that the art world was made up of 80% men – at the time the room was full of about 80% women. The tutors were all men at the time – I just remember thinking, well I am a woman so why would I want to hear that kind of statistic? I have no doubt there is discrimination, but my particular focus has meant that my work deals the female and male human condition so I hope to transcend discrimination. But I did make a decision a few years ago to build all female team for my projects – it sets a precedent and ultimately means that issues to do with discrimination of the sexes is on the agenda. My work is constantly layered with social and political context and is underpinned with the hope that every human being has the opportunity to have a voice and be heard within society Rachel Gadsden, The Four Fridas

CULTURE You have been involved with projects abroad such as Qatar Art and Disability Festival in 2013 and Unlimited Global Academy. Have you been aware of the difference in recognition of women’s artistic ability within different cultures?

21st birthday be something to celebrate? This conversation is as important in the UK as elsewhere around the Globe.

Women are hardly on the agenda in the Gulf artistic world and I have certainly made it my mission to try to change that too. Building all female artistic projects has meant that the female voice is central to the work, and in turn this vision does slowly contribute to bringing cultural change within the society. Interestingly many men have joined the projects, but if the roles were reversed it would be impossible for the women to take part, if men led the projects.

I am currently working on a project with Freewheelers Theatre and Digital Media Company on a theatre production that is using Nelson Mandela fight for freedom as a means to explore current needs to fight disability discrimination and freedoms. I am also working on a project entitled A Tale of Two Cities which is uniting Liverpool and Manchester through the planting of fields of wild flowers to change the social landscape of parks etc. I may be teaming up with Everton Football Club to create a series of large outdoor murals in Everton park to be created in collaboration with young emerging disabled and none disabled footballers.

With your current project Unbound Global which asks “diverse communities in the Middle East and UK to communicate senses of cultural identity through shared creative practice” have you noticed a particular voice from the different genders coming through? ie it sometimes appears that women can be self-deprecating compared to men. Throughout history women have been depreciated and have played subservient roles within society, and to some degree that has now changed and women do have the chance to fulfil their potential as equals in the work place and home environment in some communities around the Globe. But as we learnt this week, a female lead actress recently pulled out of a Broadway Theatre performance when she learnt that her fee was half the fee of the leading man despite the play being an equal two hander dialogue! This anomaly more than describes the notion that there is still a long way to go to make sure that women are seen as equals in society. In the Middle East world women are to some degree still seen as inferior beyond the home environment and through creativity,sub conscious self-deprecating voices emerge that are incredibly revealing. Your Al Noor~Fragile Vision project which you have worked on for the last two years explores society’s openness of disability with an aim of changing the way disabled people are recognised in the Middle East. Can you explain the reaction to you and your exhibition from the Middle Eastern women at the exhibition? The reaction to the Al Noor – Fragile Vision project has been incredible, and extremely empowering for the many women who have taken part in the project too. The opportunity to share their voices publically has meant that for these disabled women their identities and stories can become part of the social and political agenda in the Middle East countries where the work is seen. I am also delighted that I have recently been invited to be a panellist at an event at Parliament on 17th Sept entitled “The coming of age of the Disability Discrimination Act?” 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. The legislation promotes civil rights for Deaf and disabled people and protects them from discrimination. The Panel will address: How has the Act impacted people’s lives? Will the Act’s

What are your next artistic involvements?

Finally I have recently been selected to present at AWID’s International Forum in 2016. 13th Forum, which will take place in Brazil on the theme “Feminist Futures: Building Collective Power for Rights and Justice” from 5-8 May 2016. AWID The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) is a global, feminist membership organization. For over 30 years they have been a part of the incredible ecosystem of women’s rights movements working to achieve gender equality, sustainable development and women’s human rights worldwide. I am excited to have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with 2000 women and men from around the world who share commonalities and hope to find ways our individual practices can bring cultural change to our society. I am particularly lucky that this happens through creativity for me. Rachel Gadsden, Al Noor Fragile Vision Exhibition,Dadafest 2014, Liverpool, Rachel Gadsden is a multi-award winning artist who has a BA and MA in Fine Art; she was artist for Hampton Court Palace 2008 - 2009, and has undertaken 4 major commissions for UK Parliament (2009 – 2015). London 2012 Cultural Olympiad commissions followed - Unlimited Global Alchemy and Starting Line. In 2013 Gadsden represented the UK, creating “This Breathing World” for Qatar – UK Year of Culture 2013, for British Council and Qatari Government, HRH Prince Charles formally opened the exhibition. Further 2013 commissions were Talking Souls with BC South Africa & Cube of Curiosity with Marc Brew for Liberty Festival In 2014 Gadsden created a digital artwork with Norris for UK & Sochi, Winter Paralympic Torch Lighting. Gadsden also embarked on Al Noor ~ Fragile Vision, a multi-cultural collaborative UK and Middle East project and she recently completed 14 Stations of the Cross paintings for St Joseph’s Cathedral, Abu Dhabi. Gadsden was awarded the National Diversity Award 2013: Positive Role Model for Disability was shortlisted for the European Diversity Awards, Hero of the Year 2014 and won Breakthrough UK - National Independent Living Award “Influencing disabled people’s participation in society” Womens’ Season




It’s great to be a woman... sometimes KettleMag gives ten ‘tongue in cheeky’ reasons why it is great being a woman in 2015...and why sometimes it isn’t


t’s great to be a woman...sometimes KettleMag gives ten ‘tongue in cheeky’ reasons why it is great being a woman in 2015... and why sometimes it isn’t

It is coming to the end of Women’s Season at Kettle and women have been celebrated in many fields. But what is it that we personally enjoy about being a woman…and what do we not? Here are a list of ‘tongue-in-cheek’ reasons why in 2015 here in the UK, it is great being a woman …and a few of reasons, as to why it isn’t. We reach our sexual peak in our 30s…while men do so at 18. Mmh …That seems a good argument for toyboys…but that’s a whole new article. Carrying a little person in your body for nine months is pretty cool. Admittedly getting it out may not be so much fun but that just adds to the admiration of what you’ve achieved. We are entertained by certain men in pubs who find it extraordinary that women actually watch football. Oh how we laugh. The off-side rule has become so abstract that not even some of these men can explain it now.

Connoisseurs We have been allowed to become connoisseurs on wine. Waiters actually ask us to try the wine when we eat out. Ok, that probably says more about our alcohol consumption than our ability to know if it’s corked, but ‘Boom!’ all the same. Salesmen who ring up don’t ask to speak to the man of the house…or if they do, it’s only the once. We smell better. I mean, we have a keener sense of smell than men…but let’s face it we do smell better. We can breast feed in public without anyone being bothered. Jokes. But we are good at making wishes.

We know the drill We can go into a DIY store and pick up a drill without someone phoning the police. Although that did actually happen to a friend of mine in years gone by. I don’t think it helped that she hadn’t paid for it. We have an excuse to raid the chocolate stock that remains hidden away for most of the month. Do not stand in the way of this. We have excuses for damage inflicted on people who stand in the way too. And we can buy drills. 70

Kettle Magazine


Womens’ Season





Kettle Magazine

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