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EMPOWERMENT

THE YORKER


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On The Words:

Advertising:

Joshua Richman, Hannah Pagan, Josephine Wilson,

Marketing Director: Jane Fieldsend Financial Director: Thomas Leach Social Media Marketing Officer: Camille Graham Magazine Advertising: Emily Stevenson Website Advertising: Alex Peckham Marketing Officer: Grace Lomas Josephine Wilson

Michael Carr, Alex Smith, Nora Wong, Ben Sayer, Allie Nawrat, Tom Stranney, George Norman, Georgia Woodroffe, Jane Fieldsend, Anya Humphries, Bethany Wilson, Christopher Orme, Ben Will Reid, Tom Phillips and Molly Dennis.

On the cover: Emily Nelson

Magazine Editor: Josephine Wilson

Deputy Editor: Allie Nawrat

On the Art: Adam Rummer

Copy Editor: Rebecca Fletcher

On the Design: Josephine Wilson, Michael Carr, Charlotte FitzGerald, Alex Smith, Lilli Hender, Tom Stranney, and Allie Nawrat

With Thanks to: Royal Holloway Feminist Society and Andy Harvey

Our Magazine Makers Hello York! We’re hoping to send a little empowerment your way. The phrase ‘We can do it!’ has emerged as something of a mantra for the term as we finish this, our eighth magazine. I’m sure this resonates with those of you who have experienced the dreaded Spring term slump. As such, our discussions for this term’s theme quickly identified ‘Empowerment’ as an appropriate platform that embodies both the University experience, alongside more profound global issues. In here, there’s something of everything! As this is this team’s last magazine I’d like to take a line or two to acknowledge their efforts over the last two terms, whilst wishing the new team the best of luck. I’m sure you’ll have as much fun with it as we did! Jo and Allie


CONTENTS 1. Superfoods and you 3. Seeking employment.. or wait actually empowerment 4-5. Ugly Girls Club: The Interview 6-7. The tyranny of fandom 9. Battling Weight-phobia: Female empowerment at the Gym 12-3. Joy is a choice 15. Feminism is a dirty word 16-7. Reclaiming celibacy 18-9. Photographs 21-2. Don’t listen to Russell Brand 24. Empowering quotes 25-6. Teetering on the edge of success, or tripping over the precipice? 28. Education’s Empowerment Failure? 29-30. Empowerment in History: The 60th Anniversary of Rosa Parks and the beginnings of the African-American civil rights movement 38-9. The Yorker’s Top 5 Empowering Books 40-1. The Power of reading 42-3. Give up, its not worth it 44-6. Fan Interview: A different kind of Football


Super Foods and You How you feel is hugely focused on what you eat. Superfoods, rich in antioxidants, have long been the buzzword amongst the medical and health communities. Good food helps to lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers with the added bonus of putting you in a good mood empowering you for busy days. And you will be able to find them in your local shop without them costing the earth!

Green Tea- Some of the health benefits are overstated, for example Weight Loss and fighting Alzheimers. However it does contain B vitamins, folate (naturally occurring folic acid), manganese, potassium, magnesium, caffeine and other antioxidants (notably catechins). Odds are you don’t drink enough (around two litres a day) and green tea will help with that. And, without using milk it will definitely save you on fights with the housemates about who took the last bit.

Dark Chocolate – Perfect for stressful times as it helps to lower blood pressure. The higher the cocoa percentage the better- look for 60% or more.

Garlic- Again some of the claims are slightly overstated but it is a great flavouring for lots of stock student meals including spaghetti Bolognese. It helps reduce certain cancers, helps lower blood pressure and should help to keep that pesky cold at bay (and the vampires also).

Cinnamon- Thought to help metabolism, this spice is heart friendly and helps to reduce diabetes and other heart associated problems. There have also been some studies that suggest it increases brain functionality. Ways to use: Sprinkle some in your coffee, add some to yoghurt or to chilli. It works great with any grilled fruit or even a little on your popcorn.

Beetroot – Very easy to cause stains but also great for any skin problems. Said to cause strong healthy hair, this vegetable has also been linked to helping improve stamina, by increasing blood flow and blood pressure. Historically it was also used as an aphrodisiac.

Josephine Wilson


29 SW IN EGATE, YORK, YO1 8AZ

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Seeking employment…..or wait actually empowerment Christopher Orme looks at how to get some daily empowerment in your life, in some of the more unusual places, including the bathroom

Empowerment. What is empowerment? The Collins dictionary defines it as ‘the giving of delegration of power or authority’. I, however define it as the brief moments post-shower on a cold winters morning, when my naked body remains insulated by the warm hug of the residual water trickling down my back. A feeling of God-like stature where the laws of thermodynamics breakdown for a few fleeting seconds before the chill of the 2 degree bitterness that is the student bathroom sends me crashing back to reality. Then I no longer stand there a deity, but instead squat still, shivering in front of the magnified mirror, lighted by the soul revealing clinical nature that only a cheaply manufactured 50s toilet has, and a manhood not too dissimilar to an unwanted Boxing Day pig in blanket- not to mention a self-esteem so smashed by the cruelness of life that I might as well be the steaming puddle of water that forms about my feet But this isn’t an article about selfdeprivation and I’m not Morrissey. No, this is empowerment and I am a hapless, quiffless undergrad. If it wasn’t for the grounding of the northern winter chill then the thermal armour of water wouldn’t be empowering at all.

Empowerment isn’t just reserved for bra burning feminists and Buddha-like enlightenment (both of which I supportand one of which I participate in), no, empowerment comes in all shapes and forms. A friend once said to me he seeks liberation in the form of a sit down wee. He said the moment his cheeks touch the seat, the rest of the world didn’t matter and for a short while he felt empowered in the knowledge that all of life’s problems had to wait on hold whilst he dealt with nature. And to that I say good for him! Because without daily, snapshot moments of empowerment you’re statistically more likely to seek large scale fascist like power movements, just ask Nigel Farage- now there’s a man who’s never treated himself to a sit down wee. (Statistics not verified by any regional, national, or international statistic governing body, always read the label). The point is empowerment can be found all around, whether it’s using Berroca as a mixer on a night out, or visiting the M & S toilets without buying anything, by enjoying those little moments of empowerment, you might just get through life with only a few rotting teeth and a divorce settlement or two.


Ugly Girls Club: The Interview


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Battling Weight-phobia: Female Empowerment at the Gym

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up t o b e .â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x2022; Abraham Lincoln

â&#x20AC;&#x153;J o y i s n o t i n things; it is in u s .â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x2022;Richard Wagner

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it w i t h .â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x2022; M a r k Tw a i n

Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itselfâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x2022;Gandhi


I G P R O P E R T Y Professional Student Letting Agents

Looking for a great student property? Call us now on 01904 629 929 admin@igproperty.co.uk www.igproperty.co.uk


Feminism is a dirty word By Nora Wong N    # '    

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Reclaiming celibacy

One percent of society doesn’t experience sexual attraction. It’s not, as many assume, problematic, just that, like homosexuality, some people are orientated that way. But even amongst people who accept that, the idea that asexual people need empowering can be controversial. There’s a conception that our lives are fine, and that there is nothing to fight for. After all, don’t we already have the right to not have sex? That question is pertinent. It’s one that’s not addressed enough, considering that not wanting to have sex isn’t just an asexual issue. Members of modern society don’t really have the right to turn away from sex. It’s not that sex is a negative thing; I understand that it’s hugely important for most people, and I’m not trying to remove that. But it is true that we are expected to be sexual, and to defy that is seen as cold, emotionless, and conservative.

“Cold” and “emotionless” are simply acephobic and ignorant. They erase the fact that asexual people can experience romantic attraction, distinct from sexual attraction, and have relationships, sometimes even sexual ones. As with all orientations, actions do not make someone’s internal orientation; feelings do. But someone who is aromantic, and so doesn’t experience romantic attraction, is not cold or emotionless either. They still experience platonic attractions, sometimes extremely intensely, and are perfectly normal people. It’s a bit like claiming a gay man is incapable of love because of his orientation. Illogical. “Conservative” needs more attention. An orientation cannot be specifically political, because it isn’t formed by exterior actions. Being asexual doesn’t make you necessarily celibate, but it’s celibacy that can be a political action.


ĂďŝůŝƚLJƚŽƌĞũĞĐƚƚŚĂƚǁŽƌůĚ͘ŶĚ/ƚŚŝŶŬ dŽĚĂLJŝƚŚĂƐĂŶŝŵĂŐĞŽĨƌĞũĞĐƚŝŶŐƚŚĞ that is radical. It isn’t some Mary ŵŽĚĞƌŶǁŽƌůĚ͕ĂŶĚƚƵƌŶŝŶŐĂŐĂŝŶƐƚƐĞdž tŚŝƚĞŚŽƵƐĞĐĂŵƉĂŝŐŶƚŽĐůĞĂŶƵƉƐŵƵƚ͘ ƉŽƐŝƚŝǀŝƐŵ͕ĨĞŵŝŶŝƐŵ͕ĂŶĚƐŽĐŝĂů It’s being able to say I exist, and to defy ůŝďĞƌĂůŝƐŵ͘/ŶŽƚŚĞƌǁŽƌĚƐ͕ƚŚĞŽƉƉŽƐŝƚĞ ƚŚĞŶŽƌŵƐŽĨĂǁŽƌůĚƚŚĂƚǁŽƵůĚĞƌĂƐĞ ŽĨĞŵƉŽǁĞƌŵĞŶƚ͘/ƚŚŝŶŬǁĞƐŚŽƵůĚ ŵĞ͘DĞŬŝƐƐŝŶŐĂƉĂƌƚŶĞƌŝŶƚŚĞƐƚƌĞĞƚ ĐŚĂůůĞŶŐĞƚŚĂƚ͘ ĂŶĚƚŚĞŶƐŚŽƵting aloud that I’m not I don’t think anyone should reject sex ƉŽƐŝƚŝǀŝƐŵ͕ĨĞŵŝŶŝƐŵ͕ŽƌƐŽĐŝĂůůŝďĞƌĂůŝƐŵ͘ ŚĂǀŝŶŐƐĞdžǁŝƚŚŚŝŵŝƐĂƐůĂƉŝŶƚŚĞĨĂĐĞ ŽĨƚŚĞƵůƚƌĂ-ƐĞdžƵĂů /ũƵƐƚŚĂƉƉĞŶƚŽ ƐƚƌƵĐƚƵƌĞƐƚŚĂƚǁĞůŝǀĞ ƚŚŝŶŬƚŚĂƚƚŚŽƐĞ ǁŝƚŚŝŶ͘ ŝĚĞĂƐĂƌĞŶŽƚ “I don’t think ƵƚƐŽŵĞƚŚŝŶŐ ŝŶŚĞƌĞŶƚůLJŽƉƉŽƐĞĚ ƚŽĐĞůŝďĂĐLJ͘^ƵƌĞůLJ ƒ›‘‡•Š‘—Ž†”‡Œ‡…– ƐŚŽƵůĚďĞƐƚƌĞƐƐĞĚ͘ ^ŽŵĞĂƐĞdžƵĂůƉĞŽƉůĞ ĞǀĞƌLJƐĞdžƉŽƐŝƚŝǀĞ ĐŽŵƉƌŽŵŝƐĞŽŶƐĞdž͕ ƉĞƌƐŽŶǁŽƵůĚĂŐƌĞĞ •‡š’‘•‹–‹˜‹•ǡ ďĞĐĂƵƐĞƚŚĞLJŚĂǀĞ ƚŚĂƚƚŚĞƌŝŐŚƚƚŽƐĂLJ ŶŽƚŽƐĞdžƐŚŽƵůĚďĞ ˆ‡‹‹•ǡ‘”•‘…‹ƒŽ ƐĞdžƵĂůƉĂƌƚŶĞƌƐĂŶĚ ƐĞĞƐĞdžĂƐƚŚĞŽŶůLJ ĞŶƐŚƌŝŶĞĚŝŶ ǁĂLJƚŽŵĂŝŶƚĂŝŶƚŚŽƐĞ ĞǀĞƌLJƚŚŝŶŐǁĞƐĂLJ Ž‹„‡”ƒŽ‹•Ǥ Œ—•– ƉĂƌƚŶĞƌƐŚŝƉƐ͕ŽƌĂƌĞ ĂŶĚĚŽ͍^ƵƌĞůLJ ĞǀĞƌLJĨĞŵŝŶŝƐƚ Šƒ’’‡–‘–Š‹–Šƒ– ŶŽƚƚŽƚĂůůLJĂĚǀĞƌƐĞƚŽ ƚŚĞŝĚĞĂŽĨƐĞdž ǁŽƵůĚĂŐƌĞĞƚŚĂƚ ĞǀĞƌLJŽŶĞŚĂƐƚŚĞ –Š‘•‡‹†‡ƒ•ƒ”‡‘– ;ĂƐĞdžƵĂůŝƚLJŝƐĂ ƐƉĞĐƚƌƵŵ͕ĂĨƚĞƌĂůůͿ͘/ ƌŝŐŚƚƚŽƐĂLJŶŽ͍ ĞůŝďĂĐLJŝƐŶŽƚƐŽŵĞ ‹Š‡”‡–Ž›‘’’‘•‡† don’t want to belittle ƚŚŽƐĞƌĞůĂƚŝŽŶƐŚŝƉƐ͖/ ŽůĚĨĂƐŚŝŽŶĞĚƐƚŝůƚĞĚ ĐŽŶƐŝĚĞƌŵLJƐĞůĨ ǁĂLJŽĨůŝĨĞƚŚĂƚ to celibacy.” ǁŝƚŚŝŶƚŚŽƐĞŐƌŽƵƉƐ͘ ŝŐŶŽƌĞƐĨĞĞůŝŶŐƐĂŶĚ ƵƚƚŽĞŵƉŽǁĞƌ ĞŵŽƚŝŽŶƐ͘/ƚĐĂŶďĞ ĂƐĞdžƵĂůƉĞŽƉůĞ͕ǁĞ ƉƌĞĐŝƐĞůLJƚŚĞ ŽƉƉŽƐŝƚĞ͘Don’t get me wrong. I think sex ƐŚŽƵůĚƌĞĐůĂŝŵĐĞůŝďĂĐLJĂƐĂǁĂLJŽĨůŝĨĞ͕ŝĨ it is chosen. Even if we don’t live one, a ďĞĨŽƌĞŵĂƌƌŝĂŐĞŝƐŝŶŚĞƌĞŶƚůLJĂŐŽŽĚ ůŝĨĞǁŝƚŚŽƵƚƐĞdžďĞŝŶŐƐĞĞŶĂƐĐŽůĚĂŶĚ thing, and I’m all for free love. But for ŵĞĂŶŝŶŐůĞƐƐƐŚŽƵůĚǁŽƌƌLJƵƐĂůů͘ ŵĞ͕ƐĞdžŝƐŶŽƚĂŶŝŵƉŽƌƚĂŶƚƉĂƌƚŽĨŵLJ LJ'ĞŽƌŐĞEŽƌŵĂŶ ůŝĨĞ͘WĂƌƚŽĨĞŵƉŽǁĞƌŝŶŐŵLJƐĞůĨŝƐƚŚĞ


Photographer: Adam Rummer, Model: Theo


Coming Together: How the Beatles Helped Give Black Music Back to America

If Elvis, unadulterated genius of

performance and showmanship though he was, had purloined the crown of rock music from the black Americans who had forged it, it was the Beatles, unassuming, white, and English, who should be partially credited for attempting to restore the crown to its rightful possessors. Modern historical revisionists tend to wince at the concept of the grand gains of America’s 1960s Civil Rights movements, or the emancipation of American Blacks in general, having been in any way reliant upon the actions of Whites (you’ll find a whole Wikipedia article devoted to what is known as the ‘white saviour narrative’) but the Beatles in a small way played their part in contributing to the greater whole. Those early million selling records brought the music of Chuck Berry and Little Richard, amongst many others, into homes which might have previously eschewed playing host to black musicians, and the artists that the Beatles covered found a much more open and receptive audience after the British Invasion was over.

Small victories also came in the group’s refusal to perform to segregated audiences in an American Deep-South still living under the brutality of apartheid law. Officials in Jacksonville, Florida, were forced to relent after The Beatles refused to play to a segregated crowd at the Gator Bowl in 1964. Venue owners and local politicians could either miss out on the grand economic boom that was playing host to the world’s most popular rock and roll band, or acquiesce and allow human decency to triumph in a time of oppression. It was not the last time the group took such a stand; the group’s contracts for American performances in 1965 specifically demanded that the band ‘not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience’. A music born from out of oppression in America was returned with the most sincere love from Liverpool to a nation often stubbornly death to the artistry of its black citizens. Check out the oh-so-fab compilation album ‘Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney’ to hear Aretha Franklin, Little Richard and many others return the compliment. Michael Carr


Don’t listen to Russell Brand voting and anti-establishment stance, 35% of the population of the UK did not the fact that he has normalized and thus vote in the 2010 general election – the legitimised it surely cannot have a figure is even higher for local and positive impact for our democracy. European elections. The majority of Brand is correct that in general, those who do not vote are the under 25s. Britain has the lowest percentage of peaceful public protests are not listened to by the political establishment but then youth voting in the European Union – surely we need to use our 38% compared to a 56% ● ● ● voting rights more European average. These effectively in order to figures show how disenfranchised a large “The only way achieve the reforms and changes that we want to proportion of the British for us to make see in our political system. population is with the The only way for us to British political system. our system make our system more This is certainly a huge accountable is to engage concern that cannot be more with it. Simply overlooked by the political system any accountable is withdrawing from participation means you longer. These people to engage with are ignored. The need to be encouraged treatment of the under to vote and made to see it.” 25s as compared to the that their vote and voice over 60s under the really does matter. coalition is proof of this. Russell Brand’s decision ● ● ● The over 60s always vote, to announce the they see voting as their “revolution” (I can’t take civic duty, and so their winter fuel it seriously enough to not put it in inverted quotation marks) and talk about allowance and free bus passes have not been touched in the austerity cuts; why he chooses not to vote in UK whereas the coalition has scrapped EMA elections is harmful. and trebled tuition fees. Ultimately if Although he does not actually tell more under 25s had turned out to vote people not to vote, as is in clear in his both in 2010 and earlier elections then response to John Lyndon’s, Sex Pistols’ politicians would be forced to listen to front man, criticism of Brand’s non-


the youth. Non-voting can therefore be seen as un-empowering! One of the reasons Brand gives for not voting is that he does not feel represented by any of the main parties. This is a pretty common criticism of the British political system - they are all the same, Old Etonians and Oxford graduates who don’t care about ordinary people. Obviously this is a massive generalization, there are 650 members of Parliament and there is a wide variety of backgrounds within that. I can totally see this point. On the surface, they do all seem to be the same. But the only way to change this is for ordinary people to feel more integrated and involved in politics and this is begun by voting. Yes, politicians need to encourage voting, something that Labour does seem much more interested in than the Conservatives, but if more people voted then they could push for these things more – as I have already argued, you get ignored if you don’t vote. The next step from voting is an increased interest in our political system so people may possibly even stand for election in their local area or nationally which would break the traditional mould! Furthermore, the political culture of this country is starting to change. UKIP prides itself on not fitting the traditional mould, despite Nigel Farage’s public school education, and the Greens are increasingly being seen as a viable competitor – as I think their inclusion in the TV debates shows. There is nothing to suggest that this trend will not continue over the next few years, especially if the outcome of the May

election turns out to be another coalition. Yes, we have been let down by politicians but I personally think that the only way to change this is to vote. So I hope that you will all empower yourselves and express your democratic right to vote in May – whether at home or in York. By Allie Nawrat

Flickr Commons


In Other Words… Sometimes the words of others just say it better than we ever could. Here are some of Bethany Wilson’s favourite empowering and inspiring quotes

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” “It is impossible to live without Dr.Seuss failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might have well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.” J. K. Rowling

“All our dreams can come true if we have the power to pursue them.” Walt Disney

Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe Winston Churchill

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” Albert Einstein

“First they ignore you, then they laught at you, then they fight ou, then you win” Mahatma Ghandi

“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream.” C.S.Lewis “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh.

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” Oprah Winfrey “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt


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Empowerment in History: The 60th Anniversary of Rosa Parks and the beginnings of the African-American Civil Rights Movement by Tom Phillips

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T h e Yo r k e r â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s To p 5 Empowering Books By Alex Smith

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Give Up, It’s Not Worth It If all the decisions I’ve made in the past few years held a fancy awards ceremony, the ones named “Giving up [insert thing]” would get masses of nominations and make all the other decisions really jealous as they clapped through gritted teeth. Giving up might not win everything, but it would definitely rake in an impressive haul of trophies. “Going to the gym”, on the other hand, would play the Leo DiCaprio of this little scenario and get nothing, not a sausage. Actually, it wouldn’t even be nominated, or invited, or exist, because I have never decided that. I have decided, however to write you a list of reasons why giving up is one of my favourite, most empowering things to do and would clean up at the prestigious Imaginary Decision Awards Ceremony:

1. It shows self-respect. Too often we trudge onwards with something that is making us miserable simply because we have already started it. The fact that we would rather half-do a thing to its official end than fully do it half way shows the illogical way we assign worth to the time we spend and how driven we are by being able to file away things in our head as “complete” and list them to ourselves and the rest of the world. Recognising what is important frees you up to say, “This thing in particular is making me miserable and I do not have to waste my time like this.” It means you take your time and yourself seriously and chances are you’ll feel better for it and end up doing more things you really care about

2. It lets things work themselves out. Think of it like restarting a computer. We are a species that gets in our own way a hell of a lot. We’re too complicated for our own good and have a horrible habit of multiplying problems. The best course of action can often be to say a bad word, stomp your feet and give up on a thing. You’d be surprised by how often it comes back to you all proud because it’s managed to get untangled all by itself.


3. It keeps things fresh. You only have so much space in your life and will reach a point where you need to cut the dead weight to get something new - something that you hadn’t considered or had ruled out for yourself. You can reinvent yourself over and over again by giving up. Nobody does anything forever; everything is transitory and everything changes. It’s good to roll with that. It helps you live in the moment.

4. It reinforces your identity. While what you do is the best indicator there is of who you are, they are only indicators. Your actions are the leaves moving in the trees or the tiny waves blown across the surface of the water, not the wind itself. You are the wind. You are still yourself even if you do nothing, even without a cradle of activity to protects and identify you. “I am,” you shout by giving up, “and there’s nothing you can do about it. I can give up everything and I will still be here.” To be able not to do anything - or to realise that you can do nothing - and be no less yourself, no less valid, will help you to separate your identity from your schedule and stand on its own.

5. Quite simply, it makes you feel hugely, massively, annoyingly smug. Imagine yourself waltzing out of that place (wherever it is) Bridget Jones style, Aretha Franklin belting out Respect as a the perfect backdrop to this glorious moment while you mentally give the finger to everything you lay eyes upon, smirking at the poor, sorry souls left behind. You are untouchable. You are a force of nature

So for homework I’d like you to all pick your least favourite, most neglected, gone-a-bit-stale New Year’s Resolution, give it jolly well up and then pat yourself on the back for being so empowered. Well done you. By Anya Humphries


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ŚĂǀĞ ŐŽƚ ďĞŚŝŶĚ ƚŚĞŵ͘ dŚĞƌĞ ǁĂƐ Ă ǀŽĐĂů ŵŝŶŽƌŝƚLJ ǁŚŽ ĚŝƐƐĞŶƚĞĚ ďƵƚ ƚŚĞ 'ůĂnjĞƌƐ ƚŽŽŬ ŽǀĞƌ ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ ĚŝǀŝĚĞ ĂŶĚ ƌƵůĞ͘ dŚĞƌĞ ǁĂƐĨƌƵƐƚƌĂƚŝŽŶĂƚŚĂǀŝŶŐƚŽƐĞůůŵLJƐŚĂƌĞƐ͘ /ǁĂŶƚĞĚƚŽŚĂŶĚƚŚĞŵĚŽǁŶ͘/ƚǁĂƐŶĞǀĞƌ ĂďŽƵƚƉƌŽĨŝƚ͘/ŽǁŶĞĚĂƉĂƌƚŽĨDĂŶĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ hŶŝƚĞĚĂŶĚ/ǁĂƐƚŽůĚƚŚĂƚ/ĐŽƵůĚŶŽůŽŶŐĞƌ ďĞĂƉĂƌƚŽĨŝƚ͘ tŚĂƚ ĚŽ LJŽƵ ƚŚŝŶŬ ŽĨ ŵŽĚĞƌŶ ĚĂLJ͕ ĞůŝƚĞ ĨŽŽƚďĂůůĂŶĚǁŚĞƌĞit’s heading? /Ζŵ ŶŽƚ ǀĞƌLJ ŝŵƉƌĞƐƐĞĚ ;ůĂƵŐŚƐͿ͘ dŚĞ WƌĞŵŝĞƌ>ĞĂŐƵĞŝƐŶŽǁƚŽŽĨĂƌĨƌŽŵƌĞĂůŝƚLJ͘ /ƚΖƐƚŽŽĚŝĨĨŝĐƵůƚĨŽƌƚŚĞĂǀĞƌĂŐĞƉĞƌƐŽŶƚŽ go because it’s far too ĞdžƉĞŶƐŝǀĞ͘ Ƶƚ ĞǀĞŶ ŝĨ LJŽƵ ƚĂŬĞ ƚŚĞ ŵŽŶĞLJ ŝƐƐƵĞ ŽƵƚ ŽĨ ŝƚ ƚŚĞƌĞΖƐ Ɛƚŝůů ĂďƐƵƌĚ ƚŚŝŶŐƐ ůŝŬĞ͗ you can’t stand, you ĐĂŶΖƚ ŵŽǀĞ ĂƌŽƵŶĚ ƚŚĞ ŐƌŽƵŶĚ ĨƌĞĞůLJ͕ LJŽƵ ĐĂŶΖƚ ƐŝŶŐ͕ LJŽƵΖƌĞ ƚŽůĚ what to do and there’s silly kick off times ůŝŬĞϭϯ͗ϯϬŽŶĂ^ƵŶĚĂLJ͘/ƚΖƐũƵƐƚŶŽƚŚŽǁŝƚ ƐŚŽƵůĚďĞ͘/ƚΖƐůŝŬĞ ƚŚĞƐƵƉƉŽƌƚĞƌƐĂƌĞƚŚĞ ŽŶĞƐǁŚŽŐŝǀĞƵƉƚŚĞŵŽŶĞLJĂŶĚŐĞƚƚŚĞ ůĞĂƐƚďĂĐŬ͘

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,ŽǁĚŝĚLJŽƵĨĞĞůǁŚĞŶƚŚĞ'ůĂnjĞƌƐďŽƵŐŚƚ DĂŶĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ hŶŝƚĞĚ ŝŶ ƐƵĐŚ Ă ƉĞƌǀĞƌƐĞ ŵĂŶŶĞƌ͍ /ĨĞůƚůŽƚƐŽĨŶĞŐĂƚŝǀĞĞŵŽƚŝŽŶƐ͘dŚĞƐĞŐƵLJƐ ǁĞƌĞ ŵĞƌŝĐĂŶ ĂŶĚ ŚĂĚ ŶĞǀĞƌ ďĞĞŶ ƚŽ hŶŝƚĞĚďĞĨŽƌĞ͗ǁŚLJƐŚŽƵůĚƚŚĞLJŝŶŚĞƌŝƚƚŚĞ ƌŽǁŶ:ĞǁĞůƐ͍ƐŝƚďĞĐĂŵĞƌĞĂůŝƚLJ͕ƚŚĞƌĞ ǁĂƐ Ă ůŽƚ ŽĨ ĨƌƵƐƚƌĂƚŝŽŶ ŝŶ ƚŚĂƚ͕ ŝĨ ƚŚĞ ŵĂŶĂŐĞƌ΀^ŝƌůĞdž&ĞƌŐƵƐŽŶ΁ĂŶĚƚŚĞŚŝĞĨ Executive David Gill had said “we don’t want this”, 100% of the supporters would 

^ŽŚŽǁĂƌĞ&hŶŝƚĞĚĚŝĨĨĞƌĞŶƚ͍ĂŶLJŽƵ ĞdžƉůĂŝŶƚŚĞƐĞƚƵƉ͍ Why are we different? Because the club’s ĞƚŚŽƐǁĂƐƚŽƐĞƚƵƉĂĨŽŽƚďĂůůĐůƵďƚŚĂƚǁĂƐ ŽǁŶĞĚĞdžĐůƵƐŝǀĞůLJďLJƚŚĞƐƵƉƉŽƌƚĞƌƐ͘/ƚĐĂŶ


never be owned by any one person and everybody has as equal a voice as the next person. I was part of the anti-Glazer protest at Old Trafford. I had decided not to renew my season ticket and with FC United coming along, it was very easy to take the money I would have spent at Old Trafford and put it into FC. Here the fans are encouraged at every level. Ultimately we can change anything, even the manager. What's the relationship like between the club and the wider community? It's potentially excellent. It's difficult with the Club not having their own ground because although they do a lot of community based work, it's scattered. When we get our own ground I'm sure we won't withdraw our community set ups from where they are now, but we’ll focus more around the ground. FC does an awful lot of work with the homeless, poverty groups and immigrant groups to encourage integration in the community. They also want to foster the idea that although it's a football club, it's a friendly club and part of a chain of similar minded clubs. We've played friendlies in Korea and Germany against clubs that are already fan-led. In Germany the fans have to be majority fan owned, even Bayern Munich. You have a women's team too don't you? Yeah. It was inevitable. It was important that every supporter could have a route to actually play if he or she wanted to. There's kid’s teams, reserve teams and there's also a women's team. It was set up very quickly within 2-3 years. Although the average

attendance in women's football is 50-60 they get nearly 200. We played Manchester City Ladies in a final and got nearly 1000. You could count the City fans on one hand. Can you describe the atmosphere at the FC games? It's so unlike the Premier League which is far too sanitised. Is noisy, it's passionate and the team respond to it. There's a closeness between the team and the fans. You can see the team are motivated by it and want to do well for them. In the Premier League it's like going to the theatre: “I've paid my money and I'll fold my arms. Now what will you do for me?” Participation is very limited. Here it's an unwritten rule that if you come you support the team. These aren’t millionaire footballers. They want to win for themselves and for the supporters. How do you reconcile being a United fan with being an FC fan? As the song goes we're “two Uniteds but the soul is one”. The respect for Manchester United Football Club is total, but what we don't respect is the shenanigans from the Glazers and the millionaire footballers that we as fans can’t relate to. In terms of supporting two teams, they're not in the same league. Maybe in a hundred years we'll be in the same league and there'll be a decision to make, not that I'll be around! It’s not exclusively Manchester United fans though. No one is turned away. I know Blackburn fans and even a Liverpool fan


who comes for the buzz. No one has ever been ostracised. The idea is you're FC now, you're one of us. You're not Man United but you're home. What are your hopes for the upcoming years? The aim of the Club is to secure promotion again and progress into the football League. We look at how AFC Wimbledon has progressed. Seeing another democratically owned football club do it gives us belief How excited are you about the new stadium?

now have some actual roots in the community. It’s something that's actually ours and a facility for kids, the Women's Team, the Youth Team and also Moston residents in general, no matter which team they support. It's a community facility. It’s important because it takes those of us who are Manchester United fans back to our roots. It's within a mile of where Newton Heath [the original Manchester United team] was founded. No matter what City fans say Manchester is red, and it's always been red, including that area! ‘Broadhurst Park will open early 2015’.

Obviously it's fantastic that we've now got the ground because it means we're not paying rent to everybody. Also the club will

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The Yorker Magazine - The Empowerment Issue  

The 8th issue of The Yorker, where we focus on the topical issue of empowerment and the different ways it is evident in our society.

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