Dear Past Me, You got this!

Dear Past Me,

work hard and you’ll get there. its not about an end journey, more enjoying every step along the way! stay true to yourself and your goals, focus on what you’re best at and remember that perseverance and believing in yourself will be your best tools for building your future. you got this!’

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Sex Offenders and Polygraph Tests

Home Secretary Priti Patel has revealed a whole raft of counter-terrorism measures following the attacks on London Bridge last year, including a new Counter-Terrorism Bill. Now, I could go into intense detail about how often government measures to decrease crime are misguided, but one point in particular caught my eye…

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(Almost) a decade in words

Beth compiles a list of words which have been added to the dictionary over the past (almost) decade and discusses what this reflects about our society…

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On Leaving The House That Was Not My Home

On Leaving The House That Was Not My Home

The heat of August squeezed my lungs, it filled them with pollen and diet hope

When I press my arm to my body, the water pools in every crevice, reminding me that I can seal life in between my folds and winding roads

My hip stretches, you’ve taken a wrong turn

Dust, filtering light, uncleanliness, dust, brain rot, mildew, dust, heat, gently blowing fan, bad water pressure, dust, never clean enough, a scream trapped in my old bed, dust

My mattress slanted to the left from the heaviness in my heart

It slants to the right now, morality

Truth, justice

I’m far away, their poison cannot get to me now

My mother’s trauma is thick like tar, motor oil, egg yolk and feathers, the joke was on no one and the laughing was so hollow

I couldn’t save them, I had to make my own way

I will build this, and it will shine and be so beautiful, and finally I can bring her to a real home

Somehow I always knew I’d never been given a fair shake, but it’s never stopped me

Nothing can, always forward

Forward despite everything that ways to tear you screaming back 

Forward for yourself, your healed heart shining on the horizon

I squint, it looks just like the sun.

Alex Taggart

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Thank You, for Your Service

Thank You, for Your Service

she stands, defiant and brave,
face towards the unforgiving unknown.
a few places in the world
had just handed women the vote and said, “here, take this, if you must.
we’re sure you won’t know what do with it.” the first wave had momentum,
and we knew the break.
Strachey, Lutz, Caraway…
thank you, for your service. 

the clouds were slow to part,
allowing for a clarity of understanding, for that which we had known all along. they bore down.
grey and heavy and not wanting to lift. we were stronger.
we pushed, up and over the mountain. the light pierced through.
Roosevelt, Murray, Pikas…
thank you, for your service. 

they say it takes time to turn a boat, but it helps if the tide is on your side. some of us had time,
the lucky ones. 

the ones who appealed to the expected,
who could wait for the sluggish vessel.
some were not so lucky.
some had to turn the blood-tinted tide themselves. Jorgensen, Coccinelle, Flexner… 

thank you, for your service. 

the colours flowed, fast and thick.
they twisted and turned their stoppers, attempting to plug that which flows freely. explosions of pigment,
unable to be scrubbed off, even with
the strongest bleach.
no more being muted, subdued, hidden.
we stood in plain sight, unapologetically vibrant. Friedan, Java, King…
thank you, for your service. 

we are not precious flowers.
has that not been made clear?
our power is unlimitable, inimitable. our souls, bodies and minds, 

charged with electricity;
given freely by those who came before. “liberation!” pre-packaged and neat,
a whetted palette, an insatiable need. Steinem, Davis, Reddy…
thank you, for your service. 

you spoke wisdoms.
truths, deeply universal, yet somehow denied. your controlled voice of reason,
covered up by the hysteria they wanted to hear. they wanted to claim irrationality,
emotional screaming of the unhinged.
there is no shame in feeling,
you reminded them, with undeterred decibels. Butler, Crenshaw, Attwood …
thank you, for your service. 

we grew, up and out,
in strength, numbers and size.
our roots ran deep,
our branches reached out,
always outstretched, to take back
and reoccupy our rightful space.
the physical manifestation is undeniable. “we exist”, you declared, “we are here”. Bader Ginsburg, Hill, Ensler…
thank you, for your service. 

the century turned, still, you resisted.
freedom lowered itself into the grip of many;
yet, stayed exclusive and unattainable to more. our ancestors had set the stage,
swept away the broken glass,
turned on the lights and pointed them back at you. but you were no longer actors.
you were enough, as you’d always known. Sirleaf, Lees, Walker…
thank you, for your service. 

you walked, with conviction.
knowing, deeply, the truths of being.
love is love
and autonomy is empowerment.
single words, “yes” and “no”,
resonate and that which you choose is so.
of course, some tried to extinguish your brightness, nevertheless, you persisted.
Obama, Given, Thunberg…
thank you, for your service. 

for all i have said,
for all there is to come,
we cannot possibly scratch the surface. our lives had been taken,
held in the hands of those with power. you take it back,
piece by piece, and hand it to us; gently.
for this, we say,
“thank you, for your service.” 

Sophie Nankivell, Poetry Editor

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A Decade in Tomes

The last ten years has offered up an eclectic range of new fiction that has challenged and changed how and what we read. Below, I’ve collected a handful of iconic or influential books of the last 10 years that show how new stories are being welcomed onto our shelves…

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Fighting Transphobia

We’re going to look at some prominent transphobic myths and statements, why these statements are false or misleading and why a minority of people believe them anyway. By doing so we will examine how people get to be transphobic in this way and how to prevent these movements from growing and gaining support…

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This Week in Trans Rights

An employment tribunal decided that “gender critical feminism” was not protected speech in a case this week in which Maya Forstater, tax consultant, claimed that she had been discriminated against by her employer when she lost her job for repeatedly expressing transphobic views online…

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Ethical and Sustainable Christmas Shopping

Still stuck for those last minute Christmas presents? We’ve got you sorted. Buying from local and independent business not only means your money benefits those within your community, but their environmental impact is often markedly lower as they don’t have to be shipped half way across the world…

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Celebration of Diversity pt. Three

Our Visual Artwork Editor, Rosalind Main writes about I Am More Than’s third annual event, ‘Celebration of Diversity’. I Am More Than is an empowering and beautifully feminist project founded by her and Morgan McTiernan, both of whom are fashion models and activists for body inclusivity…

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Dungeons and Dragons and Inclusivity

There’s generally a common perception around table-top roleplaying games regarding who they are for. They’re for white, male nerds, right? That’s the kind of people who play Dungeons and Dragons. The reality may surprise you…

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Four Times the Tories Lied This Campaign

Yeah, so…we’re having a general election. For the third time. In four years. If anyone needs me, I’ll be out in the garden burning my framed copy of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 and weeping for what could have been…

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Study Season Lofi

Lena Avery recommends music streams which will get you through this study season: “In celebration of study season, let me take you down the Lo-fi radio rabbit hole. Grab some coffee (or tea) of your choice— it’s a long way down…”

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Nasty Survivors: towards a politics of survivorship

On the 25th of November, the world observed the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This was both a day that called for reflection and the commemoration of the victims and survivors of such violence, but also served as a call to action. The ocean of posts regarding this day that popped up on my social media, as well as the myriad of news articles touching on this topic made me think about survival and politics. Or, more specifically, I asked myself how survivors such as myself can be understood from a political standpoint…

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