‘Darling, I have no dream job, I do not dream of labour’

James Baldwin, discussing the mythology of the American Dream, spoke the words ‘I have no dream job, I do not dream of labour’. Decades later, these words are a popular TikTok soundbite comically backing memes and skits poking fun at work for our generation. Though comic, this satire is evidence of a larger sentiment surrounding work and labour for Gen Z, particularly the disillusionment many feel with the precarious prospects available to us…

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Transfeminine masculinities – structural [trans]misogyny

I feel that the label ‘transmisogyny’ is a bit opaque. It often describes many of the moments where transfemme people are understood and treated as ‘biologically male’ by one means or another; an intersection between misogyny and transphobia. I want to talk through a little of what’s going on in the different moments and processes that make up these interactions and situations of transphobia, to give an insight into my world of masculinities. Within the bounds of transmisogyny, there is no room for me to explore my gender nonconformity; no room for my experimentation with pronouns, presentation, or personality; no room for any subversive tendencies without or beyond the original sin of my transfemininity. There isn’t a lot of room in people’s consciousness for masculinity from transfems. It’s hard for us to embody our masculinities as non-men without the people around us eroding, invalidating, and redefining us.

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Who ‘leans in’ and how? Masculinities in workspaces

In 2010, the then Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, delivered a TED talk entitled ‘Why we have too few women leaders’. This talk spawned the now-infamous 2013 book Lean In which lays out her brand of corporate feminist doctrine in greater detail. The crux of Sandberg’s argument is that women lack the assertiveness and ambition of their male colleagues, and that is why they fail to get ahead in their careers.

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In a dystopian time, we must be indulgent in our utopian fantasies

On March 6th, 2022, I attended a memorial protest at Scottish Parliament on the one-year anniversary of Sarah Everard’s murder. Several women spoke in her memory highlighting brutality of gender-based violence in the U.K and around the world, calling for the dismantling of the very systems that are meant to protect us but instead regularly create violence and fear.

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Love of Community: bell hooks’ continuing resonance

bell hooks’ influential All About Love has become somewhat of a handbook for many since its publication in 2000 as we try and understand the ever-perplexing subject of love. With each chapter hooks dissects a different aspect of love, spanning from personal romance to political justice. Her text, thereby, embodies the now highly popularised, originally feminist concept that the personal is always political. 

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I am not queen of my own heart, stop telling me I should be

The first thing I do when I wake up is assess what I’m going to be capable of that day. I check in with my body, how much pain I’m in, and where the pain is most intense. I check in with my nerves: how anxious am I? How exhausted? And I check in with my mind: how coherent are my thoughts? Sometimes my brain fog prevents me from doing anything that requires much thinking. Sometimes I’m simply too tired or fed up to consider ticking anything off my perpetually growing to-do list…

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emBODYment

Can you walk down the street without being aware of your body? Simple question. And I don’t mean the physicality of walking. I mean feeling reduced solely to a body. If you can, you are, most likely, a man. A woman only has to walk down the street braless, or wearing something mildly short or low-cut, to be instantly reduced to a body. To flesh to be ogled by whoever feels so inclined. This may sound like an exaggeration, but, trust me, it is not. Every single time I leave the house wearing clothes that I feel comfortable in, I am leered at (or worse) by at least one man. Actually, whatever we are wearing, we are still not left alone. I’ve been harassed wearing ‘going out clothes’, but just as often I’ve been wearing dungarees. It is about the men, not the clothes, and pretending we can change our clothes to reduce harassment gives a false sense of control over our safety.

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Identity and time

The confrontational question ‘what advice would you give to your former self?’ is usually met with angst, an awkward laugh and regret. Perhaps this is just me, but the initial jerks of discomfort I feel when I think about my younger self is mostly down to how different I think I am. There is a strong dissociation between that person then and the person I am now, and the most prominent difference between the two is the way I view myself as an Indian person. 

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Reflections on ‘Feminist Futures’ at the Lighthouse Radical Bookfair, Imagining an alternative world

The Radical Bookfair hosted by Lighthouse Books has become an annual meeting ground for creative discourses that often live on the margins of our mainstream media, to be thoughtfully considered. This year’s event saw a host of panels and discussions based on the theme ‘Futures Worth Fighting For’ which focused on how to materialize our radical imaginations for a better world.

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An Interview with Living Rent’s Meg Bishop

Living Rent was founded in 2014, as part of ACORN International, and is a mass-membership tenants union serving communities all over Scotland within the private and social rented sector. I was really excited to interview Meg Bishop, the organisation’s national secretary who addresses grassroots activism, organising and housing as integral parts of the feminist struggle.

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My Crush, the Far right Troll

As my time at university comes to an end, I look back at moments that changed my education. From relative deprivation to conflict theory to homegrown vs lone wolf terrorism, the first year of university would hold lessons I’ll carry with me all my life as a politics enthusiast. But nothing could prepare me for the lessons of the summer of Roman*. This was my first brush with heartbreak and politics of the real world.

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Non-Binary People Don’t Owe You Androgyny, Fuck Off

first thought that came into my head when I realised I was non-binary was fuck, I don’t want to chop all my hair off. This was swiftly followed by a succession of minor panics: I don’t have the face for short hair, I don’t have the shoulders for androgyny, and everyone knows that my arse is simply too big to pass as anything but a woman. These thoughts accompanied thousands more over the next few months as I embarked on an excruciating – but ultimately liberating – internal journey.

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A reflection on anger

I am angry. At first, I thought it was just about you. And you. And you. The way you dimmed me; reduced me down and down until I was on my knees and begging for you to do it again because I didn’t know what the world looked like from an upright position anymore.

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Renewal Rituals for the long and winding winter (yes… an article written by a scouser)

I don’t know about you, but recently I have been relentlessly trying to convince myself that spring has sprung. Perhaps as a way to try and find a sense of renewal in a January which seems to be lifelessly trudging on from the year before. I have found myself resurrecting springtime playlists, eating only egg-shaped chocolates, sticking my body to rectangles of sunlight on the walls of my room as the sun sneaks through the window. You name it and, in the name of spring, I’ve done it!

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A hairy tale of wild meets well-styled

I’m not usually one who looks forward to going to the hairdressers. Don’t get me wrong, the head rub you get as your hair is being washed sends me weak at the knees. And on more than one occasion, I have walked out firmly believing that I could give Lana Del Rey, circa. Video Games, a run for her money…

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