Female musicians, Noel Gallagher and the problem with dude listeners.

This post was originally inspired by a conversation a good friend of mine, the lovely Rosalie (tumblr/twitter), was having on twitter regarding Noel Gallagher’s shitty, sexist music opinions. To nobody’s surprise, Rosalie immediately got replied to with comments about Noel’s exclusion of women being totally right. For the whole conversation, see here. And then, naturally because bad things come in groups (applications open for Dickhead With Musical Opinions #3, let’s round this out), this horrible A.V Club thing with Kurt Braunohler about Taylor Swift exists.

I’ve been meaning to start talking about music on here, if only as an outlet for all my weird boyband feelings (coming soon to a post near you) or about how much I love male/female duets. Naturally, I put these things off for months and months until something happens to crystallise the situation for me.

Continue reading


Follow Up: A Survey on LGBT+ Representation on the BBC

Sorry everyone, I swear I will stop talking about this research report at some point. However, I need one last favour of you all. If you remember my previous post I’m doing a research report on LGBT+ representation on the BBC etc etc. What I recently realised is that I might need some data on people’s experiences of these programmes given that the last quantitative study was done by Stonewall in 2006.

My survey covers: geographical location, general opinions on BBC representation and then your opinions on the list of comedy & drama programmes I put together (with your input). If being named is a concern, this survey is totally anonymous. If you wouldn’t mind filling it out for me, I would be immensely grateful.

Click the link below to open the survey:

LGBT+ Representation on the BBC between 2006-2013.

Quick Question: The BBC and LGBTQ+ Characters.

I put the call out on Twitter earlier but, for some context, I’m writing a research report for my MA on the BBC Television and LGTBQ+ on-air representation from 2006 onwards. In between looking at various reports commissioned by the BBC Trust and Stonewall, I want to see if I can gather a list of programmes featuring LGTBQ+ characters  myself. Naturally, it’s not possible for me to see everything the BBC puts out (though I feel like sometimes I must do). The list I’ve got so far includes: The Night Watch, Lip Service, Doctor Who, Torchwood, In The Flesh, Heading Out, Consenting Adults, The Line of Beauty (thanks Tam!).

 If you can remember any others, could you comment below with the name of the programme in question? Remember, it must have aired in 2006 or later (so sadly neither Tipping the Velvet, nor my personal revelation Fingersmith count) and it must have aired in the UK. 

Please feel free to share this around as I’m sure we’re all likely to forget something. Thank you so much!

An educational note. (tw: mentions of rape, domestic and sexual violence)

To veer off-topic for a post, I’d like to have a bit of a chat about teenagers, SRE & PSHE education. A couple of weeks ago now, the Children and Families Bill was up for new clauses in the House of Parliament. Admittedly, I’m not as up on the political home front as I am elsewhere (so please excuse the lack of correct terminology and feel free to correct), so when I heard about Rt Hon MP Stella Creasey’s draft of an addition centred around the requirements for Personal Social Health Education in the curriculum I was thrilled. I work in the Education system in a state secondary school with recent academy status, primarily with students with Special Educational Needs1. Part of the campaign to get it voted in involved letter writing to your local MP. And so I did. Sadly it didn’t pass, and my local MP voted against.

However, I did receive a letter yesterday from said MP, which left me more confused than satisfied. Continue reading

A Series Of Fortunate Interests: Teen Drama

For the first few some weeks of 2013, I’m going to be doing a series of posts about the things I’m taking with me through adulthood. My no-longer Guilty Pleasures. A Series of Fortunate Interests.

Can we all agree to pretend that this post was posted in timely fashion and not been trapped in my drafts since the 8th February? Fabulous, thank you. The last few months have been buried under a variety of work crises and panicking about academic standards. But, like a chastened and stressed out phoenix, I rise from the ashes of my intentions to begin anew. So basically: sorry. Part of my absence was down to having to write a 5,000 word essay for my Quality TV module. The brief was very open and, seeing as I care an awful lot about television genres that are unfairly derided, I spent those 5,000 words discussing how The O.C deserves a seat at the quality table. So naturally I bring you the first of my Series of Fortunate Interests: Teen Drama

Continue reading

Welcome 2013, I have plans for you.

Hello and a happy new year to you all. 2013 has begun with a slightly inauspicious start but, I have plans folks. Plans that mainly involve posting here regularly. (It’s my one resolution, I’m aiming high.)

If there’s one thing I hate most in the world (aside from war, violence, and the oppression of minorities), it’s the way we as a culture talk about growing up. Whenever I talk to someone at work or friends of my parents, there is this sense of adulthood being staid and stuck and serious, of ‘putting away childish things’ and moving on with your life. Listen, I am as much for adults not having temper tantrums in the aisles of Sainsbury’s and maybe we would all be better off if we actually communicated what we wanted instead of employing the passive aggressive techniques we learned as kids. But I am not up for letting go of the things that make me happy, adult or not.

Like most people I went through that awkward stage of adolescence where the pursuit of ‘cool’ was pretty much your goal. Admittedly, what I considered cool may well have been far from the zeitgeist but, it mattered to me. I wanted to be an adult, a cool adult with an ear to the underground and a thorough understanding of the Shakespearean canon. The things that brought me unadulterated, utterly un-serious joy began to form my list of ‘Guilty Pleasures’. I stopped talking about how much I liked Girls Aloud and how teen movies shaped my core personality because that didn’t seem adult.

Many people cleverer (and funnier) than me have already talked about how the idea of ‘guilty pleasures’ are bullshit. I’m not really here to unpack. What I am here to do is air that list in public. I may have forgotten most of Shakespeare’s history plays, but sometimes I listens to boybands and have a one person dance party in my bedroom. Sometimes I watch sitcoms on endless repeat because I need cheering up. And now, you’re going to hear about it. A lot.

For the first few weeks of 2013, I’m going to be doing a series of posts about the things I’m taking with me through adulthood. My no-longer Guilty Pleasures. A Series of Fortunate Interests.

Because, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling twenty-two. And quite frankly, that means whatever I want it to mean.

2012: A Year in Retrospect

It is early morning on Christmas Eve and as I sit surrounded by reams of articles & chapters for an essay I have yet to start, my natural tendency for avoidance strikes again. I’m writing this from the cold exile of the spare room, the annual holiday tradition of handing over my room to visiting relatives for the Christmas period well and truly revived. As a result of all this festive nostalgia, it’s got me thinking about the past year and everything that’s come to pass. It’s maybe a week early for a retrospective but since I intend on being oblivious between the dates of the 30th and the 2nd of January, I feel this is my only shot. It’s been a long year 2012 and an odd one at that. But of all the post-2000s, I feel like finally I’ve had a really solid year.

You see, by comparison the latter half of 2011 was really difficult. When I moved back home after university pre-graduation, I wasn’t exactly in the best state. My anxiety was hitting critical mass, my self-esteem had taken various academic knocks (almost all entirely my own fault) and I was primarily existing in crisis mode. I’d like to think I put on a pretty good show of seeming on top of it but in reality I was ever so quietly freefalling. Would I ever get a job, would I ever figure out what I was going to do with my life, would my grandparents ever stop making pointed comments about my love life? Whilst the latter two still remain relatively unresolved, against all the odds, I got a job. And with that the tide began to change, little by little. By the time New Year’s Eve rolled around things were getting to an even keel. I also made myself an idle, unofficial promise: to love myself just a bit more.

At the risk of sounding vain or self-involved, I have always liked myself, both for my physical and personality attributes. I’ve always considered myself ‘alright’, nothing spectacular but generally positive. But I’ve never been hugely confident about any aspect of myself. For me, 2012 has really been about a good year for my confidence.

Continue reading