How life has changed for civilians in North Korea in the past 70 years and a reflection on the overall changes since 1948.
In September, feminist academic Germaine Greer published a new essay On Rape, in which she argued penalties for rapists should be lowered and that most rape is ‘not something that anyone but the participants can prevent’. This followed controversial remarks she made pre-publication at the Hay literary festival in May, claiming rape was often not a ‘spectacularly violent crime’, but more often than not ‘lazy, careless and insensitive’. Sparking outrage in the feminist community isn’t unusual for the writer; earlier this year, she called women part of the #MeToo movement ‘whingeing’ and insisted more than once that transgender women ‘weren’t real women’. Similarly, the reaction to her stance on rape, was, to put it lightly, not good. The Women’s March retweeted Women United denouncing her a ‘Judas in feminist garb’, with its blogger Aisha Ali-Khan insisting that by ‘mollycoddling her rapist’, she was ‘trashing’ her reputation and it was ‘time for her to shut up now’.
“Representation” is a word I have been hearing a lot in 2018. Whether it is used in a news article or a trending Twitter hashtag, clearly, the importance of this so-called representation has never been more emphasised. As glad as this makes me, I do still question whether people know exactly why the representation of non-white individuals in the media is so important, specifically in terms of the effects a lack of it can have.
Whilst thankfully in some countries we are moving forward in the rights of minorities, somehow people with disabilities are being left behind. As someone whose sibling has a disability I have observed this as a prominent issue especially when it comes to the disregard for disabilities from the government. The conservative government cut the funding for people with disabilities in the Work-Related Activity Group will from £103 a week to £73 which is the same rate as non-disabled people claiming jobseekers’ allowance. Disability is often a taboo topic despite the fact 13.9 million people in the UK in 2017 had a disability. Even in everyday conversation people with disabilities are disregarded when the term ’retard’ is used which is a derogatory term and yet is still commonly used. This is why we need to get the conversation started on normalising disabilities and preventing further discrimination. A platform which is tackling the naivety surrounding disabilities is ‘Special Books by Special Kids’ which is a channel orchestrated by Chris Ulmer on YouTube. The channel is a great example of the next step in removing the stigma surrounding disabilities.