Friday, August 12

Tag: Comment

Fact or Fiction?
News, Opinion

Fact or Fiction?

How technology is helping to disrupt the truth ‘Fake News’ is a phrase most frequently associated with the likes of Donald Trump, pointing the finger at journalists for their sensationalist, subjective reporting and blaming them for the hate he received by many. Journalists have a lot of responsibility in that regard – we are a society built on the opinions of the masses and journalists have a large stake in swaying that opinion. Many also associate this issue with a rising ‘cancel culture’- one bad word and the twitter cavalry storm in.  In the twenty-first century, we have got endless information at our fingertips. Thanks to the internet, we can momentarily discover breaking news or the height of a favourite celebrity; any kind of information that will satisfy a curiosity and ...
The Diana Dilemma
News, Opinion

The Diana Dilemma

The public’s obsession with Diana is as exploitative as the paparazzi who killed her. The final shot of series four of Netflix’s The Crown shows Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, a slow zoom bringing her wide, tear-filled eyes into prominence. It’s a haunting image, unpleasant to watch. In many ways, the whole series is. And yet we just can’t stop ourselves. Dianamania is back with a vengeance. Diana: The Musical was just released on Netflix (to a critical battering of possibly unrivalled ferocity), Spencer has recently hit the big screen, Rowing Blazers are re-releasing ‘iconic’ Diana fashion moments. Maybe it’s the upcoming 25th anniversary of her passing – is 25 years long enough that any semblance of respect goes out the window? It would seem so. With each year that passes, the ...
Should universities remain international?
Opinion

Should universities remain international?

Immigration: a word that nowadays never fails to provoke controversy. Looking at the U.S in particular, immigration seems to be the ‘hot topic’, with a never-ending barrage of stories about the dangers of allowing foreigners inside the country being hurled at the public. Is it any surprise, then, that this latest rhetoric has finally spread across the pond? Back in July, the public learned that UCL lecturers could be “liable to a £20,000 personal fine per case” if they fail to report Tier Level 4 students. According to The Guardian, Lecturers have also been advised to verify foreign students’ IDs, as Tier 4 students’ attendance must be regulated using “spot-checks based on face-to-face verification”. The regulations also demand that academic supervisors have to meet postgraduates personal...
Hugh Hefner: Feminist or Chauvinist?
Opinion

Hugh Hefner: Feminist or Chauvinist?

Since his recent death, Hugh Hefner has been labeled a feminist. Throughout his career, he often talked about wanting to rid society of prudish attitudes towards sex, and how this benefitted women. Through his work, he claimed to be striving for sexual liberation, and through Playboy, advocated for increased birth control accessibility and the legalisation of abortions in the US. Therefore, many have described him as a feminist ally, suggesting that he did extremely beneficial work for women’s rights. However, whilst sex positivity and feminism are both great, Hugh Hefner did nothing to benefit either of them. His work building a pornographic empire was, in fact, intrinsically damaging, as the industry is renowned for its exploitation of women for male gain. Through Playboy, many hav...
Fox Hunting: A Thing of the Past or the Future?
Opinion

Fox Hunting: A Thing of the Past or the Future?

Izzy Swanson discusses why this activity is back on the political agenda. With the current political climate, I doubt that you were thinking about fox hunting a couple of weeks ago when you were deciding who to vote for in the general election. But now that Theresa May has revealed that she is continuing the Conservatives’ trend of putting the repeal of the fox hunting ban on the party’s manifesto, it has brought the debate into the foreground again. However, as a YouGov poll made known in 2015, the majority of the UK do not want to see a return of the ‘sport’ in its original form, which was outlawed in 2004, so why does the Prime Minister want to revive something so unpopular? One reason is Theresa May’s personal preference as, in her own words, she has “always been in favour of fox...
Stop the Free From fad
Science & Technology

Stop the Free From fad

Beth Carr on why going 'free from' should be a permanent choice, not a diet fad. Have you ever looked at the 'Free From' aisle at the supermarket? Do you even know where it is, or if your chosen supermarket has one? Wherever you shop, it's likely that this section has become far more noticeable in the last few years, as more and more people seek a 'free from' lifestyle. Whether its gluten, dairy, soya or a combination of the many food types people cut out of their diet, there are now options to cut these out without having to resort to just eating salad for every meal. However, has this change sprung out of a medical need, the fact that more people are being diagnosed as intolerant to these things or from conditions such as Coeliac Disease? Or is it more because people are seeing thi...
Opinion

The Paradox of Militant Liberalism

Does the rise of political correctness have the potential to be just as oppressive as intolerance? The internet has given young people a larger platform than ever before to air their views on the world and make their voices heard. No corner of the internet is more demonstrative of this than the popular blogging website Tumblr. Its users are outspoken on issues such as race and gender; it isn’t easy to scroll down your dashboard without encountering some sort of social commentary. Whilst it can only be a good thing that society is far more accepting of difference these days, what happens when it starts to go too far in the other direction – when social justice fighters police freedom of speech? Should I really be wracked with guilt every time I catch myself dancing to Blurred Lines on a ...
Opinion

The Bechdel Test

What is it? The Bechdel test was first introduced in Allison Bechdel’s comic "Dykes to Watch Out For", in a 1985 strip called “The Rule”. In order for a film to pass the Bechdel test it has to meet the following requirements: 1. It has to have at least two women in it 2. Who talk to each other 3. About something besides a man There have been variations to the criteria of the test, for example the female characters have to be named. Think about a movie that you watched recently, or any movie at all. Does it have at least two female characters? Do they have a conversation about something besides a man? Can you try and name more than 3 films that pass the Bechdel test? I actually found it kind of difficult. And that’s where the problem lies. The problem isn’t just about the lack ...
Opinion

Am I a Man or a Muppet?

What’s your favourite Muppet movie? For me, it’s the 2002 TV movie ‘It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie’. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s basically an ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ pastiche. The Muppets are yet again trying to win back the Muppet Theatre (seriously, it’s like one of Lew Zealand’s amazing boomerang fish) while Kermit has an existential crisis and wishes he’d never been born, with predictable results. Plus Whoopi Goldberg is God, which is one of the best casting decisions of all time. Now, I can tell that right now you’re thinking a) what is wrong with you Flic? Muppet Christmas Carol is clearly the best Muppet movie, and b) what’s the point you’re trying to make here? The Muppets are for kids. So I should probably make an admission; I get anxious. In this contex...
Opinion

The Mona Lisa Re-born?

It’s a miracle like no other. The Student’s Union of Royal Holloway has seen a truly remarkable rebirth. It’s the return of the Mona Lisa, widely criticised to have a smile so true to life it’s almost as if you only had to step into a room and grin at yourself in the mirror to merely replicate it. A smile, which has kept many an art historian busy for centuries, that is so completely between innocence and invitation that the distinction is beyond reckoning. Such a miracle can be found, miraculously, on the latest Student Entertainment posters advertising function nights at the SU throughout October including one, hastily replaced on the 13th October, publicising Come in Your Kit. They are NOT a true representation of our student body, as they are, and particularly not of women in sport....