Tuesday, July 23Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Tag: feminism

‘Nice Guys Finish Last’
Lifestyle

‘Nice Guys Finish Last’

Nice guys finish last’ has to be one of my least favourite phrases in the English language, pipped to the post perhaps only by ‘the friend zone’. Yet time and time again, in conversations, online and in films and TV, the idea that women ignore the ‘nice guys’ in favour of a bad boy  is pervasive in our culture. To the guys who are respectful and kind to women, the ones who will go to Women’s Marches, lift up their female colleagues at work, and call themselves feminists I will say this: it’s great that you’re a feminist, it’s great that you respect women, but that still doesn’t mean that woman you catch eyes with over the morning papers on the underground simply must date you. Being a ‘nice guy’ is a reward in itself, it makes you a better person, and society better as a whole. But th...
Our Time Is Up
Opinion

Our Time Is Up

Harvey Weinstein. The “Times Up” campaign. Donald Trump’s war against women’s rights. Everywhere we look, sexism is a familiar part of the world we live in. As a woman living in 2018 I Rachel Hains explores the second ever “Women’s March” in London, reminding us that the fight for equality is far from over. cannot help but wonder, how can this still be the case? This question was on the lips of the thousands of people who, on the 21st of January 2018, marched for a second time in London. The march was aimed to promote current issues women are facing globally including battling for equal pay, stopping sexual harassment and issues surrounding racism. These are all basic expectations for a modern, civilised country. Yet, people felt the need to take to the streets to remind those in power ...
Sexism Storm Surrounds Royal Holloway Principal
News

Sexism Storm Surrounds Royal Holloway Principal

Royal Holloway Principal, Professor Layzell has claimed the university has a “transparent and fair pay system” despite having the seventh worst gender pay gap in the country at professorial level. Speaking at his last Staff Open Meeting in November, he claimed the problem was instead rooted in the fact there are not enough women going for promotion. In a recording of the meeting obtained by Orbital Magazine, the Principal claimed that “there are certain protected groups where there is a natural tendency to not have a go and put themselves in for promotion - sometimes that’s gender, sometimes it’s the BAME group”. The Principal is facing backlash from his “natural tendency” comments, with one member of staff in the Geography Department telling Orbital that it was “an example of ev...
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...
10% gender pay gap: stop victim-blaming, start bias proofing says UCU RHUL committee
News

10% gender pay gap: stop victim-blaming, start bias proofing says UCU RHUL committee

UCU RHUL committee response to Abbie Cheeseman’s article A Feminist Institution with a 10% Gender Pay Gap? The UCU Royal Holloway local branch committee welcomes Abbie Cheeseman’s article entitled A Feminist Institution with a 10% Gender Pay Gap?   She highlights the greater-than 10% gender gap in professorial pay at RHUL which the Times Higher Education (THE) this year reported was the 7th worst in the UK. She also rightly pointed out that this pay gap has been steadily widening in recent years. Cheeseman suggested that Gender pay gaps should not be seen as a direct case of sexism and considered various possible explanations for the pay gap increases.  In fact the explanations given by the College are indirect cases of sexism. Cheeseman suggested that efforts to decrease the gap ...
Medea: a monster, a mother, or a murderer?
Culture & Literature, Film & TV, Literature, Theatre & Performance

Medea: a monster, a mother, or a murderer?

‘A bride of hate to me and death / Tigress, not woman’ (Euripides, Medea) Medea: a monster, a mother, or a murderer? Victoria Bastable reviews her week with By Jove Theatre company and how their ‘Season of Violent Women’ has made her question the dehumanisation of violent women in culture from Ancient Greece to the 21st century. I Googled ‘violent women in art’ and the results were dominated by articles titled ‘Violence Against Women in Art’. To me, this demonstrates how in art we often attempt to distance women from being portrayed as the perpetrators of violence, perhaps because of cultural expectations of the ‘ideal woman’ as either the nurturing mother or passive victim. But what about the violent women who do appear in art and literature? By Jove Theatre Company have been a...
Feminism Society and the Festival of Choice celebrating International Safe Abortion Day
Sports & Socs

Feminism Society and the Festival of Choice celebrating International Safe Abortion Day

*Trigger Warning: Contains mentions of rape and abuse Across the globe it remains the case even in today’s progressive society that a woman’s access to legal and safe abortion is greatly restricted by government legislation. In places such as Chile and Nicaragua there is a complete and conclusive ban on the procedure. Even in Ireland, we witness a situation in which abortion is not legalised, even in cases of rape or incest. It may seem here in the UK, that we are far removed from these matters and that they need not concern us. As current UK law stipulates under the Abortion Act of 1967, abortion, if medically consented by two doctors, is legal. However, in the introducing of this act, previous legislation does concurrently remain. The 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which made ...
Reclaiming our Suffragette History!
News

Reclaiming our Suffragette History!

At the general meeting on March 10th, a motion was passed to lobby the college to name the new library after one of our most famous alumni, Emily Wilding Davison. The new library on campus, due to open in mid-2017, remains as yet unnamed. The planning has been under way for some time now, with construction due to begin in the autumn of 2015. The build involves moving the college shop from its current position to an as yet, undisclosed location. Royal Holloway shares a proud history for women and the suffragette movement, being officially opened in 1886 by Queen Victoria as an all-women college with Bedford College, another former all women’s college. Emily Wilding Davison herself was a student at Royal Holloway College in 1891 after winning a bursary from Kensington High School, stud...
Is this what a Feminist looks like?
Opinion

Is this what a Feminist looks like?

I was waiting for our FemSoc committee meeting, when the last edition of The Orbital arrived. I asked if I could read one and had only flicked through a few pages before I was shouting “have you seen this?”, to anybody that would listen. “Automatically, the first thing that leaps to my mind when someone says ‘feminism’ is an incredibly butch lesbian with a buzz cut angrily shouting at police. In the 80s.” I found myself reading the words aloud and repeating them in a tone of mock outrage. This was what people think of feminists; this was what people think of me? It's true, I am angry, gay, have short hair, and I don’t shave. I will be the first to admit that I am a card carrying feminist stereotype, the only thing that I am lacking is the Doc Martens (and that is only due to the gre...