Thursday, 29 November 2012


Historically, male thought has overshadowed women. Here are some inspirational women from around the world, who challenged their parochial, andocentric world.

Qui Jin (November 8, 1875 - July 15, 1907) - China

Radical feminist and wonderful poet who opposed foot binding. Sadly executed during a failed uprising. She was 31.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike (17 April 1916 – 10 October 2000) - Sri Lanka

First female prime minister

Miina Sillanpää, (4th June 1866- 3rd April 1952) Finland 

Activist and Finland's first female minister.

Miina Sillanpää speaking in Parliament at the House of the Estates in 1907. Finnish Labour Archives.Source:

Rosa Luxemburg (March 1871 – 15 January 1919) - Poland

Uncompromising Marxist revolutionary...

"Bourgeois class domination is undoubtedly an historical necessity, but, so too, the rising of the working class against it. Capital is an historical necessity, but, so too, its grave digger, the socialist proletariat."

Shulamith Firestone (January 7, 1945 - August 28, 2012) - Canada 

Radical feminist

“ is essentially a much simpler phenomenon--it becomes complicated, corrupted or obstructed by an unequal balance of power.”

Emma Goldman (June 27 1869 – May 14, 1940) - Russia

Anarchist and feminist imprisoned for advocating birth control. 

 “If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.”
Kalliroi Parren (1861–1940) - Greece

Feminist writer and active advocate for female emancipation. She opened the first all female school to advance women's education.

Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907- July 13, 1954) Mexico

Artist extraordinaire.
 “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”

Urvashi Butalia (1952-) - India

Feminist, historian and co-founder of Kali, India's first feminist publishing house.

 "What does a feminist biography look like? What does a feminist memoir look like?"

Angela Davis (1944-) - United States

Activist and writer


"Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary's life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime."

Maria  Roda Italy -1899

From the age of 14, Maria was a dedicated anarchist and champion for feminist issues.

Ama Ata Aidoo (1940-) - Ghana

Writer and academic. Her writing defies stereotypical representations of women.


 “But what she also came to know was that someone somewhere would always see in any kind of difference, an excuse to be mean.”


Nawa El Saadawi (1931-) - Egypt

Psychiatrist, feminist and writer

"They said, 'You are a savage and dangerous woman.'
                         I am speaking the truth. And the truth is savage and dangerous."

Lidia Gueiler Tejada (August 28, 1921 – May 9, 2011) - Bolivia

First female president of Bolivia, feminist and radical revolutionary.



Angela King (28 August 1938 – 5 February 2007) - Jamaica 

Diplomat, adviser for gender specific issues.


 “I feel that all those millions of women who are looking at us are totally vindicated, and they have something to grasp to assist them for their battles for equality”

Aung San Suu Kyi (1945-) - Burma

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has dedicated her life to securing freedom and democracy for her country Burma, using non-violent means to fight against the ruling military Junta.


"In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued."


Benazir Bhutto (21 June 1953 – 27 December 2007) - Pakistan

Prime minister of Pakistan and first woman elected to lead a Muslim state. Sadly assassinated in a bombing in 2007.


  "Now, when people are dying, you don't really look at who's offering the help. You take it. The first issue should be to help the people."

Germaine Greer (1939-) - Australia

Academic writer 


“Sadness is the matrix from which wit and irony spring; sadness is uncomfortable and creative, which is why consumer society cannot tolerate it.”

Charlotte Wilson (6 May 1854 – 28 April 1944) - England

Feminist  and anarchist

Lucía Sánchez Saornil, (December 13, 1895 – June 2, 1970)  Spain

  Poet, anarcho feminist, explorer of lesbian themes.

'You sneer at woman as a determinative factor in society, assigning her the status of a passive factor. You sneer at the direct contribution of an intelligent woman, in favour of her perhaps inept male offspring. I say again: we must call things by their proper names. That women are women before all else; only if they are women will you have the mothers you need.
'Extract from,

Title: The Question of Feminism
Author(s) Lucia Sanchez Saornil: 
Date: 1935


Nathalie Lemel (26 August 1827 - 1921 France

Anarchist, feminist and active participant during  the Paris commune.
Sugako Kanno (1881–1911) Japan
 Radical anarchist, feminist  and prolific writer

From her traumatic experience of being raped as teenager, Sugako challenged cultural attitudes towards women's roles in Japan . The only female in Japan to be hanged for treason.

Sunday, 18 November 2012



When you're young and exploring your identity, you'd assume that, in a diverse and multicultural world, you'd be able to identify with some of the media's images inundated on you. Well… if you're a heterosexual, sexist male, the media will offer you a staple diet of crass adverts to satisfy your depraved needs.


If you are gay, you will be hard pressed to find any adverts that represent you in a positive way. The idealised hetero family will tell you this is the norm…


Now, here's a banned advert, showing two loving human beings...

Heinz advert banned for featuring two gay dads kissing. source:

 Another banned advert: 

A banned ice-cream advert showing two priests about to kiss. source:

But occasionally, you will find resistance:



Asians, Blacks, Mediterranean and Hispanic are rarely represented unless they're advertising curry or teas, pizzas or tortillas…
There might occasionally be an interracial couple… as long as they are hetero. But interracial couples must spark outrage amongst the bigots of this world.

A South African ad depicting an interracial couple sparks controversy. source:
And where are the Chinese? They become visible when advertising global banking or happy childlike female representations, while masking the West's exploitation of their lost childhood spent in sweatshops churning out the latest commodity to satisfy your needs.

This is what you won't see.

Or how about an alcohol advert advertising an 'exotic drink' because it takes a woman of colour to bring out the 'exotic' in you… 

Malibu Lady Sunshine drink. source:

How many times have we seen it and wanted to scream at that screen or billboard that we are not available to every Neanderthal man's urges??

 We do not exist solely for your approval…

 nor are we here to serve you...

We are not all 25 year old blondes waiting for your advances…
We are diverse, multicultural, heterosexual, bisexual, trans and gay human beings - embrace it and challenge the world of exploitative, sexist, racist, heterosexist ads by writing to your advertising council (Now here's a slogan you'll want to remember), because contrary to the ad man's world, we are the majority. If you see something you don't like, tear it down. Get together with your friends and make large stickers with slogans and plaster them on every ad on the tube, high street that demeans, objectifies or, reduces you to an object. Make a Saturday shopping spree into a memorable experience...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Savita Halappanavar, 31, died after being refused an abortion. photo source:

Following the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, who died of septicaemia in Ireland last month after she was refused an abortion, it's time to challenge the whole notion of 'pro-life'. This woman died needlessly and could have been saved if only she had been offered an abortion.

In the UK, we falsely applaud a government that supposedly gives women the right to choose, but her choice is ridden with biases and patriarchal outdated laws. There have been proposals to reduce the time limit from 24 to 12 weeks. I have a huge problem with people who oppose abortion and want to further restrict a woman's choice. Contrary to right wing views, women do not use abortion as a form of contraception, but as an informed, intelligent decision over their bodies. I had a heated debate with someone who argued that abortion is used as a compulsory tool in China due to its overpopulation. Also, in Russia, abortions are handed out freely due to the high levels of exploitation when a boss coerces young females into sex and unwanted pregnancies. But surely the issue is that in China it's not a choice, while in Russia it masks the coercive nature of male exploiters. 

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt backs abortion limit from 24 to 12 weeks. source:
Back in March, I remember reading an article in Saturday’s Guardian, regarding abortion. I was appalled to read that children were being told that conceiving a child out of rape can be a positive experience. This outrageous assertion has no insight into the trauma experienced by the mother or the child. Children should be born because they are wanted. 
This paternalistic government with its neo conservative/neo liberal agenda is intolerable. Woman need to prove that they are mentally unfit in order to be granted an abortion, which is absurd and hypocritical and another way of stigmatising/ controlling women’s bodies. We are regressing to a state that wants to control and regulate women’s sexuality and reinforces the notion that sex is an act solely for procreation. As past histories have shown, the unsafe practises of back street abortions, and the serious implications to women’s health, is something we do not want to go back to. Only a woman has the right to choose what is right for her. We need to act now and support pro-choice on a global scale. Let's spare a thought for the
Savitas of this world.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


In the UK, we are forced to subsidize a wealthy corporation called The British Broadcasting Corporation. Regardless of whether we watch their staple diet of crass programmes. This company expects us to subsidize and pay for their employees' salaries, all in the guise of a public service. Despite the beeb's claims that they do not advertise, they have sold numerous programmes worldwide, and still insist on us to fund their overpaid chauvinists, like Jeremy Clarkson, or their authoritative male bullies, such as Jeremy Paxman.

Following the recent revelations about Jimmy Savile, I find it an abysmal abuse of celebrity power and feel outraged for every child and adult who fell victim to this degenerate man. Isn't it ironic that he fought so hard to save peoples' lives but also destroyed so many in return? What was the motive behind it? Personally, I'd say his charitable acts were a front that enabled him to abuse people. His celebrity status and charity work gave him a passport to abuse, molest and sexually assault minors and adults. 

The appalling incident in which a young woman was groped by Savile live on Top of the Pops; note the expressions on some of the girls' faces above

What is equally disturbing is that many other celebrities at the BBC were aware of the abuser's acts, but there are claims that the BBC did not want a scandal, while others expressed fear of not being taken seriously or losing their jobs. They are just as guilty. Undoubtedly, if molesters/rapists are rich, they will be enabled by corporations to continue their violation of children as long as the public image of the beeb is not ruffled. Subsequently, in the parochial world run by the BBC, fuelled by privilege, testosterone and misogyny, ratings are more important than justice. I guess respect and acknowledgment for the victims doesn't count…

Why didn't anyone contact the police? Were they concerned that Savile was in collusion with them as well? Bullshit! Self-serving careerists will always make excuses because their conscience tells them they couldn't act to justify their conscience. Furthermore, a female who witnessed an act of abuse at the beeb was cornered and threatened by Savile. This kind of coercive form of intimidation serves the abuser to wield power over his domain. There was a disturbing clip on Top of the Pops where Savile clearly assaults a girl. Her pleas for help were trivialised and dismissed by the BBC. Furthermore, Savile's acts were ignored because of his ability to raise exorbitant sums of money for charities. His mafia-style intimidation could not have happened in isolation. Others are involved. And as the shit hits the fan, more names will transpire.

Gary Glitter, an insipid third-rate pop star who excels as a sexual predator, also gets away with numerous sexual offences. I shudder when I recall the lyrics of one of his songs, on TOTP (hosted by Savile), 'The Leader of the Gang': 'I'm the man who puts the bang in gang'.  He served a mere three years in a Vietnamese jail for sex offences on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence. This seems to draw parallels with Savile. What constitutes clear evidence? Clearly not the testimonies of victims. Because the voices, the desperate pleas, the outrage, don't count. Why don't they count? And why has this happened?

I can make you jump out of bed standing on my head, Gary Glitter performs 'I'm the Leader of the Gang' on Top of the Pops

We need to explore the prevalent misogynistic attitudes and male power that encourages male entitlement to grope, assault and sexually assault. And it's not solely a British thing. Abuses of power predominate throughout the world.

Let’s spare a thought for all the victims and how they were silenced by a corporation that ignored the abused. Instead the BBC chose to dish out this predator on child-focused programming spanning over four decades. Shame on you. These are the reasons why we should refuse to pay our television licence. Let's make victims' testimonies count.