When will it end? When will we get bored? When will we finally learn to celebrate Meghan Markle and the work she does, and give her credit where it is due? Yet again, this past week HRH Duchess of Sussex has made headlines with the release of the ever-anticipated September issue of British Vogue. This year she has guest edited the edition with Edward Enninful, current editor of the publication. Last month, scandal surrounded her choice to protect her child and friends’ privacy in not releasing the names of Archie’s godparents; this month, her call for kindness and positivity has gathered ample criticism. This scrutiny of Meghan, the charitable and kind work she does and the decisions she makes about her family are becoming old and dull news. Yes, she is female, yes, she is of mixed heritage and yes, her former career was as an actress but like it or not she is now a member of the British Royal Family. In guest editing the September issue of Vogue she has used her platform to deliver what is ultimately a message of, as Bryony Gordon wrote in her column for The Telegraph, “be kind, help people less fortunate than you, try and do the right thing, and by the way: you’re lovely just as you are”. Continue reading Meghan Markle X Vogue: A Collaboration to Celebrate.
A blistered boiled egg, and two slices of toast. This is how it begins, every morning. It is how it shall continue, every morning. Put a fresh bowl of water out for the dog, reapply lipstick and double lock the front door. Get on the tube, and stare at the yellow line, rushing out of sight. Continue reading “Casual Nihilism”
“In spite of it all, people have a need to couple. Even when they’re being destroyed, they’re still coupling. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency starts and ends with this premise, but in between there is the question of as to why there is this need to couple and why it is so difficult.” – Nan Goldin (1986) Continue reading Nan Goldin at the Tate Modern
Reading this extraordinarily perceptive novel in my garden during the July heat wave, the cover gradually fading in the sunlight and the pages getting crumpled by my fingers greasy with sun cream, I was absorbed into the world of Penelope Lively’s book: one simmering with barely contained emotions and the heat of an extreme English summertime. At just under 200 pages this book is no … Continue reading Review: Heat Wave by Penelope Lively
This summer, I was lucky enough to spend 10 days with my family in southern/central California for a truly memorable holiday. Before this trip, I’d only ever experienced one transatlantic flight, so even the idea of a 10 hour flight and arriving in the United States excited me. There’s something indescribably magical about long flights, much as they may be inconvenient (and result in lack of sleep)!
We made 4 stops on our trip: San Francisco, Napa, Yosemite and Carmel-By-The-Sea. Continue reading Postcards From Abroad: California 2.0
The intention of an email recently sent by Anytime Fitness to one of its customers (see below) was to be ‘funny’, it however sought to do this by saying that if you can pinch any inch of your body, you are ‘fat’. The email painted a picture of a warm summer’s day, which you apparently have to look skinny to enjoy. It is through ill-attempted, … Continue reading Pressure vs Positivity: Body Image on Campus
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in an unenviable position: having to follow Avengers: Endgame, now the highest grossing film ever. Endgame was essentially a monumental conclusion to the Infinity Saga that said goodbye to characters we’ve loved for over a decade. It was soul crushing. For anything directly afterwards, it’s tricky not to fall flat.
However, choosing Spider-Man was wise. It narrows the scale, allowing audiences to see how the Blip (the five years post-snap) actually affected people. This transition works well for the franchise, with the student “in memoriam” video for Stark, Rogers, and Romanoff (don’t – I’m still devastated) shifting it in a more light-hearted direction. Continue reading Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home
If you know someone spending a year abroad in Australia, you may have noticed that the dribble of year abroad posts on social media has already begun. Prepare yourself: it will only get worse. In fact, in less than a month, I will be flying halfway across the world to start my own year abroad in the US, and so, I’ll soon be adding my … Continue reading The Truth Behind the Year Abroad: Planning & Preparation
Sat in Russell Square yesterday, too hot to think, a young girl handed me a card containing information entitled “ADVICE ON ARREST.” She reeled off her well-rehearsed speech that highlighted the essentials (which solicitor’s number to call, what to say to the police etc.) and moved on to the next group. I slipped the card into my back pocket, feeling slightly confronted. At a time in which my capacity for rage appears limitless, I, and the swarm of angry people beginning to gather around me on this sweltering day in July, were organising. Continue reading FCK GVT, FCK BORIS
After hearing that Pixar had decided to release a fourth movie in the Toy Story saga, I was filled with multiple emotions – sure enough there was a lot of excitement but there was also a creeping sense of dread. After the emotional rollercoaster ride that was Toy Story 3, it seemed we had said our goodbyes to the toys, just as Andy does, in … Continue reading Review: Toy Story 4
Although we as a planet have always been aware of our waste output, in recent years the crippling truth and responsibility have become a reality for individuals. Consumers are becoming more educated about what products are made from and their impacts. In the media we are quick to highlight the high quantity of plastic items used at home, single-use plastic packaging in stores and the waste produced by fast fashion. Yet, because these things are such a regular part of our lives, it seems almost alien to consider a life without them. Continue reading ZERO: Exeter’s Progress Towards Zero-Waste
The bodies of Salvadoran Oscar Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria were found washed up on the banks of the Rio Grande, after an attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. A viral image of Valeria’s arm around her father’s neck as they lie face down has since captivated the media’s attention, giving rise to heated debates on the ethics of hard-hitting images. Despite the photograph being used to advance certain political agendas, what it is depicting cannot be ignored: human suffering. Continue reading Media Coverage of Migrant Crises: The Politicisation of Suffering?
Short trousers, redcurrants, summer rain, campsites, tears, electric hand mixers, intelligence, ice cubes, skin and plums. These are some of the objects and phenomena that Norwegian author, Karl Ove Knausgård describes in his book, Summer. Continue reading So Scandi: In praise of “Summer” by Karl Ove Knausgård
I’ve found that being a virgin at 20 seems to warrant three types of general reactions:
The nurse with wide eyes in the Sidwell Sexual Health Clinic congratulating me wildly, whilst I sat awkwardly waiting for her to give me my first pack of contraceptive pills.
The immediate labelling of me as “frigid” or a “prude”, words to this day that I really fucking hate.
Slight embarrassment/awkwardness, like the way people looked at me during my first game of ‘Never Have I Ever’ in Freshers’ Week, when I was the only one that didn’t drink to ‘never have I ever had sex.’ Continue reading Being Ready: Confessions of a 20-year-old Virgin
Recently, I spent a few days on holiday with my boyfriend in Dublin. It was the first time either of us had been abroad without any kind of responsible adults, and we’d opted to take three trains and a ferry rather than fly. Our journey there was long, complete with an overnight stop in Holyhead, but once we got off the shuttle bus in the … Continue reading Postcards From Abroad: Dublin
Exeter based restaurant PINK MOON are offering a number of exclusive Grad Week deals to help make your Grad Week that bit more special! From Monday 15th July to Friday 19th July inclusive, PINK MOON are offering a special set menu with delicious dishes available for just £17.50 for two courses and £20.50 for 3 courses. To help you celebrate in style, we’re also offering … Continue reading PINK MOON: Grad Week Deals!
It’s summer, time to relax and enjoy the weather. Yet with anxieties about the environment at an all-time high, the heat serves as an unpleasant reminder of a climate on the brink of catastrophe. Greta Thunberg has told us it’s not too late to change our ways, though – so what are the facts and dangers, and what can we do this summer to help save the planet? Continue reading An Environmentally Friendly Summer
Yesterday is a film with a lot on its plate, which results in a final product that is, at best, reasonably entertaining, and at worst, one step away from being a confusing mess. Whilst I did find the film enjoyable, a few key flaws prevent it from being a wholly successful romcom. Overall, despite a talented cast, and interesting premise, Yesterday is a film that promises more than it can ultimately deliver.
Continue reading Review: Yesterday
Social media has become a performative space. It presents a platform that allows us to display a photogenic version of our lives to the world. This perpetuates in the summer as our news feeds become crammed with everyone’s holiday shots, rather than the grim summer jobs that help us afford them. But should we be ashamed of this? Or is it just a natural human … Continue reading Putting your best foot forward or faking it: are we too critical of Instagram’s glamorization of summer?
To describe Loneliness And Other Adventures in one word, it would be ‘relatable’. Writer and performer Mollie Semple has tapped into the consciousness of so many young women in this one-woman play, focusing on a twenty-one year-old woman as she attempts to deal with loneliness and the fear of dying alone. Under the direction of Sophie Leydon, Semple has crafted and performed a wonderful script, both touching and funny, that is sure to connect with anyone who has ever felt alone. Continue reading Review: Loneliness And Other Adventures @ Drayton Arms Theatre, Kensington
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the rare pieces of literature that sits in the Venn diagram overlap of edgy teens and Romantic scholars. A tale of creation and loss, ambition and remorse, love and grief, Shelley remains the queen of innovative paralleling, not just in themes but in her characters. Her unique frame narrative of letters, stories, and even her preface never ceases to impress me with its clever overlapping and, while some parts of the tale are so implausible as to seem ridiculous, her intricacy and exquisite language rightly puts Frankenstein in the literary canon.
Continue reading Review: Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson
Until recently, Swift’s decision not to make political statements and attempts to appear politically neutral have caused some controversy among her fans in an increasingly politically divided America. In the past year, however, Swift has started to make moves towards revealing her own political views, supporting her local Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen in the 2018 elections, and releasing her change.org petition in June 2019 to campaign for the US Senate to pass the Equality Act, a bill aiming to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. Continue reading Taylor Swift & Pride Anthems
RAZZ have collated together five shows available to stream right now that centre LGBTQ+ stories. Get bingeing to celebrate the end of Pride Month!
Tales of the City – Netflix
For fans of: Alex Strangelove, Easy, All in my Family
Tales of the City is a celebration and evaluation of queer communities. With a stellar cast, this Netflix limited series assesses the trials and tribulations of a family that transcends bloodlines. For queer family-making 101 give this a watch. Continue reading Five LGBTQ+ TV Shows to Binge Right Now
WHILE none of the Scandinavian countries have an official religion, summer is worshipped in the region as if it is one. Scandinavians are used to the long, murky winters of the Nordic noir media genre. Danes even joke that the Danish year has 16 months, three of which are November. So, it is no surprise that when summer finally arrives, they know how to make … Continue reading Wild Swimming, Strawberries and Wood Cabins: How to Get Scandi This Summer
The Conservative Leadership contest is now down to the two final candidates: Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson. We are set to find out the new party leader, and our new Prime Minister, in roughly a month. The main differences that have been highlighted are that Jeremy Hunt believes that leaving the European Union with no deal is “political suicide”, whereas Boris Johnson is happy to leave the EU without a deal. But forget about Brexit for now, and let’s look at the nuances. RAZZ have done the heavy lifting for you and have researched each candidate thoroughly in terms of their promises to young people and how their track record stands in relation, so please get ready for a shit tonne of hyperlinks. Time to compare each candidate to the other so that we can prepare for our future. (Spoiler: we’re fucked). Continue reading “They’re both knobheads really”: Who Can We Trust To Be Our Next PM?
Katrina: Thanks for our lovely meal at Bill’s last night- it was the perfect way to finish off second year and celebrate results! First of all, I have to say I was really impressed with the refurb of Bill’s, it definitely brings a much more elegant tone to the restaurant. What did you think of it? Continue reading Review: Bill’s Summer Menu @ Exeter
Currently 38 years old and living in exile in Canada, Arsham Parsi is an Iranian queer refugee activist working to help his community in Iran. Parsi says that he came to terms with his sexuality early on and after a transgender friend ended her life, he decided he must begin to discreetly help the situation for Iranian queers. This work included helping a local doctor carry out research on HIV among gay and bisexual men in their city, before he turned his efforts to covertly advancing queer civil rights. In 2003 he started a Yahoo group chat called “Voice Celebration” which gained a total of 50 participants who could establish connections and lean on each other for support; all operated under a false identity (including Parsi) due to the dire legal situation for LGBTQ+ people in Iran, which still operates the death penalty. Unfortunately, in 2005, he found out that the Islamic authorities had begun to unravel his identity and were looking for “a gay activist named Arsham,” so he was forced to flee to Turkey where he registered as a refugee and lived for three months before being relocated to Canada. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Arsham Parsi
The Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc Collective was the first “out” organisation for lesbians, womanists, and women of colour in New York City and is now the oldest black lesbian organisation in the USA. They grew out of the Black Lesbian Caucus of the Gay Activist Alliance, officially splitting in 1974 and inviting Latina women to join (they would also later include Native American and Asian members). Original collective member Candice Boyce said that there “was no other place for women of color to go and sit down and talk about what it means to be a black lesbian in America”. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: The Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc Collective
Phillip Picardi, if not already, will be a publishing legend. After completing his degree from NYU in 2012, Picardi began his career working at Racked and Teen Vogue. Two years later, he became senior beauty editor at Refinery 29 but just seven months into the job, Picardi returned to Teen Vogue as digital editorial director (this is all by the age of 25). He worked closely with editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth and creative director Marie Suter, transforming the publication’s branding and turning towards politics, social issues, and activism. Condé Nast said that during Picardi’s time at Teen Vogue, “traffic to TeenVogue.com has increased to more than 9.2 million unique visitors, up from 2.7 million unique visitors last year, mobile traffic more than doubled with an increase of 109 percent year on year, and video viewers grew 989 percent”. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Phillip Picardi
Brenda Howard was a bisexual, polyamorous, LGBTQ+ activist. In a movement that sadly has a tendency to erase bisexual people, Brenda Howard led a fierce fight for bisexual people and helped her LGBTQ+ peers admirably. Most notably, she coordinated a rally to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, AKA the first ever Pride march. Otherwise known as the “Mother of Pride”, she helped evolve the march into Pride Day, and then into Pride Month. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Brenda Howard
Martin Luther King Jr.’s right-hand man, a tireless Civil Rights activist, and an openly gay man – Bayard Rustin fought throughout his life against prejudice, yet he still faces a great deal of historical erasure. Born in 1912, Rustin learnt and adopted Quaker values of nonviolence from a very early age. In 1937, he went to college in New York and joined the Young Communist League because of their progressive views on racial issues but left at the start of the Second World War when it began to emphasise support for the Soviet Union. His focus then shifted to socialism and he joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) in 1941. In 1944, Rustin was arrested as a “conscientious objector” because he refused to register for the draft, being so against the war as he was, and faced a number of other arrests during his time with FOR. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Bayard Rustin
When her father King Gustav II Adolph died in battle, a six year old Christina was elected queen. She took the throne in 1632 when she was 18, after receiving the typical education of a prince. She wore androgynous dress and opposed marriage and motherhood, instead drowning herself in education and politics. She even started Sweden’s first newspaper in 1650 and established peace for her nation in the 30 Years War (1618-1648), known as one of the most destructive conflicts in European history. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Queen Christina of Sweden
Affectionately known by many as the mother and father of the Gay Rights Movement in America, Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny worked tirelessly, both independently and together, for gay rights. Gittings, in the late 1950s, followed on from Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon (see profile) and started the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) and, in 1963, went on to take over as editor of The Ladder, their national gay women’s magazine. Kameny, however, never intended to become an activist until, in the midst of the ‘Lavender Scare,’ he was fired from the Army Map Service (the precursor to NASA) for refusing to answer questions about his sexuality. With a derailed career as a budding astronaut, Kameny appealed to the Supreme Court about his firing and, though it declined to consider his case, it became the first civil rights case based on sexual orientation filed in a U.S. court. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny
Liza Cowan and Penny House had been best friends since they were four, and in their mid-twenties in 1975 decided to launch DYKE magazine – a quarterly of lesbian culture and analysis. Living in 1970s New York at the time, the pair were in the midst of explorative conversations around lesbian culture, with their magazine following the lesbian separatist ideology. Lesbian separatism mainly followed the ideal of living without men entirely in patriarchy-free, women-only communities. The magazine said “We want to publish a magazine that fulfils our need for analysis, communication and news of Lesbian culture. We believe that “Lesbian culture” presumes a separatist analysis. If Lesbian culture is intermixed with straight culture, it is no longer Lesbian; it is heterosexual or heterosocial because energy and time are going to men”. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Liza Cowan and Penny House
Born in 1920 New Orleans, Stormé DeLarverie was a biracial lesbian without a birth certificate (because interracial marriage was illegal) who went on to become a brilliant drag king and a queer legend. She was racially abused a lot in her youth and when she realised she was also gay, she moved, fearing that she’d be murdered if she stayed in the South. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Stormé DeLarverie
Mabel Hampton was born in 1902 in North Carolina, later moving to Harlem. She met Lillian Foster in 1932 and the two were together for 45 years. Foster said in 1976: “Forty-four years ago I met Mabel. We was a wonderful pair. I’ll never forget it. But she’s a little tough. I met her in 1932, September twenty-second. And we haven’t been separated since in our whole life. Death will separate us. Other than that I don’t want it to end.” Foster died two years later in 1978. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Mabel Hampton
Following the overthrow of President Omar Al-Bashir, the Sudanese population took to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, to protest the military takeover and demand a civilian government. In recent weeks, these demands have been met with violence, leading to hundreds of injuries and deaths, over a thousand displaced and many men and women raped. The Sudanese military government has also organised an internet blackout with the objective of preventing a mass organisation of protests through social media and limiting the ability to raise awareness of atrocious government actions. Despite these efforts, the Sudanese crisis has become breaking news worldwide through online movements such as turning #BlueForSudan. Continue reading Turning #BlueForSudan: The Impact of Social Media
Born in 1945, Marsha P. Johnson was an African-American trans rights/gay rights/AIDS activist, sex worker, and drag queen. Whenever someone asked her what the “P” in her name stood for, she would reply: “Pay it No Mind.” Sylvia Rivera was born in New York City in 1951 of Venezuelan and Puerto Rican descent, and worked as a trans rights/gay rights activist and drag queen as well. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera
Virginia Prince was born Arnold Lowman in Los Angeles in 1912 and began using her mother’s clothes to cross dress at the age of 12. She later married a woman, which ended in divorce and the proceedings publicly exposed Prince’s cross dressing. Prince began living as a woman by the early 1960s and was a pioneer of transgender activism, working primarily through the written word. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Virginia Prince
By now you’ve probably seen the photograph of Dr Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris (who has chosen to keep her identity largely anonymous), bloodied on a London bus in the early hours of 30 May after refusing to kiss on demand for a group of young men. After going viral, this photograph has spurred mass international outrage towards the attack, with people questioning how such a disgusting act of homophobia could still take place in the UK in 2019. Continue reading Pussy Grabbers & Right-Wing Populism: The Justification for Homophobia
Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson were co-editors of The Little Review, founded in 1914, and instrumental in introducing modernism to America. The co-editors were also lovers, living in New York’s Greenwich Village and participating in local lesbian circles. The Little Review featured lesbian writers such as Amy Lowell and Djuna Barnes, as well as regular contributions from Sherwood Anderson, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson
“Because I came out in the context of black liberation, women’s liberation and – most significantly – the newly emerging black feminist movement that I was helping to build, I worked from the assumption that all of the ‘isms’ were connected.” (Smith)
Barbara Smith is a Black, lesbian, feminist, and socialist who radically transformed how we think today. Born in 1946, she gained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree before becoming heavily involved in the Women’s and Gay liberation Movements. That these were not attentive to the concerns of women of colour was glaringly obvious to her, and in 1974 Smith co-founded the Combahee River Collective, which explicitly attended to the concerns of black lesbians in black feminist politics and organising. This way of viewing black feminism as a movement through which the interconnected oppressions of race, gender, sexuality, and class could be addressed was their priority and they termed this “identity politics.” Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Barbara Smith
Exams are over and summer has arrived! You’ve finally handed in that godawful essay on eBart, your favourite dress is back in the wardrobe now EGB has been and gone, and you’ve taken the obligatory rock photo. You are picturing yourself sipping a cool bottle of Devon red, warm paper-wrapped fish and chips bundled on your lap in Exmouth with the sun setting over the sea.
But this is the south west of England, so what about the inevitable not-so-sunny days?