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The AstraZeneca Vaccine vs The Pill: The Ongoing Neglect of Women’s Reproductive Health

As the Covid-19 vaccine rollout takes place nationwide, concerns have been raised about possible side effects, particularly in the case of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. According to Pharmaceutical Technology, twenty million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered by 12th April 2021. Seventy-nine blood clot cases were reported by the end of March, and of those cases, nineteen people died. The Gov.uk website tells us that the risk of blood clotting after a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in people over fifty or with underlying medical issues is ‘extremely rare’: approximately 1 in every 100, 000 doses. The same is said for those in the 40 – 49 age bracket. For those between the ages of 18 – 39, this risk is doubled to 1 in every 50, 000 doses, which has led to under forties in the UK being offered an alternative vaccine to mitigate this risk. The European Medicines Agency subsequently investigated the risk of blood clotting and determined that AstraZeneca is ‘safe and effective’. Naturally, in a period of great upheaval, people will experience worries about the various emerging vaccines, but the minute risk of blood clotting, is no reason not to get vaccinated. Having a vaccination is an important and overwhelmingly beneficial act, and will help to protect yourself and others, despite the scaremongering regarding AstraZeneca from anti-vax groups. Continue reading The AstraZeneca Vaccine vs The Pill: The Ongoing Neglect of Women’s Reproductive Health

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Intersectional Environmentalism: The Only Equitable Approach to Climate Action

As the climate crisis escalates, it is vital to recognise that the consequences of global warming will not be felt uniformly across the planet. Intersectional Environmentalism connects injustices perpetrated against marginalised communities with the exploitation of the earth, advocating for eco-social activism that is not whitewashed. In the future, only an intersectional approach will be able to address and respond to the realities of the climate crisis. Continue reading Intersectional Environmentalism: The Only Equitable Approach to Climate Action

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Princesses at War: Racism and Sexism in the Media

When the lives of the British royals are put under the microscopic lens of the UK tabloids, there is no-where to hide, not behind the palace gates nor behind the false pretences of a ceremonial title. A master of manipulation, the British press possesses the capability to harness the minds of the masses through a few simple words, a power once reserved for leaders and the royals themselves. Continue reading Princesses at War: Racism and Sexism in the Media

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Protecting our Protests

Our right to protest has been a fundamental part of our democracy here in the UK for a long time. Chartism and protests for working rights were widespread in the nineteen-hundreds. The early twentieth century saw first-wave feminists campaigning for suffrage and, eventually, achieving it. The Rebecca Riots took place in the dawn of the Victorian era in South Wales, eventually leading to the South … Continue reading Protecting our Protests

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Is Vanilla the New Frigid: TikTok and Coercion

Is ‘Vanilla’ the new ‘Frigid’? Having now been on TikTok for a while I was unsurprised when a section of the app called KinkTok or FreakTok came under fire in a recent VICE article by Lucy Robinson, and 19-year old Lily, interviewed for the piece, made this link between the terms. This thriving subculture on the app may have originally started as a safe place for the Kink community to share experiences and tips but it has recently been overrun with some very problematic and even dangerous content. Some of the top videos in this community often cover knife play, choking and rough sex of all levels and there have been frequent instances of the term ‘Vanilla’ being used as an insult. This term may not be familiar to those not in the kink community or in the younger generations, but we will all be familiar with the insult ‘Frigid’, a fan favourite of secondary school boys everywhere. But really, what is wrong with liking non-kinky sex? Continue reading Is Vanilla the New Frigid: TikTok and Coercion

Bleed Greener: Cli-Fi, a Genre to Save Us All?

This year, I have been thinking a great deal about the role of the arts and humanities in the fight against climate change. While I have heard anecdotes about interdisciplinary projects that aim to tackle the ongoing environmental crisis from a range of different scholarly perspectives, it is troubling that the input of the humanities scholars is often reportedly neglected in favour of the data produced by the scientists and geographers. Undoubtedly, there is a sound rationale behind such a decision: we need data to assess the extent of the problem, and to develop practical recommendations for change. However, I strongly believe that the arts and humanities have serious untapped potential for helping to divert our course away from environmental catastrophe. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Cli-Fi, a Genre to Save Us All?

Poetry and Politics

As the striking young woman in the vibrant yellow coat approached the podium at the presidential inauguration earlier this year the world held its breath. Amanda Gorman represents the voice of a new political era, an embodiment of hope and a testament to the potential for change. Her words were not the empty promises of populist leaders but were enthusiastic declarations of joy and purpose. … Continue reading Poetry and Politics

Bleed Greener: Spotlight on Sustainability Week

The 1st to the 5th March is this year’s Sustainability Week, an annual event that emphasises the importance of making sustainable choices. However, there is one thing that sets this year’s Sustainability Week apart from similar efforts that have been made in previous years: the Societies Sustainability Alliance. At present, this Alliance is comprised of 17 different societies which, collectively and in collaboration with university staff, aim to “improve representation from societies and groups in discussion and decision-making regarding sustainability at the University of Exeter” (Societies Sustainability Alliance Terms of Reference). The member societies range from those that already have a distinct environmental focus, such as Be The Change, to those that have a more academic focus, such as the Exeter Law Society. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Spotlight on Sustainability Week

Interview: Siân Docksey from The Sex and Nature Salon

I interviewed Siân Docksey prior to the salon to ask her how she found out about this unique, yet fascinating opportunity, to which she replied, “way back in March when the world set on fire and everything just disintegrated in front of us, I lost all of my gigs. I was on a writer’s weekly mail out and there was an advert for joining a Creative Fellowship at the University”. After questioning whether being a ‘Fellow’ involved “[walking] around in a cravat [tipping your] hat at people”, she soon discovered that the University of Exeter’s Arts and Culture team recruits three Creative Fellows a year, who work with academics to enhance their area of research. So, “it’s a bit like speed dating,” Siân noted, laughing. As if by fate, Siân was partnered with Dr Ina Linge, an expert in “The Politics of Sexual Nature”. Continue reading Interview: Siân Docksey from The Sex and Nature Salon

The Changing Face of British Television: How Small Axe Carved New Ground

In the era of technological domination, education through television is far from uncommon. We gain our facts and our opinions from a screen. As our eyes remain glued to the images that flash before us, our beliefs become shaped by various depictions of history. Whilst our perceptions are informed by our lived experiences, images and stories depicted in the media fill in the gaps. Where … Continue reading The Changing Face of British Television: How Small Axe Carved New Ground