Constantly asking recent graduates what their plans are post-university is unhelpful and often judgemental. In particular, those who decide to move back to their regional homes or ‘take a break’ after university become guilty of regression and a lack of ambition.
Regional accents are routinely discriminated against in the national media, often deemed unintelligible or vulgar. Until regional voices are incorporated into mainstream television dramas, reality TV continues to offer the only outlet for regional relatability on the small-screen. Against this dominant trend, Love Island’s producers have refused to succumb to London-centricity – even if the show remains problematic on other accounts.
Female political leaders have more demands placed upon them than their male counterparts: criticised for crying at the ‘wrong’ times, and for failing to cry when the gravity of the situation demands it. This paradox is enforced particularly hard upon older, Conservative-leaning women who tend to be more reserved in public. To avoid both sexism and ageism, journalistic obsession over women’s emotions, and their emotional responses, must stop altogether. Crying is not an objective science, and ‘to cry’ is not synonymous with ‘to feel.’
Rape comments – like those levied at Jess Phillips by UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin – are never unintentional, offhand or a heat-of-the-moment attack: they are a careful type of performance by right-wing politicians, desperate to challenge mainstream media and shore-up public support. We need to stop giving such individuals the airtime to ‘defend’ or contextualise their views.
Shortlisted for the Terry Kelly Poetry Prize, this political limerick by North-East born John Lennox takes aim at ‘small-town’ abandonment by prevailing British governments.
Unleashed from the shackles of pretence, this was probably the most honest and important dissection of contemporary culture that I have seen in a British gallery to-date.
Regional neglect benefits nobody: it only furthers political and economic division. Top universities must implement clear targets to recruit students from Low Participation Neighbourhoods outside of London and the South-East before it’s too late.