Looking for role models? Try a nun instead of a pop star

NOT all heroes wear capes, and not all potential role models have the arrogance to think of themselves in such terms. But in a world of clickbait headlines and emoji verdicts – where humans are increasingly reduced to good or bad, hero or villain, thumbs-up or angry frown – isn’t it time we admitted thatContinue reading “Looking for role models? Try a nun instead of a pop star”

Getting in a flap about primary school testing won’t help P1s

AS the latest intake of primary ones toddle along to their first day at school next week, the littlest ones dwarfed by their jazzy new rucsacks, they’ll have another weight on their shoulders too. The weight of expectations added by the Scottish Government’s dastardly plan to make them sit tests. Not for these five-year-olds aContinue reading “Getting in a flap about primary school testing won’t help P1s”

Don’t point the finger at social workers if you don’t understand the job

The BBC aimed to uncover “the whole story” about three deaths in Fife, but its documentary neglected to mention what is surely a key context: austerity.

Eden: Paradise Lost (Channel 4) episode four: kill the pigs

The lazy comparisons with Lord of the Flies started before any of these new episodes were shown, but there are two key reasons why we need a new reference point. One, just because the female population of Eden has greatly reduced in number, that doesn’t mean the women are merely a side note in aContinue reading “Eden: Paradise Lost (Channel 4) episode four: kill the pigs”

Eden: Paradise Lost (Channel 4) episode two: locker-room talk

NO-ONE who watched – and properly remembers – the first series of Eden should be surprised by the turn things take in this episode, but I can’t get too exercised about dumb plumber Titch’s “boy jobs and girl jobs” ranting. I don’t doubt that the men, as a group, were more efficient when it cameContinue reading “Eden: Paradise Lost (Channel 4) episode two: locker-room talk”

Conflating sex and gender does not help to promote gay rights

Gender roles matter to people like right-wing politician Vicky Hartzler, who has voted down legislation to address violence against women and whose efforts to restrict gay rights are thwarted by the idea that a woman can become a man and a man can become a woman. But they also matter to many trans activists, whose motives – when scrutinised – are every bit as homophobic.