Speaking Dangerously

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At the beginning of 2017, I decided to make this My Year of Speaking Dangerously, and attempt to go from zero to hero in terms of speaking in public and on air.

Ask any woman if she thinks women are well-presented in live debates, on TV panels or in radio discussions, and she’ll likely say no. But ask her if she’d be willing to step up, to her redress the balance, and you might well get the same answer.

As a writer, I’m used to carefully honing my arguments and proof-reading every paragraph before it goes to print. As a speaker at a live event, or on the radio or TV, there is no safety net, and that’s daunting. But I’ve decided that this year (and hopefully beyond), I will feel the fear and do these things anyway. I expect there will be plenty of hiccups along the way, but I hope I can inspire women to believe that if I can do it, so can they.

I’ll be documenting my progress here.

August 2017

I joined BBC Radio Scotland’s Stephen Jardine plus stand-ups London Hughes and Ashley Storrie at the Edinburgh Fringe to talk about women in comedy (from 2h 12mins 55 – available until September 9).

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I launched A Feminist’s Guide to the Festivals, reviewing theatre, spoken word and comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe plus some Edinburgh International Book Festival events. Visit my Soundcloud for the latest podcasts.

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July 2017

I joined Maurice Smith and Chris Silver for Newsnet.scot’s weekly podcast. We covered a wide range of topics from the state pension age and gender recognition to Brexit and how Scotland supports its artists.

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I wrote about My Year of Speaking Dangerously for The National.

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I joined Raymond Robertson, former chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, on Sunday Politics Scotland, to chat with Gordon Brewer about Scotland’s economy, the Campaign for Socialism, Brexit, Trump and Theresa May (from 1h 05m 40 – available until August 7).

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June 2017

I joined Kaye Adams to discuss whether indyref2 should be “off the table” following the result of the General Election (from 8m 40 to 59m 45 – available until July 13)

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April 2017

I chaired the Ibrox and Cessnock Community Council local election hustings, at which seven candidates for Glasgow’s Govan Ward answered questions on everything from housing and cleansing to fracking and social care.

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I gave a talk as part of the NUJ Scotland event A Stronger Voice for Women in the Media, warning that we should focus on progress as well as problems when discussing sexism in the media, and guard against putting women off entering the industry by dwelling on negatives.


March 2017

I gave a talk about opinion writing as part of the Student Publication Association Scotland Conference at the University of Edinburgh.