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 personally help 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.
I joined John MacKay, David Torrance and Kenny MacAskill to discuss Nicola Sturgeon’s address to the SNP conference on Scotland Tonight (until October 17).
I chaired an event at the SNP conference in Glasgow on Mental Health in the Workplace – Surviving or Thriving?, organised by the Mental Health Foundation Scotland to coincide with World Mental Health Day.
I joined Brian Taylor and Holyrood journalist Liam Kirkcaldy to discuss the week’s First Minister’s Questions (from 48m35, available until November 2).
I joined Rona Douglas on Scotland Tonight to discuss Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech and the latest Scottish Labour leadership drama with journalist Simon Pia and former Labour MP Gemma Doyle (available until October 4).
I returned to Sunday Politics Scotland to discuss The Week Ahead with Gordon Brewer and Severin Carrell, Scotland editor for The Guardian. Topics included the EU Withdrawal Bill, a Chinese cyber-attack on the Scottish Parliament, and Willie Rennie’s chances of becoming First Minister (from 28m 16 – available until October 16).
I joined BBC Radio Scotland’s Kaye Adams Programme to talk briefly about whether we should be alarmed by the escalating threats from the leaders of the US and North Korea (from 53mins 26 – available until October 4).
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).
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.
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.
I wrote about My Year of Speaking Dangerously for The National.
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).
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)
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.
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.
I gave a talk about opinion writing as part of the Student Publication Association Scotland Conference at the University of Edinburgh.