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This blog collates writing on women and media from across Scotland. If you’ve written a blog and are happy for it to be featured here, or would like to write something specifically for this site, get in touch.

Harpies and Quines and feminist magazines in Scotland

By Rachael Alexander, University of Strathclyde

Feminist newsletters and magazines have gained significant attention in recent years. From the British Library’s digitising of Spare Rib to the Canadian ‘Rise Up!’ feminist archive, the increasing accessibility of feminist publications has introduced them to broad new audiences. As we talk about in the final week of the ‘Gender Representation in the Media’ course, these periodicals were of vital importance for feminist activity and activism. For this reason – among many others – they are well-deserving of our attention.

But even with this in mind, and the broader increase in popularity, the Scottish context is usually overlooked. In this blog I’m going to think about why this is and dedicate some much-needed attention to Scottish feminist magazines, focusing on Harpies and Quines.

How to report sexual assault trials responsibly

By Karen Boyle (University of Strathclyde) & Brenna Jessie (Rape Crisis Scotland)

NB: These guidelines supplement legal requirements in relation to the reporting of rape and sexual assault cases, and focus on ensuring reporting does not legally but inappropriately lean towards a guilty or not—guilty narrative whilst the trial is ongoing.


For more general guidance on reporting on (men’s) violence against women, see Zero Tolerance’s media guidelines. If you would like further advice on these issues, see the experts list and additional resources listed at the end.

Be Bold. Be Kind. Be Feminist: 'Scotland's Feminist Future'

By Melody House

Reflecting on this year’s ‘Scotland’s Feminist Future’ conference

It should come as no surprise that we live in a fundamentally unequal society. Women, people of colour, and other marginalised groups are systematically underrepresented in almost every sphere of public life. Over the years, scholars and activists have drawn attention to the varying degrees of discrimination that many face on a daily basis: from everyday sexism, to homophobic attacks and acts of racism. Yet, one need only glance at the Twitter mentions of female politicians, or the latest article about Meghan Markle, to realise that we still have a long way to go. It is easy to feel disheartened, especially with the current political climate. Yet Engender’s recent conference, Scotland’s Feminist Future, was a breath of fresh air.

Body Image and Social Media

By Petya Eckler, University of Strathclyde

'Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford,' said the supermodel herself on Instagram in 2017. So then, why are so many of us chasing the impossible for our looks and our bodies, and feeling miserable when we fail to achieve it?

Is it because of traditional media? Social media? Advertising? Our friends or family? Or is it us?

Actually, it’s all of the above.

Of Monsters and Bombshells, part three: “Real” victims don’t speak (out)

By Karen Boyle, University of Strathclyde

Content note: this blog series focuses on media representations of sexual assault, victim-blaming and sympathy for abusive men.

Contains spoilers for the season finale of The Morning Show.

In this blog, the final instalment of this series, I want to turn my attention away from appearance to consider the believability of women’s speech: firstly in relation to the film Bombshell and then, briefly, in relation to Apple TV’s The Morning Show.

As I summarise in #MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism, feminist scholars have long identified how the credibility of victim/survivors hinges on a paradox. Sexual assault – and rape in particular - is popularly constructed as the worst thing that could happen to a woman, so traumatising that it should render them silent. So when a victim/survivor not only speaks out, but uses global media platforms to do so, there is an inherent suspicion cast over her narrative. If it was really that bad, then how is she able to speak about it publicly?

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