Learning about sex – research participants wanted

My name is Laura Tomson & I am a MSc Social Research student at Edinburgh University. For my dissertation I am carrying out research into young women’s learning about sex. I am looking for six women between the ages of 18 and 25, who received at least some of their schooling in Scotland, willing to be interviewed on how, where and what they learned about sex, specifically sexual pleasure, up to the age of 18.

The interviews will last about an hour and take place within Edinburgh in June and July. You will be asked to relate memories of different experiences of learning about sex. You will not be required to talk about your own sexual experiences, but are free to do so if you think it is relevant and feel comfortable doing so.

I would be very grateful if you could give me an hour of your time, or pass this information to anyone who may be suitable.

If you are interested or would just like to know more please email me – s1060850@sms.ed.ac.uk



Effie Artist goes to market…

As a little light relief, those of you who aren’t out a-protesting this weekend might like to stop in to see and buy the delightfully quirky work of Catherine Anne Hiley, printmaker and artist. Her “Why not wear a Mustache” card is one of my favourites…  and if you can’t make this weekend you can catch her work at an exhibition later on!

to let you know I will be at the Market at St.Columba’s by the Castle, Johnstone Terrace, Edinburgh, this Saturday 28th from 11 – 5! I’ll be sharing a stall with my studiomate, the ever-talented Mina Braun and we will have lots of stuff, including a new selection of art postcards and greetings cards, so do turn up if you can! There will be many interesting arts&crafts stalls by local artists, so it will be well worth a visit.

Catherine’s new book “Selkie” is being featured:
 in the opening exhibition of a new art bookshop on the Grassmarket, called the “Golden Hare”. It opens on May 1st and will run for two months. There will also be a reception at the end of May, where you will be able to meet the owners and artists. The show is curated by Ruth Grindley and will feature several Edinburgh Printmakers artists who work in book form.
Exciting times!

male pale and stale? food for thought in the election run-up!

Gender Politics at Edinburgh


By Dr. Meryl Kenny (UNSW) and Dr. Fiona Mackay (Edinburgh)

Thirteen years after devolution heralded a ‘new dawn’ in women’s representation – with Nordic levels of women MSPs elected to the first Scottish Parliament – the story remains very different at local government level. Less than 1 in 4 candidates for next month’s local government elections are women, leaving the face of local politics looking decidedly ‘male, pale, and stale’[1]. 1 in 7 council wards is contested by men only. Whilst all-women shortlists have attracted controversy both North and South of the border, the continuation of these all-male shortlists and contests largely goes unnoticed. With local government in crisis around perceived problems of legitimacy, representativeness and quality, this raises questions as to the lessons learned, future prospects, and actions needed if there is to be any real progress on women’s representation in Scotland. We argue that the time has…

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PETA, Veganism and Kink

I am  at a loss how to respond to PETA’s ridiculous adverts which seem to engage sexism and misogyny to raise awareness of themselves without regard to the cost to veganism or the wider concerns of politically engaged compassionate living.  Its always a double lose for feminist vegans or vegetarians.  Forced to chose between staying silent on the sexism which is used to advocate for something you believe in,  or you play their game and respond, raising their profile (if not their message) and at the same time open up extra spaces for both your vegan or vegetarianism, and feminism to get further ridiculed by trolls.  I get cross.  However there is a brightside to PETAs latest hideously and insultingly gendered offering (which i am not linking to) a really interesting conversation has emerged over on the Bright Green Scotland blog surrounding their use of images of physically harmful sex.  Which together explore the referencing of abusive relationships and kink.   With Alyson MacDonald spelling out why yet again PETA has sacrificed the message for the medium, and an interesting response by an kinky feminist vegan looking more closely at ways to critique PETA without further marginalising certain sexualities.




Films about FGM @ the Filmhouse

For the organised folks planning ahead the Scottish Government is sponsoring the Filmhouse to show two short films about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to commemorate International Women’s Day this year.

Female Genital Mutilation dosen’t strike me as the easiest subject matter to watch – but the films both look really interesting – I’ve been wanting to see silent scream for a while.   I think choosing two films – one set in the UK and the other abroad, in Kenya is an interesting choice, and I’m curious to find out whether this was a deliberate choice by the hosts.  I guess thats something to ask in the panel discussion afterwards!


12 March 2012 at 6.00 pm @ Filmhouse on Lothian Road

Silent Scream: A drama-documentary made by 27 young women who attend schools in the Bristol area.
Abandon the Knife: In the Pokot community in Kenya, young girls are starting to fight back against the brutal rite of passage that is female circumcision.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion session chaired by Mukami McCrum (Scottish Government), and composed of  Khadija Coll (African Women’s Health Project, Glasgow), Laura McCrum (Saheliya), Monica Mhoja (DARF)  and  Police.