Wednesday, 25 March 2015


It is the last week of term here at ULIP and across the UK universities are breaking up for Easter, which is also known in the academic calendar as the “quick I need to revise everything I’ve ever known” time. As a form of slight procrastination I have decided to explain a medical phenomenon that I have diagnosed in the student body with my wealth of medical knowledge and expertise in late night writing essays while simultaneously packing a suitcase for my return to Great Britain’s wondrous shores. You may only have a few of the symptoms they are as follows –
1.       Flasks filled to the brim with steaming hot black coffee clamped in the hands of tired looking students possibly with scraps of paper in the other hand and a crazed look on their faces muttering under their breath phrases like “no I can’t use the subjunctive there” or “Is this really a true representation of post-colonial history?
2.       Long conversations between friends on Twitter during lectures asking the really deep and meaningful questions like “What are we even doing here?” and “What is life?” Not necessarily existential crises maybe just confusion about French dialects.
3.       People huddled over their laptops in the library sometimes shouting things at them (definitely never done that one in the quiet area…) surrounded with piles of books, half of which are philosophy based which make onlookers question whether they are there for an actual purpose or just to make the crazed essay writer look/feel really intelligent.
4.       Meaningless arguments about who had the last waffle from the vending machine because no one can be bothered with real food and tensions are so high due to a mixture of having seen these people constantly for nigh on ten weeks and excessive stomach rumblings.
5.       The printer is constantly being used by people printing off Boarding Passes and Eurostar tickets like it will make the day they are going home come quicker.
So some of these might be slightly ULIP orientated but you get the message dear reader, at least I hope you do. If you see a student in the next week or two and you think they look a little under the weather or like they need a decent meal in them, they probably do. Take them to the local KFC/Falafel shop/Michelin star restaurant and treat them in this, their time of need.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

I Got All My Sisters and Me

On Friday night I went to go and meet a friend for a quiet drink. We’d agreed to meet in Pigalle which is around a 15 minute walk from my flat so I decided because the weather has been truly glorious in Paris recently that I would like to have a leisurely stroll down the boulevard. Now since moving to Paris I have become very used to comments in the street from men trying to get my attention. It hasn’t happened to me for a few months so I was slightly taken aback when two boys of a similar age to myself tried to get my attention by shouting things at me. In the wake of hundreds of demonstrations on Sunday for International Women’s Day I pondered about this kind of scenario which is so prevalent in some many major cities not just Paris. It truly seems shocking to me that I can’t walk to meet a friend without some kind of salacious remark being thrown at me.
I have grown up thinking that a woman can do anything she wants because I have never been told the opposite. Strong female role models in my life have proved to me that you can be successful in what you do as well as a wife or a mother. Or you can choose to be any of them. A common misconception of feminism is that it hates housewives, but this is contradictory to the concept of equality that is a core principal of women’s rights. To quote Beyonce “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” In my brief time on this planet I have encountered many people, incidentally including women, who have no idea that this is the fundamental idea behind feminism.
As someone who is deeply excited by politics I find it apocryphal that more women don’t exercise their right to vote. The women who fought and died for our rights deserve us to exercise those rights and to strive for a better world where I don’t get catcalled for walking down the street or where we still have to have a day dedicated to women’s rights. Evoking the French libertarian symbol of Marianne I urge everyone, not just fellow females, to make every effort to improve life for women not just in our own countries and societies but those across the world.

 *jumps off her high horse*