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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or RBG as she is known more affectionately, was a woman of great character, morals and faith. She served as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States for 27 years, between 1993 and 2020, and was a champion for women's rights until her death on September 18th.

I first came across RBG on YouTube. Surprisingly, it was her exercise routine with her personal trainer, Bryant Johnson, which caught my eye. I was in awe of her ability to do a full press-up: something which took me a fair few months to accomplish. The gym is just one of the arenas in which she exceled.

RBG attended Columbia Law School, a prestigious university and phenomenal achievement in its own right. However, as RBG does best, she managed to make this achievement even more incredible by tying first in her class. Despite her obvious intelligence, she became the target of sexism. One professor offered to give RBG the answers to a test in exchange for sex. RBG was shocked by what she heard and said: “How dare you.” Her dedication to Law and proving that women are just as good as men intensified over the course of her life.

Whilst a law professor at Rutgers Law School in 1963, she fought for equal rights for women. The Equal Pay Act was passed that same year. In 1969, she created the first law journal, specifically for women’s rights. The Women’s Rights Law Reporter still exists and sparked further publications of its kind.

RBG was clearly a trailblazer in every domain she was involved in. Aside from her awe-inspiring accolades, she was also a mother and proud member of the Jewish community. She said: “[being Jewish] raised one eyebrow; [being a woman], two; [being a mother] made me indubitably inadmissible.” These attributes made her even more determined to show that being a woman and being a minority are not obstacles or faults, but weapons for creating change. She will always hold the crown for being the first female Jewish justice. So far, she is the only ever female Jewish justice.

It is clear to see why RBG inspires so many. To fully examine how inspiring a person is requires looking at what their loved ones have to say about them. RBG’s daughter has so much love for her mother; a mother who inspired her to pursue law at — you guessed it — Columbia Law School. When Jane was four, she shouted: “That’s my Mommy!” when RBG got her diploma. What a mommy to have. RBG is equally proud of her daughter, saying: “An award from one’s child, as all parents here know, is something truly to cherish” when Jane presented her with an Award at Harvard.

RBG’s life deserves more than an article. Her story has been documented in several books, but yet this is still not enough. There are really not enough words to describe this heroine, this icon, this role model for young and old, females and males. It is an honour to live on the same planet as such a remarkable figure. Her successor has a lot to live up to, but even when she is replaced, she will not be forgotten. We all need to try and emulate RBG. We need to continue to fight for equality in all forms: racial, religious, sexual and gender. Most importantly, we need to have faith in our abilities. RBG was constantly thwarted by people who judged or underestimated her. Her strength and self-belief allowed her to prove her haters wrong with the utmost class and dignity: both of which are befitting of the powerhouse that is RBG.

She was a mother, wife, teacher, lawyer, Supreme Justice and popular culture icon. She was RBG.

AUTHOR: Danielle Desouza

I am a 22 year old Politics and Communication Masters student at LSE, makeshift musician and aspiring political broadcaster. I am a staunch supporter of both gender and racial equality, being female and Indian. I want to edge closer to this goal daily by bringing to light injustices, through all forms of journalism.


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No Spoilers x

I May Destroy You (IMDY) was written and directed by, and stars, Michaela Coel, a black actress, screenwriter, producer, director and singer who was born in London. She is of Ghanaian descent. It is a comedy-drama that follows a young woman, Arabella (Michaela Coel),

in London, who realises that she was taken advantage of and her drink was drugged, on a night out with her friends. The series follows her life and the lives of her friends, Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) and Terry (Weruche Opia), who have also been taken advantage of.

IMDY is the rawest and most honest show I have ever watched. Despite it being a show that may cause some viewers to remember awful and personal incidents, I am grateful that issues such as consent, sexual assault, mental health, racism and queerphobia were addressed and portrayed in the UK. Attaching characters to such issues makes them personal and doesn’t allow others who may not face these issues to detach themselves from said problems.

Other linked themes such as friendship, black people within the LGBTQ+ community and careers, are highly topical in the real world. Seeing these manifested in the show made me feel seen as a young black woman in London who is about to enter the adult world. The reviews and comments about IMDY on social media revealed that I was not the only one who felt this way. The show put these topical conversations in the spotlight, especially on social media, which raises awareness and becomes a form of education. This is why it is the best British series I have ever watched. Michaela Coel’s ability to capture the reality of different Londoners' lives and weave them into the three main characters is a work of art.

We, as an audience, are given the space and time to explore the lives of Arabella, Terry and Kwame and watch how they intertwine. Their friendship group is played so well, it was quite hard for me to believe that they are acting. From each person behaving as a support system, allowing criticism to flow through the group, as well as having days where they argue, I was taken on that journey of what a real friendship can and cannot look like.

I was not only drawn to the realism and topics that were brought up during each episode. I was also drawn to the way comedy is intertwined so well, despite the intensity of the topics that are communicated, offering the audience a sense of release. Some episodes were very intense and raw I felt it would be difficult for me to continue watching, yet there were always points after such scenes that allowed you to relax, breathe and let go of the tension.

I love how this series can educate us on the different identities and people within the UK. We are able to see in depth how certain Londoners, who are not your stereotypical Brits, live and tackle what it means to be a Londoner and a minority.

AUTHOR: Olamide Taiwo

My name is Olamide Taiwo and I’m 18. I have always loved to write whether it be poetry, reviews, essays etc. Becoming a blogger allows me to write and publish issues that I see and go through. So I hope the readers hold on because this will be a pleasant but bumpy ride😊.

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Pay discrimination in the workplace based on gender – surely that’s a long distant memory, right? Wrong. Pay separations based on gender for the same quality of work continue to hold women back and prevent economic mobilisation even in today’s society.

According to the Press Gazette, a shocking 91% of UK-based media companies paid men more than women on average in 2018, indicating the vast gap in terms of economic outcomes for both genders. Of the worst gender pay gap offenders, the Telegraph Media Group came out on top with a median hourly pay gap of 23.4%.

Whilst the UK is arguably in a ‘better’ position than other developing countries that have even more severe gender discrimination in the workplace than just a pay gap – with the existence of women in many senior executive positions virtually invisible – the gender pay gap is nevertheless an issue which affects all nations and must be combatted. Whilst the wider pay gap across all industries has largely shrunk in most countries, some are actually seeing a rise in pay discrimination, such as Portugal, whose pay gap rose to 17% in 2016.

Several UK media based organisations have pledged to address these issues by conducting investigations into pay and revamping their recruitment so that it represents a 50:50 gender split in the workplace. However, only time will tell if these changes will be effective. In order to combat this issue more globally, particular attention will have to be paid to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which addresses the promotion of gender equality and the importance of decent work and economic growth for each individual, regardless of their gender.

It is all well and good encouraging women to flourish in the media industry and take up key roles as presenters or executives, but until they are supported financially and feel encouraged to speak up, without an environment of discrimination, sadly there will be little progress. We must bridge this gender pay gap and heal the economic scars of the pasts, rather than continuing to let it divide us.

Photo credit: Nick Efford

AUTHOR: guest blogger, Lauren McGaun

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