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MAGDALEN
DUNDEE UNIVERSITY STUDENT’S MAGAZINE • JANUARY • NO.20

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No.20
The Equality Issue 3
January 2011

Magdalen
The
equality issue
CONTENTS
5 NEWS: Campus
6 NEWS: Dundonian protests
Page 16 9 OPINION: Are religion and
science compatible?

10 EQUALITY: Your eclectic
vision and interpretations
18 MUSIC: Can metalheads
and pop princesses live in
harmony? Pun intended.

Page 20
20 MUSIC: A dying art?
23 FASHION: A huge leap
for transsexual equality;
Lea stuns regardless of
identity
28 TRAVEL: Can you actually
enjoy a gap yah without any
guilt?

Page 23 30 SCIENCE: Another great


aquatic discovery
32 ART: The DCA;
perspectives on the exhibit
33 SPORT: Ultimate updates!
Page 37
The Magdalen

Editor
Beth Shackley Editorial
Online Editor
Ashley Dorning
Hello dear readers,
Assistant Editors
Henrietta Evans
Emma Gaffney
Equality is an issue that affects
everyone in countless ways.
Currently it would appear that
Events and Relations
even being a student gives us
Jane Garstin
an unequal status in society.
Following from our feature on
Art Editor cuts, it seemed fitting to examine
Ana Hine these inequalities on a different
level. We’ve received amazing
Current Affairs Editors submissions, some of which may
Faye Cawood be found exclusively online!
Ciara McFadden
Our new website, which has
Fashion Editors been created by our new online
Nicola Brown editor Ashley, will feature extra Behold the wonder of the
Colette McDiarmid content, and allows you to directly invisible eyebrows
Seonaid Rogers comment on articles.

Features Editors The travel team give us two Contributors


Jamie Harris different perspectives on working
Paul McCallum abroad-and the virtue behind the
Gabriel Neil motives for doing so. Vicky Anderson
David Bajek
Film Editor
Our fashion writers also give you
Jess Johnstone
insight into the progressive world Faye Cawood
of the industry, in their report on Laura Darbyshire
Lea - the first visible transsexual
Graphic Designer Henrietta Evans
model.
Hannah Graham
Harley Freemantle
Also, the music section provides Laura Fulford
Head of Design disgraceful entertainment
Ryan Fitch alongside interesting debate this David Hart
month, with ideas on financial Ana Hine
Music Editor viability and genre compatibility.
Maggie Thompson Ruth Hunter
Emily Kane
Performing Arts Editor
Rosie Cunningham Beth Shackley Fiona Lindsay
Frankie Mack
Science Editor Editor
Rory Martin
Dr Jon Urch
themagdalen@dusa.co.uk Rose Matheson
Societies Editor Robin Murphy
Melina Nicolaides
Emily Oates
Sports Editor Graeme Spowart
Graeme Spowart

Travel Editor
Kirsty Fergusson

PUBLISHED BY
PRINTED BY
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David Winters & Sons
D.U.S.A
16 Dunsinane Ave
Airlie Place
Dunsinane Ind. Est.
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vpc@dusa.co.uk
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No.19
The Cuts Issue 5
November 2010

Campus News
V&A receives funding from Discussion on Gordon Brown’s university
new book. £8 million a
Scottish Government.
year. Money
will also be
The V&A waterside development has DUSA will be holding a discussion on
saved in
received £5 million funding from the the former PM’s new book “Beyond the
reducing the number of buildings used
Scottish government. This means that crash” on Monday 24th January. There
by the university. There will also be a
the project can start to be developed will be a special high profile speaker
merge of subject areas to create a new
during 2011. The development will at the event. The book discusses the
school under the heading of School of
improve Dundee’s waterside as well as former PM’s time as the leader of the
the Environment. These two actions
providing a platform to showcase not Labour party as well as the struggles
are expected to save the university
only Scottish design talent but some of he faced during the countries economic
£1.5million a year.
the best contemporary designers across crisis. Keep an eye on DUSA and the
the globe. The funding means that the Magdalen’s new website for information
Project partners such as The University on who the guest speaker will be!
of Dundee can start fundraising for the Monday the 13th of December.
costs of constructing the museum. The Volunteering fair
project will not only create jobs in a
sector that employs over 63,000 but
also add to the arts sector that makes
Dundee staff vote to strike. On the 23rd of February Dundee will
host its annual volunteering fair in Bonar
the government £5.2 billion annually.
Dundee staff have threated to strike over hall. The fair is open to all staff and
Professor Pete Downes said “We are
the proposed forced redundancies and students and will feature over 50 local,
delighted with the funding package which
plans to cut almost 200 jobs. A vote by national and international organisations.
the minister has announced today, which
members of the University and College The companies will be offering many
will allow the project to progress at full
union saw 65% vote in favour of a strike. volunteering and work experience
speed in the year ahead.” The V&A is
However the union said it was continuing placements, which can help enhance
due to open in 2013 as part of the re-
talks with management. The job cuts are your C.V and employability. More
generation of Dundee’s waterfront area.
in response to the governments plans information of the companies attending
to cut university funding, it is thought can be found on the career service
the proposed job cuts would save the website.

The Magdalen has launched a brand new website with up-to-date


information on societies, campus news and comment from our team of
student writers. Now, you can comment directly on news stories and
features, without having to get to the pub to chat about it.

If you’d like to have your story posted online or in our print version, get
in touch with us at themagdalen@dusa.co.uk
The Magdalen: News

Cuts, fees and protests


Despite all the campaigning the futures of
on campus and across the U.K young people.
the government have voted in The process
favour of higher tuition fees. was fraught with
Although this may not affect disagreement
some of our students it is still and rebellion and
important to consider the effect the government’s
it may have on spending cuts to expected majority
education in general. Students was slashed to 21
here at university have already votes.
felt the tightening of the budget
for higher education with many However once
subjects funding being cut as well again, the actions
as the removal of some degree of a few tarnished
modules. the majority of
students who
The way some students have dealt with protested with
the cuts has ruined it for the majority. good intentions.
Most students do not agree with the Unfortunately it will
violence that has been used, and if be the protests and
anything it did not help put across our the images of the
message. The students at Dundee can Prince’s car being
be proud of the way they tackled the attacked that will must seek a ‘uniquely Scottish solution’
problem with peaceful protests that got be remembered. As Dundee University to the inevitable funding crisis here.
attention but did not cause too much students, we must be clear that we will The case for some kind of graduate
disruption. Both the walk out and the not partake in any such activity. Our contribution has become more vocal
study-in attracted attention for the right protests will be vocal and visible but over the past year with many claiming
reasons and made people sympathise never violent. that students should pay back some
with the cause. proportion of the cost of their education.
The moves to chip away at young The governments in Wales, Northern
The result in Westminster was without a peoples’ futures via the English HE Ireland and Scotland have so far shown
doubt disappointing for the generation of system will continue – the EMA will be that they intend to protect the futures
young people who will now be burdened scrapped, interest rates on our loans of their young people and that they will
with significantly greater debt than they will be raised and young people will seek to determine the most fair and
would have faced previously. Many have be burdened with increasing amounts progressive outcome possible. We need
countered this claim with the fact that no of the country’s debt. Student activism to make sure this happens.
one will pay up front fees. However, to must grow and the minority who has
many students this means nothing. Most cheapened this movement must not DUSA will continue to facilitate student
students who choose to study in England deter us. debate on campus and over the next few
see the figures of £9,000 per year and months, in the lead up to the Scottish
overall debt of over £40,000 and they will In Scotland the campaign is only election, we want you to tell us what
be deterred from aspiring to become a beginning and over the next few months you think should happen in Scotland.
university graduate. we must engage in debate with our We will organise events with our MSPs
MSPs, the Scottish Executive and and encourage the Education Secretary
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat each other to determine the best way to come to Dundee and address the
government pushed the two motions forward for the Scottish system. The students. The ‘Our Future’ campaign will
through at the last minute and ensured Education Secretary Mike Russell MSP go from strength to strength over the next
consultation was kept to a minimum. has indicated that up-front tuition fees in few months.
They took a massive gamble with Scotland are not an option and that we
No.20
The Equality Issue 7
January 2011

Human Poaching
This month we saw the long The Red Cross are working closely reclaim of the child. The father of one
awaited rescue of 33 Chilean with albino communities in Tanzania eleven year old girl murdered earlier this
miUnfortunately these days it and Burundi however they still face year stated “What happened to my child
is still not unusual to hear of great danger. It is thought that it is is very painful. I wonder why albinos are
animals being poached for their mainly human traffickers that carry out targeted…because they are just human.”
body parts – however, what about the brutal beheadings and mutilations.
humans being poached for their However in 2007 it was reported that a Although the murdering of Albino in ritual
body parts? This is a very real Tanzanian teacher had been arrested killings is a newly emerging problem,
problem emerging in East Africa, for the murder of their own albino child. albino people in East Africa faced
specifically in Tanzania and Many albino people find themselves persecution long before this. Often being
Burundi. trapped in their own homes or fleeing taunted for their skin colour and referred
for their lives to shelters created by to as “ghosts”. Due to their condition,
The problem began when some witch the Red Cross. Some albino children most Albinos’ have red eyes, in the past
doctors claimed that the body parts now attend police protected schools. it was claimed that this was because they
of albino people are a key practiced witchcraft
ingredient for a potion to make and some Albino
people rich. While individual women were
albino limbs fetch a price executed for this
of about $200, a full albino reason prior to the
person’s corpse can fetch about ritual killings.
$75,000 on the black market.
This is a huge amount of money After immense
especially considering that 60% pressure from
of the population earn only $1 charities and
a day. Police in Tanzania claim organisations,
that there is no way the poor both in Africa
people of Tanzania could afford and abroad, the
a potion such as those being government has
created by the Witch doctors. A been forced to
speaker from the Albino society clamp down on
in Tanzania commented “Poor the hunters. As
people cannot afford to spend well as the hunters
so much money on a little actually facing
concoction from a witch doctor. conviction and
The buyers must be wealthy. the death penalty;
They are not even trying to the Government
strike it rich, they’re trying to have now also
strike it richer.” Since the witch tried to introduce
doctors’ claims just over three licenses for
years ago over 60 albino people people practicing
have been savagely murdered traditional
for their body parts. medicine. The
president of
Despite over 200 arrests being Tanzania also
made in connection with the ordered all adults
killings in 2008 not one of the people However the terrible killings are far from to fill out a form listing anyone they
were actually convicted. Although it over. The past year has seen the killing suspect of killing albino people. Andrei
has taken a long time the Tanzanian of many albino people, in particular Engstrand-Neacsu of the International
Government have finally began to children. One of the latest is the murder Federation of the Red Cross and Red
acknowledge the severity of the situation of a four year old boy and his mother, Crescent simply stated: “What’s needed
and execution is now the punishment for their corpses were found with their limbs is education, we need to make people
being found guilty of hunting humans. hacked off. The last known murder was understand what albinism really is.
So far this year seven people have been that of a ten year old boy which took Ignorance is the origin of discrimination.
hanged. Despite this Frank Alphonse place on the 21st of October 2010; the And ignorance has ultimately led to these
who is the director of an albino trust in boy was hacked to death as his family crimes.”
Tanzania stated “the sentence doesn’t and neighbours tried to save him, they
touch those wealthy people who sent were severely injured and eventually Fiona Lindsay
those criminals to murder the albino in the had to flee from the violent attackers.
first place. The source of the crime is still A severed leg was all they were able to
there.”
The Magdalen: Opinion

You Know You're a Student at


Dundee University When...
1. You know at least one 6. You’ve moaned about the 11. You’ve heard about the
person who works at the lack of a bridge to Tesco Murder House on
Union. and joined a facebook Roseangle and always
group about it. wanted to go in.
2. You've done the notorious
Perth Road pub-crawl. 7. You’ve said you’ll go up 12. You’ve started putting
the Law but actually have the in front of anything
3. You’ve done the notorious never done it. Ever. and pluralizing everything.
Perth Road pub-crawl and
actually made it to the 8. You’ve gone to the shops 13. You know when the Rugby/
Union. up the Perth Road in your Football team are out
pjs. because of a) their shirt/
4. You hate Abertay students tie/chino combo and b)
for no other reason than 9. You’ve missed your lectures their well developed
they are at Abertay. because you were out at drinking talents.
Skint.
5. You’ve seen someone’s 14. You’ve promised to get
chair fall down one of the 10. You’ve been at Uni for involved in some kind of
holes in the floor at the over a year but still society or sports club, but
library. don’t know where your never got round to it.
classes are.
Adam Neil
No.20
The Equality Issue 9
January 2011

A matter of gravity: God, the


universe and Stephen Hawking
Over 800 from his faith. Once, a fellow student said “hear both sides of an argument, and
people turned to him: “Do you believe in God? Oh, I’m don’t shut your mind apriori because the
out for the sorry you’re Irish. All you people believe essence of a university education is to
2010 annual in God and you fight about it.” He has bend over backwards to see what the
Margaret more often than not fought against the other person is saying. You will always
Harris Lecture idea that it is ‘all in the genes’ rather than learn something even if you adhere to
on Religion in whether it is true. Nonetheless, this never your previous view. So open yourself to
the Dalhousie stopped him from befriending people who evidence wherever it comes from.”
Building given did not share his world view. It has also,
by Christian of course, not stopped him from debating (The Lecture)
academic with the ideas of Richard Dawkins and The lecture itself was highly intellectually
Professor Christopher Hitchens. Lennox cites “the engaging as Professor John Lennox
John Lennox. more that I have exposed my Christian provided a rational response to the
Professor John Lennox has world-view to other world-views, the question of the compatibility of faith
participated in public debates more that I have been confirmed to Him and science and Stephen Hawking’s
with fervent atheists such as [God] that my faith is true.” denial of a creator God. A statement like
Richard Dawkins and Christopher “philosophy is dead” was swiftly and aptly
Hitchens. Lennox is the professor The evidence for which he says is refuted due to it being a philosophical
of mathematics at Oxford cumulative, in the sense that there is statement in itself. Therefore, it put
University and has challenged the both objective truths and evidence. In into question Hawking’s claims that
findings of ‘The Grand Design’, his words “God is not a theory, but a “scientists have become the torch
written by Stephen Hawking and person. You respond to a person in a bearers of the torch of discovery in our
Leonard Mlodinov. The talk, and much more multi-dimensional way than quest for knowledge.”
book (God and Stephen Hawking: a theory.” Evidence can be cited from the
Whose Design is it Anyway?) are likes of history, science and experience. Extending this idea, he attacked Hawking
direct responses to Hawking’s Opposition to this position in academia for having ‘an inadequate and outdated
controversial bestseller. The book and public life has not been unusual due view of God’ due to him believing that
argues that invoking God is not to him being “in constant dialogue with as science progresses, the less God
necessary to explain the origins other people.” is used for an explanation for a gap in
of the universe, and that the Big knowledge. Therefore, we created God
Bang is a consequence of the Science can appear intolerant towards so that we could explain something like
laws of physics alone. faith in a multicultural society. Lennox lightning rather than God created us.
however, does not put it quite in that This is in other words called the ‘‘God of
Before the lecture I managed to catch up way; he says that science has “immense the Gaps’’.
with John Lennox for a short interview. cultural authority, therefore, a number
Lennox who The Times described as of very vocal people are trying to use Hawking cites: “Because there is a law of
“Christianity’s new poster boy” originates science to claim that it is not intellectually gravity, the universe can and will create
from Armagh, Northern Ireland. He respectable to believe in God.” itself out of nothing.” To this there was
described his upbringing by his parents a valid response. How can something
as “Christian in a fairly long tradition Debating Richard Dawkins was perhaps be both created out of something and
of Christianity.” However, his parents the hardest for him, and Hitchens was nothing at the same time? Lennox called
were “very unusual, they were Christian the most surprising due to him conceding it “Alice in Wonderland, not science”.
without being sectarian.” This allowed defeat in a match to then ask for a ‘M theory’ (which this is based upon)
him to live without the baggage that rematch. Both he said, have “childish and laws themselves cannot create
comes with being sectarian. He added, and rather anti-intellectual arguments”. something by themselves in the same
“secondly what was even more unusual Lennox admits that he never debates to way the jet engine could not exist without
was that I was allowed to think so that I win but “to put ideas into the public space Sir Frank Whittle and the materials
could come to my own opinions. And saw and let them think.” available to him, in this case the laws of
Christianity modeled on my parents.” He physics. Lennox compellingly pointed out
said that he was even allowed to read Justifiably he says this anti- yet another contradiction after another.
“all kinds of sources and books, Christian intellectualism may have damaged
and non-Christian.” He was asked science. “A number of my atheist To finish he reaffirmed how science
once by his father if he had read the colleagues are finding Dawkins has consistently reinforced his faith,
‘Communist Manifesto’. embarrassing... surely offering a choice this latest episode proved to be no
between God and science is dangerous different. It is wholly rational to him to be
When Lennox left the ‘tinderbox’ of because if they choose God then you will a Christian Scientist due to the evidence,
his native land to study at Cambridge be accused of putting them off science.” compared with the reductionist views of
University, he had the privilege of being This choice is “a false alternative.” many atheists in his field. This lecture left
present for the renowned Christian much answered while also leaving many
academic and author, C.S Lewis’ last His concluding message for Dundee thinking and questioning their own beliefs
lecture series. He also did not wander University students is that we should and assumptions.

Rory Martin
The Magdalen: Equality

A theistic equality?
Written by David Bajek, President students union or surrounding buildings Outwardly it would seem that at least as
and Founder of Dundee without being over-looked by a large a collective, theists on a typical campus
University Atheist Society 2009 crucifix from the back of the chaplaincy. have a strong social network of support
groups, societies, events and places
One might on occasion stop and of public worship. But inherently this
Walking around Dundee and suggests that their diplomatic voice is
consider a student entering the United
particularly the University also very well represented when it comes
Kingdom for the first time from a distant
campus, we are fortunate to have country, a staunch religious background, to political actions around Universities –
a fantastic multicultural tapestry or even some opposition to religion as getting backing is easy when you have
of students, which of course a whole – how might they react to the entire institutions behind you who by
brings up the issue of equality – constant pushing and plugging of the default tend to agree with your world
but how often do we consider the numerous religions that make up our views and support your ideals.
question of faith in that sense? presumably secular society, particularly if
Our campus holds a wide variety their own views are not as well funded or Certainly in Dundee, ultimately one
of religions and their respective represented? would be forgiven for thinking that the
overall atmosphere and presence on
societies, including Christianity, campus is fairly theistic, where the
In Dundee it is well known that certain
Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism and a overall assumption seems to be that
subjects carry a significantly higher
great many others - but then, how proportion of students from religious the students are generally religious. So,
often do we really consider the groups than others, and so it becomes how can important decisions be made
students without religious ties? a minority issue when the few remaining without this idea factoring in somewhere,
students can often be made to feel however remotely, and what place does
In our every day stroll about any obliged or even pressured by their this leave for an atheist? Where do
University’s buildings and streets it is peers to join (or remain in) the relevant those individuals, who operate under
unlikely that a typical student will never religious societies for fear of losing the assumption that there is no God, go
come across any aspect of religion; be friends or becoming alienated – a for social networking, to discuss their
it a simple conversation, a poster on the process which we all know is not specific world views, to be represented or to find
wall for a chaplaincy service or religious to University life. backing as a voice of secularism?
society’s event, or a student handing
out initiative flyers for a local house As Professor Richard Dawkins puts it, Until the recent formation of the Dundee
of worship. In fact, a typical student “We are all atheists with respect to most University Atheist Society, atheists had
at present in Dundee cannot visit the of the gods that societies have ever never before even been particularly
believed in. Some of us just go considered. Two recent polls have led
one god further”. This is a the way to suggest that atheist students
concept that seems to be are in fact a majority on campus above
very much lost among agnostics or theists, who would be
theists on our campus, further subdivided into the assortment
and indeed around of possible religions of theism (http://
the world. Essentially a oneworldcampaign.wordpress.com/
Christian takes an atheistic view big-faith-debates/answer-the-questions-
of Hinduism, and a Muslim will take an i-e-polls/) – even globally this begs the
atheistic view of Roman Paganism, but question, why should those claiming
each believe their faith in their respective the existence of various conflicting and
deities is justified and correct. As a result contrasting supernatural deities have
it may often feel as though the only such strong representation compared
time the numerous types of theism gel to those who are simply rejecting these
together as a whole is when they are up claims?
against total atheism.
All over the U.K. the exponentially
On investigation in fact there is a emerging atheist, sceptics and secular
distinct lack of equality in Dundee societies are providing excellent
when it comes to the nature and very forums for honest, scrutinising and
constitution of some societies which are critical religious discussion free from
curiously allowed to bear the name of our unnecessary censorship, as well as
University; some that will act differently representing their members in important
towards potential members on the basis University matters. These societies have
of their religious beliefs, and exclude taken a step towards a side of religious
entry to those who do not share the equality that had neither been considered
beliefs of the society. This type of blatant nor addressed, and each endeavours
discrimination is another example of to ensure the voice of secular reason
one of the many subtle faces of faith- is not only always heard, but readily
based inequality which accessible.
was also shown to exist in
many British faith schools
by Dawkins’ “Faith School
Menace?” documentary.
No.20 11
The Equality Issue
January 2011

“I wanna be like you


I wanna walk like you
Talk like you, too Higher primates include chimpanzees, chimpanzees have been compared with
gorillas and orang-utans but human infants; they both have protective
You’ll see it’s true chimpanzees are genetically closer to services such as IPPL and NSPCC. In
humans. Humans have appreciated their this case chimpanzees are capable of
An ape like me common physical similarities including the same and in some cases doing more
than the human and activists see it as
Can learn to be human too!” behavioural observations showing
they are also capable of mourning unfair that they have fewer rights.
bereavement, self-recognition and of
King Louie may get more than he Like any tricky moral issue there are
solving puzzles that would stump human
bargained for back in 1967 when he first two sides to the story. Many people
infants. Recent genetic studies show that
sang his way into our hearts. Fifty years believe that giving animals the same
we share between 95%-98.5% of DNA
on in 2007 our primate relatives, Pan rights as humans does not make sense
with our banana-loving counterparts.
troglodytes, started a movement to give if we follow the Universal Declaration of
them equal rights to us humans, Homo Human Rights. Animals are instinctive
Some scientists believe that
sapiens. and generally amoral creatures and
chimpanzees should be on the same
genus branch of the tree of life as this raises the question that if they can’t
As a baby, Hiasl was taken from his respect human rights, should we respect
humans by changing their taxonomic
family in Sierra Leone and smuggled into animal rights? Activists will clearly
name from Pan troglodytes to Homo
Austria and now stays in Voesendorf, disagree with this but the scientists
troglodytes. This is because humans
south of Vienna. He enjoys relaxing in lead a convincing opposing argument.
and chimpanzees diverged much more
front of the TV and a piece of Sachertorte Although we share 98% of our DNA
recently than animals that are already
just like any other Viennese person, with chimpanzees we also share 90%
in the same genus such as the horse
except for one thing: he is a chimpanzee. of it with mice and we even share half
and donkey. This would encourage the
already imprinted “Theory of Kinship” of it with our counterpart’s favourite
Hiasl and his potential legal guardian, food, the banana. Scientists argue that
where animals will instinctively lean
Paula Stribbe, attempted to break the if Chimpanzees deserve 98% of human
towards and care for things which are
barrier between human and animal rights does this mean rats deserve 90%
rights. Stribbe campaigned for Hiasl and bananas 50%?
to be declared a person and awarded
basic human rights; this means the Many people worry that this might
right to life, protection of individual create a hierarchy of animals which
liberty and prohibition of torture. So would inevitably, if eventually, result
before you say, “What’s the point if the chimpanzees are granted
in Chimpanzees having the right to some human rights. It could reverse
vote?” We are not talking about the everything that was achieved by
right to vote or the right to marry! Emmeline Pankhurst and Martin
Luther King Jr. Many of the arguments
In 1982, Hiasl was being sent to a we are hearing today are similar to
vivisection laboratory in Austria but the those for slavery abolishment and
crate full of baby chimpanzees was womens’ rights.
seized and transferred to an animal
sanctuary. It wasn’t a happy ending… In the end Hiasl was not granted
yet. Twenty-five years later when Hiasl a legal guardian in 2007 but the
was 26, the sanctuary in Voesendorf movement is still going on in Spain and
genetically closely related to ourselves
went bankrupt and Hiasl was heading who knows how long it will be before
therefore help us conserve the few wild
back to the laboratory again. it reaches our shores considering we
chimpanzees left in the wild.
have Europe’s only monkey, the Barbary
With basic human rights the chimpanzee Macaque, which has recently been
Although humans are considered equal,
would no longer be “owned” but would be introduced in Gibraltar. Until the monkeys
they rarely are. As much as we hate
under “moral guardship” and if mistreated themselves can tell us what they want
to admit it there is always going to be
could become wards of the state. it is unlikely anyone will come to an
someone smarter and fitter than us.
Activists campaign that animals should agreement and in the end they might not
This case has put pressure on other like the criteria for human rights made
have a claim to rights as they can feel
countries to consider the rights of by us but might have their own version
pain, but not all should be given equal
higher primates and Spain has been which maintains their current way of life.
rights as some are not in their interests.
considering the case of bioethicist After all who would like to be imprisoned
For example giving the intelligent dolphin
Francisco Garrido who is a fan of the for stealing a banana?
the right to vote would be useless when
Great Ape Project (GAP). GAP believes
it can’t even hold a pencil. However adult
that the closest genetic relatives are part By Rose Matheson
of a “community of equals.”
The Magdalen: Equality

Peaks and Troughs: the


natural situation and the
fallacy of equality
At a time where ownership is a chief less society. things of its ilk are equivalent to taking
influence on history it seems that even a block of sand-paper and eroding
the possession of ideals is not off limits. However, though the cause of equality the cement down to a basic level, and
Equality, or rather the pursuit of equality, has been championed by successive certainly those peaks, those pinnacles
originated as an egalitarian principle Labour and Tory and particularly of society, are not encouraged to grow
but has been appropriated by the social enthusiastic SNP governments it has had taller. But the measures brought in
left-wing in Britain and warped to fit their to slug it out against a population which to promote equality are equivalent to
cause. is at best indifferent to its campaign. applying plaster to the uneven cement,
Measures – such as free language to fill in the depressions and level them
Emerging in a period when the significant classes for migrants or the provision out. Measures such as positive action
inequalities arose from economic status in the Equality Act 2010 for “positive or those proposed by Mr Hughes are
alone, the egalitarian principle had as its action”, which will allow minority status taking the protected categories and
objective the attainment of a classless to be considered when competing for elevating them to a higher level, without
society. The world, and especially Britain employment – typically become mired addressing the peaks, the unprotected
on which I will concentrate solely in in controversy as people cry foul. Of majority.
this article, has changed dramatically particular interest to students are the
since those days and particularly with comments of Liberal Democrat MP This is a dangerous approach as it is
the increasing variance of what I term Simon Hughes, recently, who said inevitable that some people at the bottom
“the natural situation” – a person’s lot in “Every university should… recruit on of the pile will be overlooked and left to
life, into which they are born, given to the basis of no more people coming suffer unassisted. That is certainly the
them without choice or endeavour and from the private sector than there are situation in which, rightly or wrongly, a
entailing the inherent advantages and in the public as a whole”. Mr Hughes great bulk of the white working class
disadvantages they experience. With a is advocating a limit on the number of sees itself. But I would also caution
plurality of religions, classes, cultures private-school applicants to be accepted against calling this eventual aim a
and a different emphasis put on gender by universities, regardless of ability level. state of equality, and would suggest
and disability now than previously, there This exposes the fallacy of the United a redefinition. Institutions such as our
has appeared a great variety of natural Kingdom’s approach to solving inequality, university are not struggling to make
situations. The principle of equality has for inequality can only be offset by more all men equal, but to provide unequal
been adapted accordingly. inequality. assistance to achieve equal reward. And
that is patently unfair.
The Equality and Human Rights Imagine that the UK is a bare
Commission, the chief body However, the purpose of this article
brick built wall. The population,
responsible for the burgeoning is not to advocate a refocusing of
equalities field, describes seven the institutions and the culture the country’s efforts onto a purer
protected categories: age, disability, are all mixed up together to ideal of equality. That ideal would
gender, race, religion and belief, form a social cement which is involve all men being equal, in terms
sexual orientation and gender of assistance by the state and of
cast roughly across that brick
reassignment. But others who fall opportunity. I contend that such a
outside of these categories can also foundation. Now that cement utopia can never be borne out of a
be observed as subjects of inequality, bonds together to provide modern, multi-cultural British society.
for instance students or the homeless. strength and durability, but when
It is clear then that the issue of It is inevitable that two infants who are
it settles as a society it is spread
equality affects everyone; a person is identical in intellect, age, gender and
either in a (protected) category or in uneven, with peaks and troughs. every other characteristic inherent in
the unprotected majority. The pursuit a new-born child, but who are raised
of equality in 21st century Britain is not according to different cultures, should
concerned with a classless society, but mature into very different adults. They
with the advancement of certain people’s It could be suggested that the dumbing- will have been encouraged to develop
natural situations to achieve a category- down of our culture by trash TV and different values and to cultivate different
No.20
The Equality Issue
13
January 2011

skills to meet those values, and when There is a second objection which consider that each individual’s natural
they enter the place of education or applies to both British and true forms situation is primarily influenced by the
employment the citizen with the skill- of equality, and it draws from a future actions of his parents and grand-parents,
set closest to that sought by society will where the ideal has been achieved. and thus to some degree it is deserved.
receive the greatest reward. It is evident Equality of education, family experience, However, there is a more convincing
then that plurality of cultures broadens practical training and opportunity will argument for allowing inequality to
inequality. And it is an interesting result in a great unconscious mass of persist - rooted in social logic. It is a
contradiction that those who trumpet the citizens thinking and doing the same. It chief symptom of social harmony that a
value of equality are usually also to be will provide a great pool of workers from society is able to accept inequality on
found hailing multi-culturalism. which the elite may choose, and a more the grounds that how it is now is how it
The discussion so far has established homogenous (and thus larger) market for has always been. A society which is able
that we are not driving towards an ideal products. Meanwhile, equality of wages to accept an unequal order of things for
of equality in Britain, but one of unequal will allow pay to fall and prices to rise which there is no logical basis must be
assistance to achieve equal reward. I without the restraint usually exercised free from petty and jealous squabbles
have also put forth reasons why, in a by competition between employees. about who has what. Instead, each
multi-cultural society, a true equality can And even to those idealists who cannot person must be adequately provided
never be achieved. There are two further foresee the presence of an elite, it will for and be comfortable with their natural
arguments which apply to both types of still be necessary to deny the freedom of situation, and they must understand
equality. thought, religion and heritage so that the that as certain elements of a person’s
‘equal’ situation can be maintained. With character – their ability, temperament,
The first argument draws strength from freedoms granted, diversity will give rise health and wellbeing – are decided in the
the long history of our country. As the to inequality. natural lottery, and as the accumulated
centuries have ticked by Britain and character of hundreds of years of
British society has been influenced by a To summarise what has gone so far, citizens acting on society has resulted
variety of cultures, be they Anglo-Saxon, the current drive in the name of equality in certain inequalities, those inequalities
Norman or West Indian. It has been is not mandated and is therefore themselves are a product of nature, and
battered and scarred by conflict both illegitimate, and is also revolutionary. If are natural.
civil and global, and has been advanced it succeeds it will only extend inequality
by the discoveries of Britons and by the by instituting a system of unequal And finally there is a practical benefit to
utility of the inventions of foreigners. assistance to achieve equal reward. this approach and it is equally simple.
British society has emerged as the Meanwhile, a purer ideal of true equality Whereas non-mandated action in pursuit
beautiful sum of all of these forces. is incompatible with a multicultural of equality will result in illegitimate
Where equality exists it does so because Britain, because cultures – while equal inequality, there can be no question
of a solid, historical reason. And where in value – are not equal in substance. about the legitimacy of natural inequality.
inequality exists, that too is the legitimate Nevertheless, if an equal state was And whereas inequality created by
product of hundreds of years of the achieved in it would be either short lived, human action, (such as keeping a
British story. or horrifically oppressive. private-school student from attending
university in favour of a less-qualified
Attempts then to set on an even keel However, the existence candidate from a public school) can be
categories of men which our society,
trundling along as a great insentient of inequality and the associated with a specific person or
group responsible, those who suffer from
being, has decided should be uneven undisturbed persistence natural inequality have only the sky at
are a vocation in direct conflict with the
force of history. And those who pursue of the natural situation which to strike out. The current approach
gives rise to a risk of personal harm not
equality have set on a course which should, and can, be allowed for by the natural situation.
crosses, and which will bring them into
collision with, the evolutionary path of justified on more solid A population which is neither engaged in
attempting to extend inequality through
society. To achieve equality, any equality, grounds than simply the statute book nor in a futile attempt
to surmount the insurmountable weight
of social pressure, the “equalitists” that it is better than the to make society truly equal can live
instead in peaceful harmony with natural
will have to bend in their favour every alternative. inequality. The citizens can go busily
institution which is applying that about their occupation, using the most
pressure. Every family in every street tools and greatest resources available to
in every town, and every place of work The anecdotal approach is to say that them to improve their natural situation,
or education or recreation which those inequality evens itself out; that while with a sense of justice and reassuring
families attend will have to be bent a man is paid more on account of his stability and a comfort properly earned.
towards the equality cause. Thus, though strength a women is treated less harshly There are great benefits to be had by
the pursuit of equality is presented as on account of her femininity, or that embracing the equality of the natural
a moral endeavour to bring forth the while a native enjoys greater privileges situation and by receiving its occasional
natural progression of society, it is in fact than a migrant he has also paid more in harshness with a quiet and dignified
a revolutionary act, and worse, one for taxes. Some credence can be given to acceptance.
which no mandate has been granted. this approach and especially when we Harley Freemantle
The Magdalen: Equality

All degrees aren’t


created equal.
Golf-Management classification and personal ability are
huge factors. But does this mean that
Studies is the hardest Social Sciences are generally ‘better’
than Biosciences? Or that that Medicine
degree in the world. is ten times more valuable than Art?

OK, so that statement probably However justified you think Universities


isn’t true. But how many times UK’s findings are, it’s a mistake to use
have you had drunken banter them to grade subjects. Unfortunately,
about the relative value of your the Government’s choice to treble fees
degree? It’s the uni equivalent is doing just that. Worried more than
of the playground “my dad ever by a lifetime of debt, prospective
could beat up your dad”. In the undergraduates will be taking the
end nobody truly cares and a proverbial teachers’ red pen to subjects
few stereotypes are pedalled; that show little monetary return - by
“in philosophy exams you studying humanities you might spend
can just write crap”, “maths thirty years in debt. This conflation of
undergraduates are boring”, value and worth thus undermines not
“biology is only about cutting only a students’ freedom of choice,
up frogs”. But really, are some but also belittles academia by making ““Mickey-mouse”
degrees better than others? it subservient to the market. Because
understanding riverbeds won’t, in all subjects are doing
well because they fill
Surely it’s a given that some subjects likelihood, increase ‘employability’
are just ‘mickey-mouse’? Does a horse (there’s that word again) as much as
even think enough for there to be an
Equestrian Psychology degree (as
understanding contract law might,
individuals’ academic preferences are
a vocational, money
offered by Glyndwr University)? What dictated. In turn, of course, Universities’
funding priorities will shift to match that
making, niche.”
about a BA in Play and Playwork? Or a
BA in Food Styling with Photography? choice – not long ago Dundee University
Golf-Management Studies graduates
All real courses I promise. Seemingly, all was targeting the less-popular language
are currently jetting around the globe
degrees aren’t created equal - especially departments. What all this misses is
earning good money for what seemingly
when it comes to ‘employability’ (surely intrinsic value.
is knowing how to water a lawn. It’s not
the king of all careers advice buzz- an isolated case either. Look at Abertay’s
words). What you probably don’t realise Up until now, we students have been
Ethical Hacking. “Mickey-mouse”
however, is that there is massive saved by the idea that the critical and
subjects are doing well because they fill
variation between seemingly safe, evaluative skills developed studying
a vocational, money making, niche.
traditional subjects when it comes to riverbeds, or Marxism or whatever else,
earning power. are the valuable bit of the degree. In
The introduction of fees, and now the
fact, it’s what we criticise mickey-mouse
trebling of them, is shifting profoundly
Research body Universities UK found subjects for failing to have. Where’s the
the reasons for studying at university.
graduates can expect to earn an extra scientific method or abstract thought in
Students are presented with a choice,
£160,000 over their lifetimes compared Food Styling with Photography? Should
but in a system that seems ever weighted
to non-graduates. Broken down though, they even be called a degree? Well in a
towards disciplines that are safe earners.
the study found that Medicine was the University system concerned ever-more
Of course it’s not all doom and gloom.
most profitable degree, with graduates with employment outcomes, such things
Undergraduates do, on the whole, have
earning on average an extra £340,000. don’t really matter.
some level of affinity with their subject,
Following this was Engineering, earning but as public institutions are ever aligned
an extra £243,730. Social Sciences Would it surprise you to know
with the market, affinity gives way to
bring in £169,267 and Biosciences Golf-Management Studies has an
aspired affluence. All degrees are not
£111,269. Humanities take penultimate employment rate of 90% after six months
created equal.
place with £51,594, and coming last is (even in this economic shit-storm!)?
the Arts with just £34,494 (only 10% of Or that you need AAB at A-level to
get in? Or that it’s offered by Russell
by Robin Murphy
Medicine’s extra earnings!). Of course
this isn’t the complete story. Degree Group member Birmingham University?
No.20
The Equality Issue 15
January 2011

In equal measures?
Drugs and Equality
different just because someone uses according to the
chemical means, rather than physical, to same criteria
seek euphoria or satisfaction? I’ve never – if it is morally
Most people are recreational heard an intellectually sound justification permissible to
drug users. (If you doubt this, for drawing a legal distinction between punish people
consider how many of your drug-related and non-drug-related risks. for drug use,
friends drink alcohol). The There’s not a hope in hell that anyone except if that drug
can show, say, taking magic mushrooms is, say, alcohol,
desire to periodically alter one’s
to be more dangerous than, say, base we need rock-
consciousness is common to all jumping. Even if you think that the State
human cultures , even if there are solid evidence
should, in principle, be allowed to impose that alcohol is
always some abstainers. criminal penalties for taking risks to less dangerous
one’s own health, why should the less than the least
What has this to do with equality issues? dangerous pursuit be criminal simply dangerous drug
Well, over the last few decades, most because a drug is involved? we do propose
of the world has become party to an to punish people
international system of treaties that So we have an equality problem. I’ve for using. Yet
require states to make it a criminal sometimes heard people claim that the our government
offence for their citizens to possess crucial difference is that sports aren’t admits that their
addictive: this argument fails because persistent refusal
certain mind-altering chemicals for
lots of currently-prohibited drugs are also to apply the same
personal consumption. Bizarrely, many
not physically addictive: MDMA (ecstasy) criteria to alcohol
people who are quick to condemn and most psychedelics for instance – and (and tobacco)
governments that criminalise other the existence of ‘adrenaline junkies’ or as to other
non-violent or consensual behaviour, indeed ‘sex addicts’ suggests that issues drugs is based
such as homosexuality, religious belief of self-control are less than clear-cut. on “historical
or expressing political views seem not to Anyway, this distinction disappears when and cultural precedents” , as the
notice that the criminalisation of drug use we factor in the risk of dependency into Home Secretary agreed in 2006. What
is a comparable injustice. But consider our calculus of harms. this means is that the government is
this: to accept that the use of a certain prepared to use the criminal law to
drug should be a crime, you must accept enforce the personal prejudices of
not merely that using that drug may be “I’ve never heard an the (alcohol-using) majority – that the
bad for your health, or at least present intellectually sound wrongfulness of an action somehow
scales negatively with its popularity.
risks to health that people would be justification for drawing a
better not to run; you must believe the
far more radical position that people who
legal distinction between None of this means that the State

take that drug deserve to be punished. drug-related and non-drug- should be blasé about the health of its
citizens. The point is that if our society
related risks.” is to be just, then mere danger to one’s
I don’t have space for philosophical own health is a very shaky rationale for
arguments over what behaviour the State criminal penalties, and in any case our
can justly subject to criminal penalties; But there is a more glaring inequality: approach to users of different drugs
I only note that the position on drugs is any pharmacologist or neuroscientist will must evaluate their risks in a consistent,
incompatible with the normal position on tell you, alcohol is a drug whose health non-arbitrary manner.
recreational risks. We do not normally risks are at least in the same ballpark
accept that the criminal justice system as the more dangerous Class A drugs Our descendents will look upon our
should be our primary tool for public such as diamorphine (heroin) or cocaine, criminalisation of people who use an
health education, or that people deserve and considerably greater than relatively arbitrary subset of drugs with much
criminal penalties merely for failing to live non-toxic drugs such as cannabis or the the same bafflement and shame as we
up to optimal standards of healthy living psychedelics – even when you control have for our ancestors who condoned
– whether they overindulge in sugary for the much greater number of people punishment for equally imaginary crimes
foods, take no exercise, or participate who use alcohol. such as homosexuality or blasphemy.
in dangerous sports or unprotected sex. It may take some time, but we will be a
Why should I am not a statistician. It’s more humane society for it.
it be possible that some of our
top pharmacological
By David Hart
researchers have
misconstrued these
relative risks. But I can
say this with certainty:
if we are to have any
pretentions to justice,
all drugs must be assessed
The Magdalen: Equality

Gay rights... and lefts


Despite the
hideous ease
sexual inclinations have their ups
and downs.
“Much of our
of my white, humanity lies in all
western, Why, oh why, when in discussion,
middle class observation, initiation or the ways in which
upbringing,
there are still
participation in homosexual sex
must alarm bells go off in my
we are able to give
restrictions mind telling me that this is bad in mother nature the
set in
place that
the same way that I have been
trained to understand peeing on finger.”
influence, the carpet is. My inner child, the
advise and one who was crystallised at that
sometimes age when self awareness kicked Listen. All human genitalia have
command in and brought with it the fear sensitive nerve endings and
who I am of making a mistake, the fear of these nerve endings can be
and am not not being loved and accepted, stimulated by either the male or
allowed he cries out to me, no matter the female of the human species,
to f**k. how much I try to smother him what does it matter for whatever
Obviously with a pillow, I can’t get him to psychological or biological
the most turn off. This voice, who has inclination, which gender of
important been brainwashed in a country person someone prefers to have
perspective whose laws and culture have this performed by? The penis
in this debate all been moulded by a Catholic may be designed by nature to fit
is that of the f**kee whose doctrine, defies all the powers of in to the vagina but since when
opinion on the matter I always my rationality and tells me that did we start let nature boss us
take into full consideration. I know gay sex is dirty, an act people around? Much of our humanity
that f**king is not considered don’t like. One needs people’s lies in all the ways in which we
as important as food, shelter, acceptance in order for mummy are able to give mother nature the
health and education (and often and daddy to love you. finger. I’m not talking about global
rightly so as without many of warming or screwing the earth
these things f**king would not Though there are no longer laws over but thoughts and actions
be possible, even education to against buggery, cunnilingus, that have lead us to inventions
a certain degree for example; etc. between same sex couples, like the robot hoover, the large
I have very recently found out there is certainly a current of hadron collider, and slankets. As
that a friend my own age was acceptable debate running the incredibly contrived, generally
unsure whether ejaculating in through our society concerning up his own arse but unfortunately
a woman’s anus would induce the matter of whether different deceased artist Sebastian
pregnancy) but it most certainly people are or aren’t gay, straight Horsely said: bi now, gay later.
falls under that universal societal or bisexual. When it comes to Which is a nice way to sum up
concern of freedom. How can a sexuality I have family and friends most arguments concerning
rational or moral or even a legal who have no extreme religious sexuality, yes? Yes.
argument be made of my desire or psychologically f**ked up
to f**k either men, women or backgrounds, some don’t even by Frankie Mack
both? How can anyone point out have a sexual background, who
what is wrong with being gay have declared to me and others
while completely ignoring what is that gay people shouldn’t be
wrong with being straight? Both allowed to marry, or for some
reason (more often than this
“How can anyone especially amongst younger
generations) that bisexual people
point out what is are just kidding themselves. Why
wrong with being is having a clear-cut definition of
someone’s gender so important?
gay while completely Whatever reasoning they use
to establish these views is not
ignoring what is even the biggest part that bothers
me, it is that they care whether
wrong with being someone is gay, straight or
straight?” bisexual.
No.20
The Equality Issue
17
January 2011

BloodHate: is the gay


bloodban justifiable?
Everyone likes to do their bit. The NHS have also banned anyone blood straight after same sex contact, the
assumption that they do not is insulting
It’s what makes us feel better who’s had sex with a prostitute in the past
and misconstrued.
about ourselves, and after ‘year’ from donating. And also anyone

spending far too much money who’s had sex with an intravenous drug
user, someone who would be extremely Gay Rights groups are up in arms about
in the slave quarters of Primark the whole thing, and rightly so. NUS
susceptible to HIV! The problem I have
or buying some cheap ass LGBT are running a campaign called
with this ban is a time issue. Tests have
chocolate instead of home grown shown that some blood samples recently “Donation not Discrimination”, have
cocoa bean fair trade, we need infected with HIV may not show up on had many protests and sent petitions
something to feel good about! a screening, so I think I would see the to SABTO (Advisory Committee on the
The solution? Give some blood, sense in the NHS banning a man for a Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs
it’s quick, not too painful, and you year after he’s had unprotected same ). LGBT societies at Aberdeen and
Licoln have both had successful on-site
can save a life doing it. Or so you sex contact (as some other countries are
protests. BBC Radio Two and FiveLive
would think anyway. doing). I don’t see the sense in enforcing
have also featured broadcasts on the
a lifetime ban to someone who hasn’t
had contact for more than a year i.e a ban. Prominent gay rights activist Peter
Some people are still unaware of the fact
bisexual man. The NHS are cutting out Tatchell comments on the ban saying
that gay and bisexual men are subject
a huge part of society’s demographic by that “the truth is that most gay and
to a lifetime ban from giving blood in the
doing this, even men who just experiment bisexual men do not have HIV and will
UK. A quick browse on the Web shows
with their sexuality are banned, it never have HIV. Their blood is safe”.
why, it’s not publicised. When I typed
seems a bit ridiculous, and promotes a
in ‘blood ban’ in the search box nothing
strong view of promiscuity in the Gay The ban is currently under review but the
came up. Yet they’ve written many
community, something we’ve been trying Terrance Higgins trust (a HIV and sexual
articles about the ban for ME (myalgic
to get away from for years! Statistics health charity) support lifting the ban, but
encephalopathy) sufferers. The NHS
show that since 1985 only two patients also see the NHS’s reasoning behind it.
advocates strict guidelines to its donors.
have been infected with HIV through In an interview with the Times they said
For example, if you have ME you can’t
blood donation, this shows just how well that “We believe that the current policy of
donate because of the risk to your own
the screening process is working. the National Blood Service was based on
health. However the ban for gay men
the best available evidence when it was
is viewed by many as prejudiced and
Many countries such as Japan, Argentina drawn up. Only when an expert review
unjustified, so the question that must be
and Australia have already lifted the ban, has re-evaluated risks to the safety of the
asked is, why is this ban enforced?
with positive results. They allow men to blood supply should the current policy be
It is common knowledge that HIV is
donate who have not had sexual contact changed in line with new evidence”.
spread by unprotected sexual contact
and infected blood. The disease has with a man for at least a year. US sentor
John Kerry commented on the ban In my opinion this ban is longoverdue.
been a threat for many years and can
saying “Not a single piece of scientific We aren’t stuck in the dark ages of HIV
be spread in a variety of different ways,
evidence supports the ban”. This is true being an undetected killer, there are
including oral and vaginal sex. The ban
to form, as new revelations in blood now accurate ways of recognizing the
was introduced in the 1980’s when AIDS
screening techniques make it almost infection in its early stages. I think that
was on the increase. The gay community
impossible for HIV not to be detected. the ban should be reduced to a year
is generally seen as a hotbed for HIV.
New screening techniques show that HIV for gay and bisexual men. The NHS
However the NHS writes on their site
can be detected in the blood from as little are shooting themselves in the foot by
that “Although HIV is currently most
as twelve days after the infected contact, putting this blanket ban on gay men
widespread in gay men and people of
so it is argued that there is still a ‘window for life, and are causing unnecessary
sub-Sahara African origin, there is still a
of time’ where this could be dangerous. uproar from protesters and student
high risk among heterosexual and non-
However, donors aren’t stupid; they know groups around the UK. Research
African populations” giving the statistic
the risks just as much as anyone. Blood shows that they’ve had to spend a lot
that people who acquired this disease
donation is a kind and selfless act, not more on marketing and advertising in
“heterosexually” have risen in the UK
a malicious one. They would have the order to make up for the loss in donors.
from 740 in 2004 to a staggering 1,130.
common sense not to go and donate Whereas the gay community now view
the bloodoning service as a prejudiced
So it leaves me wondering, if there is organization. A year ban is safe and
such a high HIV rate for the heterosexual efficient and gives participants the
population too then are they doning chance to do a good deed, it should
infected blood, choc-full of HIV? Of definitely be changed in the near future,
course not, because the NHS screen all as segregation is not accepted in this
their samples meticulously. Blood doning country and should definitely not be
is a dangerous process whichever accepted when it comes to saving human
way you go about it. Give a Type B lives.
transfusion of blood to a patient with type
A and you’ve got a whole lot of dead red Sign the petition here :- http://www.
cells. Give A to B, and you’ve got the bloodban.co.uk
same, antigens fighting polar antibodies,
it’s a bit of a disaster. The point that By Laura Darbyshire
should be made is that there are other
dangers to doning aswell as HIV.
The Magdalen: Music

Equality vs Quality: parity


between musical genres?
Society always has its Back to my original question, is a fair it used to be such an adventure! That
differences. It is indeed to its coverage of all musical outlets necessary is perhaps where certain genres are
credit that they exist, creating the for appreciation or even necessary lagging behind, unable to be accessed
multi-dimensional and ultimately full stop? Surely this would facilitate a due to technological constraints,
diverse environment we live in; it more rounded musical individual in the generating further inequality where
broadens horizons and cultivates long run I hear you say. Not at the cost quality and musical genius is an evident
minds. Music is mostly definitely of quality. With increasing insistence truth.
not the exception. From rock, to on the need for music to be popular
classical, jazz, RnB, blues, pop, in order to be ‘good’, it is inevitable Nonetheless, it is the way in which
the list is endless with each genre that certain types of music, which the music industry operates as a
subject to maybe even a dozen can be exceptional, are unfortunately business which needs to be addressed.
or so subgenres. So a question overlooked. This saddens me greatly but Competition between genres will always
began to pry on my mind… is perhaps it is their anti-populist nature, exist and the industry is lock, stock
equality between genres of music unable to typify a stereotype, which and barrel guilty for generating this
achievable? In fact what does this ultimately makes them attractive. It can environment, even if it is needlessly at
mean? That is to say do we need only add to the richness of society after the cost of quality. Music must not be
a broad coverage and awareness all. Call it the appeal of artistic difference monopolised- it is an artistic endeavour-
of all music from all genres for if you will. and the industry should attempt to
equality between genres or maintain equality between labels at least
is this even necessary for an In all eventualities, equality within for such purposes. Music used to be
understanding and appreciation music, at least based on the grounds young and fun. We should aim to keep it
of music? Well, I would argue no, of mainstream recognition, seems that way. As such, quality should always
particularly the second notion. unwarranted. Music is what it is and overrule musical equality whatever
need not be subjugated to the realms of that means. Lead on urchin! Musical
For many, TV and radio provide the main popular culture. It exists to be found. It appreciation awaits.
source for music on a day to day basis enthrals your every sense. That is part
and when used wisely, they can be very of the excitement and chase of it all. It is By Henrietta Evans
informative. However, others would argue hence a shame that emphasis is placed
that they provide a misrepresentation on downloading, part of the conspiracy of
and misinterpretation of music and technological developments. So sterile,
musical interest, focusing in on only so impersonal, gone are the days of
what is deemed popular or even what browsing hours on end in record stores-
record companies want us to believe
is popular: it is used as a selling point.
This is seemingly very limiting. We have
Simon Cowell and the likes of Xfactor
of recent to thank for that. Does this
mean that in fact equality within music
is culpable to mainstream success? It is
the only way that music is ever covered
on national radio it seems. If this is the
case, we have significant inequality
within music at the moment. Let’s take
rock for an example. A favourite among
many and a genre I am highly partial to
myself, very few bands of the genre that
I would say were outstanding have had
a top hit in the popular charts or even
so little as a bit of recognition. Of course
music, like anything, is always subjective
yet if equality in music is based upon
mainstream coverage and success,
quality is undermined or at least short-
sighted.
No.20
The Equality Issue 19
January 2011

The dress down:


‘A place where the charts don’t stand a chance’
1. What’s My Name – Rihanna Prize winning Ms Dynamite combined her metaphor in existence to describe what
ft Drake musical talents to produce this poptastic we can only assume is Russell Brand.
track. We’re struggling to find a bad word I’ve never let my colours burst before,
to say about this short and sweet track. Lol nor have I owned the night like the
An amnesiac reflection on a relationship,
jk. The old school production is repetitive, 4th of July. He’s leading you down the
“What’s My Name” is a bizarre song
boring and at times completely lacking in wrong path Katy; don’t say we didn’t
which offers no sense or sensibility to
artistic talent. Ms Dynamite makes such an warn you. Rating 1/5
the listener. Relying almost solely on
insignificant appearance that you wonder
nonsensical onomatopoeia, the track is 8. Like a G6 – Far East
why they bothered to put her name to it in
layered with obvious auto-tuning and
the first place. Dubstep fail. Rating 2/5 Movement
repetitive snares. Top lyric? “Hey boy, I
really wanna see if you can go downtown Where to begin? You cannot invent
with a girl like me.” Translates as; “I 5. Do it Like a Dude – your own dictionary to justify a song:
really want to see how embarrassed Jessie J that is what has been proven true by
you’d be going shopping with a girl the Far East Movement. As millions
like me who believes that wearing less What? Are you actually being serious? of people across the world ask “what
clothes is better.” This song is great in You’re really going to name your awful, on earth is slizzard?” the Far East
the club, but when you really sit down cheap and tasteless track “Do it Like a Movement continue to laugh as they
and listen to it, it’s the musical equivalent Dude”? Oh, you are. This abomination rake in millions from what can only
of Donnie Darko: confusing, random and of a musical piece is far from a feminist be dubbed the worst song in history.
completely pointless. Rating 3/5 reflection on the hip hop industry and Rating 0/5
instead a complete embarrassment to the
entire female gender. Yes, I took it that far. 9. Only Girl in the World
2. When We Collide – The lyrics make no sense and the backing – Rihanna
Matt Cardle track is representative of the bland electro-
grunge tracks which are all over the charts It would seem that we can’t keep this
Arrrgghhh. This is a song that has split right now. For those with any taste, save female powerhouse out of the charts
fans of music to the deepest depths. your ears the abuse and TURN IT OFF. these days. Give someone else a go
Whether you’re a Biffy lover/hater, this Rating 0.5/5 Rihanna, jeez. You’re so selfish. This
cover could have been a lot worse, let’s song is reminiscent of a 90’s house
be honest. Carrying the classic XFactor track to be heard in some seedy club
climax (you know the bit I’m talking
6. Your Song – Ellie
in Magaluf. We thought Rihanna had
about) Matt Cardle has proved that the Goulding gone dark and mysterious; some would
XFactor winner could murder any song go as far to whisper credible. “Only
This supposedly sentimental cover of
and still get to number one. Well done Girl in the World” was Rihanna’s way
Elton John’s “Your Song” should be
Cowell, well bloody done. Rating 2/5 of saying “I’m just messing with you!”
taken literally. Ellie, this is Elton John’s
song. It was intended for him to sing, not A quick return to her one-dimensional
3. The Time (Dirty Bit) dance tracks which brought her to the
you. So leave it well alone. John Lewis’
– Black Eyed Peas has attempted to surpass the success fame she enjoys today. Rating 2/5
of their previous advertising campaigns
This song stamps all over the grave of by encouraging Ellie to sing this song
10. Who’s That Chick –
Partick Swayze with its unapologetic with her sickly angelic voice. The track
David Guetta Ft Rihanna
synth-fuelled beat and punctuating is completely stripped down, with the
melodies. Will.I.Am and Fergie go exception of some odd moments where
OMG. OMFG. Looking around the
to extremes to ensure that anything Ellie wails into the distance, leaving the
office, it has become clear that
relatively similar to the original song is listener feeling slightly bemused. Maybe
Rihanna’s third position on the charts is
tweaked with robotic undertones, to the if we look away she’ll stop doing it.
not a set-up, but actual real life. David
point where the listener begins to think; Collectively look away people, for the sake
Guetta puts on his best Darth Vader
“is this the future?” Black Eyed Peas, of Elton John. Rating 2/5
impression, accompanied by Rhianna
why? Their utilitarian days of “Where playing C-3PO. Another dance track,
7. Firework – Katy Perry
is the love?” are obliterated with this Who’s That Chick uses phrases like
anarcho-authoritarian drivel. Rating “ultra-sexual”, “beating like a disco
1/5 On numerous occasions I have caught drum”, and “she’s been a crazy dicta”
4. Lights On – Katy B Ft myself dancing around my room to this to convey absolutely nothing. You guys
Ms Dynamite track, only to be stopped by the full force are buying this stuff, why? You are the
of my flatmates hand slapping me back scourge of the earth. Rating 1/5
Another funky dub-laden track from into normality. With edgy violins pushing
musical maestro Katy B, ‘Lights On’ you onto the edge of some 80’s hyped by Emily Kane
shot through the charts as the Mercury up montage, Katy Perry uses every light
The Magdalen: Music

MP3 Blogs Are (no


The history of musical piracy It is fair to state that such penalties were
extends far beyond Napster’s obviously directed towards those who
legal dalliance in 1999 with the attempted to make considerable financial
gain from musical piracy, however, the
Recording Industry Association of
CDPA made concrete the governments’
America (RIAA), which resulted position on the illegal creation or
in the partial shutdown of the dissemination of music.
MP3 trading service until Napster
agreed to pay copyright owners By 1989 sales of CDs had reached over
and music creators. 200 million units, resulting in the gradual
disappearance of vinyl from record
Rewinding back three decades, the stores. Musical piracy quickly soared
emergence of the cassette in the late as compact discs were duplicated and
1970’s had begun to challenge the sales sold on the illegal market, allegedly
of more traditional LP’s or long playing accounting for 33% of global sales by
phonograph records. By 1979 the Sony 1998. Running parallel to the illegal
Walkman had been released for the duplication of CDs was a new trend in
mass market, meaning that music fans musical piracy – MP3s.
could now record their own ‘mixtapes’
using simple cassette recording MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer 3,
equipment. The music recording industry commonly known as MP3, is a form of
sat by on tenterhooks as they watched digitally compressed audio recording
cassette sales supersede from those which allows for playback on digital
of LP’s; presuming that music fans music programs. The approval of
would now simply record their favourite algorithms and later public release of
tracks and bypass the copyright owner the MP3 format in 1994 combined with
entirely. The British Phonographic the growing universal use of the internet
Industry quickly responded with the now as a means of communication saw the
renowned (and perhaps ill-advised) rapid spread of MP3 files on the internet.
slogan of “Home Taping is Killing Music.” The creation of peer-to-peer networks
Vinyl sleeves took to carrying the on the internet provoked further dismay
slogan, often illustrated by the skull and from the music industry. Users of these
crossbones that have come to represent networks could now rip MP3s from
musical piracy. CDs and upload them to the p2p file
sharing networks, available to anyone
The seditious nuances found in for download. In 1999, friends Shawn
youth subculture were undoubtedly Fanning and Sean Parker released the
fuelled further by the idea of ‘the man’ original Napster.
attempting to restrict the more laissez-
faire approach to the dissemination of The first large p2p file sharing network,
music. The philosophy of the mixtape Napster sparked a major backlash from
would continue to be the thorn in the the music industry as record companies
side of the music industry, long after clamoured to have it shut down and their
the compact disc became the number 1 products removed from its network. After
music carrier in the mid 1980’s. a long legal battle in America, Napster
agreed to charge its users for the
In the UK, the Copyright, Designs and service, the income of which would be
Patent Act (1988) became the principal paid to the artists and creators.
legislation covering intellectual property
rights. The legislation gave music The numerous legal battles and widening
creators and copyright owners the rights legislation have done little to quell the
to control how the ways in which their tide of musical piracy which has come
material may be used. The legislation hand in hand with the growth of the
detailed copyright infringements which internet. The British Phonographic
may constitute criminal offences. These Industry estimates that one in three
included making copies for the purpose consumers use illegal websites to
of selling or hiring to others, the penalties download music. Whilst it was originally
for which could result in a fine of up to thought that the advent of online digital
£5,000 and/or six months imprisonment. media store iTunes Store would offset if
No.20
The Equality Issue
21
January 2011

not) Killing Music


not completely rid the music industry of blogs as a means to getting ahead of the
the illegal download of MP3 files, it would trends.”
appear that the illegal downloading of
music has yet to even plateau. Some record companies continue to
In 2010, the Digital Economy Act was turn a blind eye to MP3 blogs, often
passed by the UK Parliament. The act noting an increase in sales coinciding
detailed legislation regulating digital with a track being advocated on a well
media, increasing the ease of tracking followed blog. The amusingly titled
down and suing those who persistently Scottish BAMS Awards (Bloggers and
infringed the system. Governments are Music Sites Awards) are organised by
now beginning to go as far as putting the renowned Scottish Blogger ‘Peenko’.
onus on to Internet Service Providers to The awards have fast become one
hand over details of persistent infringers the most recognised honours by the
and ‘shop them’ to the law. Scottish indie music industry. Compiling
the opinions of around 20 or so Scottish
The Act continues to be a bone of music bloggers, the awards determine
contention in British politics, with the top twenty musicians of the year. The
some citing it as Orwellian and flawed. sense of community found in the music
Legislation aside, governments across blogosphere is not to be taken lightly. If
the globe seem to be by and large PR agencies and Record Companies
confused with how to deal with online recognise the gravitas of MP3 blogs,
music piracy. then the less hip and trendy government
ministers will perhaps one day follow.
Returning to the mixtape philosophy,
there are some parties who are It would appear that digital music
benefiting from musical piracy. MP3 piracy is binary. File sharing networks
blogs have fast become the go-to point continue to be abused by music users
for any discerning music fan. Often who download “en masse,” with little
run by a music fan or collective of consideration being given to the artist
music lovers, MP3 blogs offer critique or copyright owner. MP3 blogs and blog
and download of new music. It can be aggregators on the other hand are fast
argued that for one to stay ahead of becoming the launch pad for new bands
the musical trends, MP3 blogs are a and artists.
must. The mixtape philosophy does not
endorse sticking the proverbial finger The jury is out on the moral rights
up to the music industry; instead, the and wrongs of digital music piracy;
mixtape philosophy nurtures a culture however it is important to note that
of spreading the musical gospel. Indie the music industry should be doing
labels are said to be sending MP3’s more to encourage the legal purchase
of their artists to blogs in their droves, of music. Programs such as Spotify
desperate for some free publicity. In the have meant that users are now put off
age of digital media, the blogosphere illegally downloading a track when they
reigns supreme. Much can be said for can access it at any time they so wish.
passionate music fans that spend hours In February 2010, 10 billion songs had
trawling through the thousands of blogs been sold on the iTunes Store. The
for that one band nobody else has heard scaremongering adage of “Home Taping
of. is Killing Music” is looked upon now with
a degree of ridicule. Instead MP3 blogs
“I regularly download MP3s from blogs, are fast becoming the life and soul of the
most of which are by unsigned bands or music industry.
bands I haven’t heard of before,” noted
a Dundee student, “if I like the MP3, of
course I’ll buy the album. I’m not out Emily Kane
to ruin a musicians’ life by refusing to
pay for material which they’ve probably
worked their arse off to make. Musical
piracy isn’t black and white. In the
massive ocean that is the internet, there
are a lot of musical pirates who see MP3
The Magdalen: Fashion

News:
Happy New Year to all from the
fashion editors at The Magdalen.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed
our section so far over the past
few months. Since last semester
we’ve managed to cover a
fashion show and do our very
own Christmas fashion shoot,
which is available to view on the
DUSA website. We’re always
looking for new ways to make our
fashion section more exciting, so
if you have requests as to what
you’d like to see in YOUR student
magazine then please email
c.z.mcdiarmid@dundee.ac.uk

My new favourite programme


Well, the holidays are over and it’s back
to books books books and although unveiled her latest design and we love it!
its been great to indulge in food and
chocolate and more food and more One to watch in 2011
chocolate, enough is enough! A new She may only be thirteen, but Lourdes
guilty pleasure of ours is The Rachel Zoe Leon (Madonna’s daughter) already has
Project. Rachel Zoe is a stylist to all the her first ever fashion line, ‘Material Girl’
A-listers (yes, rich people need fashion for Macy’s New York. Her line has been
tips too!). It’s no surprise that everyone modelled by Taylor Momsen who plays
wants to look their best on the red carpet, Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl. We at
so it may surprise you to know that The Magdalen think that Lourdes is one
celebrities pay people like Zoe, to pick to watch in 2011.
our their outfits for big events, such as
the Oscars or the VMAs. Of course we
all like to have a chuckle now and again
at the worst dressed pages, where some
of the rich and famous feature more than
others. However, there is one person
who rarely gets it wrong and that’s
Rachel Zoe. She’s dressing almost
everyone in Hollywood right now. Her
new reality series features her stressing

out and bitching to the max and it seems


like the reality t.v. bug is still with us in
2011. Meltdowns, catfights and crying;
we can’t get enough!

The Queen of fashion and music!


Vivienne Westwood has been chosen
to re-design this year’s Brit Awards.
The Iconic fashion designer who has
strong links with the punk movement has
No.20
The Equality Issue 23
January 2011

Natural Beauty
When you look at this model you see knew she was different. As an adolescent
a beautiful face, long dark tresses she was attracted to boys and girls and
and a body to envy, but beyond the idea of transexuality terrified her.
the pretty exterior this model has a
different story to tell. Lea, 28, is currently having hormone
This is no ordinary model; not one replacement therapy before undergoing
who is married to a rock star, or has a sex change operation. (The beauty
graced the front cover of Sports said) the transformation has meant she
Illustrated. She simply aspires to be has been shunned by her strict Catholic
accepted for who she is. family, including her father, former Brazil
international footballer Toninho Cerezo.
Last year in October 2010, the fashion Givenchy’s creative director, Riccardo
world is coming close to accepting Tisci, said of Lea: “She’s a true goddess.
her thanks to her high profile fashion “She’s always been very feminine -
campaign with Givenchy. However, it is super-fragile, very aristocratic.”
not only acceptance from the fashion
world that she craves, but the approval Lea has been quoted “I agreed to pose in
of her father Toninho Cerezo a famous the name of all my transsexual friends”.
Brazilian footballer. However, it is thanks As a sign of her determination to take
to her friend Ricardo, who chose her pride in her transsexuality, the French
for the fashion shoot with Givenchy. Vogue photograph is unashamedly bold.
a place for controversy from size
Since this conspicuous appearance, her With one arm around her waist and
zero, animal fur and drugs. So it is
presence has been well noted by the another only partially covering her male
refreshing to see models on the catwalk,
general public -everyone hasn’t stopped genitalia, leaving little to the imagination.
representing real people and real issues
talking about her since.
for a change. Most people aspire to look
like a model and have unrealistic ideals Back in Lea’s
Nowadays, we are fascinated by hometown the
about their weight their height and their
peoples’ lives, their celebrity, who they reaction has been
bust size.
are dating or whether they are gay or positive among
straight. This intrusive nature means activists who see
Lea T has embraced this and has
as soon as you step into the public eye her public presence
publicly “come out” as a transsexual in
you are there to bare your soul to the as a step towards
the hope that she has helped others
cameras and the media. Unfortunately, greater tolerance.
overcome their fears about who they are
nothing can remain secret. So how did “It’s a good, positive
or who they think they are. She posed
people take it when they found this example and this is
naked for French vogue, which must
model was born a man? very rare,” said La
have been a huge personal victory for
Lea. Roche, who heads
The fashion world has always been a government
Lea was actually department fighting
born Leandro for transvestite and
Cerezo 28 years transsexual rights “It
ago, the child of is important to have Lea in a magazine.
Brazilian football All positive press shows society that
hero Toninho we are capable of things other than
Cerezo. She prostitution or being hairdressers.”
was born in Belo
Horizonte, Brazil. However successful Lea is with her
Lea did not begin modeling career doesn’t really matter,
experimenting the fact is that she was brave enough
with her sexuality to stand up for her rights and the rights
until she went to of others. One thing is for certain, that
school in Italy – she has paved the way for others to
but she says both “come out” and break the boundaries
her and her father of sexuality and gender in the fashion
world.
The Magdalen: Fashion

Dundee fashion updates


Last month, The Magdalen’s
Fashion editors took a short trip
to Liquid Nightclub for a charity
fashion show. The fashion show
was organised by Dundee City
Council worker Caryn Prophet.
The show was organised to raise
money for Dundee Disability
Sport (DDS) and as you can see
from our photos, it was a huge
success with some truly amazing
outfits.

Dundee disability Sport is an


organisation run by Dundee
City Council to help young and
old disabled members of the
community to improve their
vocational and social skills.
Dundee Disability Sport (DDS)
are trying to raise funds to
purchase a more accessible new
minibus for their members. They
need to raise £42,000 towards
the cost of a new minibus as the
one they have will only last them
until next year. If you want to find
out more information about DDS
go to their website (insert web
address).

All of the clothing and


accessories were kindly lent by
retailers from Dundee’s very own
High Street. It also allowed the
opportunity for the independent
retailers such as Missy LaLa’s
, Rara and the pretty vacant
showrooms, Beco Boutique,
Maggie’s Farm and Crafty
Mermaids Jewellery Boutique to
showcase their own items and
provide some edge!

As well as the catwalk show,


stalls were set up in Envy by
Crafty Mermaids, Ann Summers
and The Waxing Station. All of
the stalls were selling some of
their items or taking part in the
raffle. A fashion show wouldn’t
be a fashion show without goodie
bags! Breo made up the bags
with a cool ski hat, keyring and
watch!
No.20
No.18 25
25
The Equality
The Issue Issue
Anonymous
January 2011
October 2010

Now, there’s one thing about


fashion, there are rules. Although
it may look glamorous when you
catch glimpses of a fashion show
on the TV, unfortunately we don’t
have the budget like the fashion
shows of Chanel or Dior. We,
the fashion editors, learnt a very
important lesson. If you aren’t
lucky enough to get a VIP pass
to the fashion show (i.e no free
champagne or seating) then don’t
wear heels, unless of course
you’re supplementing enough
booze to ease the pain! Rule no.2
make sure you get there early
and get a good view, absolutely
no point in standing behind
someone who has backcombed
their hair into the shape of a
bird’s nest. And finally, Rule no.3:
don’t have too much to drink
when there are bags on sale.

There is no doubt that it was


a well-organised and amazing
night. The fashion show
opened with the Xfactor music
(thankfully Louis Walsh was
nowhere in sight), then 3 dance
groups provided entertainment
between sections, including local
dance group Street Vibes. The
fashion show had a wide range
of clothing from Bridalwear to
underwear and mixing up vintage
and high street to perfection and
we’ve picked out our favourite
outfits of the night; a very tough
decision indeed.
The Magdalen: Travel

“And this one time, at


band camp…”
I became part of a unique in mosquito repellent for cabin
Vicky Anderson did last world comprised of cookouts, outings to the beautiful Dupont
summer American Pie campfires, and sing alongs. I State waterfalls, and jumping
Style: here she tells all… found myself dressing up in crazy around while singing Puff the
costumes for the sake of square Magic Dragon as pre-bedtime
Probably the most well known dancing, having the union jack entertainment for the kids!
line from the teen comedy painted on my face when we
American Pie! Ah yes, summer hosted a huge World Cup football I looked forward to meals of
camp: an American tradition tournament, smothering myself brisket and corn bread, PB & J
- something we in the UK do
not have the opportunity to
experience. Not that we are
missing out, I mean, how much
fun could it possibly be?

This was the question I asked


myself on the 30th May this year,
whilst sitting on an aeroplane
bound for New York. Only a few
months earlier I had thought I
would be spending my holidays
working in an office in Somerset,
watching the days drag by. Then
all of a sudden, it seemed, I was
on my way to a camp in North
Carolina hired as a speciality
Ceramics Counsellor with
CCUSA.

What had I let myself in for?


Had I really applied to get a job
looking after American children?!
Insanity, surely… this summer,
however, proved to be the best of
my life by far!

I was quite nervous at the thought


of having to play teacher and
surrogate mother to hundreds
of children, especially American
ones. My apprehension, however,
turned out to be unfounded.
Unlike any of the notorious
American stereotypes, the
children turned out to be as
well behaved, inquisitive, and
mischievous as all the other
children that I have looked after.
Camp itself also exceeded all of
my expectations.

There is no better way to


describe camp than by saying
that it is just like the movies.
No.20
The Equality Issue 27
January 2011

(peanut butter and jelly to those After hitching a ride to Atlanta however, I continue to talk about
uninitiated in American cuisine) from a kind co-Counsellor – a this one time, at summer camp…
sandwiches, and of course, the journey full of shakes and fries
ultimate in camp treats ‘smores’. I after a summer of incredible The Camp Counselor
shared in the children’s triumphs, home cooking at camp - I then programme offered by CCUSA
and disappointments, their embarked on a four-week tour was the BEST. I was able
laughter, and tears. I became of the East Coast, taking in to work in the States for the
the one who tucked them in at the Washington monuments duration of camp (9 weeks)
night, helped them get ready (along with a few Forest Gump and then spend up to 2 months
in the mornings, and the one quotes for good measure), travelling afterwards. My flights,
they looked up to. I’ve never Niagra Falls, the beautiful parks food & accommodation, travel
felt so needed, or wanted, in all and Universities of Boston, the insurance, visa, and social
of my life, and it genuinely felt beaches and chowdah of Cape security were all organised for
important. Looking among my Cod, and finally New York City. me, as well as getting paid pretty
co-Counsellors who had camped And of course, many, many well too, allowing me to focus
here as children, I could see Greyhound buses. my attention on other things, like
the importance camp had upon
how on earth was I going to get
children and why it was such a I left the USA with memories everything in my backpack!
savoured American tradition. that I will always cherish, and
friendships that I never imagined If you think you would be
Camp was followed by a party I’d form. I am in daily contact with interested in spending your
at a co-Counsellor’s ranch in the people I met, and am already summer as a Camp Counsellor
North Carolina – you have never organising my flights for camp in the USA, or taking part in
witnessed a barbeque and a few this summer - how else can you another overseas working
celebratory beers organised so get an experience, where you holiday programme, call CCUSA
well – 40 camp Counsellors are play sport and tie-dye all day, on 0131 454 1687 or check out
nothing if not meticulous! whilst earning money and getting the website www.ccusa.com
a great tan – not in Scotland
anyway! For the moment,
The Magdalen: Travel

Ethical volunteering?
‘…and then I just chuuundaahed over in Mexico.
everywhaaaaaaaah.’ We’ve all The low prices
seen the ingenious YouTube meant that my
video by The Unexpected Items £100 was not
and VMproductions; a hilarious donated to the
parody of the increasing number project itself,
of middle class school leavers but also meant
and students who descend on that I wasn’t
less affluent people in order to parting with
travel the world and ‘make a thousands to
difference.’ But do they really profit a poverty-
make a difference? Perhaps exploiting
I should say do we make a corporation. I
difference, as last summer I found that the
went on a volunteer project best way to
teaching English to teenage donate was to
girls in an orphanage. My time do it myself, by
there brought a lot of the ethical taking materials
issues surrounding overseas with me that
volunteering to the forefront of the girls could
my mind, so this month I wanted enjoy, and by
to highlight some of the issues I leaving them
encountered when volunteering, with my Spanish-
and explore the more serious English language
I volunteered for just over three weeks.
side to the gap year. books along with a small parting gift
of an atlas – something simple yet This was just enough time for the girls
educational, and beneficial to them to initially look upon me with suspicion,
I feel that my motivations for volunteering
us to gradually get to know one another
were partially sound. I wanted to use
and eventually build a bond just in
my skills to help people, and to donate
some of my time to those who have “I’d be lying if I said I time for me to depart, leaving them
less than I do. Yet I’d be lying if I said wasn’t also motivated with new English teachers. This
was not something I had anticipated.
I wasn’t also motivated by getting to
visit the beautiful Yucatan, and earning by getting to visit the Each time one of us flew back to the
the right to add ‘taught English abroad’ beautiful Yucatan, and UK, we had to explain to the girls
where the other ‘maestra’ had gone,
to my CV as graduation crept closer.
Many of the advantages that I gained earning the right to add leaving them looking disappointed.
from my volunteer project would have ‘taught English abroad’ As well as language skills, we also
taught them how to crochet, as
been accessible had I volunteered at
a Scottish children’s unit, or a soup to my CV as graduation handcrafts can provide a stable
kitchen – yet the desire to become a crept closer” living for women there, yet our UK
education gave us little grounding
globalised and worldly individual upon
in teaching the girls how to really
entering the job market means that
directly. It seemed, however, that there make a practical living. Most of us
many of us are searching elsewhere to
was a fine line between giving the girls had quite limited Spanish, which wasn’t
flex our philanthropic muscle.
a few useful things and flaunting our a massive problem, however made our
privilege. Our cameras and iPods made English lessons a lot less effective. If we
I chose the company that I volunteered
me increasingly uncomfortable, and attend a beginner’s language class in the
with mainly because I could afford
after a few days I stopped wearing my UK we would not expect it to be solely
the cost. Whilst they don’t advertise
cheap H&M jewellery to the orphanage, explained in the foreign language! Whilst
specifically as an ‘ethical volunteer
as the girls often looked at it with awe – our lessons may not have been without
company’, their prices are fair and they
highlighting that such luxuries were not a fault, essentially we were still useful,
employ local people in the host countries
part of their lives. This would have been as the orphanage simply cannot afford
to run the project and accommodation,
far less of an issue for them had we not to have professional teachers for the
which can only be a positive thing. I paid
invaded their lives; a truth which is hard girls, some of whom also cannot cope
£100 year-long membership fee, then
to swallow when we think of volunteering with the mornings they are entitled to at
only had to pay for my flights and rent to
as a purely positive act. state-funded schools. Better preparation
the woman who ran the volunteer house
No.20
The Equality Issue 29
January 2011

on our side of the world would make volunteer project I don’t feel that there is Consider volunteer work in the UK too.
overseas volunteers far more useful, no good to come of volunteering abroad, It’s far less expensive, there are loads of
as the situations that we often found after all the girls that we taught needed really worthwhile projects to get involved
ourselves in were often new territory for teachers, and we at least provided in at home, and although it might not be
us, let alone the girls. Yet the fact that we something. But what can we do to as glamorous, it might turn out that your
are allowed to stumble into their lives and ensure that volunteering is as ethical as skills are better used here!
attempt to help out just because we can possible? I have compiled a small list of If you do decide to take on a project, give
pay a company to allow us this privilege ‘tips’ to get you started! it your all and experience everything!
certainly smacks of volunteering as a Don’t be the stereotypical ‘Gap Yah’ and
CV builder for the wealthy youth over Tips for Ethical Volunteering: spend every night ‘on the lash!’ You’re
genuine philanthropy. Take a look at this website: www. there to try and make a difference, and
ethicalvolunteering.org. Whilst it won’t you can get drunk at home or once the
Most articles that exist on ethical tell you what companies to volunteer project is finished!
volunteering mostly condemn volunteer with, it highlights many of the perils of
companies which charge excessive volunteering and helps you to make an Haven’t seen the ‘Gap Yah’ video?
fees in order to make large profits, as informed choice. Log on to YouTube and check
I’ve mentioned above. I could easily Make sure you are realistically informed it out! http://www.youtube.com/
rant about ‘good’ companies versus about the project you are undertaking. watch?v=eKFjWR7X5dU
‘bad’, yet if you do your research it For example, building houses for
becomes quite clear which companies homeless families in the developing
are overcharging and which offer a more world might look great on the CV, but
genuine service. It seems that a lot of unless you’re physically fit, it’s probably
the ethical responsibilities lie with the not going to benefit the town you’re
volunteer in making the correct choices working in.
when undertaking a project like the
one I worked on. After experiencing a
The Magdalen: Science

A giant
in the
depths:
An aquatic discovery
of vast proportions

G
iant squid, giant octopus The study of giant viruses, since replicators, and life was merely
and now, a giant virus. The the discovery in the 1990s, has bolted on around them in order
world’s oceans have been led to some very controversial to aid their replication,’ says Mike
found to be the home of a theories. Scientists now believe Allen, a senior researcher at the
real-life titan. The CroV virus has that viruses may have had a Plymouth marine laboratory and
recently taken its place among significant part to play in the one of the team who sequenced
the giants of the ocean after a evolution of cellular life. Research the CroV virus.
team of scientists lead by Curtis into the largest of all giant
Suttle, of University of British viruses, the Mimivirus, suggests
Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, that it could be the viral ancestor As scientists unlock the secrets
sequenced the massive 730 Kb of the nucleus – a structure found held within these giant viruses,
of DNA contained within the virus. inside the cells of all animals and the way in which we see viruses
The large genome size of this plants and the location of a cell’s is changing. No longer are
virus, as well as its massive 300 DNA. ‘I think viruses have been they considered to be simple
nm diameter makes it the largest around for at least as long as life. biological machines that infect
marine virus ever discovered. They could have been the original a host simply to replicate and
No.20
The Equality Issue
31
January 2011

Cafeteria roenbergensis cell infected with CroV Cafeteria roenbergensis cell infected with CroV

move on. The vast array of genes While the idea that viruses the complexity of the viruses as
being uncovered in these viruses may have had a major role in well as shedding light on their
suggest that they are much more evolution is extremely attractive possible involvement in the
complex. Mike Allan has said. we simply do not have enough evolution of life.
information about them to know
‘It’s not just about getting in and out whether or not this is true.
Therefore, future research into
with these viruses, they manipulate
these viruses by scientists such
the cellular environment in complex... as those in Suttle’s group will
ways to enhance the infection,’ be important in understanding Laura Fulford

Uninfected Cafeteria roenbergensis cell Uninfected Cafeteria roenbergensis cell


The Magdalen: Art

ART
REVIEW
Minimalist Works from the
Holocaust Museum
Jonathan Horowitz
27 November 2010 - 20
February 2011, DCA (Dundee
Contemporary Arts)

So what’s in the exhibition?


‘Countdown’ of 1995 - the film
Philadelphia plays visible only
through a number on a white
background. As the number
grows the film becomes easier
to see. The soundtrack is clear
though. The rising numbers are
meant to remind the viewer of
the growing number of lives lost
to AIDS. I feel it would be better,
however, if the numbers were
larger and the film was in colour.
The white room it is shown in
also makes it oddly clinical - you
get the message but not the
empathetic emotional response.

This is Horowitz’s first solo show. It’s


based on his response to an exhibition people for specific reasons – a point he Or” one of the artist’s books available in
at the holocaust museum although it also (Horowitz) felt was lost in Kelly’s piece. the DCA shop. Come to one of the critical
includes retrospective works. forums to discuss the question.
Overall the exhibition is intensely political
There was a ‘Rainbow American Flag (if a little politically safe in the UK) and Words and Photographs (c) Ana
for Jasper in the Style of the Artist’s highly enjoyable. Horowitz himself comes Hine
Boyfriend’ from 2005 above a bed where across as an intelligent and thought
the pillows read “John” and “Yoko” or provoking artist and I wish I’d made it to
“Lindsay” and “Sam” or “Thelma” and his opening talk.
Louise”. The juxtaposition is nice  - I do “Do you think that aesthetics and ethics
like how gay friendly the exhibition is and are opposed in some way?” - Elizabeth
it is nice to see a celebration of Lindsay Peyton asks Jonathan Horowitz in “And/
Lohan and Sam Ronson as a couple.

One of the pieces made as a direct


response to Horowitz’s visit to the
Holocaust Musuem in Washington
is ‘Pink Curve’ which mixes one of
Ellsworth Kelly’s ‘Memorial’ pieces (a
large white curved canvas emphasizing
the anonymity of the Holocaust victims)
and the pink triangle symbol that
gay men were forced to wear in the
concentration camps. Horowitz reminds
the viewer that the National Socialist
Party murdered specific groups of
Ultimate write-up
This summer five members of
Dundee University Ultimate club
were representing their countries
at the Under 23 World Ultimate
Championships in Florence, Italy.
In the Open division Graeme
McDowell was playing for Great
Britain, Joceyln Trottet playing
with Switzerland and Andrew
Davidson, Chris Hunter and
Jared Cordner representing
Ireland.

The training and experience


gained from this opportunity
is evident when watching the
players at training bringing an
increased level of intensity and
skill to every training session.
The Magdalen

Archery hits the spot for Norma!

In April 2009 Norma Smith from bow in July and by the end of the by approximately the top 15% of
the University Health Service year Norma had placed runner- UK archers.
attended a Campus Sport “come up in the Scottish Archery Indoor
and try” session for staff. The Novice Championships. Following her debut representing
session, led by Archery Club Scotland, Norma now has her
members was designed to give However Norma’s success with sights (and her bow!) set on
university staff a taster of the a bow was only beginning. Just further archery success. It is
sport. over one year after she first hoped that additional sports
picked up a bow, her commitment science support and guidance
Norma - who has battled a back to personal improvement and now being provided by ISE will
injury which has restricted her training saw her finish runner enable Norma to continue her
mobility and activity levels for up in the Scottish Outdoor meteoric rise in archery and
the past 18 years – enjoyed Championships for a recurve enable her to continue to succeed
the session so much that she bow. She was subsequently on the national - and hopefully
joined her local Archery Club, selected for the Scottish international – arena.
Links Archers in Montrose, the team to partake in the British
following month to supplement Championships. Norma followed From Campus Sport to
her weekly attendance at the up this remarkable success international sportswoman – now
university club. Her enthusiasm by achieving her “Bowman” there’s a fairytale ending!
for her new-found activity classification, which is achieved
resulted in her buying a new
No.18
The Anonymous Issue 35
October 2010

Results:
It was another promising away from home and the 2nds The Men’s Rugby 1st were
Wednesday for Dundee at home. It was a successful unusually the only rugby fixture of
University Sport. Men’s Football day for the travelling sides with the day and they did themselves
continue to bring mixed fortunes the Men’s 1st team gaining a credit with their 5th win in 5
across the 3 teams, with the revenge victory over Glasgow games, a 27-17 away win at
1st team enduring another and keeping their hopes of a top Glasgow.
frustrating day of coming out of 2 finish alive. The women’s 1st
a very closely fought game with team continued their good form The day continued to get worse
no points. The 2nds are now with a comfortable 3-0 win over for Glasgow University losing
undefeated in 5 games earning Edinburgh’s 3rd team and still their 3rd fixture against Dundee
a 2-2 draw with local rivals, St. remain on course to challenge of the day, a 10-2 loss to Dundee
Andrews. The 3rd team won their for a league and conference cup Men’s 1st Tennis team. Dundee
first game of the season; after 3 double. The women’s 2nd team had lost 10-2 in the return fixture
loses all the hard work has paid narrow 1-0 loss leaves them 6 and probably marks the ‘result of
off with a 3-2 away victory over points from safety at the bottom the day’. The Men’s tennis 2nd
St. Andrews. of the division at the half way team also recorded a 10-2 victory
point of the season, but have 2 _ to maintain their challenge for
The hockey fixtures saw both months till the next game, so can promotion.
men’s and women’s 1st teams come back strong.