News and events

And the winners are. . .

It was a fantastic evening at Parliament last night -- despite the "weather bomb." There was a full room of dedicated and inspiring people who are working to challenge a culture that normalises violence against women.

The event was opened by Alison Johnstone, MSP who shared her thoughts about why this award was important and the role government has in challenging Violence against Women. Particularly entertaining was her sharing of a recent piece in Business Women Media, titled "Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor".

In their remarks, the presenting judges Vonnie Sandlan, Talat Yaqoob and Annie Donaldson did a superb job of highlighting the need to recognise great writing, particularly in a media climate that is often hostile to women.

To give more context to that climate, we were delighted to welcome Professor Karen Boyle, Director of Stirling University's Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies and the only Professor of Feminist Media Studies in the UK. Professor Boyle's insightful remarks drove home that changes in representation can change and challenge the ways we think about these issues, helping us to move away from a victim-blaming culture that focuses on the behaviour of survivors to one that focuses on the behaviours of perpetrators. A particular highlight was her point about the importance of making men visible when we talk about men's violence and rape.

Professor Boyle also presented the Wooden Spoon "award" which "recognised" an especially egregious piece of writing, which in addition to being unconscionably victim-blaming, also contained a ludicrous panda reference.

Judging for the event was an incredibly difficult task, as the quality of writing was so high (except for the Wooden Spoon, of course!). All of the shortlisted pieces deserve high praise, but without further ado, the winners are (with links to the original publications). . .

Best Blog


Abuse Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum: Rotherham Is Not About Race by Elli Wilson

Joint runners-up

The Best Rape Prevention: Tell Men to Stop Raping by Louise Pennington

Panic in a crisis by Clare McFeely

Shortlisted Nominees

Is Sex Work Really Empowering? By Christina O’Neill

Best Student Article


What’s next for Edinburgh Uni? Talk straight, not dirty by Laura Anne Brown


Jessica Valenti and the taxing subject of subsidised sanitary products by Emilia Bona

Shortlisted Nominees

It’s time to get serious by Stacey Devine

In defence of ‘angry feminism': why ‘Women Against Feminism’ misses the point by Eve Livingston

Best Article


Girls are taught young that violence towards them is normal by Nancy Lombard

Joint runner-ups

Glasgow Women’s Aid – Ten Years of Pioneering Organisation (Page 1) (Page 2) (Page 3) by Cordelia O’Neill

Abuse myths have to stop by Gina Davidson

Shortlisted Nominees

Scotland’s got it right on domestic abuse: it takes it seriously by Audrey Gillan

Worst Article

Wooden Spoon "Winner"

The answer to drunken letches – Sober women and sober clothes by Liz Jones


Lunatics taking over asylums by Mark Smith

There is no “Rape Culture” at British Universities by Joanna Williams

Here's a small selection of photos from the event. Watch this space. There's more to come. . .

(All photos credited to Chris Scott)

The Awards Table
Alison Johnstone MSP Opens the Event
Talat Yaqoob Presents Best Blog
Best Blog Winner Elli Wilson and her mum
Best Article Winner, Nancy Lombard with Joint Runners-Up Gina Davidson and Cordelia O’Neill
Professor Karen Boyle presents the Wooden Spoon
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