UWE Bristol Feminism expert shares stage with Ken Livingstone and Frank Furedi

Issue date: 13 May 2016


An expert in contemporary British feminism and feminist activism from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) will share the stage with former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and Frank Furedi, author of 'Politics of Fear', at the Music and Philosophy Festival at Hay-on-Wye.

The three will debate at a philosophy session entitled 'In Search of Safety' on Monday 30 May at 16:00 where they will examine risk. The talk will look at how visions of a violent and lawless future are commonplace, yet strangely crime has fallen 66% in the UK in the last two decades and we are less likely to fall victim to an act of violence than we have ever been. Do we want to imagine the world is dangerous because our lives have become too safe? Or is the world scarier than the figures suggest?

Dr Finn Mackay said, “There is this idea that the world is a safer place than it has ever been with reported crime rates in the UK put forward to back up this theory.

“Many scholars and commentators are saying that we have never been so safe. However research by feminist sociologists in the UK has shown that the national crime stats actually underestimate the levels of violent crime towards women, particularly domestic abuse. Police reports are capped once a woman has reported five violent incidents of domestic abuse, for example.

“What this means is that a woman might be assaulted many times by the same person in a domestic violence case but only five of the crimes will have been recorded. This means that the levels of violence have been under reported. In addition, the crime survey statistics actually show that sexual violence towards women has been on the increase and from a feminist perspective this misreporting further demeans women.”

Dr Mackay is taking part in four debates including the event with Livingstone and Furedi; she will also join a debate on 'gender fluidity and identity', on philosophy and sexuality and how sociologists and philosophers respond to the success of genres like the Fifty Shades series and whether this promotes unhealthy gender and sexual relations.

She will also do one solo panel talking about her book Radical Feminism which was published by Palgrave last year and is in paperback and eBook. Dr Mackay is proud that the book has also been published as an eBook as this is quite rare for an academic title and gives it a much greater crossover reach.

To book tickets for the festival click here

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