On empathy, equality and inclusivity

We are finally back after some hosting problems. Many thanks to Roundup’s original founder Duncan Stephen for sorting them for us.

We still have spaces for editors for 7th July and 4th August, so if you’d like to take a turn at putting your perspective on the best of the blogosphere, please get in touch by emailing scottishroundup@gmail.com or tweeting @scottishroundup.

One theme that’s been emerging from posts this week is that of inclusivity. The BBC’s decision to exclude Liberal Democrats and Greens and bring in George Galloway and Nigel Farage caused great annoyance. James Mackenzie on Better Nation made a strong case for both to be included. Edinburgh Eye takes apart the BBC’s decisions and excuses for them and urges us all to complain.

Galloway’s comments on rape last year caused outrage and showed a malevolent misogyny that we see too often these days. Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale organised an event for Next Generation Feminists. Her intern Issy McConville took over her blog to say why it was needed.

 I’ve come to realise that while modern women have achieved so much – we have equal political rights, we have the pill, there are women in parliament and big business – the fight for gender equality definitely isn’t over. Sexism exists in every part of life, from the workplace to the media to the everyday experiences of women on the street, and the event I’ve organised ‘Next Generation Feminists’, to be held in the Parliament on the 14th June, is aimed at raising awareness of these forms of inequality and inspiring young people to challenge the inequality they face. The event is open to anyone with an interest in learning more about these issues.

Author Keris Stainton isn’t Scottish, but seeing as we’re talking about feminism, I thought it was worth including a post she wrote in her Feminism Friday series this week about the language we use and how it enshrines men’s privileged position in our society.

This week has been Carers’ Week. Michael and Clare of Carers’ Speaking out both gave presentations at the Scottish Parliament describing the battles they face with various authorities as carers. I was particularly struck by Clare’s comment that the 24 hour care part is easy compared to fighting bureaucracy. Read the series of posts this week from both of them and from Michael’s wife Claire to get an understanding of what life is like as a carer.

Audrey Birt writes of the value in empathy in changing the world and making life easier for people. We need to open our minds to understand, learn and act:

And others I met told their story of how a disability can, without the right support , lead to imprisonment in your own home. One amazing man imprisoned  in one room for more than a decade saw his life transformed by the good work of a charity, Housing Options Scotland. This has led to him now able to get out, his world enhanced beyond measure.
Such powerful stories build our empathy for their situations, understand better how to meet needs in the future. For that time we walk a little way in their shoes, see the world through their eyes. And eventually we know what to do to change things.
Bright Green Scotland feels that there is little empathy around Rhoda Grant’s Member’s Bill which would criminalise the purchase of sex. Nobody, she says, has really asked what sex workers themselves think.
Calton Hill is concerned that the sentence given for the rape of a child is nowhere near sufficient.
Elsewhere, Bucket of Tongues suggests that blaming the banks for not lending is not the solution to our economic woes.
Ian Smart gets all nostalgic about by-elections – Garscadden in 1978 to be precise. He seems to be be admitting that Labour can’t win the Donside by-election underway at the moment, although he makes the point that if they do, it’s a huge story. We’ll have to wait until Friday to find out.
Graeme at Think…it’s free tells us all about the delights of Kampala.
We started today on Question Time. We end with Dorkymum describing an altogether more challenging interrogation.
Next week you will be in the capable hands of The Shoogly Peg. 


  1. Welcome back — always a good read, but very political this week so too heavy for me. LOL

    On a side, your older articles have a character encoding problem (maybe a prob since the issues last week)