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How Can You Tell if You’re Being Sexually Empowered or Objectified? Ask Yourself This Simple Question

An article/comic explaining the very relevant issue of how power dynamics and consent make the difference between sexual empowerment and objectification.

The bit above is particularly relevant to our blog, seeing how the question of female character’s agency is brought up every so often to justify her choice of attire.

As we said a few times before:

  1. Fictional people’s choices are entirely up to their creators.
  2. While it’s valid to create some characters as “sexy” because of their personality, it stops working when everyone (particularly every woman) is somehow “sexy”.
  3. Dressing skimpily during your crime-fighting/adventutring makes no sense, no matter how sexually liberated you are off-duty.

~Ozzie

more about fictional character’s agency on BABD

Brief rant

I’m at B&N right now, reading summary after summary of books about people with average to boring lives who get pulled into something interesting and amazing, like a fun group or a crazy trip or a great romance, by someone else.

I’m fucking tired of those stories. Because they aren’t real. And for a long time I believed they were, so when the truth hit me within the last year, I was completely unprepared to deal with reality.

If you’re someone who never engages with people, if you’re someone who is waiting for something to happen to you, waiting for someone to like you, waiting for the Interesting Life Gods, the Success Gods, the Romance or Friendship Gods, to come into your life and change everything, those gods aren’t going to pay any damn attention to you.

You can’t be grumpy and anti-social and uninvolved and then be pissed that you have no friends. I know because I am grumpy and anti-social and uninvolved and the only way I’ve ever made friends in my whole life is by breaking away from that mold. You don’t find adventures unless you go looking for them. You don’t meet friends unless you let them know you’re friendly. People, life, success–these things will not seek you out unless you give them a reason to.

So stop writing books about this. First of all because it’s bullshit. Second because let’s have some characters with agency for once. Characters who know what they want and go for it. Characters who inspire motivation instead of fantasy.

The everyday practices of the enslaved encompassed an array of tactics such as work slowdowns, feigned illness, unlicensed travel, the destruction of property, theft, self-mutilation, dissimulation, physical confrontation with owners and overseers that document the resistance to slavery. These small-scale and everyday forms of resistance interrupted, reelaborated, and defied the constraints of everyday life under slavery and exploited openings in the system for the use of the enslaved, restore the disrupted affiliations of the socially dead, challenge the authority and dominion of the slaveholder, and alleviate the pained state of the captive body. However, these acts of redress are undertaken with the acknowledgement that conditions will most likely remain the same. This acknowledgement implied neither resignation nor fatalism but a recognition of the enormity of the breach instituted by slavery and the magnitude of domination.
—  Saidiya Hartman, “Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America,” p. 51

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“Confessions of a PRista”

Name: Jay Colley

Age: 21

Location: Bournemouth

Degree: Public Relations

1. Why did you choose to do PR?  

Okay so from what I remember, my first ‘I really want to do PR’ feeling was when I watched the Spin Crowd as a 16 year old and was amazed by all the work Jonathan Cheban and Simon Huck were doing where I had never really seen anything like it before. That’s when I knew that PR was my calling.


2. What are the most fun and least fun aspects of studying PR?   

I think the most fun aspects of studying PR is getting to work on live briefs as you get a taster of what life will be like in the real world. The least fun must be when there is a topic that I am not so interested which we have to study for which often makes me think that “this was not the PR dream I was sold on open day”. However by the end of it I’m like “I actually quite enjoyed that”.


3. Do you think it’s a difficult degree in comparison to other popular communications degrees, such as advertising or marketing?

I think PR definitely isn’t as easy as it looks or sounds,  for one, I did not expect to have to learn about things like economics (the non-equations part thank god) don’t get me wrong I did enjoy maths in school, however one of the reasons why I chose PR was that it would not involve as many numbers. However other communication degrees such as marketing or media and communication I would say are much harder where they cover a lot more subjects within that one degree which can get a little tricky if you struggle with adapting to different areas quickly. Which I don’t by the way.


4. PR is a relatively new field of study, especially in university. Considering that only a short while back most people got into PR through other degrees or even apprenticeships, do you, personally, think it’s worth doing a degree in PR? Why?   

Yes because doing a degree in PR would be quite handy if your plan was to enter a career in PR (obvs). However, from going to different interviews and speaking to employers in PR it sounds like relevant experience is very highly valued and sometimes will get you the job regardless of whether you have a PR degree or no. But I feel that having a degree in PR is necessary especially if you want to work internationally as from what I have heard and seen, they value a relevant degree and experience to the field over a not so relevant degree and relevant experience.


5. What kind of personal characteristics do you think are key to being a great PR professional?  

Key personal characteristics to being a great PRP is being charismatic and having a sense of a presence. Where a lot of the contacts you have in PR is based on your relationship with them, it is important that you have the means to keep them interested, so that they do not forget you. Also, a good head on your shoulders would be good, otherwise you might end up with your clients mugging you off.


6. PR comprises a lot of fields – politics, economics, entertainment, etc. Do you have a favourite, or one field which you aim to build your career in?   

The field in PR I would love to enter is Luxury PR, especially fashion and travel as that is where all the fabulousity is.


7. What do you consider to be essential skills in PR?  

The first steps to being successful in PR is being creative and knowing how to write a press release. They of course should be skills that you already have when you enter the field, however I feel that you are able to tackle any obstacle in the PR field if you have both. 

 
8. Are you inspired by any particular individual in PR? Who and why? 

  My PR inspiration is Rozan Ahmed, I really like her because she has brought the positive things happening in the Middle East and Africa to the world’s attention with her loud (influential) voice. We really need more people like her. 


9. Do you have a favourite campaign – tell us about it.  

My favourite PR campaign, is the Oscar Selfie campaign by Samsung. As a fellow selfie taker, I thought it was a brilliant idea of how they integrated what was “current at the time” in to a high profile event. Of course it was selfies and then it was 12 Years of Slave and the actors featuring in it, taken by Ellen DeGeneres, creating a perfect recipe for something to go viral, and it did. Great idea based on such a simple concept. 


10. What do you think are the most popular misconceptions about studying or working in PR?   

I would say the most popular misconceptions of PR is that everyone either think you are learning how to ‘smooch’ up to people whilst sipping wine or learning how to become a spin doctor. PR is so much more than that, thank you! 


11. What are your plans for when you finish your degree?

I am really into travelling at the moment and really want to start my own travel blog, but I am not a back-packing kinda gal so I might get a job with an airline and travel the world whilst earning money at the same time (win-win situation). If I do decide to go through with it, I will do that for a couple of years and then eventually start my PR career.

  
12. What are your end career goals? 

My end career goal is to hopefully run my own PR agency and then live happily ever after.


13. What are you doing throughout your years of getting your degree to round out your CV (internships, blogging, volunteering, events, etc.)?

Whilst studying, I have been working part-time in retail and I have also done a couple of internships. Also, I am off to start a year-long placement in September, so my CV should hopefully be popping by the time I graduate. 


14. Do you think networking is an indisputable necessity in the early stages of building your PR career? If yes, what steps are you taking to build a network?

I think networking definitely is a necessity early on in a PR career as like I have previously said, relationships are part of the nature of the PR industry. The steps I have taken is of course attending networking events organised by the university, but I also have been putting myself out there and getting in touch with organisations just so they at least know who I am.

 
15. People often think that it’s impossible to have a PR career and a personal life – do you agree?

Absolutely not, my personal life is popping, thank you.


16. If you could work in PR in any city in the world, which would you choose?  

New York! I think that once you have worked in PR in London, you have to do it in New York and that is what I plan on doing. Also because the food in New York is amazing which is probably the real reason why I want to do PR in New York.


17. Give all future and current PR students your best advice.

  Sometimes there will be moments you feel like giving up, don’t. Just because you feel what you are studying will not be what you imagined it to be like, it doesn’t mean that the career will not live up to your expectations. I am actually starting to enjoy all of this political malarkey and I am sure you will too.


18. If your interview had to have a title – what would it be? 

 Confessions of a PRista


19. Last, but not least, describe your PR-self in three words.

Innovative, creative and fabulous of course.


Jay is a coursemate of mine at Bournemouth University. You can follow Jay on Twitter: JayColley_PR .