Jacqueline Agate

Jacqueline Agate

I'm an English Literature and Language student at the University of Leeds, aspring to be a journalist. I also write for Leeds Student newspaper and Lippy: No Gloss magazine. Aside from writing, I love cooking, films and losing myself in a good book!


Birthdays. When you hit your twenties, it’s true:  you may be left wondering why getting a year older is really something to celebrate. The days of losing sleep for weeks in anticipation of a party complete with jelly and ice-cream , pass the parcel and a Mary Poppins-esque sack of pressies are well and truly history.  

As a girl who’s been in love with The Great Gatsby ever since I first took up those magical pages, I was nervous to see it thrust onto the big screen. I feared that Baz Luhrmann’s creative talent (genius though he is!) would be no match for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wondrous way with words.

A baby was rescued from a sewer pipe below a toilet in Jinhua, China last Saturday. When first news of this incident hit the headlines my initial reaction was ‘there’s shoddy parenting and then there’s this’.

A new series of The Undateables began at the start of this year and, following its impressive spectatorship  of 2.8 million viewers, it has recently been announced that the show will return for a third series. Upon its airing, the show was met with mixed response. A number of objections were directed to the Advertising Standards Agency concerning the controversial advert reading ‘love is blind, disfigured, autistic…’ However, the complaints were dropped and any comments considering the controversial marketing of the show have been laid dormant ever since.

Britain’s Got Talent outperformed The Voice with 9.3 million viewers the other Saturday night. Perhaps that goes to show that the public is so over singers with a sob story warbling through their Saturday nights. However, having grown slightly bored of most T.V talent shows, it seems to me that Britain’s Got Talent dances a slightly different jig. It’s colourful and energetic and wild and indulgent. It’s a guilty pleasure that I’m frankly not very guilty about. Here’s why:

Members of the Twittersphere may have seen #savetheminiskirt trending and attributed it to an attempt to preserve some fleeting fashion fad. However, the implications of this trio of words are much more serious. They refer to the Ugandan “Anti-Pornography Bill” currently hanging in the balance, which, alongside banning certain T.V shows and films, will also ban women’s right to choose what they wear.

The BBC recently teamed up with academics and concluded that we now have seven social classes in Britain rather than three. The experiment was based not just on economic criteria but on social and cultural information too. In other words, the "experts" found a newfangled way to pigeonhole the British public. Fantastic.

Lena Dunham’s comedy series, Girls has been the point of major discussion amongst critics.The criticism that the show focuses on a bunch of fairly privileged, well-educated white youths, with little concern for racial or class diversity, represents a large portion of the reviews.  This is true. But, surely the critics should spend less time focusing on what the show fails to represent and more time praising its upheaval of the restrictive yet recurrent female protagonist which is so often a feature of American sitcoms. Upon hearing the title Girls, someone unfamiliar with the show may imagine a bunch of fashion-forward females, with puffed hair and perma-tans, teetering around in high-heels and handling any scandal with effortless glamour. This could not be further from the reality!

Since living in a student house it’s as if I’ve been plunged into some sort of dreadful dystopia in which working showers are an obscure invention, toilets need not flush and exotic forms of mould are commonplace.

Feminism.  This misunderstood F-word is flung around far too recklessly, and has earned itself some of the most belligerent connotations of any word in the English language. It’s surely time that we shed its outlandish undertones, and think about what the word really means.

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