Tag Archives: work

ASA Will Introduce Guidelines for 2018 on Gender Stereotyping in Advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority has reviewed its approach to ads that feature stereotypical gender roles, following the publication of an investigation into gender stereotyping in advertising; the Depictions, Perceptions and Harm report. The report claims that gender stereotyping in advertising causes harm towards individuals, the economy and society.

In 2015, the infamous “Beach Body Ready” advert sparked concerns for the sexualisation and objectification of women in advertising, creating a conversation with ASA about how women are portrayed as desirable based on their bodies:

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ASA conducted a review following the complaints, but now the regulators are receiving complaints about ads that feature sexist stereotypes or mock people who don’t follow traditional roles. The new standards are only guidelines and are not intended to ban all forms of gender stereotypes, e.g. there will not be a ban on ads showing a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY tasks. However, subject to context and content considerations, the evidence suggests the following types of depictions are likely to be problematic:

  • An ad which depicts family members creating a mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up
  • An ad that suggests a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereotypically associated with girls, or vice-versa
  • An ad that features a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks

“CAP will report publically on its progress before the end of 2017 and commits, as always, to delivering training and advice on the new standards in good time before they come into force in 2018.”
So, the ‘guidelines’ suggest that agencies, brands and companies should consider whether the stereotypes shown in their campaigns would “reinforce assumptions that adversely limit how people see themselves and how others see them”. Here is a list of what should be avoided:

  • Roles: Occupations or positions usually associated with a specific gender.
  • Characteristics: Attributes or behaviours associated with a specific gender.
  • Mocking people for not conforming to stereotype: Making fun of someone for behaving or looking in a non-stereotypical way.
  • Sexualisation: Portraying individuals in a highly sexualised manner.
  • Objectification: Depicting someone in a way that focuses on their body or body parts.
  • Body Image: Depicting an unhealthy body image.

Ads suggesting specific activities were suitable only for boys or girls are problematic and something ASA advises against. This is a topic I investigated at university for my gender project and for my dissertation exploring masculinity in modern advertising. It’s quite incredible (and worrying) to to dissect the vast range of gendered stereotypes advertising still depicts. There is an enormous list of adverts that have been criticised for depicting masculinity and femininity stereotypically, and here are just a few examples:

Aptamil depicting gendered roles for boys and girls

KFC suggesting anxiety/mental health isn’t manly (the ad has been taken down – sorry for the poor quality!)

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GAP portraying only boys as academics

Whilst a lot of people will claim that these guidelines are “over-sensitive” and “PC”,  the mocking of women and men and the reinforcement of stereotyped views of gender roles are issues that have gained considerable public interest, with the facts to support the claims:

The move follows a major research project from JWT (New York) and The Geena Davies Institute in the Media which analysed 2,000 ads and found that women in advertising are “humourless, mute and in the kitchen’. According to the research, women are 48% more likely to be shown in the kitchen.

JWT’s recent Women’s Index surveyed 9,000 women and found that 85% of them felt advertising and film needed to “catch up with the real world”. Additionally, since concerns were raised about gender portrayal in advertising, brands have taken a conscious decision to change the way men and women are depicted. Unilever recently teamed up with Mars, Facebook, and WPP to form the Unstereotype Alliance – a group dedicated to purging gender bias from ads – followed by an ‘Unstereotype’ pledge. Following this, they created Dove and Lynx ads which aimed to smash traditional gender roles, and consequently saw a 24% increase in consumer ratings.
Lynx ‘Find Your Magic’ is actually one of my favourite male brand ads:

In a time where we need feminism, diverse masculinity and gender diversity more than ever, I think this is a wonderful idea. The fact that they are guidelines rather than rules also helps show people that based off research, this sets a standard that we should all (not just creatives) adhere to when it comes to gender. Sort of like a moral code.
It’s hard to believe that 40+ years after the Sex Discrimination Act we are still seeing gender discrimination on our screens.
Often, I wonder if people are becoming desensitized to feminism because a large majority of people actually believe that women have equal rights just because we won the right to vote or can become a CEO. When it reality, we are far from gender equality – salaries aren’t the same, women and discriminated against and girls are still sexualised.

So if you think this is “over-sensitive”, you need to EDUCATE YO’SELF!

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Grey becomes Valenstein & Fatt

In 1917 anti-semitism was rife – having a Jewish name would do you no favours in a predominantly white, male industry like advertising. In New York, Jewish entrepreneurs Lawrence Valenstein and Arthur Fatt, set up a company called ‘Grey’ which is now one of the largest advertising networks in the world. However, they didn’t name the agency after themselves like others did, and it’s been debated whether or not Grey would have been as successful with the name ‘Valenstein & Fatt’. As sad and unfair as this seems, xenophobia was the norm, and many Jewish people around the world hid their surnames in an attempt to “fit in” with society, along with other minorities who have done the same.

Unfortunately, it seems as if this attitude towards cultural, religious and racial differences has in fact not evolved as much as you’d expect over the last 100 years – the recent election of the US President is a prime example of how common xenophobia still is, worldwide:

Fast forward to 2017: Everything has changed, and yet nothing has changed.
Too much in this world is still ugly. We know that the more diverse we are, the more powerful our ideas will be. So we will continue to celebrate difference. To break down barriers to progress and opportunity. We believe that everyone has the right to put their name above their door. Whoever you are, wherever you come from. We are Open.

Along with a prejudiced President in the USA, here in the UK ‘Article 50’ is being triggered this week, creating a final divide between the UK and Europe. With these events in mind, Grey is communicating a message of diversity and inclusion by recognising their Jewish founders, whilst hoping to create a conversation about diversity in advertising.
Unfortunately the name change will only be for 100 days, which is a shame, and almost makes this campaign seem like a bit of a gimmick… Although they claim the name change is “a mark of how far we’ve come, but how much there is still left to do”, I can’t help but feel as if it’s just a marketing ploy without any actual lasting impact or strong, dedicated message if they’re just going to change the name back.

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Valenstein & Fatt have written a manifesto about how they will lead by example:

1) We are publishing our diversity data. Progress cannot be made without clear measures and transparency about who we are today. Our new study is independent and in depth and is based on the voluntary responses of 305 individuals, which represents over 60% of the agency and reported according to standards set by the British Office of National Statistics (ONS). Research developed in partnership with PSB examines roots, identity, education and lifestyle. It will be measured and shared annually and we are encouraging other agencies to take it up as their methodology.

2) We are launching a cross industry taskforce to identify the barriers to recruitment and retention of talent among ethnic minorities. The first gathering will be chaired by CEO Leo Rayman, and we are inviting leading organisations in this space and the most progressive agencies, including Chairwoman of Mediacom, Karen Blackett, to join us in agreeing industry-wide initiatives and targets. We will also commit to targets for our advertising output, to ensure that it is nationally representative. 

3) We are launching the Valenstein & Fatt Bursary to pay a year’s rent for up to two young people from ethnic minority and disadvantaged backgrounds. To qualify, candidates must have been offered a job at Grey, be state educated and live outside of Greater London. Applications are open from this summer.

4) We will inspire the next generation, by working with 100 primary and secondary schools to introduce students to a career in the creative industries. Working with Exec Head Michelle Williams and education therapist Jodie Cariss and starting with the New Wave Federation primary schools in London’s Hackney, we will offer a tailor made programme for the schools involved, from assemblies to full day workshops, coaching and agency open days.

5) We will develop our diverse talent. Recognising that recruiting people with different start points isn’t enough, 50 individuals identified as ones to watch will be matched and formally mentored by our Executive and senior leadership. In parallel we will run Community mentoring workshops open to any member of the agency who wants to participate.

That’s all fantastic, and it’s lovely to see such an influential agency speak out against prejudice, but I don’t believe they should have done this without 100% committing to a permanent name change. What’s the point otherwise?

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Candid Conversations: Being Black in Advertising

Advertising agency TBWA launched a cultural editorial series called ‘Backslash’ last year, curated by 200 creators from across the global network. TBWA describes Backslash as “your daily edit of cultural trends”, and all of their employees receive a daily two-minute video about a range of topics, e.g. VR in medicine and science, social media’s responsibility of their users’ mental health, drone taxis, kids and technology… the list is lengthy and diverse. The project was created with just an Instagram account and internal content for employees, but TBWA believe that the team has expanded so quickly that they are hoping to create more publicly distributed content in the future, like the one above.

Richard Stainer, chief executive of TBWA\London said:

Creating at the speed of culture requires a deep knowledge of culture, and this is what Backslash gives us. It turns TBWA into a global knowledge and creativity network.

Diversity in advertising has been an enormous topic of discussion recently, and many agencies have explored this dialogue through different projects. TBWA’s Backslash looks at black professionals working in the ad industry in the short film above, featuring employees from the Omnicom network.

Nick Barham, TBWA Worldwide chief strategy officer said:

We felt that, for Black History Month, it was important to think about African American culture as it relates to advertising. I don’t think change is happening as quickly as it should. We want to represent what people are listening to, what they’re interested in and what brands care about.

As someone who is very switched on and actively interested in diversity in all aspects of life, I surprised myself with how little I had considered the lack of black creatives in advertising. The conversations in this short film about diversity are absolutely evident and relevant. Hopefully those who had never considered the lack of black talent in advertising think differently about the way agencies embrace inclusion.
It’s important that agencies consider and discuss diversity in the workplace, rather than those who feel like the minority discussing amongst themselves. Creating content for purposes other than client projects is a great way to start a conversation about race, as it becomes more human and less like a storyline created to jump on the equality bandwagon.

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Eugen Merher: Break Free (Adidas)

Eugen Merher is a student director at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany, and has created an ad for Adidas that has left me feeling both emotionally vulnerable and inspired at the same time.

“Break Free” tells the story of 79-year old Karl, a former marathon runner locked up in a lifeless nursing home. One evening he discovers his old running shoes by Adidas and decides to take a run in his old marathon outfit. He wants to leave the boredom behind and tries to escape the nursing home, against the will of the nurses. His actions ignite a spark of life in the residents of the home and they support him on his way to freedom.

I even tried to find the beautiful soundtrack (composed by Alex Wolf David), but alas he is only 24 and also a student with Eugen, so not avaialble on Spotify.

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Anomaly London: 12 Days of Christmas

A Tale of Avian Misery from Anomaly London has seriously set the bar high when it comes to agency Christmas cards! Directed by Ben White and Craig Ainsley, written by Craig Ainsley, and wonderfully narrated by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this hilarious modern-day take on the Christmas song ’12 Days of Christmas’ is so bizarrely ridiculous, but so perfect.

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Dear Apple pt.2: New MacBook Pro ad

Great ad, great song, great art direction.
If you read my previous post (Dear Apple. Are you high?) on Apple’s new MacBook Pro, you’ll see the irony in the strapline “Ideas push the world forward”.
Where do ideas come from? They come from creatives, thinkers, do-ers, makers, technologists, artists… all of those people that Apple decided to forget about when re-designing the new MacBook Pro. So, using the line “Introducing a tool for all the ideas to come” bears no relevance to the “new” product, because it has no congruence towards Apple’s most important target market – creatives!

*face palm*
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B-Reel: Claw Your Way to the Top

Attention makers, creatives and techies! Agency ‘B-Reel’ has created a digital version of the classic arcade claw machine, complete with RFID-enabled prizes. The objective is to win a job interview, but as the video suggests, it could take place while surfing, a phone-call, getting a massage… the weird list goes on.

Aside from the impressive development and 3D printing – the art direction itself is fantastic. Gradient backgrounds and single-colour 3D objects are really on-trend in the world of design at the moment. Flat design seems to be on its way out.

BReel is a team of storytellers and technologists creating new ways to connect brands and audiences.

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Donald Trump Made Me Cry: What His Leadership Will Do to the LGBT+ Community

This morning I woke up after having a wonderful dream that Hillary Clinton had won the US election. It took me half an hour to nervously scroll through Twitter and news websites to confirm in my panicked and confused mind that this was no dream – but an absolute nightmare.
Since 7:30am I have thought of nothing else. Despite not being American and having no personal ties to America, Trump’s words and beliefs have so deeply affected me. Why? Because I am a passionate activist – I have dedicated so much time an effort trying my best to spread equality, peace, love and tolerance in a world that is constantly being challenged by bigots. If you know me personally or have read a lot of my blog posts, you’ll know that the majority of my beliefs in equality surround the LGBT+ community. This is an incredibly important issue to me, and today has left me immensely fearing for this community.

Aside from every other hellish comment Trump has made about women, disabled people, immigrants, blacks and latinos (and everything other than a straight white male), this blog is going to be about the affect Trump’s power will have over the LGBT+ community not just in America, but the whole world.
When Trump officially takes over in January, it will be in the first time since 2005 that the Republicans will have full control of both the executive and the legislature. The Republican Platform passed earlier this year contained some of the most anti-LGBT plans in years. Topics mentioned were same-sex adoption and parenting, opposing a ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy, and lawmakers who’ve drawn up bills affirming ‘religious freedom’ exemptions from anti-discrimination laws. Additionally, Trump hasn’t released a policy plan on LGBT rights, and HIV/AIDS, and I don’t believe he will.
The list goes on and on and on… Donald Trump signed a Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, permitting forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on the grounds of religion, meaning that he will legalise religious discrimination against LGBT people in these sectors: employment, retail, healthcare – therefore banning the government from intervening. Therefore, the Democrat-backed Equality Act – a bill that would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to finally outlaw discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation on a federal level – will never happen under his ruling. This is devastating news for the community all over the world.

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A list of Supreme Court candidates released by Trump contains only anti-LGBT conservatives. This includes the vile and intolerable Vice President Mike Pence, who confirmed that he will be rolling back Barack Obama’s groundbreaking equality act and marriage laws. Imagine someone after President Lincoln rolling back slavery laws after they’d been imposed. There is no difference. We’re living a civil liberties nightmare of the 21st century.
Mike Pence confirmed his intentions to turn back time on a radio show last week claiming that his “Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution” in an anti-LGBT evangelical tirade…

This is such an example of an administration that seems to have… there’s no area of our lives too small for them to want to regulate, no aspect of our constitution too large for them to ignore. Donald Trump and I both believe these questions can be resolved with common sense at the local level. These issues are resolved in the state of Indiana whenever they come up, and they should be resolved, for the safety and wellbeing of our children first and foremost, their privacy and rights, and with common sense. Donald Trump and I simply believe all of these issues are best resolved at the state level, by communities. Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools. It’s just one more example of the heavy hand of this administration, and Donald Trump and I will stand by that common-sense people that when it comes to our kids, and the operation of our schools, those decisions should be made at the local level. Washington DC has no business imposing its bill and its values on communities around the nation. No-one should fear persecution because of their deeply-held religious beliefs. I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order. The Trump-Pence administration will be dedicated to preserving the liberties of our people, including the freedom of religion that’s enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

This man is everything I despise. He has even suggested that HIV prevention funding be used elsewhere to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy (yes, you ready that correctly – gay-f*cking-cure). Also, last month it was uncovered that Pence approved extreme anti-LGBT articles when he was the head of the Indiana Policy Review journal in the 1990s. These views included the claim that being gay is a choice and an illness:

The more extreme of the gay movement consider themselves members of a sexual determined political party. Homosexuals are not as a group able bodied. They are known to carry extremely high rates of disease brought on because of the nature of their sexual practices and the promiscuity which is a hallmark of their lifestyle.

My head hurts and my heart hurts. I cried all this morning and I’m struggling not to break down writing this. I cannot comprehend how people still exist in this world who hold the believe that LGBT people are diseased. It is pure insanity.
I thought that people like Trump and Pence died out before my generation, but it goes to show how much work we actually have to do. I’ve never been surprised by the extreme views of Trump and his party, but I was stunned and sickened that half of the USA agree with him too. How have we allowed this to happen?!
Unfortunately, I believe this is the beginning of a terrible, disturbing snowball effect that will influence other evangelical countries, including the anti-LGBT Russian government. Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve most likely seen the gay-bashing videos taken in Russia where men use fake Grindr profiles to meet up with gay men to attack, humiliate and film them. I bet every penny I own that this will happen in the USA over the next few months. I predict we will see a rise in bigotry, hate and violence, and we must stand up against this. I predict high suicide rates within the LGBT+ community.
People always ask me why I care so much about human rights, and gay rights in particular if I’m not gay, and this is exactly why – the battle is not over. We are not free, and that means my loved ones are under threat. A great deal of my closest friends are part of the LGBT+ community, and I cannot comprehend how distraught they must be, no matter what country they live in. I cannot allow my friends to exist in a world where they don’t feel comfortable or safe.

America has chosen guns over civil liberties. What a terrible time to be alive.

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Dear Apple. Are you high?

Almost a week ago, Apple‘s highly anticipated event became big news in the creative and tech world – but for all the wrong reasons. The new MacBook Pro features a Touch Bar display, high resolution retina display (not massively different) and Touch ID, along with a tummy-tuck, resulting in a lighter device at 17% thinner. So… it’s a new MacBook Air? Not a MacBook Pro?

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Apple’s main demographic – creatives – seem to have been forgotten about with this update… it’s as if Apple have entirely ignored all feedback and requirements of the rapidly evolving creative industry. The Touch Bar and Touch ID seem like just another gimmick – that should be left to the iPhones and iPads – and another way to encourage consumers to purchase the next new thing. MacBook Pro has always been the best notebook for creatives and developers, but now that we’re presented with two MacBook Pro’s, what’s the difference other than a touch function bar? WELL it has two less ports, slower memory and a worse GPU. Great.

Apple decided to dive in headfirst with the introduction of USB Type-C ports on the MacBook Pro (which is a good thing, as it will happen eventually), providing four USB Type-C/Thunderbolt connections. Each connection can be used as a power, thunderbolt, USB, display port, HDMI, or VGA port. That’s pretty awesome and innovative but of course you have to buy an adapter for your ‘old’ USB ports and wires. How much will that cost on top the 15-inch costing £2,349?! If I buy a cheaper version on Amazon will it set alight and burn my house down?

There seems to be a strong disconnect between not only Apple’s target market and their needs, but also the rest of Apple’s products. Remember Lightning headphone gate? Well, despite Apple claiming wireless headphones are the future, the new MacBook Pro has a headphone jack. This works vice versa for iPhones as it’s release didn’t come with the right cable for the new MacBook Pro. Need to charge your Lightning mouse? You’ll probably need an adapter for that now too. It feels like switching from VCR to DVD all over again.

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Following a hilarious Reddit thread (“It just works” – Apple), users showed what a nightmare the removal all wires and the handful of dongles is, resulting in having to carry around even more wires in the fist place! Don’t forget, you can’t use wire headphones with the iPhone 7 whilst plugged into the new MacBook Pro. By the way, the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter is £69.00. I wouldn’t even spend that on a pair of shoes.

Beyond the total cost, (which is a huge issue in itself as Apple should be aware that young creatives may struggle to afford MacBooks at school or at university – I had to receive financial help from my parents on both my MacBook and MacBook Pro, and could only afford an iMac after 2 years of working) once more the main issue here is the lack of consideration for creatives – the SD card slot has disappeared! What about photographers? That will be another adapter they have to buy on top of their already expensive cameras. (Clearly Apple gives no fucks about Photographers after they killed off Aperture in 2014, the beloved photo-editing software, RIP).

The vibe I’m getting from the launch is that Apple wanted to release something as quickly as possible (even though it took 4 years…). There seems to be a lot of loose ends and a huge disconnect between product and consumer. Apple’s main success is their involvement in the creative industry from the very beginning. As technology advanced Windows didn’t catch up, missing the boat on a huge demographic, however, the tables seem to be slowly turning… the updated Mac isn’t suitable for the heavy graphics, virtual reality or 3D work, but Windows 10 have just released a huge update called ‘Creative Update‘ that focuses on 3D, gaming, VR and social.

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella:

We are the company that stands for the builders, the makers, the creators.

I don’t know the last time I laid a finger on a Windows machine, but as a digital designer I’m expecting to see a lot more of Windows in the workplace, unless Apple steps up their game. Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be a home for not only virtual reality, but also augmented reality and holographic computing – this is all hugely on the rise in every aspect of the creative industry, so why did Apple ignore this? Unlike Apple, Microsoft are clearly aware of the average consumer’s budget as not only will the latest version be free to update, they are also teaming up with a number of tech firms to make accessing VR cheaper. It’s as if the new MacBook Pro features were pitched 4 years ago, and they decided to just stay with those ideas despite an enormous technological breakthrough in that short space of time.

There is a huge disassociation between marketing and consumers, particularly when it comes to who needs a MacBook Air and who needs a MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro isn’t faster, only thinner. Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller suggested the 13-inch MacBook Pro (without the Touch Bar) was designed for MacBook Air buyers:

We think that a lot of potential MacBook Air customers are going to be very excited by this product, too.

The creative industry doesn’t care for the MacBook Air. I’d probably throw myself off a tall building if I had to do photo-retouching or mobile banner design on a MacBook Air! Whilst the new Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Book seem pretty niche (the niche being creatives), I still can’t imagine them being as popular as Macs in design and advertising agencies. I could be wrong.

The “you can’t do that on a Mac” ads really pissed me off up until the Apple launch. I found myself yelling “SHUT UP!” every time the annoying animator couple demonstrated their skills on the Surface Studio by Windows:

However, now it’s totally gone in Windows favour as the new Apple update is simply not for artists and graphic designers who use pens or touchscreens to do their work (or anyone who needs more than 16GB of memory).

HEY maybe they’re saving all the special features for creatives for a new iMac next year! Let’s pray.

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Brexit and the consequences Human Rights face

When Brexit was first announced this year, my initial concerns consisted of what will happen regarding EU laws with human rights and animal rights. I’ve already written a blog post on animal rights – mainly the recent EU animal testing policies, so it’s time for human rights to take to the stage.

Current EU law protects rights affecting millions of people in the UK, for example:

  • employment rights
  • economic and social rights
  • equality and anti-discrimination protection in the UK (from European Court of Justice)
  • protection of gender, disability, age, religion, nationality, sexual orientation

Brexit could have a huge impact on these human rights protections, and would be the first time that a significant legal protection of rights was removed from UK citizens. What concerns me most is that there is a risk that the UK government could weaken the anti-discrimination and employment rights protection in UK law. These laws were born from the EU legislation (the rights set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights), and although many EU laws would remain, if the UK segregates itself completely from the EU (and consequently from jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice) the government would be able to adopt laws that weaken those human rights protections.

Scary, right? I’m British, but was born in Belgium (and moved back to London at 8 months old), so if I had stayed and obtained a Belgian passport, but moved back to London in my teens, for example, I could be in fear of my employment and human rights… Even though my family are of British heritage. This poses a very scary situation for those who have moved to the UK without British heritage, which although I can mildly relate to, cannot ever totally contemplate.

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Of course, when it came to vote, I voted remain! I knew this would happen – I knew the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (which is so fantastic and fundamental for our nation) would come under strain if we left. Another scenario I could have predicted with a crystal ball was this rise in xenophobia – however, I had no idea it would be this bad. The increase in hate crimes since Brexit is absolutely terrifying! There was a 60% increase in hate crimes after the referendum compared to the year before (from the National Council of Police Chiefs), including reports of assaults and arson attacks towards EU citizens.

Since “What is Brexit” and “What is Britain” were popular Google searches during the referendum, it doesn’t surprise me that people are interpreting Theresa May’s words as an excuse to attack EU citizens, mainly those of non-British heritage. Even the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) recommended that politicians choose their language and policy proposals carefully when it comes to political speeches, suggesting that

…public officials not only refrain from such [hate] speech but also formally reject hate speech and condemn the hateful ideas expressed so as to promote a culture of tolerance and respect.

When I heard that the government wants to require schools to record the country of birth and nationality of children, I thought this was a joke – a parody of racists – it wasn’t. It was also suggested that employers list their foreign workers and restricted entry to foreign students… these policy statements are very risky as they are conveying a message that the referendum result was a vote to rid the country of “foreigners”. I do believe that’s why the majority of Brexiters voted leave. And that’s scary because essentially, and genetically, I’m pretty sure none of us are actually British through-and-through…

The government now must make it clear what will affect EU citizens and their families as leaving the Council of Europe would significantly weaken human rights protection in the UK. It could weaken the court system in ways that would harm human rights protection across the Council of Europe region. That is scary. Something that makes me very proud to be British (and that never happens – for obvious reasons regarding association of Brexiters) is the amount of asylum seekers who start new lives here, such as members of the LGBT community who fear violence and even death in their country due to laws and a lack of human rights. Not just that, but most people I know have parents who fled their country to start a better life in the UK and have created a happy, successful, thriving life and home here. I don’t think that makes anyone less “British” – anyway, who are these racists and bigots to define “Britishness”?! We should all be forced to have DNA tests on “Who Do You Think You Are?” to shut everyone up (hey, I have French heritage!)

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