Yesterday I posted the first of three Q&A Sessions, and this is round two! It’s loosely themed on my beliefs, values and politics. You guys are so deep.
Which public figure do you admire most, living or dead?
Maybe CatMo. Maybe Beyonce. Farrah Fawcett. I used to have a burning admiration for suffragette Marion Wallace-Dunlop, the first woman to go on hunger strike for the vote.
I read “Walking Naked” so many times growing up. I will read and treasure anything by Bill Bryson but if I had to pick one of his I’d say… Neither Here Nor There. How To Be A Woman, To Kill a Mockingbird, HP series, A Clockwork Orange, We Need To Talk About Kevin, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, White Teeth.
What’s more important, being English or being Northern?
I’m aware this is a joke, but genuinely, Northern. Being English is fab and all, but being Northern means proper gravy and walking past Roy Cropper in a train station and having an accent and hills and being able to call complete strangers “love” and “pet” and if you’re feeling daring “duck”. Being English is having Pimms and being quietly disgruntled and meeting the queen.
Who/what was your biggest political influence (writer, politician, event, book)?
Ooh. I read a lot of Charlie Brooker and David Mitchell when I was a teenager, so I absorbed a lot of “look how ridiculous everything is” from them. On a more personal level, my stepdad Steve Yates taught me a lot about politics, and my own common sense. I probably became most interested in it when the general election was on last, and thanks to the NUS/EMA protests. I don’t know anything about the ins and outs of politics, I kinda go with my gut feeling.
Yorkshire or Lancashire?
I know I’m Manchester born and bred, and it took me long time to get out of my Manc Mindset, but I think I’d have to say Yorkshire on this one. I love York, and home is where the heart is. In truth, I’d ideally like a mix of both. Traditional Tudor Rose, me.
How important is personal ambition to you? Though firstly how do you define it, and how much of it do you expect from the people you want to be around?
AAH serious one.
It’s very important. I’d define it as a future you see for yourself, and I think it’s really important for people to have a positive outlook on their futures. It’s nice to have serious things to work towards, and to know that what will be, will be. I’m not overly ambitious, money and power aren’t that important to me, and I wouldn’t want it to be the main priority for those around me either, it breeds negativity and sucks.
Could you live of £53 a week
For a single week, easy. £53 a week forever, I’d go crazy.
(Incidentally, I wrote a Yorker Comment piece about this)
Factorise 5ab + 10a??
Is this some kind of sick joke?
What has been the strongest affirmation of- and challenge to- your identity with feminism?
In terms of my strongest affirmation, I guess I’d say realising how much work my mum put in to bringing up me and Beth. Sounds a little cheesy, but I took her for granted growing up as a kid, and after a point I began to recognise single mumhood was significant, and she’d had to deal with a lot to give us opportunities. Looking at how she did it all with a smile and without ever doubting herself kinda gave me my first insight into what feminism looks like. Funny, because she never talked of herself as a feminist. That and reading How To Be a Woman- gave me a definition I identified with. Beforehand I thought if you hadn’t read Germaine Greer you didn’t count.
My biggest challenge has been EITHER coming to university and discovering that people think I’m the wrong kind of feminist, finding out that other women, especially ones close to me, fundamentally disagree with what I see as basic feminism, and accepting mistakes I’ve made in certain life choices that I saw as reducing my credibility as a “real” feminist.
Good question (Y).
What’s on your bucket list?
I can’t really answer this because it’d basically be a list on countries. Travel, as much as I can, helping as many people as I can. Join a protest, buy a cool apartment, go to slam poetry events. There’s so much.
Coffee or TV?
Ooh. Coffee keeps me awake but Corrie keeps me Mancunian. That said, I only actively watch Coronation Street, nothing else, and I drink coffee daily to get me out of zombie mode. Tough call. I genuinely don’t know, this is causing a real identity crisis here.