Conference: Facing Down Resistance

ONE DAY CONFERENCE: Gender, Power and Change in Scotland


Facing Down Resistance

Gender, Power and Change in Scotland

An event organised by the Gender Studies Programme (& friends) at Stirling University,

MONDAY May 20, 2019 

To be held at: Creative Stirling, 44 King Street, Stirling. FK8 1AY (Doors open 9.15am  for 10.00am start – please feel free to come for part of the event)

Tickets  £8.00, @:

Lesley Riddoch – well known author, journalist, podcaster and activist – is coming to Stirling NEXT MONDAY, 20 May at 10am to open a session organized by Stirling University’s Kirsty Alexander (& friends), programme director of its Gender Studies Masters Programme. 

Drawing on her experience Lesley will share her insights as to why resistance to change relating to gender and power, still pervades Scottish society. In a review of her book Blossom, Esther Breitenbach of The Scotsman described it as ‘polemic’ and thought it would antagonise some readers!  She wrote

[Riddoch’s] book expresses a real sense of frustration at the lack of progress in tackling Scotland’s inequalities. Why haven’t we improved our poor health record? Why is so much land still owned by so few? Why are women still underepresented in politics and public life? Why don’t people care enough to get involved or turn out to vote in council elections? Riddoch’s answer is that people have been disempowered by top-down governance, and passively accept that change is impossible.

This opening session is designed to provide the catalyst for exploration of these resistances. Speakers with experience in relation to environmental issues, health inequalities, access to sport and power in the law and religion in Scotland will be on hand to lead discussions in a range of directions.  There will also be an opportunity for some of our promising young graduates to pitch their own ideas.

The Gender Studies Programme at Stirling ( is already friends with Riddoch.  Two years ago, one of its students interviewed Lesley about the feminist magazine she co-edited back in the 1990s – amazingly, calledHarpies and Quines (archived copies now available to be read at the Glasgow Women’s Library:  – as a part of her research placement.  This 90s niche magazine, had stung the beauty and fashion giant, Harpers and Queen (Harper’s Bazaar since 2005) into suing Riddoch’s company and thus giving Harpies and Quines an extraordinary burst of free publicity! 

We are meeting in Creative Stirling’s exciting new arts hub and venue – formerly a department store! –  at 44 King Street Stirling FK8 1AY, just a five minute walk from Stirling Railway Station. If you enjoy good food, the hub is right across the road from some excellent cafés, but tea, coffee and lunch will be provided.  Independent artists (jewelry, weaving, furniture, art) also occupy and sell work in the hub so there’s interest on more than one level!

Any questions?  Contact Kirsty Alexander ( Jane Dennehy ( ) or Alison Jasper (