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Has The World Gone Mad?

It makes you question humanity when you realise that more people seem to care about Jeremy Clarkson’s job than they do about female genital mutilation (FGM), and the taxation against women’s sanitary products. If you think this is an exaggeration, then let the facts do the talking: Change.org named the petition to reinstate the Top Gear presenter as its fastest-growing ever, and the statistics show that the Clarkson petition currently has over 800,000 signatures – almost three times as many as the campaign to reinstate mandatory FGM education in UK schools, or end The Sun’s topless page three models.   

However, Clarkson’s petition still lacks behind major petitions such as the one launched by British student Emily Clarke in her cause to Save Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy. This received support from over one million people around the world, and highlights the power of both people and the internet. Nevertheless, at the rate the cause to reinstate Clarkson is going, it seems possible for it to reach a similar level of support within the next few weeks. 

What is most concerning about this situation is how people can go through the effort to click and sign a petition over a TV presenter, but fail to do so for causes that aim to change the world in a powerfully positive way. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that scenarios like Jeremy Clarkson’s are easier to digest and deal with? Or maybe it’s because there still isn’t enough awareness surrounding major issues such as FGM? But without the support of people both nationally and internationally, progress is greatly hindered because people give their time and awareness to petty causes.

However, all hope is not lost. According to Change.org, lower numbers does not mean lack of support or success. Change.org said that 40 per cent of petitions on the website that achieve their aim do it with fewer than 200 signatures, meaning issues that affect hundreds of women in the UK, such as FGM and the taxation on sanitary products, can still be addressed. Jeremy Clarkson’s petition will not impact the work and campaigning people undergo to make positive changes, but what it does do is illustrate the position of society. It seems a shame that the Clarkson petition overtook the No More Page 3 campaign’s signatures, but that is all it is: a massive shame.


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Holly began as the features editor for Her Campus Bristol and then progressed on to managing director/campus correspondent in 2016. A third year English student, she has a passion for reading, nature and writing.
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