A feminist take on parenting and politics

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A four-day-old baby in a hospital ward. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
In After Birth, Elisa Albert is putting the feminist action back into motherhood
By Glosswitch - 24 April 14:56

Knowing, understanding and speaking about birth and its aftermath are clearly as important as the political narrative that surrounds it. In her novel After Birth, Elisa Albert seeks to do just that.

Sunbathers on Brighton beach. Photo: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images
Sussex police’s victim-blaming anti-rape campaign: why is it victims, not rapists, that must change their behaviour?
By Glosswitch - 09 April 12:50

Decades after the first Reclaim the Night march, we are still wondering: why is it always women who are told they have to modify their behaviour in order to stay safe?

How can a memoir convey the damage done by eating disorders, without passing it on?
By Glosswitch - 31 March 9:06

Nancy Tucker’s eating disorder memoir, The Time In Between, tackles this problem head-on.

Containers with donated milk at the human milk bank in Lima, Peru. Photo: Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images
Why you shouldn’t sell breast milk
By Glosswitch - 27 March 11:55

In many ways we have come full circle, returning to a time when women were seen not as human beings, but as objects available for sale or exchange. Only now we call it choice.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbano with Naomi Campbell in 2010. Photo: Tullio M Puglia/Getty
Dolce and Gabbana’s comments on IVF highlight how often we ignore the surrogate mother
By Glosswitch - 17 March 16:05

Amid the outrage over the fashion designers’ comments about “synthetic children”, the role of the gestational mother has yet again been completely erased. She just makes the picture too messy.

It's extreme masculinity – not love or despair – that drives a father to kill his children
By Glosswitch - 12 March 12:27

Stop excusing family annihilation with cries of "masculinity in crisis": it's masculinity at its most raw and extreme.

Newborn babies at a hospital in Kolkata. Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images
Why is it still controversial to say that women should make the decisions about childbirth?
By Glosswitch - 02 March 10:13

Rebecca Schiller’s All That Matters is a brief but important book.

How do you explain something you don’t really understand yourself? Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
How do we talk about mental illness to children?
By Glosswitch - 23 February 15:16

Children can often be cruel, but they can also be the most receptive to breaking down barriers.

Trying to conceive can take over your life. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Trying to get pregnant is hard enough without being told not to drink
By Glosswitch - 16 February 11:26

New guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advising women who are trying to conceive not to drink any alcohol at all just load more stress on to an already fraught time.

Paternity leave: why we should stop romanticising fatherhood
By Glosswitch - 09 February 12:10

Labour's latest pledge reveals how an equal allocation of arse-wiping duties is hindered by our view of fatherhood as a unique, glittering prize.

Treating women in the workplace in the same way to heterosexual men is not equality. Photo: Getty
Why do we still see equality for pregnant women and mothers as “special treatment”?
By Glosswitch - 05 February 13:48

Everyone benefits from so-called “women’s work”.

Mother and daughter go for a walk. Photo: Getty
“Mummies at war”: stop pitting mothers against each other in order to sell formula milk
By Glosswitch - 30 January 13:09

The representation of mothers as shrill Mumzillas is hardly something new. Sadly, neither is exploiting these stereotypes to sell things.

Women cleaning in the Empire State Building, 1946. Photo: Staff/AFP/Getty Images
Wifework and “proper” work: why we have to stop romanticising women’s labour
By Glosswitch - 23 January 11:34

Neither the left nor the right can get their heads round the fact that there’s nothing romantic about liberating “the workers” when said workers are women up to their elbows in shit.

Christian Bale in the 2000 film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel “American Psycho”.
Women are clever enough to know when art is just misogyny in disguise
By Glosswitch - 19 January 15:37

Misogyny both creates and thrives on women’s intellectual insecurities, implying that dissent merely signifies one’s inability to access a greater, higher truth.

A woman-only island might look something like this. Photo: Getty
Men in feminism: how do we preach to the unconverted?
By Glosswitch - 13 January 17:36

We live in a world in which most men neither notice nor care about the broader context in which women’s voices are suppressed. Can anything be done?

Mary Whitehouse.
Opposing sexism, not sex: how does a feminist mother explain a lap-dancing club?
By Glosswitch - 06 January 10:25

There is no special fantasy zone in which female subjectivity can be suspended. Women are people 100 per cent of the time.

Iain Duncan Smith speaking at the 2013 Conservative Party conference. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Limiting child benefit to two children is an insidious hint that the “poor shouldn’t breed”
By Glosswitch - 16 December 10:40

Iain Duncan Smith’s suggestion that child benefit should only be paid for the first two children in a family is symbolic, not practical. It is designed to plant the idea that poor people deserve to be poor.

The Metropoliz Museum of the Other and the Elsewhere in Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
Why farting is a feminist issue
By Glosswitch - 09 December 11:28

To exhibit any kind of bodily function in public – whether it’s pissing against a wall, spitting in the street, picking and flicking earwax while one waits in a queue – is still seen as a male thing to do.

Ho, ho, ho. Not all men want beer-related gifts, you know. Photo: Pete Norton/Getty Images
Secret santa sexism: why are we so keen to reinforce gender roles for adults at Christmas?
By Glosswitch - 05 December 13:34

Some progress has been made in getting rid of toys marketed specifically at girls or boys, yet we’re still confronted with “For Him” and “For Her” in every Christmas catalogue that plops through the door.

A four-day-old baby in a hospital ward. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
What is the “best” way to give birth?
By Glosswitch - 04 December 14:37

Women should be able to make informed choices over their own labours, and not be brow-beaten with the idea of the “perfect birth”.

Why aren’t we more shocked that mentally ill people spend time in police cells because we lack beds?
By Glosswitch - 02 December 12:41

Wanting to care about mental illness is not the same as caring.

A boy plays in a park in south London. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty
Feminism benefits men too – and it’s vital we bring our boys up to be more than victims of gender
By Glosswitch - 27 November 15:33

When I first held my baby boys in my arms they had no idea of what “being a man” could mean. I now see gender closing in on them and I hate it.

A book maze at the Soutbank Centre in 2012. Photo: Getty
Ladybird stops branding books “for boys” and “for girls”, but this is only the start
By Glosswitch - 21 November 11:42

We can change what’s on the cover, but if the content of the book hasn’t changed, it still has the power to limit our children’s aspirations.

Betty Friedan speaks at a Women's NGO Forum in Huairou, China on 4 September 1995. Photo: Tao-Chuan Yeh/AFP/Getty Images
Why does feminism have to come in waves?
By Glosswitch - 19 November 13:58

Ageism is a fundamental dynamic within feminism. We haven’t yet found a way to deal with what has gone before us, other than rolling our eyes and believing we are better.

Professor Carl Djerassi, who foresees a world with "purely recreational" sex made possible by widespread sterilisation. Photo: Getty Images
Whatever scientists may claim, mass sterilisation won't set women free
By Glosswitch - 12 November 11:35

One of the researchers behind the Pill has suggested that in the future, women and men could freeze their eggs and sperm before being sterilised - so they can enjoy purely recreational sex. Would that be liberating? Probably not. 

Beds should be allocated according to need, not sex. Photo: Alden Chadwick on Flickr via Creative Commons
The Orchard psychiatric ward closure: women bear the cost of unchecked male dominance
By Glosswitch - 06 November 9:34

An important psychiatric unit in Lancaster has been closed to female patients – a move that is especially galling because we are so used to being told that segregation by sex is obsolete in these brave new postmodern times.

Miss World titleholder Megan Young. Photo: Jay Director/AFP/Getty
Would you enter your unborn daughter in a beauty pageant?
By Glosswitch - 04 November 11:15

By virtue of being female she’s already been entered into a lifelong beauty contest, one which, through the simple fact of ageing, she is ultimately destined to lose. Why not formalise it from the start?

We want our sons to challenge masculinity, not be harmed by it. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Male violence is a greater threat to our sons – so why are we so over-protective with daughters?
By Glosswitch - 27 October 10:56

It’s a difficult line to walk when you are raising boys. The path of non-violence is the only one worth following, yet by doing so, are you denying your sons a fighting chance in a dog-eat-dog world?

Apple is just one of the Silicon Valley companies to offer egg-freezing. Photo: Getty
Apple’s egg-freezing plan is simply a way of telling women to be more like men
By Glosswitch - 20 October 11:04

Rather than reforming an unequal system that give priority to men, companies are just offering medical interventions that enable women to behave like men.

Women at St Andrews. Photo: Getty
Universities won’t be a safe place for women until they’re a safe place for feminism
By Glosswitch - 15 October 17:16

If feminism cannot engage in a critical analysis of gender and sexual objectification then feminists can only ever be on the defensive.

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