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.
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.
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.
Women should be able to make informed choices over their own labours, and not be brow-beaten with the idea of the “perfect birth”.
Wanting to care about mental illness is not the same as caring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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to female patients – a move that is especially galling because we are so used to being told that segregation by sex is obsolete in these brave new postmodern times.
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?
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?
Rather than reforming an unequal system that give priority to men, companies are just offering medical interventions that enable women to behave like men.
If feminism cannot engage in a critical analysis of gender and sexual objectification then feminists can only ever be on the defensive.
It is absurd to tell women to love themselves in a world that alienates them from their own flesh.
We have to go beyond the well-meaning commitment to “combat stigma” and be willing to share our time – that extra twenty years we currently have to ourselves – even when we are unable to measure what this will mean.
The myth of the “poor ex-husband” persists, even though the evidence shows that women and children are too often the victims of post-divorce inequality.
As part of National Work-Life Balance Week, we’re all being encouraged only to work our contracted hours today. But what if you don’t want a “work-life balance”, you just want a life?
Women’s bodies – naked, airbrushed and objectified – are everywhere but our names, passions and histories remain invisible. Too often, women are reduced to a footnote in the tragic story of someone male who still gets to take centre stage.
Our children’s toy choices tell us something not just about how they see themselves, but how they see the world we’re creating for them.
It is not healthy for an entire country to have such an investment in the contents of a woman’s womb.
Women are held back by a culture which groups us crudely into mummy and non-mummy camps; we must not fall into this trap of dehumanising ourselves.
Control, dominance, bullying and manipulation are the driving forces behind countless “romantic” narratives. If new regulation is going to eradicate coercive and controlling behaviour as well as physical harm, we have to start questioning the stories we are told.
It’s the logical outcome of countless messages regarding what a woman is supposed to be: beautiful, available, smiling, bending to the will of men and existing only to reflect men’s glory.
It’s not a matter of whether a woman is at work or in the home; it’s a matter of identifying this huge, never-ending array of tasks which somehow, magically, get done, usually at a huge cost to women.
Mothers are meant to absorb the pain and problems of others as representatives of motherhood, but they remain flawed individuals capable of mistakes - they do not have access to the meaning of life simply because they have given birth.
For far too long, in too many spheres, women are told that their exclusion from positions of authority is simply a mark of their “difference”.
A healthy, humane culture should have space not just for the idea of us, but for our bodies, our children, what we are and what we do.
Back in the 1990s, I used to pretend I liked football. Now I realise I had been taken in by the Football Mystique.
In a world where women are shamed for their bodies, we should recognise how empowering, and phenomenal, a wanted pregnancy can be.