A feminist take on parenting and politics


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to female patients – a move that is especially galling because we are so used to being told that segregation by sex is obsolete in these brave new postmodern times.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.

What use is a campaign based on making women feel they should try to be more attractive to Olly Murs? Photo: Getty Images
No More Skinny is a campaign to redirect the objectification of women, not fight it
By Glosswitch - 08 October 12:40

It is absurd to tell women to love themselves in a world that alienates them from their own flesh.

We may not have a cure, but at least we can ensure that people can walk down the street without being feared or mocked. Photo: Getty
Schizophrenia is not a fatal illness, yet sufferers are still dying 20 years too soon
By Glosswitch - 06 October 10:42

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.

A married couple show off their rings. Photo: Getty
Why do we still believe that divorce leaves men worse off than women?
By Glosswitch - 30 September 11:51

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.

Women still do the majority of work in the home, despite now also being “allowed” to do paid (“male”) work. Photo: Getty
Why you should leave work on time today
By Glosswitch - 24 September 11:49

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?

No longer just the Blade Runner: since the death of Reeva Steenkamp, Oscar Pistorius’s story has become “a classic tragic hero’s fall”. Photo: Getty
We are drowning in stories that privilege the perspectives of white males
By Glosswitch - 16 September 12:42

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.

The top ten toys for boys includes Thomas the Tank Engine. Photo: Getty
To bridge the gendered toy gap, we need to spend less time celebrating femininity and more time attacking masculinity
By Glosswitch - 10 September 14:00

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.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with their eldest son George and spaniel Lupo. Photo: Michael Middleton/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Admit it, you are interested in the royal pregnancy – and that’s why we will never be a republic
By Glosswitch - 08 September 15:06

It is not healthy for an entire country to have such an investment in the contents of a woman’s womb.

Our culture dehumanises women by reducing them all to breeders and non-breeders
By Glosswitch - 01 September 13:25

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.

A placard at a protest in Scotland in 2013. Photo: Getty
Will an emotional abuse offence ruling help vulnerable women?
By Glosswitch - 29 August 13:17

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.

The Sun on the newsstand. Photo: Getty
The Sun is offering a date with a Page 3 girl as a prize – women and men deserve better than this
By Glosswitch - 21 August 12:16

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.

A woman pushing a pram walks through a park. Photo: Getty
Working mums shouldn’t have to be superhuman – employers need to be better
By Glosswitch - 15 August 10:24

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.

Peaches Geldof, her husband Thomas Cohen and their son Astala meet the Zoo's aardvarks during a visit to ZSL London Zoo on April 23, 2013 in London England. Photo: ZSL London Zoo via Getty Images
Motherhood is not enlightenment, and we should not condemn mothers for human frailty
By Glosswitch - 25 July 17:13

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.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, hold a press conference after the General Synod vote on women bishops. Photo: Getty
Women are humans too – and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be bishops
By Glosswitch - 15 July 10:28

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”.

Just basic acceptance of women and their children would do for starters. Photo: Getty
Should mothers have to be thankful that businesses “welcome” breastfeeding?
By Glosswitch - 25 June 16:21

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.

These women like football. But it's OK if you don't. Photo: Getty
Women! If you don't like football, it's OK to say so
By Glosswitch - 18 June 15:15

Back in the 1990s, I used to pretend I liked football. Now I realise I had been taken in by the Football Mystique.

It might be intended as humour, but it’s also a reflection of what we think of pregnancy and women. Photo: Iain Farrell on Flickr via Creative Commons
How should we celebrate pregnant bodies? Not with twee maternity T-shirts, for a start
By Glosswitch - 11 June 11:41

In a world where women are shamed for their bodies, we should recognise how empowering, and phenomenal, a wanted pregnancy can be.

The message for women is that being fat isn't just unhealthy – it's shameful. Photo: Mason Masteka
Fat-shaming women doesn’t make us any slimmer
By Glosswitch - 03 June 10:47

Over the past few decades the ideal female body, as depicted in adverts and on film and TV, has got thinner and thinner, yet the average woman has got fatter and fatter.

Boy running in fountains. Photo: Getty
Only feminism can stop my sons growing up to hate women
By Glosswitch - 28 May 10:20

When we talk about raising boys to grow into confident men, we need feminism – not thinly-disguised hand-wringing about adjusting them to the new “equality” – to bring them up not to hate women.

A still from Dove's A Mother's Body advert.
Dove’s “A Mother’s Body” ad idealises motherhood to exploit women’s bodies
By Glosswitch - 19 May 11:08

It’s sickly and patronising, yet somehow as long as wages for housework and an end to objectification remain off the table, a cream with one quarter moisturiser sometimes feels better than nothing.