A feminist take on parenting and politics


A still from the Goldie Blox Kickstarter video.
The sly sexism of Goldie Blox's "confidence-boosting" toys for girls
By Glosswitch - 22 November 10:10

There’s a whole heap of sexism in toy marketing, of that there’s no doubt. But do we combat it by merely papering over the cracks?

Bribes for breastfeeding: Why is a woman's personal choice made so difficult?
By Glosswitch - 13 November 15:14

Breasts are not a self-contained, independent milk bar that a mother merely happens to have located on the front of her body. Breastfeeding is something a woman makes a choice to do.

New Statesman
Have you started on your pre-Christmas diet yet? Me neither
By Glosswitch - 05 November 10:26

These days you don’t even need to slip into an unhealthy starve-binge cycle all by yourself. Open the average glossy or “women’s section” of a tabloid newspaper and you’ll find they’ve mapped out the peaks and troughs of a future eating disorder on your b

New Statesman
Comparing teachers to parents is nothing more than emotional blackmail
By Glosswitch - 29 October 10:07

Comparing teachers to parents doesn’t just de-professionalise them; it places ridiculous, unachievable expectations on them in addition to those they’re under already.

A Christmas present being wrapped.
Is Operation Christmas Child's shoebox campaign just a propaganda tool for Christianity?
By Glosswitch - 23 October 10:37

Operation Chrismas Child asks children to "experience God's love through the power of simple shoe box gifts". But they are to charity what Femen are to feminism: superior, islamophobic, and seemingly unresponsive to the needs of those they claim to help.

We should all hate the passive-aggressive martyrdom of "me time"
By Glosswitch - 16 October 15:13

Why is it that mothers end up having their lives marketed back to them, piece by piece, as "me time"?

New Statesman
Those who die of anorexia don’t always do so surrounded by sympathy and understanding
By Glosswitch - 15 October 10:40

Anorexia might win the eating disorder visibility contest but it doesn’t win any on-the-ground PR battles.

New Statesman
Not every mentally ill person is a poster child for mental illness
By Glosswitch - 08 October 14:16

I’ve spent time in psychiatric hospitals; I look like a “normal” person, too. But what if I didn’t?

New Statesman
Why the Marriage Tax Allowance is anti-family
By Glosswitch - 04 October 16:18

The delightfully named Don't Judge My Family campaign is hitting back at the assumptions behind the Marriage Tax Allowance.

New Statesman
"Working motherhood" is political and divisive in a way that "working fatherhood" is not. Why?
By Glosswitch - 27 September 10:21

When you are a mother, earning money or not earning money is interpreted as a broader statement about the role of women in general and mothers in particular.

New Statesman
The only good parent is a wealthy one
By Glosswitch - 19 September 14:14

Increasingly, just as poverty itself is linked to ignorance or moral failings, poor parenting is associated with being poor.

New Statesman
There is no great stigma attached to being a rapist
By Glosswitch - 12 September 12:23

On the contrary, our society is surprisingly tolerant of rape.

New Statesman
Letting toys be toys is harder than you think
By Glosswitch - 10 September 9:32

Targeting gender marketing in toys is a worthy battle. Children like my son know what pinkness and blueness mean, and they fear a life without the correct marker.

A banner at an abortion demonstration in Mexico in 2011.
Pro-choice means just that: misogyny and the response to gender-specific abortions
By Glosswitch - 07 September 9:24

A selective cry of “misogyny” for anti-choice ends contributes to a culture which does not see people with female reproductive systems as full, equal human beings. The only person who can decide whether or not a pregnancy should continue is the person who

How "mummy feminism" can get it wrong
By Glosswitch - 03 September 10:04

The shock of having children can make us pine for our privilege in a way that alienates others. We need to be more vigilant and we need to be more self-aware.

How much of pregnancy health advice is plain old prejudice and fear?
By Glosswitch - 28 August 10:00

Questions as to whether pregnant women should drink alcohol or coffee go beyond the restrictions of an over-cautious medical establishment. It’s to do with how we value people. In her book <em>Expecting Better</em>, Emily Oster has raised some issues that

New Statesman
Emma Woolf has misunderstood the whole concept of fat pride
By Glosswitch - 24 August 10:59

Supersize, superskinny: aren't we all bigger than that now?

We don't need to make exams a battle of the sexes
By Glosswitch - 23 August 9:26

Every time exam grades are discussed, it inevitably ends up with boys pitched against girls. Well, Glosswitch is sick of it.

"Masculinity in crisis" cannot justify killing your family
By Glosswitch - 14 August 13:23

Maybe it will be clearer in hindsight, but this murderous defence of privilege is shocking.

Depression is not the same as "being sad", Giles Fraser
By Glosswitch - 10 August 11:46

Casual “let’s not pathologise sadness” musings don't contribute much to the debate about medication for depression.

Russia competes in the Women's Teams Synchronised Swimming Technical Routine
Rumbled! What life for women is really like
By Glosswitch - 31 July 11:46

With a lifetime of free drinks, doors held open and watching Loose Women, women have got it made. Oh wait, no.

Don't be too quick to knock sugar-pink, prince-free, Disney-style princessification
By Glosswitch - 29 July 12:56

It’s not true empowerment, but if this is the only imaginative space that is on offer to young girls, perhaps we should let them play. Soon enough, they'll grow up into a world where female self-realisation is still a fairy tale.

Young women's stark choice: be utterly obsessed with food or be considered too fat
By Glosswitch - 26 July 10:26

Women are not born obsessed with the size of celebrities' bottoms. When you’re under intense pressure to do something as profoundly unnatural as not eat, you become obsessed with food and weight, not just yours, but everyone else’s.

Stock drunk person pic
The "Ladette" generation is vilified for daring to drink like men
By Glosswitch - 20 July 8:10

A new moral panic about the impact of alcohol on women is shot through with sexism.

As a mother, I've learned that the phrase "as a mother" is divisive and indulgent
By Glosswitch - 16 July 9:29

Motherhood-as-kneejerk-opinion-former reduces mothers, these diverse, thinking individuals, to one indistinct mass, functioning on entirely predictable emotional responses.

Will a fertile woman's body ever be considered hers and hers alone?
By Glosswitch - 05 July 9:43

Alicia Silverstone's breast milk sharing programme is intriguing, if slightly alienating for those who don't meet her "lifestyle" standards. While donating milk or being a surrogate is an incredibly kind thing to do it is too often regarded with paternali

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
The Marriage Tax Allowance is an expensive way of harnessing resentment and feelings of superiority
By Glosswitch - 03 July 9:01

David Cameron's proposed tax break for married couples is an expensive way of saying that some people's lives are better than others.

Rape fantasies and knowing what's real
By Glosswitch - 01 July 13:31

Rape porn is a very dangerous area - people shouldn't feel ashamed of their fantasies, but how do we tell the difference between fantasy and reality?

A woman breastfeeding her baby during a blackout
Sexy breasts are for the men, lactating, stretch-marked breasts are for the women
By Glosswitch - 23 June 11:16

The great breast debate, including but not limited to Page Three, breastfeeding in public, lads' mags, contains a frustrating lack of acknowledgement of female sexual agency.

Julia Gillard "on the menu": Three cheers for a bit of in-your-face, no-frills sexism
By Glosswitch - 13 June 8:59

The party fundraiser menu that offered to "serve up" parts of Australian PM Julia Gillard was offensive, no doubt about it. But it's refreshing to see some honest, in-your-face sexism for a change, rather than the kind that flies under the radar.