A feminist take on parenting and politics

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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.

Betty Friedan explored the unhappiness of housewives. Photo: Getty
Glosswitch on Betty Friedan: The ennui of the Middle-Class Mummy
By Glosswitch - 12 May 13:50

While it might do so through the filter of middle-class angst, The Feminine Mystique provides a blistering critique of the ways in which female subordination and lack of choice are marketed to women as their very opposite.

River Island has taken its Anti-Nag Gag off sale, but the idea women should “hold their tongues” is ever-present
By Glosswitch - 08 May 14:14

The high street chain’s novelty item, a gag to keep women quiet, has been discontinued. But it reflects an expectation of women to keep quiet and not to make a fuss.

A newborn baby in an incubator. Photo: Getty Images
True reproductive justice is more than being allowed to become a mother at an older age
By Glosswitch - 30 April 16:23

Simply having the choice to have children later than before isn't a sign of greater freedom - it's simply a sign of greater privilege under the same old patriarchy.

The Duchess of Cambridge carrying her own son, rather than getting a nanny to do it. Photo: Getty
No, the Duchess of Cambridge is not ripping up the royal rule book – but that’s not her fault
By Glosswitch - 25 April 10:47

Kate has been declared a rebel for daring to carry her own child. What?

Footballer Ched Evans is reported to be rejoining Sheffield United after his release from prison in the autumn. Photo: Getty
The Ched Evans case shows that the “ruined life” narrative is just another way to blame the victim
By Glosswitch - 18 April 11:34

A disproportionate focus on the way men’s lives are affected by rape accusations has an important role to play in rape culture. Suddenly it is no longer the alleged crime, but its reporting that is the act of violence.

You don't have to pretend to be needed to be happy. Photo: Getty
Why are we still telling women that they need a man?
By Glosswitch - 10 April 11:38

If you think women don’t objectify men, you are wrong. We don’t reduce them to a few choice body parts, but we make them bit-players in our narcissistic life plans.

New-born babies in a hospital in India. Photo: Getty
The myth of choice: some ways of giving birth aren’t “more feminist” than others
By Glosswitch - 02 April 11:10

Childbirth is just one of the areas in which modern-day feminist beliefs can end up being appropriated by neoliberal and neoconservative agendas. Unless accompanied by structural change, “choice” is too often only meaningful for a small elite.

Daffodils
6 Things I Hate About Mothers' Day
By Glosswitch - 29 March 20:35

On no other day of the year are mums placed under so much pressure to behave “like a mum”. And what about those who wanted children - but couldn't have them?

A girl runs down an aisle of toys for girls. Photo: Getty
Should we be teaching feminism in primary schools?
By Glosswitch - 19 March 11:19

Our children's education is reinforcing the idea that it is natural for women and girls to be decorative, whereas men and boys are the active ones. Do we want them to be learning blind faith in gender stereotypes?

 Dancer Ann Argent practices her routine while doing the housework. Photo: Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images
Why is housework a forgotten feminist issue?
By Glosswitch - 12 March 9:53

The unequal distribution of unpaid domestic labour isn’t a frivolous side-issue. It’s dull, yes, but it’s related to depression, poverty and domestic abuse.

Do you feel empowered yet? Photo: Getty
“Sex-positive” feminism is doing the patriarchy’s work for it
By Glosswitch - 07 March 10:51

All that stuff we used to call oppression? We’re totes cool with it now.

A model displays a creation of Foundation Ellen West against anorexia during the second day of Mexico City Fashion Week, 2008. (Photo: Getty)
We must go beyond disapproval and pity to help those with eating disorders
By Glosswitch - 26 February 10:47

I don’t want a culture that is eating disorder-friendly. I want a culture that supports sufferers and respects the overlap between their eating disorder and their sense of self, but one which also recognises the harm and the horror of what they are doing.

We have to change the way we talk about women's bodies.
Why we must destroy the myth of miscarriage as women's “failure”
By Glosswitch - 21 February 10:45

Knowing how common miscarriage is – an estimated one in four pregnancies end this way – doesn’t stop you from feeling guilty.

I don't feel I “match” my gender, so what does it mean to be called cis?
By Glosswitch - 06 February 10:01

Some people see gender as a galaxy of possibilities. I experience it as a trap, a network of prejudices rooted in conservative notions of complementarity and evolutionary purpose.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy “could be ruled a crime” – can women be held responsible?
By Glosswitch - 04 February 12:49

Pregnancy can be difficult, lonely and dangerous, and life doesn't stop just because you've conceived. Should pregnant women be forced to care for themselves in a way that others are not required to?

Without showing them misogyny, how do we teach our sons respect for women?
By Glosswitch - 31 January 13:26

Children are subject to an onslaught of confusing messages about their place in the world. We want to teach our sons about consent and respect for women, but how this is possible without teaching them what men as a class do to women?

Women can still have babies and remain perfectly functioning cogs in the capitalist machine
By Glosswitch - 22 January 11:06

Sex discrimination in the workplace is not eradicated - and it's not just to do with having children.

Gabourey Sidibe and Taissa Farmiga high five at the Golden Globes
Bikini bridges and thigh gaps: on eating disorder concern trolling
By Glosswitch - 17 January 16:38

If journalists were not so “concerned” about anorexia and bulimia those of us with eating disorders could go back to creating our own arbitrary thinness tests without fretting over which of these now gets external endorsement.

The biggest lie of the anti-choice movement is that it is they who deal in harsh realities
By Glosswitch - 15 January 9:48

Pope Francis's positioning of abortion as part of a “throwaway culture” shows how little respect there is for a woman's right to control her own body.

I've seen a terrifying vision of the future, and it looks like a boy driving a pink toy car
By Glosswitch - 19 December 12:17

As Marks and Spencer ditches dividing its toys into girls and boys' categories, Glosswitch wonders when this gender-neutral hell will ever end.

A real human brain on display
We don't have to "wire" our children's brains to reinforce gender stereotypes
By Glosswitch - 04 December 10:08

The idea that men and women's brains are "wired" differently is wrong. As long as our children’s brains are in the process of developing and forming connections, don’t we owe it to them to give them the best chance possible of escaping pre-determined, lim

The "plane row" hero: the internet loves to applaud when a woman is put in her place
By Glosswitch - 01 December 13:23

Elan Gale wasn't standing up for the little guy when he told a woman to "eat my dick" after she was allegedly rude to flight attendants. He was grandstanding, and sexists lapped it up.

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