A feminist take on parenting and politics

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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.

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.

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