News and views about writing, eating, gaming and watching


Damian McBride: Repentant spinner
By Helen Lewis - 02 October 11:05

Damian McBride is a bastard. And, unusually for a memoirist, he’s very keen to let you know that from the start, writes Helen Lewis.

The battle over gender: what makes you a man or a woman, anyway?
By Helen Lewis - 13 September 17:45

Adrian Dalton, Julie Bindel, Bethany Black and Gia Milinovich discuss the controversial issue.

John Lloyd, photographed by Lydia Goldblatt for the New Statesman.
John Lloyd: the brain behind QI
By Helen Lewis - 11 September 14:47

You probably haven’t heard of John Lloyd – but this self-described Stoic, whose career was derailed by depression, has probably made you laugh more times than anyone else.

Lip service: why vagina is the perfect word
By Helen Lewis - 28 August 10:06

The word “vagina” is medical enough to sound grown up and blunt enough not be cutesy. It is still jarring in normal conversation but you can mention it on the Six O’Clock News. Which, when you think about it, is close to what feminism should be like.

Dr Christian Jessen.
Dr Christian Jessen: "The word 'exploitative' drives me mad"
By Helen Lewis - 22 August 10:10

Helen Lewis talks to Dr Christian Jessen about Twitter diagnoses, self-promotion and the best of the NHS.

Who are the trolls?
By Helen Lewis - 29 July 20:50

What we know about the men (and sometimes women) who spend their days trying to provoke a reaction on the internet.

Women on bank notes: I was wrong
By Helen Lewis - 25 July 10:42

What looked at first to me like a trivial issue opened up a vital debate about the importance of women's achievements in our society.

Katie Roiphe interview: "There is a lot of unexamined feminist outrage against other women"
By Helen Lewis - 25 July 8:17

Helen Lewis talks to Katie Roiphe, columnist and author, most recently of <em>In Praise of Messy Lives</em>.

Susan Greenfield's 2121: the worst science fiction book ever written?
By Helen Lewis - 17 July 10:44

The neuroscientist's first novel has clunking cliches, terrible characters and dialogue about the "dissociation of reproduction from copulation". Finishing it has become a nerd challenge, writes Helen Lewis.

Ed Miliband with his former advisers Katie Myler and Polly Billington. Getty
If Ed Miliband wants more women in public life, he can start with his own team
By Helen Lewis - 28 June 15:22

The Labour leader presides over an admirably mixed frontbench - but things aren't so rosy in the policy-making back rooms.

Iain Banks.
Away the Crow Road
By Helen Lewis - 20 June 11:17

Remembering Iain Banks, an intensely political writer.

Melanie Phillips appearing on BBC Question Time.
Read Melanie Phillips' memoir and politely disagree: it will annoy her
By Helen Lewis - 19 June 11:05

A fascinating psychological portrait of a woman who seems to feel most alive when under fire.

A Little Sister in BioShock.
No, the Internet, YOU shut up
By Helen Lewis - 11 June 11:37

Anita Sarkeesian's call for more female protagonists in videogames attracted the standard level of vitriol. Here is why that's an important issue.

Squeamishness costs lives: Why the world needs better loos
By Helen Lewis - 05 June 10:54

Somehow I don’t think I’ll get many takers for my next Faeces Are A Feminist Issue rally.

We must threaten women with rape to save comedy, says the internet
By Helen Lewis - 05 June 9:58

When Lindy West says that bad rape jokes are the last refuge of the lazy, unfunny comedian, threatening to rape her is not the most convincing way to demolish her argument.

The Invisible Men Project.
"What do you think about his choice?": uncovering the men who visit prostitutes
By Helen Lewis - 10 May 12:32

The Invisible Men Project aims to reveal what men who visit sex workers think about the women involved.

Luisa, a 40-year-old nanny, photographed by Lina Bertucci.
Will a tattoo ever hang in the Louvre?
By Helen Lewis - 24 April 12:58

Meet the unconventional art historians trying to discover what it means for an image to be marked on the body.

Ding Dong: a puerile joke has been turned into an act of defiance
By Helen Lewis - 12 April 9:50

I have five thoughts on the row about the BBC playing an anti-Thatcher song.

Meera Syal
Reviewed: Fifty Shades of Feminism
By Helen Lewis - 08 April 13:48

Woman’s hour.

Talking yourself into jail, the “sidebar of shame” and the lonely Falklands Three
By Helen Lewis - 21 March 8:02

Also: how many journalists does it take to watch some smoke change colour?

Lara Croft in the 1990s.
The five most retrospectively creepy pieces about Lara Croft
By Helen Lewis - 05 March 11:32

Games journalism has come on a lot in a little over a decade.

Why don't women speak out about sexual harassment? Here's why
By Helen Lewis - 25 February 16:37

Whistleblowers are often incredibly badly treated - even when they have sheaves of documents to prove wrongdoing. Imagine being a whistleblower when you know that half your listeners don't think that being patted on the leg sounds like such a big deal, an

Reeva Steenkamp: our media invites you to ogle a dead woman
By Helen Lewis - 15 February 11:45

Tasteless photos of the woman found dead at the home of Oscar Pistorius.

What it's like to be a victim of Don't Start Me Off's internet hate mob
By Cath Elliott - 27 January 11:42

DSMO, the website that abused Mary Beard, did far more than host threads dedicated to obscenity and offence. Its users took delight in bullying and harrassing their victims.

The YSL catwalk: it's not just women's fashion that has a problem with extreme thinness
By Helen Lewis - 21 January 14:37

Male models at Hedi Slimane's show for Yves Saint Laurent looked ill, tired - and unhealthily skinny.

The six most absurd booth babe moments at CES
By Helen Lewis - 10 January 13:42

Because nothing makes you interested in tech products like oiled buttocks. That's, like, science.

Revelation without contemplation: the problem with Navel Gazing
By Helen Lewis - 10 January 10:29

Anne H Putnam's memoir about obesity reviewed.

Michael Gove, celebrating his curves
A wig for WikiLeaks, the political party for men and Michael Gove’s curves
By Helen Lewis - 03 January 5:17

Helen Lewis's "First Thoughts" column.

Dys4ia, the game.
Game Theory: talking videogames at the New York Times
By Helen Lewis - 31 December 12:44

Games as ballet, a playwright on the medium, and (sorry) me talking about ladies, again.