Politics for tired people


This guy tries to find a date by walking around, asking women out. Photo: Still from "Offline Dating", by Samuel Abrahams
Whether it's online or offline dating, why is it such a taboo for women to say "No"?
By Sarah Ditum - 15 July 15:07

A video showing a man trying to bag a good, old-fashioned "offline date" by marching up to women in the street to ask them out has gone viral, but it's more disturbing than heartwarming.

A pregnant women at sunset
Blood alcohol tests in pregnancy: what do women lose when their bodies are scrutinised like this?
By Sarah Ditum - 07 July 7:00

When women are increasingly scrutinised and shamed for the way they tend to actual or potential foetuses within them, it is not paranoid at all to feel this legislation as the cold hand of a threat laid on women’s backs.

Pope Francis: not as cuddly as he looks. Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
It would be great to have a progressive, kind Pope. Sadly, Pope Francis isn’t it
By Sarah Ditum - 26 June 11:11

Pope Francis has been lauded for the green focus of his latest encyclical. But in his attitude to overpopulation and women’s rights, he is justifying exactly the sort of exploitation he is supposedly against.

Women protesting in Dublin after the death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012. Photo: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty
The abuse of Irish women can go on no longer – abortion must be legalised
By Sarah Ditum - 10 June 16:01

In Britain, women’s options are constrained and conditional, but there are at least options. In Ireland, there are none.

Ali Smith with her award-winning novel "How to be both". Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
Why we still need women-only book prizes
By Sarah Ditum - 04 June 7:36

Ali Smith’s How to be both, the winner of the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, is a particularly apt riposte to the literary class divide that says men are serious and women are silly.

Judy Blume, whose In the Unlikely Event is out now. Photo: LINDA NYLIND/THE GUARDIAN
Even as an adult, reading Judy Blume feels like being admitted into a secret club
By Sarah Ditum - 01 June 10:42

In the Unlikely Event is Blume's first novel for adults since 1998. If only grown-up fiction learned from teen writing more often.

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) during her wedding to Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Photo: HBO
It’s time to stop defending the rape scenes in Game of Thrones
By Sarah Ditum - 19 May 15:13

It’s hard to think of any satisfactory way for Game of Thrones to proceed now, short of Daenerys unleashing her dragons and barbecuing every man in the Seven Kingdoms.

A wreath floats off the coastline of Lampedusa after a boat sank there in 2013. Photo: Getty
What Katie Hopkins wrote was monstrous. But save your anger for the politicians who decided to let migrants drown
By Sarah Ditum - 20 April 9:29

It's nice to condemn the usefully loathsome Hopkins, but what she has said is merely a frank statement of the politics our government has been enacting at our borders in our name for years now.

Nawaz’s “feminism” is a hollow parody of the women’s movement. Photo: Getty
Nice try, Maajid Nawaz, but you didn’t go to a lapdancing club because you’re a feminist
By Sarah Ditum - 15 April 16:46

Maajid Nawaz, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, was filmed in a lap-dancing club, receiving a private dance. But it's fine, because he's a feminist.

DNA strands from a double helix model at the Science Museum. Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Why are we so desperate to find a genetic explanation for sex offenders?
By Sarah Ditum - 13 April 12:49

The research into the so-called “nonce gene” disintegrates under any kind scrutiny at all. Why do we want to believe in it?

An onlooker photographs a montage of the Kama Sutra. Photo: Getty
Why I changed my mind about porn
By Sarah Ditum - 01 April 15:04

A few years ago, I argued against the idea that porn was hijacking our sexuality. Now, as a women's centre tries to ban my opponent, I wonder - are they scared that if people listen to Gail Dines, their minds might be changed too?

A placard reading "no means no"
Why rape suspects should not remain anonymous
By Sarah Ditum - 26 March 15:26

In ignoring the injustice of bad bailing procedures and instead recommending anonymity for rape suspects, MPs are promoting the fallacy that a man accused of rape is a victim in the same way as a woman who has been raped.

Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas at the Green Party’s spring conference. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty
What is the point of the Green Party?
By Sarah Ditum - 16 March 15:44

The party’s jumble sale muddle of policies makes them a radical alternative to exactly nothing.

Jeremy Clarkson in a stupid car. Photo: Getty
We live in a world of stupid and Jeremy Clarkson is its king
By Sarah Ditum - 11 March 14:41

“He’s anti-establishment, isn’t he?” piped up one of my acquaintances, which he might be, if writing a column for the Sun, wearing blazers and being pally with the Prime Minister were all part of his deep cover for an anarchist insurrection now sadly stymied by the Beeb.

Fiona Bruce MP (second from right) delivers a petition against gay marriage in 2012. Photo: Getty
Against the Fiona Bruce amendment: why feminists should oppose the ban on sex-selective abortion
By Sarah Ditum - 20 February 10:56

Fiona Bruce MP wants to criminalise anyone who procures an abortion based on the sex of their "unborn child". But rather than penalise vulnerable women, we should tackle the misogynist culture deems a female child to be worth less.

The Femicide Census is the result of decades of women’s work to counter men’s violence. Photo: Getty
Why we need a Femicide Census
By Sarah Ditum - 13 February 13:45

Finally, data from dozens of sources about the killings of women by men can be brought together so we can see how grave the problem really is.

A branch of Paradise brothel in Spain. Photo: Getty
If you think decriminalisation will make prostitution safe, look at Germany's mega brothels
By Sarah Ditum - 05 February 16:19

The Liberal Democrats and Greens both support the decriminalisation of prostitution - in the hope of making it "safe". But Germany legalised it in 2002 and it still isn't "a job like any other". 

I ain’t afraid of no girls: why the all-female Ghostbusters will be good for Hollywood
By Sarah Ditum - 28 January 16:59

After Parks and Rec30 Rock and Bridesmaids, why do some in the industry still doubt women are funny?

Campaigners protesting against Page 3 in 2012. Photo: Getty
The “return” of Page 3: the Sun revels in the chance to make women with opinions look stupid
By Sarah Ditum - 22 January 11:20

For one riotous day, women got to live in a world where in a small but symbolic way our bodies weren’t put on display as consumables.

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell. Photo: BBC
As we approach a general election, Thomas Cromwell is exactly who we need on our screens
By Sarah Ditum - 21 January 10:04

Power needs a myth, and the new BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall gives us the perfect one in Mark Rylance’s Cromwell.

Two women on a beach. Photo: Getty
Razors pain you: what Dorothy Parker teaches us about our addiction to female suffering
By Sarah Ditum - 13 January 14:40

There is no romance in Dorothy Parker’s unhappiness, even though women are told all the time that suffering can be our greatest work and truest genius.

If you believe trans lives matter, don't share Leelah Alcorn's suicide note on social media
By Sarah Ditum - 01 January 9:55

We know that transgender people are at particular risk of suicidal thoughts. So when we turn a death into a good story, the grotesque possibility is that there will be someone scared and lonely listening to us, who will turn that good story into their own death. 

Shia LeBeouf at the premiere of Nymphomaniac. Photo: Getty
From Shia LaBeouf to Rolling Stone's frat house story, the trouble with "I Believe Her"
By Sarah Ditum - 14 December 12:55

When we talk about rape victims, “I Believe Her” is powerful because it’s simple; because it’s simple, it slides into being simplistic. Both the alleged frat house gang rape described by Rolling Stone, and Shia LeBeouf's accusations against a woman who visited his art installation, reveal its strengths and weaknesses.

A school photo of Hae Min Lee alongside the news of her ex-boyfriend’s conviction.
Serial reveals how much more we care about justice for a man than the life of a woman
By Sarah Ditum - 11 December 12:21

As the podcast tries to investigate whether Adnan Syed killed Hae Min Lee, a discrepancy emerges – it’s so much easier to spot the cultural misogyny when it is applied to race rather than gender.

Waiting for a customer in Paris. Photo: Getty
Why we shouldn't rebrand prostitution as "sex work"
By Sarah Ditum - 01 December 13:43

When we talk about “sex work”, we endorse the idea that sex is labour for women and leisure for men – men who have the social and economic power to act as a boss class in the matter of intercourse. And most damningly of all, we accept that women's bodies exist as a resource to be used by other people.

The valorisation of a twisted kind of compulsory patriotism have driven out sense. Photo: Getty
Tweeting a picture of a house is not an act of class warfare, whatever the Sun says
By Sarah Ditum - 21 November 15:18

The way that Emily Thornberry has been treated, both before and after her departure from the shadow cabinet, shows that our political class is beyond repair.

Julien Blanc. Photo: RSDJulien on Instagram
Free speech must be defended, but not Julien Blanc’s incitement to violence against women
By Sarah Ditum - 19 November 16:32

The American “pick-up artist”, who has been denied entry into the UK by the Home Office, directly promotes violence against women, and therefore forfeits the right to freely spread his ideas.

A woman waits by stacks of placards before a pro-choice demonstration outside Parliament in 2008. Photo: Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty
My body, my choice: from now on, abortion rights must be fought for from first principles
By Sarah Ditum - 06 November 12:55

A new push to criminalise sex-selective abortion shows us that the untidy truce that passes for abortion legislation in the UK is no longer holding. We must remake the law to recognise that women are people with rights over their own bodies.

Women make up 23 per cent of MPs in a country where we are more than 50 per cent of the population. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty
Stuff your revolution if it doesn’t include treating women as people
By Sarah Ditum - 03 November 10:51

If you want radicalism in politics, it has to start with feminism.

Naomi Wolf: was she a sleeper agent all along? Photo: Getty
Naomi Wolf is not a feminist who became conspiracy theorist – she’s a conspiracist who was once right
By Sarah Ditum - 07 October 12:00

No matter how odd her pronouncements about Julian Assange or the Scottish referendum are, we must never forget that once – with The Beauty Myth ­– Wolf identified a conspiracy that is real: patriarchy.