Politics for tired people


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.

Hilary Mantel. Portrait by Leonie Hampton for the New Statesman
Hilary Mantel’s Thatcher story: this author is no innocent in need of defence from right-wing critics
By Sarah Ditum - 23 September 11:00

Of course Hilary Mantel knew what she was doing in writing her short story “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” – the precise application of words is her speciality.

Members of the ANC Women’s League protest outside the court in Pretoria. Photo: Getty
Oscar Pistorius is not guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he killed
By Sarah Ditum - 12 September 12:00

The South African athlete has been found guilty of culpable homicide, not murder, following the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. In a world where men kill women and not the other way around, that means justice must bend to the male version of events.

Taylor Swift arriving at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars Party. Photo: Getty
Taylor Swift’s success makes me hopeful for the future of humanity
By Sarah Ditum - 28 August 16:37

Poet laureate of women’s inner lives, resolute booster of the girls who love her, healthily selfish, and heartily unconcerned with what the haters think about her: we could all do well to spend a bit of time in Taylor’s world.

Protests over the death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012. Photo: Getty
Violation after violation: why did Ireland force a woman on hunger strike to bear her rapist's child?
By Sarah Ditum - 17 August 15:00

As an onlooker to this case, what strikes me is the constant traffic of foreign objects through this woman’s body, imposing foreign wills. 

Ched Evans playing for Sheffield United in 2012. Photo: Getty
Ched Evans and Ma’lik Richmond: why should rapists get a second chance to be celebrated?
By Sarah Ditum - 15 August 12:31

Sports stars who are convicted of rape get to return as heroes on the field. If there were justice for women, rape would be a crime that makes us all turn in disgust from the perpetrator.

Supporters of employer-funded contraception rally in front of the Supreme Court. Photo: Getty
The knitting needle age: this US verdict shows our abortion rights are always under threat
By Sarah Ditum - 02 July 13:22

If you are a woman of my generation, you were born into an era of extraordinary good fortune, where you have the right to decide what happens to your body. But we mistook a truce in the war on women for a victory.

Sony promotional staff. Photo: Getty
Sex and the NPCs: Videogames are teaching their players to hate women
By Sarah Ditum - 23 June 12:35

Games tell a story about what women are for and how they can be treated, then gamers enact what they’ve learned upon any actual real-life women who wander trustingly into that realm.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. Photo: Getty
Why do misogynists deserve the “privacy” the women they abuse are denied?
By Sarah Ditum - 27 May 10:26

From the case of Richard Scudamore to that of Justin Lee Collins, the lie that the public degradation of women is somehow a private matter for the men who perpetrate it has taken hold.

Actor Robert Helpmann as Shylock in the Old Vic's 1958 production of The Merchant of Venice. Photo: Monty Fresco/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
The whole damn literary canon needs a trigger warning
By Sarah Ditum - 21 May 16:07

Until we appreciate how much of our literature is potentially traumatic, how can we hope to make a culture that is not shaped by white supremacy and male violence?

Feminist campaigners. Photo: Getty
In this world that finds them repugnant, of course some women will be hateful towards each other
By Sarah Ditum - 16 May 11:47

In a society which regards women as generally despicable, how can we expect women not to be self-loathing and not to direct hate towards one another?

Sarah Ditum on Andrea Dworkin: Sex as terrorism
By Sarah Ditum - 15 May 9:45

The Andrea Dworkin I discovered when I read Intercourse is not the cold and closed figure of liberal myth whose massive shadow squats in judgement over all our pleasures. She's angry - but also incredibly warm.

Anti-abortion protesters in Belfast. Photo: Getty
Northern Irish women denied NHS abortions are the scapegoats of men's colonial wranglings
By Sarah Ditum - 09 May 10:49

The 1967 Abortion Act cannot be imposed on Northern Ireland by Westminster, but nor should penalising charges be imposed on Northern Irish women by the English NHS. 

Josie Cunningham. Photo: @JosieCOnline
Josie Cunningham and the Big Brother abortion: why do some women volunteer for a witch-burning?
By Sarah Ditum - 23 April 10:47

Josie Cunningham became famous for revealing she had her breasts enlarged on the NHS. Now she says she wants an abortion to go on Big Brother. In her determination to incite outrage, Cunningham is basically Abu Hamza with a double-D cup. Why do it?

Nadine Dorries' debut novel, The Four Streets.
Begorrah! Nadine Dorries’ The Four Streets is a bad novel, riddled with Shamrockese
By Sarah Ditum - 10 April 9:54

After her remarkable flights from fact in her statements on abortion, it's disappointing to find that Dorries is just not very good at making things up.