Politics for tired people


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.

A Syrian refugee processing centre in Lebanon. Photo: Getty
The left is addicted to smartarse debunking. But arguments are won by telling human stories
By Sarah Ditum - 03 April 12:24

Debates about immigration and welfare show that we can become so absorbed in displaying our own liberal cleverness that we forget the people we are arguing for. A dry recital of statistics will always lose out to anecdote and narrative. 

Mannequins are a reflection of the way we see our ideal selves. Photo: Getty
Size 16 shop mannequins are bad for women’s health – but not in the way you think
By Sarah Ditum - 28 March 10:56

The way we present the female form spreads the idea that physical pleasingness is the primary guarantee of a woman’s acceptability to society.

Salimata Knight, an FGM survivor, in March 2004 at an event launching the Female Genital Mutilation Act. Photo: Getty
Why did the first prosecution for female genital mutilation take almost 30 years?
By Sarah Ditum - 24 March 11:03

The legislation outlawing FGM was introduced in 1985, but there were no prosecutions until last week. Why?

Who should get to speak into the microphone? Photo: Getty
“No platform” was once reserved for violent fascists. Now it's being used to silence debate
By Sarah Ditum - 18 March 10:24

The no platform of now doesn’t target groups such as the National Front or the EDL – instead, it’s aimed at individuals who certainly do not trail the organised muscle of a thug army behind them.

A woman pretending to eat a hotdog.
Against Cool Girl Feminism
By Sarah Ditum - 10 March 11:06

The Cool Girl Feminist doesn’t insist that men and women should be equal. The Cool Girl doesn’t even suggest there’s anything wrong with the man-woman hierarchy as it stands. All the Cool Girl demands is that <em>she</em> be seen as an exception.

Page 3 vs breast cancer: whose side are YOU on?
By Sarah Ditum - 04 March 14:29

The Sun's Page 3 is a malignant growth of sexism on our press, and trying to use it to raise awareness of breast cancer only perpetuates the kind of single-organ fetishism that makes it all the harder for women with the disease.

Moro, in London's Exmouth Market. (Image: Moro)
Why would anyone be snooty about Tony Gallagher swapping the newsroom for the kitchen?
By Sarah Ditum - 26 February 10:33

The former Telegraph editor's stint at Moro restaurant reveals an unspoken assumption: it's hard to imagine a man having an appetite for more than power and money in his work.

Judging sex: why can’t we have opinions about what we get up to in bed?
By Sarah Ditum - 14 February 10:47

Jesse Bering's new book, <em>Perv</em>, puts forward a rigidly harm-reduction approach to sexual morality (although at times his theories seem to be proposing the normalisation of child abuse images). But tolerance alone isn't enough. Shouldn't wanting to

To be a true memorial, the stories we tell about the Holocaust must be the whole truth
By Sarah Ditum - 27 January 11:23

As much as we want to protect our children from the atrocities humans commit against each other, we must help them understand that nothing can bring back the dead or repair those who lived the horror.

I didn't fully understand what it means to be pro-choice ... until I decided not to have an abortion
By Sarah Ditum - 21 January 9:06

After getting pregnant at 20, the life I thought I'd have suddenly vanished. Knowing that I still had control over what happened to my body helped me to come to terms with my new future.

Beyoncé's fists-up feminism is the climax of a revolutionary year for women in pop
By Sarah Ditum - 13 December 14:59

From Pretty Hurts to Flawless, Beyoncé has turned her extraordinary voice into a powerful tool for expressing hurt and fury at sexism and the cult of beauty in the music business. Why aren't men making music this good?

A mother and daughter walk in the park
Feminism and the Mummy Mystique: Why being a mother isn't the "full stop" on my life
By Sarah Ditum - 11 November 16:20

If you see yourself as a mother to the exclusion of all other roles, I think you become dependent on your children. You need them to need you.

New Statesman
Why Ann Summers' Halloween and Christmas kink is just another way of policing your sex life
By Sarah Ditum - 30 October 12:27

If you walk past Ann Summers' shop window at the moment, you’ll get the distinct impression that, even if it’s cold as a witch’s tit outside, you can have a hot Halloween in the boudoir. So why does none of it actually feel that much fun?

A female carer helps an elderly man in a care home
Ending the grey areas: Let's stop thinking of women as a resource to be exploited
By Sarah Ditum - 22 October 11:12

Whether in relation to rape, abortion or care, women are still viewed as something others are entitled to make use of. But it's time to do away with these grey areas of "duty" and recognise that the primary interest in what happens to a woman’s body belon

Riot Grrls: as a teenager, I never wondered - why is all my music made by men?
By Sarah Ditum - 16 October 9:53

"Riot Grrrl, with its DIY culture and its handmade, handposted fanzines is about making what should exist instead: the greatest political work in the world is to invent, invent, invent."

Delegates at the Integrate Bristol event his week.
Female genital mutilation: we can end this practice of silence now
By Sarah Ditum - 11 October 14:52

This terrible practice requires silence to continue. When girls name this abuse and speak out against it, they have the power to end it.

A multi-layered bagel sandwich includes cream cheese, lox, lettuce, egg salad
Making 300 sandwiches in exchange for marriage is sinister and degrading, not romantic
By Sarah Ditum - 26 September 11:42

Marriage surely cannot be bought for the bargain price of 300 sandwiches, but a New York Post reporter is attempting to do just that. Sarah Ditum shares her recipe for true love (which oddly enough, isn't bread-based).

New Statesman
The One Direction film is scary to watch, but it makes a good point about teen sexuality
By Sarah Ditum - 18 September 11:52

If anyone needed proof that sex is something girls do rather than have done to them, it's this.

Friday's Daily Telegraph front page (courtesy of @suttonnick on Twitter).
The campaign against sex-selective abortion is a cynical effort to take choice away from pregnant women
By Sarah Ditum - 07 September 12:27

Sex selective abortion is abhorrent, and it must be prevented. But there is no evidence of widespread sex-selective abortion in the UK. By campaigning against it, the <em>Telegraph</em> is able to recruit the support of people who would normally stand ver

Women in a Berlin nightclub
Can a feminist ever support the sex industry?
By Sarah Ditum - 05 September 15:11

Everyone who sells sex should be safe, says Sarah Ditum, but what kind of society is it that makes that a rational choice for women?

Miley Cyrus at the VMAs: a six-minute guide to the prejudices of the entertainment industry
By Sarah Ditum - 26 August 13:25

From Miley grinding Robin Thicke to smacking her backing dancer's buttocks, the VMAs showed that, once again, white men run the show, black men play support, all the women get mostly naked, and black women get to hold up the bottom of the objectification

Why it's different for girls: slut-shaming in the digital age
By Sarah Ditum - 19 August 16:02

In the world of popular sexual mores, public oral sex is apparently seen as pretty much neutral for men. It's the woman who gets to be the repository for everything deemed "shameful" or "disgraceful". A culture that hates women for having sex is one that

The final Page 3 News in Briefs.
Good riddance to News in Briefs, the nastiest part of Page 3
By Sarah Ditum - 26 June 9:48

The Sun has ditched its "joke" that attractive, topless women can't possibly have opinions on politics.

Nigella Lawson.
Nigella Lawson pictures: We must not look away from domestic violence, but we can do more than just gawp
By Sarah Ditum - 16 June 11:59

The photographs of Nigella Lawson in the Sunday People are undoubtedly shocking - but do they really "raise awareness", or is the victim, already, being neglected and ignored?

New Statesman
Want to see a natural birth? Go to a sheep farm
By Sarah Ditum - 06 June 10:58

Humans just aren't very good at giving birth - we produce magnificently big-skulled babies and have skinny little pelvises. A natural birth may sounds wonderful in theory, but in practice it's wise to give nature a helping hand.

The Great Crapsby. Artwork by Dan Murrell for the New Statesman
The Great Crapsby: Why Iain Duncan Smith isn’t all he seems
By Sarah Ditum - 29 May 8:39

Like Fitzgerald’s doomed, self-fictionalising hero Jay Gatsby, the Work and Pensions Secretary has constructed a personal narrative for himself that doesn’t quite take in all the facts. Look deeper, and you discover the powerful ideology and lack of empat

Making your employees wear a uniform is trying to blend them into sameness and insignificance
By Sarah Ditum - 08 May 14:41

Stay strong, women of Virgin: no one should have the power to dictate your underwear, says Sarah Ditum.

New Statesman
Urban novelties: How Bristol itself became a short story
By Sarah Ditum - 08 May 10:09

<em>These Pages Fall Like Ash</em> turned a city into a fantasy novel, making Sarah Ditum see her home with new eyes.

Wikipedia wars: are there really novelists and 'women novelists'?
By Sarah Ditum - 26 April 9:44

How many brilliant writers will be sorted away entirely, never making the cut as novelists because they're weighed down with the tag "woman"?