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28 December 2015

Best of the NS in 2015: Feminism and Gender

Our best pieces from the past year. In this selection, our favourite writing on feminism and gender.

By New Statesman

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What did the suffragette movement in Britain really look like?

By Anna Leszkiewicz

The film Suffragette has been accused of “whitewashing” the movement to get women the vote. Do historians agree?

Jeremy Corbyn’s woman trouble was an unforced error

By Helen Lewis

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The shadow cabinet reshuffle gave the impression that the new Labour leader sorted out top jobs for the boys first – and then worried about finding enough women to even things out. It didn’t need to be that way.

The tragedy of James Bond

By Laurie Penny

007 is still supposed to be a hero but if you knew him in real life, you would be warning all your friends not to invite him to their parties.

Caught in the parent trap: the fierce social politics of not having children

By Rachel Cooke

Why don’t I have children? The answer is simple: I never reached the point where I wanted them.

Being non-binary: I’m not A Girl Called Jack any more, but I’m not a boy either

By Jack Munroe

The food writer Jack Monroe on coming out as transgender, and why they are one of an increasing number of people living outside the categories of “man” and “woman”.

“I’m not giving up”: Poland’s first transgender MP Anna Grodzka on her activism

By Marta Dziurosz

Anna Grodzka discusses the future of the euro, the Polish left, and her autobiography describing her gender transition.

If we care about liberating women, then we need a united sisterhood in the feminist movement

By June Eric-Udorie

To make the world a better place for women, we not only need an intersectional approach to our feminism, but we must find a way to stop fighting and start working together.p>

Let’s celebrate women in tech while confronting its sexist culture

By Barbara Speed

In an industry where men hold most of the jobs and write most of the code, celebrating women’s contributions on one day a year isn’t enough.

Why is our idea of motherhood still based around self-sacrifice?

By Glosswitch

To become a mother is to leap, definitively, onto the side of the carers, with no possibility of turning back.

What the row over banning Germaine Greer is really about

By Helen Lewis

Student feminists want to stop the veteran feminist from speaking at universities – because of her beliefs about transgender people. But why are women always punished more than men for having controversial opinions?

Finding vindication: on the intertwined lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley

By Melissa Benn

Charlotte Gordon has managed to produce that rare thing, a work of genuinely popular history.

Why I changed my mind about porn

By Sarah Ditum

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?

What are the practical steps we need to take to end FGM in the UK?

By Anna Leszkiewicz

As MPs discuss a national action plan to end FGM, campaigners explain the practical steps the country needs to take to eradicate this abuse.

A very progressive Passover: how I became a Jewish feminist convert

By Eleanor Margolis

The feminist activist and writer Esther Broner called Judaism’s old patriarchal order into question by writing her own women’s ceremony for Passover.

It’s worth campaigning for small victories as well as big ones

By Caroline Criado-Perez

When we think about changing the world, we usually think big. But even the biggest oppression is made of small, seemingly insignificant things, and it is just as worthwhile to campaign for these issues.

I hate women. You know the ones: skinny, blonde, who know nothing about football

By Sofie Hagen

Juliet Jacques’ memoir Trans is not a comfortable read – nothing this honest could be

By Philip Hoare

Trans challenges us all, no matter what our gender.

Why don’t we value older women?

By Glosswitch

Men are allowed to age. Women are not.

The economy should be the next big feminist issue

By Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi

Challenging permanent austerity must be a feminist cause; the results of not doing so are already playing out in the lives of the poorest women.