Avoid playgrounds and eat the last biscuit: how to keep your sense of self as a parent

Remember when life wasnt all packed lunches and soft play? Its time to get that person back I am currently working away from home, abandoning my family to selfishly pursue my own interests or at least, thats how I felt the week before I left. During that time, I couldnt simply look forward to the prospect of some time alone doing the things I love time being myself. No, instead I was overwhelmed by everything I thought I needed to do, because although I am an author, a Shirley Valentine came out, and my mother and her friends adored it, but I just didnt get it. Why was it so funny? Years later, when I was a mother myself, I …

The new feminist armpit hair revolution: half-statement, half-ornament

Female body hair is becoming more visible in popular culture and, while the issue has been around for decades, the new enthusiasm for hirsuteness has a 21st-century twist I am usually late to catch on to shifts in the zeitgeist; this one came to my attention just recently. While watching the HBO show High Maintenance, I noticed that Lee, the protagonists hip and beautiful love interest, was sporting hairy armpits. Look! I cried to my husband, as though Id unexpectedly spotted a T-shirt emblazoned with the name of my favorite obscure band. For the past couple of decades, I have seldom shaved my armpits. Now, all of a sudden, I was on-trend. Among both celebrities and the masses, female body …

Victoria Hamilton: ‘Women can now carry shows without faces full of Botox’

She donned a specially modified swimsuit to play the Queen Mother in The Crown. Now shes a spy-busting gay senator in Deep State and revelling in its love story Shortly before Im due to interview her in a hotel room, I run into Victoria Hamilton in the loo. I wouldnt have recognised her from The Crown, in which she plays the Queen Mother, even though she swears they did nothing to her appearance except make her wear a swimsuit that had tits built into my stomach. Then theyd take all my makeup off and put a grey wig on my head. I would have recognised her from Deep State, because Id only just watched an episode: a hot, gory spy …

I tried to sexually harass Siri, but all she did was give me a polite brush-off | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Virtual assistants are millennial Stepford Wives. But perhaps theres an upside for real women, says Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett Hey Siri, show me your tits, is not something I ever thought Id say, especially not while sitting in an empty kitchen while wearing fluffy slippers. I have many hobbies, but sexually harassing disembodied digital entities is not one of them, even in the interests of journalistic research. But having read that a coded female by default (i.e. most of them) were reinforcing gender stereotypes that portray women as subservient for example, by responding to sexual harassment in a tolerant, even coquettish, manner I thought I had better conduct an experiment. Hey Siri, wanna fuck? I was trying to do …

Access to menstrual health and hygiene is a right. Period. | Elizabeth Payne

Right now, 800 million girls and women are menstruating: so why is it still secret womens business? That time of the month, shark week, Aunt Flow, on your rags, the flowers, period. There are more than Indigenous communities regularly miss school when they menstruate because of the restrictive price of menstrual hygiene products. Thankfully, we are now seeing a wave of progress to eradicate period poverty as well as the taboo associated with menstruation. In January the tampon tax was finally removed in Australia after a long and arduous campaign. Tampons, pads, menstrual cups, maternity pads and menstrual underwear are no longer taxed under GST, saving families suffering financial difficulties precious money each month. The removal of this tax saves …

‘You get used to the gunfire’ filming the Libyan women’s football team

Denounced on TV, they train at secret locations watched by armed guards. We meet the woman from Hastings who made a fascinating film about Libyas guttsiest football squad Just what our country needs! rails the imam sarcastically on Libyan TV. A womens football team! And whats more, they chose tall, young beautiful girls for the team and for months their legs will be exposed. Womens football may be getting its moment in the spotlight with the World Cup about to kick off. But, as the absorbing new documentary revolution that brought Muammar Gaddafis reign to an end. It seemed to promise a new era of democracy and freedom including womens freedom to play football. That period was really joyous, says …

She was our Michelle Obama: how Gilda Radner changed comedy for ever

The death of the SNL star 30 years ago robbed the industry of one its finest voices but not before she had blazed a trail for women such as Tina Fey to follow There is no shortage of excellent critical writing about the US comedy scene in the 80s, and John Belushi, Eddie Murphy and Gilda Radner, one of the original cast members of SNL, alongside Chase, Belushi, Aykroyd and others. Although she is comparatively little known today outside comedy circles, back then she was widely assumed to be the future megastar of that group. With her sharp parodies of celebrities and her skill at satirising her own femininity and neuroses, she set the mould for modern female comedians. Without …

How a viral image of breasts exposes science’s obsession with the male body | Jill Filipovic

An image of female anatomy has highlighted the far-reaching effects of treating the male of the species as the default It has taken a viral Artist formerly known as Byeonce (@lemonadead) I just realized I never saw a photo of a female muscle system. This is NOT what I imagined milk ducts to look like. April 21, 2019 Just think about the images of skeletal, nervous and muscular systems youve seen before. Without skin (and a face) its not immediately obvious that youre looking at a man. And yet its also clear that the default is a man. Even without milk ducts, the scientific images of human bodies that we typically see have male builds and musculature. Troublingly, we dont …

A feminist’s guide to raising boys

Before I became a mother, I thought my feminism was a battle fought and won. But having three sons has challenged everything Its always the things you think will be a doddle that end up causing most heartache. When I was asked to write about being a feminist and a mother to three boys, I imagined dashing off something witty, yet touching and wise, and never thought for a moment Id end up losing my temper (several times) or in tears, or storming away from meals, and feeling like a failure. Did not see that coming. How do you raise boys? My extremely authoritative sources for this article were: my friends; my children (I interviewed two of them, but the …

A Muslim womans place? In Casablanca, it could be burning rubber on a Harley

On the streets of Morocco, an all-female club is defying western stereotypes of oppression and breaking down barriers Night has just fallen over the busy Moroccan city of Casablanca as a loud swarm of motorbikes rolls up the main street in the central district of Racine. The leather-clad riders come to a stop outside the terrace of a popular cafe and remove their helmets before dismounting from their powerful machines. Silhouetted against a backdrop of moving traffic, its easy to make out lots of long hair being flicked, shaken and ruffled back into place. None of which would be surprising but for fact that this group is made up entirely of women, something that has also caught the attention of …

I was at the Lorena Bobbitt trial 25 years later it still makes me wince

The 90s case of the woman who cut off her husbands penis has been brought vividly to life by an Amazon series. But what was most shocking was the culture clash between the sexes The chocolate penises lingered in the memory. I didnt need a television show to remind me of those. The zoo outside the Virginia courthouse, packed with satellite trucks, local entrepreneurs hawking what we didnt yet call merch (including that phallic confectionery), protestors, campaigners, sympathisers, rubberneckers and assorted hangers-on I remembered that, too. And the snow on the ground, the winter cold that was still there, somewhere in the recesses of my mind. But the more arcane details of the Lorena Bobbitt case, the personalities of the …