Category Archives: Feminism

After Florida, I see the NRA as nothing less than a terrorist organization

What else would you call a group that ensures I need to have a conversation with my daughter about how to survive a school shooting?

I try so hard not to let tragedies like the one that happened at a Florida high school this week feel like just another shooting. This happens so often, it’s easy to fall into frozen despair. If child after child is killed, and still our politicians do nothing – how can we expect anything to change?

The truth is that we have to stop voting for Republicans; we have to stop voting for people who take money from the NRA. At this point, I consider them nothing less than a terrorist organization – what else would you call a group that ensures I have to have a conversation with my seven-year-old about playing dead should she be unable to run away from a shooter.

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Source: gad

Pushing back: why it's time for women to rewrite the story

Poe, Updike, Roth, Mailer: many male authors have contributed to a culture in which the credibility of women is undermined. It’s time to put a stop to the gaslighting, writes Sarah Churchwell

In 1938 a play debuted at the Richmond theatre, which opens with a Victorian husband telling his wife that though she has been “very good lately”, she mustn’t “read meanings into everything” or “imagine things”. “Is it possible you’re beginning to see my point of view?” she asks. On the contrary: her husband is systematically working to extinguish her perspective, to convince her that she is mad. Every night as he searches their attic (for jewels he believes are there), his movements cause the gas lamps to flicker.

In Patrick Hamilton’s play, the flickering lamps verify the wife’s suspicions; in the Hollywood film of Gas Light, released six years later, they make her further doubt her own senses. “Gaslighting” soon came to denote psychological warfare, the deliberate undermining of another’s sanity. More recently, it has been resuscitated as a metaphor for the cultural sabotage of women’s perceptions, for trivialising their concerns as imaginary. Gaslighting is about women fighting to get men to see their point of view.

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Source: gad

America's top feminist lawyer, Gloria Allred: 'Men who have been wrongdoers are living in fear'

As a Netflix documentary reflects on Allred’s decades fighting for women and minorities, the attorney is still going strong

At 76, the renowned women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred shows no sign of letting up.

In the post-Weinstein era, she’s busier than ever, claiming there are many high-profile men guilty of sexual misconduct who have not yet been exposed and are terrified their victims will speak out at any moment.

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Home truths: when relationships and housework collide – The Story podcast

Leah Green explores the struggles that arise across the globe when deciding who does which chores

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Since the 1960s, the amount of household chores done by women has dropped almost everywhere in the world. But compared to other kinds of social change, it remains slow to progress despite many women feeling they do an unfair proportion of housework compared to their male partners.

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Source: gad

Carnality and consent: how to navigate sex in the modern world

The past four months has seen a reckoning. After frank discussion about casual hook-ups and uncomfortable encounters, a new understanding of dating is emerging

Erin Tillman rarely dates men her own age any more.

She is in her late 30s and it is younger men she goes for now, guys who are more relaxed about rapidly evolving sexual politics and about what she does for a living. For Tillman is a dating coach, who as well as helping clients find love runs relationship workshops and courses for college students on the nature of consent.

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Source: gad

How to close the female orgasm gap | Shannon Bledsoe

Studies show sexual pleasure, self-esteem and satisfaction profoundly impacts our wellbeing. That’s why increasing our ‘sexual IQ’ matters

In this moment of brave truth telling and female empowerment, it’s time to address one topic that’s been missing far too long from our conversations around sex: female pleasure.

Study after study show that sexual pleasure, self-esteem and satisfaction have profound impacts on our physical and mental wellbeing. It is a natural and vital part of our health and happiness.

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Source: gad

When feminists advance, why do prominent women hold us back? | Afua Hirsch

#MeToo is just the latest example: every development that could help us progress comes under friendly fire

Sometimes the quest to distance ourselves from oppression becomes truly creative. “I’m not racist,” says Lucas Joyner – ironically – in his viral track, My Sister’s Boyfriend’s Black. Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, was rightly ridiculed for attempting to prove his antiracism credentials by posting a collage of pictures of himself with black people – an absurd “wokeness by association” even if it were not obviously overridden by the fact that he advocates for an overtly racist president. Then there’s my personal favourite: “I’m not racist – I’m having a Motown-themed wedding.”

Related: The 1910s: ‘We have sanitised our history of the suffragettes’

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Source: gad

That's patriarchy: how female sexual liberation led to male sexual entitlement | Van Badham

It’s understandable that intergenerational battles over feminism come down to the meaning of consent

It was the journalist Julia Baird who wrote on Twitter: “YOUNG FEMINISTS: What do you think older feminists don’t understand or get exactly right, or just might miss about #metoo, if anything? Am curious to hear.”

Baird’s question appears in the context of high-profile disagreements about #MeToo between some young and older feminists. A few weeks ago, French actor Catherine Deneuve and 100 co-signatories of a letter claimed #MeToo was fostering a “new Puritanism” – a position from which she has since somewhat backed away. Since then, a widely-reported interview with Germaine Greer has appeared, in which the Australian feminist accused the #MeToo movement of “whingeing”.

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Source: gad

Diane Abbott on feminism in the 1980s: ‘It was so exciting being in a hall full of black women’

The rise of black feminist politics was of particular importance in a decade that saw inspiring council leaders ensure a voice for radical feminism and real change in the mainstream

In the 1980s there was a belief in sisterhood, and we saw real change. Feminist politics took place in the context of what was happening more generally on the left. We had the 1984-85 miners’ strike, and the Women Against Pit Closures movement, which was really important for women in what are now post-industrial areas. They were the wives and daughters of the miners and organised, raised money and built support for the strike. It was important for focusing people on what women were doing.

I vividly remember going to one of the first black feminist conferences. It was so exciting to be in a hall full of black women who shared my beliefs. Black feminist politics was one of the highlights of the decade for me. I did a lot of work on Scrap Sus – a campaign against stop and search and abuses of policing. The mums got involved because of the experiences of their children and their friends’ children.

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Monica Ali on feminism in the 2000s: ‘I hadn’t truly considered the impact of children’

The Brick Lane author read era-defining books by Rachel Cusk and Allison Pearson as her dreams of equality drowned in a sea of nappies. But soon third-wave feminism brought fresh energy

As a student in the late 80s, I read Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and Sexual Politics by Kate Millett. I knew that challenging the patriarchy was an urgent task, and I knew how to accomplish it: by making banners and drinking tea in the Wadham Women’s Room (at the Oxford college where I was an undergraduate). The banners were deployed on marches such as the one that protested against MP David Alton’s 1987 private member’s bill to end late abortions. “Keep your hands off my body,” we shouted, supremely confident, blissfully blind to any ethical nuance in one of the defining issues of gender equality – that of our reproductive rights.

Could ‘feminist pornography’ really be the route to equality?

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Source: gad