A Few Good Men

I am twelve, or thereabouts. For the first time in my life, I have become aware of a particular social norm, whereby it is considered traditional that if ever a man would want to marry me, he might expect to ask my father for permission. I find this distasteful. As…

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Why We Do What We Do (Whatever It Is That We Do)

‘How do you find the time?’ It’s a question I get asked frequently, usually when people discover that I’m a writer. I get where they’re coming from, because it’s a question I also ask myself. Between working full-time, studying for professional qualifications, having something resembling a life, and without forgetting…

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The Importance Of Saying No

In Europe in the early 1930s, fascism was fashionable. You could be forgiven for thinking that all of the really important people were doing it. Anyone who mattered was into fascism. In 1932, the politician Oswald Mosley spotted an opportunity and founded the British Union of Fascists. He modelled himself…

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It’s all gone a bit Bechdel

I was informed on an internet forum this week that I shouldn’t go and see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Why? Because it doesn’t pass the Bechdel test. So, to clarify, one woman who identifies as a feminist (the lady who wrote the post) tried to tell another…

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