This WOMAN didn’t realise she couldn’t: the problem with #ThisGirlCan

Something has been bothering me about the ‘This Girl Can‘ campaign but I’ve been struggling to put my finger on it. At first I thought it was because of the infantilising language coming from a campaign that’s supposed to be empowering women rather than making them feel like little children –  but after a trip…

Schrodinger’s Sexual Predator

So the recent furore over the seemingly surprising revelations that Donald Trump is a sexual predator (despite him already having a pending hearing about the small matter of the rape of a 13 year old girl) has highlighted a massive problem with the way the world thinks about sexual assault. Feminists have been talking about…

“You throw like a girl” A brief guide to gender policing

This morning I changed a wheel on my car for the first time in my life. I felt ridiculously proud of myself for completing such a simple task. Then I climbed out of our bathroom window onto a roof and cleared up some broken glass that’s been there since the storm smashed one of our…

An Open Letter to My Father

You don’t know this but I still have nightmares about you. Whisked back unwillingly to a time when I was small and you were big and strong and powerful. I wake up bathed in a cold sweat, relieved at finding myself in my own bed in my own house. The man who changed everything lying by…

Girls in crisis – patriarchy and mental illness

This week Kate Middleton has been in the news after becoming guest editor at the Huffington Post as part of their  new campaign Young Minds Matter to raise awareness of the importance of children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing in the UK. Whilst celebrity endorsements of causes close to my heart are always welcomed, her post fails to mention…

We need to talk about wanking

Recently a good friend of mine told me a story about how as a fresh-faced young student she had been asked by a new acquaintance whether she masturbated. She was the last in a group of other young women who had all shaken their heads and ‘Eughhed’ because it was ‘gross’ and she duly went…

A Mother’s Guilt

Becoming a mother is a bit like being hit in the face by an emotional sledgehammer. Despite having been in labour for 27 hours, I was so excited by the birth of my first baby that I could not sleep all night. I had never felt higher before in my life. It was as if…