I salute women who wait to have children, writes Roz Treadway. Plus responses from Jan DubĂ© and Kirtana Chandrasekaran to Zoe Williamsâ criticism of breastfeeding campaigners
Zeynep Gurtin (The myths behind late motherhood, Journal, 18 April) omits one reason why there appears to be atrend for women to leave having babies until their late 30s/early 40s: that in their 20s and early 30s they may not have decided whether they want children at all, rather than just delaying having them. They may be enjoying life free of the ties and responsibility of children, working at jobs they love and have studied for and struggled to obtain â jobs they know will be touched by having children in ways that a manâs career wonât.
Women are more than their biological ability to give birth, and I salute those who choose to explore and reach their own potential before deciding if they want to undertake the huge task of producing and raising another human being.
23 April 1968 Prejudice against the boysâ doll has been overcome with dolls shaped like young men, anatomically âall thereâ
Writing about the martial emphasis of the boysâ dolls and their equipment last year I commented that only a large toy firm could swing the emphasis away from modern destruction through a different kind of wardrobe. I did not expect a reaction. But Palitoy, no less, the makers of Action Man were thinking on the same lines though perhaps for a different reason. Their designers produced several historical uniforms, spectacular items such as a knight in armour and a crusader, also some sportsmenâs outfits â both themes which had been suggested to me by mothers. The prototypes were tried out on a large panel of schoolboys. The young consumers showed no interest in the past. They voted only for the modern sports clothes. So at least these will be available in the shops for parents who give in to the purchase of boysâ dolls with the proviso âno military equipment.âContinue reading... [ + ]
The institution of marriage shouldnât look like a Victorian mental asylum, not built for modern life
I would like to be taught how to fight. Not boxing or karate or anything you need a costume for, just lessons in common basic argument, between people who love each other. New York magazine interviewed a collection of couples, asking what they wish their partner would say in a fight. âWhat I need him to say is: âYes, [my family] are assholes and they are snobs and I canât imagine how much it sucks to hang out with them when youâre not biologically obligated to, but please, I need you there with me, and Iâll buy you a huge thank-you present for it.ââ I wanted a stream of these truths, hooked straight to a vein. âShe said I was disempowering her in front of her children and taking her voice away. I wish she said: âShit, you know what? Youâre right. I took it too far. Iâll check myself next time.ââ MORE. âI just snapped. I said, âIf I miscarry, itâs because you didnât take good care of me.â He was, like, âYou are awful. Listen to what you just saidâŠâ I wanted him to say, âJesus Christ, get off your feet right now. Youâre not lifting a finger until we know this pregnancy is healthy. I forbid you from taking any risks because I love you and our future baby too much.ââ Raw, irrational, so real they sting like menthol shower gel, and reason enough, if more reason was needed, to question why we tie ourselves together, and in knots, and forever.
The current iteration of divorce requires formally trash-talking the person you once lovedContinue reading... [ + ]
Sheâs crossing lines and you need to let her know, says Mariella Frostrup. Itâs high time you two talked
The dilemma I have a good friend I have known since before I could walk. We were at school and college together and share many friends. Our parents and older siblings are friends, too. We also lived together for years, although I moved out recently. This woman is charming, charismatic, very clever and funny. She lights up a room. But over the past few years, I have found her increasingly difficult. She dominates every social situation. But because weâre considered a double act and I am more introverted, I feel like the lesser of two halves. I find myself shrinking. She constantly repeats things Iâve told her in confidence. From when I was young, sheâs put down friends I make independently of her. Now I have just found out she wants to apply for a job where I work. Iâm very upset. Itâs a small company and weâd have to work together closely. I know this would be toxic. When we lived together, I poured a lot of energy into work. That space felt untouchable. Now sheâs trying to move in on it and I feel very angry.
Mariella replies Me too! Friends are only friends as long as they act like them. Thereâs no point maintaining an intimate relationship with somebody who doesnât have your welfare at the forefront of their priorities. There are plenty of acquaintances and strangers who can rustle up a put-down, break your trust, envy your success or relish your failures. A friend does none of these and the minute they do itâs time to re-evaluate your union.Continue reading... [ + ]
The Pussy Riot co-founder, 29, on talking politics with her daughter, how prison changed her and her capitalist phase
I went through a capitalist phase because of my mother. In the 90s, when our economy collapsed, we lost everything. My mum started to do all of these crazy businesses. She was selling cosmetics and I would attend seminars on how to sell your product even though you know theyâre useless.
It sucks to write a song and think, âHow many years could I get for this?â Two or three times a week, I have nightmares about being in prison again.Continue reading... [ + ]
Lauren Miranda says what should have been an innocuous photo spun out of control â and would have a different outcome for a man in her position
Lauren Mirandaâs nightmare began as a school day like any other. She was teaching math during first period at Bellport middle school on Long Island, New York, when she received a text from a friend in another building. There was a nude photo going around, and kids were saying it was her.
âI just thought it was impossible,â Miranda told the Guardian. âI was almost offended that she thought it was a picture of me.âContinue reading... [ + ]
Doctors argue that the bans, known as âfetal heartbeatâ bills, are medically inaccurate and use misleading language
High-profile gynecologists are criticizing the framing of six-week abortion bans, known as âfetal heartbeatâ bills, as medically inaccurate.
The bans, now moving through nearly a dozen state legislatures, propose the strictest limitations on the right to abortion as established by the US supreme court case Roe v Wade in 1973.Continue reading... [ + ]
Misuzu Ikeda becomes first assemblywoman in Tarumizu as record numbers of women elected nationwide
Misuzu Ikeda has struck a rare blow for Japanese women in politics by becoming the first female candidate to be elected to the local assembly in the southern city of Tarumizu.
Ikeda hugged supporters on Sunday night when she finished third out of 17 candidates for the 14-seat assembly in Tarumizu, which is officially recognised as a city despite its relatively small population of 15,000.Continue reading... [ + ]
Women especially affected, with relationships and ability to conceive impacted, say experts
Cuts to sexual dysfunction services risk leaving thousands of people without help for problems that can affect their wellbeing, relationships and ability to conceive, the Guardian can reveal.
Experts say funding cuts to sexual health clinics and clinical commissioning groups have led to the decommissioning of services that tackle sexual dysfunction. This, they say, is leaving men and women with dwindling support for problems ranging from erectile trouble to pain during sex â a situation that not only impacts peopleâs quality of life, but could mean they miss their chance to start a family.Continue reading... [ + ]
Experts find men with more âmasculineâ faces more likely to seem, and be, unfaithful
Philandering men have unfaithfulness written all over their faces, according to research that suggests men and women are able to spot cheating chaps just by looking at them.
Experts found men with more âmasculineâ faces were more likely to be thought to be unfaithful, and such men also self-reported more cheating or âpoachingâ of other menâs partners.Continue reading... [ + ]
A USA Today report showed black mothers suffer severe complications twice as often as white women
Last week, BeyoncĂ© Knowles-Carter premiered Homecoming on Netflix. Three homegirls and I were glued on the navy sectional, journeying with Mrs Carter through her love for black colleges, black people and black music. Iâd seen the Coachella performance well over 50 times, memorizing the Getting to the Money routine for a dance challenge I never posted online. But this documentary included commentary and showcased her work ethic and diet, including the battle with her body during and after her second pregnancy with twins.
âI was 218 pounds the day I gave birth. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy. I had high blood pressure. I developed toxemia, pre-eclampsia,â Knowles-Carter explained. ââŠ [O]ne of my babiesâ hearts paused a few times, so I had to get an emergency C-section.âContinue reading... [ + ]
The strife-torn National Childbirth Trustâs stance on birth and breastfeeding has been rigid and divisive
In a dramatic public letter to all National Childbirth Trust (NCT) stakeholders â it finishes, âplease keep on keeping on, if you canâ â its president SeĂĄna Talbot has resigned. There is clearly a lot of personal chagrin (Talbot talks of coercion, bullying, a toxic culture, mistrust between staff and volunteers) which would be unfair to adjudicate from a distance. She laments the organisation losing members â a drop of 55% since 2016 â although doesnât mention that since 2015 it has not been obligatory to become a member in order to take the prenatal classes.
However, competitors have sprung up in the prenatal business, organisations parents-to-be prefer because theyâre less expensive and less doctrinaire: in many ways, the surprising thing is that the NCT dominance lasted so long, given that for years the trust has been known for its fierce views on the âmedicalisationâ of childbirth. Women came away with the idea that epidurals were for wimps, caesarean sections meant you had failed, and the Syntocinon injection was only for the kind of weakling who couldnât eject a placenta with the power of her mind. To be fair, 60 years ago, this started as the ânaturalâ not ânationalâ childbirth trust.Continue reading... [ + ]
How did it come to this â women required to produce a sick note because theyâve been struck down byâŠ unsexiness? It seems that Norwegian Air requires female flight attendants to wear heels, or have a note from the doctor â other rules cover everything from makeup to false eyelashes.
How mortifying for Norway: in 2018, the country was rated second for equality, after Iceland, in the Global Gender Gap report. Norwegian politician Anette Trettebergstuen said: â1950 rang, and it wants its rulebook back.â Norwegian Air responded that flat shoes are worn in the cabin, there are also dress guidelines for male stewards, and other airlines have similar rules â but it must be aware that last month, Virgin ditched requirements for heels and makeup, with others following suit.Continue reading... [ + ]
The House speaker refused to comment on Trump while traveling, but has been openly critical of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar
Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletterâ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday.Continue reading... [ + ]
The singerâs Coachella concert documentary reveals her intimate humanity, celebrates the culture that built her, ousts stereotypes and redefines blackness
âYou canât be what you canât see.â A quote from African American childrenâs rights activist Marian Wright Edelman flashes on screen halfway through Homecoming: A Film by BeyoncĂ©, a two-hour Netflix special that goes behind the scenes of her landmark 2018 Coachella headline set. âItâs hard to believe that after all these years, I was the first African American woman to headline Coachella,â BeyoncĂ© says in voiceover, as the camera dwells on a stuffed ring binder bearing the words âBEYCHELLA 2018â. âIt was important to me that everyone who had never seen themselves represented felt like they were on that stage with us.â
In April last year, BeyoncĂ© brought the culture of historically black colleges and universities to the California festival (and thousands of viewers watching the live stream), choreographing 200 performers â including an all-black marching band, dancers of all sizes, her sister Solange â on a giant pyramid the height and breadth of the stage. She referenced the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and sang Lift Every Voice and Sing, a cry for hope and liberation known as the black national anthem. âI wanted us to be proud of not only the show, but the process,â BeyoncĂ© says in Homecoming. âThankful for the beauty that comes with a painful history.â Her performance was exciting, regal and black in celebration: âBeyoncĂ© is bigger than Coachella,â the New York Times declared.Continue reading... [ + ]