International women's day

The rise of women winemakers

Anna, the daughter of friends of mine, is in her final year at university and keen to enter the wine trade. Clearly, she is wise beyond her years because it’s a hugely engaging career. She will never get rich but will always be happy. Oh, and a glass of something tasty will never be far away, and nor will someone congenial with whom to share it.  Wine is made in beautiful places – just think of Bordeaux, the Douro Valley, Western Cape, Yarra Valley, Napa, Piedmont, Mendoza, Central Otago and even the rolling South Downs of Sussex – by delightful people (well, with just the one exception). It’s a warm,

Theo Hobson

A dialogue concerning modern feminism

To mark International Women’s Day, I decided to attempt a conversation about feminism with my wife. I reproduce it, or a version of it, here. I should say that I offered her the chance to write her own words, but she declined, reminding me of her low opinion of journalism. You can ventriloquise me, she said — isn’t that the sort of thing you claim to be quite good at? To put my opening words in context, I had just brought her a cup of tea in bed. Me: I know it’s early in the morning, but what is feminism? Wife: Go on then. Me: What? Wife: I suppose you

Kate Andrews

International Women’s Day is not an invitation to play politics with women’s issues

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a great idea — in theory. Why not set aside a moment each year to highlight both the historical and present-day circumstances that impact women’s lives? If used properly, it could do some good. But the problem with international-anything-day is that the plights and progress of historically disenfranchised people vary dramatically throughout the world. Yes, global citizens have plenty of shared values and many of the same end-goals, but the advancements happening (or not happening) in one community will often be different in the neighbouring town, city or country — and certainly different from what’s happening continents over. A woman’s life here in Britain will

In praise of the MPs who spoke out in the trans debate

There is an old Westminster joke that says if you want to keep something secret, say it on the floor of the House of Commons. Day-to-day parliamentary business doesn’t often get the attention of national media outlets and thus the wider country. This is understandable but also a pity because we often end up missing our elected representatives doing the things we expect of them: debating important things, discussing subjects that concern voters, even sometimes showing thoughtful leadership. I’ve spent most of my career around MPs. Maybe I’ve been captured, but I often think they deserve a bit more respect than they get. Most work very hard (and much harder