Ella Whelan

Let’s not pretend misogyny is a hate crime

Have you ever met a real misogynist? Probably not, because misogyny is a very strong word. Coming from the ancient Greek misos (hatred) and gyne (woman), it should only be used to define extreme behaviour: woman-hating to be exact.  And yet some people seem to think that British streets are full of woman-haters. Misogyny was

Award for the most right-on awards ceremony goes to Cannes

There’s nothing that screams 2018 feminism more than a bunch of celebrities holding hands on a red carpet. This year’s Cannes festival is the latest opportunity in a long string of awards ceremonies for the rich and famous to gain some brownie points. If there were an awards ceremony for the most right-on awards ceremony

Michelle Wolf’s speech exposed the hypocrisy of the press

Writer and comedian Michelle Wolf has hit the headlines for her routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday. Comedians were invited to take the piss out of the American political establishment and the press, and Wolf did not disappoint. Her jokes ranged from Trump using pussy-grabbing to find loose change to Senator Mitch

The shaming of Shania Twain

Celebrity apologies are all the rage. Such is the power of Twitter, that stars without round-the-clock PR surveillance and teams of media advisors will often find themselves in hot water. This week, it’s pop-country singer Shania Twain who has fallen foul of the perpetually offended. Why? Twain had the audacity to talk about supporting Trump in

Women don’t need feminist instruction manuals

Another day, another instruction manual is published on how to be female. ‘Girl Up’ by Laura Bates, author of ‘Everyday Sexism’, is out this week. It is intended to be a handy guide for women on all the ‘lies they told us’. Who are they? ‘They’ means anyone who disagrees with the contemporary feminist line: that

We need to start telling the image censors to back off

Almost two and a half years ago, feminists called on Transport for London to remove adverts of a scantily-clad Australian from the tube. Protests against the infamous ‘beach body ready’ adverts claimed that showcasing a woman in a bikini to peddle weight-loss pills was offensive to women. Apparently the sight of a skinny woman was

Glastonbury’s ‘women-only’ venue deserves to sink into the mud

It was only a matter of time before Glastonbury, the world’s most middle-class festival, caught up with the latest political trend. In an announcement heralded as brave, pioneering and ‘necessary’, a group called ‘The Sisterhood’ have announced a women-only venue at the four-day festival. ‘In a world that is still run by and designed to

Why is the West so obsessed with the developing world’s knickers?

Forget the selfie or the belfie; the latest craze to hit the internet is the ‘tampfie’. Twitter users are raiding their bathroom cupboards to show solidarity for the hashtag #JustATampon. It’s in aid of the charity Plan UK, whose campaign hopes to start a conversation about periods. Arguing that ‘stigma and embarrassment attached to women’s periods contributes

If Hillary Clinton keeps playing the gender card, others will too

The American presidential race seemed more like a playground fight than a clash of politics this week as would-be Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton drew her claws on her Republican counterpart Donald Trump. The rumpus was sparked by Trump’s comments on Megyn Kelly’s tough approach towards him during a recent Republican Party debate. ‘You could

The internet is eroding the presumption of innocence

Last week, New York magazine ran a front-cover photo of 35 of the 46 women who have accused actor Bill Cosby of sexual assault. The feature inside includes individual interviews with each woman, but argues that ‘the horror is multiplied by the sheer volume of seeing them together, reading them together, considering their shared experience’. The

Feminists want to be both whistled at and ignored. What’s a man to do?

‘Seasoned feminist’ Jessica Valenti has written in the Guardian about catcalling and the detrimental effect it is having on her self-esteem as she grows older. Valenti mourns ‘the hellishness of my teen years’, ruined by unsolicited comments from strange men, and feels even more sorry for herself now, a slightly older mother who gets fewer catcalls and

Can’t the BMA just admit it doesn’t want pregnant women to have fun?

Earlier this month, a review published by the Cochrane Library criticised the idea of ‘eating for two’ while pregnant, suggesting that doing so would affect foetal development and increase the likelihood of obesity in the child. At the weekend, the British Medical Association said it plans to revise all previous advice given to pregnant women, and

Drugs are a waste of time, but so is the Psychoactive Substances Bill

The Conservatives might have gone in softer than Russell Brand and the gang predicted, with very little change announced in the Queen’s Speech last week, but they didn’t fail to cause a stir. The proposed ‘Psychoactive Substances Bill’ is designed to provide a blanket ban on all substances which produce a mind-altering effect, with several allowances made

Women don’t need police protection on the Tube

The Tube isn’t an obvious political arena, but recently, it has become the backdrop for a number of flashy feminist statements. Last year, a blog which pictured women eating on the Tube provoked outrage among female activists, who held a picnic on the Circle line in protest. More recently, the infamous Protein World adverts, which supposedly encouraged body-shaming,