Melissa Benn

Melissa Benn’s first novel, Public Lives, is availbable in Penguin. Madonna and Child, a book about motherhood, is published by Cape.

Making It: New Feminism?

Melissa Benn, 5 February 1998

There was something unsettling about the serried ranks of New Labour women elected on 1 May last year. All those structured smiles and cheerful jackets gathered round our leader made me feel like a bad-tempered Daily Mail reader or one of those glorious man-hating feminists of myth who live in Hackney and refuse to shave their legs. What I hadn’t realised was that this unmonstrous regiment of women came much closer to representing the end of something – feminism as a natural ally of radical politics – than to representing a key moment in the long march through the institutions. Nor had I imagined that so many of them would become part of that blancmange known as one-nation politics.

Toby Young plays a number of tiresome tricks with the data in his response to Jenny Turner and Dawn Foster (Letters, 21 May). He restates the official mantra that academies and free schools can’t be considered as privatised because these schools are legally required to be charities and that while some for-profits have set up charitable arms that own schools, these ‘parent companies can’t (and...

Motherblame: motherhood

Anna Vaux, 21 May 1998

What makes a good mother? How many do you know? Perhaps you think you are one, or that your mother is – though it’s not very likely that you and your mother will agree on this....

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