Soothe and Scold: Mothers

Helen McCarthy, 12 September 2019

My first child​ was born in a hospital room in East London on a February morning after 12 hours of labour. Our doula, who had arrived the previous evening, bringing cushions in a supermarket...

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Civility​ as a concept, or an ideal, didn’t take hold in England until the 16th century – when the national mood, insofar as we can speak of one, was a mixture of bravado and...

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The important question is not whether a truly gender-blind capitalism is possible, but whether that would be an equality worth fighting for.

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The Jubilee Line​ used to be one of the better London Underground lines to travel on if, like me, you have Crohn’s disease. When the line was extended in the late 1990s, some of the new...

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‘I’m not racist, but …’

Daniel Trilling, 18 April 2019

The word​ ‘Caucasian’ was first used as a term for white people in the late 18th century, by men who believed they were making objective scientific judgments about the world. In...

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Short Cuts: The p-p-porn ban

Tom Crewe, 4 April 2019

Have​ you p-p-picked up a porn pass? In April the UK government plans to introduce – or at least plans to announce a definite date for the introduction of – the world’s first...

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Since OxyContin’s arrival on the US market in 1996, a widespread increase in opiate use in America has killed more than 400,000 people. Drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death...

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Unforgiven: ‘Down Girl’

Adam Phillips, 7 March 2019

Kate Manne knows that a book about misogyny is going to be preaching to the converted, when the converted don’t necessarily know what or how they think.

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‘It is​ usually agreed in France,’ the poet and essayist Edouard Roditi wrote in 1962, ‘that Arabs have been gifted with greater manliness than us.’ Algeria had recently...

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Border Traffic

Jessica Loudis, 7 February 2019

While​ negotiations over a border wall remain at an impasse in Washington, a case is unfolding in a federal district courtroom in Brooklyn that casts President Trump’s ambition in a new...

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On Being Late

Andrew O’Hagan, 24 January 2019

It can be​ quite frightening, having to be somewhere by a certain time. We make it more bearable by not giving it too much thought, yet being on time is often judged, particularly by the...

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Short Cuts: The Moral of Brenley Corner

Patrick Wright, 6 December 2018

The​ Department of Transport is currently putting arrangements in place to transform a 13.5 mile stretch of the M20, passing through Kent on the way to Folkestone and the Channel Tunnel, into a...

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Short Cuts: Sokal 2.0

Daniel Soar, 25 October 2018

Earlier​ this month, a small storm hit social media when it was revealed that a number of cultural studies journals had been the victims of a massive hoax. Three collaborators had submitted...

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Reckless, hypocritical, deluded, mendacious and chauvinist as they are, the Brexiteers found a real set of circumstances, and misapplied a popular, off-the-shelf folk myth to it. By simply rejecting the...

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Diary: Husband Shopping in Beijing

Yun Sheng, 11 October 2018

The marriage market in China is a horror show. The short window for a woman to find a husband is between 22 (fresh out of college) and 27 – after that you become a ‘leftover lady’, meaning...

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The African University

Mahmood Mamdani, 19 July 2018

The African university began as part of the European colonial mission, a precursor of the one-size-fits-all initiatives that we associate with the World Bank and the IMF. And so it continued, until decolonisation.

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Short Cuts: Life Expectancy

Danny Dorling, 16 November 2017

The first​ English Life Table was based on data collected around the census year of 1841 and gave female life expectancy as 42 and male as 40. By the sixth table, in 1891, life expectancy for...

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Bear, Bat, or Tiny King? The Rorschach Test

Deborah Friedell, 2 November 2017

The stories about the Rorschach getting it right are almost invariably about disturbed people caught out by the test, only extremely rarely about a healthy person being exonerated.

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