Articles about Feminism
What does feminism mean today? How do you define your feminism? We feminists spend a lot of time discussing, and defending, feminism itself. Here's what we think it's all about.
Nayla Ziadeh argues that the fetishisation of exceptional female achievement encourages the systems of oppression which manifest the need for this super human resilience
Nayla Ziadeh // 12 May 2014
Chelsea Birkby welcomes the spread of the feminist movement online with open arms for changing young women's attitudes to feminism
Chelsea Birkby // 11 February 2014
Being creative doesn't have to mean being alone - Jen Steiner argues for increasing the visibility of creative feminists and developing feminist friendly spaces for creative work
Jen Steiner // 4 August 2013
Zarina shares her journey of overcoming history of being oppressed by her family and breaking away from a forced marriage, aided by solidarity and help she found online
Zarina // 4 June 2013
Lucy Holmes has been spearheading the campaign to pressurise The Sun to drop the bare boobs from its Page 3. Sarah Edmonds speaks to Lucy about her inspiration and challenges
Sarah Edmonds // 21 January 2013
Laura Bates created a place to record incidents of everyday sexism, which has quickly attracted thousands of stories from women all over the world. She explains how the project works and why she set it up
Laura Bates // 15 August 2012
In the wake of the Jubilee and its proliferation of patriotic kitsch, Laura Brightwell examines the rise of retro chic in Britain and whether cupcake feminism has more substance than its real-life namesake
Laura Brightwell // 10 August 2012
Beth Hamilton-Cardus spends a week noting how sexism affects her day-to-day life
Beth Hamilton-Cardus // 17 July 2012
Is it 'only rock'n'roll' when a well known male music star beats his wife or girlfriend? And why do men and women alike afford these stars second, third and fourth chances? Amanda McIndoe investigates
Amanda McIndoe // 1 June 2012
Jo T examines a recent article supporting claims that men are "the new second sex" and finds it to be a highly misleading piece that fails to consider the role of patriarchal structures in men's suffering and instead opts to blame feminism
Jo T // 21 May 2012
As a controversial conference restricts entry to 'women born women', Helen G analyses this phrase
Helen G // 21 May 2012
Working class women talk to Pavan Amara about feeling excluded and patronised by a classist feminist movement where middle class voices are still dominating the debate
Pavan Amara // 7 March 2012
I'm no censor, says Lisa Saunders. She talks through some common misconceptions about anti-porn/pro-sex feminism
Lisa Saunders // 13 December 2011
What happens when a brilliant feminist blog gets deleted, or an online magazine disappears? The Women's Library is ensuring that as many resources as possible leave a more permanent mark through the British Library Web Archive, Inderbir Bhullar explains
Inderbir Bhullar // 20 November 2011
Going to university has made me a feminist, says Cherry Morris
Cherry Morris // 14 November 2011
Anti-choice campaigners are trying to turn back the clock on abortion - and attitudes to women's sexual identity, argues Adriana Pérez
Adriana Pérez // 27 October 2011
It is time to end the tolerance of transphobia in radical feminist circles, argues Ray Filar
Ray Filar // 3 September 2011
SlutWalk is primarily a protest movement against victim-blaming, points out Sophie Jones. Feminist critics of the name have got the wrong end of the stick, she argues
Sophie Jones // 8 June 2011
Chloe Stopa-Hunt looks back to the historical figure of Lucile Duplessis from the French Revolution and considers how she has been 'put back' into history by modern writers
Chloe Stopa-Hunt // 4 May 2011
Feminists in the UK should be learning from women's activism in other countries, says Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones // 12 January 2011
Wearing your politics on your sleeve can be hard if you're not in an explicitly feminist setting. Annika Spalding mulls over the challenge
Annika Spalding // 12 December 2010
Josh Hadley charts his journey from teenage dismissal to identifying as pro-feminist
Josh Hadley // 5 December 2010
On 2 March, 1911, Emily Davison hid in a broom cupboard in order to be registered as resident at the House of Commons on the census. Nearly 100 years later, as the next census approaches, David Standen revisits Davison's story
David Standen // 24 November 2010
Boudicca's warrior-queen appeal to activists is enduring. But, argues Hanna Thomas, is it time to create some new myths?
Hanna Thomas // 3 October 2010
A flurry of reports on birth rape have prompted a backlash against women who use the term to describe their assault experiences. Amity Reed responds
Amity Reed // 30 September 2010
Jonathan Dean's recent academic book Rethinking Contemporary Feminist Politics analyses the state of contemporary feminism in the UK, and uses The F-Word as a case study. Catherine Redfern invited him to explain more about his findings
Catherine Redfern // 29 September 2010
Catherine Redfern // 16 September 2010
University students are used to applying feminist theory in their academic work, but this fails to transfer out of the classroom, reports Lizzie Dearden
Lizzie Dearden // 29 August 2010
A J Conroy looks back at what we can learn about the need to form ties with other women from Adrienne Rich's famous essay
A.J. Conroy // 15 August 2010
What has happened to the legacy of riot grrrl? asks Heather McIntosh
Heather McIntosh // 3 February 2010
Stereotypes about women drawn to campaigning because they are natural nurturers do more harm than good, argues Mhairi Guild
Mhairi Guild // 14 January 2010
Katie Sutton was called sexist names at Reclaim the Night, amid continued disagreements between feminists over the issue of prostitution/sex work. Where now for sisterhood at these public events? Includes a response by Finn Mackay
Various Authors // 9 December 2009
Transphobic feminism makes no sense, argues Laurie Penny
Laurie Penny // 6 December 2009
Wisrutta Atthakor reports back from the Gude Cause march through Edinburgh, 100 years to the day since Scottish suffragettes took to the city's streets
Wisrutta Atthakor // 18 November 2009
Charlotte Cooper reports back from the capital's second Feminism in London conference
Charlotte Cooper // 13 October 2009
Much has been written about sexism in the Twilight books and film. Here, Caitlin Brown puts the series in context of other popular vampire fiction
Caitlin Brown // 8 September 2009
Once Anna Corbett would have laughed at the idea she'd call herself a feminist. Here she explains what changed her mind
Anna Corbett // 13 July 2009
Forget which body-shape is 'fashionable' - women are more than just their bodies, argues Lara Williams
Lara Williams // 7 June 2009
Protesters from Smash Miss Contest sneaked into the Miss London University beauty contest, releasing stinkbombs and distributing letters to the audience. Sarah Levack reports
Sarah Levack // 27 April 2009
Terese Jonsson calls for all white feminists (herself included) to step up to the plate on racism and white privilege
Terese Jonsson // 16 March 2009
Want to make connections with grassroots feminist activists across borders and languages? Melanie Maddison talks to Red Chidgey about an online project that aims to help us do just that
Melanie Maddison // 3 March 2009
Tara Atluri reflects on the Do You Remember Olive Morris? project and the Remembering Olive Collective
Tara Atluri // 2 March 2009
Kate Joester explains how breastfeeding helped her understand 'the personal is political'
Kate Joester // 24 January 2009
Challenging sex object culture: definitely needed, definitely lively and definitely a key issue for 2009!
A recent feature in The Times labelled protests against the Miss University London beauty pagaents "old fashioned". But, argues Sandrine Levêque, if anything campaigns against the objectification of women and girls are more relevant today than ever
Sandrine Levêque // 4 January 2009
A feminist challenge to sexism within the current cult of motherhood is needed, argues Victoria Dutchman-Smith
Victoria Dutchman-Smith // 4 December 2008
Are feminist pro-choice politics on selective abortions sidelining the concern of disabled people? Victoria Al-Sharqi argues the case
Victoria Al-Sharqi // 1 December 2008
Irish and British women must unite in the battle for reproductive rights, argue Ariel Silvera and Sinead Ahern, as they sketch out the history of abortion in Ireland and the UK
Various Authors // 26 October 2008
Is feminism reaching women of colour? How about women who didn't go to university, teenage mums, or women who do not have access to the internet? Annika Spalding calls for change
Annika Spalding // 22 September 2008
It's time to end the battle of words, argues Debi Crow
Debi Crow // 10 September 2008
Around 5,000 women gathered from across the UK and marched through central London. Although they received no mainstream media attention, the march and rally have since become the subject of much discussion. Louise Livesey talks to some of the people involved...
Louise Livesey // 23 August 2008
For many women, getting married still means changing their name. Sarah Louisa Phythian-Adams has an alternate proposal
Sarah Louisa Phythian-Adams // 20 August 2008
Mothers' issues are feminist issues, argues Ruth Moss
Ruth Moss // 19 August 2008
Disabled women are twice as likely to experience domestic violence, and can face a range of additional barriers - from inaccessible shelters onwards, Clare Laxton reports
Clare Laxton // 12 July 2008
All to often, the feminist promise of sisters supporting each other does not reflect reality. Rosjke Hasseldine considers what is holding women back from leaving the war of attrition behind in favour of solidarity
Rosjke Hasseldine // 14 June 2008
Anne Onne dispenses some advice for men commenting on feminist websites and blogs
Anne Onne // 14 June 2008
Beyond the mainstream of 'gangster pop', Nino argues hip hop can be - and is - feminist
Nino // 7 May 2008
Are disabled women's voices silenced in the abortion debate? asks Clare Laxton
Clare Laxton // 4 April 2008
What use are sex worker groups that give out condoms and showers, but can't help women who want to exit prostitution? Ekis reports from Barcelona on prostitution and the campaign for legalisation
Ekis // 16 March 2008
The third wave and riot grrrl may be inspiring, but risk ignoring feminist history and swapping radical action for gigs and zines. In a fiery essay, Red Chidgey poses some difficult questions
Red Chidgey // 10 March 2008
All over the planet women are denied the most basic rights. Ruthie Samuel asks: where is the outrage?
Ruthie Samuel // 4 February 2008
Jo Legg asks, when will feminists take over the Home Office?
Jo Legg // 3 February 2008
Claire Daly interviews the first editor of pioneering feminist magazine Spare Rib
Claire Daly // 31 January 2008
Episode three of The F Word podcast - on the tricky topic of pornography - is out now!
Jess McCabe // 14 January 2008
How can I tell if I am a feminist? Can I be a married feminist with children? Check out The F Word's new 'ask a feminist' feature for more
Jess McCabe // 10 January 2008
Helen G considers why some feminists are hostile to transgender women
Helen G // 2 January 2008
The self-hating mindset, if not the medical condition, of anorexia is frighteningly common, argues Katie Muller
Katie Muller // 6 December 2007
The Women's Design Service is celebrating 20 years of feminist activism from the planners' office to the building site. Eeva Berglund reports
Eeva Berglund // 9 November 2007
Feminism is not just for women with high-flying careers, and feminists must do more to engage women who feel alienated from the movement, argues Samantha Jay
Samantha Jay // 30 September 2007
Racism and sexism are intertwined - so feminism must tackle them both head-on, says Veronica Wood-Querales
Veronica Wood-Querales // 30 August 2007
Burlesque may set feminist alarm-bells ringing, but it can help cultivate a love of your own body, argues Chloe Emmott
Chloe Emmott // 30 August 2007
Welcome to the first ever F Word podcast!
Jess McCabe // 9 July 2007
The Vagina Institute purports to provide a public service to curious women. But Samara Ginsberg detects a rather different agenda
Samara Ginsberg // 7 July 2007
The word spinster seems woefully out-dated. But, when Emma Hadfield exited a long-term relationship, she found some people still can't come to terms with women who choose to stay single and child-free
Emma Hadfield // 7 July 2007
Feminists are caricatured as ugly and fat by society. Assuming a recruitment drive for swim-suit models is off the table, Samara Ginsberg considers what we can do to fight back
Samara Ginsberg // 2 June 2007
In the second of a series of interviews with inspiring women, Jess McCabe talks to Finn Mackay, the brains behind the Reclaim the Night marches and the London Feminist Network
Jess McCabe // 3 March 2007
'Feminism' 'Slut' 'Bitch': all powerful words evoking strong (mostly negative) reactions. Should we reclaim tainted words, or drop them for something less provocative? Kate Townshend discusses this question, and explains why the language we use to define ourselves - and allow others to use to define us - is still important to the feminist cause.
Kate Townshend // 16 November 2006
Emma Cosh suggests some reasons why young women shy away from feminism, despite supporting and believing in equality. Feminism today, she argues, involves not just changing the law, but changing the very way we think and behave towards others, and to constantly challenge others to do the same. Is it any wonder that this difficult prospect is unappealing to some?
Emma Cosh // 10 October 2006
It's usually considered that when feminism engages with state institutions, it loses its radical edge and became compromised and weakened. But is that really the case? Jonathan Dean argues that mainstream women's organisations are actually a lot more radical than they are given credit for, and that we can be optimistic about the future of British feminism.
Jonathan Dean // 1 April 2006
Why are some women hostile to feminism, depsite all the freedom the movement has given them? Lara McKinnnon looks back at an experience which may shed some light on the problem.
Lara McKinnon // 5 November 2005
E Baeza hopes that someday soon women will support each other instead of seeing each other as competitors in a male-dominated culture.
E Baeza // 5 November 2005
Cazz Blase updates her classic UK Riot Grrrl history by looking at developments from 2000 up to the present day. Covering an oft ignored but vital chapter in the story of UK feminism, she asks: Where to now for Ladyfest? Has the internet crushed print zines? How has riot grrrl influenced teenage fiction? And, is Riot Grrrl dead or has it just evolved?
Cazz Blase // 9 April 2005
The third part of Cazz Blase's series looks at the problems inherent in Riot Grrrl, disagreements within the scene over whether it had run its course, the marketing of "Girl Power" and the future of Riot Grrrl. First published in the zine "Real Girls".
Cazz Blase // 13 January 2005
The second part of Cazz Blase's 3 part series looks at the political aspects of UK Riot Grrrl; how it brought awareness of feminism to a new generation, encouraged female friendship and solidarity, and how gender politics entered the music scene. First published in the zine "Real Girls".
Cazz Blase // 4 November 2004
Did you send in a message, comment, or email subscription request between July and September? If so, please read this important message.
Catherine Redfern // 19 September 2004
The hysteria over women and alcohol is flawed feminism, argues Victoria Dutchman-Smith. Women don't need to be protected from equality - they should be free to make their own choices, just like men.
Victoria Dutchman-Smith // 18 September 2004
Cazz Blase's history of Riot Grrrl in the UK is an important introduction to a movement that is often ignored and discounted by cultural critics and even some feminists. Seen through the eyes of the women and girls who were involved, the first part of this 3 part series recounts the origins of Riot Grrrl in the UK and discusses the musical and DIY aspects of the new Grrrl resistance. First published in the zine "Real Girls".
Cazz Blase // 10 September 2004
Ms Razorblade is sick and tired of being told that being a lesbian-feminist and a vegan is boring, prudish, and dull, dull, dull. Is refusing men, meat and porn a sign of immaturity - or is 'growing up' really just giving in?
Ms Razorblade // 20 July 2004
Feminism in the US is experiencing a massive revival due to Bush's anti-woman policies. Having recently moved to the States from London, Natasha Forrest muses on the differences between UK and US feminism.
Natasha Forrest // 1 June 2004
Finn Mackay offers a rousing call to arms for UK feminists to rekindle the spirit of second wave feminism.
Finn Mackay // 19 April 2004
Laura Wadsworth loves lipstick, fashion, boys, and the colour pink. Does that mean she's not a feminist? No way! Girly girls can be just as feminist as anyone else, she argues.
Laura Wadsworth // 19 March 2004
Should feminists have to spend exactly half their time, energy, and resources working on behalf of men to be taken seriously? Catherine Redfern thinks not.
Catherine Redfern // 19 September 2003
A recent survey by the Equal Opportunities commission was used by the media to brand feminism as "outmoded and unpopular." Lorraine Smith conducts her own survey, and wonders whether feminism needs an image overhaul before people would be willing to embrace the term. Could we draft Kylie in to help?
Lorraine Smith // 19 July 2003
The F-Word is changing from "young" to "contemporary". Catherine Redfern explains why.
Catherine Redfern // 16 June 2003
Few men seem interested in feminism. Lizzie Garcha asks how we can encourage more of them to realise that feminism benefits everyone.
Lizzie Garcha // 18 May 2003
Is this website discriminating against older feminists?
Catherine Redfern // 16 March 2003
Kristin Aune examines the concept of sisterhood and wonders whether today's young women are missing out.
Kristin Aune // 16 January 2003
Jennifer Drew responds to Jane Collins' article Alien She?.
Jennifer Drew // 16 January 2003
Jane Collins explains how feminism can be alienating, and still seems to be dominated by priviledged women who frequently forget the plight of the working class.
Jane Collins // 16 December 2002
JoJo Kirtley is astounded and disappointed that British feminists seem to have been distracted by trivia and have forgotten the fundamental feminist issue: stopping the violence.
JoJo Kirtley // 16 November 2002
Natasha Forrest untangles the labels and wonders whether radical feminism has been hijacked by authoritarian and conservative imposters.
Natasha Forrest // 16 November 2002
Catherine Redfern loves the 70s, but argues that we should feel more hopeful and confident about feminism as it is today.
Catherine Redfern // 16 October 2002
Jamie Lee Merrick gets mad mad mad after reading an anti-feminist website. Here's her furious response.
Jamie Lee Merrick // 16 October 2002
Is there such thing as a "Third Wave" of feminism? What are the differences between the feminism of the new generation and that of the Second Wave? Can we make our own revolution in the shadow of those who preceeded us? And why do young women feel so isolated as feminists?
Catherine Redfern // 16 September 2002
Melanie Dunn wonders whether the Women's Institute would appeal to feminists today - and is the organisation doing enough to appeal to young women?
Melanie Dunn // 16 July 2002
The essential introduction to this year's Ladyfest, by staunch supporter Amy Bell.
Amy Bell // 16 July 2002
Amy Bell chats with the director of the Fawcett Society as she prepares to leave the post for pastures new.
Amy Bell // 16 May 2002
We chuck loads of stuff into the trashcan.
Catherine Redfern // 16 March 2002
A quick comment on our one-year anniversary, yippee!
Catherine Redfern // 16 March 2002
Lynn Cicada responds to the article Rebranding Feminism.
Lyn Cicada // 16 March 2002
How we can tackle the negative image of feminism among many women? How can we re-brand feminism to make it more attractive to a new generation? These were some of the issues being discussed at a meeting entitled Rebranding Feminism held at the ICA in November. Catherine Redfern reports from the event.
Catherine Redfern // 16 December 2001
Geethika Jayatilaka, Head of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs at the Fawcett Society, spoke at the Rebranding Feminism evening held at the ICA on 30th November. She's kindly allowed The F-Word to reproduce the text of her talk here.
Geethika Jayatilaka // 16 December 2001
Is this website discriminating against older feminists?
Catherine Redfern // 16 December 2001
There are two phrases guaranteed to make me cringe. One of them is anything involving the pendulum; you know the one that's always "swung too far the other way"?
Catherine Redfern // 16 October 2001
"Men are now in crisis... since the seventies, the pendulum has swung castratingly far in the other direction." wrote Nigel Planer in The Radio Times in June. Jen Clarke responds.
Jen Clarke // 13 July 2001
So many viewpoints, so many arguments! I think I'll just pick 'n' mix. Catherine Redfern shows just how indecisive she really is.
Catherine Redfern // 16 May 2001
So, we're equal now are we? No need for feminism anymore? You sure? Well, find out how equal men and women are by playing this quiz and see how clued up you are.
Catherine Redfern // 16 May 2001
During the 'second-wave' of feminism in the 1960's-70's, the idea developed that 'the personal is political': i.e. that every part of our personal lives could be affected by the political situation. More recently, some have argued that this idea has given feminism a bad name and has caused feminists to focus on the wrong issues. So who's right?
Catherine Redfern // 16 May 2001