Articles about Reviews

 "All taboos feel dangerous until they're broken"

Ailsa Bristow looks at the second season of Masters of Sex and finds an approach to sexual awareness that is unashamedly political and unafraid of challenging viewers

Ailsa Bristow // 13 November 2014

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Gone Girl: condemned or hailed?

David Fincher's Gone Girl, adapted from the novel by Gillian Flynn, has been simultaneously condemned as a misogynistic portrayal of women and hailed as the birthplace of a feminist icon. Lily Kendall investigates: does it deserve either of these accolades?

Lily Kendall // 11 November 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Musical machinations

Although Sarah Graham would prefer less caricatured male parts, she finds Made In Dagenham: The Musical worthwhile and inspiring

Sarah Graham // 8 November 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Siouxsie and the Banshees: the final four

Eighteen years after their split, Siouxsie and the Banshees have re-released a quartet of their studio albums, spanning 1987 to 1995, in a remastered package. Cazz Blase listens and reflects

Cazz Blase // 4 November 2014

Categories: Music, Reviews

 But yet a woman

Lissy Lovett applauds Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse, which casts women in all the roles and tells a powerful and compelling story

Lissy Lovett // 1 November 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Unearthing the horrific

Marta Owczarek hails Jolynn Minnaar's documentary on the impact of shale gas fracking on local communities despite the film's stylistic shortcomings

Marta Owczarek // 27 October 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Be bothered

Rachel Boyd is enchanted by a new play from RashDash, which challenges theatrical conventions as it explores love and relationships, while remaining completely accessible

Rachel Gonzalez Boyd // 14 October 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Women talk about making noise

The music women make when left to their own devices is often sidelined. Julia Downes, editor of 2012's Women Make Noise, previews an upcoming discussion in Sheffield on 16 October about DIY feminist efforts to counter this

Julia Downes // 13 October 2014

Categories: Books, Events, Music, Reviews

 Girlhoods, Margaritas and Björk: watching women at the London Film Festival

With a record-breaking number of female directors represented at this year's festival, Sophie Mayer offers a feministly subjective 'What to see' guide

Sophie Mayer // 10 October 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 The girls are back in town

Power trio Ex Hex comprises a blend of talented musicians who cut their teeth in the riot grrrl scene of the 1990s. Cazz Blase checks out their forthcoming album, Rips (released 13 October)

Cazz Blase // 8 October 2014

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Three stages onstage

Suzanne Duffy commends an excellent, original idea for a play even if its execution leaves something to be desired

Suzanne Duffy // 2 October 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 To be a little differently

The Royal Exchange in Manchester has a strong production in Hamlet but the high point for Suzanne Duffy remains Maxine Peake's barnstorming performance as the eponymous character

Suzanne Duffy // 25 September 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Boyhood's girlhood

Reviewing Richard Linklater's unique study of growing up, Sophie Mayer applauds the girlhoods that frame Mason's boyhood

Sophie Mayer // 22 September 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Backstage of life: Japan's love hotels

CN Lester praises Love Hotel, a documentary by Phil Cox and Hikaru Toda that beautifully explores the Japanese phenomenon without exploiting its protagonists

CN Lester // 15 September 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Mama Rhythm

Mainly a modern jazz soul singer, Sarah Jane Morris is perhaps most known for her 1980s pop cover of 'Don't Leave Me This Way' with The Communards. Chrissy D has a listen to her latest album, a politically charged project produced in collaboration with musicians including Keziah Jones and Tony Rémy

Chrissy D // 8 September 2014

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Photographs saved from oblivion

Keeping her reservations, Hayley Ellis Jones is thankful to John Maloof for finding and publicising the body of work of a secretive Chicago nanny

Hayley Ellis Jones // 7 September 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Richard III: a trans revelation

Katherine Wootton is blown away by new writing, Drag King Richard III, that explores trans experiences through Shakespearean dialogue and manages to get it just right

Katherine Wootton // 3 September 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 A choice not that obvious

Sophie Mayer hails Gillian Robespierre's Obvious Child for depicting abortion as a reasonable choice for those who have it

Sophie Mayer // 29 August 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Women playwrights roar for the Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company is showing a festival of short plays on feminist themes. Megan Stodel wishes this wasn't a one off

Megan Stodel // 9 August 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Horror in paradise

Sophie Mayer looks at Lucia Puenzo's Wakolda, film narrating the Patagonian epilogue to extremely dark period in European history

Sophie Mayer // 7 August 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014: a secret thread of feminist elders revealed

Sophie Mayer recommends documentaries to watch out for, hand-picked from this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest line-up

Sophie Mayer // 22 July 2014

Categories: Events, Films, Reviews

 Not an open and shut case

Despite enjoying some of the plays that make up Shutters, Charly Rowland can't identify the commentary on women that is supposed to unite them

Charlotte Rowland // 17 July 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Girls: meet your punk foremothers

Stephanie Phillips enjoys rare footage on The Culture Show's Girls Will be Girls episode but is left wanting more than talk of fashion, women's sex appeal and lingering concerns over the survival of the female punk spirit

Stephanie Phillips // 6 July 2014

Categories: Music, Reviews, Television

 Under and through the celluloid ceiling

Sophie Mayer finds recent collection of essays on women's cinema a mixed bag but a powerful tool nevertheless

Sophie Mayer // 3 July 2014

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Sexiness only skin deep

Under the Skin's alien hero/ine makes Liz Barker-Woods rethink how we make sense of our identities and the world around us

Liz Barker-Woods // 17 June 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Edinburgh gets Pussy Whipped again

Liz Ely revisits Ste McCabe's queer alternative festival and is not disappointed

Liz Ely // 13 June 2014

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Birth and ownership: Forest of the Dancing Spirits

Chrissy D is touched by a documentary about tightly knit community of women in the Congolese rainforest challenged by the encroachment of civilisation

Chrissy D // 11 June 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Beyond Shakespeare's Desdemona

Desdemona, A Play About A Handkerchief is a brilliant exploration of the characters who usually barely get to speak, never mind define their own conversation. Rita Suszek thoroughly enjoys an irreverent retelling of Othello

Rita Suszek // 8 June 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 One step forward, two steps behind

Following on from Sara Yasin's retrospective look back at Dawson's Creek, Melissa Dunne revisits The X-Files and discovers a few feminist sticking points

Melissa Dunne // 18 May 2014

Categories: Reviews, Television

 The Punk Singer: How to Be a Rebel Girl

Inspired by Sini Anderson's documentary about the original riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna, Sophie Mayer lays out six riotous rules

Sophie Mayer // 13 May 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Hear her roar

Charlotte Rowland finds dutiful and doubtful Ophelias mercifully far from sight in the Royal Shakespeare Company's rousing revival of The Roaring Girl, the first in a season of plays placing women in the spotlight

Charlotte Rowland // 12 May 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 I'm loving Angel instead

Sexuality and survival - Joanna Whitehead swoons over Angel Haze

J Whitehead // 11 May 2014

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Maggie and the monarch

New play Handbagged, about the two of the most prominent British women of the 1980s, was written and directed by women and boasts a majority woman cast. Lissy Lovett finds it to be a breath of fresh air

Lissy Lovett // 24 April 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Inconspicuous presence behind the camera

Hayley Ellis Jones is charmed by a film portrait of Jane Bown, great photographer of even greater modesty

Hayley Ellis Jones // 23 April 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Under half of a yellow sun

Katherine Wootton admires superb performances in the screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Orange Prize winning novel but feels the film doesn't quite convey the story's emotional impact and nuances

Katherine Wootton // 9 April 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Birds Eye View documentaries: from Algeria to Pine Ridge

Sophie Mayer reports from press screenings of two BEV documentaries - Narimane Mari's Bloody Beans and Anna Eborn's Pine Ridge

Sophie Mayer // 5 April 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 A Man's Game

HBO's latest tour de force, True Detective, is making waves in America, but hits a major road block when it comes to representation of female characters

Kate Bonynge // 26 March 2014

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Crufts versus the beauty pageant

How are beauty pageants like Crufts? Pamela Edwardes thinks that Major Tom provides a compelling comparison

Pamela Edwardes // 23 March 2014

Categories: Plays, Reviews

 Teen angst and "mounting sexual theoretics"

Sara Yasin revists an old childhood favourite, Dawson's Creek

Sara Yasin // 22 March 2014

Categories: Reviews, Television

 All the naked women of Wall Street

Lizzie Ferguson shifts uncomfortably in her seat, drowned by the ocean of naked women spilling from the screen

Lizzie Ferguson // 16 March 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 It's not about her

Try as she might, Lily Kendall does not detect the spirit of relationship in Spike Jonze's recent cyber romance

Lily Kendall // 10 March 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Three against Page 3

Shoshana Davidson praises Fluff Production and its collection of short plays challenging Page 3

Shoshana Davidson // 3 March 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Creating a Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model

Charlotte finds That Catherine Bennett Show as inspiring for a woman in her twenties as it is for tweens

Charlotte Rowland // 27 February 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 If pop was punk

Sophie Mayer follows up on her 2011 review of Carla Bozulich's Evangelista project with an appraisal of Bozulich's forthcoming album, Boy

Sophie Mayer // 25 February 2014

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Living Dolls: a distortion of womanhood?

Emily Hoyle watches a recent Channel 4 documentary, shown this week on More 4, about men who engage in 'female masking' and suggests some of their attitudes may leave much to be desired by viewers who identify and live as women

Emily Hoyle // 20 February 2014

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Putting the pieces together

A new exhibition of Hannah Höch's work enchants Nerys Mathias

Nerys Mathias // 16 February 2014

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Mystified by The Mistress Contract

Although a self-proclaimed feminist play, The Mistress Contract is reductive and driven by stereotypes, finds Shoshana Davidson

Shoshana Davidson // 14 February 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Doing wrong to do right

A one-woman monologue recounting the suffragette movement in prose and song? Jane Duffus is sold

Jane Duffus // 5 February 2014

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Vulkanic rock

Two previous members of Those Dancing Days, Lisa Pyk-Wirström and Cissi Efraimsson, have now formed Vulkano. Cazz Blase listens to their debut album, Live Wild Die Free

Cazz Blase // 2 February 2014

Categories: Music, Reviews

 One small step for woman

Among excellent shots of the Earth from orbit, Katie Masters enjoys Sandra Bullock's grave first time in space

Katie Masters // 10 January 2014

Categories: Films, Reviews

 There's a rich improv scene brewing in Dublin

There's a rich improv scene brewing in Dublin, with many excellent troupes putting on regular performances in theatres, pubs, and coffee shops around town. Jessamyn Fairfield recommends Tumbleweed

Jessamyn Fairfield // 9 January 2014

Categories: Comedy, Reviews

 A fantasy of female subjugation

Some female characters can survive in the patriarchal world of Game of Thrones but that doesn't make it feminist, contends Rebekah Owens

Rebekah Owens // 27 December 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 In praise of Leslie Knope: feminism and small-town politics

While certainly not perfect in its treatment of minority groups, US sitcom Parks and Recreation also gets a lot right, argues Iona Sharma

Iona Sharma // 24 December 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Good vibrations

Shoshana Davidson enjoys a fun, engaging and thoughtful look at 19th century sexuality at In the Next Room

Shoshana Davidson // 11 December 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 A subtle story of sadism

Katherine Williams is intrigued by The Tattooist by Louise Black, a sinister insight into a controlling, cruel obsessive

Katherine Williams // 8 December 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Savages are here!

Marta Owczarek sees this Mercury-nominated act live and finds a performance that is full of conviction, with no hesitation and no second-guessing

Marta Owczarek // 5 December 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Building castles in the sand

Marta Owczarek reviews Sandcastle by Shomshuklla and talks to the director about her film debut

Marta Owczarek // 3 December 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Fantastical stories and feminist stereotypes

Laura Buttrick steps into a world of feminist fantasy fiction - and looks at the cliches that just won't disappear

Laura Buttrick // 30 November 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Hannah rages for her sisters

Cazz Blase has a listen to Gaptooth's debut album and finds a raw and honest but mixed result that nonetheless shows a sense of integrity and politics

Cazz Blase // 29 November 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 To the riot, the survival and the fight

Swedish singer-songwriter Jenny Wilson has spoken of a longing to make music that "talks straight to the stomach". Marta Owczarek listens to her latest album and finds a sound that is decidedly more aggressive than her previous work

Marta Owczarek // 27 November 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The many moods of motherhood

At an exhibition of photography centred on motherhood, Philippa Dunjay finds much to consider as different artists portray hopes, fears, misfortunes, joys, trials and questions of maternity

Philippa Dunjay // 16 November 2013

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Flicking the V sign

For 17 years, Eve Ensler's episodic triple-header The Vagina Monologues has been shocking and entertaining audiences all around the globe. Jane Duffus checks in with the show in Bristol

Jane Duffus // 7 November 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 The joys of sex

At the British Museum's shunga exhibition, Sarah Jackson discovers that the fantasy world of Japanese erotic art has a more relatable sense of fun than modern pornography

Sarah Jackson // 4 November 2013

Categories: Art, Reviews

 As monumental as ever

Russian-American singer songwriter Nika Danilova - aka Zola Jesus - is known for her very physical stage energy. Marta Owczarek heads to the Tabernacle in London to check out a gig with J. G. Thirlwell and Mivos Quartet and finds a more low key but nonetheless powerful performance

Marta Owczarek // 29 October 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Learning from sisters

Holly Millar pays homage to Brenda Davis' film Sister, a penetrating examination of maternal mortality in Cambodia, Haiti and Ethiopia

Holly Millar // 25 October 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 A feminist call for response

CocoRosie have been touring Europe this year. Joanna Allan follows up on Ania Ostrowska's review of their fifth album, Tales of a GrassWidow, with a visit to a dramatic and message-driven performance in Gateshead

Joanna Allan // 23 October 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Tori and the women who love her: feminism in action?

The iconic Tori Amos and her devoted followers do not fit the stereotypical view of women's place in music. But what about the women who just crave a good tune? Louise Allan takes a critical look at US scholar Adrienne Trier-Bienieck's recent book about Amos fans and argues that there are a variety of female music lovers out there doing their own thing who cannot all be categorised by "women's issues"

Louise Allan // 21 October 2013

Categories: Books, Music, Reviews

 Me, myself and more

Ailsa Bristow watches Canadian sci-fi cloning drama, Orphan Black and finds a striking affirmation of the feminist adage "biology isn't destiny"

Ailsa Bristow // 18 October 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Happily ever after?

As The Ugly Sisters considers the Cinderella story from a different perspective, Debbie Brannon muses on the messages fairytales send

Debbie Brannon // 17 October 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Some remain invisible

Despite serious reservations about its lack of diversity, CN Lester finds a lot to love in 'Les Invisibles', Sébastien Lifshitz's documentary about the older generation of French lesbians and gay men

CN Lester // 17 October 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Zen and the art of rubbish bin maintenance

Is this a clever twist on daily chores or is it class pornography? Britain's first solo exhibition of Mierle Laderman Ukeles' earlier work makes an uncertain impression on Abbi Davey

Abbi Davey // 16 October 2013

Categories: Art, Reviews

 The new feminist thing?

US women's prison drama, Orange is the New Black, tells the story of a woman imprisoned for transporting drug money. The show has been has been tentatively praised for its representation of a range of female characters. Lola Ripley watches and finds the strong and prevailing message that we are all just one choice away from losing our liberty, particularly those without safety nets

Lola Ripley // 11 October 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Thinking is a lonely business

Ania Ostrowska is taken with Barbara Sukowa's audacious portrayal of Hannah Arendt in a recent biopic by Margarethe von Trotta

Ania Ostrowska // 7 October 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Plastic surgeons and fortune tellers

L W Yates hails a nuanced sketch of a young Iranian woman masterfully constructed in Mania Akbari's One. Two. One

L W Yates // 29 September 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Fairport Conventional

A recent reissue of Fairport Convention's 1974 album Rising For The Moon makes for disappointing listening for long time Sandy Denny fan M. Lý-Eliot

M. Lý-Eliot // 27 September 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Back in her own back yard

In her documentary about Tamil woman poet Salma, Kim Longinotto gives us a story of emancipation with an unexpected ending, says Sophie Mayer

Sophie Mayer // 26 September 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 A female Pope

Pope Joan tells a medieval story of rising through the Catholic Church's ranks by presenting as a man. Shoshana Davidson struggles to find depth in this play and is confused by the characterisation

Shoshana Davidson // 17 September 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 What Kate did next

Kate Nash first entered public consciousness in 2008 with her keyboard led tale of a relationship gone bad, 'Foundations'. Since then she has taken up the bass guitar and is embracing her inner angry grrrl. Hayley Foster da Silva salutes the punk attitude evident in Girl Talk

Hayley Foster da Silva // 16 September 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 How I met your feminists

US sitcom How I Met Your Mother is now approaching its ninth and final series. Levi Grayshon considers the representation of women on the show and finds that, while the central female characters are sometimes shown in a more positive and feminist light than on other popular sitcoms, the treatment of women overall is problematic at best

Levi Grayshon // 8 September 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Brainiac: privilege abuse?

Physics undergraduate Katie Masters looks back at noughties science show Brainiac and finds a limited and alienating portrayal of women in the programme that does nothing to help our underrepresentation in science

Katie Masters // 4 September 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Stag to doe

Stag Nation is funny, fresh and thought-provoking; Malise Rosbech just wishes it had gone a little further

Malise Rosbech // 1 September 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 F-Word comedy section: official opening!

Hello! Welcome (properly) to The F Word comedy section. We now have a Twitter account: @fwordcomedy and are building up a pool of reviewers. If you'd like to be a reviewer, get in touch! Details are at the bottom of this post

Chella Quint // 20 August 2013

Categories: Comedy, Reviews

 More of The F-Word at EdFringe

In our second round-up of reviews, we discuss productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that deal with subjects including sex work, trans* issues and religion

Various Authors // 18 August 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 No ordinary folk album

In their four years working together, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have received plenty of recognition and yet are still arguably one of the best-kept secrets in the field of contemporary folk music. Helen G has a listen to the recently released Fire and Fortune and is impressed with the duo's articulate lyrics and breaking down of musical boundaries

Helen G // 13 August 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The F-Word at the Edinburgh Fringe

Since the start of August, reviewers for The F-Word have been at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Here are their takes on a variety of shows that cover topics from sanity to Sappho

Various Authors // 11 August 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Past shirts and skin

My Education by Susan Choi addresses love and lust in the life of a graduate student. Katherine Wootton finds it gripping

Katherine Wootton // 10 August 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Millionaire Matchmaker: the unravelling of feminism?

What retrogressive messages does the formula of this sexist dating show put out to the modern woman? Laura Clancy watches and finds it's as if feminism never happened

Laura Clancy // 7 August 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Kate Fox: live and in print

Sam Parker finds a strong role model on the spoken word scene in the captivating, funny and warm Kate Fox

Sam Parker // 5 August 2013

Categories: Comedy, Reviews

 Bridget Christie: A Bic for Her

Bridget Christie is haphazardly and anxiously endearing but with an unrefined, genuine and powerful message. Alicia Rodriguez thinks she's funny as hell

Alicia Rodriguez // 5 August 2013

Categories: Comedy, Reviews

 Getting dirty with Earthy

Malise Rosbech attended Earthy with high hopes but found this "ecosexual bootcamp" lacking in direction or coherence

Malise Rosbech // 4 August 2013

Categories: Art, Reviews

 To turn the body: a look at Xiaolu Guo

M. Lý-Eliot looks at the work of this exciting young novelist and her exploration of the themes of isolation, education and revolution

M. Lý-Eliot // 2 August 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 9021-oh: The harsh truth about victim-blaming in US schools?

With its fifth and final series currently showing on E4 in the UK, the US fictional teen drama 90210 has tackled some familiar issues affecting young people. Robyn Harris goes back to series' two and three to examine two storylines where female characters experience abuse and is disappointed to find the show ultimately doing very little to help dispel victim blaming

Robyn Harris // 1 August 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 A slug in her house

Beth Startin reflects on the ITV drama Broadchurch and finds an important message on abuse that subtly thwarts the conventional assumption that women whose partners have committed terrible crimes should have known what was going on

Beth Startin // 29 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Man v. Food: backlash or banter?

Amy Calvert finds plenty of macho propaganda and some unfortunate portrayals of women when she examines a reality television series following a man's attempts to conquer super-sized food challenges

Amy Calvert // 26 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 A compassionate brute

Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston investigates the difficult life of an abortion provider. Katherine Williams finds it complex and compelling

Katherine Williams // 25 July 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Mesmerising: Abida Parveen at the Bridgewater Hall

A rare performance for the Sufi singer, and a coup for Manchester International Festival, Ruth Rosselson finds herself transfixed by the power of Abida Parveen's voice and music

Ruth Rosselson // 24 July 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 India's Western problem

The BBC's recent India: A Dangerous Place to Be a Woman documentary follows a familiar pattern when it comes to Western reporting on violence against women in India says Asiya Islam

Asiya Islam // 20 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Reviving Private Lives

A revival of Noel Coward's Private Lives is heralded as a success by Lola Ripley

Lola Ripley // 18 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 The revolutionary with a bike

Huma Munshi reviews Wadjda and talks to Haifaa al-Mansour, the first Saudi woman director

Huma Munshi // 16 July 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Shoulder to shoulder

Oxygen celebrates the pilgrimage of women who marched for six weeks from Lands Ends to Hyde Park for the largest ever suffrage rally. Jane Duffus finds it to be a breath of fresh air

Jane Duffus // 15 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Amen to that

A play written in the 1950s led by black female characters still has a lot to say, finds Lissy Lovett

Lissy Lovett // 13 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 The menace of Karl Munro

Coronation Street character Stella has taken back her deceitful partner Karl after being rescued by him from a fire that, unknown to her, he actually started. Gemma Elliott, of the Tumblr blog Feminist Coronation Street, considers Karl's new hero status and the power it has given him over Stella

Gemma Elliott // 9 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Who decides what's normal?

The groundbreaking new play My Normal Life is an impressive and eye-opening experience for Jane Duffus

Jane Duffus // 8 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Stone cold talent

Cazz Blase listens to Valerie June's debut studio album, Pushin' Against a Stone and finds a maturity and ease of style that suggests longevity

Cazz Blase // 7 July 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Some ado about Whedon's Much Ado

A self-professed Shakespeare snob Katherine Wootton gives Joss Whedon all the kudos he deserves for his new screen adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing

Katherine Wootton // 4 July 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 A pussy is a riot

Ania Ostrowska is inspired by the women of Pussy Riot as shown in a new documentary, but wonders whether the focus should have been broader

Ania Ostrowska // 2 July 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Far from a fairytale

A one man show leaves Megan Stodel uncertain with its focus on violence against women

Megan Stodel // 1 July 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 The Long Journey Home

Helen G listens to the fourth album from Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo and is immersed from the first note to the last

Helen G // 30 June 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Teen public property

Farrah Abraham of the MTV reality television series Teen Mom has attracted plenty of salacious media gossip and slut shaming. Chrissy D explores the cultural landscape behind the programme and the hype surrounding her recent sex tape

Chrissy D // 25 June 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 An end and a new beginning?

Jennifer Patterson considers what two exhibitions of works by female artists indicate about the art world for women today

Jennifer Patterson // 18 June 2013

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Weirdly beautiful creations

Sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady have carved a niche for themselves as purveyors of eclectic folk and "weirdly beautiful creations". Along with Antony Hegerty, Kembra Pfahler and Johanna Constantine, they are 'Future Feminists'. Ania Ostrowska reviews their new album Tales of a GrassWidow

Ania Ostrowska // 17 June 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Emily Wilding Davison: 100 years on

Catherine Elms watches Clare Balding's Secrets of a Suffragette, a documentary looking at some of the history behind the movement and the events surrounding the death of one of its most well-known figures

Catherine Elms // 6 June 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 'Drums, keys, beat machines and whatever else she can fit in her road case'

Trained violinist Emily Wells successfully merges hip-hop and classical to create a folktronic sound that is all her own. She has brought out seven albums since 1999, mostly on her own label. Cazz Blase has a listen to Mama, her first release in the UK

Cazz Blase // 3 June 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Desperately seeking Dolly

Cazz Blase immensely enjoys, despite not being a die-hard Dolly Parton fan, a girl's journey in search of her mother

Cazz Blase // 30 May 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Aiming for the moon

Cazz Blase listens to Laura Mvula's debut album, Sing to the Moon, and finds there is much more to her wider output than the upbeat single 'Green Garden' would suggest

Cazz Blase // 17 May 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Blood and guts and liberty

A play about women working in a meat market enchants Shoshana Davidson, who finds the message compelling and the story-telling excellent

Shoshana Davidson // 16 May 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 From street to canvas

For Lara Tutton, Deedee Cheriel's first London solo exhibition exceeds the hype with a fascinating interplay of colours, motifs and creatures amid a liberating landscape

Lara Tutton // 15 May 2013

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Shaking it up

Swedish sister/brother duo The Knife returned with Shaking The Habitual in April and reviews have been both excited and mixed. David Wilkinson sees a welcome re-emergence of political pop in their new work

David Wilkinson // 14 May 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 By water or by men

Chrissy D finds herself in the grip of the enigma of a documentary about the Bangladeshi "brothel island"

Chrissy D // 12 May 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 The art of performance

Lara Tutton finds Sheila Ghelani's Rat Rose Bird a fascinating and liberating piece of performance art

Lara Tutton // 8 May 2013

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Clara who?

Lucy Pegg explores whether Clara looks set to follow a similar traditional trajectory to other companions on Steven Moffat's Doctor Who. Will she fulfil the role of "strong character, female" Hope Dinsdale highlighted when she wrote about women on the programme back in 2011?

Lucy Pegg // 3 May 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 The women they are: engaging with feminist ideas through women's different battles

If telling women's stories is, in itself, a feminist act then Call The Midwife qualifies in spades. Iona Sharma reflects on the second series

Iona Sharma // 30 April 2013

Categories: Reviews, Television

 When spring break is over

Sarah Crawford suggests we look beyond the guns and bikinis of four eye-candy protagonists of Harmony Korine's new film

Sarah Crawford // 30 April 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Everlasting divas

'Rock On': Women, Ageing and Popular Music is an essay collection concerned with developing debates around ageing, both in society and within the music world. Laura Way finds it an interesting (if at times heavy) read that shines a much welcome light on a neglected area of research

Laura Way // 28 April 2013

Categories: Books, Music, Reviews

 Young Palestinian boy as a vehicle for hope

Huma Munshi admires director Annemarie Jacir for filling her film about Palestinian refugees with hope

Huma Munshi // 20 April 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Echoes of Virginia

Watching Viota is an almost exhausting experience for Hazel Robertson as the play examines radical culture changes in the shadow of Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group

Hazel Robertson // 15 April 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 White Rose could fly higher

Although the story of women fighter pilots during World War Two has a lot of potential, Rowena McIntosh and Hazel Robertson find the plot frustratingly superficial

Various Authors // 11 April 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 How far is one mile

Sophie Mayer interviews Penny Woolcock about making her last film that documents attempts at truce by members of two warring Birmingham postcode gangs

Sophie Mayer // 4 April 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Where miracles happen and leave things exactly the same

Bringing a play from 19th century Sweden to contemporary South Africa, Mies Julie is a fascinating and devastating exploration of power, according to Charlotte Rowland

Charlotte Rowland // 31 March 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Beautiful life of Alice Walker

Inspired by a biopic of Alice Walker, Huma Munshi reminds us we cannot deny race in feminist discourse

Huma Munshi // 30 March 2013

Categories: Events, Films, Reviews

 "But I'm having fun. I like it."

MarinaS argues reading In Her Own Words is more than a debate of for or against sex work. She argues that we should read it because it is a captivating story of an interesting person.

MarinaS // 22 March 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 On UFO and Chinese women

M. Lý-Eliot praises independent Chinese director Xiaolu Guo's latest offering

M. Lý-Eliot // 17 March 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Two new Kirsty MacColl albums - the fairytale and beyond?

More than a decade after Kirsty MacColl's death, two albums have been released in her memory. Liz Ely asks: do they bring us anything new or different?

Liz Ely // 16 March 2013

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Double Bind

Double Bind asks important questions of the cross sections of certain Muslim networks and women's rights argues Jolene Tan

Jolene Tan // 15 March 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 This gayby is just for laughs

Megan Stodel laughs out loud at this film about an unconventional parenting arrangement but misses a more serious engagement with the subject

Megan Stodel // 10 March 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Delia gets her day

In January Ruth Rosselson attended a series of events held to celebrate the work of electronic composer and Radiophonic Workshopper Delia Derbyshire. She shares her experience of the Delia Derbyshire Day here

Ruth Rosselson // 25 February 2013

Categories: Events, Films, Music, Reviews, radio

 Gender charmers

Ania Ostrowska is charmed by a conference on revolutionary gender politics. But how radical was it on the day?

Ania Ostrowska // 24 February 2013

Categories: Events, Reviews

 Wildness comes to the Silver Platter

With her neck still hurting from trying to read the subtitles over people's heads, Jess McCabe hails director Wu Tsang's sensitive portrait of one Los Angeles bar

Jess McCabe // 24 February 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Towards perfection

Impressed with director Christine Beck's dedication to her first feature, Katherine Wootton praises the story of two women caught up in a quest for bodily perfection

Katherine Wootton // 23 February 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Seeing Sylvia Sleigh

It's too little, too late for Flis Mitchell at Tate Liverpool's Sylvia Sleigh retrospective

Flis Mitchell // 22 February 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 In her parents' shadow

Ania Ostrowska reviews Lore by Cate Shortland, an accelerated coming of age story set amid the chaotic twilight of Second World War

Ania Ostrowska // 20 February 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Stories from the sea and beyond

Sophie Mayer delights in archival documentary about British seaside, masterfully put together by director Penny Woolcock

Sophie Mayer // 13 February 2013

Categories: Films, Reviews

 No interaction at Silver Action

Although Shoshana Davidson looked forward to participating in Silver Action, an artwork involving the discussions of older feminists, she was disappointed by unexpected restrictions and lack of engagement

Shoshana Davidson // 6 February 2013

Categories: Art, Reviews

 A taste of the 1950s

Watching the revival of A Taste of Honey, Rowena McIntosh finds that while some themes have lost their controversial appeal, others remain all too relevant

Rowena McIntosh // 5 February 2013

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 A cut above the rest

Although wishing at times for a more personal touch, Hayley Foster da Silva is impressed by the breadth of She Bop, the recently revised and updated third edition of Lucy O'Brien's history of women and the music industry, and is pleased to come away from the book with lots of new information

Hayley Foster da Silva // 31 January 2013

Categories: Books, Music, Reviews

 Girls and gangs

Annika Spalding felt emotional, angry and speechless but moved to action after attending awareness-raising drama She

Annika Spalding // 22 December 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Love and 8

Liz Ely thinks new play 8 gives an intriguing insight into the battle for marriage equality, though it's somewhat lacking in inspiration

Liz Ely // 19 December 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 The thrill of the chase

The Mediaeval Baebe's new album, The Huntress is themed around "female energy". A mix of the classical and traditional folk song, Michelle Drury welcomes it as a return to form for the "choir and band"

Michelle Drury // 16 December 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Skunk Anansie come home

With Skin as their charismatic frontwoman, the "clit rock" of Skunk Anansie has a firm place in mid-1990s nostalgia. Jess McCabe attends a gig in Brixton in 2012 and finds them sounding better than ever

Jess McCabe // 14 December 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Arthouse cinema versus Gangnam style

M. Lý-Eliot finds respite from Gangnam style 'sexy ladies' in two central characters of The Weight, a challenging film by Korean arthouse director Jeon Kyu-Hwan

M. Lý-Eliot // 12 December 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Focusing on women

A new photography exhibition attempts to highlight the roles of women and society's messages to them. Shoshana Davidson finds Dorothy Bohm's work is sadly spot on

Shoshana Davidson // 11 December 2012

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Hole story of Schemel not Love

Cazz Blase enjoys the documentary about Hole's drummer Patty Schemel that puts one of the most exciting bands of the 1990s firmly on the rock'n'roll map without losing intimate touch

Cazz Blase // 4 December 2012

Categories: Films, Music, Reviews

 Why Feminist Art matters now

In their interview with Judy Chicago, Andrea Berryman and Jennifer Patterson ask the artist about the continuing prevalence of sexism, the sexual politics of her internationally influential, revolutionary art and her definition of feminism

Various Authors // 30 November 2012

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Nearly four hours in the desert

Confronted with one of the greatest Hollywood epic classics, Agata Frymus has her reservations

Agata Frymus // 28 November 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Welcome to the world?

Chrissy D reviews a documentary about the impact of poverty on childbirth around the globe, presented by DocHouse as part of Why Poverty? series, and calls for maternal health to be taken more seriously everywhere

Chrissy D // 17 November 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 All singing, all dancing campaigning

A musical about a campaign for better asylum seeker rights may seem like unusual territory. Hazel Robertson finds that this humorous, tragic and stirring production is well worth the risk

Hazel Robertson // 15 November 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Making a noise about women's musical history

Hayley Foster da Silva thought she knew a lot about women musicians, but when she read Women Make Noise, a new book edited by Julia Downes, she was pleased to discover that there was still a lot to learn and plenty of all-female musical talent to uncover

Hayley Foster da Silva // 11 November 2012

Categories: Books, Music, Reviews

 Compliant with abuse

Having resisted an urge to walk out of the screening of Compliance, Charlotte Rowland denounces the film as nothing more than misogynist torture-porn that should be stripped off its aura of "edginess" once and for all

Charlotte Rowland // 9 November 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Subversive kitty

Bad Kitty is the third album from the politicised queer pop-punk performer and Pussy Whipped organiser Ste McCabe. Liz Ely finds him on top form

Liz Ely // 6 November 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The show that asks: "What do we hope for now?"

Declaring war on "the big boys", Motherland goes on a journey through gender with a sense of humour and social responsibility. Caitlin Hayward-Tapp finds it thoroughly thought-provoking

Caitlin Hayward-Tapp // 5 November 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Medea, but not as Euripides knew it

Charlotte Rowland finds that Rachael Stirling's powerful performance in this new version of Medea leads her to forgive its other faults

Charlotte Rowland // 31 October 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 It's a man's man's man's world... The cinema of Christopher Nolan

Anna Kessler takes a sobering look at Chris Nolan's body of work lamenting his heroines' lack of sophistication and their predominantly mirror function for the male characters

Anna Kessler // 24 October 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Corin Tucker is still angry

Corin Tucker won the hearts of the riot grrls in raw and gutsy band Heavens To Betsy and (later) in Sleater-Kinney. Confirmed fan Jess McCabe throws critical caution to the wind as she listens to Corin's new album Kill My Blues

Jess McCabe // 21 October 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 "I'd rather sell my c*nt than my paintings"

Having caught two independent documentaries at the first ever London Chinese Independent Film Festival, M. Lý-Eliot considers women artists' position in China 20 years ago and today

M. Lý-Eliot // 16 October 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 A hard issue with a soft premise

The Soft of Her Palm promises to confront our expectations of domestic violence, but Shoshana Davidson finds it falls back on damaging and unhelpful stereotypes

Shoshana Davidson // 16 October 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Louder than missiles

Developing in the shadow of crises both international and intimate, Sally Potter's Ginger and Rosa is a touching coming-of-age story marked by a fiery presence of a young woman in its centre, says Sophie Mayer

Sophie Mayer // 10 October 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Delhi delights in new Much Ado

The RSC sets Much Ado About Nothing in Delhi, with results that leave Katherine Wootton impressed

Katherine Wootton // 10 October 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Another record from a star storyteller

Jesca Hoop's third album combines sadness with a sense of fun while exploring new musical territory. Louise Allan finds herself digging this record

Louise Allan // 8 October 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The Personal is Political

What You Really Really Want and Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life are anti-self-help self-help guides. They challenge the clichéd, patronising and, often, offensive advice which is usually trotted out in this genre. Katherine Wootton reviews their alternative advice, discovering it is still possible to be a feminist while navigating the minefields of dating and sex

Katherine Wootton // 4 October 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 It's just the beginning

Greta Hughson discovers an art award she can really get enthusiastic about, with an event that supports women in contact with the criminal justice system

Greta Hughson // 1 October 2012

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Edinburgh gets Pussy Whipped!

Edinburgh may not immediately come to mind as a music city or pioneer for queer activism but there is clearly a demand there for space for diverse performers. Pop punk singer and organiser Ste McCabe has helped create that in the form of the Pussy Whipped queer feminist festival. Liz Ely reports

Liz Ely // 30 September 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 How to wear a photograph

Elaine Castillo celebrates Sebastián Moreno's City of Photographers, a documentary that puts ethics and empathy back into photography

Elaine Castillo // 21 September 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Mary Stuart modernised

A new production of Mary Stuart glows with relevance, and Charlotte Rowland has only good words to say about it

Charlotte Rowland // 20 September 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Perfume, power and popular media

After a UK premiere of Ana Diosdado's Yours for the Asking, Eli Davies wonders if it's really what we're asking for

Eli Davies // 17 September 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 The Song of Achilles

Despite enjoying the novel, Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein has a feminist bone to pick with this year's winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction

Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein // 2 September 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Feeling dizzy? Hitchcock's Vertigo strikes again

Agata Frymus revisits Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, screened at BFI Southbank throughout September, and wonders why such a blatantly misogynistic film has just been voted 'best film of all time' by prominent industry critics

Agata Frymus // 31 August 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 The Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Week Four

The largest arts festival in the world comes to an end! We review a few last shows from The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Various Authors // 31 August 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 The Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Week Three

As the Edinburgh Fringe Festival continues, we have another round-up of reviews

Various Authors // 24 August 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Brave just enough

Tricia Lowther watches the latest Pixar production together with her five-year-old daughter and finds the new animated princess stands out just enough from other children's films characters

Tricia Lowther // 21 August 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 To peep or not to peep

A new voyeuristic exhibition at the National Gallery has hit the headlines, inviting people to watch a naked woman. Ania Ostrowska has had enough

Ania Ostrowska // 20 August 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 The Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Week Two

Reviewers from The F-Word share their opinions in our second instalment considering shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Various Authors // 16 August 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Smells like folk spirit: The Cornshed Sisters at St Pancras Old Church

Folk harmony band the Cornshed Sisters have been steadily building up a loyal following. We reviewed their debut album, Tell Tales back in April, and late July saw the band play a highly atmospheric gig at St Pancras Old Church in London. Her appetite already whetted by an appearance by the band on 6 Music, Louise Allan went along

Louise Allan // 13 August 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Oh no, Yoko

A collection of Yoko Ono's work is showing at The Serpentine Gallery. Joanne Matthews found TO THE LIGHT too light

Joanne Matthews // 11 August 2012

Categories: Art, Reviews

 The Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Week One

During August, Edinburgh hosts the largest arts festival in the world. Throughout the month, we'll be reviewing shows that we think might be of interest to our readers; here are our impressions of the first shows we saw

Various Authors // 9 August 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 All in a day's work

With a massive five gallery takeover of the Arnolfini in Bristol, Olivia Plender has certainly been industrious, but Tom Denbigh questions whether her message always comes across clearly

Tom Denbigh // 4 August 2012

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Published 26 years later, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal reveals the painful truth behind the fabrications Jeanette Winterson used as protection in her highly acclaimed first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Laura Brightwell considers the importance of Winterson's revelations, particularly as a building-block to mental health

Laura Brightwell // 30 July 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Beyond the promise of happiness: Rolla Selbak's Three Veils

Reviewing the film about three Middle-Eastern women living in the US, Elaine Castillo urges us to question mainstream happy endings and move beyond our preoccupation with 'happiness' as the end goal

Elaine Castillo // 23 July 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Snow White and the Huntsman

The latest version of the German fairytale stays close enough to the story we know - but makes some interesting changes, finds Ada Nkechi

Ada Nkechi // 8 July 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Beth's back! The return of the Gossip

With a new pop album produced in collaboration with hit makers Xenomania, disco punks Gossip are back. While they may have moved on from Standing in the Way of Control, Hayley Foster Da Silva discovers that the band are still very capable of making you dance, and that their new album lives up to its title A Joyful Noise

Hayley Foster da Silva // 22 June 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Gaggle: The wait is nearly over!

Ever since Gaggle grabbed our attention with 'I hear Flies' and 'Hidden Army' two years ago, the question of when the debut album would come around has been on the minds of fans. Now that wait is nearly over and From the Mouth of the Cave will be released on 25 June. Hayley Foster da Silva gives the lowdown on her sneak preview

Hayley Foster da Silva // 18 June 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Dreaming a different dream

By setting A Midsummer Night's Dream in a community of Travellers, the play is transformed. Megan Stodel considers how successful the Open Air Theatre's new interpretation is

Megan Stodel // 17 June 2012

Categories: Reviews, Theatre

 Dawn of a new talent

Melissa James's debut album Day Dawns moves through a diverse range of styles, including jazz, blues, torch singing and country. Helen G finds an understated gem from a singer with a voice able to carry all this off with assurance and maturity

Helen G // 14 June 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The Light Bulb Moment

Bristol based writer Sian Norris asked people to share the light bulb moment they realised they were a feminist: Abigail Rutherford reviews the stories told as a result, examining the diverse experiences and beliefs which lead people to consider themselves feminists

Abigail Rutherford // 5 June 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Boys

Feminists get Garth Ennis' The Boys all wrong, argues Francesca Lewis. The sexual violence and objectification of women are satirical tools highlighting the emptiness of the superhero genre, rather than misogynist wish fulfilment

Francesca Lewis // 30 May 2012

Categories: Comics, Reviews

 Master of her music: Santigold adds a second album to her portfolio

Cazz Blase listens to Master of My Make Believe and finds a range of musical influences and engaging mix of moods, from the crunchy and energetic to the quietly anthemic

Cazz Blase // 29 May 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Joanna Hogg: a very British outsider

Paying close attention to director Joanna Hogg's creative process, Selina Robertson praises the filmmaker's two feature films as both truly independent and of great import for the British cinematic landscape

Selina Robertson // 24 May 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Her Noise: women creative workers and musicians exhibit and talk at Tate Modern

The Her Noise theme began as a 2001 curatorial project focused on gender imbalance in sonic art. In 2012, Tate Modern hosts the Her Noise Symposium: a day of discussion and art focused on topics such as women's voices and varied uses of technology. Joanne Matthews reports

Joanne Matthews // 19 May 2012

Categories: Art, Music, Reviews

 Avengers Assemble

It's not Buffy, but Avengers Assemble does get under the skin of Joss Whedon's fans. Imagine if the Marvel universe had more female characters, says Sophie Mayer

Sophie Mayer // 8 May 2012

Categories: Comics, Films, Reviews

 The Sex Myth: Why Everything We're Told is Wrong

Brooke Magnanti wants to expose the truths behind the sex myths which provoke outraged newspaper headlines and panicked public policy. Lindsey Sheehan considers Magnanti's opinions on all things controversial, from lap-dancing to online pornography

Lindsey M Sheehan // 5 May 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Iron Butterflies

Carrie Spencer reviews Birute Regine's guide to modern leadership by becoming an Iron Butterfly, which, Regine says, will help women "transform themselves and the world"

Carrie Spencer // 29 April 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Circumstance

Iman Qureshi reviews Circumstance, screened during 2012 London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and hails its director for subtly depicting complexities and contradictions of contemporary Iranian society

Iman Qureshi // 24 April 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 A place of rage: two black feminist documentaries

Lola Okolosie from Black Feminists reviews A Place of Rage and Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, two films by documentary filmmaker Pratibha Parmar, and considers what contemporary black feminists have learnt from the influential black women featured

Lola Okolosie // 21 April 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Ancient and modern design: The Cornshed Sisters Tell Tales

Fresh from touring the UK with the Futureheads, Sunderland vocal harmony group The Cornshed Sisters are marrying British folk traditions and vocal harmonies with a mixture of ancient and modern lyrical concerns. Helen G found herself impressed by their debut album, and eager to witness the band live.

Helen G // 18 April 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The Hunger Games: film

After much anticipation, Vicky Brewster reviews The Hunger Games and celebrates not only a strong female protagonist but a film that does her justice

Vicky Brewster // 17 April 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 The Hunger Games: book trilogy

The Hunger Games - the latest fad in the teen fiction market or an incisive examination of our society? Jessica Blunden finds that Suzanne Collins' world offers more than easy escapism

Jessica Blunden // 17 April 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Celebrating Sisterhood! Viv Albertine, Gina Birch and Helen McCookerybook perform in Hyde

Three punk pioneers reunite for an evening of rage, honesty, playfulness and sound experiments. Cazz Blase attends the show and talks to the acts backstage

Cazz Blase // 12 April 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The Reinvention of Love

Sian Norris finds herself approving of the subversion of traditional sexual roles in the portrayal of Charles Saint-Beuve - "a man like no other" - in Helen Humphrey's novel The Reinvention of Love

Sian Norris // 8 April 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Her version of events: Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé's debut single 'Heaven' was a big urban dance tune last summer, and the path to debut album 'Our version of events' has been a long one. A mildly disappointed Holly Combe ponders the largely middle of the road results, and finds herself musing on the nature of celebrity and experiences as products

Holly Combe // 8 April 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Save EMA

A few years ago in the UK the acronym EMA would have been most commonly associated with the Education Maintenance Allowance. Nowadays it belongs firmly to Erika M. Anderson, a 22 year old singer/songwriter from the US Midwest whose debut album Past Life Martyred Saints was released in 2011. David Wilkinson detects the ghost of 1990s grunge in its confessional soundscape, and muses as to whether this particular branch of nostalgia is always a good thing

David Wilkinson // 31 March 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 A greatly overlooked talent

Headed by singer and writer Emma-Lee Moss, anti-folk act Emmy the Great have achieved cult success, but have yet to be embraced more widely. Described as a lyricist who can talk about emotion without resorting to blunt clichés, Moss's intensely personal songs use the voices of archetypal female protagonists and her lyrics are said to be the act's secret weapon. Vicki Ell reports on a live performance at the Women of the World Festival 2012, London Southbank

Vicki Ell // 27 March 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Walk like a panther

With her positively geeky enthusiasm for the making of her music, eccentric costumes and abundant charisma, Barbara Panther is an unforgettable performer. Her distinctive voice has seen her compared to Bjork, Grace Jones and Fever Ray but she has a style all of her own. Cazz Blase checks out her self-titled album and finds Panther to be an artist with imagination, an ability to tell stories and musical inventiveness

Cazz Blase // 24 March 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Made in solidarity: The Selecter in the 21st century

The Selecter brought us their 2 Tone sound when right wing politics was dividing a nation. Helen G reviews their most recent release Made in Britain and finds their music -new and old- to be as relevant today as their most famous tracks were in the 1980s

Helen G // 20 March 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The Princess and the Frog

Amy Tuckwell skilfully makes classic psychoanalytic feminist film critique by Laura Mulvey palpable and applies it to a recent Disney's retelling of the frog prince story. Popular Hollywood cinema, also in its animated version, still has a long way to go

Amy Tuckwell // 18 March 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Heartbreak soup: washed ashore by Boy Friend's Egyptian Wrinkle

Texan all-woman duo Boy Friend occupy the space between shoegazing and post rock with ease. Cazz Blase follows up on her updates on the blog with a review and speaks to the band to find out about their influences and plans

Cazz Blase // 16 March 2012

Categories: Interviews, Music, Reviews

 "It's like being in a never ending hen party!" Robots in Disguise play The Lexington

You might recognise them from The Mighty Boosh but electropunk act Robots in Disguise have plenty to offer beyond being cool in a television programme, including a feminist anthem! Hayley Foster da Silva joins the party and catches the band for a quick chat

Hayley Foster da Silva // 12 March 2012

Categories: Interviews, Music, Reviews

 The First Time

Kate Monro set out to ask as wide a selection of people as possible - men and women, old and young, gay, straight, Christian and Muslim - about their personal experiences of virginity. Through her findings, Katherine Dunseath discovered that the definition of virginity, and virginity loss, isn't as straightforward as she'd previously thought

Katherine Dunseath // 9 March 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Bringing Oregon to Soho: Laura Gibson live

Having checked out Laura Gibson's latest work La Grande, Kaite Welsh heads to The Social to catch a performance and have a chat with the singer

Kaite Welsh // 2 March 2012

Categories: Interviews, Music, Reviews

 Sylvia's Lovers - Elizabeth Gaskell's anti-romantic novel

LucindaE rereads Elizabeth Gaskell's Sylvia's Lovers not as a sentimental love story, but rather, a merciless tale of flawed love and thwarted ambition

LucindaE // 27 February 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Flying the flag for women who rock

Wild Flag are a highly credible all-woman line-up with roots in some of the coolest bands in the last 20 years, but can they cut it live? Lydia Harris checks them out at Camden's Electric Ballroom and discovers that, yes, they absolutely do!

Lydia Harris // 23 February 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Persepolis

Laura Sneddon extols this provocative graphic autobiography as an unmissable read for feminists

Laura Sneddon // 23 February 2012

Categories: Comics, Reviews

 ¿Which Side Are You On?: Ani DiFranco keeps things political

Feminist icon Ani DiFranco has released 17 studio albums over the last three decades and, with Righteous Babe Records in 1990, became one of the first independent artists to launch her own label. Ruth Rosselson listens to her first album to be released in over three years and finds that DiFranco is still not afraid of tackling thought-provoking issues while making us smile and sing along

Ruth Rosselson // 20 February 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The Fearless Frame: Barbara Hammer at Tate Modern

Sophie Mayer hugs, shares, learns and grows with Barbara Hammer's Active Cinema during the latter's retrospective at Tate Modern in London

Sophie Mayer // 19 February 2012

Categories: Art, Events, Films, Reviews

 Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World

In her first book, Lisa Bloom urges women to disengage their minds from gossip and celebrity trivia and focus on more consequential topics instead. Leonie Taylor reviews this social-critique-cum-recipe-book, which appeals for women to spend more time considering sex trafficking and good literature and less time worrying about getting fat

Leonie Taylor // 15 February 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 9 Bob Note: short films showcasing new queer cinema

Selina Robertson reviews the queer shorts programme shown during this year's London Short Film Festival and finds all the mini-flicks passing her rigorous selection

Selina Robertson // 8 February 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Laura Gibson's grand return

Kaite Welsh listens to Laura Gibson's latest album and finds her recalling the musical quirks she is best known for but also exploring new territory

Kaite Welsh // 27 January 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The cultural narratives they are a-changin'?

An unpleasant incident with a fellow cinema-goer notwithstanding, Chrissy D left a screening of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in high spirits and hopeful for a change of the tide in Hollywood's take on female leads in action movies

Chrissy D // 19 January 2012

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Bedroom dance like it's 1995! Wild Flag shake their shimmy

Wild Flag are a supergroup comprising Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, Helium's Mary Timony and The Minders' Rebecca Cole. Sophie Mayer examines their formation and delights in their debut self-titled album

Sophie Mayer // 16 January 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The brilliant and the eclectic: Gaggle preview their forthcoming debut album

All woman punk choir Gaggle are a diverse group who integrate openly feminist concepts into their performances. Their radical reworking of The Brilliant and the Dark at the Royal Albert Hall was sold out in September. Hayley Foster da Silva reports on their all-too-brief follow-up performance at Hackney New Empowering Church on 15 December 2011

Hayley Foster da Silva // 11 January 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The sweet and sour world of Annie Clark: St Vincent's Strange Mercy

Annie Clark began her career with the Polyphonic Spree, has released two albums of dark but sweet left-of-centre pop, and has been touring her new album Strange Mercy across sold out venues around Europe. Louise Allan reveals that Clark hasn't lost her taste for the disturbing and the angelic

Louise Allan // 9 January 2012

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Florence: the next instalment

Cazz Blase reviews Florence + the Machine's latest album and finds Welsh's ability to follow her own path and confound people's expectations, while soaking up diverse musical genres, to still be in full force

Cazz Blase // 29 December 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Hey, Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets

Girls for Gender Equity, a not-for-profit organisation based in New York City, work to empower youth, fight sexual harassment and address gender violence. Sara Clarke reviews their guide for young people - and those working with them - on exactly what is sexual harassment, and what needs to be done about it

Sara Clarke // 27 December 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Part One)

At pains to defend the latest chaotic and confused installment of The Twilight Saga, Mathilda Gregory reads it as a transgressive anti-fairytale about perils of femininity

Mathilda Gregory // 12 December 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 The Opiates: Billie Ray Martin returns!

With a career spanning over 25 years, Hamburg-born singer, DJ and label owner Billie Ray Martin is a woman with an impressive history in both dance and soul music. Holly Combe salutes her return

Holly Combe // 6 December 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The skin we live in: the mad, bad world of Pedro Almodóvar

Remaining spooked and preoccupied, Mhairi Guild still appreciates density and creativity of Almodovar's latest grotesque fairytale of not-only-gender identity, desire and power

Mhairi Guild // 30 November 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Shattering seas: Tori Amos at the Royal Albert Hall

Tori Amos' recent performance at London's Royal Albert Hall served as an emotional reminder for Sophie Mayer of the power of song, and of teenage memories

Sophie Mayer // 25 November 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent

Laurie Penny's new book brings together a diverse collection of her writing from online content to newspaper columns. Sarah Graham reviews the works of one of the most prominent voices of the new left as she provides analysis, interviews and first-hand accounts of everything from the UK student protests to vajazzling

Sarah Graham // 21 November 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Living in the ice age: Kate Bush's 50 Words for Snow

Six years after Aerial, Kate Bush's latest offering sees her continuing to write, perform and produce music that is out of this world. Debi Withers previews the release, equipped with a healthy appreciation for the ridiculous and a love of Bush's work, tempered by a critical eye for some of the problems inherent within it

debi withers // 20 November 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Abi Wade - And Blood and Air EP

At a time when folk music is enjoying plenty of exposure, new blood Abi Wade's brave and disarmingly simple first EP is a fitting addition. Cazz Blase reports

Cazz Blase // 18 November 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Music for wintertime: Zola Jesus' Conatus

Nika Danilova -AKA Zola Jesus- grew up training to sing opera whilst listening to Throbbing Gristle and the Dead Kennedys. As the nights draw in and temperatures drop, David Wilkinson reviews her third album Conatus

David Wilkinson // 14 November 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The 21st Century Motherhood Movement

Andrea O'Reilly argues that activist mothers are creating an autonomous and distinct social movement. Adele Jones reviews this first anthology of its kind, which profiles organisations who are all fighting for a shift in the value given to the roles and responsibilities of motherhood

Adele Jones // 14 November 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Beware the betrayal of women in politics

Taraneh Ghajar Jerven is disappointed with George Clooney's new film which renders women insignificant both on-screen and in politics

Taraneh Ghajar Jerven // 4 November 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know

Brit Award winning musician Laura Marling's latest album sees her going beyond her nu-folk roots and taking on a looser, lustier and more sophisticated style. Louise Allan reports

Louise Allan // 2 November 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 In Other Worlds

Katherine Wootton reviews Margaret Atwood's new work of non-fiction which explores the importance and vast potential of science fiction - a much ridiculed and underestimated genre - in the literary canon, and delves into the significance it holds for Atwood as both a reader and writer

Katherine Wootton // 27 October 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Tyrannosaur

Finding Tyrannosaur an unremittingly upsetting film, Chloe George salutes its ability to avoid clichés in the portrayal of violence against women

Chloe George // 24 October 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Be the same; be the change: Maple Bee and her world

Cazz Blase reviews the career of Maple Bee (AKA Melanie Garside from Mediaeval Baebes), taking in the albums Hello Eve, Home and Chasing Eva along the way

Cazz Blase // 23 October 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Blue Roses

David Wilkinson salutes the talents of Laura Groves, otherwise known as Blue Roses, and finds much to marvel at in her precocious debut album

David Wilkinson // 21 October 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Falling for Me

Anna David devoted a year of her life to following the advice set down in a classic book from the 1960s, but Diane Shipley questions the self-empowerment message in a book bogged down with regressive ideas and strict gender-roles

Diane Shipley // 13 October 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 She Monkeys

Hailing the coming-of-age story of adolescent sexuality and fierce competition between female equestrians, Ania Ostrowska has her heart set on the youngest of three heroines

Ania Ostrowska // 13 October 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 The Future of Feminism

Sylvia Walby's book provides a comprehensive rebuttal of the notion that feminism is dead. Rachel Benson reviews this definitive account of feminism's present and future forms, and the progression of feminism into the mainstream

Rachel Benson // 7 October 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 From riots to riot grrrl: Heavens to Betsy revisited

Are you a fan of Heavens to Betsy or riot grrrl? Artist Katie Hare has put together a sound and video installation based on the seminal band's 1993 album Calculated, to appear in London on 14-16 October. Cazz Blase reports

Cazz Blase // 5 October 2011

Categories: Art, Reviews

 Radical rockers UT at The Lexington

Famously name-checked by Le Tigre in 1991's 'Hot Topic', feminist rock pioneers UT originally came from the downtown New York no-wave scene in 1978. They moved on to London, touring with The Fall in the early 1980s and releasing four albums that decade, before disbanding in 1990. Hayley Foster da Silva witnesses their return

Hayley Foster da Silva // 3 October 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 I don't know how she does it

This Hollywood blockbuster's heroine is a high-flying finance executive, but Diane Shipley argues that women across classes and careers share parts of her predicament and can applaud her small victories over a lazy husband and an over-demanding boss

Diane Shipley // 2 October 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Cambodian Space Project - 2011: A Space Odyssey

Srey Thy is a singer with a story to tell. Louise Allan discovers this album from Thy's band, Cambodian Space Project, is a mixture of Thy-penned Kmer rock and tributes to a golden age of 60's Cambodian pop

Louise Allan // 16 September 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Heavenly Creatures

Revisiting the film she loved unconditionally as a teenager, Jess McCabe still finds its portrayal of two young perpetrators of a horrific crime highly compelling

Jess McCabe // 11 September 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Romcom roundup: the friends with benefits phenomenon

'Friends with benefits' is not such a novelty as a recent series of Hollywood films is trying to present it, says Evelyn Krampf, debunking the phenomenon as a mere plot device serving the usual goals of good ol' heterosexist romcom

Evelyn Krampf // 6 September 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Choices Women Make: Agency in Domestic Violence, Assisted Reproduction, and Sex Work

Carisa R. Showden argues in her latest book that victim and agent are not mutually exclusive categories. Anna Edman considers her belief that survivors of domestic violence, women using assisted reproduction and women in prostitution are still able to assess their situation and wrest some control

Anna Edman // 6 September 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Unhitched

Richard Ganly reviews a book which challenges the notion that a monogamous, heterosexual marriage is truly superior to all others

Richard Ganly // 21 August 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Electrelane at Scala

Louise Allan gives an overview of the 10 year career of Electrelane and attends a gig at Scala on 21 July, one of their first after a three year break

Louise Allan // 10 August 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Catherine Elms finds Lady Gaga's latest album something of a mixed bag, but remains optimistic about the stars ability to vary her sound and stay strong on sex and sexuality

Catherine Elms // 8 August 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Break my fall

For those who can appreciate an at times painful study of relationship falling apart set in contemporary Hackney, the latest Harry Potter will be no competitor for Kanchi Wichmann's Break My Fall, suggests Selina Robertson

Selina Robertson // 28 July 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 Feminist Media History: Suffrage, Periodicals and the Public Sphere

Red Chidgey reviews a book focusing on the feminist periodicals which emerged from the campaign for women's right to vote, highlighting the central role of grassroots publications to engage the wider public

Red Chidgey // 27 July 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Game of Thrones

Elaine O'Neill explain why HBO's new swords and sorcery epic isn't just a man's game

Elaine O'Neill // 22 July 2011

Categories: Reviews, Television

 Y: The Last Man

Set in a world where all beings with a Y chromosome have been wiped out, this is one of the most remarkable comic book series of the first decade of the 21st century, says Maura McHugh

Maura McHugh // 18 July 2011

Categories: Comics, Reviews

 'Because sex workers shouldn't have to be dead to be on film'

Ania Ostrowska reviews the first ever London Sex Worker Film Festival and argues that sex workers' rights are a feminist issue

Ania Ostrowska // 14 July 2011

Categories: Films, Reviews

 How To Be a Woman

Ava Jackson reviews Caitlin Moran's book of the moment; a laugh-out-loud, light-hearted look at the day-to-day obstacles which await women in a modern world, from plastic surgery to tiny knickers

Ava Jackson // 13 July 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Biophilia - Björk returns

Ruth Rosselson attends the world premiere of Björk's live show, one of several performances at Campfield Market Hall that are her first UK dates in over three years

Ruth Rosselson // 10 July 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 tUnE-yArDs at the Manchester Deaf Institute

Ruth Rosselson gives the lowdown on a show from Merrill Garbus, a big-voiced artist who exudes confidence on stage through her music, rather than her outfits or dancing

Ruth Rosselson // 10 July 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 The Wilder Life

Wendy McClure immerses herself in the world of her beloved childhood hero Laura Ingalls Wilder. Diane Shipley follows this journey as McClure separates fact from fiction and is forced to examine why her childhood obsession has only deepened

Diane Shipley // 2 July 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs of the Queen of Country Music

Helen G reviews Laura Cantrell's collection of covers of songs by Kitty Wells, the first female country star to release a long-playing record

Helen G // 10 June 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Portal 2

Jess McCabe celebrates a refreshing break from the objectification of women in video games with Portal 2

Jess McCabe // 2 June 2011

Categories: Reviews, Video Games

 Granta 115: The F Word

Despite being The F-Word's namesake, Iman Qureshi argues that Granta 115: The F Word misses the mark

Iman Qureshi // 31 May 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Generation Indigo

Cazz Blase reviews Poly Styrene's final work, an angry album with socially biting lyrics but an overall optimistic theme

Cazz Blase // 29 May 2011

Categories: Music, Reviews

 Under an Emerald Sky

Lukela Aimmado explains why Under an Emerald Sky, a novel by black, queer, feminist activist Olukemi Amala is essential reading for all

Lukela Aimmado // 26 May 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Ruth

Katherine Wootton examines how Elizabeth Gaskell's daring novel Ruth, a new edition of which is published this month, challenges our prejudices and suggests how it is still relevent today

Katherine Wootton // 19 May 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Bloody marvellous

Horror films can be slash-fests that linger over torture of female victims. Or they can be feminist and subversive. Mathilda Gregory reviews the Bloody Women strand at this year's Bird's Eye View Film Festival

Mathilda Gregory // 8 April 2011

Categories: Events, Reviews

Women's Liberation Movement @ 40 - Reflections

Catherine Redfern gives some personal reflections on the Women's Liberation Movement @ 40 conference

Catherine Redfern // 18 March 2010

Categories: Events, Reviews

The Feminine Mistake

When Leslie Bennetts urged women to stay in the workplace after starting a family, she outraged millions of Americans. JC Sutcliffe reviews the lessons we can take away from her book - and its limitations

JC Sutcliffe // 2 May 2007

Categories: Books, Reviews

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