From music to sport, too many kids are losing out on vital life-enhancing activities
Disadvantaged children in England are being priced out of a cultural hinterland. A Social Mobility Commission study, from the University of Bath, reports that children aged 10-15 from low-income families are three times less likely than wealthier peers to engage in out-of-school musical activities, such as learning an instrument or joining a choir or orchestra.
There were also differences according to race – 4% of British Pakistani children took part in music classes, compared with 28% of Indian children and 20% of white children – and regional divides: 9% of children in north-east England played a musical instrument, compared with 22% in the south-east.
Periods, miscarriage and menopause were traditionally ‘private topics’. A raft of new books is changing that
When comedian Eleanor Thom first decided to write about her life with endometriosis, a long-term and often incredibly painful gynaecological condition, she did so because “I felt that this was the sort of thing I needed to read when I was a teenager.
“There’s a lot of medical stuff out there but it’s very much ‘this is what happens; these are the theories behind it’. They don’t tell you how to live with it day after day.”
Menstrual cups are eco friendly, save money and now are officially just as reliable as tampons
If you’re a Guardian-reading woman of a certain age, it’s likely you’ll have been party to the evangelical Mooncup rant. In the Mooncup rant, one woman tells the other about a convex piece of medical-grade silicone that has saved her life. She uses it each time she gets her period, and spends the rest of her time talking about it. The cup has saved her thousands, is proof of her eco credentials and is now, essentially, the best thing ever.
I’m relatively new to menstrual cups, turning to them two years ago after an organic tampon company’s cardboard applicators injured my gentlest parts. And I’ve got the devotion of a convert, regularly proselytising about my Mooncup with all the spittle-flecked frenzy of a televangelist. A new study published by the Lancet this week has proved my claims. Researchers from the Medical Research Council, the Department for International Development and the Wellcome Trust found that menstrual cups were just as reliable as tampons.
To stamp out bullying, harassment and sexism in Westminster, we need to shift the whole way we do politics • Jennifer Nadel is the co-founder of Compassion in Politics
Twenty-nine years ago this week I carried out an investigation for the Guardian about the endemic levels of sexism in parliament. A generation later, although much has been done, it is shocking to discover that so little has changed.
Last week’s reports on bullying and harassment in the Commons and Lords by the QCs Gemma White and Naomi Ellenbogen reveal a parliament that is still chauvinistic, lecherous and patriarchal.
With recent confirmation that periods have no health benefit, an increasing number of women are using contraception to stop them altogether
For some, it is about bringing an end to debilitating pain or dark thoughts. For others, it is as simple as being liberated from the sinking realisation that you need a tampon – but you left them in your other handbag.
When a new wave of feminist authors and activists are calling on women to embrace their periods, the idea that some do not want a monthly bleed and are seeking to avoid having them altogether can seem radical.
The author of Fake, Guardian Australia’s new Unmissable book, says her story is far more than ‘lonely childless woman who fell for a fraud’
In 2013, I wrote my first “personal essay”. I told the world that I frequently felt acutely lonely. Even then, two years before Slate declared there were too many of these “solo acts of sensational disclosure” and four years before Jia Tolentino wrote a piece for the New Yorker carrying the headline “The personal-essay boom is over”, I feared there was something potentially unseemly about airing my private agonies.
The author of the Slate article, Laura Bennett, called essays such as How I Came to Forgive My Rapist (Vox) and My Gynaecologist Found a Ball of Cat Hair in My Vagina (xoJane) “professional dead ends, journalistically speaking”.