Writings

Gove’s departure – and what might follow

Below, my piece in today’s Guardian Comment page on the sudden demotion of Michael Gove. One could hear the gasps echoing around the political world yesterday morning. Gove demoted to the whips’ office? Unthinkable. Or was it? For experienced Gove watchers, there were a few signs in the air. At last month’s Wellington College festival… Continue reading…

Austerity Bites

Harry’s Last Stand by Harry Leslie Smith and Austerity Bites by Mary O’Hara – my latest review in the Guardian. Right now, some inventive literary festival programmer is probably trying to set up a staged discussion between Harry Leslie Smith and Mary O’Hara. If not, they should – it would be fascinating. Smith, a mere… Continue reading…

What should we tell our daughters about sex?

Below the first of a number of short extracts, that I will be publishing on this blog, from ‘What Should We Tell Our Daughters?’ – now out in paperback, and available from all good bookshops and, of course, from Amazon. …………………………………………………………………….. What about sex? Even young children realise, if only subliminally, that they owe their… Continue reading…

Why the Goves need a little history lesson

Below, my column in Education Guardian today. A few weeks ago this newspaper published a piece by Sarah Vine, Daily Mail columnist and wife of the education secretary, Micheal Gove, explaining why they had decided to send their daughter to a London state school. It was a funny and lively article, and I agreed with… Continue reading…

The Ghost Road

Below, my latest piece in Guardian Comment, on education’s growing culture of overwork, and how it is affecting children and parents. Do you know a ghost child? Are you possibly raising one? A report this week by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) pinpoints a worrying new phenomenon – the institutionalised infant, a whey-faced… Continue reading…

Upcoming events and discussions

Apologies for lack of website activity over the past few months (site statistics suggest a lot of you have been visiting this site during this period) but I am sure regular readers will understand – given the final illness and death of my father, Tony Benn, a few weeks ago – why I have been… Continue reading…

Praise for ‘What Should We Tell Our Daughters?’

‘What Should We Tell Our Daughters? The Pleasures and Pressures of Growing Up Female ‘ was published earlier this autumn. Here are some of the comments that have been made about the book – and me! I am also doing a lot of festivals/talks and events; please check out this link http://melissabenn.com/2013/08/29/what-should-we-tell-our-daughters-autumn-events/ for accounts –… Continue reading…

What Should We Tell Our Daughters? Autumn events….

Below, details of some of the events I have been – or will be – taking part in over the autumn, as part of publication of ‘What Should We Tell Our Daughters?’ ( Unless otherwise stated, this will usually be the title of the session…) Please come along – and join the discussion… . Friday… Continue reading…

What Should We Tell Our Daughters? – details of autumn publication

What Should We Tell Our Daughters? By Melissa Benn Hardback £25.00 A manifesto for modern womanhood – and a guide through the perils and pitfalls of parenting girls We have reached a tricky crossroads in modern women’s lives and our collective daughters are bearing the brunt of some intolerable pressures. Although feminism has made great… Continue reading…

How do we keep our daughters safe, but not controlled?

Five man today appear in court, charged with the rape and murder of a still unnamed medical student on a bus in Delhi at the end of last year. I know I am not alone in continuing to feel haunted by the deep sadism, and even deeper sadnesses, of the Delhi case.. It feels like… Continue reading…