Scenes from 'Suffragette' are filmed in New Palace Yard in Westminster.

Parliament unusually full of women

11 April 2014 11:44

It’s quite easy to grow quite used to the way things are, and only realise that they’re a bit odd when there’s a momentary shift. Today Parliament is packed with… Continue reading

Operation Buzzard

Women should not fight on the frontline

10 April 2014 13:44

Writing in the Spectator Diary some time ago, the evergreen Peregrine Worsthorne, observed that one of the things about getting on was that you ended up forgetting the reason why… Continue reading

Women should have access to all areas of the army (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty)

Let women fight on the front line, but only if they pass the tests

8 April 2014 11:17

The head of the British Army has given the clearest sign yet that women will soon be given the right to fight on the front line in a combat role.… Continue reading

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 11.35.54

Why do people always assume critics are male?

4 April 2014 12:05

I offer you a riddle. It’s worthy of the Sphinx guarding Thebes, but if you’ve got half the brain of Oedipus you might get it. A father and his son… Continue reading

What would you like to see in this year's Budget?

George Osborne’s last chance: 40p…or childcare?

14 March 2014 17:27

Next week’s Budget is the last chance for George Osborne to make a ‘game-changing reform’. Backbench Tories have been clamouring for Osborne to reduce the number of people paying the… Continue reading


The dream pill may not always be worth it

13 February 2014 11:58

A couple of years ago, I was put on the third-generation contraceptive pill Yasmin. ‘It’s good for your skin and stabilises your weight,’ the doctor said. And it’s true. I’ve found… Continue reading


How does the Tory party solve its ‘women problem’?

9 February 2014 18:35

It’s a week since Harriet Harman claimed it was ‘raining men’ in the Tory party, and yet the debate still rages about whether the Conservatives have a ‘women problem’. Tory… Continue reading

Ann Clwyd has announced that she will not be standing for re-election in 2015. The seventh female Labour MP to do so. (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Tories and Labour both losing 8% of their female MPs

3 February 2014 12:51

Another day, another female MP decides to quit politics. Ann Clwyd has announced that, after 30 years in the Commons, she will not be standing in 2015. Female MPs have… Continue reading

So long, Anne. Thanks for all the fish. Image: Getty

Thirsk and Malton Tories boot out Anne McIntosh

31 January 2014 16:59

So the Constituent Spring continues. Thirsk and Malton Conservatives have just announced that they have voted to not re-adopt their MP Anne McIntosh. The party has announced that selection for… Continue reading

Picture: Richard Royal: former male model, now a would be Conservative candidate for 2015.

Dave’s model candidate

21 January 2014 10:47

Mr S was in the bath thinking ‘My word, isn’t nature wonderful?’ when he heard the pleasing sound of an email hitting his inbox. It contained the photograph above. The man in the… Continue reading

Women breastfeed their babies on July 24

My views on breast-feeding in public are politically indecent

31 October 2013 18:32

The Daily Mail has got itself into a bit of a lather over a “young mum” who was asked not to breast feed her baby at a swimming pool in… Continue reading

Our abortion laws are wholly absurd. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain’s abortion laws are inherently absurd

8 October 2013 10:04

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, yesterday declared that it was right not to prosecute doctors who authorised abortions which, according to a Telegraph investigation, were requested because of the gender of… Continue reading

Godfrey Bloom MEP in full flow in the European Parliament. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Godfrey Bloom’s feminine touch

17 September 2013 18:35

Mr Steerpike has obtained an exclusive extract of everyone’s favourite Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom’s new book A Guinea A Minute, which comes out later this week. His response to accusations of misogyny is worth reproducing in… Continue reading

Millionaire Stuart Wheeler Loses Lisbon Treaty Challenge

The row about Stuart Wheeler shows Britain has turned into a giant version of Woman’s Hour

16 August 2013 15:44

The hunt, since you ask, is on for one of Stuart Wheeler’s three very pretty daughters – Jacquetta is a well-known model – to opine about their father’s off-message remarks… Continue reading

Marie Duplessis, shortly before her death

The week in books – a 19th century career woman, the courtesan of the camellias, Vasily Grossman and why France is turning into the USA

16 August 2013 13:40

The forecast is bad. Football is back. Gloom strikes. Cure the malaise by reading the book reviews in this week’s Spectator. Here’s a selection: Richard Davenport-Hines introduces the celebrated American novelist… Continue reading

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Caitlin Moran was in favour of the Twitter walk out.

Why do people write abuse on the internet? Because they can

5 August 2013 16:04

I was away last week, filled with joy and love following the birth of our child, but just occasionally I’d check the multi-character psychodrama that is Twitter to stop myself… Continue reading

Andy Coulson suggested David Cameron could use his wife to help the Tories win back female voters. Picture: Carla Millar

What do women think about Palestine, Sam Cam?

30 May 2013 17:45

The Tories spend a lot of time and money scratching their heads about why women voters are deserting them. Today we were dropped a little clue as to why. Andy… Continue reading

(Grzegorz Michaowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Cult fiction – Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley

14 May 2013 13:57

There’s an attraction, certainly, in joining a cult. Not a Sheryl Sandberg working women type cult but a good old fashioned we’re all in it together wearing hemp skirts type… Continue reading

Assuming a good childcare offer will bring female voters flooding back to your party is as simplistic as assuming they'll be bought off with free shoes. Picture: Getty

Please, stop trying to solve the Women’s Vote problem by banging on about childcare

10 May 2013 16:23

Flicking through my diary this morning, I came across something I’d scrawled as ‘All the Tory ladies’ without further explanation. It turned out to be one of those drinks events… Continue reading

Conservatives Consider Family Tax Reform

An Antediluvian Tory Press Causes Problems for David Cameron

20 March 2013 10:52

Today’s papers make dreadful reading for anyone with an interest in modern, reformed conservatism. They are a reminder – if it were needed – that the Tory press is estranged… Continue reading

Circa 1700, Drawings of classical ladies' hairstyles. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Was Katherine Philips a lesbian love poet?

18 March 2013 9:58

To my Excellent Lucasia , on our Friendship. I did not live until this time Crowned my felicity – When I could say without a crime I am not thine,… Continue reading

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

The formidable female politicians of the year

30 December 2012 16:54

Audits of the last year are a blessing to journalists: a postmortem of the gainers and losers of 2012 are a useful means of covering for the fact that there’s… Continue reading

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech under portraits of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the founder of Iran's Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Getty: Image.

Simin Daneshvar, Persia’s first female novelist and hope for Iran’s future

11 December 2012 14:40

There is a Persian proverb which states that ‘books are a man’s best friend.’ Persian literature from the kings of antiquity to the last Shah of the Peacock Throne has,… Continue reading

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Katherine Angel's 'Unmastered' is a singular exploration of female sexual desire. Image: Getty.

Unmastered: A book on desire, most difficult to tell (…or read)

26 September 2012 9:42

Among the new words which entered the English Dictionary last year was ‘overshare’, def: ‘to reveal an inappropriate amount of detail about one’s personal life’. If that detail pertains to… Continue reading


America’s working women

11 September 2012 17:30

We know that the growth of women in work has been a significant driver of household income growth in the UK over the last 50 years. In fact, children are… Continue reading