More than a Fairytale: the (s)hero complex

In the second instalment of her column, More than a Fairytale, Jess Steadman examines the interplay between gender and heroism in medieval folklore. Artwork by Chen (Cornelia) Chen.

“Well, our storytellers have always been slightly uncomfortable with the possibility of a woman selfishly having any kind of physical power. I say ‘selfishly’ because in folklore and fairytales, the male hero is unapologetically narcissistic and egotistical… and for centuries, we loved him for it. Unfortunately, we still kind of do.”

Current Affairs

The twin pandemics: gender based violence during the times of coronavirus in South Africa

Gender-based violence is not a new problem in South Africa, but it has reached a fever pitch during the Covid-19 pandemic, with hundreds breaking lockdown restrictions to grieve the violent murder of Tshegofatso Pule, a 28 year old pregnant woman, in early June. The president Cyril Rampahosa addressed the nation in response, and last year pledged a further $75M in order to address the gender-based violence pandemic. The problems, however, are far more culturally and systematically entrenched, requiring solutions which reach beyond just legislation and funding, a challenge all the more exposed during the Coronavirus pandemic.


The Conservative government’s attack on trans rights is evil

‘The ability of trans people to self-identify may legally be hanging in the balance, but no government can take from us the ability to speak up.’

Jenny Elizabeth Scoones writes about the profound impacts of the government’s plans to scrap reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

Cultures Fashion

Men’s jewellery: an edgy trend or here to stay?

Think 1536. A Tudor king poses in a gold-embroidered cloak and his finest jewels. Hans Holbein furiously paints countless rows of pearls onto what would become the most iconic portrait of Henry VIII. In the 21st century, however, it’s no longer ruby rings and feathered hats that shout hyper-masculinity, it’s heavy chains and gold mouth Read More…