Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Book review: The Interestings, By Meg Wolitzer

In her doorstopper of a novel, Meg Wolitzer follows the lives of six friends – from summer camp in 1974 to the present day

Book review: The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History, By Emma Rees

Sort of an encyclopedia genitalia

Cricket? That's only a bonus - I came for the junk food and the beer

A seat for the Ashes reminded me of the primary difference between football and cricket

Zoe Margolis warned that the Government was taking 'a dangerous and misguided approach' to internet safety

David Cameron’s plan for internet-porn filters ‘risks hurting LGBT community’

Prominent writers warn PM that some people may be denied access to educational sites

The News Matrix: Wednesday 21 August 2013

Salary is top priority for school leavers

Godfrey Bloom, who sparked controversy by claiming British foreign aid should not be sent to 'Bongo-Bongo land', has now given his opinion on women drivers

Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom disparages women drivers, feminists… and mild-mannered men

Godfrey Bloom, the Ukip MEP who sparked controversy by claiming British foreign aid should not be sent to “Bongo-Bongo land”, has courted controversy again by claiming that women are better at finding “mustard in the pantry” than driving cars.

Tunisian activist quits Femen protest group as she believes it is Islamophobic

Amina Sboui, the Tunisian Femen activist who was detained by authorities for almost three months after protesting topless, said she has left the radical feminist group because she believes it is Islamophobic.

Bryony Kimmings and her niece Taylor in Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel

Edinburgh 2013: Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel - A bold, brilliant show from Bryony Kimmings

A grown woman and a nine-year-old girl, in matching lace-trimmed page-boy outfits and long blonde hair, perform a sexily choreographed disco dance to Jessie J in front of a glittery, woodland backdrop. It’s ridiculous and funny, both like a fairytale and very modern, and a bit unsettling: an accurate description of the whole of Bryony Kimmings’ show, performed with her little niece Taylor. It’s also wonderfully, heart-burstingly righteous.

Sarah Maple

Page 3 caught up in a feminist booby-trap: Readers of 'The Sun' are in for an eyeful

When one of Britain's most controversial new artists mocked up an alternative Page 3 and slipped it into a thousand copies of The Sun newspaper three years ago, she did it with the help of just 30 friends. Now, she has got up to 500 feminists on board.

DVD: The Look of Love

Michael Winterbottom's jaunty Paul Raymond biopic stars Steve Coogan as the billionaire property baron, strip-club impresario, and girly-mag publisher.

Hear their roar: campaigners dressed as suffragettes attend a rally organised by UK Feminista

'It's an incredibly exciting time for feminist activism': We can't wait for the (Feminista) weekend to begin

Feminism is often described in waves. If that's the case, then right now feminist campaigners are surfing the crest of a big one. The news this past year has been dominated by the achievements of activists such as Caroline Criado-Perez, who successfully persuaded the Bank of England to put a female face on £10 notes; Lucy-Anne Holmes, whose No More Page 3 petition has more than 114,000 signatures and even provoked a response from David Cameron; and Laura Bates, whose Everyday Sexism campaign has highlighted the extent of casual misogyny.

Bruce Willis in a Sky Broadband advert that has been banned by the ASA

With the banning of Bruce Willis' Sky Broadband advert, we've entered a golden era for complainers

How can one complaining individual have so much power over the silent masses?

Tesco has struck a 'modesty deal' regarding the front covers of magazines such as Zoo, Nuts and Front and Bizarre will be supplied in a bag

Lose the Lads Mags: It's not about the nudity

It's true that both feminist campaigners and authoritarian Islamic states advocate covering up female bodies on magazine covers - so let's be clear about the distinction

The help desk: How to deal with mother-in-law interference

Q. I'm happily married (and have been for two years) and I'm expecting a baby in November. The problem is that I'm finding it increasingly difficult to cope with my husband's mother. Things have been a bit strained between us from the start. She and my father-in-law helped us buy and furnish our first flat and she seems to think that gives her a licence to comment on our choice of décor – and our standards of hygiene.

Let mothers breastfeed - wherever they choose

A fall in breastfeeding harms the nation's health, and increases NHS spending

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there