Arts and Entertainment

Madeleine St John, who died in 2006, was best known for her debut novel, The Women in Black (1993), and the Booker shortlisted The Essence of the Thing (1997).

These ladies aren't for turning

Bolshy, matronly and earnest - stern women get a bad rap in a world where cleavage rules. But Sarah Litvinoff loves them

The Saturday Essay: Idle, sad and baffled by sex. What's wrong with men?

Men, renowned for their ability to get stoned, drunk or to be sexually daring, appear terrified of themselves

Stabs in the back for an old feminist

SO WHAT do you think about Germaine Greer's new book? It's no good protesting that you haven't read it. Neither have I, and it hasn't stopped journalists ringing to ask what I make of it. Other people have been getting calls about it too, including my friend Maureen Freely, who is a feminist author as well as a colleague of Ms Greer's at Warwick University. The conversation moves swiftly from the book itself - not a very fruitful topic since it isn't due to be published until March next year - to questions about whether Ms Greer has anything to say to younger women.

Letter: Prophet for profit

Sir: Germaine Greer ("Dr Greer, I presume", 4 November) is best understood as one of a multitude of prophets for profit who simply got it wrong when they wrote their premature blockbusters for cash and lived to find that much of what they propagated was garbage.

Dr Greer, I presume

Brilliant, self-assured and bloody angry like its author, The Female Eunuch appeared in 1970 and spoke for a generation of women. Three decades on, can its sequel speak for anyone but Germaine Greer herself?

Books: Raising a glass to the awkward squad

A Week in Books: Writers enjoy the odd drink on the state, but belong in opposition

Accidental Heroes of the 20th Century: No 5. Germaine Greer, Feminist

THE TROUBLE with most intellectuals is that they tend to be a little light on half-decent gags. Not Germaine Greer. From posing naked, legs akimbo, in a radical Dutch magazine in the Seventies, to her memorable description of a fellow columnist's footwear as "fuck-me shoes", her heroic career has been full of rib-ticklers; and all without sacrificing one ounce of credibility as a feminist thinker.

Let's all blame Mrs Thatcher

England's defeat will signal wholesale psychic collapse

Music Review: A mother of all nights with Zappa's Fathers of Invention

Classical: Britten Sinfonia

The century in photographs: 98for98 - Today 1971

This photograph, part of The Independent and the Hulton Getty Picture collection's 98 For '98 - The Century in Photographs, shows what we know nowadays as a bimbo punching the air. Apparently. However, she was dressed like that for a reason, protesting against the Miss World contest and making the point that judging on appearance tells only half the story.

Profile Barry Humphries: Nothing like a dame Head Head

Art expert, musical patron, writer: Edna's alter-ego has hidden depths, discovers David Lister

The ultimate girls' night out

It promised to be one of the knockout nights out of the past quarter century. Three doughty feminist sisters, partial victors in countless bruising sexual encounters on the page and off, came together at London's Purcell Room this week to celebrate the great books they'd all written to turn back the tide of male oppression.

150 years for the guide to who's who and what's what

WHILE some of the most famous celebrities in the world partied the night away at post-Oscar bashes last night, there was a much more discreet gathering in London, attended by anyone who really is anyone.

Selling to the Bridget Jones generation

Targeting today's woman is seen as adland's biggest challenge, writes Meg Carter. But just exactly who is she?

Mail chauvinism: the last bastion has finally fallen

FEMINISM: an apology. In recent years we may have inadvertently given the impression that feminists are a load of frustrated, man-hating lesbians. Readers did not perhaps appreciate that terms such as "dungarees", "hairy legs" and "dykes" were intended as affectionate teasing of some outstanding woman, such as Germaine Greer, for whom we have always had nothing but the warmest respect. When we wrote of "drab, humourless, bra-burning women's libbers", it was of course from a position which recognised, and empathised with, the appalling restrictions associated with traditional female roles.
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Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes