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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee