Mostly because a) they weren’t published online or b) I didn’t talk about them here. My top picks from my 2011 paid work… with some end of year reflections thrown in for good measure.
The New Sexual Double Standard - CLEO, March 2011.
Hooked to one of my all time most popular blog posts, this story explored the radical notion that (*gasp*) men don’t want sex all the time. It also seemed to go down a treat with CLEO readers, if tweets and letters to the editor are any indication, which made me happy, ‘cos it was a bit of a battle to get up.
Continental Drift - Sunday Life cover story, March 2011.
I’d wanted to write this story about intimacy and the expat life for a while - before I was an expat myself even. Because as I say in the article, even if you’re not up and leaving your home town, city or country for (hopefully) greener pastures, chances are someone you know is. The constant coming and going of people I care about has been an ironically permanent fixture of my adult life.
The rise of the guy-on-guy kiss - Cosmopolitan, March 2011.
A 2010 UK study found that 89 percent of heterosexual, university aged men had kissed another man, and 37 percent had engaged in a “sustained” snog. To be honest, I’m a little sceptical of these results, but it did make for an interesting discussion of how young men are challenging (or not) hegemonic masculinity.
Funny Girl: Tina Fey - Sunday Life cover story, April 2011.
You know that scene in 30 Rock where Liz Lemon takes too many sleeping pills and drools all over “Oprah Winfrey” on a plane? That’s how I feel about Tina Fey. Seriously. Fortunately, I didn’t start spurting out Lemon-style confessions when we spoke, but my hand did start shaking so much I had to put down my phone-slash-recording device.
The Charmer Rapist - Cosmopolitan, May 2011.
I think I liked this story more on the writing of it than I do on the rereading, but I’m still really pleased to have been able to use it to bust some rape myths in Cosmo's pages. As the article says (and most regulars of the feminist blogosphere know), most rapes are committed by someone known to the victim/survivor, they demonstrate planning and premeditation (that is, they're not simply a “misunderstanding”), and yes, you can still be raped by someone you liked, enjoyed talking to, or even otherwise planned to have sex with. See also: this July 2011 article on SlutWalk, also from Cosmopolitan.
Thoroughly Modern Moran - Sunday Life cover story, August 2011.
British columnist and author Caitlin Moran is my favourite kind of charming. That is to say: she swears a lot, says what’s on her mind and sprinkles her emails liberally with kisses. She also had lots of smart things to say about feminism when I profiled her for this story earlier this year.
Meet the man behind the anti-carbon tax lobby - The Spectator cover story, September 2011.
When I saw the New York Times had interviewed my favourite student politics jousting buddy Tim Andrews on the anti-carbon tax movement down under, I cursed myself for not thinking of it first. Like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, Tim and I disagree on just about well, everything, but I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him about the rise of tea party politics in Australia, and his thoughts on activist strategy on the left and the right.
Having it all: The Rise and Rise of the Superwoman - Sunday Life cover story, October 2011.
I seem to be just about the only person on earth who actually liked the SJP flick, I Don’t Know How She Does It. Which isn’t to say I think it should be nominated for an Oscar or anything, but it was good fun and not too insulting as Hollywood comedies go. It also made for interesting fodder for this story on changing cultural narratives around the “superwoman” figure.
Women of influence: who’s inspiring us now? - Cosmopolitan, November 2011.
Inspired by this blog post, and my interview with Moran a few months previously. I think I went a bit too soft in the middle, but you kind of have to when you’re suggesting that Kim K and Pippa M might not be all that in a mainstream women’s mag.