‘Incel’ violence is horrific, but Joker is complex, and doesn’t take sides

Alarmist reactions to the rightwing film starring Joaquin Phoenix as a needy, dangerous wannabe star comic overlook its subtler points Tincel culture, or involuntary celibates men who see themselves as losers and beta males who women dont want to sleep with. Angry, misogynistic and feeling entitled to sex and attention, incels have been prone to real-world violence, as with the Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (obsessed by Betsy), he becomes romantically intrigued by Sophie (Zazie Beetz), a pretty girl he barely knows, his fantasies go into overdrive. Yet romance and sex, or lack of these, is not a major factor in Jokers move towards violence; he never expresses any particular malice toward Sophie. Rather, Arthur is driven by a ( …

Theatre and #MeToo: ‘There’s a new anger in women’s stories’

The Weinstein scandal has inspired several new plays ranging from sharp satire to crass comedy. As the mogul heads to trial, we gauge theatres response Katie Arnstein tells a story of a day at drama school when a tutor told her to perform her graduation show in a bra because Im a blonde with a big chest. It is one of several experiences that informed Arnsteins solo show #MeToo numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault levelled at Harvey Weinstein since 2017. (Allegations he continues to deny in the run-up to his trial in September.) I was inspired by the strength shown by people who have called out abuse in the acting industry, Arnstein says. This play is my version …

Wild oversharing comic Phoebe Robinson: ‘I do dumb things. That’s who I am!’

Is the fringe ready for the brash standup who used to get paid in nachos and chicken wings? We meet one half of 2 Dope Queens as she fills her shoes with sweat What does Phoebe Robinson want to see when she arrives at the Edinburgh fringe? Just tons of dudes smuggling their bangers and mash in their kilts. Observational comic, astute social critic, signee of a deal with ABC studios, bestselling author (2 Dope Queens (the podcast duo turned HBO stars), Robinson has a philosophy: that comedy thirsty, uninhibited, occasionally gross, with riffs on Googling David Bowies penis size after learning he has died can be a force for good. At Edinburgh, Robinson will tour her show, called Sorry, …

From Baba Yaga to Hermione Granger: why we’re spellbound by ‘witcherature’

Vengeful, seductive, feminist, misogynist … witches have appeared in many forms in literature. Now a new generation of novelists are falling under their spell A witch is a woman who has too much power. Or, to quote the novelist #MeToo world, where Donald Trump a fan of the term witch-hunt is US president, it is really no surprise that female writers are examining the role of the witch in new ways. Since Trumps election, which inspired mass spell-casting by thousands of resistance witches (the selection of judge Circe, Millers reimagining of the story of the witch from the Odyssey. Shortlisted for the Womens prize and soon to become an HBO series, the novel sees Circe, a victim of rape, turn …

Monsters, men and magic: why feminists turned to witchcraft to oppose Trump

Whether its hexing the president, chatting in WhatsApp covens or featuring in TV reboots, radicalised women have been finding strength in the ancient pagan arts This is the time for getting scary, the writer Andi Zeisler told Elle magazine on the eve of the 2017 Womens March. We need to go full witch. At the dawn of the Trump administration, witches were suddenly everywhere in the US. Neo-pagans used blogs and social media to circulate popular rituals for hexing Brett Kavanaugh (accused of sexual assault, which he denies), and Donald Trump himself. The Trump curse was enacted by thousands of people, including the singer Lana Del Rey. Basic Witches, in which they explained: If you speak when youre told to …

The #MeToo movement gave a voice to silenced women so why are films about it all made by men?

From the David Mamet play Bitter Wheat to Steven Berkoff s Harvey, how ironic that women directors are being written out of the narrative The #MeToo movement intended to give a voice to the silenced, and one of the more literal ways it is now attempting to do so is through the stage and screen. Theres a John Malkovich will play the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in the David Mamet play another play about is in talks for a #MeToo-themed anthology series called Consent. The stories that were scaremongered, bribed and blackmailed out of the public domain are finally being told and almost entirely by men. There is a churning sense of irony in the fact that a campaign …

Pete Davidson is dating an older woman – why is the world shocked?| Arwa Mahdawi

Misogyny is behind the criticism of the Saturday Night Live comedians relationship with Kate Beckinsale Quiz time! Put your calculators away, please, I have a maths problem designed to test every inch of your natural intelligence. Ready? Here we go: Pete Davidson is a 25-year-old comedian. He is dating Kate Beckinsale, a 45-year-old actor. Whats their age difference? Twenty years? Wrong. The correct answer, judging from popular responses, is: Too many years to be acceptable. While society takes older men hooking up with younger women for granted, we still seem to have a lot of hang-ups about women dating younger guys. There is a one-word explanation for this: misogyny. Davidson has addressed such double standards head-on. eople have a crazy …

‘You don’t become less ambitious’: the female startup founders going public with their pregnancies

More female startup founders are blowing up conventional ideas that having a newborn and building a startup dont mix In late January, Amy Nelson, the founder of the Riveter co-working network, posted an ultrasound on Twitter. Thats my baby girl, she wrote. She arrives in June #proudmama. Though baby announcements arent uncommon on social media, for startup world, this tweet was surprising. Female startup founders have historically shied away from going public with their pregnancies. Investors the lifeblood of startup funding have frequently hesitated to bet on companies whose founder might soon be juggling a newborn. Nelson, however, is not keeping her pregnancy on the down-low. In 2017, she walked away from a high-powered litigation career, frustrated with widespread bias …

Here’s my advice for teenage girls: don’t make the same mistakes I did

First off, get to know yourself, ideally before you are in your mid-30s Because Im so wise, Im sometimes asked to give careers advice to teenage girls at schools. And I love doing this, because the girls I meet are invariably excellent and I want to save them from making the same mistakes I did. (Kids, its not as funny as you think it is to take drugs at a music festival in front of your boss.) But, increasingly, I feel Ive been focusing on the wrong areas. Ive definitely made more mistakes in my personal than my professional life, and thats really saying something given I once caused an actual bomb scare in my office and had the entire …