Masculinity in the Trenches

“You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you’ll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.”  – Siegfried Sassoon, ‘Suicide in the Trenches’.     At the outbreak of the First World War, the epitome of military manhood dictated that a spirit of strength and sacrifice was vital for those who were willing to serve Continue Reading

Sexuality in Sport

A few months ago, whilst watching an enthralling contest between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates stadium, I found myself in a position of some conflict. The man next to me, an Arsenal regular who’s been going for years, would occasionally hurl homophobic abuse at the referee or opposition when a decision particularly upset him. Continue Reading

Gender Traitors

“Our BODIES, our LIVES, our RIGHTS, our FUTURE”, chants the website of the women’s rights organisation poignantly titled the Handmaid Coalition. Formed in response to the outcome of the 2016 American Presidential election, which, they claim, “changed us all”, this collective are “fighting to ensure fiction does not become reality”. But why would a modern Continue Reading

Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya is a 27-year-old South African middle-distance runner who rose to prominence after winning the 800m at the 2009 World Championships at the age of 18 with consummate ease. The talk after her victory was not about Semenya’s age, or her impressive time of 1.55.45, but instead her sex. At this year’s Commonwealth Games, Continue Reading