“It’s so taboo but we want it so damn bad”: introducing 50.50 columnists Tiffany Mugo and Claudia Torrisi

These 50.50 authors will delight and challenge us with monthly comment and analysis about sexuality in Africa, and reportage on intersecting forms of oppression in Italy.

Claire Provost author pic
Claire Provost
17 August 2017

50.50 authors Tiffany Mugo (left) and Claudia Torrisi.

50.50 writers Tiffany Mugo (left) and Claudia Torrisi. Photos courtesy of authors.

“We live in a world that is so sexually powerful and electric but so sexually violent that you don’t know whether to masturbate or carry a machete,” says Tiffany Kagure Mugo in a rousing TEDx talk in Cape Town, South Africa. She throws up her hands as a ripple of laughter runs through the audience. “It’s true, it’s true! The thing about sex is that it's so taboo but we want it so damn bad”.

Mugo is the joyously creative co-founder and curator of HOLAA! a unique online hub devoted to tackling issues around African female sexuality. Starting this month, Mugo also joins openDemocracy 50.50 as a regular writer. For the rest of 2017, she will delight and challenge us with monthly comment and analysis “talking about sex, sexual identity and sexuality in an easy and lubricated way”.

READ Mugo's piece Coitus and conversation: the digital realm is taking sex to new levels.

From Italy, journalist Claudia Torrisi is also joining 50.50 as a monthly writer. With a series of reported features Torrisi will help us understand how racism, sexism, xenophobia, poverty and other mechanisms of exclusion intersect. She will report on the impact of these dynamics – and the social movements and organisations that are organising the resistance.

Torrisi is a young freelance reporter based in Rome. She is also a volunteer with Chayn Italy, a unique and open-source feminist tech collective. Her previous pieces for 50.50 have examined how the Italian media covers violence against women and have investigated how widespread use of “conscientious objection” by Italian doctors limits women’s access to safe abortion services that have been legal for almost 40 years.

READ Torrisi's piece “Change can start from us”: Roma women in Italy fight for their rights.

Follow @tiffmugo, @clatorrisi and @5050od on Twitter, and sign up to 50.50’s newsletter so that you don’t miss any of their articles. Have another idea for a regular feature or a theme we should dig into? Want to republish a 50.50 piece? That's great. Email us. We'd love to hear from you.

How do we work after coronavirus?

The pandemic has profoundly changed our working lives. Millions have lost their jobs; others have had no choice but to continue working at great risk to their health. Many more have shouldered extra unpaid labour such as childcare.

Work has also been redefined. Some workers are defined as 'essential' – but most of them are among the lowest-paid in our societies.

Could this be an opportunity?

Amid the crisis, there has been a rise in interest in radical ideas, from four-day weeks to universal basic income.

Join us on 5pm UK time on 20 August as we discuss whether the pandemic might finally be a moment for challenging our reliance on work.

In conversation:

Sarah Jaffe, journalist and author of 'Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone', due to be published next year.

Amelia Horgan, academic and author of 'Lost in Work: Escaping Capitalism', also due to be published next year.

Chair: Alice Martin, advisory board member of Autonomy, a think tank dedicated to the future of work.

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