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This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Please call me they

How do I explain to my colleagues that I’m not a ‘he’ or a ‘she’—and why it matters?

Why are religious conservatives embracing transgender rights?

Iran has the second highest number of sexual reassignment surgeries in the world. What’s going on?

Women beware: President Trump and the promise of violence

The Mooch may have gone but the menace and misogyny remain deep inside the White House.

How intersectional feminism transformed me from an asshole to an activist

I wrote this so that more cis men can understand their toxic behavior and avoid apologizing 20 years too late.

Please don’t tie me down

It’s time to let go of the Victorian idea that a ‘serious’ man should not be sensually open.            

Face to faith

It is better to be united in our ignorance than divided in our certainties.

Is there really a crisis around identity politics on the left?

The claim that intersectional critiques are divisive is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of both intersectionality and socialism.

Through the dark night

Inside ourselves and in the world at large, more darkness brings more light rising in response. 

We protest by creating beauty

Meet the artists and activists writing love letters on the streets.

When meditation isn’t enough

For someone with a traumatized nervous system, sitting in silence isn’t always the right response.

Why we're not taking the new porn laws lying down

Who cares about a bunch of queers flogging each other when there’s a migrant crisis and article 50 has been triggered? We do.

Profits first, love later: why western love stories need subverting

What alternative possibilities are opened up when dominant representations of love are questioned?

What’s so feminist about yoga?

Despite the influence of capitalism on its practice, yoga can strengthen resistance and movement-building.

God is justice: the social spirituality of Dorothee Soelle

A unique synthesis of mysticism, activism and feminism which still resonates in a world that’s filled with both beauty and injustice.

Anti-feminism, then and now

Menace and the threat of violence have a particular address to women. Welcome to a new phase of anti-feminism.

Is it time to say goodbye to the non-binary in gender?

Being defined by a negative speaks more of bureaucracy than of sex or self-expression. 

It’s gender that’s a joke, not queerness

Being genderqueer is not about displaying an intellectual image—it’s a matter of life and death.

The spectre of female otherness is haunting athletics

Hyperandrogenic competitors are not men, and exceptional women shouldn’t be excluded on the grounds that ‘normal’ women feel threatened by their masculine traits. 

Set in stone? The architecture of colonialism

Can the physical reminders of British occupation ever be seen as home?

Olympians without nations: first-ever team of refugees heads to Summer Games

With 20 million refugees worldwide, the International Olympic Committee announces a new team to make the games more inclusive for people without a nation to call home.

Why I stormed the Tate Modern in protest against violent men

On 13 June over 150 feminist activists mourned the murder and erasure of artist Ana Mendieta. We were there for our sisters who did not survive.

This is why using 'they' as a gender pronoun is so important

The 'they' prounoun carries emotional weight, affirms others, and challenges our assumptions about gender.

Meet the sex workers using art to expose truths about the sex industry

Ahead of the opening of Sex Workers' Opera tonight, these arts activists are fighting the battle for hearts and minds.

Ending the silence around German colonialism

At least 300,000 people died at the hands of German colonizers during its empire. These art projects are uncovering colonial histories to understand racism in Germany today.

Are refugees really welcome? Inside the fight to save Berlin's Wagenplatz Kanal

The Berlin Senate is trying to replace a refugee-led activist space with a refugee camp. Why?

How to decolonise mental health services

UK mental health service providers are still failing to deal with race and ethnicity.

Three myths about sex work that harm everyone

It's not just young girls and big bad wolves. Lies and misconceptions about sex work can hurt women and keep negative stereotypes alive.

Staying alive: Kate Bornstein gives the finger to cancer, suicide, and the gender binary

"Once you break down a huge fucking binary like gender, no other binaries seem to make sense": an interview with the much-loved trans author and artist.

Decolonial love: five ways to resist oppression in your relationships

We're never going to get anywhere as long as our economies of attraction resemble the economies of attraction of white supremacy.

There's more to being gay than anal penetration

Public portrayals of gay men are highly sexualized, often centred around anal penetration. Sex is shown as quintessential; intimacy, dispensible.

The legend of Greenham Common women's peace camp

Greenham was an alternative world, an anti-nuclear protest by hundreds of thousands of women activists. At 'Bringing Greenham Home', we relived the spirit with films and talks from those who were there.

Six key messages about sexual violence in UK activist communities

The Salvage research project listens to survivors of activist sexual violence: here's what they've learned.

The Chubsters and me: how my fat girl gang queered activism

An edited extract from Charlotte Cooper's new book Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement.

They cut, we bleed: activists are fighting cuts to domestic violence services

Intimate partner violence kills two women a week, while around the UK refuges are forced to close. Sisters Uncut have had enough.

More than equality: reasons to be a feminist socialist

Equality? Feminist socialism has something better in mind: using power to transform hierarchies.

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