My young son was ‘approached’ online. Does that make me a bad parent? | Zoe Williams

New UK legislation is badly needed to control the wild west of the digital world and unfortunately I know this all too well, writes Guardian columnist Zoe Williams No one in the world has done this before, Jeremy Wright, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said of the governments censorship, the scope of politicians to misuse it, these are things we understand very well and rather emotionally, from dystopian literature, from the warnings emitting from the darkest totalitarian points of the past. And while we may be able to see the outlandish results of a vast unobserved space, where people can say whatever they like to whomever they like parading past 15-year-old schoolgirls going to join Islamic …

Queer today, gone tomorrow: the fight to save LGBT nightlife

They survived homophobia and Thatcher. But is gentrification now sounding the death knell for gay clubs and pubs? We meet the artists battling to save them On a summers day in 2017, in gardens near the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London, an unusual drag show took place. A lot of work had gone into the costumes, but these were not of the kind youd expect: there were no rhinestones or wigs. Each performer was wearing an architectural model on their head, and instead of lip-syncing, they were reading out snippets of planning and licensing documents. The models didnt represent buildings of any great distinction, but to members of the audience they were a familiar lineup: the Black Cap, the Joiners …

Squaring up: how Insta-fashion is changing the way we shop

Instagram has become the window display for a new generation of savvy shoppers and its changing the way we consume style, for good and bad. Leah Harper meets some of the pioneers at the forefront of Insta-fashion Weve all bought them at some time or another: the perfect pair of shoes. Stylish, comfortable the kind you wear with everything until they fall apart, and you have to start scouring the internet for a replacement. But recently you might have noticed that the way you find a replacement has changed. Not long after you begin your search, a pair of similar shoes appears, as a sponsored post, on your Instagram feed. Theyre there one day, and then the next. Youll likely …

Feminism with no human warmth leaves me cold | Zoe Williams

Im a fan of the acclaimed young writer known as the Slumflower. But her sexual creed of exploitation appals me, says Guardian columnist Zoe Williams A couple of years ago, the feminist society of Deptford Green secondary school convened a conference. It was there that I met Chidera Eggerue: aka the Slumflower, author of #saggyboobsmatter movement. She was a remarkable woman. I dont want to call her a remarkable young woman, even though she was 23 at the time: young is such a modifier and she would have been remarkable at any age. Her broad message was one of body positivity: if you love yourself and your shape, nobody can shame you. She built what I thought was a brisk, …

How we met: We were saying I love you after a week

Robin, 30, and Cat Lang, 31, are teachers and live in Bradford with their two children. They met at secondary school and have been together since they were 16 Robin and Cat Langs eight-week-old daughter, asleep in her fathers arms, has a middle name they picked out when they had only been going out for a couple of months 15 years ago. The couple recently re-read the teenage emails they had written to each other, talking about how they would get married and what they would call their children. We were a bit ridiculous, says Cat, laughing. We were saying I love you after a week. They met, aged 11, in the same form at their Harrogate secondary school. We …

How many tampons do you need? This man will explain

The astonishing misplaced confidence of some men has been on show again, with one very clever chap attempting to mansplain menstruation to women using maths This week, mansplaining on the internet reached giddy new heights as one man tried to calculate just how many tampons are necessitated by the average period. A Twitter user a screengrab of a comment, posted on PinkNewss Facebook page by a plucky gentleman outlining how women might be able to manage their periods affordably with only his trusty man-brain and the power of maths. To his credit, the maths was correct it was just everything else that was wildly wrong. So the average period is 10 to 35ml of blood, each tampon holds about 5ml, …

Khlo Kardashian says we should show love to racists but why coddle them? | Yomi Adegoke

In the minds of many, being colourblind is seen as a type of kindness, that racism cannot exist if we are all just humans Over the weekend, Khlo Kardashian pic.twitter.com/KnVqFCmH6a colour-blindness is a type of kindness. Such people believe that acknowledging racism does more harm than racism itself which is only true if you consider that white fragility is being harmed. Coddling the complicit is hardly new, of course. Colour-blindness allows liberals to lay claim to wokeness without doing the work required to undermine white supremacy: how can it even exist if were all just humans, man? The Kardashians babies, besties and boyfriends continue to be human shields against accusations of racism laid at the door of this ever-ignorant family. …

Is it ever too late to reply to an email? | Oliver Burkeman

Social expectations about digital etiquette have never been more in flux. The solution? Avoid worrying about it altogether You know youve reached a crisis point in your email backlog when youre obliged as I was recently to confront the following conundrum of electronic etiquette: is it ruder to reply to an email after three months than not to reply at all? On one hand, obviously, given since 1969. Three months is, lets be clear, far too long to delay a reply. But I suspect were entering a phase in emails history when social expectations about such matters have never been more in flux. As the burden of digital communication keeps increasing, digital minimalism is entering the mainstream. (I recommend a …

Why the sleep industry is keeping us awake at night

Were told that getting eight unbroken hours of sleep will protect us from cancer and dementia, and make us happier. But are we being sold an impossible dream? Hardly a day goes by without some new story about sleep in the papers, on TV or in our news feeds. Sleep is everywhere. Were told relentlessly how much of it we need, what will happen if we dont get it, and how much the economy loses through tired workers.

Facebook criticised after women complain of inaction over abuse

Amnesty says social media firm must do more to support users who report harassment Human rights campaigners have called for action after a survey revealed that more than half of the reports that women lodge about harassment on Facebook are met with no action from the social media company. The Survation poll, commissioned by the feminist campaign group Level Up, found that 29% of the 1,000 women who took part had been harassed on Facebook. A spokesperson for Amnesty International UK said the extremely worrying findings were indicative of a new frontier of human rights abuses which are often unaddressed: Time and time again we hear social media companies making pledges that they will do better, but their efforts have …

The internet said I had ascension flu. Was I awakening on a deeper level or was it just a cold? | Brigid Delaney’s diary

Maybe I had to resign myself to living on a higher realm, walking about blowing out lights About a month ago, I began experiencing a strange succession of minor ailments that were separately annoying and uncomfortable, and together alarming and confounding. One week I had intense nausea, an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach but try as I might, I couldnt identify the cause of my anxiety. The following week, strange headaches. After that, aches and pain in all my joints. Then I started waking every morning sometime between 2am and 5am, alert and unable to return to sleep. In short, I was out of sorts. What was wrong with me? I Googled these symptoms and found out …