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Ddark Corners

Eating disorders, rape culture and toxic masculinity; Sarah McKenna Barry looks at the war on women’s bodies from an online lens.

Through the glare of the computer screen, one overriding discourse appears time and time again. It is a narrative that pairs women’s bodies with the concept of repulsion. I am reminded of the Twitter wars of last month when a group of women shared pictures of their leg and underarm hair all in the name of ‘Janu-hairy’. As the selfies began to roll in, so too did the online trolls, who were quick to label the growth as disgusting, unnatural, and, bizarrely, unhygienic. In a world where hairlessness is considered to be the natural state for grown women, despite the inherent biological impossibility, not shaving became an act of rebellion.

As the Janu-hairy movement gained online currency, the topic was debated on breakfast shows, with hosts asking guests on both sides of the ‘argument’, whether it is unnatural or not to allow hair to grow on our bodies, when we’ve been conditioned socially to feel repulsed by body hair on women.

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About GCN

Welcome to a very special edition of GCN. With International Women’s Day on March 8, we decided to celebrate the female-identifying members of our queer family with a host of interviews, features and opinion pieces. There’s an amazing photo set with Pillow Queens, while the ultimate frontwoman - Skin from Skunk Anansie - talks 25 years in the business. There’s a look back at the lesbian nightlife scene of the ‘80s and ‘90s, while writer and director Kate Dolan stopped by to talk all things horror. There’s an urgent and essential piece about the treatment of women in online spaces and a hard-hitting report on LGBT+ killings in Brazil. We highlight the inspiring new queer wave in the Irish student movement and Ellen Murray from TENI, the trans rights and disability rights advocate, tells us about her journey. It’s a great one, people!