Left: At the Battle of Ideas, Barbican, Nov 2019
I am a historian, author, newspaper columnist and broadcaster. Gender, relationships, dating, feminism and sexuality - past and present – are my main wheeze. I like to keep a critical eye on political dogmas, particularly those around gender and identity, and this is particularly clear in my columns for the Sunday Telegraph. I am a regular contributor to the Spectator and Unherd, and have written for the Sunday Times, The Times, the FT, The Economist, Elle, Cosmo, Red, and the Times Literary Supplement.
I am the author of three books - two popular and one academic - about dating and gender. The academic one was given five stars in the Telegraph, where it was compared to 'Watching Love Island with Foucault'. I am currently writing a book on the history of internet dating for Reaktion.
Formerly a dating columnist for thelondonpaper, diarist at The Times, and lifestyle editor of City AM newspaper, in 2012 I went back to Cambridge for an MPhil in Gender Studies and was awarded a Distinction for a thesis exploring women's approach to internet dating from a feminist perspective. In 2017 I completed a PhD in History at the University of Sussex. My research, fully funded by an Asa Briggs scholarship, examined the rise of the dating industry and 'the single' from around 1970. Entitled 'The Matchmaking Industry and Singles Culture in Britain, 1970-2000', it offered something of a pre-history of Tinder.
I am a regular on BBC Radio 4 (A Point of View, Woman's Hour, Moral Maze, Thinking Allowed, Word of Mouth, You and Yours) and Free Thinking on Radio 3. I have appeared alongside Germaine Greer on Al Jazeera's Head to Head with Mehdi Hassan, filmed at the Oxford Union; featured as an expert in Swiped, an HBO documentary about Tinder; raised national heckles on Good Morning Britain by insisting that pets aren't people, and appeared on University Challenge notable alum special edition representing the University of Sussex (Christmas 2019). I was also a judge on the 2019 David Cohen Prize for Literature.
Above left image: On CBS News pouring cold water on the fairytale mania of Harry and Meghan's wedding.