• I’m a full-time parent to a one-year-old son. Where’s the support for me at this general election?
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    The Independent

    I’m a full-time parent to a one-year-old son. Where’s the support for me at this general election?

    In the great election giveaway, our main parties are outbidding each other to offer more free childcare, but neglecting parents who wish to care for their own young children at home. Free childcare encourages parents to entrust their babies and toddlers to professionals and return to work. It penalises parents who would prefer to do the job of raising their children themselves. These policies reveal a failure of imagination and threaten to skew parental choice.I’m a first-time mum to a one year old and I’ve experienced for myself the chasm of social support between the end of parental leave and the start of the school term following a child’s third birthday, when they become eligible for at least 15 hours of free childcare per week (more if both parents are working). Aware of parents facing the crunch, the parties are now vying to narrow this gap. Labour says it will extend paid maternity leave to one year. The SNP matches this pledge and wants to extend overall shared parental leave too.

  • The Clemmie Hooper Instagram scandal is proof there’s no place for children in the world of influencers
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    The Independent

    The Clemmie Hooper Instagram scandal is proof there’s no place for children in the world of influencers

    Facebook’s “report abuse” function has long been a go-to in sibling arguments and friendship groups around the world. For me, it was a weapon my sister regularly used to counter attack my uploading a photo of her not looking her best. (Ok, fine, looking pretty atrocious.)We laugh about it, but conversations around social media rights always come back to the same, not very funny, question for me now. Who are the people that don’t get that choice? Who don’t get to, jokingly or not, “report abuse” on their brother, sister, mother, father, or friend’s photo if they don’t want it to be shared online. And the answer is always the same – children.

  • Keanu Reeves is being called a hero just for dating a woman (almost) his own age. How depressing
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    The Independent

    Keanu Reeves is being called a hero just for dating a woman (almost) his own age. How depressing

    How low is the bar set for men these days? The bar is the floor, Keanu Reeves just casually walked over it and now people are rushing to scream his praises all over social media.The notoriously reclusive actor hasn’t been pictured on the red carpet with a romantic partner in years. Cue surprise and admiration when he was photographed on 2 November in Los Angeles holding hands with artist Alexandra Grant.

  • TI’s ‘virginity test’ for his daughter is disgusting – but the real tragedy is how many other men would do the same
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    The Independent

    TI’s ‘virginity test’ for his daughter is disgusting – but the real tragedy is how many other men would do the same

    Sometimes I’m thankful that there are people out there who are so deeply misogynistic that they will openly admit to it – even brag about it – for all the world to hear. Because without them, things stay silent and hidden and people say things like: “I just think feminism’s gone too far now.” I don’t think anyone will be saying that today, after reading TI’s comments about his adult daughter’s sex life.The rapper admitted on a podcast that he takes his now 18-year-old daughter Deyjah to a gynaecologist every year after her birthday, asks her to consent to her confidential medical information being shared with him, and then demands a doctor confirms that her hymen remains intact.

  • My autistic son struggles on public transport – now I'm fighting to change the way we travel
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    The Independent

    My autistic son struggles on public transport – now I'm fighting to change the way we travel

    As a parent, there’s nothing worse than hearing your child is in distress or unhappy. So when my son Archie was diagnosed with autism earlier this year, I'll be completely honest, I cried.They were tears of relief, as the diagnosis had taken years to get. After lengthy waiting lists and being pushed from pillar to post, I’d resigned myself to never knowing why Archie was struggling. But they were also tears of fear. Like any parent in my situation, I instantly worried about what happens next and how my child would cope.

  • Sorry vegans, you can't just spend your way to paradise – so don't let Taylor Swift tell you otherwise
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    The Independent

    Sorry vegans, you can't just spend your way to paradise – so don't let Taylor Swift tell you otherwise

    Outsiders still think that veganism is radical, but it’s only when you are inside the community that you see how consumerist many vegans have become. As chain after chain – and even major brands such as them musician Taylor Swift – try to cash in on veganism’s growth, plant-chompers now seem to believe that we can simply spend our way to animal liberation. They say all we have to do is descend on supermarkets and restaurant chains, stuff our trolleys and tummies with vegan products and – tada! – the human race will suddenly decide to stop exploiting animals.But that is the stuff of fairy tales: you don’t end exploitation by handing your money to the exploiters. All you do is bankroll further exploitation.

  • I paid $110,000 to give birth. Stop telling me it's a miracle I'm alive
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    The Independent

    I paid $110,000 to give birth. Stop telling me it's a miracle I'm alive

    They say you can’t put a price tag on life. Our healthcare system begs to differ. The cost of my 40-week pregnancy with complications – none of which were caused by pre-existing conditions or lifestyle – was $111,712.83.In November 2018, much to the surprise of my husband and I, I fell pregnant after being told I was infertile. Though we were absolutely shocked and overjoyed, at five weeks pregnant I became very ill. It seemed as my belly grew with a new bursting life inside me, so did the complications, the illness, and the bills.