Emma Brockes

Gloria Steinem: 'If Men Could Get Pregnant, Abortion Would Be a Sacrament'

The pope is in town the morning I visit Gloria Steinem, staying a few blocks from her on the east side of Manhattan, a fact that tickles the 81-year-old activist. She is, needless to say, unimpressed by the pontiff’s liberal window-dressing. “I’m very glad that he cares about the environment,” she says drily. “And poverty. And dogs.” He has also relaxed the language around abortion, urging “forgiveness”, as opposed to damnation. Steinem, who is the nearest thing we have to a grande dame of feminism – a mantle she abhors – laughs. “Excuse me? Are you kidding me? Forgiveness?”

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Type A Personalities Are Overachieving Monsters

One of the things you get used to, when you live in New York, is encountering a large number of people who preface their statements with this phrase: “I’m a type A personality, so...”

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Science Says There's No Such Thing As 'Comfort Food'. We All Beg to Differ

Most of us know this intuitively – that comfort and junk foods are subtly distinct. The former is an emotional as well as a nutritional unit, and the latter is merely a sugar rush. Besides which, no cookbook would dare put the word "junk" in its title, but whole shelves are devoted to the art of the comfort food.

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Air BNB Is a Course Correction for a Real-Estate System Stacked Against Us

Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, has lots of questions for the residents of the "digital Wild West" who rent out their apartments on Airbnb. Roughly: who are you, where do live and you're making howmuch from your spare room, five flights up and with an unrestricted view of your neighbor's air vent?

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The Vegans are Winning. It's OK to Give In - and Still Eat McDonald's Sometimes

I remember when veganism was considered fanatical. Vegetarianism was one thing, but cutting out eggs and dairy seemed like a lofty excuse for an eating disorder, and the vegans themselves – in popular imagination, at least – were the nearest thing we had to zombies: pale, slow and always moaning.

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Have We Forgotten How to Sleep Right? Why Napping Could Save Your Health

Some years ago, I worked in an office where the second floor bathroom had a shower room attached, with just enough floor space to accommodate a body. If the door was locked in the middle of the day, you knew someone had taken the filthy towels off the back of the door and laid them on the ground for a nap. It was warm in there, like an airing cupboard, perfect for soothing a hangover, and after an hour on the floor you might emerge fighting fit, the sheen and consistency of a freshly steamed pork bun.

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Whether It's Sex Workers or CIA Agents, the Entertainment Industry Doesn't Portray the Truth About People's Careers

There isn't much to recommend the Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross, which, despite a stellar cast including Al Pacino and Richard Schiff, is slow, thin, dated and delusional, thinking itself naughty for the swear words (lots of "fucks"; two or three c-words), when, across the street, Book of Mormon nightly wows audiences with the suggestion that God be penetrated in every orifice.

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