Jo Cox, Amal Clooney, Beyonce, Justin Trudeau, breastfeeding
Jo Cox, Amal Clooney, Beyoncé, Justin Trudeau, breastfeeding


What The Pool has learnt in two years

What have we learnt in two years of writing, reading and talking about women? Quite a lot, actually

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By Caroline O'Donoghue on

The Pool is two today! Can you believe it? Two is young for a human, old for a sandwich and just right if you're a women’s website trying to cut your teeth on a terrifyingly mercurial digital landscape. As someone who was there at the very beginning, pulling The Pool’s tangled foal legs into the world and watching it stumble around the barn, let me tell you: this has been a thrilling, terrifying, giddy time for us all.

In those two years, we have spent an inordinate amount of time discussing women and how women are portrayed in the media. This will often be accompanied by a torn-out bit of newspaper that admonishes a pregnant Amal Clooney for wearing 4.5in heels and has us saying, “Did you SEE what THEY DID? I’m mad, guys, I’m positively hopping fucking mad.”

Because, yeah, The Pool gets mad. We get shouty and sometimes we have a lot of fun doing it. But we also have a lot of fun doing other things, like painting fashion and beauty editor Frankie Graddon’s face with an egg, for instance, or digging out cartoons of Satan himself running away from a woman’s vagina. And, within the last two years of writing and laughing and shouting and reading and wearing lipstick and spending too much on clothes, we’ve learnt a lot. Here are just some of the things we’ve learnt:

That, no matter what is happening in global events, there will always be more “new” pictures of Marilyn Monroe that are being auctioned off somewhere.

That mothers who breastfeed don’t really give a toss that other mothers bottle-feed, but the media will always make it seem like they care very, very much.

Equally, most working mothers don’t really give a toss if other mothers don’t work, but the media will always make it seem like they care very, very much.

That 84 per cent of women are catcalled by the time they’re 17 and, no matter how much you write about how much it upsets you, there will always be some bloke insisting that the women HE catcalls have personally told him that they enjoy the banter. 

That if you see something, you should definitely say something. Even more importantly, if you feel like there is something up with your vagina, even if you don’t know what it is, you should definitely go to the doctor

That everyone else also deletes their MyFitnessPal account when they lose hope, and then reinstalls it weeks later. 

If you see something, you should definitely say something

That, no matter what Beyoncé does, and no matter how much you’re sort of expecting it, her ability to break the internet will never fail to surprise and delight you.

That being accused of sexual assault weeks before an election will not deter millions of voters from voting for you. 

That Jo Cox being murdered in broad daylight by a man screaming that it was “for Britain!” will not deter millions of voters from voting to leave the EU.

That you should never stop anyone from letting you publicly admire the perfectly symmetrical face of Justin Trudeau, because, for the last time, REVERSE SEXISM ISN’T A THING

That no matter how illegal and immoral it is to hack someone’s phone and steal their private information, the overwhelming response to a nude photo leak will always be: “Well, she shouldn’t have taken those in the first place.”

That you will probably lose contact with your friends in your early thirties, but they will come back. We promise.

That it’s OK to drink but, if you’re drinking a lot, maybe you should ask yourself why you’re doing it.

That, no matter how many times you try to tell people that white jeans can actually be very chic, someone will say, “Bit Liz Hurley, though, isn’t it?”

That no matter how you feel about Amal Clooney, every single woman in the world somehow needs to click on every photo spread of Amal Clooney.


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Jo Cox, Amal Clooney, Beyoncé, Justin Trudeau, breastfeeding
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