The Pool’s 20 most-read stories of 2017

From Casey Affleck’s Oscar win to the women blamed for Harvey Weinstein’s actions, The Pool’s head of news and content, Lynn Enright, looks back on the most-read stories of the past 12 months

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By Lynn Enright on

2017 began with Donald Trump’s inauguration and millions of women marching worldwide, protesting the fact that a man accused of sexual harassment – a man who was recorded boasting about grabbing women by the pussy – could become the most powerful person in the world. In February, when Casey Affleck won an Oscar, lots of women – including Brie Larson – felt uncomfortable applauding. Meanwhile, it was deeply frustrating to see Johnny Depp’s career remain buoyant. The anger simmered all year and, when the Harvey Weinstein allegations surfaced in October, women rallied. Me Too, they said. They were tired, frustrated and angry. So angry. That is the backdrop to The Pool’s news year and that is the mood that informed women’s lives over the past 12 months.

Looking at The Pool’s 20 most-read stories of the year, it is clear that gender stereotyping is an issue about which Pool users care deeply. So many of our most popular articles are opinion pieces that challenge the suffocating and restrictive notions of what gender should represent. When a man tried to “win back” an ex-girlfriend, women everywhere saw the move not as gallant but as controlling. Frustration with the media is evident, too, whether it’s newspapers deliberately going in search of drunk women so they can humiliate them, the constant tabloid vilification of Louise Redknapp or a bridal magazine industry that ignores women of colour.

It was also the year of Stranger Things 2, the year the dirty underbelly of clean eating was exposed, the year of “arm vagina” and the year when women everywhere finally admitted that they didn’t want to wear tops that exposed their shoulders.      

Below are The Pool’s 20 most-read articles of 2017 

The sexualisation of the Stranger Things kids needs to stop 

Admiring an actor is fine, but when a 14-year-old boy has to ask people to stop calling him “Daddy”, things have gone too far.

Brie Larson made it pretty damn clear that she wasn’t going to celebrate Casey Affleck’s win 

When Casey Affleck – who has been accused of sexual harassment – won an Oscar, Brie Larson reacted with disdain.

Ed Sheeran started his relationship by “testing” his girlfriend to ensure she’d fit into his life 

Because what’s more romantic than leaving your girlfriend alone at a party for two hours to make sure that she can cope with being the partner of a mega-famous superstar like you?

A viral Facebook post is calling on passengers to help mothers on public transport 

Spare a thought for those parents managing screaming babies on buses, trains and planes.

Scotland becomes the first nation to give free access to sanitary products 

The move was an important step towards the eradication of period poverty.

These women aren’t responsible for Harvey Weinstein’s actions 

Before the #MeToo movement got underway, the Daily Mail questioned A-listers’ responses to allegations of rape and sexual harassment involving Harvey Weinstein.

Men confess what feminine things they’d do if stereotypes didn’t exist 

Sew, pamper, wear yoga pants and skirts, apparently. Oh, and they'd cry more, too.

A man said Johnny Depp physically abused Amber Heard, so finally she is believed 

Why does it take a man’s voice for a woman to be heard?

The predictable double standards of the tabloids turning on Louise Redknapp 

When Louise Redknapp stepped away from the cosy trajectory laid out for her, she became unpredictable – and nobody likes that in a woman.  

10 Confessions of a former clean eater 

At best, “clean eating” is tiresome; at worst, the concept is harmful. And we began to wake up to that in 2017.

11 Let’s stop romanticising the misguided, possibly dangerous actions of spurned men 

A Bristol man attempted to “win back” his ex-girlfriend. It wasn’t cute.

12 Woman doesn’t wear make-up; tabloids have a field day 

Michelle Keegan not wearing make-up on live TV made headlines yesterday. How is this news?

13 The real story behind the “drunk women” headlines 

A reporter sent out on the streets to find "scantily clad" women "revelling" on New Year's Eve revealed the truth of the pictures.  

14 Louise Redknapp isn’t following the “perfect wife” script 

In admitting that marriage and motherhood cost her her sense of self, she was a revelation.

15 Excluded by the wedding industry, black brides turn to Instagram 

Disheartened at the lack of representation of women of colour in bridal magazines and websites, brides-to-be rely on social media.

16 This New York man is all your dating nightmares made real 

Before Cat Person, there was this dating horror story.

17 An anorexic teenager was approached by two modelling agencies at a festival

One of the scouts cited her “perfect body type” while another was interested in her “bone structure”.

18 Dear Millennials… This is what employers really mean when they say they want a “grafter” 

An arts café targeted millennials in a rage-inducing job ad. It went viral for a reason.

19 With “arm vagina”, we enter a new territory in ridiculous beauty standards 

Perfectly normal bodies are maligned on the red carpet. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

20 I’m just a girl standing in front of a high-street shop, asking it to dress her 

When a woman doesn’t want to wear “cold-shoulder” tops, is there anywhere she can shop?  


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