Why are women so mean to each other?David, by emailA few weeks ago, David, I would have given your email pretty short shrift. Oh yes, typical man, perpetuating the fantasy that women are all throwing their tampons at one another. I’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada, and I know the only person you can trust in a largely female office is the gay man. Look at those ladies, all desperately clawing each other’s faces to get that man/job/both. Bloody women!I totally understand why this stereotype exists – to infantilise women, to make men feel better about themselves (really, take your pick) – but it has always been so far from my lived reality that the idea of fighting with a female friend over the date of a wedding seemed about as realistic as me suddenly sprouting wings and flying to Mars. So stick that in your vape pipe, Anne Hathaway movies, and blow it out your arse.The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy review – a fearless, compelling memoir Read moreBut occasionally something comes along that really does take your breath away. New Yorker writer Ariel Levy recently published her memoir about suddenly giving birth alone in a hotel bathroom when she was five months’ pregnant, and holding her baby son as he died in her arms. Some of you might have read my interview with Levy, who is a friend, that ran in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine two weeks ago. Soon after she lost her baby, Levy’s marriage fell apart and she lost her home. Now, even if Levy wasn’t a friend, I reckon I would have found this story pretty sad. Others, however, feel differently. In US leftwing magazine the New Republic, journalist Charlotte Shane declared that Levy’s book exemplifies “privilege and entitlement”. After all, Shane writes, “while surely [Levy] suffered, nothing about the vehicles of that suffering is rare or unexpected. Millions of Americans have divorced; millions more than once. As many as 10 million Americans lost their homes in the recession alone, and it’s estimated that up to a quarter of all pregnancies result in miscarriage.”Now, this is a perfectly reasonable point of view, as long as you are the kind of person who, when a friend tells you they fancy lunch, replies with: “God, don’t you know people in Yemen are starving? Get some perspective!” But I would like to deal with Shane’s take on miscarriage. Leaving aside for the moment the insinuation that a lot of women suffer miscarriages and therefore should probably just get over themselves, this one-in-four statistic gets bandied around a lot. In fact, it only relates to miscarriages in the first trimester. When I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks after a healthy six-week scan, my doctor told me I was entitled to feel hard done by, and the chance of this happening had been just 5%. The odds drop a lot in the second trimester and what happened to Levy was most definitely both “rare and unexpected”, to say the least.But what if it wasn’t? What if women were holding dying 19-week-old foetuses in every bathroom across the land? I can’t believe this even needs saying, but apparently it does in this privilege-screaming world of ours: you don’t need to be hurting more than everyone in the world to say you’re suffering. Women are discouraged from talking about miscarriage, which is largely why they are warned not to tell anyone that they’re pregnant until after the 12-week scan, in case they have to then tell people they miscarried and ugh, God, awkward, sadface, shrug, one in four, etc, etc. Talking about miscarriage is hard, partly because it’s so sad, and partly because it still feels like a private, shameful failure. The former will never change, but the latter might if more women feel able to share their experiences.Sure, one woman losing her baby might not matter in the scheme of things. But on a personal level it is devastating and I’m pretty sure even women in Yemen feel sad when they miscarry. For anyone, especially another wo最准的特马网站下载 man, to dismiss it with a blithe “one in four” comment while banging the privilege drum is spectacularly misguided. Miscarriage may be relatively common, but no woman should apologise for feeling uniquely sad about it. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Florals, as seen at Gucci at Milan and Chloé at Paris. Photograph: Rex FeaturesI am told that “retro florals” are in this season. What does this mean?Amanda, by emailI am very excited about this trend because it’s one that only makes sense to people who consider fashion magazines perfectly reasonable bedtime reading. To everyone else, it will look like you’re wearing the wardrobe from The Golden Girls, because that is what retro floral is – big ol’ ugly flowers. Honestly, this is my fantasy look (I blame all those Christmas vacations to Miami in the 80s visiting my grandmother) and, darlings, it is all over the catwalks for this season: Chloé! Gucci! Pucci and Fiorucci (maybe)! But as much as I love this look, I know it is also a classic “fashion goggles” trend, in that you need magic style specs to see these clothes as worthy of a four-figure price tag as opposed to looking like a really bad purchase from the 50p-and-under bin in Oxfam.And, like I say, I approve of this. Occasionally, fashion should be silly and just for those in the club, a secret masonic handshake via the medium of an ugly brown Chloé dress that lets others know that you, too, read that article in Vogue about this season’s essentials.So get out there, all you fellow retro florists, and let’s make Blanche, Dorothea, Rose and Sophie proud. I won’t be wearing Gucci, but I will share my cheesecake with you. Thank YOU for being a friend.