Crack open the fizz, buzz your tits off on sugary delights and go batshit with the party poppers: Standard Issue is one year old today. The women of SIM HQ talk us through a handful of the articles that have pleased us most.
What I love about Papped was how raw it was. Andrea always writes really well but this is from the gut. Her article for us was her direct reaction to how she was treated firstly by the paparazzi then by the public and their horrific comments. Her right to reply. And not just a few words on social media but a properly thought out, well-written argument for why she felt so victimised for the crimes of being comfortable on a beach while looking normal.
I like that we were able to give her a mouthpiece. The bullies should never get the last word. As she says in her piece: “I am just a woman who went on holiday and I’m entitled to look exactly how I want.”
Sarah Millican, founder
Confession: I know sod all about American politics. Correction: I used to know sod all about American politics. Thanks to Dunleavy’s excellent, well-researched and painfully funny fortnightly column, I’m still no expert, but do now have a grasp of what’s going on across the Atlantic. And I know why it matters: one of these ferocious prongs (aka Republican candidates) might end up in charge.
OK, so it possibly seems a bit self-indulgent to big up my deputy editor, but her writing is whip-smart, relevant and makes me snort coffee out of my nose. So there. If my hand is forced to pick a favourite D&E, it’s the one about how dangerous to women a lot of the candidates are. Donald Trump isn’t even the worst one. WHAT NOW? “Don’t get eaten by a tiger because you were too busy looking at a monkey having a wank.” Is all she’s saying. And that’s why I love her.
Mickey Noonan, editor
“What if Standard Issue was our equivalent of someone showing you their stinking mutant baby and they couldn’t understand why you didn’t want to hold it?”
I’ve gone for the Blast From the Past written by Liz Buckley on the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. I called it “the star-studded clusterfuck that lives in infamy” in the standfirst but there’s no point me trying to explain any further because Liz does it so much better.
Like everything she writes for us, it’s really funny (and if you don’t already read her 7 Wonders columns, you should). But what I enjoy most about Liz’s stuff is that she knows what she’s talking about and she really loves talking about it. Which makes it a joy to read.
Hannah Dunleavy, deputy editor
When I first read this piece, which documents Nat’s near-STD experience, I was newish to Standard Issue. I’d avoided it mainly out of jealousy and the fear that it was exactly for me by people like me, except better.
I wasn’t wrong. Now I might stick my neck out (and my tongue up Nat’s arse) and say that I felt kind of how I felt when I first watched Girls. It was awkward, it was relevant, it was self-deprecating, it was excruciatingly close to home and it was FUNNY. A gag-a-minute funny. Lookit: “A woman in her 60s calmly perusing her diary. She’s mum-age! And yet here she is clearly having an active sex life with, one must assume, a slight element of the unknown! How inspiring.”
I clicked on it, lolled (a LOT), sighed and wondered whether I too would ever be clever enough to write for Standard Issue. I was angry. But hooked.
Hazel Davis, assistant editor
I’m generally a lot bolder in my head than I appear to other people. (“You’re just as big a pervert as I am!” was one friend’s gleeful exclamation the day I finally cracked a dirty joke in front of him.) So Sadie’s piece on reclaiming the bluntest – and yet the least offensive, when you think about it – of swear words had me cheering… silently.
Crucially, it wasn’t just her celebration of the C word’s phonetic, erotic and feminist charge that I could get behind, but her own ambiguity. Instead of rushing in waving muff-shaped pompoms, she admits that reclamation means a semantic tug-of-war not only with “dim men down the boozer screaming at doomed football matches”, but with your own mental stockpile of insults. And all in line after line of heartfelt, kick-to-the-crotch prose that should be printed on knickers and beermats alike.
To take her own advice on using the word: Sadie Hasler really cunted that one out.
Abi Bliss, sub-editor
I love Helen Linehan’s Booty articles. All of ’em. There’s nothing like finding out that someone else likes to buy useless shit off old ladies in windy fields armed with nothing but a pocket of 50ps. When you also find out that Helen is piss-funny and has a keen eye for a great picture – rows of dishevelled Barbies anyone? – it’s all the better. I’ve now made it my life mission to go booting (just made up that verb) with Helen.
Kiri Pritchard-McLean, administrator
“I see Standard Issue as a mish-mash of Calamity Jane types, guns fully loaded with awesome articles ready to shoot them into your faces 24/7. YEEHAW!”
I’ve always been a big fan of Jenny Eclair, on stage and TV. But until Standard Issue published some of her articles, I’d never read a bloody word she had written.
I was not let down.
Letter To My Hometown: Lytham St Annes, I Salute You makes me really belly laugh… proper snot out of my nose and snort sounds.
How can you not honk with laughter at: “I got sacked for being overly creative with my sandwich fillings. ‘Ham goes with pickle, Jenny, cheese goes with tomato, them’s the rules.’”
It brings back memories of any Saturday job where you just couldn’t give a shit about it but needed a bit of cash to spend at Miss Selfridge*.
And yet the article manages to remain tender and affectionate to a forgotten seaside town. Jenny is clearly very fond of where she spent her youth and this sings through the article. “You made me Lytham, and while I will always live here [London], my heart and soul and comedy roots are yours.” It made me want to write my article to my hometown of Oxford.
*insert own choice of shop from youth.
Sally-Anne Hayward, admin assistant
This is the first Standard Issue article I remember reading. We hadn’t yet launched and I had all the feelings whirling around in my head and guts. I was excited but nervous. The flip-flopping between YAAAAAY and OH FUCK. What if Standard Issue was our equivalent of someone showing you their stinking mutant baby and they couldn’t understand why you didn’t want to hold it?
When I finished the article my face was wet from tears and my mouth had gone big and smiley. The feelings didn’t whirl from then on, the flip-flopping stopped and all I could think was: Yes, this is going to work.
I see Standard Issue as a mish-mash of Calamity Jane types, guns fully loaded with awesome articles ready to shoot them into your faces 24/7. YEEHAW!
Hannah Dolan, co-ordinator
I share our articles on Facebook when I think my gang will find them interesting and they usually do. But none had as much interaction as A Womb Without a Point of View, all of it in agreement. Who do people think they are, assuming anything about us, let alone this emotive ticking timebomb of a subject?
Mickey covers the topic in true Standard Issue style: funny, meaningful and never patronising. It’s raw, it’s brave and it helps us to feel like we’re not the only ones who feel this way. That we are all in it together. And where the hell else would you read about “dicksplash klaxons” too?
Anj Germain, advertising sales