Hadley Freeman

Sunday Times

“The first time a man choked me in bed, I assumed I was being murdered.” It’s an arresting opening – and typical of Hadley Freeman, who not only confronts difficult issues head-on but often uses her personal experience to make them relatable to readers. Challenging the apparent ‘normalisation’ of choking among the younger generation, she writes: “Too many think this sad and sadistic simulacrum of pleasure is acceptable.”

She adopts the same fearless approach to anti-Semitism. Shocked that the response to the Hamas atrocities on October 7th of the “politically aware good liberals” in her own “caring, sharing” north London neighbourhood was “to dismiss or justify the attacks” on Jews, she cites a text from a friend: “Now we know who would have helped us, and who would have pushed us on to the trains.”  

Another column, based on interviews with multiple doctors, examines their growing concern that their ability to do their job and ‘do no harm’ is being compromised by “the creep of gender ideology into their profession.”  

Freeman, “a vital force in today’s noisy media (and social media) landscape … slices through controversial topics with her sharp, impactful writing, and often generates national debate herself,” concluded the judges.