When will universities wake up to this epidemic of sexual harassment? (The Guardian)

On my first day as a student union vice-president, amid a flurry of introductory meetings, briefings and bits of paper, I was given the names. There was a tour of the office space, a demonstration of the annual leave booking system, and stuck somewhere in between a list of staff at the university with a reputation for inappropriate behaviour who I should avoid where possible.

One, I was told, had invited two female officers to the pub under the guise of building a good working relationship. It was a bonding exercise that had ended with him following one of them home. It was recommended I didn’t attend his committee or accept the invitation for introductory drinks that would (and did) arrive on my desk within the first month of my term. Now, how to work the photocopier. … Read More

Global corporations are not your anti-Trump allies

Whether or not you stayed up with America last night for an evening of adverts, Lady Gaga, celebrity spotting and, allegedly, some sport, chances are you woke up today to social media feeds and news articles full of Budweiser, Airbnb and Coca Cola. These are the multi-million pound international brands able to part with 5 million dollars for a prime-time advertising slot during the Super Bowl, America’s most-watched television event. They’re also the brands being hailed today as champions of the left for their ‘brave and bold’ challenges to the division and inequality brought to the fore by a Trump presidency. … Read More

The state is an enabler of sexual violence. So what hope for the victims? (The Guardian)

What does a perpetrator of violence against women look like? For many, the question still evokes images of shadowy strangers pouncing in the dark or thuggish drunken husbands stumbling home from football matches – stereotypes challenged tirelessly by women’s organisations and campaigners, especially throughout the current 16 days of action against gender-based violence.

In reality, women are statistically most likely to be assaulted by someone known to them, and domestic abuse can be, and is, also perpetrated by handsome middle-class professionals. Busting myths is therefore a crucial tool in the fight against a culture which relies on them. But for all these vital and urgent conversations about the true face of perpetrators, there is one that remains largely invisible in spite of both ubiquity and power: the state itself. … Read More

A sexist culture of low expectations is limiting our ideas of fatherhood (The Guardian)

Blame it on my own daddy issues or the sound of the Daily Mail counting down my biological clock, but I have to admit I have a soft spot when it comes to dads. Be it a cringeworthy Facebook comment from a friend’s proud father or the mere sight of a man playing peekaboo with a giggling baby on a train, my heart instinctively melts for a man carrying out the bare minimum of his parenting duties, while I largely take for granted the many millions of mothers doing the same. … Read More

How Much Do Freshers Actually Care About Safe Spaces And Other ‘Student Issues’? (VICE)

Be it no-platform policies, controversial leadership or moral panics about their behaviour, students have a way of dominating the news. Are they too precious and mollycoddled? Are they drinking too much, or not enough? Do they represent the end of free speech as we know it?

They’re grouped together as a homogenous monolith, but ‘students’ are, by their very nature, transient. Classes change every year, obviously. And for all the time freshers week leaflets spend on baked bean and beer gags, those with the most at stake in debates around so-called student culture might just be the people we’ve heard from least. … Read More