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