Tampa: Can we convey the truth of child abuse through fiction?

This is a guest post, submitted by longtime regular HetPat comment box warrior ThatGuy.

Ally writes: I haven’t read this book and not sure I want to, but do recall the coverage of the Lafave case which inspired it. Just a few weeks ago the Daily Mail ran a highly sympathetic profile of her, sparked by a new biography by a self-described ‘friend.’ It is worth noting that the Mail piece described her conviction as a “sex scandal” and her crimes as “indiscretions.” You will notice the words “criminal” “paedophile” “child sexual abuse” or for that matter any kind of “abuse” are entirely absent. I think this makes ThatGuy’s case all the more relevant and compelling.]

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Invisible sons revisited: How boys got forgotten in a debate about boys

Last week, Labour’s shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, (for whom I have a lot of time and respect, incidentally) gave an interview to the Spectator magazine about the underperformance of white working class boys in education. It was a bit of a dog’s breakfast, to be blunt, for reasons I have spelled out in a piece over on politics.co.uk.

Do please go have a read, but in summary, she got off on the wrong foot by implying the underachievement of boys was a consequence of a focus on girls and ethnic minorities, as if it were a zero sum game, which is a divisive and inaccurate way to think about the issue. It’s also politically clumsy and counter-productive, as it invites a reactionary response from government of purporting to help (white) boys by cutting back on support to girls and BME kids. Marginalised boys and their advocates need all the friends they can get, and it is really not helpful to suggest that providing them with greater support and attention is contrary to the interests of marginalised girls or BME communities. Recognising this is gender-inclusive politics in a nutshell.  [Read more…]