Fatherphobia and the everyday sexism of Mother Superior

Matt O'Connor: Father4Justice


Let’s imagine the pre-Christmas scene at the Guardian HQ.

The festive season is a particularly painful time of year for separated fathers, so wouldn’t it be good if we as a responsible, campaigning newspaper, covered their plight and the pain felt by hundreds of thousands of families this Christmas.

If only.

Now imagine for a moment that in every article you ever read about fatherlessness or parenting in the Guardian and other newspapers, you replaced the word ‘father’ with the word ‘black’. Or, you reversed the genders and replaced ‘mother’ with ‘father’ and vice versa.

Now imagine the outcry.

Fatherphobia is not some fictional conceit created by an angry fathers movement, but a very real under the counter (or should we say ‘behind the laptop’) bigotry practised by both men and women.

The result is the systemic segregation and separation of children from their fathers in alarming numbers.

Anti-father bigotry…

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