In the pub, chatting with a group of middle aged colleagues. Conversation turned to their offspring’s boyfriends/girlfriends. One related how he disliked his daughter’s ex and was relieved they’d split up. Then one male colleague, a pleasant, affable, left-leaning, liberal man said that he wouldn’t face this as he had sons. I was puzzled, so asked why that made a difference. “It’s obvious, isn’t it?” he replied. “No” I said “are you saying you wouldn’t be gutted if one of your son’s got someone pregnant? Wouldn’t you want to help sort that out?” “Of course” he said “but it’s different. My mate XX says he’ll take his daughter’s first boyfriend aside and tell the boy that whatever he does to his daughter, XX will do to the boy”. Then he deflected the conversation by saying that one of his sons was almost certainly gay (where my colleague was the model liberal, tolerant and glad that it is now easy for teenagers to talk about such things at school, relieved that he had encountered no homophobic bullying). I was left wondering what hope there is for gender equality when even bleeding heart liberals bring their sons up to believe that teenage sexual experiences should be entirely different for boys and girls?