There is much to applaud about Janet Albrechtsen’s article (“No sex please, we’re politicians”, 14/2), but may I suggest it’s not intrinsically “a new puritanical culture” that’s dominating debate about sexual harassment and whom you bed, but more disturbingly a denial of the beauty and pleasure of female sexuality and the freedom to express itself.
The contention, by too many #MeToo females, is that some patriarchal perfidy is undermining this freedom-indeed, women’s moral integrity and human rights-when I contend it may just be that some of these women, be they in the US Congress or in Hollywood, are uncomfortable and anxious about sexuality per se.
When I was an adolescent in the 60s, sex for girls was supposedly reserved for marriage, while boys could sew their wild oats. This was my understanding of the puritan ethic pervading my teenage years, but at least this attitude did not decry or deny female sexuality; certainly my mother and father didn’t. Now sadly, it seems even an innocuous sexual comment or any mention of sex between a consenting adult male and female is denigrated as derogatory to women resulting in pain, shame, self-pity and tears on their behalf. This focus is completely misguided, misunderstanding the joy of sex by subverting it as a sexist conspiracy by powerful men preying indiscriminately on vulnerable women.
What we need is an honest, open dialogue about sexuality, with all its pleasures, in order to proscribe the current destructive diatribe of a debate.