Letters: Sexual power play

Apropos of “From Keeler to #metoo” (December 9), sexual predation is not unique to men just as being victims isn’t solely a women’s issue. Women can be as cruel and manipulative toward men and other women as men can be toward women and other men. The conviction of paedophile Mary Kay Letourneau for the rape of her 12-year-old student is a case in point.

Blaming one sex, thus, as intrinsically more predatory than the other ignores that both sexes are sometimes inclined to exploit the other. Fame, power and wealth are the ultimate aphrodisiacs. Both sexes can be guilty of using sexual shortcuts in order to achieve power.

Sexual power play involves access to power, status or money on the one hand and sex on the other. Asymmetric power equation enables men to dominate the battle of the sexes more often. But, the practice of women trading erotic services for access to power has also been in existence from time immemorial.

Christine Keeler
Women like Christine Keeler (pictured) have the mean streak to stretch the rules by being daring and provocative. Pamella Bordes’ (nee Chaudhry) husband Dominique Bordes complained of being used by her, as did a number of her other partners subsequently. Though John Profumo did violate the high standards expected of a parliamentarian, he received his comeuppance for the sexual indiscretion by getting banished from participating in politics ever again. He spent the rest of his life as a voluntary worker and chief fundraiser in Toynbee Hall, a charitable organisation helping poor residents in the East End of London.
Ajay Tyagi Guwahati
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