Today, in the papers, there’s another story of a teacher who is alleged to have had sex with a pupil. The teacher was 35 and married and the youngster only 17.
Behind the headlines is doubtless a grubby and painful tale of a marriage wrenched apart, families hurt and bewildered and a victim coming to terms with what happened.
So what? I assume you know all this – after all, it seems to happen often enough these days. But what bothers me in the way these sorry stories are viewed is the difference if it’s a male victim or a female one.
On the one hand, the popular image is of a sleazy sex-soaked sir who can’t keep his hands off the tempting teenage children in his classes. He is reviled and his inevitable punishment greeted by cheers. Rightly so.
But the other view is of a lusty jack-the-lad who earns pats on the back for having bedded the beautiful classroom babe. The siren of the science department. He earns the respect of men he’s never met, men who will judge his achievement on the bust size of his ‘conquest’.
Let’s get a few things sorted out here
A teacher – who is by definition an adult and in a position of authority – must not sleep with (or have any other kind of sexual relationship with) a pupil. That’s it. In an ideal world I shouldn’t need to explain why, but apparently I do.
If one person has power of any kind over another, then their sexual relationship is hard to be anything other than abusive.
If one person is a grown up and the other isn’t, the same thing applies.
What they look like, and what nonsensical fantasies perpetuate are entirely irrelevant. And we, as adults, should know this.
An adult in a teaching job who cannot entirely suppress their attractions and urges should seek an alternative career immediately. Likewise, one that doesn’t understand and recognise a teenager’s naive and passionate crush should do the same.
And another thing. Back to the young stallion who seduced his teacher… That he should be lauded for having scored, attained or otherwise achieved a home run is horrific. However convincing the boy’s swagger, he’s inexperienced and vulnerable, essentially a child. I can see no situation where a child should be publicly praised because he managed to have sex with a woman who is attractive and older than him.
For goodness sake, what kind of a lesson is that to our youngsters about respecting woman and building loving relationships?
So please before you join the guffaws and nudges when another attractive woman (of course she’s attractive in the pictures, they were taken from Facebook where she only posted the flattering ones) has had sex with a youth, stop and think about what you’re doing.