Thursday, 31 December 2015

Somebody's Daughter

I'm so disheartened at the number of men in the Labour Party who consider the age of consent to be the sole determinant of wrongdoing. 
A child (for, in the eyes of the law, she is still that) of 17; a 49 year old Member of Parliament. Does that not strike anyone as inappropriate? It would have been pretty sleazy even if they had been the same age - that she's a minor makes it even more inappropriate. She asked about a job; he offered dubious sexual remarks as a reply.
And apart from anything else, he is a Member of Parliament - you know; one of those "people of good standing in the community" who can vouch for us mere mortals on passport applications, etc. Is this really the kind of person you want to confirm that you are of good character? I don't.

And yet, a number of male party members have today bravely stood up to say "I don't see what the problem is."

Which is exactly what the problem is.

We are the Labour Party - we should be better than this.


  1. Well, I'm a female party member standing up to say I don't see what the problem is. I'm not a big fan of Danczuk but what exactly did he do wrong here? MPs are allowed to have sex lives like anyone else, surely? If she was being harassed that would be different but it looks like she was doing more of the sexting than he was and they both sound equally enthusiastic. What's wrong with two people over the age of consent having some consensual fun? If anything, it's her actions in selling the texts to the press that are morally dubious. If any man I'd exchanged messages with breached my privacy like that I'd be disgusted at his behaviour.

  2. Really Ella? As a 59 year old woman I would be appalled if a request for a job veered into sexual innuendo. The measure of this is not the girl (whatever one might think of her responses). The measure is an MP, AN MP, who thinks that sexting in the context of work is acceptable. And not seeing what is wrong with sexualising the work context is part of the problem.

  3. But if you prefer to keep things strictly professional and non-personal in a work context (which is fine, of course) then presumably you would not have been flirting with anyone in the first place? So if it veered into innuendo then you would be justified in feeling uncomfortable and possibly harassed. That's absolutely your prerogative. But other people do flirt with people at work and if it progresses with equal enthusiasm on both sides (as it clearly did here) then what's the problem? It's not as if she asked for a job and then out of nowhere he started talking about spanking her. I've dated people I've worked with. Most people have. It'd be pretty sad if anyone you met and were attracted to in a work context was off limits.

    1. Thank you for being so frank,Ella, but I simply can't agree that there's 'nothing wrong' with this whole scenario. They're not work colleagues, and there's little chance to have determined any "attraction". For a job request to descend into sexual innuendo is far from ok.

      This is a man who has built a career on exposing CSE but sees nothing wrong with an exchange of this type with a 17 year old virtual stranger?

    2. I don't think society has specified a minimum amount of time you have to spend in conversation before deciding if you find someone attractive (especially in the age of Tinder lol) and the girl said herself she was attracted to him. Read the text exchanges - it's very far from a one-way street. We'll have to agree to disagree but please don't bring CSE into it, that's just offensive to people who were actually victimised as children. She was over the age of consent. Comparing it to CSE risks trivialising a very serious issue.

  4. I agree absolutely. CSE is certainly not something which should be trivialised, especially by using the age of consent as a 'tick-box' definition of acceptable. Nor should 'innocence' (or lack of it) be a factor in whether exploitation is taking place.

    From the 'revelations' about the young person in this case in the Daily Mirror, it seems there are other issues going on here, but that does not mean Danczuk's behaviour towards her can be excused. I'd argue that a 16 year old who sets up a dominatrix website to fund herself through college is vulnerable to exploitation, however willing she may have been to engage.

    The definition of CSE includes young people up to the age of 18, and are included in the current Inquiry: