In the course of my long life, I have met at least one man whose life was deeply impoverished, when he was too young to know what was going on, by the lust of a much older married mother of children. She wasn't in a paid position of trust, this lady, but the effect was the same: a young life blighted, youthful potential wasted.
Thus, I am not overwhelmed with sympathy for female teachers who "fall in love with" or take advantage of the barely-in-control sex drive of adolescent students. Depending on the case in the papers, I may feel a thrill of pity and fear, of course. This increases when the teacher is single and only in her twenties. However, the married women in their thirties... What do they think they are doing? And what do they think will be the long-term effect on their students and their students' families?
Therefore, I am incensed at the idea being offered in this article that the public is disturbed by the relationship between the 39 year old new president of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the 64 year old grandmother who was his drama teacher because of "deeply ingrained" MISOGYNY.
The most poignant part of the article for me was the reaction of the boy Macron's mother:
Realising the affair would not be a passing phase,[Macron's mother] is said to have told the teacher: “Don’t you see? You’ve had your life. But he won’t have children with you.”
Well, no. And I find it curious how a growing number of political leaders have no children. Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland--none. Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives--none. (RD is openly lesbian, however.) Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom--none. Alec Salmond, the former First Minister of Scotland--none, But then he is married to a woman 17 years older than himself: she had been his boss at work.
The Salmond case--although considered a tad weird by the electorate, and we did not see the 70-something Mrs S on the campaign trail--is different from the Macron scandal, however, as Alec was in his twenties when they met at the office, not 15 years old. Nevertheless, I can imagine libidinous female bosses contemplating the success of the Salmonds' marriage when checking out the handsome new twenty-somethings who have walked into their fiefdoms.
"He's 6 foot 4, blue-eyed, and I wish we had ten of him," said a female manager at my then-workplace over the phone about my male colleague when he was just outside the door. She treated me like crap; she was the kind of older woman I have sworn I never shall be.
Macron's parents divorced in 2010, apparently. Happily, however, they have two other adult children, so presumably their hopes for grandchildren did not rest in their eldest son.
Teachers should not have affairs with their students. That should go without saying, and I hope the Macron case is far, far from the minds of any other teacher who finds herself pursued by a crushed-out teenager, no matter how brilliant he or she may be. Meanwhile, here's a cheerful little article about the birthrate in France. Macron's mother was clearly worried about the impoverishment of Macron's life; she would have been correct to worry also about the increasing impoverishment of France.