Letters - 10 May 2019

From a taxing affair to mistaken assumptions

A taxing affair

I have been downloading documents from the Quakers in Britain website, and find that they are hosted by Amazon Web Services. Should Friends be supporting Amazon, a notorious tax avoider?

Richard Pickvance

Sexual experiences

I rather expected a response to Anthony Buckley’s letter (19 April), and from someone better qualified than I am (female, but not with a Catholic school upbringing). Most of the people I’ve heard speaking of the damaging effects of a Catholic upbringing on the development of their sexuality have been female. As was the person whose article Anthony was referring to, who said: ‘The only female role model is the Virgin Mary’ (5 April).

In many societies, by no means only Catholic ones, girls and women were/are taught to feel fear, embarrassment and shame about their bodies and their sexuality. And to take responsibility for ‘causing’ males to be seduced and overwhelmed by sexual desire – to ‘lose control of themselves’. And the consequences? In places and at historical times where contraception is not or has not been available, the real risk of inadvertent pregnancy, and the social opprobrium and shame that go with it, will carry a further powerful message to a young girl. Think about the scandals of the Magdalene Laundries, the forcible adoptions, and so forth.

So are the two writers’ different experiences gender-related?

Helen Gamsa

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