Letter: You don't need a woman MP to represent women's interests

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From Mr Duncan M. Butlin

Sir: Well done for your brave opinion in yesterday's leading article that political parties should be free to be as sexist as they want - I could not agree more. Will Bennett quotes a good example ("Commitment to women stays strong", 9 January) from Labour candidate Judy Mallaber: "There are going to be far more women in the next Parliament, and hopefully that will make a difference to the political culture."

Plainly a sexist statement: the culture could only change if there is some generic difference between women politicians and the men they replace. In support, women's lower level of aggression is normally cited, implying that debating would become less combative. This is a perfectly reasonable claim: we are not equal; everyone knows it; and it is right to discuss it openly.

Yours sincerely,

Duncan M. Butlin

Kettering, Northamptonshire

10 January