Thoughts on Tolerance 2: Sexuality
I wanted to take this series forward and address something which pushes the issue to the very limits. A few weeks ago, I saw a poster in Manchester Victoria station warning potential offenders that police were cracking down on the public sex once quite common in the Gents toilets there. Aha! Behaviour doesn’t get much more intolerable than that, does it? But I found myself facing some quite tough questions about this intervention, and so made a mental note to blog about it sometime later.I would have had a copy of said poster, but the person who offered to photograph it for me lost their bike lock, and I’ve broken a bone in my elbow, which has delayed this even further. But the general guist went something like this…
- Should the government really have the right to jail people for having sex in public?
- What counts as public, anyhow?
- Surely if this is something people want to do, they should be able to set up places to do it? It would then be really obvious that if you go in, you will see stuff some would call offensive.
- Of course, in some countries, there are clubs and bars for this purpose. Why do we not allow those sorts of places as a way to distract people from using station toilets, which are, after all, really bad places for this kind of activity.
- Why does the government decide instead that it should just crack down on activity like this, without any question of context (of which Victoria is a bad one)?
- Why is watching your friend’s have sex a crime, but watching a porn movie a relatively normal thing people do?
- Why does society take this view that says “what disgusts me must be wrong”? Why can’t we just let people do their own thing, and get on with doing what we enjoy? Shouldn’t the state, in as much as it is part of our present reality, be facilitating this, rather than creating a monotonously sanitised world?
I’m sure people will want to rip this to shreds, but we all have preferences for things others don’t like. Surely its about tolerance and compromise.
Entry filed under: Sexuality.