Friday, May 23, 2008

Celibate soldiers?

I am stunned by the media interest in whether soldiers had sexual intercourse with a visiting female entertainer. It seems that she did not but even if she did who cares?

Why would such sexual intercourse be a 'scandal' even if it did occur? Are soldiers intended (or ordered) to remain celibate while on duty? Are women not permitted to select soldiers as sexual partners? The whole episode is a stunning non-event.

Update: In a separate incident an MP from Western Australia has become the 'lastest casuality in the state's political sleaze scandal'. His alleged offence - he invited a woman with whom he was apparently on friendly terms to join in a sexual threesome. He didn't do anything other than ask her. I am bewildered as to what the 'offence' here was.

Are 'threesomes' illegal in WA? Is it disrespectful of women to invite them to join in consensual sexual activity? Is the presumption that not only do women wish not to participate in sexual activities but that they also resent even being given the opportunity to do so?

A person cannot be made worse off if they can accept or costlessly decline any offer. They get choice. I can understand that offers can be put to people in terms that are offensive but then that should be the offence not the offer itself.

Australians are becoming very American in their attitudes - on the one hand many aspects of life are becoming sexualised via a media focus on sex and, at the same time, there is an underlying puritanism about sex in the media and the women's movement.

7 comments:

conrad said...

I must admit that I found it the weirdest non-news of the day. Given other events like Burma and so on, one wonders what sized brain the "news" is really trying to appeal to. As far as I'm concerned, the only interest would have been for People magazine if she had done 5 of them in the same day, and perhaps that wouldn't even be for the cover story.

derrrida derider said...

Oh come on, sex sells newspapers. No other explanation for the hyping of this non-story is needed.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

Harry you missed a great opportunity -

"This wouldn't have happened under Howard"

Jan said...

I agree, this whole trend is pathetic. I think Harry, as a way of protest, you should publicly commit on this website to seriously consider any threesome offers...

procrustes said...

the worst offence, Harry, is that you neglected to title this thread "celebate rifles"

Lesley de Voil said...

procrustes, did you mean "celebrate" rifles or "celibate" rifles? Would have thought the former was more appropriate in the circumstances.

John Quiggin said...

At the risk of being cast as a wowser here, Harry, your account failed to mention that the women concerned were government staff members, at least one of whom worked for the Minister concerned.

The idea that a failure to express offence in these circumstances constituted an invitation to further advances is absolutely wrong.

This is a straightforward case of sexual harassment. The "threesome" part of it is significant only in reducing the likelihood that the proposed partners actually encouraged the advances (as opposed to not objecting explicitly). This is a common male fantasy, after all, not a common reality.