Although the sex between the two air force cadets was consensual, the alleged collusion of the group of male cadets in broadcasting it against the knowledge of the female cadet was sinister and disgusting. ... It is hard to imagine anything more degrading than being unknowingly broadcast having sex, and it's unsurprising the alleged victim was physically ill on reading the witness statements of the men.
Certainly is unsurprising; I've been throwing up in my mouth a little bit myself, just reading about it.
I have now seen or heard several different men being surprised by the fact that I and other women have reacted so strongly to this case. To my horror, these men seem to think it's either minor or normal, or both. In the case of setting up a woman to have sex with her and film it without her knowledge, I've heard, among other things, 'But there are much worse things' and 'But everybody does it' and 'But it's normal.'
If any (much less all) of these things is true, then the situation is much worse even than I thought.
Something I've not seen commented on yet is the overtly homosocial but presumably subconscious homoerotic dimension to all this; why is it, exactly, that this young reptile wants his little mates to see him naked and f*cking? What's that about?
I know it's been a bad few days in the news, with uncontrolled testosterone well to the fore – killing swans by throwing rocks at them (yes there were a couple of girls involved there, but I said 'testosterone', a hormone women also have in some degree, and anyway they were not among the rock-throwers, and hey, look on the bright side: all that stuff about raised oestrogen levels in the water is clearly a crock), shooting a dozen or so schoolchildren to death (if they're going to kill themselves anyway, why don't they just do that first?), beating up a grieving ten-year-old boy because he's been on television and in the paper for losing his mother and brother in the Queensland floods (because that follows, doesn't it? I mean, of course you and your gang would bash a kid years younger than you for, erm, being on TV and in the paper, I mean, erm), murdering your only daughter because you hate her mother (though the youngest child, one of two boys, would have been a great deal easier to lift up and hurl over the railing to his death), and now the setting up of an 18 year old girl to provide unwitting entertainment and titillation for the sniggering hordes – but I'm beginning to wonder if there is any common ground at all between men and women on the subject of sex.
That marathon thread down the page a bit would seem to suggest there isn't, even between intelligent people of goodwill. We will always, to paraphrase something Helen Garner once said about something else, be left speechless with our mouths hanging open, gazing at each other in disbelief.
Helen Garner, again:
The barman went out the back to look for the Campari, and she picked up off the counter one of those little four-page bulletins on duplicator paper which announce the results of inter-pub darts and pool competitions. There was a joke at the bottom of the page. She read it.
'Gynaecologist to dentist: "I don't know how you can stand your job, smelling people's bad breath all day."'
Her legs surprised her: that old, almost forgotten sensation, as if all the blood were draining rapidly out of them, leaving them fragile and chalky, unable to support her. They do hate us, she thought. The weight of disgust that loaded the simple joke made her bones weak. She thought, I can't bear it, I can't. She thought, I should be able to bear it by now. It has just caught me off guard. She thought, Dexter would think it was funny.
-- The Children's Bach, 1984.
Got that? 1984. Last century. Almost 30 years ago. Doesn't seem like 30 years, does it.
And before anyone turns up here trying to either deny or defend, as it seems they are bound to do, here's the reason I think you do it: you do it because at some level you know that what we say is true, and fear to believe it.