Thursday, July 10, 2008

Modern Australia's obsession with sexuality

I am so tired with Australia's current obsession with sexuality. I find it tiring, depressing and, to a degree, confusing.

As I write, the case of Dennis Ferguson is much in the news.

Apparently a convicted pedophile, new charges against Mr Ferguson were thrown out on the grounds that media publicity meant that he could not get a fair trial.

Moved by police to one location, he was forced to move again by publicity. Moved to a second place on a country property where he was under supervision, local opposition including a public meeting attended by 1,000 people appeared to threaten his very life.

I saw the TV footage. I thought the blind outrage was at least as ugly as Mr Ferguson's alleged crimes. Now he is costing the tax payer an arm and a leg to protect him. Mr Ferguson may be a sick man in a moral sense, but the threat that he poses under supervision hardly warrants the outrage.

Again as I write, the single post I wrote on the Bill Henson matter (Bill Henson, art and child pornography) continues to get more hits than most other posts, ignited again by the rather silly decision of Art Monthly to put an art work of a six year old on its cover.

The art work itself is hardly prurient, although Mr Rudd as the leader of Australia's new Gen X moral majority was disgusted by the photo.

In the midst of all this, TV and on-line sites such as facebook carry images that would have been classified as as pornography twenty years ago. Some I just gulp at.

I have no desire to go back to the sexual confusions and mores that dominated Victorian Australia through to the sixties. I would never wish on my children or their children the internal confusions this created in me. On the other hand, I think that there is far too much explicit sexuality in material that is available to all, including children.

I suppose in all this there is a question of balance. While I could wish that there was less explicit sexuality around, I do not find the new puritans balanced, while their anger repulses me. It seems to me that Calvin is alive and well, living in Yarralumla.


ninglun said...

Three cheers, Jim! Couldn't agree more.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Neil. And a belated happy birthday for the nineth!