Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sexual hypocrisy

What two (or more) people choose to get up to in their sexual lives is fine with me, so long as 1) it isn't costing me anything, 2) they are harming no-one but themselves, 3) they don't try and involve me. I don't go into gay or singles bars and I don't expect anyone to try and pick me up in my local. So when I first learned about Nigel Evans A senior Tory MP and a Commons Deputy Speaker coming out my first thoughts were so what?

Nigel Evans, the deputy speaker of the House of Commons, has decided to "come out" in a newspaper interview because he wants to "clear the air".
The sexuality of the MP for Ribble Valley has long been the subject of speculation in Westminster, though he voted against lowering the homosexual age of consent to 18 in 1998.
It follows the announcement by Crispin Blunt, the Conservative justice minister, that he was leaving his wife of 20 years to come to terms with his homosexuality in August.
Mr Evans has never been married and does not have a long-term partner.
Fair enough, save for one small detail, "he voted against lowering the homosexual age of consent to 18 in 1998" So you know exactly where you will stand with Nigel Evans, he will as most MP's do, toe the party line even if it makes him a total hypocrite where it comes to equality of his own sexuality. And if he'll toe the party line on this, what else will he toe the party line on?
Hopefully this might clear the air for him and he'll adopt a more independent attitude, though again I have my doubts, most politicians don't, they vote for what the party wants rather than what their constituents want. Doesn't matter how many letters they get or how repulsive the political agenda, the lobby fodder are fed through the mill to produce the results, even if said results weren't in the manifesto, or even in Labours case if they were, but the leadership decided to ignore them anyway.

Not that Labour are saints when it comes to matters of homosexuality...
A Labour Party member bombarded a gay colleague with malicious text messages after losing out to him in a party election.
David Bradley sent rival Ed Bramall homophobic messages after members had selected Mr Bramall to fight a seat at this year’s local elections.
Bradley, who contested the Weston-super-Mare seat for Labour at this year’s General Election, sent 33 texts using references to homosexuals.
At Bristol Magistrates’ Court Bradley, of Warmley, Bristol pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment without violence by sending the text messages to Mr Bramall’s phone between March and August.
Yet to most of the UK save for a few religious or political extremists, we'll shrug our shoulders and think who gives a damn? Which shows we're less hypocritical than politicians at least, though that's not too hard.

6 annotations:

Pavlov's Cat said...

Well put. I alays like to scatter this quote from Roy Hattersly around the interwebs in the hope that when people google his name it may one day come top, to show what utter cunts he and his bretherin are

“For most of my 33 years in Westminster, I was able to resist Sparkbrook’s demands about the great issues of national policy – otherwise, my first decade would have been spent opposing all Commonwealth immigration and my last calling for withdrawal from the European Union.”

Anonymous said...

I can remember someone saying, just prior to the vote on lowering the age of consent for homosexuals, that a lot more middle aged men were clamouring for a change in the law then gay teenagers. Says a lot really.

Curmudgeon said...

Surely it can be an entirely consistent and respectable intellectual position to be gay and at the same time oppose the lowering of the age of consent. There must be many people who drink alcohol but at the same time support restrictions on availability and increased duty.

Quiet_Man said...

If it was lowering it below the age of adulthood yes curmudgeon you might have a case. At 18 we allowed them to be soldiers, get married without consent, drink, drive, have sex with women, but not have a sexual relationship with another man.
Hypocrisy writ large, and certainly no business of the state who did what to whom so long as they were adults.

Woman on a Raft said...

The age of homosexual consent was lowered to 18 in 1994. The defeated vote in 1998 was to lower the age to 16. The Telegraph can't be bothered to check.

The ages were eventually equalized in 2000, but it wasn't until 2004 (with the coming in to force of the Sexual Offences Act 2003) that the acts of homosexuality and heterosexuality were put on an equal footing.

Much of the world does not accept that these ways of having sex ARE equal to each other, and neither did our law until 2004, since the acts governing heterosexual and homosexual activity were different and proceeded from different social policies. Age of consent for girls was done to prevent exploitation of child prostitutes. Homosexuality was thought to be so socially damaging that it could not be consented to at all by either side at any age, until after the war.

Age of consent itself had different meanings; in heterosexuality it meant the age at which consent could be offered as a defence against a charge of rape. In homosexuality it was the age at which a participant could lawfully consent - below that age they might be themselves committing an indecent act. Different thing.

In 2008 it was logically possible to hold that homosexual activity is so serious that it should not be engaged in below the age of 18 and therefore anyone who consented, or sought the consent of an under-18 year old, was committing either an indecency offence (questionable) or one of sexual abuse.

There's nothing inconsistent in believing something similar even now. The concept was re-introduced in the 2003 Act where it prohibits sexual activity even with over-16 year olds where a position of trust is occupied i.e. teacher.

So if a teacher has sex with a 6th former in their own school they could wind up on the sex offenders register, whereas if they have sex with a 16 year old they have no professional connection with, they can rely on the concept of consent.

So far this has not been extended beyond the age of 18 but there are some who argue that it should be, particularly to cover universities.

Woman on a Raft said...

In 2008 it was logically possible

Sorry, should be "In 1998 it was logically possible..."