Thursday, May 10, 2018

Morailty, Ethics, and Some Common Sense

We'd have left this one well enough alone, but a couple of regular haunts seem to have missed the point.
So I think it's time to take a whack at it.
So to speak.

(NYFC Post) Many members of what’s widely known as the kink community are outraged that Eric Schneiderman, in resigning as New York’s attorney general, depicted his alleged violence toward several women as “role-playing and other consensual sexual activity.”

Aficionados of kinky sex noted that Schneiderman’s accusers insisted they had given no consent — which is considered obligatory among most practitioners of kink.

Peter, at Bayou Renaissance Man writes in reply

I'm afraid the concerns of the BDSM community leave me cold.  Instead of worrying about bad publicity, perhaps its members should instead consider the state of their psychological and psychiatric health.  Anyone who enjoys inflicting or receiving pain, and advocates for that to be both tolerated and encouraged, has forfeited my sympathy entirely.  I've seen too many examples of rape, torture and violence to be under any illusions about the reality of pain.  Consent is irrelevant.  Anyone who's volunteered at a shelter for battered women and children, or had to deal with the reality and tragic aftermath of child abuse, knows exactly what I mean.
That's going about a country mile too far, methinks.

Thoughtful folks of religious, or merely open-minded bent, should read, for instance, Philip Yancey's Intervarsity Press book, The Gift of Pain, and re-think such a position.

Sticking your foot into a slightly too-warm bath is absolutely "painful", frequently in an oh-so-wonderful way, but it is not, ergo, hitting your spouse in the mouth with a pipe wrench and knocking out all her teeth.
(That's also precisely the sort of concrete-headed idiocy, zero-IQ, zero-tolerance nonsense we get from PETA when they tell us "A dog is a rat is a pig is a boy".)

There are people who go through life without pain.
It's called Hansen's Disease.
You probably know it better by its biblical name: Leprosy.

All pain is not evil; it does, in fact, serve a vital and life-saving function, and not always in a bad way. It's why our hands tell us the stove is hot, broken bones hurt, and why our parents may have had cause to use the Board Of Education on us a time or two, going back to at least Socrates or so.

But perhaps those coming at this from a more religious perspective ought to do a study on the number of times "chastening" comes up in Old and New Testaments, and get back to us on that thought, for example. "Whom the Lord loveth, he  __________" something-or-other, right?

Consent, IIRC, doesn't even enter into it at that point, does it?
And certainly the Almighty is not a rapist...?
So things are perhaps quite a bit less black-and-white than some would like them to be.

Some people play football, rugby, or hockey, but no one (no one sane, anyways) argues they should all be locked up for brutality, or rampant sadomasochism, so coming down so knee-jerk on another group with a different idea of what is and isn't "play" is beyond narrow-minded, and if someone can't see the difference between their practices and what the NY AG is accused of, I think perhaps their eyes are closed a bit too tightly.

No one, least of all the folks in that article, are asking anyone to adopt their outlook or proclivities (thank heavens), merely to assent to the reality that Schneiderman trying to excuse actual non-consensual physical abuse, and paint it as "just kinky behavior", is straining at the bounds of rational thought, the English language, and sanity. And not to put too fine a point on it, but also the penal code of the state of New York.

And the twit that wrote the earlier twaddle I've seen on the subject should have known better as well, and closed his yawp before attempting some more sober reflection.

The offense being committed in that piece is the same sort of soft-headed insanity that conflates looking at a pretty girl as "eye-rape", deserving the full judicial punishments with all the penitentiary trimmings.

We call people who can't tell a baby from the bath water lunatics for a reason.

Let us not be in such haste to move away from people whose practices we regard with distaste, that we flee common sense entirely, and throw ourselves off the Cliffs of Insanity.

Reality doesn't care about how we feel about it, and the "kink community" is both rationally right, and rightfully outraged at being dragooned in as a scapegoat for his crimes:
Schneiderman's trying to drag them under the bus, and pass off his crimes as "kink".

If Schneiderman actually did what is alleged, it wasn't kink, and he ought to be horsewhipped.
And no safeword.


Anonymous said...

Enjoying Peters blog does not mean continual agreement anymore than getting value out of this one means the same. In this case I think you've hit the x-ring in this issue where Peter's out somewhere in the white. I'm pretty big on leaving whatever CONSENTING adults choose to do in PRIVACY to said consenting adults; regardless of my personal distaste for many of such things.
That said, I'd agree with your recommendation as to just punishment to Schneiderman if convicted; though I'd propose some time in stocks in a public (but not too public)place as an alternative of supplement.

neal said...

All or mostly all prayers seem to be a get out of jail free card with a side of sadism for the innocent.

This is why the old gods retired.

They be all "I am glad that was not me. Could have been much worse."

I can see in those eyes. Dark and Glory. At least they left the kids alone, sort of. Otherwise I might have had a word.

John said...

Smacking your honeys bare hienie is preferable to either one of you shooting up and probably at the same level as smoking a joint.

As long as both are "Free, white and twenty-one".

Anonymous said...

I've known some people in that community (outside of that particular activity, thank goodness) and normally they're just folks. Some people like a little pain mixed with pleasure and as long as all are consenting adults, that's their deal. I'm not going to say they can't do their thing. In the old days that was called "being nosy". Now people "overshare" (WAY TOO MUCH), but whatever. Not my deal, not my business.

However, your wider point about conflating the most MINOR things like wolf whistles or being "looked at" with full-on rape is starting to REALLY piss me off. The next woman who says that to me is getting one hell of an earful. I'm done hearing it and putting up with it. No, sweetie, you weren't raped. I WAS. There's a BIG OLD DIFFERENCE in the two.

So VERY valid point there Aesop. Thank you.

Historian said...

As you correctly pointed out to Peter, Aesop, informed consent is the core of the matter, and is NOT irrelevant.

Consent is the difference between love-making and rape.

Consent is the difference between a rugby game and mob violence/assault with intent.

Consent is the difference between transplant surgery and "Dr." Mengele.

Consent is the difference between a highway toll and a highwayman.

Consent, informed consent, is the difference between BDSM and A&BWI (assault and battery with intent to do serious bodily injury. What is so absolutely outrageous about this government maggot's behaviour is that he is attempting to cover his abuse of power, and his abuse of others by conflating violent rape with BDSM, and it is sad to see folks who ought to know better drinking that Koolaid. It is not surprising that those who freely choose to participate in such behaviour and those who value individual liberty are enraged by such an obvious attempt to conceal criminal activity.

There is a great deal that could be said on the matter, but, briefly and sadly I do not find it at all surprising that a person who has spent his career initiating physical force against others in his professional life should have done so in his personal life. Not all lawyers are maggots; some are decent, competent ethical individuals who uphold the best traditions of the law, and the Law. Many, however, are exactly what Lord Acton was talking about- "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."