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Best. Sentence. Ever.

A Purple Straw Hat
http://www.nrc.nl/renske/2013/09/10/privacy/

"Pijpen in het openbaar is misschien niet het meest aristocratische ding om te doen, maar er wordt niemand mee verwond (laten we hopen, tenminste)."

The article starts out talking about a children's book in which people who do bad things are punished by having a dot put on their forehead which indicates the crime they have committed. The author of this article read these books when she was young and her mother told her this was just about the cruelest thing you could do to a person. An analogy is drawn between this, and what google/teh interwebs do to people, initially about a guy who is suing over some photos that he doesn't want Out There, and then getting into the awful to-do about the photos of oral sex at a concert that really brought out the double standard judgy in a lot of people.

Roughly translated: Blowing [someone] in public is maybe not the most aristocratic thing to do, but nobody got hurt (let's hope, at least).

I disagree with the author on several points: I like reputation based systems of enforcement, and I trust most adults to recognize the difference between bad taste and criminal behavior and the various stages in between that we handle through minimizing contact with people and other forms of social punishment. I think we are also pretty good at recognizing that there are always multiple systems in play at once, and that some people really hyperventilate about, well, everything. Because that's _their_ thing. I'm not sure I'm prepared to consider a Nazi-themed SM party a "taste" issue -- I think that's way out in edge play these days and Shouldn't Be Done, and I _like_ that the internet gives us the opportunity to discuss this.

But I like reading this columnist, because she's funny, sensible (even when I don't agree with her) and I find her very easy to read.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ethelmay
Sep. 10th, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
I tried to read the sentence based on zero knowledge of Dutch (my knowledge of German sometimes helps and sometimes leads me even further astray) and got something like "Peeing outside is not the most aristocratic thing to do, but it wouldn't surprise anyone (at least I hope not)."

Re what it actually said: the difficulty I see is partly that doing sexual things where others can't help but see you involves them without their consent. It gets really hinky when the other person doesn't necessarily know whether the activity is consensual, and has to worry about whether to call the police or something, which is an unfair burden to put on them.
walkitout
Sep. 10th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
framing
I agree with you that the primary issue with sex in public is a matter of consent _on the part of the viewers_ and failure to get it (assuming, of course, that there is consent among the participants). But I do not believe that that is how the columnist was thinking about it as a problem, nor was my Dutch instructor.

They have more of a in-bad-taste/not-in-front-of-children perspective.
walkitout
Sep. 10th, 2013 08:33 pm (UTC)
Re: framing
Oh, and are you familiar with the incident she is referring to? I ran across it in a couple different contexts, mostly (correctly) complaining about the rampant double standard being applied to the woman in the video vs. the man.
ethelmay
Sep. 10th, 2013 10:03 pm (UTC)
Re: framing
I don't think I'd heard of it, but I think I get the picture as much as I care to. Yeah, double standards being applied is exactly what one would sadly expect.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )