Monday, May 20, 2013

The freedom to be annoying

Reading the Dan Savage article from this past week made me think a lot about how our freedoms often end up causing trouble for other people.  The scenario he wrote about was straight drunk women making out with each other in clubs or bars to attract men and particularly how this makes some lesbian and bisexual women angry.  The comments after the article were all over the map but the two main camps seem to be centered around arguing either women's rights or freedom of expression.

I can definitely see the issues with women's rights.  When women make out with each other just to titillate men the men in question likely do feel that the stereotype that women's sexuality is just for male entertainment is being reinforced.  It is important that men come to see women's desires and their choices in sex to be independently valid and important regardless of the impact it has on a man.  The trick is that I think this isn't a problem with the drunk straight girls so much as a problem with the men.  We don't need to force women to stop making out with each other.  What we need is to educate the men so that they see it as fun play instead of a show only for their benefit.

We all need the right to do whatever we want sexually speaking with other consenting adults.  Gay folks didn't have that right for a long time and still don't have it in many parts of the world.  Even though drunk straight women may cause trouble for other people their right to do so unmolested is critical to the attitude that everyone can do what they want.  It is similar to my strong feelings on freedom of religion in the sense that although religion is wrong I want that freedom to be very strongly enforced so I won't lose my freedom to *not* be a particular religion.  Same thing applies to sex; any time you agitate for somebody's sexual expression to be controlled you give the censors more power to prevent *your* sexual expression.

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