Thursday, February 25, 2016


Jimmy Savile

If you don't know who Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011 at 84, was in British culture, I think this BBC story from today will enlighten. The case of Jimmy Savile is outrageous because his abuse of children was covered up by people who should have done something about it decades ago. Like Roman Catholic priests and other clerics who abuse children, Savile parlayed his ostensible philanthropy for great power in official British culture to the extent that he was honored by the British monarchy. This provided him with the cover he needed to be a sadistic brute.

The Savile case is now famous in part because it is about sex. Since Western culture, while not as screwed up about sex as Islamic culture, is still sexually repressive, any excuse to exploit a story about sex is grabbed by the media and groped to irritating excess. But I look at Savile's story through the eyes of a gay man who sees Savile's behavior as typically male and especially typical of males in power. 

Gay men in positions of power within the LGBT subculture can be no different from Savile. The issue is one of maleness and male conditioning, often by the women who raise them, in a sexist world. The difference in the gay male subculture lies in the dual conditioning in a male-male relationship. Both parties can engage in a sado-masochistic dance for mutual gratification and ascension to some form of power. 

The core issue underlying the Savile case and others like it is institutionalized sexual repression. Telling children that sex is bad or some sort of potentially lethal weapon has its repercussions. Withholding sex education from children on the grounds of religious superstitions is socially counterproductive. A civilized society where sexual conduct is generally consensual, healthy and joyful cannot develop without early sex education. 

Shaming a sex offender publicly after he is dead is a useless exercise of the guilty for their own self-absolution for their own negligence when the offender was alive. The Savile case is particularly annoying. The doublespeak of the government spokesperson (Dame Janet Smith) in her address on the matter is as bad as the offenses themselves. It does nothing to further the cause of prevention, though she manages to slap herself on the back (in nearly Shakespearean prose) for the job she has done. 

Sexual abuse is preventable. It is preventable by educated mothers and fathers of children. This would not require expensive government studies. It is doable right now. Only religion and the fear it uses to poison healthy sex without procreation stand in the way.

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