This is widely covered in the blogsphere and newspapers, at least in the US, but it is such a classic example, it might be useful to have a record here. And it may also, for many of us, be a good case for thinking about moral emotions, particularly mixed ones. The situation is both a sad case and a good cause for anger, all to be felt for or at the same person.
So enter US Senator Larry Craig, who has been a well-known Republican advocate of anti-gay measures. And it appears he was caught soliciting sex from a man in a public restroom, in the Minneapolis airport. His target, who was hanging out in a stall, was a policeman and Craig was arrested.
Craig pleaded guilty. That was a mistake, he says. He just wanted to make it go away, having in his life taken meaures to make sure it wouldn’t just go away for others. One can hear right-wing talk show people argue that holding something is a sin and then sinning oneself does not constitute hypocrisy. That view misses the point. It is Craig’s use of power to shame and control others while indulging himself that is so objectionable.
You might well find it difficult to feel sorry for Craig, but the police report, which requires Adobe Acrobat to read, is genuinely pathetic.
And his political career is likely finished.
Googling around on the topic of hypocrisy, I found the following which is relevant only in so far as it features another US right-wing anti-gay public figure, one this time found buying drugs from a gay hooker. Look upon it and weep for rationality discourse.
richard dawkins and ted haggard:
This is the premier science journal that brought us “Alpha males win again.” Now we have an airbrushed model-perfect portrait on the cover. “Why?” one might well ask. Fortunately, there’s an “about the cover” link. And there they say
People’s quality of life depends on the ability to experience emotions appropriately and to regulate them in response to stressful events. Consequently, it is important to understand how the brain regulates emotions and how this regulation becomes impaired by disorders of emotion. In this issue, we present a collection of reviews on the neurobiology of emotion and disorders of emotion.
So emotions and women go together? Gosh! I’m glad that’s clear. We want to be scientific and all.
Alternatively, you might ask some people. The first response I got from a frequent reader of Nature, “Men like to look at pictures of beautiful women.” That might also be a comment in the sociology of science.
Sex in the Public Square reviews what sounds like a very interesting book. There have, of course, been loads of things written about sex and the internet. What’s interesting about this book is that it focuses on women’s experiences. It’s based on interviews with 80 women, including bloggers, internet daters, sex workers, and pornography consumers, among others. One interesting fact I got just from the review, which ties in well with some previous posts on tampon weapons: Adult oriented credit card billing services rejected porn sites featuring menstruation while accepting pretty much everything else. There’s an interview with the author, Audacia Ray, at Feministing. There she talks about how important it was to her to capture the relationships between the internet, women’s sexuality, and women’s agency: “the ways that the Internet can be both freeing and restrictive, often for the same women at different times”. Could be some good examples for folks working on autonomy.