Saturday, 17 May 2008

Work continues to entertain!

We were all quite surprised to receive the following email on the staff intranet the other day. I have of course removed or changed any names but I also felt obliged to modify a little of the language by the substitution of asterisks for some of the letters; something that did not seem to bother the sender!

8.00 pm
Stallion Street
George Tailor (Brightside University)

On F*cking Animals

Bestiality remains a taboo sexuality in the UK, despite ample evidence that, at the margins, it is a small but active sexual culture. In short, we don't f*ck animals, and we don't support those who do, Indeed, Section 69 (I kid you not!) of the 2003 Sexual Offences Act restates the criminalisation of sex with animals in a restricted and phallocentric way. The problem with this state of affairs, even if you are not predisposed to curl up at night with a four legged loved one, is that the ethical foundations that such a law is based on are compromised, and above an aesthetic rejection, opponents find few sustainable arguments to support their opposition. In this discussion, I want to survey the failures to make ethically sustainable arguments against bestiality, offer some alternative arguments that might work better, and also explain why having a coherent and sophisticated view on bestiality is so important to understanding more mainstream sexual relations.

George Tailor is Reader in Sociology and Social Philosophy and Centre Director of the Centre for Research Ethics and Ethical Deliberation. His main research interests are in ethical thinking, sexual ethics and radical theories and politics.


Of course this created a lively controversial debate over the intranet with each person including a duplicate copy of the original email in their reply; thus ensuring that the potentially offensive statement was repeated over and over! The funniest reply was this:

I went home last night and looked at my cat Treacle with new eyes.....then thought NO WAY!

The final email came from computer services requesting that the
discussion be removed from the Internet and placed on the discussion forum!

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