It’s OK To Show, But Not To Look

The comedy film Drop Dead Gorgeous, a satire on rural beauty pageants, is suspicious of the motives of pageant judges. Can it be that middle-aged men enjoy proximity to the 17-year-old women publicly certified to be the most attractive in the area? You bet. The film, however, calls them paedophiles, without asking the question: if (merely) looking with appreciation at sexually active young women is correctly described as paedophilia and thereby as “child abuse”, then why are such contests permitted at all? Surely the correct course would be to ban them and imprison the organisers as panders. Moreover, if it is wrong to be a middle-aged man and a pageant judge, it is surely wrong to be a middle-aged man and a pageant spectator. And what about middle-aged women other than the mothers who attend the pageant? It is a strange business when young women are actively encouraged to display their female charms, and rewarded for doing so, but watching them do so is reprobated to the point of suggestions that a felony is about to be committed. Imagine that it was considered legitimate for shops to display and advertise their goods, but immoral and potentially criminal for people idly to look at their window displays.

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  1. Written by James Beck
    on April 27, 2011 at 15:43

    If you find yourself in China, do not window shop after the stores are closed. If you are in a shop and you hear something drop and break, hurry for the door; last one to the door buys it.

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