Thursday, November 26, 2009

No worries there, my friend

In the Straits Times Forum, Marcus Foo worries that "'consent' [will] trump what society perceives as morally bad behaviour":
I REFER to Mr Alvin Chen's letter last Monday, 'Give courts more sentencing discretion'. This was in response to Mr Vikram Ranjan Ramasamy's letter, 'Decriminalise consensual underage sex' (Nov 13).

Allowing 'consent' to trump what society perceives as morally bad behaviour is to undermine society's right to enforce its moral determinations. This was an issue that Lord Patrick Devlin addressed his mind to in his essay, The Enforcement Of Morals.
He speaks, of course, of the current hot topic of kiddies bonking (on which see also Badly Drawn Pig and my all-important Magical reminder to adults, "Don't fuck children.")

Marcus is bothered by the possibility that our society prizes sexual consent too highly, to the extent that morally dubious practices will be sanctified in its name.

But he really needn't fret. A large strand of Singaporean society fails entirely to grasp the idea that the flesh of the Magical Chicken is to be directed by the will of the Magical Chicken alone. This incomprehension expresses itself not only in Marcus Foo's inability to describe the puzzling and unreal concept of "consent" without quotation marks, but also in our Penal Code.

Mostly the Penal Code quite sensibly tells adults not to fuck children, but it makes some exceptions to this, which the No To Rape blog lays out in lawyerspeak with nifty bolding:
(1) Section 376A(4), which grants immunity from this offence when a girl under the age of 16 says “yes” to sex with her husband.

(2) Section 376A(5), which grants immunity from this offence, even in situations where a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old girl has said “no” to her husband.
Get that? It's okay to fuck your 13 year old wife with consent. It's also okay to fuck your 13 year old wife without consent. In other words, consent means fuck-all.

Far from consent "trumping" morally bad behaviour, what we see here is the almighty and unquestionable right of the husbandly penis to access the wifely vagina trumping any idea of consent. A mere weeping girl-child won't stop a man from having his due.

So Marcus Foo needn't worry that bodily autonomy is anywhere but in its rightful, subordinate place in Singapore.

What he really should worry about is his own tendency to write torturously overlong sentences like this:
Alternatively, if one can show that as a matter of statistical probability, sexual activity at this age results in an aversion to deepening the commitment of a relationship via the institution of marriage, or that it affects an individual's psyche in the perception of the value of commitment, then in so far as the institution of marriage or the value of commitment is regarded as a moral good that society embraces, one could also find oneself somewhat persuaded that the law should remain.
Not only do I vigorously withhold my consent from this painful contortion of the English language, I also deem it morally bad.

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