Tuesday, May 16, 2006
All Men Are Rapists
In a "refurbished" Central London pub last night, cheap wood and brown paint, with those awful laminated menus on every table offering fish n chips and nachos "to share", with bar staff who seem puzzled by the concept of actually pouring a full pint, I had occasion, as you do, to use the gentlemen's conveniences. Walking past the obligatory condom machine, I noticed it was plastered with official messages, a bit like cigarette packets are now since the European Union put cancer in tabs. Under the coin slot was the exhortation "Don't put it in unless you have permission", and I don't think it meant the £2 coin. Although it may have been a knowing, post-modern, ironic joke, and very funny for it. Further down potential purchasers were warned "Intercourse without permission can lead to prison ". More direct and thanks for the reminder. Now, this is fucking (oh, the sparkling wordplay) ridiculous. One minute we are all supposed to carry condoms in case we give eachother unpleasant, or indeed life-threatening, diseases. The next minute we are being warned only to buy condoms if the partner in question has signed a formal, legally-binding agreement to sexual intercourse on the back of a beermat. Fortunately, being out with work colleagues and not being John Prescott, this was not a dilemma I faced on this particular evening. However, it made me think how totally ridiculous things have become. Personally, I believe the relationship between the sexes is more open than it has been for a long time. Perhaps it is because I am ageing rapidly, but in my youth political correctness (not the nonsense liberal PC of nowadays, but true political correctness) seemed to mean that nobody could make a move. That, thank fuck (see what I did there again?) has passed into history. But to start putting warnings about rape on a condom machine is such arrant nonsense that I would claim to have been left speechless if I had not spent the last few minutes writing this. Have you ever heard of a rapist who fumbled around for change for the johnny machine first? I really don't think so. It is, as ever, a mad world, my masters.