There are people that feel that a free society means that we should be able to say and do everything we want, anytime we want and anywhere we want. We should, for example, be allowed to have sex in the streets. I have actually read some columns by respected authors that were defending that view. Nonetheless, I can only disagree and not because of all that ‘great freedom comes with great responsibility’ blahblah.
I do agree that what you do in your own home is your business. As long as you don’t hurt anyone; I don’t care, sculpt midgets out of carrots, dip them in chocolate pudding and shove them wherever you like. But the streets are, if you’ll excuse the very contemporary phrase, public domain. No matter how ‘free’ a society is, in a public domain you need rules. And one of those rules should be that you don’t have sex in the streets. And no: I don’t think that’s a very conservative view on my part. Fact remains that there are people that find the idea of being confronted with people having sex very offensive. I must admit that there have been an occasion or two where I would not have cared for that sight myself. So, if we were to allow people to have sex in the streets, that would mean that freedom was stolen from them, those innocent passersby. There is no way for people to be able to avoid having to see others having sex if all that sex was going on in the streets. You need to get out and do some shopping once in a while don’t you? Therefor I agree that it should remain illegal to do so
Away from sex, on to mobile phone conversations in the public domain. This week alone I have heard someone break up with her boyfriend, I heard about someones grandmother that wet her bed and how her granddaughter is really tired of having to go see her and I overheard someone complain about the receptionist at work (apparently she is a complete bitch). I can imagine people taking offense to being confronted with all that personal information as well. And if your travelling in a crowded train like I do everyday, a lot of times it is quite impossible to simply ‘go away’ and avoid it. Luckily I enjoy a bit of sleazy gossip, so I don’t mind terribly, but that’s beside the point. Should ‘speaking out loud into a mobile phone in public’ be banned as well? Don’t the same rules apply as when it comes to having sex at the bus-stop, or at the grocers?
I guess not. People speak. And some people have no shame whatsoever. And even though I don’t consider the three people in the examples above as very civilised human beings, they’re merely having a conversation they could have been having with a person sitting across them. Perhaps they would be speaking a little less loud then, but still. I wouldn’t want to ban any subjects from being discussed, ever. And there are already rules about the amount of noise you’re allowed to make. And -more or less- normal speech is well within those boundaries.
As far as I am concerned, you can’t have sex in the streets, but at least you talk about it on your mobile phone. Isn’t freedom wonderful?