A modern-day witch hunt is underway in Canada. The hunted: not terrorists, but fetishists.
The RCMP is investigating the conduct of one of its officers who posted pictures of himself on a fetish website. The most shocking aspect of the story is not the photos, though, but the fact that people are outraged by them.
The media, instead of questioning the legitimacy of the claims made against the officer, grants almost all of its resources to perpetuating lies and misinformation based on long-outdated values.
“I don’t know any woman who’d want to work alongside someone who was into that sort of stuff,” said former RCMP officer Sherry Benson-Podolchuk in a Globe and Mail article. “It raises too many questions. I think it brings the whole force into disrepute. I think he should be gone, no question about it.”
Replace “that sort of stuff” with “gay sex” and we could easily be reading an article from the 1950s. At that time the Canadian government was engaged in a witch hunt for gays in the public service, and they used the latest technology to find them: the dreaded Fruit Machine. (I kid you not.) Suspected public servants—as well as members of the RCMP and military—were made to view gay porn while the machine checked the dilation of their eyes, which would somehow prove arousal. Anyone whose eyes dilated was likely fired.
Of course, the technology was bunk and was eventually cast aside, but the effects of the anti-gay policy sent a chill through queers across the country. The same chill, in fact, that is now being sent through a different group of so-called “sexual deviants”—fetishists.
One essential fact, which should not have to be said half a century after the sexual revolution, is that everything this man did was 100 per cent legal. For those who’ve been whipped into a frenzy, take a breath and think about these following statements:
– engaging in consensual sex is legal—no matter how intense—so long as age requirements are met,
– taking photos of said sex is legal, so long as both parties are above the age of 18, and
– posting said pictures online in a place made for such photos is also perfectly legal.
So, keeping these facts in mind, we should not even be having this discussion. Think about it: a man is having his professional and private life destroyed by moralists who are uncomfortable with what this man does in his private time. These so-called “concerned citizens” feign a desire to protect fellow citizens from “perverts”, but are actually just imposing their Victorian morals on people long-freed from the constraints of that time.
And, it unfortunately needs to be said, at no time was the integrity of the RCMP compromised. You know why? Because there are fetishists everywhere in society—right now—doing their jobs just fine. You know how I know this? Because these people are still employed.
But, this is more than just a legal issue or a privacy issue. This is also an issue of what we stand for as a society. At the heart of the matter, this is not a story about a man in trouble for posting explicit photos online, but, rather, about the behaviour occurring in the photos. But what concern should anyone’s fetish be to anyone else, so long as it falls within the law?
Of course, if you post online, the whole world can see it, but it shouldn’t mean that you sign away your life if you’ve done nothing illegal. These photos were posted during the man’s private time, completely away from his work-related duties, and the photos do not depict the man in RCMP garb. There is no reason for the RCMP to be investigating them or for the media to be reproducing them.
Moralists claim that the man showed “poor judgement” in posting the photos. But how did he show poor judgement? The only thing this man should have expected was possible embarrassment if they were found. Nothing more. In no way should this man have expected to be kink-shamed by Canada’s highest police body and all mainstream media organizations.
When Pierre Elliott Trudeau said that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, he surely meant more than just the place we sleep. Otherwise, gays wouldn’t be tolerated holding hands or kissing on the street. What he was saying was that all aspects of the private lives of citizens are of no business to anyone else.
If one thing has been made apparent from this debacle, it’s the importance of a loud and proud fetish brigade at Pride each summer. The moral purists among us need to know that these people exist and are a large part of the fabric that make up this eclectic country. But, judging by the mainstream ops pieces this past week on both Pride season and the RCMP “scandal”, it seems there are a lot of minds that need to change.
For example, in the same breath that Barbara Kay in the National Post tells us how much she loves us gays, she also laments the “exhibitionistic priapism [at Pride] that is nothing anyone, gay or straight, should be proud of.”
Her words are the same as those used 50 years ago against gays busting down closets, letting the world know that they’re here and they’re queer. Here’s to hoping fetishists don’t wait another half-century before they can live in peace and bondage.
All photos courtesy of Flickr
This is a great topic. I’ll be honest, I have numerous fetishes and I’m pretty vocal about them too. I’m very vocal about the fetish business and the lifestyle people life pertaining to their orientation: dom, switch, sub, etc. I’m also a believer of everyone having something they’re into or something they want to try. Fetishes are everywhere.
With this all being said, there are standards and certain professionalism people need abide by, especially in such a position of authority — aka RCMP.
I have no issue with what the man does on his own time, but if I were him, I’d certainly not want the web to know what I’m into, and the RCMP also has a case here. Although he’s not breaking the law by doing this, it could potentially be used against him and the justice system in general.
Say the RCMP apprehends someone and in a skirmish, he hurts the thug, or at least, the thug claims the officer did. This could easily be used and manipulated by any lawyer and claim that the man was “getting off on it” and was using unnecessary force, etc — all because the man happens to sexually be dominant and likes inflicting pain.
I really don’t think the RCMP are against fetishes in the slightest. Actually, I’ll have you know that if you were to apply for a police job, 80% or so are white heterosexual males. They will honestly hire you, regardless of your skill, if you are a person of colour or are gay. I’m not making this up. If anything, the RCMP is very keen on hiring people who are minorities, etc.
But anyone in a position of authority needs to watch what they say and do as it could have negative implications.
The point is — the average person isn’t in a job where being part of a fetish site is a big deal. But in the RCMP’s case, it is rather embarrassing. It’s a matter of conduct.
The issue the RCMP has is he wore his riding boots in the photos. He
shouldn’t have used his uniform. The RCMP stated they didn’t care what
he did on his off time.
Well for starter’s you’re bastardizing Prime Minister Trudeau’s eloquent statement.
And then of course, there’s the fact that like almost any principle,
it’s not an absolute one and needs to be balanced against other
The man in question has posted pictures of himself wielding a knife
while a bound and naked women apparently cowers in terror. Getting off
on that kind of thing isn’t illegal. But “not illegal” does not
automatically mean that it is acceptable for a police officer.
Police officers must be trusted by the public to protect them.
Frankly, I don’t trust a man who gets off on himself wielding a knife
over a bound, naked and seemingly terrified woman even if “it’s all just
a game”. And I’m a man, not the object that he enjoys seeing bound and
In the same way, I don’t think that men who watch tentacle hentai should be permitted to be elementary school teachers.
It’s a matter of trust.
It’s an error of assumptions to think that the only requirements for
acceptable conduct for a police officer is that “it’s not illegal”.
Finally, the idea that this means that “Victorian values still reign
in Canada” as the website claims is just absurd. It suggests that the
website is into hysterical headlines and not solid reasoning.
So do I think he should be punished for this? It’s up to the RCMP.
Does it bother me that they have an officer on the force that has a torture fetish? Yeah, just a little.