Jian Ghomeshi’s Private Life in Public: What does ‘unbecoming’ behaviour mean?

If one has sex with another partner it is nobody’s business. If one has sex with another partner ‘experimentally’ it is nobody else’s business, so long as no violence is involved. But if one has sex with another partner with BDSM practices, it is questionable behaviour in the eyes of the public. It seems to be that we as a society are okay with this so long as it is not conducted by public figures in our society. If BDSM practices are wrong, then why not outlaw these forms of sexual conduct completely.

What is clear is that whether or not the allegations are true, the fact of the matter is that we seem to like to judge people in high profile positions more harshly even if their ‘private practices’ are legal and more importantly, private. But why do we hold some people in our society to higher standards than others? If these sexual practices are commonly portrayed as fantasy and talked about in media outlets, written of books, and depicted in some TV shows and movies, then why are we treating it as ‘illegal’ satanic practices.

Some of us may not agree with these forms of sexual conduct, but the point is not in the act itself, but what we expect certain individuals to be or become, when they reach a high profile status in society. Is it not their rate to exercise certain sexual practices without it being ‘unbecoming’? Why should people in high profile positions in society live alter their lifestyles and render their public image to what society wants them to be?

Whether or not criminal acts of violence was involved is yet to be verified, but it is our duty as citizens to allow persons in high profile positions to be free to carry out their personal preferences, and private ambitions, without the scorn and disapproval of the people who are only when the fictional image they construct of a public figure is obstructed by stories that may or may not be true, that ultimately tarnished the fake image we so finely painted of them. We are disappointed and surprised not always due to the act but because they never ‘became’ what we’d hoped they had become. And thus, when their behaviour does not fit our image, their conduct is ‘unbecoming’ of a public figure.

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