Given the Germanic links and interests that exist within our regular Sunday evening ‘office hours‘ group, I suppose it was a natural assumption that a rather unnatural topic would present itself for debate this week…
Apparently the act of sex with an animal has been legal in Germany since 1969 however; a proposed new law says that animals should not be used “for personal sexual activities or made available to third parties for sexual activities … thereby forcing them to behave in ways that are inappropriate to their species”.
The move has ‘unhinged’ Michael Kiok, the chairman of the pressure group Zoophile Engagement for Tolerance and Information (ZETA), some have suggested that humping your dog is already an indication of some form of mental failure and probably evidence to support the claim that he’s already unhinged.
Hr Kiok may be planning a legal challenge to his government’s proposals however; he also suggests that his sexual preference is also predominant amongst a large proportion of people in the USA. The biggest question that came from our debate (and received no definitive answer) was; where/how/why does someone develop the idea/desire/ability to deflower their dog, poke a pig, hump their horse or shag a sheep?
In the same week that this story hit the news stands it was interesting how Jennifer Abel of The Guardian used it to highlight some more archaic sex laws in the USA. As she rightly said, there is every possibility that the German story probably has deeper roots in differing human standards than any genuine desire to promote animal welfare.
In her piece she pointed out that well-known joke about a man who complained of a double standard between himself and his fellow villagers: “My neighbour went bungee jumping. Once. And nobody calls him Bertram the bungee jumper. My other neighbour went to the beach. Once. Yet nobody calls him Gunther the beachgoer. But me? I shag just one sheep…”
Don’t think for one minute that I condone or agree with this particular type of phillia, I don’t but it does help to highlight another one of our predominant and problematical social issues of today, I refer of course to intolerance. This trait requires us to label and (usually) stigmatise anyone who has different habits or beliefs to the ones we posses.
Couldn’t this type of attitude also be one of the reasons why ‘sodomy’ is illegal in so many states within the USA, be you heterosexual or a gay couple (heaven forbid). You better believe it (see here), intolerance is actually alive and kicking and living it large in the land of the free. We should remember, that which we find abhorrent or unnatural may be totally acceptable to others.
Any civilised and tolerant society needs to be guarded about creating excessive or inappropriate legislation that controls the personal activities of it’s citizens. Remember homosexuality was once illegal (in the UK) but now, we openly accept and value the diversity that LGBT people bring to our society.
Note to self: Don’t attend fancy dress parties in Germany or the USA wearing an animal costume, it could result in a sore bum!
- German bestiality ban: time the US changed some archaic sex laws | Jennifer Abel (guardian.co.uk)
- Germany moves to ban bestiality (bbc.co.uk)
- What Germany outlawing bestiality tells us about changing attitudes to sex (newstatesman.com)