Roger Sandall on the sexualisation of everyday life

Roger Sandall had an interesting piece in the January-Februrary issue of Quadrant (“… a lonely counterpoint to stultifying orthodoxies and dangerous utopias, the best of the Western cultural tradition,” according to our Prime Minister John Howard). Sandall addresses the issue of the increasing sexualisation of our culture, using the controversial comments of Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali regarding women, raw meat, etc. to launch his piece.

He writes, in part:

Where are the sheiks of yesteryear, riding romantically over the dunes? Not in Australia. Here a burly Egyptian with an ugly turn of phrase recently set new records for ungallantry. Scantily clad Australian women, complained Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly, go around like “exposed meat” inviting rape.

Of course we all made a huge uproar. Unbelievable! Who asked his opinion anyway? The sheik calls himself a Mufti and thinks he represents Islam Down Under. But the man’s a brute who plainly hates western culture, who may have channelled funds to Hezbollah, and on top this he’s a security risk too. Go home sheik, go home!

This said, maybe he had a point all the same. It does seem nowadays that you can’t go to the newsagent to buy a paper, or the supermarket to buy a loaf of bread, without being surrounded by acres of glossy magazine erotica and exciting flesh. Not all of us would call it exposed meat, perhaps, but whatever it’s called it’s there—much of it little short of pornography.

(thanks to Dennis for the link)