In an era of supposed tolerance I fear society is becoming an environment of increased contradictions, hypocrisy and more polarised than I ever remember it.
By making things law we do not remove people’s ignorance or lack of understanding of different issues, but merely encourage bitterness and resentment which, with the right fuel, ignites into episodes of hatred and violence.
I was reading recently where some are asking for legislation to be passed that makes “wolf-whistling” illegal. I do not believe this is reasonable, or that it will prevent so many women being harassed in a deeply disturbing and intimidating manner.
We all know the difference between a “Hello darlin’ ” from a smiling, open face, without threat or malice, and a car full of men cruising along beside a lone female, making personal, pointed and threatening comments, leaving her frightened, embarrassed and abused. I have experienced both in my life, as have my two daughters, and they are as different as night and day.
Surely the first is about helping men understand what may or may not be suitable and the second should be dealt with under existing legislation. A new law will not bring a new understanding.
And what of me commenting on an image of a gorgeous, young man earlier this week online? Is that an offence? The comments coming back to me, from my female friends, would make your hair curl; funny but very rude. If my husband and his friends did the same about a gorgeous, young female’s image could I complain? No, but then I wouldn’t, if the context and intent was the same.
This week a court found a local bakery guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple and ordered to pay £500 damages. Facebook has been buzzing and people who didn’t have much of an opinion on homosexuality, one way or another, or consider themselves as having strong Christian ideals, have been getting into quite heated debates ( arguments in some cases) over it.
With Colleen Nolan appearing on “Loose Women” and likening the baking of a cake for this homosexual couple to baking a cake for ISIS,( the cake being covered with a message supporting murder ), I see the already strained relationship here, between The Church and the Homosexual/Gay community, taking a few steps backwards. I empathised with the bakery if this truly upset their religious beliefs, but listening to this ignorant woman left me determined to not accept this kind of intolerance, wherever I find it.
We seem to need absolutes to-day; laws instead of reason, lists of “can and cannots”, instead of common sense and decency.
We complain of a “Nanny-State” and yet we are doing our level best to ensure that’s what we get. .