Penile Penal Affairs
(from a web log entry)

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This is probably going to end up being X-rated[0], but that’s only because of the nature of the subject in discussion. Any resulting distress—or titillation—is decidedly inadvertent. Kids, close this browser window. And parents concerned about “the sorts of content irresponsible people put up corrupting their kid’s innocence”, please, just go away—spend more time with your kids.

Additionally, at some point I got tired of typing this piece up and just published it “as is”. It is noticeably raw and there will be periodic revisions to it as I re-read it in the near future.

All this began a short while ago with a seemingly innocuous query pertaining to supporting children of hapless circumstance. Being that I had already done some research on the issue and actively do my small part, I was approached with some questions on the nature of the relationship I have with the children I support. These revolved around my ability to take part in decisions involving their lives, and more specifically, the degree to which my support resulted in me being considered a legal guardian[1]. One thing lead to another, and before long, I was introduced to a world of issues revolving around a tiny segment of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). To be more precise, it was the IPC 377, which I’ve stated verbatim below.

IPC 377. Unnatural offences

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 152 (imprisonment for life), or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.”

I don’t entirely know whether to laud the British genius who came up with this[2], laugh, or cry. But before that, as a mathematician (and as one who makes sure he knows and follows the letter of the law, even if not in spirit), I need to go, “It’s nice that you give me a sufficient condition, but what is the necessary condition”? And before that, as a wannabe comic, I need to go, “OK, I get it. Penetration is wrong. So does this mean lesbians are good to go? What if they haven’t heard of dildos?”

The point being, genius, before you go about detailing to me what constitutes “carnal intercourse”, you probably should explain what you mean by “against the order of nature”. If you’re taking the trouble to explain something, you might as well start with the bits that cause the most confusion, or at least follow the order in which your own nebulous words appear on paper.

Rather than get terribly wordy[3] sorting out what is wrong, and who has the right to judge what’s wrong, I’m going to borrow lyrics (emphasis mine) from the chorus of a particularly poignant song, the opening track on Blur’s Parklife, Girls & Boys:

Girls who are boys
Who like boys to be girls
Who do boys like girls
Who do girls like boys
Always should be someone you really love

Re-read that last line. That’s it people. Just try to take a step back and see the big picture. Can’t you see?

Given that we’re an inherently selfish and needy species, and it’s plenty hard to find another compatible person who makes you happy—and to whom you repay the favour—why further complicate things by narrowing your selection pool, be it by race, gender, language, age or anything else? And, if this journey of being happy with someone else, at some point, involves “relations in ways against the order of nature”, how is it really against the order of anything if everyone involved is willing, happy, and no one is hurt?

Besides, who’s really fit to judge whether another’s ways “are against the order of nature”? Me[4]? You?

How can you look at another with a straight face and tell them their harmless choices are “wrong”. And go further by declaring that, being evil, they are consequently unfit to raise a child?


Epilogue and extraneous blabber: The author of this piece is clearly not a lawyer or sociologist or even an informed commentator. He chooses to make stuff up in order to support a point, and then proceeds to ramble on; drowning the point he envisioned making in the first place.

With the number of references to “freedom of penis use”, you can clearly see this article was penned by a man. Also, in the following, there will be numerous additional references to the penis. It’s like, being a man, I have to be obsessed with it, and I am trying to purge my system so I can move onto other things.

I know this seems unrelated, and it mostly is, but bear with me. I recognize FX (slowly becoming one of my most-watched channels) is extremely lenient toward crappy programs, but the geniuses behind FX, please, CANCEL “Starved”. I know I make it sound like the show is entirely tasteless and useless. Tasteless it is, but I did learn that shaving/trimming one’s pubic hair makes their genitalia look bigger. As a bonus, losing a few pounds of overall body weight exposes more turgid tissue usually obscured by flab. Great! Enlargement… without the pills.

If wondering how I jumped from our topic of discussion to FX (apart from ADD that is), I recalled another program on the channel “It.s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (slowly becoming one of my most-watched sitcoms).

Anyway, the culprit thought being, is it really that wrong if someone (no names) finds a transsexual extremely attractive? What if “she’s” really really hot? and the whole clearly-has-a-penis thing doesn’t seem terribly consequential?

Again, no names. Just arbitrary curiosity.

Why are you looking at me like that?[5]

fin, really

[0] Though I have decided to take the high road and not work in crass related Family Guy humour, such as the following.

Peter: So uhh, Mr. Pewterschmidt, the big race is tomorrow eh? Bet you’re gonna need some strapping men to help you with your boat.
Mr. Pewterschmidt: Are you calling me gay?
Peter: No. No. I just; I just thought you might want some extra seamen on your poopdeck.

Like I said, I skillfully avoided working it in.

[1] If you really look into it, this is one of the few areas where it is legally favourable to be born female. A man, I guess they conjecture, just isn’t responsible or nurturing enough to bring up kids. Even more than one man, a partnership, isn’t apparently sufficient.

And yet, single angels like Angelina Jolie (you know, the woman who tied vials of blood onto her necklaces) get their pick of, not one, but two or more children. The logic there being, I guess, women are “implicitly nurturing”.

[2] The Indian Penal Code came into force in 1862 (during British occupation) and is consequently based on British criminal law.

[3] Even more so than it is. I was considering apologising for the general verbosity and the time you’re probably wasting reading this. Then I realised that pales in comparison to the time I spent writing this up. If you’re in a hurry though, here.s the meat:
a. Being gay is not a choice, and it isn’t evil.
b. Being a man (single or in a homosexual partnership) doesn’t make you incapable of being nurturing toward, caring for, supporting or raising children.
c. “Starved”, the “comedy” on FX, still sucks.

[4] On almost any metric of morality you pick—degree of cruelty to animals or people, (lack of) usage of drugs, alcohol or nicotine, fraction of earnings or time devoted to charity, nature (or rather lack thereof) of illicit carnal relations, … anything other than modesty—I am sure comparing me with an average person will result in me coming out the saint. Does this mean I can judge what’s right and what’s “against the order of nature”?

Why? Because I can probably convince you and a handful of other people I hold the moral high ground? Come come now, even I am not that presumptuous.

[5] And no, if you’re concerned, this is not some grand “Hi world, this is who I really am” coming out of the closet piece.