Save the “Shock”, U.N. – You’re Going to Need It
Sadly, there’s no end to the shocking, horrifying and enraging accusations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct one hears these days. The good news is, it’s a subject about which society has had far too little to say to this point in human history — a necessary outpouring of anger, grief and calls for perpetrators to be held to account for their crimes and misdeeds.
Sometimes Calico wonders if she’s starting to become desensitized to the accounts of sexual misconduct, progressively numbed by repeat exposure, to the point where some accounts that should shock her simply don’t.
The other possibility, of course, is that some accounts just aren’t as shocking, or as awful, as others. For example, when there’s suspicion that a United Nations staff member had sex in her (or his) official U.N. vehicle, Calico thinks it might be worth asking whether the sexual encounter in question was consensual BEFORE deciding it’s an abhorrent crime, as opposed to a serious lapse in judgment that doesn’t call for those involved to be demonized.
Read all about it in Calico’s latest post, “Save the ‘Shock’, U.N. – You’re Going to Need It.”
by Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com, Porn Movies for Women and Couples
With so much terrible sexual misconduct being revealed and discussed in the media, both traditional and social, I think my threshold for what I consider “shocking” may be rising, almost like I’m becoming desensitized and numbed by repeated exposure to awful anecdotes and sickening stories.
On the other hand, in the specific incident that’s on my mind at the moment, maybe it’s not a question of whether I’ve become desensitized to allegations of serious sexual misconduct? Maybe Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, just needs to calm the fuck down.
U.N. – OMG: It’s Two People Having Sex in a Car!!
As reported by the BBC, Dujarric said his boss – and perhaps even the whole of the U.N., as well – is “shocked and deeply disturbed” by a video clip circulating on social media which presents “a woman in a red dress straddling a man in the back seat of a white 4×4 with UN markings.” The video was “apparently filmed on a main street by Tel Aviv’s seafront.”
Dujarric described the behavior seen on the 18-second video as “abhorrent” and said it “goes against everything we stand for and having been working to achieve in terms of fighting misconduct by UN staff.”
Here’s the part that gets me: So far, there’s no indication the sex shown in the video was nonconsensual. That question is still under investigation, as is the question of whether the sex “involved payment”, as the BBC put it.
U.N. – IDGAF: It’s Just Two People Having Sex in a Car
Maybe it’s just me, but if I were a U.N. spokesperson, before I accused a staff member of abhorrent sexual misconduct that goes against everything for which our organization stands, I’d want to know whether this was a sexual assault, sex work, or a consensual public sexual encounter between lovers.
Playing devil’s advocate for a moment, let’s suppose this was a consensual encounter between a U.N. staff member and her partner; in that case, is this really abhorrent behavior?
I could see describing a U.N. official having sex in her U.N.-marked vehicle as “ill-advised,” saying that it “reflects extremely poor judgment,” or even sternly and firmly calling it a “fireable offense” – but “abhorrent”? Really?
Alternatively, let’s assume there was prostitution involved here. Again, I can see why the U.N. would want to sack the staff member involved, regardless of whether she was the buyer or the seller, but should she be demonized from on high by the Secretary General’s spokesman? That’s a bit harsh, I think.
UN – WTF: 144 Active Investigations?
Lest you think I’m the only one who believes the U.N. should save its sexual-misconduct-outrage for more egregious incidents (or at least until they know the incident in question rates the outrage), Heather Barr, the co-director of Human Rights Watch’s women’s rights division, not only said she wasn’t surprised by the video, she added the U.N. “has a bigger problem.”
“That problem is about allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by staff members of the UN,” Barr said.
Indeed, as the BBC also reported, last year there were “175 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against UN staff members” and “of those allegations, 16 were substantiated, 15 were unsubstantiated and all others were still being investigated.”
In other words, not counting the sex-in-a-car incident above, or any other incidents reported in 2020, it sounds like the U.N. has 144 active sexual misconduct investigations into its staff members going at this very moment.
Call me crazy, but unless this incident in Israel turns out to be a sexual assault rather than simply a couple people going at in an official U.N. SUV, I’m betting quite a few of those 144 investigations involve something substantially more shocking – maybe even something legitimately “abhorrent.”