Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Google made me do it: playing the SM card in court

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | August 13, 2009 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: BDSM, sadomasochism

In a trial that has nothing to do with sadomasochism, the prosecution nonetheless thought it relevant to include the information that the alleged murderer joined an SM site. The reporter then thought it relevant to include that morsel when covering the trial.

'I have lied' says murder accused

He also admitted to signing up to a sado-masochistic sex website and admitted he at times had an "insatiable" appetite for sex.

Y'know, chances are this guy also joined a social networking site. I bet he even used Google! Shit. If he used Google...and I use Google...does that mean I could be a potential murderer too?

Introducing his membership in an SM group into testimony when there is no link between his interest in SM and this crime is another manipulative way to link SM to murder. It is a link that research has proven, time and again, simply does not exist. SMers are no more likely to commit violence than vanilla people. Ignoring the science and appealing to human prejudice does, however, serve the UK government's purpose of late in trying to demonize SM on every possible level.

Which begs the question: just how many frustrated, angry, closet sadomasochists are running the government? The kind of hatred the UK is officially heaping on SMers can only be explained by a lot of legislators with dirty little secrets.

I think one day, if UK journalists actually do their jobs right, instead of serving as mouth-pieces for political agendas, we'll see the same spate of outings of British officials as perverts of every ilk, just as we in America have seen so many gay-hating anti-marriage politicians and preachers go down for their clandestine gay encounters.

There is nothing so hateful in the world as the person who hates himself.


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This is unfortunately one of those things that never seems to go away. Thirty years ago, if a convicted criminal owned any kind of pornography at all, it was always reported as though that were relevant. The explosion of access via the Internet changed that somewhat (due to the realization that virtually everybody viewed porn), but SM, like transanything is still seen as evidence to convict a person in the court of public opinion. Anything that the far right sees as "immoral" becomes interconnected, somehow. They also still often seek out any evidence of a convicted or suspected pedophile having any connection to the GLBT, to paint it as though there's a connection.

Unfortunately, what is needed to change it is awareness, of a scale that the Internet is not able to reach. It'll take someone who is a public figure (or several who are semi-public), emotionally healthy, stable and an out member of the BDSM community to change minds... and even that would be a massively uphill climb, so I don't suggest that people do that unless they're prepared for consequences.

Until then, I guess "Google made me do it" is seen as a valid excuse.