The frog and the tadpoles: ban this man from travel
If Mr Sarkozy does not sack the French Culture Minister, Frederic Mitterrand, the international community should impose a travel ban on the Minister, tout de suite.
Mitterrand has reportedly confessed to what he euphemistically describes as “offences against the idea of human dignity” – which is French, it seems, for having sex with young prostitutes in Asia. Part of his defence is that such offences are ‘commonplace’.
Apparently the more commonplace an obviously objectionable practice, the less it has to do with morality.
It is unclear whether the Minister is now identifying fully with the hero in what is reported to be an autobiographically based novel he wrote in 2005.
That fellow, it appears, admitted to getting excited in the presence of young boys, giving into his lust and developing the habit of paying for sex with boys in Bangkok brothels.
Mitterrand now is reported to be saying that he never paid for sex with minors – we must assume that the Minister had the good fortune on his travels to only have sex with birth certificate carrying ‘youngish’ men.
In any event, a member of the French Government has confessed to something he calls ‘offences against human dignity’.
Perhaps French Foreign Minister Kouchner can travel to Bangkok, meet with young sex workers and help them see their experience of sex tourism through this more ‘nuanced’, as the French might say, perspective.
After reading the stories on Mitterrand, I imagined two memos.
The first was from the head of UNESCO to diplomats, advising them to have their children dress modestly at any functions at which the French Culture Minister might be present, lest he be become overexcited and tempted to giving into any bad habits he might have.
The second was from the heads of European universities asking their psychology and ethics lecturers to include the ‘Mitterrand Case Study’ in Cognitive Dissonance and Moral Disengagement 101, and in the advanced unit on European Sexploitation of Developing Countries.
International child welfare organizations and police agencies across the world have been ramping up their campaigns against child trafficking and prostitution, and developing countries have been pleading for decades for developed countries to own the problem of sexploitation of poor boys, girls and young men and women during holiday and business visits.
If we are to credit the French State as being part of the international solution to such crimes against the vulnerable, the French Culture Minister has to go.
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