Trope-a-Day: Bondage Is Bad

Bondage Is Bad: Actually, yes, this one’s played straight.  It’s an Imperial prejudice, and for once, it’s a prejudice which they don’t really have a rational justification for – essentially, as you may have noticed in this series, they have a really strong libertist ideology that holds that coercion is bad, bad, bad stuff.  Therefore, sexual coercion, all the more so.

Now, of course, this doesn’t really apply to BDSM, which can be entirely Safe, Sane and Consensual, but in a place and time that has very, very high standards of consent, that prosecutes batteries far too de minimis for a Terran legal system to bother with, and that has a formal criminal charge (meddlement) for just using someone’s property without their consent, never mind taking it —

Well, look; it may be Sane and Consensual, and it may be entirely ethical even by their standards, and wholly legal, and you may be able to take an alethiometer and the ethical calculus and prove that to the last significant digit, but so far as decent society is concerned, you’re still screwing around with simulations of how slavers get their jollies, and that suggests to many people’s heart and gut that there’s something distinctly creepy going on in your cranium, whatever the noetic mathematics might say about your mental stability.  Icky.

Or so says the last gasp of the “Wisdom of Squick”, a theory which they would treat with appropriate intellectual disdain in almost every other context.  But nobody’s perfect.