10 Feb 2007, Comments Off on Dalla-Riva and police culture

Dalla-Riva and police culture

Author: Helen

As well as asshat, one of my favourite US slang works is squick. As in, the idea of Purity Balls squicks me out. The idea of a middle-aged married alpha male hitting on a girl less than half his age (and being so undignified as to text her the next day when she’d told him to get lost) squicks me.

So the sad story of Mr Dalla-Riva squicked me no end. Of course, part of it was the usual welter of apologists bemoaning the idea that such a talented man could damage his career simply by having the understanding of personal boundaries, and of civil behaviour, of a thirteen year old (and I apologise to those who have savvy and well-socialised thirteen-year-olds). He’s a knockabout bloke! Why can’t those sheilas, both male and female, just realise that being a complete arsehole is an advantage in political life?

Although it’s mildly funny that according to this Onion wannabe, Shane Warne’s suing Dalla-Riva for trademark infringement.

No, but what really squicked me was the quote from Dalla-Riva that

A police detective before he embarked on parliamentary career, Mr Dalla-Riva admitted he used “colourful language that can often be misconstrued if in the wrong setting”.
“Clearly, that was in the wrong setting to use such colourful language,” he said.

The “colourful language” bit is meant to give the impression he was just telling dirty jokes or something, but in fact it’s supposed to have involved an actual proposition. So, hitting on young women is considered OK in the police force?

Ponder that one. Your friend or daughter has been stranded far from home, has been the victim of a crime or accident, maybe has had a blow to the head or has just been “saved” from an intimidating situation from the boys in blue… who offer her a lift home in the police car.

It doesn’t fill me with confidence that Dalla-Riva blamed his immersion in police culture for his sexually harassing behaviour. I’d really like to think that if Girlchild ended up in a police car in a situation like the above, that the people with such power over her would have been properly trained and have well defined social boundaries.

Actually, I’d wish for the same from the people who are elected to govern and form policies for me. So, yes, it’s a fair cop. No pun intended.

Comments (0)

  • Andrew E says:

    One would imagine that the ability to appraise a setting, and behave appropriately within that setting, is an ability required of both detectives and politicians. Never mind blokey culture and its discontents, neither profession claims to welcome people who are highly suggestible or easily misled.

  • GotA says:

    Oh, thank you. What a great word. I certainly plan to use “squick” at the earliest possible opportunity.

    I think I’ve been lost in space a couple of years: what the heck is asshat?

    (And forgive me for not commenting on the real issue, here: it’s perfectly well handled in your post.)

  • Helen says:

    Thanks Gota – Urban dictionary (1), (2) and (3) just about cover it.

    Andrew, I’d like to think that “the ability to appraise a setting, and behave appropriately within that setting… and [not] highly suggestible or easily misled” would be the ideal for police and politicians both. Seems we’re not getting that in a lot of cases (of course we don’t want to bag all of them for the actions of a few. Well, politicians maybe)

  • thebewilderness says:

    Authoritarian asshats are always attracted to positions that provide power over persons with less power. Unless they are screened out through a psyche evaluation, they usually abuse their position for years before they go so far that they finally get caught. Victims rarely report crimes when a cop is the perp, and while most of their coworkers suspect authoritarian asshattery, they literally have to be caught in the act with plenty of witnesses before any action is taken.

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