Tags: personal boundaries

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.