Taxing Visual Sexual Harassment:

..Instead of Spending Money Fighting Vice, Government Can Collect Some
(c) 2016, Davd

It’s the last week before tax returns are due in Canada. The Federal and Alberta governments recently introduced deficit budgets. A good time, methinks, to identify an opportunity to raise tax revenues, reduce sexual harassment, and help workplaces be more work friendly, all together.

Suppose men and women were socially equal. I’m not saying that’s so—there are many recent books and articles showing that women are privileged when compared to men. One of the more recent was published on the AVfM website and concluded, “As a woman advantaged by feminist policies who has seen highly qualified men consistently passed over in hiring competitions, experienced the knee-jerk misandry of feminist colleagues, and witnessed the shaming of young men in university classrooms past and present …” But if we were legally and socially equal to women—what might we notice about women’s behaviour, that constitutes sexual harassment?

“Slut Walks”, for instance. Women parading their sexuality at the general public—and at the same time demanding “don’t respond to our sexual display until you are explicitly invited to respond—and if we’re intoxicated, don’t respond even if we ask you to.” If that ain’t sexual harassment, what in Hell is it?

(It sure ain’t Heaven… the religions that have something to say about Heaven also demand modesty of women as well as of men. I don’t know a lot about Islamic Sharia law, for instance, but it does demand modesty!—and i would rather live with Sharia modesty standards than with some of today’s distracting public displays of the sexuality of women.)

If i weren’t retired, but still on the job [or doing gigs] i would rather modesty prevailed in my workplace; i am there to work, not flirt and not gawk—nor even put effort into not gawking at some woman’s display of her sexuality. Likewise for showing off sexuality in schools—it’s a good reason for all-boy and all-girl schools, and there are others, such as the fact that boys learn better moving around and humming, but girls don’t seem to.

There’s one right and proper place for a woman (or marriageable girl) to display her sexuality—in the company of her husband or betrothed, when she wants to take some sexual action.1 The rest of the time and the rest of the places, including all public places—modesty is more appropriate—usually far more appropriate.

If you read advertising in the “flyers” and newspapers2, you can regularly see “displays of sexuality” used to sell clothing, cosmetics, even furniture and motor vehicles… and the sexuality of women is shown far more often than that of men. What good such distraction? Wouldn’t it be better for the public, if the advertising paid attention to the merits of the merchandise?

Then there are also ads for cosmetics (as distinct from antibacterial ointments, hand lotion, shampoo, and athlete’s-foot medicine) and some clothing, which products don’t really have much merit beyond “displays of sexuality” Lipstick and mascara are sold to make women look more sexually attractive, not to protect them from the weather. Much the same applies to “sexy” clothing and shoes. And there, is an opportunity for any government that is looking for more tax income… as those of Alberta and Canada should be.

Finland, a frugal society and nation-state which really values efficiency, has long taxed alcoholic drink and tobacco products very heavily. The taxes are set to cover all the costs of treating illnesses that result from “drinking” and smoking respectively—plus an extra percentage to make sure that they do cover the costs, in case some costs were missed. (A physician practising there, told me so.) Since in Finland, as in Canada, most medical treatment is paid for by government, the costs are fairly easy to calculate. Since “drinking” and smoking are generally considered to be vices, it’s mighty hard for people to complain about high taxes on them.

Now that the leading Feminists have made a vice out of male sexuality, dressing or using cosmetics so as to attract or even distract men sexually, amounts to incitement to vice—and from a male point of view, it constitutes sexual harassment to show it off when she doesn’t want to get it on. With governments complaining about how difficult it is to collect enough taxes—well obviously! Tax cosmetics and sexy apparel like those efficient, prudent Finns tax alcoholic drink and tobacco.

Don’t be shy, either, Ms. Tax Collector: Take up to 100% of what would otherwise be the retail price, or maybe even 200%. These things are not necessities. If the cosmetics and sexy clothing still sell well, no sin in taxing them even more. (Tax sexy men’s clothing, and men’s cosmetics, too—but you won’t find even half, probably more like a tenth or less as much, to tax. More men buy plain underwear and more women buy show-off bras. Women have many more pairs of shoes, goes the folklore—especially high heels—but men have more work boots.)

(No fair taxing jock straps [any more than plain-Jane bras that are really for comfort and support]—but padded jock straps, if they exist—those you can tax.)

Women do not need to show off their sexuality. I’ve been friends with several nuns, two especially, and while they were obviously female, they were just as obviously modest: No distraction from the proper work of our friendships. I liked that modesty.

Neither women nor men need to drink wine and gin and whisky, nor smoke cigarettes; those who chose to, are fair game for the Tax Collector. So are women [and fewer men] who want to spend money on showing off their sexuality.

The fact that cosmetics and sexy clothing are much more women’s than men’s indulgences, ought to tell those “Leading Feminists” something: Many women want to tease men sexually. To me, that teasing is a vice as surely as smoking big fat stinky cigars or drinking more than the one or two beers that are recommended by the Canada Food Guide: It’s fair game for Tax Collectors looking for more revenue.

If Government should tax the sexuali-teasing vice down to a wee fraction of its present extent—good for Government. Good for men who can pay attention to their work rather than being distracted. Good also, for the productivity of workers in mixed sex workplaces—and thereby, for social efficiency. Good for marital and cohabiting fidelity.

Bad for sexuality show-offs? Not really; it is the showing off that is bad. Good for them, in a moral sense, to tax them into modesty; and also evidence that in showing off, they are oriented away from goodness… as are drunkards and cigarette smokers in Finland and elsewhere.

As i wrote about intimidation, punishment is effective in reducing the frequency of behaviour. Punishing unwanted behaviours, can be an effective (and philosophically “reasonable”) way to discourage them. Sexual showing-off ought to be unwanted in the offices, schools, and workplaces of Canada and any other really developed society, and anywhere else that the show off is not minded to welcome responses to the show.

Taxing bad conduct, and especially the vices, is an old reliable social intervention technique, whose application to cosmetics and sexy shoes and clothing is long overdue.


1. Maybe some [partial] display is also appropriate when “mate selection” is taking place.

2. I watch so little television that i should not comment on its advertising. I would guess that sexuality is over-used on that medium also.


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About Davd

Davd (PhD, 1966) has been a professor, a single father keeping a small commercial herb garden so as to have flexible time for his sons, and editor of _Ecoforestry_. He is a practicing Christian, and in particular an advocate of ecoforestry, self-sufficiency horticulture, and men of all faiths living together "in peace and brotherhood" for the fellowship, the efficiency, and the goodwill that sharing work so often brings.
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