Abby and Sammi are cashiers at a small supermarket in Sydney’s Western Suburbs. They are, I estimate, eighteen or nineteen, both very pretty. I know Abby is Lebanese, and I think Sammi might be too.  It was obvious they agreed to do the interview because they were bored.

Have you been flashed?

“No.”

“What would your responses be, if you were flashed?”

Abby said it’s rude and disgusting.

Sammi on the other hand said it depended on her mood. She also said it was inappropriate. I got the feeling that she didn’t really care one way or the other.

I asked if they would be offended.

Abby said she would not be offended, Sammi said she would.

Should it be a crime?

Abby said it was not a crime but if there were kids around then, yes. Maybe.

Sammi said it should be a crime because there are small children around everywhere.

Would they report it to the police?

Abby said she couldn’t be bothered to report it. Sammi said she wouldn’t report it, because it takes time.

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COMMENT:

Perhaps you might feel a little confused by their responses, which were, quite frankly, all over the place. But this is actually indicative of the public’s attitude toward exhibitionism: confused. People really don’t know how to react, or even what they think of the matter.

Asked if it should it be a crime, Abby answered, “Yes, maybe”.

Confusing?

Both thought it should be a crime in a qualified way, but neither would report it.

Confusing?

The sense of it that I got was that they didn’t really care one way or the other and were pretty much making it up as they went along. Contrast this with other crimes – robbery, fraud, rape, murder – and you would find people have very fixed and definite ideas.

My personal feeling is that Sammi and Abby thought flashing would be “fun”, except they didn’t want to say that because it would not be socially correct.

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