This, I feel, is a particularly valuable survey, because Karni had obviously given the matter some thought, and wasn’t shooting from the hip like some of the other women interviewed.

Karni is an attractive Muslim lady who manages a furniture store in Sydney’s Western suburbs. Her age was difficult to guess because of the traditional Muslim clothing, which covered her from head to foot. I guessed 25 or 26. She was actually 33 years.

She answered the questions readily and thoughtfully, but became somewhat reticent as the interview progressed. Perhaps she was feeling uncomfortable with the nature of the material.

Have you been flashed?

She replied, “No”.

“If ever you were,” I asked, “what do you think your reaction would be?”

She rattled of a quick series of responses, staccato style: “It’s disgusting. It’s sick. Who would do that? I’d be upset. It could be scary…”

I asked what she would do.

“I’d turn and walk away.”

“Would you report it?”

“No,” she replied

“Why not?”

“It’s too much trouble,” she said.

“Are you aware that it is a criminal offence?” I asked.

She said, “Yes.”

“Should it be a criminal offence?” I asked.

“No. It should not,” she answered. She was very definite about that.

Karni was now starting to become uncomfortable with the survey and I decided to wrap it up. I asked if she had any further comments.

She said, no; she did however have a question for me… how did I get to be interested in this?

I told her I was an exhibitionist.

It was clear at this point that Karni wanted to end the interview, and so I left.

COMMENT:

Of interest is that although Karni disliked exhibitionism quite strongly, she did not think it should be a criminal offence.

This is an enlightened view.  Offensiveness is not enough; unless the conduct actually harms a person, it cannot be considered criminal.

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