21 April 2010

Our Double Standard of Morality

As probably the most “right” member in a suspected Commie group, I can understand why decriminalization of drugs sounds an attractive idea. As you know, some of my mates claim themselves to be musicians. Music without drugs is like French films without sex scenes and the banking industry without overpriced chain store coffee. Ray Charles, the Rolling Stones and Amy Winehouse may not have produced such genius music with substance had they not relied on some substance in some way. In fact, thanks to cocaine, an ex-fiancee of a rock star, Kate Moss, remains as a fashion icon for decades with her never fully conscious and skinny look.

However, as appealing as the idea can be, the chance of success is destined to be doomed. It may work in Europe, but never in my hometown the High-Tech Village.

Why? Because we Villagers have no problems in showing our double standard of morality, as soon as it involves a member of our family.

We don’t mind Tiger Woods cheating because he’s just being human. But if our husbands and boyfriends cheat? We want to give death penalty.

We fancy chasing jail baits because what they are hinting is just consensual sex. But if they are our daughters? We want to lock either them or the boys up.

We understand some teens need a proper rehab school because they are just innocent children who deserve a second chance. But if the school is relocated to our neighbourhood? We need to protect our children from the junkies and our elders from stepping on disposed needles.

That’s how the zero tolerance policy attracts support. Because we can’t afford a tiny chance for our children to go astray, not even bother to know whether the drug problem can be healed, how little harm drugs can cause or why children are lured to drugs in the first place.

As soon as we become parents, our voice of morality is always louder than strangers’ voice of liberty. And we parents, hold the votes.

There’s a Confucian saying that we should care about the elders and children as if they were our own. Under this doctrine, extending our tyranny of morality to fellow Villagers sounds so logical and wise.


  1. Bambi,

    A good post! Are you a Mum? If not, then you are a very deep thinker. I found that since becoming a Dad, many of my liberal views have been affected. Maybe it's human nature.
    Deep down I know that one day I'll have to let go again, but my son's only 1, so maybe I can stay a "protective" Dad for many years yet.

  2. Thanks, Daveed!

    No, I'm not a Mum, but I always want to stay optimistic and be one one day.

    I heard several times people say, 'if you don't oppose teen modelling/keratine consuming/same-sex marriage, it's because you are not a parent.' Such kind of statements is always powerful enough to keep your liberal mouth shut. To me, a liberal parent is the true libertine. And I'm grateful to have two.

    Lucky that you don't have a daughter(yet). All you need to do is to slip a condom under his game console when he's 8. Now you can still enjoy 7 years of fatherly control. ;-)

  3. Ok, so how do you choose which substances to apply this "double standard" to? Why pick random substances off Henry's chart, without regard to harm or addictiveness?

  4. Hey, Wes. The "double standard" I'm trying to describe stems from human nature (different from Henry's way of approaching the issue), and human nature knows no chart or scale or even logic. If you need an answer, the double standard just applies to all. (It's okay for Kate Moss to be a junkie but not my daughter)

    It's like we freak out when we know an ex-sex-offender living next to us. Parents just don't care what statistics show what probability he commits the offence again.

    My logical liberal mind would lead me to support decriminalising of cannabis tho. I think it's safer than crossing the road in hk.

  5. It's definitely safer.

    Ever heard anybody got into a car accident after pot? While drink-driving accidents happen every nite.

  6. Ok, if I follow the logic of this post, I totally understand why cannabis should be illegal. So are you arguing that alcohol and tobacco should be illegal too? If not, I'm afraid I still don't understand. Maybe it's a cultural thing.

  7. now i get your question! and i'll try to break our cultural barrier coz I can get Tina Fey's jokes.

    my argument is a "would / would not be" argument. "would drugs be made legal in hk?" my answer is "not likely". so it's natural for me to focus on drugs not yet made legal. it's about assessing the future based on our culture, i.e. the double standard.

    Henry and your argument is a "should / should not" argument. It can cover all substances as it disregards their present legal status.

    So the "double standard" can't be applied to alchohol and tobacco as they are made legal already. Parents are long educated that they're okay so they don't have fear about that.

    In fact, both arguments are not contradictory. Like: Bambi may agree with Wes and Henry that some drugs should be legal but she thinks it would not be likely in Hong Kong.

  8. Bambi,

    May I ask who said that to your face? If they asked me such questions, I would really wanna hit them!

    By the way, your article seems to me presenting an argument of "should" rather than "would". But I am glad that you clarified that. And if that's the case, I think I agree with you on the whole.


  9. some of my aunts and uncles, and galfriends who became moms early. so don't hit them!!!

    let me quote myself, 'the chance of success is destined to be doomed.' so it's a 'would' argument. hope im not becoming too technical here.

    i suspect i become cynical and pessimistic because of you guys...

  10. Willie, that kind of accusation is very common. Whenever I talked about my liberal views on sex, morality, drugs, etc. here or IRL, people would just say, "Oh you're not a parent so you dunno!"

  11. Bambi and Henry,

    Of course I know that's common, but being common doesn't change the fact I would really wanna hit them.. For God's sake, what does same-sex marriage have to do with the protection of their kids?

    But I also wanted to say that even if it was an argument of "should", I might agree with you too!



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