Penises Make Idiots of Us All

To no small measure of relief, Alberta police announced that they had found and detained the 17-year-old girl who has, reportedly, been knowingly spreading HIV. Urgent news releases had been issued on Sunday warning people that complainants had come forward to say that the unnamed girl had been having unprotected sex with several men, despite knowing that she was HIV positive. Despite the girl’s age, the unusual decision was made to publish her photo and particulars so that the public could be aware of the threat. Now that the girl is in custody, news agencies have returned to “protecting her identity,” which seems a little irrelevant at this point.

Earlier last week, a Toronto man was convicted of murder for knowingly spreading HIV to two women, who later died of AIDs. 55-year-old Johnson Aziga is now considered a “dangerous offender,” and will likely spend the rest of his natural life in jail. In the case of Aziga and the 17-year-old from Alberta, the obvious question is why someone would knowingly transmit a disease like HIV to another person. It’s one thing to do so accidentally, but once the diagnosis is made known, it would take a special kind of evil, or a powerful selfishness, to intentionally have unprotected sex with someone unaware of your condition. So, what coult motivate a person to such an act? And, in an age where the occurrence of sexually transmitted infections is resurgent and knowledge of the risks of HIV and AIDs is widespread, you have to wonder why the other person in the equation took the risks they took as well.


Aziga allegedly had unprotected sex with 11 or more women after discovering that he was infected with HIV. The particulars of the situation with the 17-year-old are a little less well known, but she was apparently found hitchiking out of Edmonton, and three men have come forward with complaints. Aziga and the 17-year-old are surprisingly different in many ways; one would expect a mature, older man to act in a more appropriate way than a teen, yet both committed similar crimes and Aziga’s were on a greater scale because of the sheer number of reported victims, and one would also expect the sexual partners of a 55-year-old man to be capable of exercising better judgement than those of a 17-year-old-girl. But, because of these differences, it’s also harder to blame the 17-year-old than Aziga. Intent and deliberation seem more likely in Aziga’s case because of the assumed greater capacity for responsibility. It’s hard to say what was really going through their minds, though, or what their intentions were. Panic, denial, vindictive and misplaced retaliation?

What about the men who offered a ride to the 17-year-old, presumably in exchange for sex?

Sure, it’s pretty warped to be ill with a deadly disease like HIV and knowingly have unprotected sex with someone who is not aware of your condition, but how warped do you have to be to pick up a 17-year-old stranger on the side of the road and have unprotected sex with her, to begin with? Even if you have every expectation that the girl is of the appropriate age (which can be exceedingly difficult these days, in fact,) you are taking a massive risk by having unprotected sex. It’s difficult to believe that anybody in a modern democracy could be unaware of the risks of unprotected sex, so you can only assume that the person is willing to accept the risk.

Or is simply so horny that they just couldn’t care.

That last sounds like a joke, but look at the number of incidences or sex-related stupidity and you begin to get a clearer picture of just how dumb hormones can make people. Celebrities who cheat on their celebrity spouses, politicians who tweet pictures of their engorged “tweeter,” religious figures who hire prostitutes (of either gender,) and those who take all sorts of risks with people they barely know… The fact is, for all our refinement as beasts of a higher intellect, we’re still largely driven by whatever dangles or doesn’t between our legs.

Kind of a levelling of the playing field, isn’t it?

Sure, some people have better control over their impulses, and you would hope that all people have a situational awareness of the risks of their urges and are able to make the right decision in the face of possible survival-limiting possibilities. But, it’s not all that evident, is it? What exactly is the calculus or lust vs. risk?

I mean, these guys who had sex with the 17-year-old girl and these women who had sex with Aziga may not have been aware that their partner had HIV, but they undoubtedly were imminently aware of the fact that an unsheathed penis was going to be penetrating an orifice that itself was a la mode. It doesn’t excuse the girl, or Aziga, but it sure as hell puts in question the level of responsibility the “victim” should have for their victimhood, as well. I know, I know, it’s absolutely reprehensible in this day and age to blame the victim for anything, but I firmly believe that when two people make related decisions, you can’t simply point the finger at the one who did the most harm because they were deliberate about it. In this particular scenario, the risk taken by the victim was a massive contributing factor to the fact that they became a victim of something. Maybe that’s not criminal, but it should provide a lesson for the rest of us.

It’s easier to blame the “victim” when it’s something like a weak-willed celebrity caught fornicating with a supermodel outside of the bounds of their marriage vows, because the celebrity who is being divorced and dragged through court isn’t dying of anything, right? We feel better about pointing the finger and saying “dirty, degenerate putz couldn’t keep it in ____ pants” when the person isn’t going to suffer from HIV and possibly die from AIDs. Tiger Woods is an easy target because for all his philandering he is healthy and wealthy; mindless oversexed asshole couldn’t keep his nine iron stowed away, so he deserves what he gets, right? We don’t blame the women who slept with him, interestingly enough, despite the fact that they knew very well that they were getting involved with a married man.

I guess that’s our moral calculus.

Maybe it’s cynical of me, but I believe we all need to take responsibility for ourselves and our decisions. The outcomes of what we do and the situations we put ourselves in are, ultimely, ours to face. You can’t mitigate every risk, but there are a great many we can, and being able to righteously point a finger at someone else and say they were evil for doing you wrong is small consolation when your own actions enabled them to destroy your life or lifestyle. It’s easy for us all to point at Azgia and this 17-year-old girl and lay shame on them for doing something so terrible, but let’s not forget that stupid decisions are made every day because of sex. It’s another reminder that we’re all just animals inside, for all our evolved intelligence. If the circumstances were similar, might you find yourself making the same wrong decision?

How sure are you that you wouldn’t?

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2 comments so far

MEN ARE SO STUPID BECAUSE THEY THINK WITH THEIR LITTLE HEAD AND NOT THEIR BIG ONE. THOSE THAT WANT TO HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX WITH ANYONE THAT THEY DON’T KNOW MAY AS WELL GO BUNGEE JUMPING WITHOUT A CORD. MEN ARE SO STUPID THAT ALL A WOMAN HAS TO DO IS WEAR SOME SKIMPY CLOTHING REVEALING HER TEATS AND THAT IS ENOUGH TO SET THEM OFF, NO MATTER HOW FAT OR UGLY THAT WOMAN IS. IF MEN WEREN’T SO STUPID THERE PROBABLY WOULDN’T EVEN BE PROSTITUTION

Anonymous
August 10th, 2011 at 5:01 am

Let’s keep in mind that the women who fell victim to Johnson Aziga accepted the risks of having unprotected sex with him. How are they any better?

Deep Cortex
August 10th, 2011 at 11:45 am

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