No Taboo in Abbotsford

CanWest announced last week that there will be no joy in Abbotsford for the Taboo Show has been cancelled.

There are somewhat differing views as to why this is but it appears that what happened was, a few people in the community got their panties in a twist over having a sex show in their backyard and started raising a pretty high-profile stink about it. CanWest got nervous about the stink and said well, the city won't give us the kind of liquor license we really want as this thing so screw it.

It's unfortunate really. I'm not a huge lover of the Taboo show. There are things that go on there that make me uneasy. But overall I think it's a good thing. The main thing that Taboo does is offer a safe an open, and fairly anonymous place, where people can go and explore things related to sex. In our country, there are not very many open public spaces where you can have sex toys and porn and lingerie and swing club info and BDSM demonstrations out in the open. Almost every place where you can see these things require that you become a member of a club or that you feel comfortable enough to walk into a sex shop or leather store on your own. For many people, especially those who are just making there first forays into exploring such things, that it just too scary. A big public show in a trade complex is much less intimidating - lots of people are going, no one is likely to notice you there, you don't have to talk to anyone or do anything if you don't want to. I think it's important for people to have this kind of opportunity to make exploration more accessible and more comfortable.

This is what annoys me about the stink that was raised. I understand that some people are not comfortable with the more adventurous sides of sexuality. I understand that there are some people who believe that open displays of sexuality are immoral. I get that and I do respect it. And to them I say, please, do not go to Taboo. You will be uncomfortable. It is not the place for you. Please do not go. The nice thing is, no one's forcing them to go. Just because it exists in my community does not mean I need to go there. The lame excuse that it's bad for community standards doesn't wash because children are not allowed in Taboo. No one needs to go in there, to be exposed to it, or really to even know that it's there if they don't want to. Why can't people simply say 'that's not for me, I won't go, but you go ahead if you like?'. Why do they think it's acceptable to try to make other people conform to their beliefs and standards?

I, personally, do not like organized religion. I think it's dangerous and harmful. But I would never say that I don't want a church operating in my neighborhood because I think it's wrong. I simply won't go into that church. But I will respect other people's rights to do so.

CanWest is talking a lot about the liqour license issue but it seems to me, if you read between the lines, that they have never been able to get a roaming liquor license at the Abbotsford show so this year would have been no different. It seems to me that it was the pressure from the vocal minority that brought about this decision. This is part of the statement by CanWest: “We have a strong relationship and reputation in the Fraser Valley that we wish to uphold. Taboo is just one of our many shows. As a show producer of our size and diversity, we have a responsibility to be a good community partner and when the community starts to speak out we listen. We fully respect and appreciate the viewpoints being expressed by several folks in the community. After all, I think there are upwards to 80 churches within a very small region and that speaks to the strong morals and values of the residents here." It's a lovely respectful statement and I appreciate CanWest for it. But I think it's sad and wrong and I hope they do have Taboo in Abbotsford next year.

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