A festival has refused to bow to pressure and dump one of its speakers who sparked outrage after describing sex with animals as the ‘last taboo’.
Historian Joanna Bourke will discuss the morals behind ‘humans loving animals’ and ‘zoosexuality’ at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney on September 17.
The scheduled appearance has sparked public backlash with NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin joining the chorus and demanding the event be shelved.
Festival curator Simon Longstaff, who is the executive director of The Ethics Centre, has insisted the talk will go ahead, saying the public outrage was unjustified.
‘To suggest that this was in some sense promoting sex with animals is like saying a historian who covers the history of cannibalism is promoting cannibalism,’ he said.
Historian Joanna Bourke will discuss the morals behind ‘humans loving animals’ and ‘zoosexuality’ at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney on September 17
Festival curator Simon Longstaff, who is the executive director of The Ethics Centre, has insisted the talk will go ahead saying the public outrage was unjustified
Mr Longstaff said Professor Bourke did not endorse bestiality and that the upcoming talk had been ‘profoundly misinterpreted’, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
In 2020, Professor Bourke published a book titled ‘Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Post-Human Love’ which appears to have inspired her festival presentation.
The book discusses perverted relationships between humans and animals.
‘Interspecies relationships can be complex, rich and fulfilling’ and ‘love of animals could stimulate greater love towards humans’ are among the quotes from the book.
Mr Longstaff said the book did not promote bestiality and actually supported the fact it was dangerous, perverted and wrong.
‘It takes a particular kind of mind to think that loving animals must involve sex with animals,’ he said.
Mr Longstaff was left outraged after claiming the NSW arts minister did not attempt to contact him about the event before publicly calling for it to be cancelled.
Mr Franklin said he wanted it dropped while speaking on 2GB on Thursday.
He also held a formal meeting with Create NSW on Friday and ordered them to contact the festival to drop the event.
Animal Justice Party Member of NSW Parliament Emma Hurst told Daily Mail Australia she was concerned about the professor’s comments
A man in Sydney’s west was charged with multiple child abuse and bestiality offences on Tuesday after police received a tipoff from an American team tasked with tracking alleged paedophiles
Mr Longstaff called the NSW arts minister the ‘minister for censorship’.
Radio host Ben Fordham said he had forwarded the link to the event to the office of the NSW Minister of the Arts.
‘Can I just make this point, animals don’t have a choice in the matter,’ he said.
‘So in a day and age when we focus on the word “consent”, I don’t know what the point is of talking about this subject, when at the beginning and the end of the argument, you are talking about an issue of consent, and animals being abused.’
Mr Franklin’s office sent a statement to the radio station demanding the festival drop the speaker.
‘Minister Franklin supports independent artistic expression, however creative works need to be in line with community expectations and clearly “The Last Taboo” does not come close to meeting those expectations,’ the statement read.
The session will present a modern history of sex between humans and animals and look at the ‘changing meanings’ of bestiality and zoophilia (pictured, the event bio)
2GB Radio’s Ben Fordham (pictured) on Thursday said he had forwarded the link to the event to the office of the NSW Minister of the Arts Ben Franklin.
Animal Justice Party Member of NSW Parliament Emma Hurst told Daily Mail Australia she was concerned about the professor’s comments.
‘Bestiality is the sexual abuse of animals. While I haven’t seen the full talk being proposed for the FODI, it is highly concerning that the blurb mentions the ‘love’ of animals. Animal abuse is not love,’ she said.
‘Many animals suffer trauma and some die from acts of bestiality – this is a grotesque form of animal abuse. We must recognise that people who harm animals are a risk to the broader community.
‘While conversations on these issues are important, they shouldn’t be considered a form of entertainment and must recognise the gravity of the concerns.’
Mr Longstaff said professor Bourke did not endorse beastiality and that the upcoming talk had been ‘profoundly misinterpreted’
It comes as a man in Sydney’s west was charged with multiple child abuse and bestiality offences on Tuesday after police received a tip-off from an American team tasked with tracking alleged paedophiles.
They located and seized a mobile phone which later revealed files allegedly containing child abuse material, highly explicit conversations about abusing children, and bestiality material, which police will allege was produced by the man.
As a result of the charges, 19 dogs that had allegedly been kept in cruel conditions, were also removed from the property.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Mr Franklin and Ms Bourke for comment.