Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sex Offender of the Seas?

OK, I feel that I have to step in here, in defence of the octopus.  All day I've been seeing headlines shouting how alleged groper Donald Trump was all over some of his alleged victims 'like an octopus'. Since when has the octopus been synonymous with sex offending?  There's a clear implication here that the aquatic mollusc is well known for molesting women, using its tentacles to inappropriately touch women in multiple places on their bodies.  Where is the evidence for these heinous allegations?  Has an octopus ever been convicted for sex offences?  I think not.  Have there ever been allegations, even, of sexual misconduct on their part?  Obviously not.  Yet every time some public figure is accused of feeling up women against their will, the whole octopus analogy is brought up - with no justification.  I mean, just because the octopus has eight sucker covered tentacles, that doesn't make it a potential groper - having more hands doesn't make anyone more prone to groping, does it?  I'm sure that one handed men, for instance, are, statistically, just as likely to be the sort of man to try and cop a feel on a crowded tube train, for instance, as a bloke with both hands.  (Actually, some of those prosthetic hands could be even better for groping, giving a firmer grip which the victim is less likely to wriggle free from, for instance).

That said, tentacles aren't hands and, as far as I can see, wouldn't be suited to groping anyway.  Squeezing, perhaps, but not traditional groping.  OK, I suppose those suckers might allow a form of nipple tweaking and a tentacle could achieve a pretty good slap across the arse, but the fact is that the octopus, despite its undeserved media reputation, is ill-equipped to be a groper.  Besides, if its simply a case of assuming that many tentacles a groper makes, then why not scapegoat the giant squid instead?  They actually have more tentacle than an octopus and two of these are extra long, enabling them to stealthily grope from a distance.  Plus, those huge eyes probably make them good voyeurs.  Whilst there are no documented cases of octopus gropings, there is so little footage of living giant squids in their natural environment, that they could be sexual molesting halibut and the like all the time in the ocean depths.  Yet still it is the octopus that is unfairly characterised as the sex offender of the sea.  Personally, I blame all those old magazine and paperback covers depicting giant octopuses gripping young female divers with their tentacles.  I fear that if these false allegations aren't nipped in the bud now, things will only get worse.  It can surely only be a matter of time before someone starts trying to reinterpret Ringo Starr's 'Octopuses Garden' as evidence of the octopus being some kind of deep sea Jimmy Savile.  So, stop using the octopus as some kind of figurative gold standard for groping - the octopus is innocent.



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