QUESTION: I get the idea that shaming has some public value (emphasis on some; see Helen on this topic), though I'd tend toward the belief that it should be a set of decisions about action rather than something intentional or formal. But won't humiliation at some points conflict with the dignity of the human person, and require adopting a different mindset?

To say that Carson’s prosecution rested on Wilde being a disgrace to the community rather than any danger to it is fair enough, but Carson didn’t use humiliation because he thought it would be an effective device against a sodomite; he used it because he thought it would be effective against Wilde in particular. Wilde, then as now, was known to be a crashing snob. The only way to keep the court from being thoroughly charmed by him was to make Wilde look like a fool, and “I don’t care twopence for class” did the trick. That was Carson's reason for bringing up the boys' occupations, not any calssist prejudice of the court's.

For reasons I can't entirely ascertain, I'm not comfortable with this. Perhaps because it's happening under an institution of the state? Social pressure is one thing; but this seems quite another.

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