Sunday, January 28, 2007

Where for art thou perv?

Generally I like to have indepth discussions on a variety of topical, social and cultural issues - What really happened between Cameron and J.T, Does anyone really think Rhiannon can sing or how come Maria Sharapova grunts like a bus (Yeah in my universe buses grunt). However the past week I've continued with the resurgence of my feminist self and have been concerned with the epidemic of "upskirts" getting busted in Australia and New Zealand. My concern is not in the apprehension by the authorities (Oh boo poor little pervs) but in the scary fact that they just seem to be everywhere. And ok, unless you're Britney Spears, maybe there doesn't appear to be any real reason to get your back up to the extent that I have. But let's be honest, this isn't something harmless. Maybe the actual object of the gaze is not that shocking ( a panties clad nether regions) but it's the invasion and the abuse of power. As Drs Schroeder and McDonagh wrote (in their paper on pornography and digital photography) "To gaze at (an upskirt image) implies a social psychologial relationship of power in which the gazer is superior to the object of the gaze." In this technological age, you can access porn with remarkable ease (unless you don't have internet in which case, you're slightly screwed) where you can find all manner of things to arouse you, from Abi Titmuss with milk all over her breasts to...well stuff I didn't open. Which leads me to why this is so sick. Apparently there's over 7 million results that bring up "upskirt." And from the unsuspecting victims here in Melbourne at the Aussie Open to the buskers festival in conservative (ha) Christchurch, it begs the questions - How many of these "targets" are the unkowing stars of internet porn?
A heated discussion with Kebabette made us despair that it's because there is so much "stuff" avaliable, that people are looking for some other way to get their kicks. I don't know...We were guessing that it's the "peeping tom" aspect that is maybe the thrill...The fact that these are just regular girls and not some world weary porno star? Regardless, it's a sad state of affairs when someone can't get on a tram wearing a summer dress without fear that some loser is going to take a pic with a camera in his dunlop sneakers (for real).
All this great digital power has left us with some worrying problems...problems that are much more disturbing than pixel clarity, that's for sure...


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