Hurricane Sandy is bombarding my news feeds left and right. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, The Onion, you name it. Pinned to the top of the Jezebel news feed is Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s boner from a press conference, warning the citizens of New York to be prepared for the worst. His erection means business.
Now, Jezebel made its name by speaking out with a spice of feminism, so, why a site with a feminist agenda bothered with this, puzzles me. On top of that, the post made me laugh and cringe in embarrassment for the man. Regardless of the progression (or regression of feminism), I can’t help but think about how
Bloomberg’s erection is the male equivalent to the “nip-slip.”
If you are unfamiliar with this elegant term, listen up, and be sure to check who’s behind you before you scroll.
Nip-slips and wardrobe malfunctions spells out the media’s obsession with the female body. This type of humiliating coverage has been the “bread and butter” of tabloids and has been incessantly featured in entertainment news. It’s essentially coverage that targets women, and is often at the expense of a “public figure.”
It’s weird, isn’t it, how we have this evolution of accidental exposures or wardrobe malfunctions to…
The ‘razi’s love angling to get up-skirts. Shortly before this photo was taken with the Beckhams, up-skirting was fairly new.
While it seems to be a predominantly female-focused phenomena, you have your share of men too.
Yes, there are sites called Awkward Boners and Morning Boners. Thank you, Google. Clicking is at your discretion.
The unsettling truth: there are two double standards (male vs. female and celebrity vs. layman)
Outside of the celebrosphere, this pertains broadly to all of us. After stumbling upon a Reddit controversy, r/creepshots, that included an unsolicited photo of a Torontonian woman uploaded to the internet, I felt uneasy walking around Toronto, and I had felt that way already. There are men posting photos of us for sexual pleasure, without our permission, while we roam in public. A leer and a jerk at home just isn’t enough, I guess!
As a former communications student, I thought what with closed circuit TV, Facebook, the PATRIOT Act, etc., there’s no privacy and we probably have shots or footage floating around somewhere that can be used for any reason by anyone. But as a woman? As a woman who has to roam the streets, wondering if a person is snapping a photo from underneath my skirt as I go up an escalator, I have to brace myself for a confrontation with a total stranger.
On the submission of the Toronto Sun article to Reddit, the comments on the post had different stances.
I found that:
- Many men shrugged off the anger
- because everyone does it to celebrities, so, you know. Who cares?
- because they think it’s a suppression of male sexuality.
- because men do this anyway. The only thing that changed is having a camera.
- Some women ask for it because of the way they dress. Which sounds similar to the dismissal of “scantily clad” rape victims . SlutWalk, anyone?
- Some women claimed to not mind as they thought it was flattering.
- Some women simply attributed the objectification of women as “natural” because men are predominantly aroused through visual stimuli. Thus, men will want to look and with the advances of technology, men will take a picture.
- On the other hand, many women got angry and even went as far as blackmailing a moderator who posted up pictures of an under-aged girl.
One of the biggest eye openers were a few responses, claiming that r/creepshots is not a big deal because women have their way of objectifying men.
Here are some sites targeting men:
So both men and women do it. Now what?
There is no justification for creep shots, even if both genders objectify people and unashamedly post photos of people in normal places. This has gone beyond the celebrity. We’ve moved on from Bloomberg’s boner to uploading pictures of unsuspecting commuters or the football coach sporting an erection at a practice. Why do we feel the need to embarrass people all the time? Why do we need to have so much fun at the expense of others?
It seems almost normal to have pictures of celebrities sunbathing topless, watching their thongs stick out of their jeans as they bend over to pick up their kids, or pop a boner in their swimming trunks. Have we paved way, with the boom of the smartphone, to snap a crude picture and let the embarrassment begin and further encourage the invasion of privacy and hyper-sexualization of each other?
What do you think about all this?