I actually want to breifly address this; (Personally, I always thought that I might find it quite flattering... then again, I can see how the novelty might wear off when you've just deleted the 500th lewd comment of the day. Especially if you regularly have to fend off equally unwelcome advances in the real world too - which of course, I don't.)
Repetition and persistence are certainly a big part of what makes sexual harrassment hard to cope with, but the main reason it isn't flattering is that sexualisation is all about the desires and needs of the speaker, not those of the target. He assumes that his sexual attention is valuable, and feels an entitlement to dole it out regardless of any factor concerning her. It is about what he feels she can do for him, not vice versa. It's dehumanising to be reduced to the services your sex organs can perform for some guy, and I'm sure you'll agree that isn't very complimentary. Obviously there are tomes and tomes that could be written about that, so I'll leave it there.
In your example the women posting camwhore shots probably do expect the commentary they are getting, to some extent (although how foul guys like that can be may come as a surprise). But just because we know that some people can be dicks doesn't mean we should bend over and take it, so to speak. Ultimately unless she says otherwise a picture of her is not an invitation to harrassment and she's certainly within her rights to complain.
I totally agree with you - and not once did I suggest that anyone deserves to be harassed or to receive disrespectful comments. To be absolutely clear, I would never seek to justify that sort of behaviour. I don't know whether you saw my previous post but I think this part of it probably bears repeating: "...even though the libido isn't always easy to control, computer keyboards generally are. If in doubt, it's always worth asking the question: would I ever say these things to that person's face? And if someone clearly lacks self-control when it comes to uploading pictures, that's probably all the more reason to exercise some when commenting on them."
My argument is with the complaint about how many views these pictures receive, when it comes from the very people who uploaded them. I honestly don't see how anyone can publish something and then legitimately criticise others for looking at it, as if they were at fault. "Pathetic", "perverted" and "sick" are just a few of the adjectives I've seen used to describe those who look at the photos in question. Pathetic, maybe... but "sick"??
Still, if people believe certain kinds of image to be distasteful or their popularity unwarranted (or their admirers mentally ill) then they're entitled to that opinion. But my question remains: why on earth would they then upload such images themselves?
Unrelated to most of your post, I just wanted to comment on the part where you say you might find a lewd comment flattering, and why most women would not. It goes further than having to delete 500 of those, and even having to reject those in real life. Most women are used to receiving those, not even because someone wants to flatter them, but simply because they are women. Being a woman and receiving rude, unwelcome lewd comments kind of goes hand in hand and it is frustrating to say the least. So no, those aren't really flattering.
On the other hand, I once followed a male person who started posting half-naked pictures of himself... And well, those received a lot more views and favs than all his other work, and he soon found himself complaining about it. So no, it's not just women.
You're quite right, it was very flippant of me to say that. And I appreciate that it's not only women who have to deal with such harassment - maybe that's just a sad fact of life. I think this actually does relate to my original point though, which was that no-one has to play up to it.
In any case, complaining about the popularity of nude or semi-nude photographs is as futile as complaining about the popularity of fast food. Of course, people are entitled to disapprove - but not while they're driving around in a burger van (so to speak).
I was going to say it depends on the context, since I can think of plenty of female artists/photographers who present themselves nude or in a way that might be deemed provocative, but I think you are really talking more about what I would call the camgirl aesthetic. Oddly, I think you could argue that the impulse of mostly female photographers uses their body or persona as an aesthetic object comes out of this particular style of vanity. But I think what raises that stuff above the mere camgirl level is that it's at a higher level aesthetically and usually has some deeper conceptual merit.
As far as the behavior of those who present themselves a certain way and get shocked over certain kinds of reactions...well, it's kind of complex. I definitely think part of it is how women are socialized to behaved and how we are still subject to the gaze. There is also a tendency of men to make assumptions when women present themselves a certain way, and women putting themselves out there just as an expression, not as an actual invitation. Plus there's the internet and the distancing involved with that. It sort of becomes a less subtle version of what sometimes happens IRL.
Also, a lot of people don't really know how to respond to art. I've seen a fair amount of good quality, aesthetically appealing photographs of attractive subjects, where the comments are directed at the hotness of the subject, not the photograph itself. Which I would put on par with people discussing the relative healthiness of a very thin or very overweight model. It also bugs me that male nudes are not treated on par with female nudes, which kinda goes back to the issue of the gaze, among others.
Don't even get me started on the proliferation of pretty white women as subjects in DDs. There have obviously been efforts to push more diversity in the selections, but most days it's pretty much the same old. Sorry...I'm kinda going off on a rant about other things here....
Not at all - I'm inclined to agree with much of what you say. Context is definitely a factor and, as I've pointed out elsewhere, there's a massive difference between creative nude photography and shoddy snaps of people exposing themselves in the bathroom. I've never known anyone to argue otherwise.
Furthermore, I wouldn't say that all self-portraits are necessarily born out of vanity; in fact, judging by some of the descriptions I've read, many seem to be inspired by insecurity (or simply by practical necessity, if suitable models are unavailable). In any case, it's usually quite easy to distinguish between artistic expression and sheer narcissism. For me, though, the end justifies the means - if someone creates an interesting or evocative picture then regardless of their intentions, that's good enough for me.
Obviously, I have no objection to anyone uploading nude photographs, whether of themselves or of others. I'm not even complaining about those whose desire for attention apparently outweighs any self-respect they may have, let alone any discernable talent. My only real gripe is with people posting lousy pictures that they know will attract a lot of views, and then moaning about how many views these go on to attract. All they are doing is adding fuel to a fire that they claim to want put out.
I sometimes find it mildly frustrating that the content guidelines do practically nothing to deter the posting of such images, while obliging me to exclude or censor a number of mine. However, I both respect the rules and understand how difficult it is to prohibit anything solely on the basis of quality. And to be honest, I'm probably less concerned about people polluting DeviantArt with trash than I am about how much they might subsequently regret uploading it.
Still, if young women (as most of them are) want to go trawling for the prurient scrutiny of strangers then that's their business. Let's face it, they're unlikely to be disappointed: whether it's some anxious quest for affirmation of their physical appeal, or an exuberant desire to flaunt their sexual potency, there's certainly no shortage of drooling men who will cheerfully bombard them with lecherous encouragement. If the "artists" in question are comfortable with that then it's hardly my place to get offended on their behalf.
However, it's not just that those men seem unable to differentiate between image and invitation - they frequently also fail to understand that not every female deviant who posts a revealing photograph of herself necessarily expects or wants that kind of attention. I really do have a great deal of sympathy for talented artists who are courageous and generous enough to share intimate self-portraits with this commmunity, only to be deluged with impertinent, oafish remarks that must leave them feeling like lumps of meat.
I'm not trying to pretend that I only ever appreciate those photographs on a purely intellectual level; sometimes I find them stimulating erotically as well as aesthetically - and honestly, I don't think that's anything to be ashamed of. But even though the libido isn't always easy to control, computer keyboards generally are. If in doubt, it's always worth asking the question: would I ever say these things to that person's face? And if someone clearly lacks self-control when it comes to uploading pictures, that's probably all the more reason to exercise some when commenting on them.
Unfortunately, there are some sordid corners of DeviantArt - and indeed the web at large - where that notion will probably never catch on.
In any case, it's usually quite easy to distinguish between artistic expression and sheer narcissism. For me, though, the end justifies the means... Oh, this is essentially what I was getting at as well. I wasn't trying to dismiss self portraits, nude or otherwise, as an act of vanity, just stating that an element of vanity is often present. I don't think there's anything wrong with that per se, since usually the artist has aims beyond just gazing at themselves.
My only real gripe is with people posting lousy pictures that they know will attract a lot of views, and then moaning about how many views these go on to attract. And this is pretty much the point I thought you were making. I have seen it, it doesn't really make sense to me.
I think it kinda goes both ways. The women should be aware that putting the photos out there online, where there is very little control over the...erm, discourse surrounding them, opens certain possibilities. But then men (or whomever) need to be aware that these are real people and just because you can interact so openly doesn't mean you should.
these are simply my
opinions and are not
meant to imply that
you should agree or
disagree nor should
these prove to be
offensive in any
way; if I do come
then you have my
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you already did.Look
upon the sunand
think of that...
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More