9.25.2014

No Sex Please, We're British (NSFW)

I'm a bit of a prude. I don't like the whole "Sex and the City" culture, where girls watch a TV show in which even the self-proclaimed 'nice' girl has sex with a different man every week. Grown-ups know it is no more a reflection of 'real' life than "Gossip Girl" or movies where the hero shoots everything up ... but not everyone is a grown up.

I had 'the talk' with a friend's daughter. She not only knew about the birds and the bees already, but also seemed to be aware of too many sexual acts that whilst acceptable in a loving relationship ... a schoolgirl should not be bullied into doing by her male friends who have watched too much online porn and consider such things 'normal' with 'friends' ...

I told her to just say no to anything she felt uncomfortable doing, and that she shouldn't allow herself to be bullied. Yes it is cliche, but most sensible advice is.

I wrote a long time ago about a trip to Morocco where some boys had clearly watched too much Western television - a Sex and the City movie was filmed there - and foolishly assumed that Hollywood in any way reflected reality or Anglo-Saxon sexual norms. Morocco is a very safe country, and if you're ever harassed by idiots - and idiots exist everywhere - just pull out your phone and threaten to call the police; that normally gets rid of them.

The flip side of satellite dishes everywhere is that there is also an increase in religious programming, and this can lead to fundamentalism.

Some women are pressured into wearing the veil, others chose to wear it for themselves; whilst I will cover the history of the veil in another post, I will simply say that I understand why women would want to dress more modestly, and I try to do so myself particularly when traveling as it cuts down on the 'hassle' factor.

The other day I posted this image.

A few PRs have been asking me to write about their products and suggested I apply for affiliate links, which I did the other night.

Both companies turned me down for affiliate links. I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever, and I have continued to link to both companies. One's PR I dropped a note to say this, and they changed their minds.

The other told me they had issues with my content and did not want to be associated with this blog because of my pornographic images. This is the image they have issues with, although I have posted other nude sculptures and paintings.

I'm going to insert a break here, as this becomes very NSFW ...



There are lots of valid reasons a company might not want to be associate with this blog - I sometimes swear, I often use a double entendre,  I can be sarcastic and rude, I have opinions and don't just post the press release I'm sent ... there are a 101 good reasons they could give, but claiming I post porn?!?!? A simple 'you're not suitable' would have been fine - an accusation of pornography is making me reconsider ever shopping there again.

I used to tell boys that there were naked women in museums to get them to visit, but nowadays they see more graphic images on television or the internet.

I don't post pornography. The closest I might have come was - briefly - posting this image to show the kinds of photos strange men I have never met send me ... and frankly I chose this one as he was covering his genitals for a change. (In some of them the men at best partially cover their genitals with the fingers they are using).

Is it unpleasant? Well yes, partly because they're not as good looking as they think (yes, I am trying to make light of it, and don't want photos of even good-looking men unless I'm in a relationship with them) ... But that's what the 'delete' button is designed for.

I know that the militant response is to compare being send these photos to being raped, but I've been raped and a few unpleasant photos are like grains of sand in the desert compared to it.

Again, I am wary of discussing rape because it is a sensitive issue for a lot of women. My attitude, after lots and lots of therapy, is that if I let what happened continue to effect me, then the rapists still have a hold on me.

Based on a survey of my friends and colleagues, a lot more women are raped than is reflected in the statistics. And I am aware that not all women have access to therapy. For those in the UK, my advice would be to skip the GP and Google the local NHS sexual health clinic. In London I can highly recommend - 56 Dean Street — Chelsea and Westminster Hospital - you can use a fake name, don't worry about the forms (just write 'raped' and hand it to the receptionist), and even if the rape was years ago they will still help.

Rape is serious. Nudie photos and lewd emails from strangers are just nonsense to be deleted and ignored. Strangers don't like me? Maybe I've had too much therapy, or it's my background, but I don't care.

Problems with colleagues, particularly when they affect one's career and involve constant harassment are a bigger problem. I've mentioned before that I like Amazon and hate Waterstones. Waterstones allowed the man who booked their author events to seriously harass women authors, and threaten to not stock their books if they complained. I complained, as did several other women. One woman did not, and I cannot see how this constant pornographic harassment did not in some way contribute to her refusing to come out of her room in and break-down. He continued to be employed by Waterstones for some time afterwards.

He continued to send me his 'writings' (hard core juvenile fantasies) and invitations to these sorts of events long after I had blocked his email and asked him to stop:


because he's a writer and I was just being nasty and trying to censor him by asking him not to send me his ''art" ...


... and yes I can be a bit of a prude, but the counter-part of Freedom of Expression is everyone is not forced to listen to people express themselves, particularly when they are expressing fantasies in the badly written unoriginal person who'd a fifth rate Henry Miller.

This is one of the least pornographic comments he made, which was in no way related to my status ... and one of the few I'd failed to purge from my email.

... I know Facebook is much better these days about blocking this kind of crap, but to me the scandal is the way Waterstones management refused to deal with the harassment he was causing through their Facebook Group. By making excuses for him they were telling their female authors that they do not think much of us, and their male employees that they can behave like complete dicks and get away with it.

I don't make anyone read this blog, but I'm pretty sure that most people would agree that there is a huge difference between being shown a photo of a statue of a 2000 year old arse and being deluged with emails containing someone's pornographic fantasies.

I accept that in the old days when I was young I used to get more publicity and television offers because men did not dislike the way I looked. I also accepted that the downside was being the recipient of smut ... and it is one of the reasons I chose to walk away, and why I decline TV other than the news. Shit happens, and if you don't like it then do something about it.

But ... should museums be pushing the boundaries by catering to the pornographic tastes of the internet generation? I think we have to draw the line somewhere, and that's why although I initially thought "oh no" about the Qataris wanting to cover the genitalia of sculptures in an exhibition - Qatar returns statues to Greece after row over nudity - Middle East - World - The Independent - but ... I didn't blog about it because part of me vaguely agreed with the sentiment.

I'd just been with a colleague to see the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum. He was possibly even more shocked than I was the way this sculpture was displayed: Erotic Pompeii goat statue arrives in the British Museum - Telegraph. Yes there was a warning, but it was tiny and behind the sculpture, which was positioned for children to see and in an even more pornographic angle that the photo in the article which I've decided not to post here.

There's art, and then there is just titillation. The Warren Cup - if it was ancient, and many of us agree with Prof Luca Giuliani that it might not be - then it was not created as 'art' but rather as pornography for the private 'enjoyment' of a patron and maybe his close friends.

The BBC posted a warning on it's web site when Neil MacGregor chose it as one of his A History of the World in 100 Objects, and noted that:

The British Museum are fine exhibiting it without a warning in a gallery and on the web site ... yes the British are more relaxed about swearing and sex, particularly behind closed doors, despite the impression given by Lady Grantham, but ...

I don't want to bring back censorship, but I also worry that we're not drawing the line where we should. I can argue to teens that the internet porn is not 'normal' or representative of real life, but how does one explain that the sex the British Museum displays is as unrealistic as the Centaurs in the sculpture? How does one explain to immature men that porn is okay in museums but not sent to women? It's becoming harder and harder as we push the boundaries of what is normal.


5 comments:

  1. Rape is a power crime, as I am sure you are aware, committed by inadequate people upon those they think victimisable; the suppression of sexual imagery and discussion actually increases the probability of tese feelings of inadequacy. Victorian England covered the feet of pianos, lest they inspire feelings of lust, it was also an era of widespread child prostitution, female battery (Jack the Ripper is not the only monster just the most famous, every week, nay, day saw areport of violence against womwn or children). In ancient Egypt parents copulated in front of their children and women took lovers in the full knowledge of their husbands, killing a man for adultery was not an admissable defence, it is an attitude that outrages judeo-christian mores and the mysogynistic classical tradition too; nudity does not equal pornography; that is what you should tell your teens; Pan screwing a goat is porn, but it is also a joke; should any of your teens get an erection over this piece they should seek therapy!

    In America there was a campaign against Robert Maplethorpe's photographs of homosexual activity and he waas banned in several states, now the pictures are disturbing but if you want to stop teenagers thinking sodomite practices are normal they are the perfect teaching aid ! I know several poofs and several women who fancy poofs, he former are perfectly entitled to do whatever they choose in a consentual relationship (it would be hard to diss faggottry and study Greek history) but many of the women just do not realise what practises their fags are enjoying, and when toldrecoil in disbelief; i like to enlighten them and add the killer question, does it matter? The key being it should not harm anyone, unless they are a masochist; Art is Art even if it involves sex.

    Porn is designed to inflame sexual feelings, and succeeds or fails on that criterion, it does not promote rape, although rapists frequently use porn,it is an expresion of their social inadequacy, and not a product of the pornography; rape is a power crime, which is why 89 year olds get raped, sexual assault is a sex crime and still serious but if I pat your backside that is not comparable to rape, if you react against it and I persist then the line is crossed because it has become about power.

    Needless to say I feel uncomfortable talking about rape to a victim, but you ought to be able to realise you were not assualted because there were some nudes in a museum.

    No matter what the trigger was it lay in the attacker's feeling of impotence. And just for the record the only crime worse than this is child abuse, murder is a long way back.

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  2. I know there is no link between statues and rape!

    And I also know men are raped - it's a crime, often a war crime - and they have a harder time with it then women.

    Rape has been a weapon for centuries, and the guys who systematically use it are also likely to be the same men who are iconoclasts ... (My experience not stereotyping)

    I do worry about how we overly sexualise things increasingly .. and then are surprised boys try to push girls into sex.

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  3. We women really need to revisit the Equal Rights Amendment. Many Men still think of us as property. And as you have mentioned the higher up one goes, the more predatory the males. The victim becomes the problem. Or gets a really good lawyer. Which is what I will did if presented if a similar situation again. The only thing that males at that level understand is threats, and your ability to carry them out. Bluffing is an important weapon also. I worked for several years on a trading floor in Chicago. Not all were that way, but too many.

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  4. As for Porn. I don't think many people understand their own bodies. Many religions have problems with sex. If you can control a persons sexual behavior, you literary have them by the short ones! And by then they can't think for themselves. All is black and white. And if it doesn't fit into the religious framework, it most be wrong. Make it go away! Before it somehow infects people, and makes them crazy with lust. I kid you not. I'm a bit of an artist. But I was not allowed to draw breasts on female figures till High School. Or cut my hair without my fathers permission. As I said we need to more then revisit the Equal Rights Amendment. Men have problems with smart women, independent women. But with the Law, more to our favor, I'd think there could be broader changes in behavior. Even in the Old Boy's Club.

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