Monday, September 08, 2014


I'm reconsidering my “Fashion” post of last week.

The images of sidewalk shoppers in Seattle’s U district (from 1971) was put up as a tame (rhymes with lame) satire of traditional back to school fashion articles. Recent developments suggest that this kind of imagery may soon be subject to criminal prosecution. The Philippines parliament has been debating a very restrictive public photography law. On the local scene, a unknown photographer caused a stir with a tasteless Reddit thread of pictures of women (mild sample here, other, presumably worse pictures have been taken down) shot on the campus commuter line. Where does one draw the lines between harassment, stalking, criminal activity or simply poor taste? Or poor photography? As a blog which uses a lot of pictures of people taken in public places, I could be considered a ‘perp’ or, in the nuanced words of one commenter: “… a sick sack of shit and the world would be a better place without you… ”) The forum in question (‘Candid Fashion Police’) evidently exists to make snarky comments about women in tight fitting shorts and stretch pants. Most of the images feature womens’ posteriors and have judgmental and hateful remarks about the them and their clothes. The obvious question is: “if you don’t like it, why post and comment about it?” Of course many internet comment threads are judgmental and hateful. I suspect the ‘thrill of violation/hatred of women’ form of sociopathy is the driving factor here.

In contrast to the forum, the clothes from 1971 images are haute couture; the bodies demure. The intent of the photographer may have been less than lofty but the images seem, to my eyes at least, to capture a lost era. Perhaps it is better to be safe than sorry so, with all due diligence, I'm re-posting the photos from last week, redacted:

Wednesday: Ownership and Privacy 

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...

I guess in my naivete I wouldn't think of taking pictures like this as a violation of privacy or a way of ridiculing people publicly. Maybe the restraint of common decency is losing a battle and causing the oversensitive and insulted to fight back. Are lawyers waiting in the wings?

Blogger Professor Batty said...

The lawyers are already lining up, more on this topic on Wednesday.

Post a Comment