Asses in Advertising

So, I had intended earlier to write quickly about Boobs on Bikes, but got distracted from it by a lot of other news and responsibilities. Now that they’ve got their ruling, (and are apparently coming to Wellington later) it seems like a good time to comment.

The judgement allowing the “parade” to go ahead is both good and bad. Bad because it encourages women essentially sell their bodies for public viewing. Good because it establishes that if there are enough of us, we can potentially define the standard of decency for ourselves despite minority reports.

The problem in my mind with this event has always been that it involves paying women to exhibit themselves, and that it is doing so to advertise “adult entertainment”, which is a silly euphemism for pornography. I have no problem with anyone choosing of their own will, without inducement, to go naked or semi-naked, even if it shocks the “decent” community of prudes and the sexually repressive. But I do have a problem with the idea that people’s bodies are for sale- especially so in the case of women, who have traditionally been objectified in this fashion much more than men. I don’t see why we shouldn’t attack Steve Crowe’s “right” to pay people to do this rather than the right of people to go topless, which is perfectly lawful in New Zealand, regardless of whether you happen to be male or female.

And to anyone having doubts that this event is sexist: If you see any topless men riding on motorbikes, I’ll be very surprised.