Toad in the Hole

March 10, 2006

Caution: Stop When Flashing

I took this last year, in Redding. The exhibit referenced was in a separate gallery behind those closed (not locked) doors. I suppose someone was bending over backward to be chiyuld-friendly. Why naked humans are supposed to be chiyuld-unfriendly is another topic entirely.


Not exactly the same but just for the record, since I keep stumbling over the topic elsewhere: Porn is not the problem. Porn is a symptom. I make fun of it; I'm not blind to its deadening effect; as generally practiced and presented, I don't think it actually has much to do with sex. It's more along the lines of marching orders and fashion statements. Getting orders all day is one of the annoyances of being female, and there are lots more in the air than the porn kind. (There's that ban on "selfishness" for example. Oh, and the orders about being a Good Example, for another example. Just for starters.)

Scolding women about porn is probably not useful. Women get scolded rather too much already, I'd say.

Remember Carrie Nation? Remember what the reasoning behind women's support of Prohibition was? The guys would drink up their paychecks at the saloon on the way home and the Little Woman and kids would starve, fereeze, go barefoot, etc. and maybe he'd beat them in a drunken fit.The blame wasn't put on the power imbalance between men and women, or even on the Industrial Revolution or on urbanization or on capitalism, or just plain individual nastiness, all of which had fingers on the scale. It was the fault of Demon Rum, and if that were banished, things would improve.

Obviously, it didn't work that way. Some few women might have been helped when their men sobered up perforce, but the patriarchy just went a-rollin' along. Men don't beat (rape, kill, steal from, undermine...) women because they're drunk; they do it because they can. When there's less of They Can, more of Oh No You Don't, less power imbalance, there'll be less of beating, rape, etc. whether or not there's less porn, and until then there'll be about as much beating, rape, etc. whether there's public porn or not. I remember the Fifties, when there was much less public porn (and arguably less private porn too) and there was plenty of wife-beating, rape (But Nice Girls Didn't Talk About It), et all those cetera. Plus more gaybashing, closetting, and bigotry of assorted kinds right out there in public with the approval of just about everybody, or at least everybody who counted.

When you can find a hiding space from the patriarchy, sex is lots of fun. Hell, maybe even porn would be, without that little power problem.

Posted at March 10, 2006 01:12 AM


Almost every time I've babysat toddlers, one of them would remove their clothes and run about the house. Children don't have weird issues with nudity, precisely because they don't see a naked body as sexual. That's an adult thing. Now, perhaps the very young children in a museum/gallery/whatever might get jealous of the statues, rip their pants off, and run around nude. That could reasonably be a problem for parents trying to figure out whose pooh-bear socks are whose. What it would never be, absent child molesters, is a moral issue.

Posted by: HeoCwaeth at March 13, 2006 08:02 AM

Bingo. And I suspect the ubiquitous child molester is this year's Commie under the bed, myself.

I'm giggling at the imagined spectacle of the great pooh-bear socks conundrum and riot amidst the Great Art.

Not only don't kids who haven't been properly shamed, um, socialized yet not see nudity as a sexual issue; they don't see sexual issues as a matter of fear, shame, or other-shaming. It's funny: the people who carry on most about children's "innocence" -- and seem to confuse it with virtue and with ignorance -- seem actually to believe in innocence least, if, as I do, you mean by it a sort of uninflected, unprejudiced clear vision of what's actually in front of you. I suppose such people can't emotionally separate what they learned about sex from what they've been taught to feel about it, and also can't look closely, or clearly, enough to see that there is a difference. "What I feel is what I know and you can't change my mind."

Posted by: Ron at March 14, 2006 05:04 PM

=v= Actually, this year's Chimera under the bed is the anarchist eco-terrorist, something so broadly-defined as to include me. And you, probably. Looking around me, all I see are dust bunnies, but maybe they molest children in their spare time.

I find porn and realism to be incompatible concepts, at least under this patriarchy.

Posted by: Jym at March 15, 2006 07:44 PM