Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Poll Results

I asked the question:

How would you like to see the viewing of pornography changed on public transport?

The options were:

1) A complete ban, similar to the ban on alcohol
2)A campaign for consideration of other passengers similar to the campaign to be considerate when listening to music
3) Not at all, I'm happy as it is

The results showed a clear gender divide - which does suggest it is an issue of sex-discrimination, in that it means that women and men feel differently in how offended they feel by porn when accessing public transport.

Unfortunately I had to end the poll early, because a silly chap decided to put a link up on his blog and the poll was suddenly flooded with other silly people who decided to sabotage the poll. Fortunately I had a guessed that it was about to happen after the silly blogger posted some silly comments. I took the results of the poll at the time before they could be corrupted. I deleted the said silly chap's comments and also others left by the poll saboteurs. I have kept some comments that make slightly interesting points though I disagree with the spirit in which they were left


Mark Wadsworth said...

1. I'd like to see the ban on alcohol lifted.

2. I'd like to see a ban on Islamists blowing themselves up.

3. I'd like to see a ban on hoodies stabbing people on trains and buses.

4. As to people reading The Sun or other soft porn, I have no strong opinions either way. I've usually got my own newspaper to read and an iPod and so on, so I'm not too fussed.

CitizenZero said...

Here's an idea for all the feminists here who may object to the sight of a mildly titilating image in someone else's newspaper: Don't look at it.

People don't usually buy newspapers and magazines for the benefit of others so the content of those publications is really noone else's business is it?

You say the reading of these newspapers and magazines is somehow rude, insensitive and offensive but you fail to grasp the following:

* These publications are perfectly legal to purchase and read in public.

* Noone has the right not to be offended.

* No offense is actually intended by the people who are reading these publications.

* The world does not revolve around you.

Might I suggest you either learn to be a little more tolerant og other people's preferences or, failing that, just stay at home.

The Bug said...

Citizenzero's comment here is an interesting one. It shows exactly the same arguments that could be used against women who feel discriminated against in the work place. Including the idea that someone who feels intimidated or discriminated against on the grounds of their sex should stay at home. He hasn't understood that these images are actually pushed into a passengers field of vision quite brazenly, but because he doesn't want or need to imagine how that might feel for a woman, he tries to suggest that it is not a problem. In other words because it is not a problem for him, it shouldn't be a problem for anyone. Its attitudes like this that must be challenged.

hpbonde said...

I am a woman, and I totally agree with what citizenzero said.

I feel embarrassed by what is writen and shown within womens magazines.

A simple picture of a woman wearing sexy lingerie (sp?) holds no offence to me, other than a slight amount of jealousy that I don't look that good.

And its only pornography when the picture is being letched over, and the paper was bought for the picture alone!

The Bug said...

hpbonde feels embarassed by what is written and shown in women's magazines. Of course this is embarassing for many people, however this does not make the contents of the Star/ Sport/ Sun any less offensive.. The difference between women's magazines and the porn in Lads Mags and Tabloids, is that in women's magazines, the women are not portrayed in a degraded, sexually passive, inviting way, that encourages the viewer to objectify and dehumanise them for the sake of their own sexual gratification.

She states that the relationship someone has with a publication defines whether it is pornography or not. I wonder if she would find it offensive, within her own definition - (in that it becomes pornography when someone is leching over it) - whether she would find it offensive to be in the close proximity of someone leching over The Star on public transport and getting aroused, which did indeed start this campaign.

The said chap had clearly bought the Star for the porn. I fail to see what else you would be buying it for!

laura said...

Citizenzero's view that if it's legal no-one can challenge it is rather small minded. It used to be legal to beat your wife and not let women vote oh my well I suppose we shouldn't have challenged those things either.

The whole point of democracy is that the people have the power to change the law.

Mark Wadsworth would like an end to suicide bombings well good news many steps have been taken by the law to try and deal with this. For example publications which promote extremist views are criminalised as incitement of violence. However lads mags which objectify women trivialise rape and harp on about 'barely legal' do not comcern him at a time when rape and violence against women is epidemic.

Laura said...

Citizenzero (apt name) you say 'no one has the right not to be offended' - what on earth does that even mean?

It is the public consumers of offensive material who assume the world revolves around THEM.

hpbonde said...

The problem with equality is that everyone should be equal - including white males, white females, etc, etc.

I totally agree with "The Bug" that women should not be object-ified, but men also have that right!

Next time you are in a supermarket look at the shelf housing womens magazines, and tell me that these magazines (of which there are more than mens ones) do not do exactly the same!

If you want to ban "porn" from the Underground, work it both ways.

And the Daily Mail is a legitimate newspaper unlike the Sunday Sport which I agree is a pornagraphic paper!

hpbonde said...

Sorry, I meant the Daily Star...

The Bug said...

hpbonde thanks for replying. I agree that equality is the the aim, but not every thing affects everyone equally. For example, testicular cancer does not affect women and men equally, so it doesn't make sense to fund research for it with 'equality' in mind. The same goes for domestic violence and rape. They overwhelmingly affect women, even though there are a very small margin of men who suffer. To fund male and female refuges and rape-crisis centres equally would not respond to actual need.

I also agree that women's magazines show a lot of female flesh too - and maybe you can campaign for change there if you feel strongly about it. However I do think there is a line between women's magazines and the pictures specifically added to lads mags and newspapers, which have the sole purpose to sexually stimulate. I think looking at these in close proximity to others on public transport is really crossing the line of respectful propriety.

Also I don't understand what you mean by 'both ways'. Womens bodies are on the cover of both mens and womens magazines. How does this onslaught affect men as badly as it affect women?

Another thing, this campaign is about pornographic images, not any particular publications. If successful, then women will not be permitted to perve over porn - just like men. So what is unequal about that?

i stand between the candle and the star said...

as a woman i can't imagine what all your problems are, though i am straight i quite enjoy reading maxim and stuff, they are actually quite funny, and most of the women are very beautiful, it sounds to me like the biggest issue here is that you are offended that a man has the gall to enjoy looking at the female form, so you would prefer all men to be gay, no thanks.
And quite frankly if you happen to sit next to someone reading a magazine or something why are you being rude enough in the frist place to read over thier sholder so to speak, where is the respect for them that you expect for yourself, and if you are offended by a natural bodily function like an errection move, find another seat, or stand elsewhere.

The Bug said...

i stand between the candle and the star is treading a fine line close to trolldom. (i.e.- personal insults and homophobia).
To say that there are two types of men, those who look at porn on public and get aroused by porn with no disregard of others and those who are gay, I'm afraid you have a very narrow view of the males of the species. There are a lot of straight men with far more dignity and respect for others.

On a packed bus when there are no seats, I don't have the option, nor should I have to change seats. Since the covers of lads mags and papers like the star and sport have these degrading images, there's no need to look over someone's shoulder to see them.

I'm certainly not offended by a natural function like an erection in my close proximity when it is the time and place. But I am offended by random, pervy disrepectful strangers arousing themselves.

They can look at their porn as much as they like at home, or with friends like you who also enjoy it. The chances are, strangers will be offended, so its not appropriate to look at it in public at close proximity to others.

FlipC said...

I'm seeing the phrase "anti-social" and "anti-social behaviour" appearing with ever increasing frequency in the news. So out of intellectual curiosity could you provide me with your definition of "anti-social"?

The Bug said...

My understanding is that it is disrespectful, intimidating or hostile behaviour towards a community (in which you inhabit) rather than towards specific individuals.

FlipC said...

Thank-you. We have legal definitions for intimidating and hostile and they come into play under charges of assault (not battery or common assault, so many get that wrong); disrespectful and community we don't.

So leaving those last two aside how does reading pornography on the train equate to the threat of violence?

The Bug said...

I understand that the term anti-social is your personal bugbear. I am not really interested in trying to help you come to terms with it. If you are not interested in the words 'disrespectful' or 'community' - you've got a long way to go before you grasp what anti-social behaviour is.
To keep you on the track of what this blog is about though, why don't you read up on sex discrimination law, in particular the ammendments made in 2005 and 2006?

Jackart said...

Anyone coming at this from a different philosophical viewpoint (you're a communitarian socialist, certainly left-wing, I'm an individualist conservative Libertarian) is described in the most offensive terms, deleted and called a troll and accused of thought crime.

It's all rather pathetic, no? Why don't you try 'debate' rather than burying your head in the sand?

The Bug said...

I'm am interested in debate. I'm not interested in juvanile name-calling and hysterical ranting with all the precision of a blunderbuss. Debate away. Just make sure you have a clear point.

Jackart said...

OK Bug!

Where do I start? I can understand if men were openly reading Top Shelf porn and stroking themselves off on public transport. This is not a widespread problem because I suspect it would not be only women who would feel uncomfortble with this, and such behaviour WOULD be confronted. Therefore it is not a problem.

Were this type of porn widely read on London Transport, then many men would probably support you. It is your inclusion of the Sun, Nuts, Zoo and Maxim, which though they do include semi naked women (and men too) that is not their sole point, and most fellas reading would be reading the articles on football or war rather than leering at the pictures.

Thus your campaign is at best tackling a non-problem and straying into a gross intrusion into personal liberty (ie deciding what they can read on the tube). It is your inclusion of these mainstream publications which renders your campaign ridiculous.

A final thought. Do you think a democratically elected politician is going to ban the best selling newspaper in the UK on the city's public transport. If you do, you're a loon, which is why you got such short shrift from the Mayor and his staff.

FlipC said...

Indeed you have me there, it is a personal bugbear if only because it is a phrase being wielded around as a legal blunt instrument by those who seem unable to legally define it.

I know what 'disrespectful' and 'community' mean to me, however that might disagree with your definition and thus we require the common ground provided by the law lest we simply ban things I don't like or you don't like.

On the Sex Discrimination Act by the definitions of harassment given there a lone women in a train carriage can be considered to be sexually harassed by a man simply stepping into the same carriage "creating an intimidating [...] environment for her".

Likewise we have the wishy-washy "he engages in any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature". So how does he know it's "unwanted" does he ask first? Except, of course, that would be verbal harassment.

All that is moot, however, as it's overlain if "having regard to all the circumstances, including in particular the perception of the woman, it should reasonably be considered as having that effect".

At this point we're back to personal preference and trying to legislate the difference between a copy of "Nuts" and "The Complete Renaissance Artist" both of which may feature semi or full nudes of both sexes.

Laura said...

My problem is that the material in magazines such as 'Front' etc should be confined to the top shelf which Jackart seems to agree would be unsavoury material to read openly on the tube.

Have you seen a copy of Nuts / Zoo etc recently? If people are buying them for the football articles why not just leave out the offensively gratuitous sexism?

I find it horrible that such misogynist material such as that published in such mags has become so normalised in society and personlly think that those who choose to accept the rising tide of pornography and female objectification are being socially irresponsible if not 'anti-social'.

FHM publishes articles such as ' How to turn your girlfriend into the perfect woman for £100'00' -which disgustingly included a load of plastic surgery including surgery to her like a virgin again'. Zoo ran the completely unethical ' Win a boob job for you bird' competition recently. These magazine only ever feature women portrayed sexually. Children are exposed to this mandate too and it is unfair to groom young adolescent boys that this is the way to treat women - as toys rather than people. it is unhealthy for both male and female youth and highlighting the unacceptablity of these publication by removing them from the tube would be a fantastic step both socially and culturally.

Jackart said...

Laura, are you planning re-education camps for those who refuse to become enlightened?

Laura said...

haha, no. But I have written to some suppliers such as Tescos about open display of these mags as well as other authorities about worring aspects of the content.

What's the beef? Do you take offense to my taking offense to really quite putrid material?

Jackart said...

I have seen Nuts and Zoo recently. Not my cup of tea, (more of an 'Economist' man) but it's no more explicit than the Sun.

I guess I'm just not offended by Tits.

Laura said...

it's not just that there's a lot of female nudity -although that's the reason anyone who objects to these publications is dismissed as a prude - it's the demeaning language that is used and the distasteful way it is presented. And yes I agree the Sun is barely any better.

I'm sure you've not been subject to the increasingly aggresive atmosphere women are experiencing in everyday life walking down the street so therefore the deluge of female objectification in the media doesn't offend you. I feel that the misogyny expressed by lads mags is unacceptable.

It is still not legal to breastfeed a baby over 6 months of age in public. Why is there this restriction when tits are in our face - presented in a titilating manner all over mainstream press?

The culture of Lads Magazines hypersexulaises womens bodies and by doing so dehumanises them. This is part of a wider problem of the normalisation of pornography in society. it has a bad effect on male behaviour toward women - not in all cases of course especially amoung the educated economist readers ou there but definitely amoung younger and perhaps less sophistacted males. I've experienced it. All girls have.

If this still does not concern you - perhaps you can take a second to practise that very human quality called empathy and try to see these magazines from a female perspective.

Jackart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackart said...

"It is still not legal to breastfeed a baby over 6 months of age in public"

That just isn't true.

Sure there's no defined right to breastfeed - yet, but there's no law preventing you breastfeeding. I don't think you've got the hang of this 'Common law' thing. Everything is legal until banned, not as in Europe the other way round.

Laura said...

I guess what I meant was women have no protection from the law to prevent them being asked to leave somewhere if they are breastfeeding a baby of over 6 months. However we're supposed to put up with being hassled about that while smiling politely and looking the other way at bloke oggling topless tarts in the paper on our way to work.

I'm going to leave this forum now as I've expressed my opinion. and you're bickering is just annoying now. You seem to have a major problem with my disapproval of total tripe. get over it. There is no need to put up with sexist bullshit in the world and believe me I'm sure if you were on the receiving end of what so many girls have been, you'd understand why some are worried by pervasive and off-putting porn culture - it actually makes us not want to have sex - and what good is that?
Magazines and 'news'papers that promote trashy jerk off material are just not sexy.

Have a niCe life jackart, oh and have fun scouring the internet for more fems you can bait, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Thank god i've got my man who is a modern guy who can see two sides to every coin. and total babe as well.

Laura said...

"Among proposals is one giving women the legal right to breastfeed babies who are under the age of one in restaurants, shops or on public transport."

So they don't have the legal right to breast feed (older infants in public) this news story seems to say.

There's no need to patronise me tho - 'don't think you've got the hang of this common law thing...... I guess I'm just not offended by Tits' etc.

You fail to acknowledge any of the valid points I've made and seem to slip easily into a dismissive tone. Not a very good debator are you? You're not able to win round opponents to your point of view and seem to actively disengage from their argument.


The Bug said...

Sorry for you to go Laura. I know it does seem a waste of time talking to people whose negative attention seeking, bullying, pestering, primitive moral reasoning,hair-splitting and general immature annoying boyishness, you would have hoped to have seen the last of in the school playground.

Unfortunately these types haven't grown up as we'd hoped. They lurk around on the internet defending crappy publications and other enterprises which are an insult to the human dignity of women.

Why do they do it? I don't know if I can be bothered to give a shit.

When Jackart talks about his girlfriend's opinions I have to laugh. As if any woman would be honest about their opinions with him?

Laura said...

thanks bug, I still wholeheartedly support this campaign - people should think twice about the harmful bilge these publications are spouting - really shocking some it. I bought a copy of Front - available at a childs eye level, unsealed from the post office and sent some of it with a cover letter to several authorities. I felt quite awkward about sending it as the content was so explicit. But it demonstrated the point - the porn peddlers are the ones who should feel awkward the rest of us should not slip quietly into complacency as standards of decency decline.

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