At the risk of having my Friday posts sound like pleas for others to drop some of their well-thought-out opinions on me, I’ve recently been struggling with yet another issue.
I’m going to introduce it by letting you watch the video below [you don’t have to see the whole thing], which I shared on the blog’s Facebook page almost exactly a month ago:
The question I posed to fans of the page was what the actual point of it was. I mean, yes, it’s pretty funny witnessing how flustered guys got, but why exactly? Is the humour in that they were caught staring, or in that their expectations were subverted? If it’s the latter then the discussion becomes one of whether or not their collective gaze was not only normal, but logical.
I came across the following meme yesterday, which ties directly into this whole thing:
And the common consensus in the comments section was that, yeah, essentially this “Unpopular Opinion Puffin” was spot-on. Look to your heart’s content, but know where the line [touching, inappropriate comments] is and don’t cross it. Hundreds of imgur users ignored the horrific misspelling and agreed with the northern seabird, often prefacing their comments with “as a girl-“.
April 3rd also featured a fairly lengthy discussion with a close friend of mine about this entire thing. We both agreed that making people [regardless of gender] feel uncomfortable was decidedly a bad thing, and I know for a fact he’s not someone who wants to disrespect women on any level. After a good amount of very civil back-and-forth he posited that:
“this really is one of those situations where what a person doesn’t know really cannot hurt them in any way shape or form”
I think it’s fair to say that “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” is patently false in most scenarios, but is this a context in which it rings true? Is checking out a person’s body not only a victimless crime, but no crime at all?
This is an issue that I am presenting free of any kind of religious bias, and I’ve purposefully refrained from using terms such as “lust” and “sin” prior to right now to avoid alienating any readers. I want to pose this to as many people as possible-
I’m not anti-sex by any means, my own personal choices about physical intimacy aside. Sex and human bodies et al. don’t at all deserve the level of taboo they’ve garnered over the years. Really, keeping up this sense of embarrassment [to put it mildly] in regards to what is the most natural aspect of ourselves [our physical bodies] gets more ridiculous the more you think about it.
That being said, what is the line between admiring and leering? I don’t think the average person is capable of suddenly ceasing to notice when other people are attractive, but when does it become more than aesthetic appreciation. On top of that, is it possible to go “too far”?
I suppose the sensible cutoff would be once a person begins viewing others in a dehumanizing manner, but that in and of itself faces problems. Is there any unanimity when it comes to what does and doesn’t make women [though this is by no means exclusive to them] feel like they’re being treated like less than people? Does staring ever fall under this hypothetical umbrella?
Maybe, and I have brought this up, it has to do with the body parts being looked at? We definitely have a sense of what is and isn’t appropriate, but I guess that all boils back down to doing so without anyone noticing. What’s the possible harm in it?
Believe me, I realize how this is more a barrage of questions than anything else, but I’ve yet to come to any kind of conclusion about any of this. Let me know what you think about this whole deal please. Help me Culture War Reporters readers, you’re my only hope.