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Beautiful NYC Women – Video Site
September 18, 2006 10:26 AM   Subscribe

I Do Nothing All Day - The guys at idonothingallday.com (perhaps NSFW) do a great job of capturing the simple act of admiring a beautiful woman passing you by while walking around on the streets of NYC. Some of the smiles can really lighten up your day. My particular favorites here, and here. Most of the videos are embedded Quicktime with a few recent Flash videos.
posted by Big Mike (156 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
We're caught in a trap
I can't walk out
Because I love you too much baby
posted by flarbuse at 10:32 AM on September 18, 2006


It is a perk of Big City Life, indeed. I think it's mainly because cities like Los Angeles attract beautiful women and handsome men who want to become stars. They don't all become stars, but they hook up and make good-looking kids. In New York, it's the same thing, but they're usually smart, too.

I also really liked the girl with the bows on her boobs.
posted by jonmc at 10:34 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wow! Creepy. Flagged.
posted by Mister_A at 10:34 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I dunno, Mister A. Girlwatching (or boywatching, for that matter) is creepy all of a sudden? Let's not become Puritans.
posted by jonmc at 10:35 AM on September 18, 2006


Hell. Yes. This is one of my favorite LA pastimes. I'm surprised it took this long for someone to make a web page out of it.

If you got it, flaunt it.
posted by quite unimportant at 10:36 AM on September 18, 2006


Girl watching is fine, but posting pictures/movies of the girls or boys you're watching on the internet for profit is creepy. Did these women sign model releases? Are they receiving any compensation?
posted by Mister_A at 10:37 AM on September 18, 2006


you forgot the "boobs" tag
posted by matteo at 10:38 AM on September 18, 2006


Girlwatching isn't inherently creepy. Girl-videoing-and-posting, on the other hand, is a little creepy.
posted by dersins at 10:38 AM on September 18, 2006


I'm a girl-watcher
I'm a girl-watcher
Watchin' girls go by
My, my, my
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:38 AM on September 18, 2006


Use of the "lolita" tag really pushed the already significant creep factor over the top for me.
posted by whir at 10:38 AM on September 18, 2006


(Er, in the second link, that is)
posted by whir at 10:39 AM on September 18, 2006


It's creepy that it's in slow-motion and set to music. Kind of nerdy and stalker-y at the same time.
posted by chococat at 10:40 AM on September 18, 2006


While I Am Not A Lawyer, It's my understanding there is no expectation of privacy in a public space.
posted by Richard Daly at 10:40 AM on September 18, 2006


Are there only white women in NYC?
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:41 AM on September 18, 2006


Girlwatching isn't inherently creepy. Girl-videoing-and-posting, on the other hand, is a little creepy.

So, making explicit something that we all do on the sly is creepy? Isn't that a strange kind of denial.

(not attacking you, just asking)
posted by jonmc at 10:41 AM on September 18, 2006


MrMoonPie: at least a few of those women could be Latino.
posted by jonmc at 10:42 AM on September 18, 2006


So, making explicit something that we all do on the sly is creepy?

I think it's the recording it for posterity that's the creepy part.
posted by kittyprecious at 10:44 AM on September 18, 2006


AND the Lolita tag.
posted by jonson at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2006


I think it's the recording it for posterity that's the creepy part.

Again, that seems like a weird kind of hypocrisy to me. If I see a beautiful building and I have a camera, I'll take a picture, why should people be any different.

(not that I go around taking pictures of girls on the street, I'm just spinning theories for the hell of it here)
posted by jonmc at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2006


(yeah, the 'lolita' I'll admit is a little skeevy)
posted by jonmc at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2006


It's the recording it for posterity, setting it to music, using FX and slo-motion, etc. That make it creepy. It's essentially creating and publishing soft-soft-core pornography.

I have nothing against porn, but porn (even PG-rated porn) with unwilling and unwitting participants is a little creepy. Yes, I know, "public place no expectation of privacy blah blah blah," but I'm not saying this is illegal. Just that it's a little creepy.
posted by dersins at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2006


Okay. I will say this with a bit more directness than my first comment that started this thread: This fpp raises my suspicions that it may be some sort of self-link.
posted by flarbuse at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2006


(not that I go around taking pictures of girls on the street...)

but why don't you?
Because that would be creepy.
posted by chococat at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2006


I am just so glad we live in a world where women are valued for their personalities and intelligence.
posted by tastybrains at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2006


I thought it was self-linky, too. First post after a few comments, no user info, etc...
posted by chococat at 10:50 AM on September 18, 2006


One of the weirdest moments of my life came when I downloaded some illegal program, and in one of the .nfo s there was this ascii art drawing of a very busty and curvy girl, and as I stared at it I started to feel... well excited.

I realized then the power of hormones, as apparently the mere outline/shapes (made of ascii characters no less) were enough to turn me on.

My only point, is that while you could maybe spin this as being creepy, you would have better luck fighting gravity. I hope the girls were made aware that these videos could wind up on the internet for thousands of gawkers to see, because if not then ya, kinda voyeuristic/creepy. Otherwise though, Ill echo what someone else said above, I'm glad theres a web page devoted to such a silly yet universal "past-time"
posted by rosswald at 10:50 AM on September 18, 2006


Yeah, a lot of these are way creepy. While the women are (possibly?) aware that they're being filmed, it's not at all clear they're aware the filmer is zooming in on their crotches and breasts, posting them on the Internet, and tagging them as "lolita" for pr0n surfer revenue.
posted by justkevin at 10:51 AM on September 18, 2006


I sense the possibility of a self link too...
posted by R. Mutt at 10:52 AM on September 18, 2006


Yeah, it gets tiresome when people get called out just for their physical appearance. I mean, I walk around and look at people too, but it's at the level of personal enjoyment; it's not commodified. This is.

I was listening to an interview with Candance Bergen recently. She was pretty interesting on the subject of beauty; she was really gorgeous as a young model/actress, and said that she turned to comedic acting because she was tired of being showered with attention she "didn't want and had done nothing to earn."
posted by Miko at 10:52 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Creepy.

And I prefer Dean Martin's Standing on the Corner:

Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Brother you don't know a nicer occupation
Matter of fact, neither do I
Than standing on a corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by
posted by peeedro at 10:52 AM on September 18, 2006


I vote creepy...while I'm not a Puritan, how's a woman supposed to differentiate between "innocent admirer" and "pervy upskirt camera type who might decide to stalk me?" Thus necessitating http://www.hollabacknyc.blogspot.com/

(stupid Safari, no linky button!)
posted by emjaybee at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


If I see a beautiful building and I have a camera, I'll take a picture, why should people be any different.

There's devil's advocate, jonmc, and then there's devil's dumb-vocate. I don't believe you really think there's no difference between a person and a building.

I hope, for the sake of your marriage, anyway.
posted by dersins at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2006


HEre's another take on privacy in public places:

The fourth right of privacy is very different from the other three. It is the commercial appropriation of someone's name or likeness. It also is known as the right of publicity. It happens when someone uses the name or likeness of another without consent to gain some commercial benefit. It usually occurs when a photograph of a person in an advertisement with the person's permission. That is why model releases are so important. Permission is not required for editorial or newsworthy publications.

I think there's a typo and a missing word halfway thru that, but you get the idea. Take it with a grain of salt, but this is the rule that I operate under (I'm in advertising). Source.
posted by Mister_A at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2006


but why don't you?
Because that would be creepy.


No. Because finding pictures of pretty girls on the internet is not exactly difficult. I'm just saying that ogling the hottie (of whatever gender) walking by on the sidewalk on the sly then condeming some guy for doing the same with a camera seems a little hypocritical to me.

I fully admit I could be wrong, but it's what keeps occuring to me. That if I call these videos pervy, then I'd have to call myself and most people I know pervy, too.
posted by jonmc at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2006


These are kind of over the top and staged, aren't they? I can't decisively feel it's creepy because the women seem to be in on the production. I dunno, it kind of makes me sad. Like just passing a woman on the street is some kind of ridiculous fantasy. What Miko said about commodification.

Oh yeah and the lolita tag hrnnnngh.
posted by furiousthought at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2006


More awkward and embarrasing than creepy. Not best of web. Bookmark favorite for all who sport a schmegma-encrusted mouse.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2006


I don't believe you really think there's no difference between a person and a building.

Obviously there's a difference. I'm simply saying that one impulse that occurs upon encountering something of beauty is to preserve it, so it's not that out there.
posted by jonmc at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2006


This is exactly why you need the new HP digital camera with creep reduction®
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:56 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


There really is a difference between looking and then documenting and then publishing. That's why the law recognizes such differences.

They may be motivated by the same thing that propels jonmc or anyone else to stare; but this is the basic difference between actions and intentions. Intentions and thoughts can never really hurt anyone. Actions can and do. That's why only actions are enforceable by law (not that this is illegal; it's probably not. Only lame).
posted by Miko at 10:56 AM on September 18, 2006


For the self-link accusations, this was posted to projects a while back.
posted by mathowie at 11:01 AM on September 18, 2006


Previously, on Projects.
posted by grumblebee at 11:01 AM on September 18, 2006


great minds think alike
posted by grumblebee at 11:02 AM on September 18, 2006


But jonmc, it would only be "hypocritical" if you yourself had filmed people on the street and then condemned some guy for posting video online. As mentioned, simply watching someone is quite different than filming them and posting it. Even though you think it's the same as photographing a building, you stop short of photographing a female stranger because there's a boundary there. No? And I don't buy that it's because you can get pictures online...
posted by chococat at 11:02 AM on September 18, 2006


I stand erected.
posted by flarbuse at 11:03 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I agree that it's lame.

It's lame because it's poorly done. I am absolutely not prudish. I love the female form, and I even like the idea of candid street shots (It would be nice to know that the photographer got release forms from the women -- or at least told them that he was going to post this stuff online).

But if this wasn't shots of hot girls -- if it was some other sort of photography or art site -- my guess is that people here would be complaining about it's crappy design.

The whole set-to-music/slow-motion thing is cliched, and the site and videos seem thrown together without much work. A REAL photographer/cinemaphotographer could do this much better. He'd choose better angles, better music (or no music at all), better backgrounds, etc.

In fact, I know a guy who regularly photographs topless women in public. People accuse him of being a voyeur, but he's explained that when he's looking through the camera, he barely notices the woman. He knows she looks good. He's too busy paying attention to the other details -- the lighting, the environment, etc. When you see his photos, you know he's telling the truth.
posted by grumblebee at 11:08 AM on September 18, 2006


Not creepy, just adolescent. The kind of thing that a 13 year old boy would do.

"Dude, check out the hooters on this chick that I video'd with my cellphone! She even smiled at me!".
posted by googly at 11:10 AM on September 18, 2006


Ok, so instead of possibly being a self link, its just creepy.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:11 AM on September 18, 2006


Posted 6:26 Flagged 6:34 PM

Funny I flagged instantly.

Would it be possible to get an RSS feed based on a NSFW tag?
posted by srboisvert at 11:13 AM on September 18, 2006


Please add this tag: creepyvideostalkerguy
posted by LarryC at 11:14 AM on September 18, 2006


Even though you think it's the same as photographing a building, you stop short of photographing a female stranger because there's a boundary there. No? And I don't buy that it's because you can get pictures online...

I'm not comparing people to buildings, I was just making an analogy about our response to beauty. And (even though I wish I didn't think this) I still think there's a small smidgen of hypocrisy involved here. Not a lot, just a little.
posted by jonmc at 11:16 AM on September 18, 2006


"You always look at other women," Frances said. "At every damn woman in the city of New York."

"Oh, come now," Michael said, pretending to joke. "Only pretty ones. And, after all, how many pretty women are there in New York? Seventeen?"

"More. At least you seem to think so. Wherever you go."

"Not the truth. Occasionally, maybe, I look at a woman as she passes. In the street. I admit, perhaps in the street I look at a woman once in a while. . . ."

"Everywhere," Frances said. "Every damned place we go. Restaurants, subways, theaters, lectures, concerts."

"Now, darling," Michael said. "I look at everything. God gave me eyes and I look at women and men and subway excavations and moving pictures and the little flowers of the field. I casually inspect the universe."

"You ought to see the look in your eye," Frances said, "as you casually inspect the universe on Fifth Avenue."


- Irwin Shaw, "The Girls In Their Summer Dresses" (1942)
posted by grabbingsand at 11:21 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Watching beautiful women is a delicate art. Done right everybody gets a little pleasure from the flirt and then goes on with the day. Like appreciating somebody's nice garden as you pass... you don't stomp in there and pick the flowers.

Video tapping violates the silent covenant we have. It takes the safe street flirt from the light ephemeral moment to visions of rows of VHS tapes in the dank spunk-stanky basement archive of some deranged pervert.

I appreciate that this guy who video taped these gals got permission from them to post the pictures. I'm sure some felt flattered initially. But I bet others were a bit freaked by the whole thing and said yes to get the fuck out of there. Most, I bet, once they went to the site are NOW thinking "Oh. Man. I'm gonna be stalked now."
posted by tkchrist at 11:26 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Why does he only tape girls who look like they have chlamydia?
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:29 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Best summarized by Jerry Seinfeld:

Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun, you don't stare at it. It's too risky! You get a sense of it and then you look away.
posted by tkchrist at 11:32 AM on September 18, 2006


How about creepy AND stupid?

A website for looking at everyday people on the street? What's next, a bottle of simulated fresh air for sale on eBay? A simulated conversation with an almost-real-girl?*

Jesus, people. GET THE FUCK OUT OF YOUR (MOM's) HOUSE.

There's a whole goddamn world out there.


(* yes I am sure that these already exist too, and they're probably Japanese.)
posted by j-dub at 11:32 AM on September 18, 2006


I'm not comparing people to buildings, I was just making an analogy about our response to beauty.

Not disagreeing with you overall here, because your reactions mirror my own for the most part. But there's beauty that you stare at in awed silence, and beauty that you masturbate to. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there looking at this as free, cheap porn. (Am I completely in left field here?) I'm pretty sure that I'd be uncomfortable with that if it were me in those videos (though I'm a dude).

But even if there are, that brings up the question: What's the difference between looking at a woman in a public place and fantasizing about it later, versus getting footage of her to make the fantasy more tangible?

There's a big difference, but I'm having trouble putting it into words.
posted by hifiparasol at 11:33 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


There's a big difference, but I'm having trouble putting it into words.

It's the differnence between a leer and a wink.
posted by tkchrist at 11:35 AM on September 18, 2006


I'm sure there are plenty of people out there looking at this as free, cheap porn.

Well, except for the cowgirl, they're not naked. And finding free video of naked women on teh intarweb is not that difficult.

I'm pretty sure that I'd be uncomfortable with that if it were me in those videos (though I'm a dude).

I work in a heavily gay neighborhood, so I get 'cruised' occasionally. I generally find it flattering. So, I guess if I was in a male version of this, my reaction would be similar. Maybe. What I'm getting at is.... I have no idea. Like i said I'm just typing these ideas as they come to me.
posted by jonmc at 11:37 AM on September 18, 2006


If I see a beautiful building and I have a camera, I'll take a picture, why should people be any different.
a building isn't gonna feel violated stumbling across video of itself on the internet.
posted by jmarq at 11:40 AM on September 18, 2006


"Pretty woman, walking down the street
Pretty woman, the kind I like to meet
Pretty woman"........ Roy Orbison
posted by wtfchuck at 11:43 AM on September 18, 2006


Tkchrist: I appreciate that this guy who video taped these gals got permission from them to post the pictures.

Was that posted on the site or what? Didn't notice it. Anyway, if that is the case, then I'll just move along... that was my whole objection was the use of the women's likeness/images for financial gain without their explicit consent.
posted by Mister_A at 11:44 AM on September 18, 2006


Follow-up : If they signed releases, this is still a crappy post. Still flagged.
posted by Mister_A at 11:45 AM on September 18, 2006


The whole "see camera, flirt with camera" reflex is what I find most creepy. And, the decision to exploit that reflex, of course.

I mean, I walk around and look at people too, but it's at the level of personal enjoyment; it's not commodified. This is.

Yes.
posted by Chuckles at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2006


Girls in their summer dresses is as close to evil in literature as it is possible to get.


Every single chance you get, try to take the animal out of being human. Degrade it. Make it immoral or unethical. Shrink the testicles with prudish self righteousness and the expectation that monogamy become some kind of unnatural chemical imperative. Shame us. Create bizarre double standards in which it is good to be good looking but bad to look. Create arbitrary lines between ages and genders and colors and races. Pretend its okay to be fat, but not to be naked. Imagine that loyalty is somehow measured by what the animal is, not what he does.

What a load of crap.
posted by ewkpates at 11:52 AM on September 18, 2006 [5 favorites]


If u notice it says something about 95% of the girls in the videos were asked it it's OK, that's why they wave or smile at the end.
posted by cell divide at 11:53 AM on September 18, 2006


About releases, from the top of the site:
I do nothing all day is a collection of NYC fashion reality video clips featuring the most beautiful, the hippest, the sexiest, the most daring, the best styled, and the wonderfully free spirited women seen everyday on the streets of the Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods that I roam. Most (over 95%) of these women were asked for permission ahead of time which is why we get the smiles, waves, and even a few kisses.
I'm doubtful. If it really is over 95%, why not make it 100% for the added credibility?
posted by Chuckles at 11:54 AM on September 18, 2006


Creepy & weak thing to do.
posted by facetious at 11:56 AM on September 18, 2006


Wallowing in introverted voyeurism is certainly the best of the web. Ech. I'm not sure what's more pathetic; the fact that someone invests their time to do this, the fact that someone invests their time to digest this material, or the fact that someone who digested said material was inspired to forward it to as many people as possible.
posted by prostyle at 11:58 AM on September 18, 2006


Thanks for the weird rant, ewkpates, that's what was missing from this thread.
posted by Mister_A at 12:06 PM on September 18, 2006


I'm doubtful. If it really is over 95%, why not make it 100% for the added credibility?

Because sometimes there just isn't time to get permission when a woman with blonde hair and really huge implants is barreling down the street. It's all you can do just to hold the camera steady with your one free hand.
posted by crunchland at 12:14 PM on September 18, 2006


Backatcha for starting us of on the creepy foot!

Have you read Summer Dresses?

(Do you own a dress?)
posted by ewkpates at 12:14 PM on September 18, 2006


Run outside in the desert heat
Make your dress all wet
and send it to me
posted by xod at 12:18 PM on September 18, 2006


Uh, so where is the video of attractive women?


The 3rd one looks like my aunt.
posted by wfc123 at 12:21 PM on September 18, 2006


most beautiful, the hippest, the sexiest, the most daring, the best styled, and the wonderfully free spirited women

Call me fussy/quirky/whatever, but all these gals all kinda look the same. Pretty, but also pretty generic.

I feel kinda dirty now.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2006


OMGBOOBIES!

Slightly creepy, pretty stupid.
posted by EarBucket at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2006


After reviewing all eighteen of the videos several times and bookmarking the link, I agree that this was creepy.
posted by horsewithnoname at 12:26 PM on September 18, 2006


"Why does he only tape girls who look like they have chlamydia?"
Stalkers: your favourite victim sucks
You imagine.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 12:30 PM on September 18, 2006


Geez, what does this guy do all day?
posted by designbot at 12:31 PM on September 18, 2006


I live in Venice, California. I work across from the Beverly Center in WH/BH. I think I'll be snobby and say my daily pretty people watching trumps viewing crap res video on an internet site any day.
posted by linux at 12:31 PM on September 18, 2006


I think the real question is, should these women go barefoot? Where are the thermographs, for pete's sake?
posted by crunchland at 12:31 PM on September 18, 2006


Some of the smiles can really lighten up your day.

Smiles. Right. Because that's what the camera is focusing on.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:33 PM on September 18, 2006


Ewkpates - You got all that out of the Shaw story? All that weird stuff about testicle shrinkage, etc? Evil? Are you raging against the Shaw story, or the post, or the comments to the post, or the web site? I don't get it.
posted by Mister_A at 12:36 PM on September 18, 2006


The Girls in Their Summer Dresses by Irwin Shaw
posted by Mister_A at 12:41 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Creepy. Very.
posted by jokeefe at 12:45 PM on September 18, 2006


mayor curly: "Why does he only tape girls who look like they have chlamydia?"

Such a fancy word. Down here in the south we just say nipple rings.
posted by ?! at 12:51 PM on September 18, 2006


johnmc, I understand what you're saying. And you're right, there is some hypocrisy going on -- if not here, than in other, similar discussions. The question is: do we, as a society, need this hypocrisy or is it worth purging (if that's possible)?

Many people like to be sexually admired, but not in an overt way -- "hey baby, nice rack!" Some of these people will act as if they don't like to be admired at all. "He's just into my body! Yuck!" And some of these people are being completely honest -- they DON'T want to be thought of as sexual objects in any way.

But if you DO want SUBTLE sexual attention, you can't really admit to it. Or at least, it's hard to admit to it without getting the overt type of attention that you don't want. So we have this sort of built-in, culturally sanctioned hypocrisy: (some) woman pretend they don't want to be viewed as sex objects, knowing (and liking) the fact that they WILL be viewed as sex objects, but hoping their subterfuge will tone down the TYPE of viewing.

And (some) men renounce overt leering while engaging in subtle leering. (Is this really hypocrisy? They may genuinely be okay with subtle leering and against overt leering. Still, they probably won't admit to this. They'll just say, "I'm against leering." THERE'S the hypocrisy. But (again), it may be necessary to keep the cogs of society well greased. It's very hard to admit to being only into a subtle form of something. It's hard to get that message across. It's easier to just say you're against the whole thing.)

One can take the view that all subterfuge is wrong -- that people need to wake up, be honest and face facts. Especially when such a view is connected to sex, I associate it with young men. Older men tend to soften and realize that a little subterfuge and subtlety is needed in life. There are obviously dangers in taking that view too far. It can lead to Victorian attitudes. In my view, the challenge of life is navigating an in-between course. Subtle, but not repressed or repressive.

Those guys (and I used to be one of them) who can't get a date to save their life, are always bitter because they get rebuked for their overt passes. Then they see some other guy making a pass and getting accepted. "Oh fine," they think, "the pretty boy can do it but I can't." Hopefully, when they get a little older, they realize that the difference was less about looks and more about the subtlety of the approach. "You have lovely eyes," will likely work better than "You have great tits." Even if the meta-message is fundamentally the same.
posted by grumblebee at 12:52 PM on September 18, 2006


Follow-up : If they signed releases, this is still a crappy post. Still flagged.

Funny. If they didn't agree to the filming/distribution, it's exploitation. If they did, it's just lame.

I would be very surprised if these models gave their permission for the video to be distributed online, and I'd be amazed if they were compensated.

I was disappointed by the attractiveness of the women (though I only looked at those two). This is NYC. Fashion models, actors, and wannabes abound.

on preview: well said, grumblebee.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:58 PM on September 18, 2006


I'd love to see the log of that site:
link from metafilter, IP 123.345.662.532

47 videos watched later...

Perv!!! Burn this FPP!
agastuser at 19:42 PM EST on September 18
posted by ?! at 12:59 PM on September 18, 2006


grumblebee: I know what you're saying. I'm not being deliberately obtuse. It's that when we get indignant about this site and then ogle the ass of the babe/cute guy/insectoid alien in the elevator and think dirty thoughts, I can't help feeling a little hypocritical.

Many people like to be sexually admired, but not in an overt way -- "hey baby, nice rack!"

Actually, one time a young woman yelled "Hey, sexy," and blew a kiss at me out a bus window in New Haven. Even if she did it on a dare or something, I have to admit, it boosted my morale for the rest of the day.


You're right about all the subtleties of sexual attention, though. It's also why most straight men spend at least some of their lives sexually frustrated, I think. Gay guys, they seem to have it figured out, there's very little subtlety involved in flirting there from what I've seen (to use a very broad generalization), but maybe that's because both being men, the communication styles are similar.
posted by jonmc at 1:00 PM on September 18, 2006


Yeah, I don't think they have it figured out. I just think they're men. Men (tend to) prefer a more overt style, whether they're straight or gay. Like you, I would have been flattered by that attention. If a woman wants to yell, "Hi sexy" or "Nice ass" at me, I'm all for it (not that it ever happens), but I'm male.

I think SO many confusions between the sexes stem from this difference. Men crave attention, and assume that women (being human) crave it too, so they're shocked when they get rebuffed after giving a woman attention -- in a way that they (the men) would enjoy getting attention.

The flip side of the coin is men who feel unloved because women don't make overt passes at them. They may, in fact, be quite loved. It's possible that they women just can't imagine anyone WANTING to be leered/groped/etc.

This is where The Golden Rule breaks down.
posted by grumblebee at 1:16 PM on September 18, 2006


Now that I have been happily married for ten years... I said HAPPILY married for ten-goddamned years... I admit that the subtle flirtations from strangers make my frigg'n day.

When a young pretty gal brushes my hand, or gives me a wink, or a sly smile I get all giddy.

Yeah. It's pathetic. I guess I'm considered "safe" now by the younger single female class. I sort of miss being dangerous. But not by much.

I always got attention before. Now it's just surreal. Once, at a coffee shop, a table of girls passed me, a grown man, a naughty little note. It was delightful.

I smile and swoon a little and go about my day feeling like I'm NOT relentlessly counting the lines on the slow road to my inevitable death.

But guys like this video guy are FUCKING THIS UP FOR ME! And I resent it. He is making women more cynical and worse... overt.

I want my sexiness a little hypocritical, ok. I want my side long glances and clever winks. Not "HEY! MISTER. HERE ARE MY TITS! KA-BOING!"

Like my mom says:

"Sex is not dirty. Unless your doing it right."
posted by tkchrist at 1:18 PM on September 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Stupid site. Such an obvious and played-out idea.

But yes, NYC does have top notch girls. Im glad I live in the East Village, quite distracting though.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:18 PM on September 18, 2006


I wonder how many women will read these comments and then go on to date the mefites who have displayed that they are not like other guys?
posted by srboisvert at 1:39 PM on September 18, 2006


I'm aghast at the blatant stereotyping, some of us run linux and can't see the flash videos!
posted by Skorgu at 1:53 PM on September 18, 2006


I wonder how many women will read these comments and then go on to date the mefites who have displayed that they are not like other guys?

So. You have seen through our clever little scheme, have you?

srboisvert you must be eliminated.
posted by tkchrist at 1:54 PM on September 18, 2006


I don't mind the sentiment. But I agree, this guy has pretty terrible taste. You can't walk two feet without tripping over a half-naked beautiful girl here - and of all races, too. Why these?
posted by fungible at 1:55 PM on September 18, 2006


I'm aghast at the blatant stereotyping, some of us run linux and can't see the flash videos!
posted by Skorgu at 3:53 PM CST on September 18 [+] [!]


Don't worry, then the women were out of the question a long time ago.
posted by ozomatli at 1:59 PM on September 18, 2006


I have no problem at all with noticing an attractive woman. But these videos are wayyy creepy and stalker-y.
posted by ninjew at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2006


If one of these videos was of someone I knew and cared about, and they found it and were totally creeped out by it........ Would I say, "Hey. Guys stare at you all the time. Filming you and putting it on the intranet is no different. Stop being hypocritical."?

No. I would not.

If it's hypocritical to find this sort of thing creepy and wrong, even though I check out girls on the street, then put me down as accepting that hypocrisy. Because the folks who made and put these videos on the net need to be on the business end of some repercussions.

Perverts. Plain and simple.
posted by Daenoora at 2:25 PM on September 18, 2006


this guy has pretty terrible taste. You can't walk two feet without tripping over a half-naked beautiful girl here - and of all races, too. Why these?

I only watched a few before the creep-out factor turned me off, so I don't know if they're all like this, but the ones I watched all seemed to end with the girl smiling and waving at the camera.

This seemed very un-NYC to me. In my limited experience, the REALLY hot girls -- the models you see walking down Madison avenue -- are pretty cold and aloof. They wouldn't respond the way the camera guy wants. (I'm not chastising the models. My guess is that the whistles, etc. get old pretty fast.)
posted by grumblebee at 2:36 PM on September 18, 2006


tkchrist: Like my mom says:

"Sex is not dirty. Unless your doing it right."
Wow- your mom is Woody Allen?!?!
posted by hincandenza at 2:40 PM on September 18, 2006


Dude, emjaybee's hollabacknyc blog just makes me laugh!! Women here in Franch get soooo much more shit from the arab & african guys, who say shit, touch, & follow. I've seen arab kids buz girls with a motor cycle to get their attention. It just terrifies girls visiting from calmer cultures, who promptly return home & vote for a racist party.

As for the videos, I quite like the ones where she smiles back, quite sexy & not creepy (she is obviously in control). otoh, I find videotaping a sunbathers ass pretty creepy & wrong.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:00 PM on September 18, 2006


Mister_A writes "Ewkpates - You got all that out of the Shaw story? All that weird stuff about testicle shrinkage, etc? Evil? Are you raging against the Shaw story, or the post, or the comments to the post, or the web site? I don't get it."

He's channelling George Orwell's observation that totalitarian regimes repress natural sex instincts in order to direct that nervous energy to worship of the Leader.
posted by orthogonality at 3:09 PM on September 18, 2006


Hoorah. Now I can ogle people without leaving my armchair!

If I had an armchair. Or eyes.
posted by Sparx at 3:11 PM on September 18, 2006


mrgrimm writes "I would be very surprised if these models gave their permission for the video to be distributed online, and I'd be amazed if they were compensated."

I imagine quite a few are (aspiring) actors or models, and that the compensation they get is the publicity that hope may get them a role or gig. Breaking out of the crowd of other auditioners by walking down the street isn't a bad bargain.
posted by orthogonality at 3:12 PM on September 18, 2006


this is ick.
posted by unknowncommand at 3:14 PM on September 18, 2006


I could definitely rub a few out to these hotties! all right! have a brew!
posted by mcsweetie at 3:23 PM on September 18, 2006


I agree with the ick.

As a kid, I found it very disturbing when my uncles would leer at women on the street. It was clear to me that they didn't see a person, they saw a pair of tits or an ass. This is the pure objectification that feminists talk about and they're right that it is a denial of another person's humanity.

I don't think that at all porn, or all images of female anatomy are necessarily objectification in this sense. I'm as turned on as any male, or more, by visual stimulation. Female genitalia really turns me on. But as an attribute of a whole person.

Seeing the beauty of the female form, of female anatomy, and/or being turned on by it doesn't have to involve objectification, it's just that for many or most men, it does. You can, if you try, keep your big and little heads attached to each other, along with your heart, and see and appreciate a whole person who is quite a turn-on. But most men don't. They see lifeless gobs of meat that they want to possess. They'll claim otherwise, but you can see it in their eyes and you can hear it when they talk about it. Often the worst is when they ogle women on the street. It makes me ashamed to be male.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:45 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is the pure objectification that feminists talk about and they're right that it is a denial of another person's humanity.

Sorry to single this out but I'm sick of hearing this tired canard. Do you even know what objectifying IS? Objectification; A term that sounds like it's something reeeeeal bad, but isn't. There are a dozen other steps between see people as objects and doing something bad to them. The supposed "feminist" argument here was lost decades ago. It's why you don't hear it anymore.

There is nothing wrong with objectifying. We can't help but do it. We objectify people ALL the time because we CAN'T intimately "know" each and every human on the planet.

We have "bring your food to you" objects and "clean your window" objects. We don't want "to complete them as people. " Or know their names. Nobody bitches about this kind of "objectification."

Buuuut put a cock or tit in there somewhere and WHOA.... objectification is worst thing EVAR.

It's only bad when "objectification" is tangentially connected to sex - specifically female sex. And that speaks WAAAAY more about our duplicitous puritan attitudes about sex and women than it does about our attitudes about "humanity" in general.

this video is creepy because there is a visual record of these women that will exist in-perpetuity and it can be used for any and all voyeuristic purposes out of the subjects control. It singles out an individual and renders them somewhat powerless to do anything about it. That it is of attractive sexualized women is nearly irrelevant. It would b just as disgusting if it was of old women or anybody else being leered at.

Leering is aggressive. It is what predators do. It is how you start fights. Go stare at a stranger long and hard enough and he will want to kick your ass. It has nothing to do with objectifying a person, it has everything to do with the possibility of aggressive intent. This is the video equivalent of leering.
posted by tkchrist at 4:05 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Tit & ass filter. Creepy. Everything about it.
posted by trii at 4:11 PM on September 18, 2006


Ethereal Bligh writes "Seeing the beauty of the female form, of female anatomy, and/or being turned on by it doesn't have to involve objectification, it's just that for many or most men, it does. You can, if you try, keep your big and little heads attached to each other, along with your heart, and see and appreciate a whole person who is quite a turn-on. "

I have a pretend date with Miss September tonight. I plan to fold her out and speak of things that matter, with words that must be said. "Can analysis be worthwhile?" "Is the theater really dead?" Only after I've gotten to know her as a pretend person will I masturbate furiously.

(Unfortunately, I only kiss her shadow, I cannot feel her hand.)
posted by orthogonality at 4:17 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


No, that's not her hand.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 4:19 PM on September 18, 2006


"It makes me ashamed to be male."

Ethereal, you really should listen sometime to the way normal women will dissect and dissolve men, and maleness, into these very same sorts of possessable assets. Profession (read: income), height, hair, and clothes.
posted by kid ichorous at 4:31 PM on September 18, 2006


"MrMoonPie: at least a few of those women could be Latino."

Chicks with sticks? The Best of Both Worlds? The Crying Game?
posted by Eideteker at 4:33 PM on September 18, 2006


Women here in Franch get soooo much more shit from the arab & african guys, who say shit, touch, & follow. I've seen arab kids buz girls with a motor cycle to get their attention. It just terrifies girls visiting from calmer cultures, who promptly return home & vote for a racist party.

Still likely better than Limpopo. (previously)
posted by mrgrimm at 4:37 PM on September 18, 2006


Another vote for creepy and gross.
posted by oliver at 4:38 PM on September 18, 2006


"The whole "see camera, flirt with camera" reflex is what I find most creepy."

Because you're outraged, so should she be, dammit. Otherwise your whole argument collapses, leaving you exposed standing outside the argument no matter how loudly you protest that you're still in it.
posted by Eideteker at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2006


Posts like these really bring out a puritanical vibe. My goodness, folks, relax.
posted by redteam at 5:01 PM on September 18, 2006


Wow.. I am actually a mefite and this is my website.

I dont think my site is creepy because I approached almost all of the girls ahead of time and asked if I could film them for my website.

I say 95% because of a clip or two from one of the various NYC Parades, an on the street promotional model, the filming of a major motion movie picture, etc. I previously took down the 10 or so clips I had where I didnt ask permission of girls walking down the street.

The asking ahead of time certainly puts some limits on what I produce. First of all a girl on a cell phone is basically off limits unless I catch her just before she makes a call. Models and actresses will state that they are under contract. Sometimes the sidewalks are too crowded, sometimes the girls are in a big rush, and hey some of the girls are shy.

The lolita tag is wrong... I think that I just f'ed up the area called nolita (north of little italy) in nyc. Perhaps I was drunk. I don't know.

I do consider it a bit of art, although I am only learning the trade. I am also concientious of the long tail phenomenon that the internet offers and I wondered if the traditional past time of "girl-watching" would be a hit online.

Everyone has to start some where and this to me has been an interesting project. In some ways I am proud of myself for having built my website/blog into one that has gotten as many hits as it has. I was intent on getting something up to capture the online video craze. My original idea was to capture all of NYC. Men, Women, Crazies, Buildings. Almost like a streaming live web cam capturing everything I see while I walk around NYC (I tend to go on 5-10 mile walks everyday).

I understand that some people out there may find this a bit pervy but given the nature of the crap that you can find on the internet I find my stuff to be relatively tame and innocent.

What's more, I would argue then that it's pervy for people to read US weekly and what not.

It's pervy for major hollywood studios to seduce young women with the allure of a paycheck and potential fame and have them disrobe in a gratuitous nude scene.

If these were pictures (www.lastnightsparty.com; facehunter; or the sartorialist) would it be ok?
posted by hpsell at 5:01 PM on September 18, 2006


I think when you're showing only women, you're putting yourself in a certain category that the other websites you're talking about don't seem to belong to. I think it gets hard to justify that you're just showing an artistic interest in your city when all you're actually showing is girls' tits. It's getting into the realm of walking like a duck and talking like a duck.
posted by oliver at 5:17 PM on September 18, 2006


Such terrible food. And such small portions!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:35 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Of course you don't think your site is creepy. Ted Bundy didn't think his site (Killr(beta)) was creepy, either.
posted by crunchland at 5:54 PM on September 18, 2006


Yo, RTFA

"Most (over 95%) of these women were asked for permission ahead of time which is why we get the smiles, waves, and even a few kisses."

The creepy thoughts in this thread are creepy.

Sheesh.
posted by sfts2 at 6:49 PM on September 18, 2006


I don't even see the distinction between these and something like the sartorialist--one is video and one is a still? Please. Looking at nothing but girls' tits? Please. I would be horrified to live in a world run by some of you people.
posted by hototogisu at 7:13 PM on September 18, 2006


jonmc: you have asked several questions with obvious answers.

1. If we all do a thing privately, how can it be pervy to take a video of it and put it online for profit?

This question just seems silly to me.
If you jerk off privately, would it be pervy to take a video of it and put it online? Yes. If you always secretly take special notice of a co-worker, would it be pervy to take a video of her in the elevator every day and put the whole collection online without her knowledge? Yes.

2. Is it better, more honest and honorable, to be explicit about every attitude we have toward other people?

No.
For example: unobtrusively looking at a passing woman on the street is ok. Going up to her and saying "I think your breasts are really beautiful. I am aroused by them, and I might possibly think about you when I have sex with someone else" would be as creepy as hell. Going to your co-worker and saying "I think about you all the time. I don't actually want to date you, just wanted to let you know that you have a prominent place in my fantasy life", creepy as hell. Videos of passersby that zoom in on T and A, with slo-mo, etc, posted to the internet, creepy. (Less creepy if photographer has their permission to put it online; though, did they know photographer was zooming in on T and A?)

3. Why might it be wrong to take (and publish) a picture of a person or body part we find beautiful, when it would not be wrong to take a picture of an inanimate object we found beautiful?

Because people are not inanimate objects and treating them that way is bad. Taking pictures of the backs of people's heads is one thing, but taking pictures of women in a sexually-appreciative way is different -- exactly because it disobeys the rule that you should in general, treat people respectfully. Treat people the way a reasonable person would want to be treated. Most women recognize that people look at them, but wouldn't be happy to be in an ogling video on the web making money for someone else. How do I know? Because most women don't put up videos of themselves like this, and they certainly could if they wanted to.


This kind of site is also creepy for another obvious reason. Women and men are actually not equally treated, when it comes to sexual attention and danger from strangers. Women are vulnerable to sexual violence -- from strangers and from people they know -- because they are viewed by strangers as sexual objects even when they just walk around the city. To the extent that this kind of site reinforces that attitude (all women are accessible for sexual fantasizing about, all the time), it's dangerous and bad for women. So whether you are a women or a man who has women that you care about, this should bother you.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:24 PM on September 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


This site advertised for girls on craigslist. So not only do they ask permission ahead of time, most of the encounters are staged from the beginning.
posted by limnrix at 7:45 PM on September 18, 2006


Even if the women really did consent to this, it still doesn't alleviate the feeling of creepy and ickiness of the site. Boo on this. Not the best of the web, by any means.
posted by hooray at 7:54 PM on September 18, 2006


bizarre soft-core scheme, but as long as the women give permission to be used commercially, meh.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:57 PM on September 18, 2006


tkchrist, thanks, but I don't need a lesson in the literal definition of "objectification". It's clear what the feminists mean when they talk of objectification and it was clear in my comment that I was referring to the strongest example of this. It's a version of Kant's Categorical Imperative: you don't treat people as a means to an end. "Objectification of women" is to treat a woman as a mere object by which some want is satisfied.

Secondly, there is nothing necessarily puritanical about this. I agree that there is a strain of puritanicalism in feminism and especially so among those who denounce objectification of women. But you'll notice that I carefully made clear that no graphical portrayal of the female body as a whole or individual anatomy is inherently an objectification—an assertion which is contrary to that made by the puritanicalist feminists you're deriding. My argument is that this objectification is entirely subjective and never necessarily implied just from an image or other portrayal. It's what the person is thinking.

Furthermore, I, myself am as far from puritanical as you're likely to find. I'm sex-positive. I'm pro-pornography, even. (With some qualifications.) I also made it clear that the male instinct for sexual arousal via visual stimulation centered on specific female anatomy (or male, as the case may be) is, I believe, normal and acceptable. It may also be instinctively natural to objectify, but that I don't find that acceptable. You'll notice that I implied that a man might have to make an effort to avoid objectification.

Orthogonality, it is very easy to objectify as a viewr of porn, but not impossible not to. I don't, and I don't have to work at it. When I look at the centerfold for Miss September, I see a person. A great-looking person with beautiful anatomy that turns me on, but a person nevertheless. My arousal involves the fantasy of being with that person. Not as a life-partner or anything (necessarily), but, dammit, something much more like myself than a blow-up doll. A person.

For me, this does translate into distinct characteristics in the porn I prefer. Even though I'm strongly visually turned-on and strongly respond to female genitalia, I always greatly prefer photos where a woman's face is visible. The face is still the primary point of sexual interest for me. I don't think this is an accident, especially when I've compared it to porn that other straight men prefer.

I've written about this on mefi before, but the few times I've gone to topless or nude clubs I've been almost overwhelmed with how strongly and obviously most of the men objectify the women. I've gone because I've wanted to see naked women, like other men do, because naked women turn me on, as is the case with other men. But I've noticed that the other men almost never look at the womens' faces or in their eyes. They're fixated on their tits, or ass, or vulva, like deer caught in headlights. Even, or especially, in a lap dance, which is one-to-one personal. But I look the woman in the eyes, and then at anatomy, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, because it's their whole bodies, their selves if just in a superficial way, that turns me on.

This is embarassing to write about. But it's important. The choices here aren't between the status-quo and a Dworkin-esque sex-negative world. Almost all of the current sexual imagery and everything else about sex could be completely humane and healthy and part of a just culture if men have the courage to change how they think.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:02 PM on September 18, 2006


Girls Gone Normal!!!!!
posted by snofoam at 8:10 PM on September 18, 2006


It is a perk of Big City Life, indeed. I think it's mainly because cities like Los Angeles attract beautiful women and handsome men who want to become stars. They don't all become stars, but they hook up and make good-looking kids. In New York, it's the same thing, but they're usually smart, too.

Oh please. You need to get out of new york more. New York has a ton of attractive people, they have a ton of people that look completely different than those attractive people (going by the definition used by the site). New York has a ton of people period.

The guy could go to any major college campus and have a much easier job.
posted by justgary at 8:15 PM on September 18, 2006


i don't know... i always thought of my site as one that showed a healthy admiration for beautiful women.

i can't help but question why what i do is wrong but when similar voyeuristic/sexual images crawl out of the pages of fashion mags, and entertainment tabloids it becomes acceptable?

money, marketing, social standing, celebrity?

a magazine pays a girl for a photoshoot. sometimes they convince a celebrity to pose naked because they can sell more magaizines that way.

sorry if i don't have that affluence yet... i just have a little bit of charm to work with and I'm doing the best i can with it.

the girls know the camera is on which in my mind makes it not pervy. i am at peace with it.
posted by hpsell at 8:15 PM on September 18, 2006


If you're getting womens' permission beforehand, then I don't have a problem with it, mostly. But I do have a problem with ogling and you're offering simulated ogling. Is that good? Well, that's an old problem. If voyeurism is bad, is simulated voyeurism bad?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:35 PM on September 18, 2006


Isn't this simply ugly george lite?

Linked site is NSFW, NSFMH, and NSFL
posted by ?! at 8:36 PM on September 18, 2006


I also made it clear that the male instinct for sexual arousal via visual stimulation centered on specific female anatomy (or male, as the case may be) is, I believe, normal and acceptable.

Is there a word to describe something that gives you an anti-boner?
posted by Falconetti at 8:40 PM on September 18, 2006


Phyllis Diller?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:45 PM on September 18, 2006


i can't help but question why what i do is wrong but when similar voyeuristic/sexual images crawl out of the pages of fashion mags, and entertainment tabloids it becomes acceptable?

The lofty heights to which you aspire are tabloids and ads in fashion magazines? And we're supposed to take you as an artistic genius? You made it perfectly clear that you see tabloids as obscene, and I doubt you'll find much support for advertisements being high art on this site. Are you really trying to argue that it's acceptable if it happens in the tabloids?
posted by oliver at 9:03 PM on September 18, 2006


I would agree that this site would be kind of creepy if it weren't completely staged. It would also be a lot more interesting. Seeing how it is staged though, it loses all of its voyeuristic qualities and it's just a really lame, boring idea. And it sure as hell shouldn't be on metafilter.

I fail to find how anyone would want to virtually ogle some model walking down a new york street. I mean, this is the internet. You can find beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages in various stages of undress and/or doing naughty things to themselves or others. Why would someone settle with looking at some lady on a street and saying "ohhh, what pretty eyes!" I can do that in real life, thanks.

Of course, there is the distict possiblity that I'm jaded by years and years of exposure to internet porn.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:20 PM on September 18, 2006


"I fail to find how anyone would want to virtually ogle some model walking down a new york street."

A person might want to do this if they recognize that ogling a woman on the street is wrong but it really turns them on and so virtually doing it satisfies that need. And I'd argue that part of the desire is the knowing that it's wrong, the implicit violation. Doing it virtually allows reveling in the ogling with no possibility of reprisal.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:34 PM on September 18, 2006


And it sure as hell shouldn't be on metafilter.

Well, that is a bit of an overstatement.. I mean, we've had jiggly virtual b00b support, Well There Goes My Morning, and Check out My Breasts.
posted by Chuckles at 9:52 PM on September 18, 2006


hpsell is having a hard time of it. His first fpp was attacked pretty bad too, and rightly so. At some point the guy'll get a clue.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 10:02 PM on September 18, 2006


Actually, all three of those were more interesting than this garbage. Especially check out my breasts, that site was internet gold. This is just pedestrian crap.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:03 PM on September 18, 2006


Eh, I mean pedestrian as in dull, not as in actual pedestrians. Although I guess it could go both ways.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:06 PM on September 18, 2006


Did these women know what kind of videos you'd be posting? When they agreed, did they know it was going to be video focused on their breasts and/or ass?
posted by snickerdoodle at 10:09 PM on September 18, 2006


This site advertised for girls on craigslist. So not only do they ask permission ahead of time, most of the encounters are staged from the beginning.

OK, this makes sense, as it seemed to me an unusually high percentage of "high beams" were on.

Furthermore, now being guilt free, I shall spank my monkey once again...
posted by Tube at 10:13 PM on September 18, 2006


Not so much creepy, just crappy.
posted by rsanheim at 11:59 PM on September 18, 2006


Me, I think it's kind of charming.
posted by adgnyc at 5:37 AM on September 19, 2006


hpsell, how much of the google adsense money goes back to the girls?
posted by mcsweetie at 5:47 AM on September 19, 2006


For example: unobtrusively looking at a passing woman on the street is ok. Going up to her and saying "I think your breasts are really beautiful. I am aroused by them, and I might possibly think about you when I have sex with someone else" would be as creepy as hell.

translation: maintain the big lie.
posted by jonmc at 6:03 AM on September 19, 2006


reinforces that attitude (all women are accessible for sexual fantasizing about, all the time)

Um, they are. As are all men. You can't regulate people's fantasies.
posted by jonmc at 6:22 AM on September 19, 2006


jonmc: Do you think it would NOT be creepy to go up to a woman and say that? Do you honestly not see why that would be creepy?

Partly it would be creepy because, given that it's socially unacceptable to do that, if you are not obeying that social convention, it suggests that you won't follow other social conventions regarding appropriate behavior of men to women either. I would take that kind of comment as threatening, even if you didn't mean for it to be. Because maybe the next taboo you'll be trying to break is the one on casual touching -- after all, it wouldn't actually injure a woman to just reach out and touch her breast, right? So isn't it just hypocritical to restrain that impulse? We should just be honest about our impulses... wouldn't you reach out and touch a beautiful flower? Sure.

No. Normal social mores say don't do that. If you violate those, it's creepy partly because it's disrespectful, but partly because it suggests to the woman that you don't know where the boundaries are -- or worse, you think you can violate the boundaries with her. Either way, who knows what you're going to do next. Creepy and threatening.

Would you find it creepy if a shady guy on the corner came up to you and said "I've noticed that you have a really pretty girlfriend, and nice furniture in your apartment. I sometimes think about what it would be like if I could get you out of the way and just have your place and your lady friend all to myself. I think it would be really nice." You should find it creepy -- because it would suggest that this guy either doesn't know that he shouldn't say that to you, or worse, thinks that you are so weak or powerless etc that he can say that to you with no repercussions. In either case, him saying this would give you reason to suspect that his other behavior toward you won't be restrained by normal social mores.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:24 AM on September 19, 2006


I know we can't regulate people's fantasies; I didn't mean to suggest we should, bad phrasing on my part. (Having a hard time now explaining what I was after there. I do think that posting ogling videos of women without their permission would reinforce the idea that women are not people who have preferences and should be respected, but rather are aesthetic objects to which men are entitled to have access. That's an idea which is more dangerous when applied to women than to men, because women are more subject to sexual violence that's partly underwritten by that kind of attitude.)

(Incidentally, I accept that this website's videos are staged and the photographer gets permission. So I am no longer discussing this particular website, but a different, hypothetical website where there were videos of passersby made without their permission or knowledge.)

So, people will fantastize about other people in the street, and I think that's completely fine. But it's another step to say "given that people fantasize about each other in the street all the time, it would not be creepy at all to take videos that reflect the eye movements and thought processes of those fantasies and put those videos on a website."

There are plenty of things that are normal to think about, or to look at and mentally zoom in on, that would be creepy if videoed and posted to the web. And this case is especially so if it involved taping other people without their knowledge, and even more so if it was a matter of taping women in a way that emphasizes their sexual characteristics without their knowledge.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:37 AM on September 19, 2006


So, people will fantastize about other people in the street, and I think that's completely fine. But it's another step to say "given that people fantasize about each other in the street all the time, it would not be creepy at all to take videos that reflect the eye movements and thought processes of those fantasies and put those videos on a website."

I realize that. I'm just saying it's a weird dsijuncture in human behavior, sort of on the level of hanging out in a bar trying to get laid but pretending you're just there to watch the game and drink beer. I'm not saying we should stop doing it, just noting this strange quirk of human behavior.
posted by jonmc at 10:48 AM on September 19, 2006


(Incidentally, I accept that this website's videos are staged and the photographer gets permission. So I am no longer discussing this particular website, but a different, hypothetical website where there were videos of passersby made without their permission or knowledge.)

But it still seems, to some extent, that sites that simulate leering at women on the street still do encourage actual leering at women on the street. And, in fact, encouraging the idea that some women like it -- You can tell because they're smiling! And they signed up voluntarily! -- actually makes it harder for other women to be taken seriously when they say it bothers them.
posted by oliver at 12:05 PM on September 19, 2006


So was I the only one reminded of Koyaanisqatsi?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:38 PM on September 19, 2006


He'd get locked up here :)
posted by thecashcow at 8:57 PM on September 19, 2006


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