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Modern rationalization
June 12, 2008 10:22 AM   Subscribe

"This all would have never happened if their windows were closed." Runner up: "I didn't feel like a creep," he said. "I didn't feel like a Peeping Tom. I felt like this type of thing happens a lot."
posted by setanor (206 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Third prize : Strott recalled thinking, "No, I'm emotionally damaged." Oh sheesh.
posted by Liosliath at 10:29 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


You have to be pretty dumb to not realize this is at the very least not going to be appreciated. And that they can figure out who did it, if only from angles and distances.

...videotaping a person who is nude or partially nude without knowledge or consent.

What's the legal definition of "partially nude"? Short sleeves/pants? Miniskirt? What if my shoes and socks are off? How about a woman wearing a bra but no shirt?
posted by DU at 10:33 AM on June 12, 2008


(And what makes these rationalizations "modern"?)
posted by DU at 10:35 AM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wait, what? College-age guys using technology to gawk at naked women?

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAS NEVER EVER HAPPENED BEFORE, AND MUST BE A PRODUCT OF OUR DEPRAVED POST-YOUTUBE TIMES!
posted by dersins at 10:37 AM on June 12, 2008


I don't know. I think it's a recent occurrence that you can release something into the public and claim you didn't realize you were actually making it public, or that you didn't realize the consequences of making it public.
posted by setanor at 10:37 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's right to comment, without seeing the actual footage (beavis laugh).
posted by stifford at 10:37 AM on June 12, 2008


This is why I always make sure my window is closed when I have freaky three-ways.

Wait. Did I say closed? I meant open. And I send out press releases.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:38 AM on June 12, 2008 [4 favorites]



What's the legal definition of "partially nude"? Short sleeves/pants? Miniskirt? What if my shoes and socks are off? How about a woman wearing a bra but no shirt?


All Nude, I invented that, before me everybody was just nude, now it's All Nude.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:40 AM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Siemiesz, who lived in a three-bedroom suite with Cunha on Huntington Avenue at the time, said he was sleeping when Cunha yelled at him and his roommate to come into his room. Soon, close to 10 men were gathered in the room, watching. Siemiesz said someone told him to get his video camera. He said that he was apprehensive, but that he wanted to fit in.

Considering that this is all over the campus and news now, it might be only fitting in he'll do during college.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:42 AM on June 12, 2008


"This all would have never happened if their windows were closed."

Shouldn't have worn that dress.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 AM on June 12, 2008 [32 favorites]


But he said the women should have drawn their shades and turned off their lights. "This all would have never happened if their windows were closed," Siemiesz said.

And sealed themselves behind a moat. And kept their chastity belts on. And didn't tempt us with their witchy ways. Damn it, I was possessed by Satan! I can't be held to blame.

Wait, what? College-age guys using technology to gawk at naked women?

Booger: This is bullshit! I want bush, pan down
posted by quin at 10:45 AM on June 12, 2008


I'm confused. We can have expectations of privacy behind transparent barriers (sometimes known as "windows?") Isn't that why the good lord Jebus invented things like curtains, or miniblinds?
posted by ZakDaddy at 10:51 AM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Shouldn't have worn that dress.

While your analogy is clever, assuming you're not talking about the literal sense in which case she would have been better off in "that dress."
posted by fusinski at 10:53 AM on June 12, 2008


Third prize : Strott recalled thinking, "No, I'm emotionally damaged." Oh sheesh.

Oh sheesh what? Strott was replying to someone who mentioned how "cool" it must be to be "famous" now that half of her fellow students had seen the tape of her having sex. I imagine she was a bit emotionally damaged at the time.
posted by lysistrata at 10:53 AM on June 12, 2008 [7 favorites]


I am kind of torn on this. It's one thing to go on someone's property an gawk at or tape them through their windows. However light that gets sent from one persons place into my place seems fair game to capture. It's definitely a slippery slope with the increase of instruments that can capture heat signatures, sound, etc.

I have never expected much privacy from the stuff I do in front of a window, but if someone had a tool that could view what I was up to when not in front of my windows it would surely bug me a bit.

Anyone have any opinions on this?
posted by travis08 at 10:56 AM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


We can have expectations of privacy behind transparent barriers (sometimes known as "windows?") Isn't that why the good lord Jebus invented things like curtains, or miniblinds?

Well, I know that I have occasionally forgotten to close the blinds before undressing. I still think it's reasonable to expect that a video of me naked won't end up on YouTube tomorrow. And it certainly doesn't change the fact that those guys are creepy dorks for doing what they did.
posted by lysistrata at 10:57 AM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "Shouldn't have worn that dress."

If you do something in public view, you shouldn't get upset when the public views it*. It's not a matter of blaming the victims for encouraging the crime. It's not like leaving your door unlocked and getting something stolen. It's more like leaving your door open and getting outraged when someone looks at your stuff.

I think this specific case is creepy, and I do not condone these specific actions in the least. But I think it's a thin line between this and taking a photo of the lobby of the Federal Reserve building through their five-hundred-square-foot glass windows when standing outside it on the sidewalk. Taking a photo should not be a crime, if it's something your eyeballs can see from a place that they are legally allowed to be.
posted by Plutor at 10:57 AM on June 12, 2008 [9 favorites]


quin: that was my first thought too. Hilarious.

Blazecock Pileon: I don't know if that correlation really works. These guys didn't rape the girls, though they clearly made an extremely poor choice. The difference between these idgits and Booger and the Nerds is that they stupidly let other people in on their voyeurism.

But seriously: if you are a girl in a dorm room right now without your clothes on, you should probably close the shades if you don't want anyone to look. Or a girl in any room without your clothes on. Really, if you want to keep the blinds up and not be gawked at, you should probably wear a full spidey-suit or the like. Cause gawking at superheroes is, like, super-gay, dude. I mean, they're fucking badass and all, and you can kinda, like, see their...y'know...... Forget I said anything, dude. Let's go video some naked chicks and post it on the internet. High fiiiiive! Owwww!!!!
posted by nosila at 10:59 AM on June 12, 2008


Well at least the girls didn't get charged with indecent exposure.
posted by Tenuki at 11:02 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I joked about seeing the footage, but I do think seeing it may play a part in my opinion. If the curtain was mostly closed, and some sort of zoom lens was used to capture the footage, I would feel different than if the curtain was just wide open.

Just like I would feel different if it was truly an unexpected "opportunity strike" to see the girls fooling around, or they had seen the girls this way previously, and then kept a watch to capture the next incident on tape.
posted by stifford at 11:04 AM on June 12, 2008


KRAMER: Hey, look at this, c'mere. There's a naked woman across the street.

(George and Jerry quickly join him at the window)

JERRY: Where?

KRAMER: Second floor from the top. (Pointing) See the window on the left?

GEORGE: (In awe) Wow!

JERRY: (Also amazed) Who walks around the house like that?!
posted by trueluk at 11:04 AM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sheesh, as in she had sex in front of the open window. Lesson learned. It's humiliating, yes, and those guys are assholes - but "emotionally damaged" sounds like something her lawyer prompted her to say.
posted by Liosliath at 11:06 AM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Taking a photo should not be a crime, if it's something your eyeballs can see from a place that they are legally allowed to be.

I am not sure your eyeballs are legally allowed to be peeping into their window while they are undressed.
posted by caddis at 11:07 AM on June 12, 2008


However light that gets sent from one persons place into my place seems fair game to capture.

Somehow, I'm not surprised that your website is named "ravishingwalls.com"
posted by octobersurprise at 11:10 AM on June 12, 2008


but if someone had a tool that could view what I was up to when not in front of my windows it would surely bug me a bit.

Anyone have any opinions on this?


yeah, the Supreme Court in Kyllo.

One of the few Scalia-side 5-4 decisions I can agree with.
posted by tachikaze at 11:11 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone have any opinions on this?

Basically, it's the time-honored American tradition of a future stockbroker or football star feeling a little teary-eyed about violating the victims, yet going along with the violation because the other guys are doing it, too, and — this part is critical — using the media as a bully pulpit from which to blame the victims, all at the same time. Looking at the general responses, Stanley Milgram was right: we really are fucked.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:11 AM on June 12, 2008 [13 favorites]


Two guys took a chance to videotape two naked girls they saw from their dorm room at college?

Seems pretty normal.

Uploading it to the internet?

Dumb, but also seems pretty normal.

If you're two girls who are going to be naked with each other in college... friggin' close the windows. You'd think that would be the first thing they should've considered if they were familiar with the human race at all.
posted by dopamine at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ah, I recognize the name of one of the women. Strott made news in Boston a few years back for breaking the prom ceiling, too ... boys had no idea they were dealing with a professional ball buster.

This said in respect to Ms Strott, of course.
posted by Peter H at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2008


of a future stockbroker or football star


Just like them Duke Lacrosse rapists...
posted by stifford at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2008


I am not sure your eyeballs are legally allowed to be peeping into their window while they are undressed.

Clearly, the ladder scene in _Animal House_ is beyond the pale. Viewing people through open windows from across the way, while in your own living room, certainly debatable.

Now, filming and distributing that is arguably a damaging invasion of privacy, or some other right of person we should have.
posted by tachikaze at 11:15 AM on June 12, 2008


Would this have been as big a deal if it hadn't been two girls having sex?
posted by Liosliath at 11:16 AM on June 12, 2008


Only two people in this situation have the right to say "Oops, didn't mean to do that," and they weren't the two with the video camera.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:16 AM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


DU: "What's the legal definition of "partially nude"?"

The General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 272 §104:
(a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:
"Electronically surveils" or "electronically surveilled", to view, obtain or record a person’s visual image by the use or aid of a camera, cellular or other wireless communication device, computer, television or other electronic device.
"Partially nude" the exposure of the human genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.

(b) Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another person who is nude or partially nude, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, when the other person in such place and circumstance would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being so photographed, videotaped or electronically surveilled, and without that person’s knowledge and consent, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) Whoever willfully disseminates the visual image of another person who is nude or partially nude, with knowledge that such visual image was unlawfully obtained in violation of subsection (b) and without consent of the person so depicted, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or in state prison for a period of not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Having previously been in college, I'd argue that a reasonable person can not expect to be safe from observation if their curtains are open.
posted by Plutor at 11:20 AM on June 12, 2008


Seeing someone naked through a window isn't an immoral thing. Calling over your friend to see - that's sleazy. Even if the curtain is open, that is no more an invitation for you to gawk anymore than if someone accidentally flashes you because their skirt rode up. It's the nice thing to do to avert your eyes and give them the respect you would want to receive in the same position.

But filming them and distributing that film? That's immoral and an abuse of their privacy and ought to be illegal.
posted by jb at 11:20 AM on June 12, 2008 [11 favorites]


Just like them Duke Lacrosse rapists...

Interesting you mention that, because I predicted correctly that their case would be used to try to vindicate other acts of this type, somewhere down the line, inverting the relationship between victim and the individual committing the assault. If this story gets any bigger, I fully expect teary-eyed protestations from the perpetrators on Larry King within the week.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 AM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Years ago on WBCN a couple BU girls called in. They lived in Warren Towers and they said every day, like clockwork, some kid in the next tower would jerk off and they’d watch it. They gave the DJ a play-by-play, which eventually ended with “Ewwwww! He… finished.”

So the next day these same girls called in again, and this time they had acquired a megaphone. Midway through the show they yelled across and told him to cut it out. Classic.
posted by bondcliff at 11:21 AM on June 12, 2008


However light that gets sent from one persons place into my place seems fair game to capture.

I don't know about all states, but in New York you have to be a certain amount of famous (a public figure) or else you own your image and its reproductions. So people can't take pictures of you and distribute them without your permission. That's why photographers always get you to sign a release form.

Now, I don't really understand the law on this, but it's pretty fascinating stuff. I like the idea of 'owning' my image: it belongs to me, and you can't do things with it without my permission, unless I release that image into the public domain in exchange for fame and fortune.

There are a couple of issues here: there's obviously a distinction between 'capturing' an image (as a memory, as a photograph) and distributing it. There's also a tension here between freedom of the press and property rights: my right to say what I want (about you) comes up against your ownership right in your image and reputation.

The legal intricacies aside, everyone involved in this debacle has had their reputation and image immeasurably lowered, and that's largely due to the idiocy of the guys. If there was no crime committed, the women ought to get a lawsuit going, against the guys and against the school
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:23 AM on June 12, 2008


Also, sometimes people don't have a choice about curtains being open. I know that my house is unbearably hot without opening the curtains.

But whatever happened to basic respect for other people? To averting your eyes and letting someone else have privacy without having to barricade themselves against the world? Maybe they want to make love while watching the sky. Why do we have to fear that our neighbours lack the basic respect that people had centuries ago when we all have to live in close counters? Are we less civilized than medieval people?
posted by jb at 11:23 AM on June 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


Two guys took a chance to videotape two naked girls they saw from their dorm room at college?

The almost ten guys crammed together in a tiny room watching their neighbors have sex must've been a bunch of horny little bastards before it was all over. Shame there's no video of the circle jerk that took place after.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:23 AM on June 12, 2008


against the guys and against the school

the school?
posted by tachikaze at 11:25 AM on June 12, 2008


jb - I kind of doubt that medieval people were any more civilized - they probably had different views on sex, that's all.
posted by Liosliath at 11:26 AM on June 12, 2008


There's a difference between seeing someone through an open window (which, yes, shut the window if you don't want to be seen) and videotaping and releasing the video on youtube. I think you have a reasonable responsibility to shut your curtain, but I also think it's reasonable to expect that if anyone sees you, it's going to be a few people in a nearby building and not tens of thousands of people around the world.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:26 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just like them Duke Lacrosse rapists...

Interesting you mention that, because I predicted correctly that their case would be used to try to vindicate other acts of this type, somewhere down the line, inverting the relationship between victim and the individual committing the assault. If this story gets any bigger, I fully expect teary-eyed protestations from the perpetrators on Larry King within the week.


I wasn't trying to vindicate the acts of the guys in the article, just pointing out you seemed to be making a very judgmental/stereotypical comment.
posted by stifford at 11:27 AM on June 12, 2008


Wentworth, the peeping toms' school, is closer in selectivity and academic standards to Devry or ITT Tech. These boys are probably every bit as bright as they sound.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 11:27 AM on June 12, 2008


Even if the curtain is open, that is no more an invitation for you to gawk anymore than if someone accidentally flashes you because their skirt rode up. It's the nice thing to do to avert your eyes and give them the respect you would want to receive in the same position.

What if the someone stood there with their skirt ridden up (or say, with their skirt tucked into their pantyhose, after a trip to the BR) for several minutes?



Shame there's no video of the circle jerk that took place after.

They probably knew enough to close the curtains...
posted by stifford at 11:30 AM on June 12, 2008


Oh, good, freshwater_pr0n, insult the whole school. I think we all know there's dickwads at every university and college. Have you already forgotten about AutoAdmit?
posted by Liosliath at 11:32 AM on June 12, 2008


It's an interesting case because it apparently runs into laws designed to nail Peeping Toms.

However, I want to correct something...

I don't know about all states, but in New York you have to be a certain amount of famous (a public figure) or else you own your image and its reproductions. So people can't take pictures of you and distribute them without your permission. That's why photographers always get you to sign a release form.

You're kinda half right. The key here, from the perspective of Constitutional law, is whether this is done in public or not, and what the image is used for. If you're walking around in public, and have no expectation of a right to privacy, I can take your picture and own the copyright on that picture as an expression of something seen in the public. It doesn't matter who you are, and a release is not required.

You do, however, retain the right to your image when used commercially. One way to say it is, if I take a picture of Paris Hilton, I own the picture and can do what I want with that picture. I do not, however, own Paris Hilton, as she retains the rights to her image. So while I can sell my picture of Paris, I can't use that picture of Paris to, say, advertise my other photographic services.

This is essence of being a papparazi -- shooting people in public and selling those images. Celebrity doesn't enter into it, from a legal standpoint, in this regard.

Where it gets tricky is when you start going down the roads of what "expectation of privacy" really means.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:35 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


They probably knew enough to close the curtains

I see we're agreed on one thing. What horny little bastards!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:37 AM on June 12, 2008


There was a similar case in 2005 at the University of Pennsylvania where two students having sex against a 16th floor full height were photographed - though in that case, the local newspaper published the photo once the photographer was going to be punished by the uni and/or charged. I'm having trouble finding the metafilter discussion of it, though I'm pretty sure there was one.

In the end, all charges were dropped.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:41 AM on June 12, 2008


But I think it's a thin line between this and taking a photo of the lobby of the Federal Reserve building through their five-hundred-square-foot glass windows when standing outside it on the sidewalk. Taking a photo should not be a crime, if it's something your eyeballs can see from a place that they are legally allowed to be.

It seems like the dividing line in MA law is nudity. You can't make a recording of an unclothed person without their consent. That seems like a reasonable place to draw the line.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:43 AM on June 12, 2008


Guys are assholes for uploading it, but I think there should no expectation that you can put something in plain view and expect it to be private. Privacy rights shouldn't require people to scrunch up their eyes, plug their ears, and sing "I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT."

In my college dorms one night, a couple in the hotel across the way (potentially john/prostitute based on the hotel) decided to have sex with the curtain up. This was easily noticeable and the whole dorm was alerted - about 14 windows one on top of the other filled with eyeballs, which must have been hilarious from the outside. I saw a few cameras, but nothing went online. Eventually people started shining laser pointers in until they noticed, the guy gave us the finger, and shut the curtain.

In general, in NYC, it seemed like people understood that if they were going to walk around naked near their uncovered windows someone was probably going to see them. It was a regular occurrence for us to be hanging around the edge of a roof and say, "Hah, another naked dude over there."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:44 AM on June 12, 2008


If Plato, Ptolemy, etc. had been right about the extramission theory of light, I think there would be a good case for criminalizing "looking in the wrong direction", but as it turns out, those girls were sending photons to their neighbors, not the other way around. Calling friends to see makes it worse and uploading that video was awful, but the "Peeping Tom" rhetoric makes it sound like Cunha would still have been pulled into court if he'd just been caught looking out his own window.

In any case, does every action deserving of punishment have to be a criminal offense? "David Siemiesz" and "David Cunha" have sufficiently unique names that they've already received their punishment: neither of them is ever going to have sex again with any woman cautious enough to use Google first.
posted by roystgnr at 11:47 AM on June 12, 2008


It seems like the dividing line in MA law is nudity. You can't make a recording of an unclothed person without their consent. That seems like a reasonable place to draw the line.

What about in S&M gear, or furry outfits? Or non-sexual sightings (like naked people wigging out on PCP)?
posted by stifford at 11:48 AM on June 12, 2008


But whatever happened to basic respect for other people?

We must live in entirely different civilizations, you and I. When was "basic respect for other people" ever prevalent in society?
posted by TrinaSelwyn at 11:50 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


tachikaze that decision is about the government using such instruments not private individuals.


I find this whole thing creepy, just not sure if I believe the pervs should get in trouble for it.

What if this wasn't sex related, or even video related, but sound? I live on a noisy street, what if I made an audio installation of noises I hear from my apartment? And these noises include my neighbors across the street yelling at one another? Would I be out of line?
posted by travis08 at 11:53 AM on June 12, 2008


(b) Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another person who is nude or partially nude, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, when the other person in such place and circumstance would have a reasonable expectation of privacy

Seems like the state will have a lot of problems showing intent to secretly conduct such activity if there were 10 dudes openly standing at the window.

Even if the curtain is open, that is no more an invitation for you to gawk anymore than if someone accidentally flashes you because their skirt rode up.

This wasn't like that. This was like someone hiking her skirt up and masturbating.

Uploading the video is quite sleazy, but I really don't have much sympathy for people who can't be bothered to close the blinds in a large city with another dorm building right across the alley.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on June 12, 2008


But whatever happened to basic respect for other people?

Basic respect for other people includes closing the blinds before you fuck, in much the same way as it includes closing the bathroom door before you take a shit.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:04 PM on June 12, 2008 [10 favorites]


Seems like the state will have a lot of problems showing intent to secretly conduct such activity if there were 10 dudes openly standing at the window.

The dudes were "openly standing" in another building. The girls were having sex in a private home. If inside your bedroom isn't a place and circumstance with a reasonable expectation of privacy, what is?
posted by moxiedoll at 12:07 PM on June 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


Just like them Duke Lacrosse rapists...

Just like the three Duke lacrosse players who were accused of being rapists and later exonerated and declared innocent of all charges against them.
posted by ericb at 12:07 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


My opinion on this is informed by my own experience with a peeping Tom. He looked in my apartment by going right up to my ground-level window and squinting through the little holes in the Venetian blinds that the cord that raises and lowers the blinds goes through. Was I really "sending photons" his way? Is it OK for him to stand outside my window and whack off because I didn't purchase fully opaque window dressings (before then, at least)? I hope not.

My breakdown of this situation is thus: I don't think that they had a particular right to privacy if this was visible off of their property, any more than I should be legally required to decorously look away if someone in a miniskirt "throws me a spread" (I think that's Jim Carroll's phrase) on the subway. On the other hand, making a permanent, distributable copy of that without the subject's permission is wrong.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:09 PM on June 12, 2008


Just like them Duke Lacrosse rapists...

Just like the three Duke lacrosse players who were accused of being rapists and later exonerated and declared innocent of all charges against them.


ORLY?!?
posted by stifford at 12:17 PM on June 12, 2008


If they didn't close the blinds or turn off the lights then they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in a densely populated area. As such, there is nothing immoral about taping a private act that was made public through the carelessness of the participants. If these guys are guilty of anything it is that they uploaded inappropriate material onto a school server, and that is a matter for scholastic disciplinary action, not judicial.
posted by BobbyDigital at 12:19 PM on June 12, 2008


Ah, I recognize the name of one of the women. Strott made news in Boston a few years back for breaking the prom ceiling, too ... boys had no idea they were dealing with a professional ball buster.

Ball busting? She fought for her right to take a female date to her prom. Then she complained when a group of guys posted an explicit video of her to a university Intranet, which was accessible by almost 4,000 students and faculty. And she's a ball-buster??

Yeah, they should have closed the window so that their sexy time wasn't seen by three or four guys across the way. Maybe they forgot, or maybe they got caught up in their hawt lesbian sex. But it's not like they were doing it in front of a crowd of 4,000 -- though that's essentially how it ended up. (And the video is still out there, somewhere, even if the university shut its network down. Could reach an even larger audience now that the story is news.)

She's not a fucking ball-buster. She's someone who's not going to keep her mouth shut when shit like this happens. And good for her.

This said in respect to Ms Strott, of course.
posted by Peter H at 11:14 AM on June 12 [+] [!]


Yeah. That comment positively oozes respect.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:27 PM on June 12, 2008 [29 favorites]


There is no privacy in a world where 3 billion people are carrying mobile phones with cameras. There's no going back. Get over it.
posted by three blind mice at 12:30 PM on June 12, 2008


ORLY?!?

Did you read the link? Duke lacrosse players: Case closed. The three exonerated students settled lawsuits against Duke. They currently have lawsuits against the city of Durham and shamed prosecutor Mike Nifong -- who lost his job, was disbarred and was found guilty of fraud, dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation; of making false statements of material fact before a judge; of making false statements of material fact before bar investigators, and of lying about withholding exculpatory DNA evidence. Nifong was convicted of criminal contempt for knowingly making false statements during the criminal proceedings.
posted by ericb at 12:32 PM on June 12, 2008


From The Bostonist : "The Globe was friendly enough to run a photo of Cunha and Siemiesz, so that you can easily identify them if you are ever on the other side of a job interview."

They're going to be punished one way or another.
posted by Liosliath at 12:34 PM on June 12, 2008


Regardless of whatever movies or other media you get your personal values from, it is generally considered foul to treat other humans in that way.

Common decency says that even if someone has been forgetful about ensuring their own privacy, we owe it to other humans to respect that privacy.

But, we are human, so we're going to look. It should have stopped at looking.

Gazing in at two young women having intimate relations is one thing, and forgivable, I think.

Recording it, yet another thing, and not forgivable without explicity apology and a commitment to not violate the privacy of others, along with destruction of whatever extant copies remain.

Uploading it for distribution to any and all (since none of us are naive enough to think only those on the university network ended up with the copy), still another, and definitely deserving of some form of serious redress.

While this would have been wrong *before* YouTube, etc., the situation is worsened by the existence of ease of distribution and the prevailing policy of many hiring bodies to not hire those with even a whiff of scandal about them. Having a homosexual liaison floating about the 'net when you've got your entire life ahead of you is an unfair burden and is by no means mitigated even by their curtains being open.

These women have been made vulnerable in ways even they may not realise. May this be the end of it, for them, although I doubt it.

I have very little faith in our legal system and even less for humanity in general, so I'm fairly certain these young women will just have to take it as it is and that the young men in question will learn no useful lesson whatsoever.
posted by batmonkey at 12:35 PM on June 12, 2008 [9 favorites]


...that is a matter for scholastic disciplinary action, not judicial.

I prefer to wait for the opinion of the Court over that of Internet supposition.
posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on June 12, 2008




Seriously, yeah. I lived in a dorm where my window faced straight into another dorm room. I decided to mostly live with my blinds closed, but also whenever I happened to be having sex...well you know I'd make sure they were definitely closed.

The videotaping IS kinda sleazy...and distributing it even more so, but really IF I had left the windows open and someone videotaped me having sex I wouldn't throw a fit about it. Whatever it happened. Oh well.
posted by lizarrd at 12:39 PM on June 12, 2008


Just like the three Duke lacrosse players who were accused of being rapists and later exonerated and declared innocent of all charges against them.

Interesting parallel, that before the Duke case, gay basher Collin Finnerty was convicted of assault for throwing punches and homophobic insults, and that the Wentworth assailants appeared to commit some of the same acts: "Strott said a Wentworth student downloaded the video for her. As she watched, she said, she could hear the men remarking on her body and chanting antigay slurs."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:39 PM on June 12, 2008


Did you read the link?

Do you understand sarcasm?
posted by stifford at 12:40 PM on June 12, 2008


IANA lesbian, but if I had hawt straight sex in front of an open window, and later found out that whole thing was videotaped, I sure as crap wouldn't go off saying "I have a right to privacy while having sex in front of an open window" because that's going to cloud the issue and make people who might agree with me end up splitting hairs. The real issue is whether making the video available to the entire campus is acceptable. The filming of the event to me could definitely have been stopped by a closed window. The distribution of the video could only have been stopped by someone saying "Hey, let's not distribute this to everyone on campus."

That's what they did wrong, sharing the video.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:41 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


But whatever happened to basic respect for other people?

you say that as if we once had it and now it's been lost. how strange.
posted by quonsar at 12:42 PM on June 12, 2008


Do you understand sarcasm?

I do. I also realize that the online convention "ORLY?!?" is often used to express snide disagreement.
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on June 12, 2008


ericb, my comment was made in response to this comment. I think you'll see we are making similar points.
posted by stifford at 12:48 PM on June 12, 2008


Wait. Who reacts to live lesbian porn by chanting antigay slurs, exactly?
posted by felix at 12:48 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


felix queried:
"Wait. Who reacts to live lesbian porn by chanting antigay slurs, exactly?"

Jealous dumbasses.
posted by batmonkey at 12:52 PM on June 12, 2008


ericb, my comment was made in response to this comment. I think you'll see we are making similar points.

corrected link, sorry....
posted by stifford at 12:53 PM on June 12, 2008


If inside your bedroom isn't a place and circumstance with a reasonable expectation of privacy, what is?

Inside your bedroom with the blinds down, or inside your bedroom where your bedroom window does not face immediately onto your neighbors.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:55 PM on June 12, 2008


Watching them through an uncovered window from many feet away is gross and sleazy but understandable. Taping it and, especially, uploading it, is criminal. With YouTube and cheap-ass videocameras and cell phone cameras everywhere, it's time for a specific law protecting people's privacy from this crap. (Maybe the law could specify, I don't know, don't upload videos of naked people without their consent?) Because without it, clearly most people don't seem to understand what's horribly shitty behavior and what's not.
posted by chowflap at 12:57 PM on June 12, 2008


I also realize that the online convention "ORLY?!?" is often used to express snide disagreement.

Or "in response to a statement that the speaker feels is obvious, or blatantly false and/or self-contradictory"



Not to harp on the matter, like I said I believe we are trying to make the same point. :)
posted by stifford at 12:59 PM on June 12, 2008


ericb, my comment was made in response to this comment

Yes...I understand that. I took your original comment to be placing the "Duke Lacrosse rapists" as in league with "...it's the time-honored American tradition of a future stockbroker or football star feeling a little teary-eyed about violating the victims..." From that I assumed that you thought them guilty, so I sought to clarify that they had been found innocent. When you expressed "ORLY?!?" to that clarification I then took it to mean that you didn't understand the particulars of the final outcome of the Duke case, so I provided them.

It appears I misinterepreted your statement (e.g. "...it's the time-honored American tradition of a future stockbroker or football star [or Duke Lacrosse rapists] feeling a little teary-eyed about violating the victims..."). I didn't see sarcasm. I saw agreement with BP's premise.

Online we can easily misread, misinterpret each other.
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on June 12, 2008


That's what they did wrong, sharing the video.

Dunno. I think making the video in the first place wasn't the right thing to do either. I also think most people would get upset when they are videoed inside their homes from the outside, even without sex involved.
posted by bjrn at 1:02 PM on June 12, 2008


I think making the video in the first place wasn't the right thing to do either.

Yeah, but there's "creepy-wrong" and there's "should-be-illegal-wrong". I think filming people who are having sex without their knowledge is creepy-wrong, but there's all kinds of creepy-wrong stuff that's not against the law.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:07 PM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Watching them through an uncovered window from many feet away is gross and sleazy but understandable. Taping it and, especially, uploading it, is criminal. With YouTube and cheap-ass videocameras and cell phone cameras everywhere, it's time for a specific law protecting people's privacy from this crap. (Maybe the law could specify, I don't know, don't upload videos of naked people without their consent?) Because without it, clearly most people don't seem to understand what's horribly shitty behavior and what's not.

What if you take away the nudity/sexual aspects of the story away. Let's say I see my neighbor doing something humorously stupid (like sticking a penny in an outlet), and I record it, and upload it online. Is it criminal?
posted by stifford at 1:08 PM on June 12, 2008


Oy, this brings me back to freshman year. I was in the dorms, and I brought this girl I was dating to a friend's room. He went to go grab some food and left the two of us alone. It definitely felt right at the time, so we turned on his webcam and recorded ourselves going at it on his bed. For whatever reason, the girl had "The End" written on her backside for a project she worked on earlier that day, so it made a celebratory finale to our masterpiece. We left the room buzzing with accomplishment. But we didn't get the last laugh...

Two days later, I found out he uploaded the file to the school's network, and she and I became mini-celebrities on campus.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 1:10 PM on June 12, 2008


mudpuppie, while I appreciate the soap you're selling, you have the wrong target.

I was elevating Ms Strott to the level of appearing clever and potentially interesting, in that she has a record now of kicking back twice. Calling her a ball-buster was a compliment. If you insist on demoting her back to the world of humorless over-serious academic victims, that's your politic. Yeah, she's done this twice now - good for her! - she's a ball buster.

That comment positively oozes respect.

aw quit with the euphemisms.
posted by Peter H at 1:11 PM on June 12, 2008


oops, that should be:

in that she has a record now of kicking back twice, and getting news for it.

which is commendable.
posted by Peter H at 1:15 PM on June 12, 2008


What about the concept of "levels of privacy"? For example:
1)I expect that my signifcant other is going to see me in my underwear all the time.

2)I expect that my roommate is going to see me in my underwear occasionally.

3)I expect that my neighbor will see me in my underwear rarely, but not with enough frequency that it bothers me.

4)I expect that the general public will never see me in my underwear, unless I choose otherwise.

If anyone should for whatever reason bring someone lower on the list to a position higher on the list wthout my consent, they have violated my privacy.

It is entirely within the realm of possibility that someone could be ok with their neighbors seeing them in flagrante, but not everyone within their immediate community.

I can be ok with the guy at the next desk hearing a private phone call at work, and not be ok with him putting that call on the intercom system.

I know the law isn't as nuanced as this, But I feel like human behavior should be. And it is. We have plenty of unwritten rules of behavior that cover this sort of thing. We have a responsibility to each other to at the very least try not to be total assholes all the time, even if being an asshole is within the letter of the law. It doesn't matter if these guys are legally charged or not, they should be thought of and treated the way anyone should be who willfully breaks the social contract. i.e. Like the pieces of human garbage that they are.

No amount of technology changes this. Just because things are possible, or even expected, doesn't make them automatically right. I challenge anyone to explain to me how technology trumps basic human decency.

The fact that technology now makes these sort of things possible is all the more reason for the community these people belong to stand up and say whatever version of "self-linkers will be banned" the situation calls for.

And where are these people's parents? I'm a full grown man, and If i did something like this, I know the first phone call I would get would be my mother demanding that I call that girl and apologize.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:15 PM on June 12, 2008 [7 favorites]


gay basher Collin Finnerty was convicted of assault for throwing punches and homophobic insults

Finnerty was convicted for "throwing punches that stopped just short of striking" the victim. It was never established that he made anti-gay slurs. Calling him a "gay basher" is a bit extreme.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:17 PM on June 12, 2008


I know the law isn't as nuanced as this, But I feel like human behavior should be. And it is. We have plenty of unwritten rules of behavior that cover this sort of thing. We have a responsibility to each other to at the very least try not to be total assholes all the time, even if being an asshole is within the letter of the law. It doesn't matter if these guys are legally charged or not, they should be thought of and treated the way anyone should be who willfully breaks the social contract.

Have you lived on our planet long?
posted by stifford at 1:19 PM on June 12, 2008


What if you take away the nudity/sexual aspects of the story away. Let's say I see my neighbor doing something humorously stupid (like sticking a penny in an outlet), and I record it, and upload it online. Is it criminal?

Not in Massachusetts. The only thing that makes this criminal is the nudity.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:20 PM on June 12, 2008


Yeah, but there's "creepy-wrong" and there's "should-be-illegal-wrong". I think filming people who are having sex without their knowledge is creepy-wrong, but there's all kinds of creepy-wrong stuff that's not against the law.

Right. "There oughta be a law" is an impulse to be very wary of.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:21 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lovers Are Videotaped And Charges Brought
"A man and a woman were arrested here earlier this week after a child saw them having sex in the man's condominium and a neighbor videotaped the act.

The man, Alfred Stephens, 36 years old, and the woman, Janet Paddock, 32, were both charged Tuesday night with a lewd and lascivious act in the presence of a child under 12, the Hillsborough County sheriff's office said. They were released from jail the next day on $15,000 bail each.

Both defendants maintain that their right to privacy was invaded."
"One afternoon, they arrived home early and made love on the ground floor of their condo. In the heat of passion, they left the window-blind open, permitting a neighbour to secretly videotape the entire incident with a telephoto zoom. The neighbour took the tape to the police who arrested the couple on felony charges of lewd and lascivious conduct in front of a child. (Apparently some youngsters might have been able to see the incident from the condominium’s pool area, but in actuality, the children didn’t take the time to look.) Publicity followed recriminations, jobs were lost, and community forsaken. Two weeks after the arraignment, Janet Paddock attempted suicide." *
Charge reduced for couple taped while having sex
"A couple videotaped having sex in their condominium will be prosecuted on misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges. The charges have nothing to do with the tape, prosecutors said yesterday. Alfred Stephens, 36, and Janet Paddock, 32, will not face the charge for which they were arrested last month: lewd and lascivious conduct in front of a child, a felony that carried a possible 15-year prison term. Prosecutors said intent might have had to be shown and that children might have had to testify."
posted by ericb at 1:23 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Personally, I like forcing my nudity on the public. Every morning I stand in front of an open window, naked as the day I was born, and wave my junk at the world for as long as it takes for everyone to remember that I'm the boss.

Anyone interested in putting my display on Youtube would really only be helping my cause.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:24 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


stifford: Have you lived on our planet long?

Long enough to know that if I go to a diner party and put my dick in the mashed potatoes, I probably won't get invited over for dinner again.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:26 PM on June 12, 2008


stifford: Have you lived on our planet long?

Long enough to know that if I go to a diner party and put my dick in the mashed potatoes, I probably won't get invited over for dinner again.


A valuable lesson indeed, space-man...but I think you'll soon learn that we humans are a bit complicated in our interactions with each other.

live long and prosper.
posted by stifford at 1:28 PM on June 12, 2008


And where are these people's parents? I'm a full grown man, and If i did something like this, I know the first phone call I would get would be my mother demanding that I call that girl and apologize.

The best part is how the law is used to support rationalizations for this assault, as if people suddenly forgot right and wrong on their own and needed the law to demarcate the lines of appropriate behavior for them.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:33 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


What if you take away the nudity/sexual aspects of the story away. Let's say I see my neighbor doing something humorously stupid (like sticking a penny in an outlet), and I record it, and upload it online. Is it criminal?

If you upload it, yes. He's in the privacy of his own home, and you are making his meant-to-be-private act public without his knowledge or wishes. If he's being stupid in the middle of a public park, I think you can upload it. You're kind of a douchebag for doing so, but not afoul of the law (just in my personal, Chowflap is Queen fantasyland, of course).
posted by chowflap at 1:33 PM on June 12, 2008


It's a shame that stuff like this needs to be regulated by law because common decency and respecting others privacy is not something we inherently value.

I dunno. I hear my neighbours have sex (thin walls, vocal sex) and I just take it as a part of communal living in an urban environment. The idea of recording the audio and distributing it online is disgusts me, but I'm sure I'd be within my legal rights to do so. Which is not to say I wish these guys don't get burned for this. At least future employers will be able to google their names for the rest of eternity and find out what they did, which is appropriate considering the damage they did to these two women using the very same tool.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:34 PM on June 12, 2008


The best part is how the law is used to support rationalizations for this assault

Nobody was assaulted, thats just hyperbole.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 1:36 PM on June 12, 2008


Y'all are making a lot of assumptions, as far as I can tell, about just how visible the window was, how easy it was to see into the bedroom, how cognizant the women were of the fact that people could see in.

Secretly taping a couple having sex and then putting it, including a mockery-loaded soundtrack, online is a shitty and bullying thing to do. In terms of who did the bad thing here, those heavy-breathing fratboys far outweigh a couple who forgot to close their curtains.
posted by jokeefe at 1:40 PM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Peter H:

Calling her a ball-buster was a compliment.

Your complimentary definition of ball-buster, then, is apparently different from the commonly assumed definition, as in "A dominating woman, one who destroys the self-confidence of a man." There were better words for what you meant. This one plays in to the whole he-said-she-said undercurrent inherent in any story like this. You say you were trying to be complimentary and respectful. Fine. You sure went about it in a backhanded way, though.

I was elevating Ms Strott to the level of appearing clever and *potentially* interesting...

Yeah, see, you still need to work on that respectful and complimentary thing.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:42 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, but in a culture in which any random person on the street can, without consent, be made the target of public ridicule or practical joke for the purposes of entertainment, and we seem to generally accept this, the criticism of old-fashioned peeping-tom-ism is a bit quaint.
posted by troybob at 1:43 PM on June 12, 2008


Just seconding mudpuppie in stating that "ball-buster" is not a complimentary description, no matter how much you try to reframe it as one after the fact.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:44 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


That comment positively oozes respect.

aw quit with the euphemisms.


(And you should also check the definition of 'euphemism.')

posted by mudpuppie at 1:44 PM on June 12, 2008


Indecent exposure?
posted by P.o.B. at 1:44 PM on June 12, 2008


"Y'all are making a lot of assumptions...."

"In terms of who did the bad thing here, those heavy-breathing fratboys far outweigh a couple who forgot to close their curtains."
posted by jokeefe


Did the article mention they were in a frat?
posted by stifford at 1:49 PM on June 12, 2008


but I think you'll soon learn that we humans are a bit complicated in our interactions with each other.

Really? This explains why when I go to the grocery story, people pay for their groceries in the complicated order of...ummm...what's that complicated method of determining how we pay for our groceries?

Oh yeah. We stand in line.

And if we don't, we go to to jail right? Oh wait... there's no legal repercussions whatsoever. So what's the complicated force that makes people do this bizarre "standing in line" thing?

Could it be unwritten rules of societal behavior that are enforced primarily by adherence to said rules? Or am I mising some more complicated explanation? Maybe invisible lasers barriers, or perhaps an all powerful wizard has cast some sort of spell on us all.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:54 PM on June 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


FWIW, I have heard the term "ball-buster" used in complimentary ways (whether is was in this discussion, well..I guess is to be discussed).
posted by stifford at 1:55 PM on June 12, 2008


Nobody was assaulted, thats just hyperbole.

Public humiliation and shaming of the victims may not be physical assault, but it is certainly mental assault -- in spirit of what the term is generally understood to mean, whether or not explicitly codified into Massachusetts law.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:00 PM on June 12, 2008


Could it be unwritten rules of societal behavior that are enforced primarily by adherence to said rules? Or am I mising some more complicated explanation? Maybe invisible lasers barriers, or perhaps an all powerful wizard has cast some sort of spell on us all.
posted by billyfleetwood


spaceman, not all humans (or societies) follow the same "unwritten" rules or mores. It can be different simply by walking over a few blocks. but don't be discouraged, even we humans dont always understand why we do the things we do.

na-noo na-noo....
posted by stifford at 2:05 PM on June 12, 2008


Yeah, see, you still need to work on that respectful and complimentary thing.

Hey, thanks for the grooming lessons.

Must point out, with humor, that your URL definition of ball buster lists it as a 'current event' !

I call her *potentially* interesting because, yeah, for all I know she's a pain in the ass. Not a gender specific one (put down the fork) but *potentially* irritating in the way any humorless advocate for their own concerns can be irritating. But if you add a little confidence and humor to it, you have a clever person. Getting press when you're in high school for defending your lifestyle and then getting press for fighting back against the harassment of some peeps takes, pardon, balls. Good for her. I refuse to remove the term ballbuster from my compliment because it's clearly a defense skill she should consider an asset.

P.S. yes I know very well the definition of euphemism. do you realize you just oozed one in an insult?
posted by Peter H at 2:06 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but there's "creepy-wrong" and there's "should-be-illegal-wrong". I think filming people who are having sex without their knowledge is creepy-wrong, but there's all kinds of creepy-wrong stuff that's not against the law.

Sure, there is a difference. When I read your comment I didn't think you were talking about legal wrong, but just ... wrong.
posted by bjrn at 2:08 PM on June 12, 2008


troybob:
"in a culture in which any random person on the street can, without consent, be made the target of public ridicule or practical joke for the purposes of entertainment, and we seem to generally accept this, the criticism of old-fashioned peeping-tom-ism is a bit quaint."

Who is this "we" you speak of? I don't accept this, and I share this viewpoint with many others. Just because the stampede is headed south doesn't mean that's the right direction.

Also, this is not old-fashioned peeping-tom-ism. Peeping wasn't okay before l'internets, and it's not okay post-internet. This adventure goes far and above generic peeping, however, and is even more wrong.

stifford to billyfleetwood:
"Have you lived on our planet long?"

This may seem unrelated; it isn't: I used to frequently volunteer to clean up public space with groups to reduce litter and eyesores. If we took the continued presence of litter to mean that we should suffer it, we'd never see the surface of another stream.

Treating others with basic human respect may be ignored or even mocked, but just because some people have decided they can live without it doesn't make it the de facto operating procedure for all of humanity. And shouldn't.
posted by batmonkey at 2:11 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Treating others with basic human respect may be ignored or even mocked, but just because some people have decided they can live without it doesn't make it the de facto operating procedure for all of humanity. And shouldn't.

Which is my point...people act differently in different situations, people behave all sorts of ways for different reasons. To expect all people to act the same way (whether the "right" way or the "wrong way") is only going to lead to consistent, repeated disappointment.
posted by stifford at 2:20 PM on June 12, 2008


..."emotionally damaged" sounds like something her lawyer prompted her to say.

Where does it say in the Globe article that she has a lawyer representing her in this case?
posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on June 12, 2008


Public humiliation and shaming of the victims may not be physical assault, but it is certainly mental assault -- in spirit of what the term is generally understood to mean, whether or not explicitly codified into Massachusetts law.

A quick google search of "mental assault" fails to provide any general understanding of what that term is understood to mean. The only cases where the term seems to be used remotely seriously are inarguably over something more horrific than this case here.

This behavious is assholish enough as it is, trying to class it as any kind of assault just weakens your argument because it so obviously isn't.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 2:21 PM on June 12, 2008


So what's the complicated force that makes people do this bizarre "standing in line" thing?

...not all humans (or societies) follow the same "unwritten" rules or mores.

Exactly. Have you ever been in a bank in Rome to cash a check? No line. On a subway platform in Tokyo? Mad dash, rush and push.
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on June 12, 2008


There are a couple of things here for me:

First, I remember a friend's apartment where the neighbors had a vibrant sex life, and drapes that were always open. We watched, more than once, until one of the goddamned morons at a party started yelling "Woo!" and "Give it to her!" They closed the drapes after that, and there was no more hot sex to be seen.

I don't really feel bad about watching them, though obviously how much they wanted to be seen can be argued over.

Because of that, I can understand the impulse to watch and the slightly more invasive and stupid impulse to film. Uploading it? That's where it crosses the ethical line for me. I think I can be trusted not to be an asshole to or regarding someone I've seen fuck, but I don't necessarily hold the greater public in the same esteem.

Second, I realize that this is because of a lazy journalist bias, I tend to lean toward less privacy in general. The standard for what can be published is (check your state laws too, kids) generally what can be seen from "the street." I don't see a tremendous amount of difference between "another apartment" and "the street," though I grant there are some. But I always get wary when people want to restrict what other people can see from vantage points they'd normally be at.

Third, I used to have a roommate who'd watch porn with the blinds open, knowing full well that he was visible from the street. His philosophy was always "If they don't want to see it, they shouldn't be looking in my windows," and that blasé attitude resonates with me on some level.

Fourth, if Maryland wasn't in the 6th District, these guys would have been bound by the 2257 record keeping requirements, and could have been looking at ten years in a federal prison for not getting IDs and releases from these girls.
posted by klangklangston at 2:29 PM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Privacy rights shouldn't require people to scrunch up their eyes, plug their ears, and sing "I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT."

Yeah, but I don't have a problem with such laws requiring that you don't get to surreptitiously videotape people fucking without their knowledge or consent. Nor ought you to be able to broadcast it over the internet, with the express purpose of demeaning and exploiting them, without consequence because you cannot imagine that two women having sex in the privacy of their own room isn't for yours, or your dozen peckerwood buddies', or 4000 total strangers on the internet's, personal amusement and titillation.

I lived in a courtyard apartment building on the northside of Chicago years ago and all of the windows in the living rooms of the apartments were 6 feet tall and narrow, with french doors. Also, as this was an older building, there was no central AC and these long, narrow windows opened onto the courtyard and couldn't accommodate a window air conditioning unit. So, naturally, during the summer, everyone had their windows open and, equally as naturally, many a hot, sweaty summer evening was made all the more hot 'n sweaty by the dulcid tones of people screwing with gleeful abandon all throughout the apartment complex. The sound was routinely bouncing off the walls of the courtyard all summer long. Could I see the occasional rear-end or penis or pubic area, or the random bout of vigorous humping, from my living room? Yes. Did it immediately occur to me to grab my camera and start snapping photos or shooting footage because, hey, surely these people should know better than to screw with the lights on and windows of their apartment open? No. Why? Because it's none of my business. I'm not entitled to their sex simply because I'm a sexual creature and it may be arousing to me to see. No, they're not making their lovemaking entirely private. However, I recognize lovemaking within the confines of one's home to be a private act. That it's someone else's private business whether or not they screw in their house is the de facto standard. If I had kids or were more of a prude or had some sort of, oh, I don't know, disorder that triggered a violent sneezing fit at the sight of people fucking, maybe I'd have cause to go over and ring their doorbell and ask them to be a tad more aware of the view from my room. But, absent all of that, to note it or comment on it or, for heaven's sake, videotape any of what I saw would have been sleazy and wrong and a violation of those people across the way. Full stop.

The thing that really chafes about the statements of these two morons is that it simply doesn't seem to occur to them that they are not entitled to have some sort of involvement in the private sex acts of two women. It's as if they're having, for the first time in their lives, to consider the reality that these women are not screwing for their benefit, for an audience's masturbation fantasy, or considering the feelings of these guys at all while they're doing what comes naturally for them as a lesbian couple. That there is any doubt in theirs or anyone else's mind that what they did was, at the very least, sleazy, ignorant and wrong and, at the most, a punishable violation of the law, should be astonishing. Really, though, it's just incredibly depressing that there is even any debate about mitigating factors here or anywhere.

It also frightens me now that it is somehow "cool" or "neat" to end up in a pornographic video circulating on the internet, and that someone would actually approach a complete stranger and say so. If you want to have sex and videotape it and disseminate it (yeah, I know) on the web, go for it. Me? No, thank you. And you don't get to take that right away from me because you have a boner and I didn't draw the drapes or clap off my Clapper (yeah, I know.)
posted by TryTheTilapia at 2:30 PM on June 12, 2008 [25 favorites]


If you want to have sex and videotape it and disseminate it (yeah, I know) on the web, go for it. Me? No, thank you. And you don't get to take that right away from me because you have a boner and I didn't draw the drapes or clap off my Clapper (yeah, I know.)

Well actually they can...(not "take your rights" per say, but can record you and release it to the internet, just because they had a boner and you left your drapes open), the discussion is whether they can or will be punished for doing so. The video will float around the net, indefinitely.
posted by stifford at 2:40 PM on June 12, 2008


"Where does it say in the Globe article that she has a lawyer representing her in this case?"

Dude, this case is made for civil damages. If she doesn't have a lawyer, she's kinda foolish.
posted by klangklangston at 2:42 PM on June 12, 2008


I'm aware of the discussion, stifford, and it will be an interesting test of the law to see under what particular statute this case is tried, if it goes that far. What I'm primarily addressing is a prevailing attitude by these two men and their buddies that the private act of intercourse between two women was not, indeed, a private act.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 2:44 PM on June 12, 2008


batmonkey: I don't think it's such a great direction myself. But based on what passes for entertainment these days, I think a good many people offended by this particular case wouldn't stop the question the same level of exploitation without the element of sex involved, particularly if they can get a laugh out of it. Personally, I think it's a spillover from entertainment shows that got pretty much everybody on board with the idea that celebrities' private lives are fair game, because they asked for it. These days you don't have to ask--just get caught doing something stupid on video, or be unfortunate enough to have your spouse/parent/child murdered in a particularly unusual or horrific way, and everything goes.
posted by troybob at 2:45 PM on June 12, 2008


I like the idea of 'owning' my image: it belongs to me, and you can't do things with it without my permission, unless I release that image into the public domain in exchange for fame and fortune.
posted by anotherpanacea

Interesting. This popped into my head: Me in a similar situation, but in the lower corner of the window, I put a copyright symbol. Anyone filming the window gets the copyright in the picture. Can I then get them for copyright violation? (If it came down to it I could say that I waas doing some kind of art piece that was framed by my window). I ask because if I've ©'ed my image, there's no mistaking it for public domain. I also ask, as it'd be interesting to know how much of me could potentially belong to or be accessible by anyone else. How is my identity defined, if it may not be by me?
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:49 PM on June 12, 2008


Astonishingly enough, metafilter mostly agrees!!

Are we all well today?!?

Consensus: if you leave your curtains open then expect people to watch, but uploading the video is pretty creepy and perhaps minorly criminal.

To be honest, I might have made the video myself, were I a 20-something kid. I'd never upload it, but someone else might. There's creepiness but no actual evil here.

Moral, don't leave your curtains open, and if you're watching, avoid getting temptation by leaving the camera in the bag.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:53 PM on June 12, 2008


in the lower corner of the window, I put a copyright symbol.

Dude. How high are you right now?
posted by dersins at 2:53 PM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


I like the idea of 'owning' my image: it belongs to me, and you can't do things with it without my permission, unless I release that image into the public domain in exchange for fame and fortune.

Thank goodness it doesn't work that way, or else photography in cities would become instantly impossible. Forget about ever documenting police brutality, or any fact anything people don't want you to see.

People really need to get over their obsession with owning everything. You'll be dead soon enough. Information wants to be free, remember?

(And no, I don't mean that Coke should be able to put your face into an ad campaign and not pay you - but then, they have to pay you under the current laws...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:00 PM on June 12, 2008


Dude. How high are you right now?

No, I think Zack is onto something here. I'm going to get a little copyright tattoo somewhere discreet, like my forehead. Then, if anyone records me without my consent, BAM! 0wnzored by the power of intellectual property law.
posted by everichon at 3:02 PM on June 12, 2008


What I'm primarily addressing is a prevailing attitude by these two men and their buddies that the private act of intercourse between two women was not, indeed, a private act.

There's the debate. If they fucked in the street, it's not a private act. If they fucked with the blinds closed it's a private act; we could condemn someone who crept up to the window and peered in whatever tiny hole. If they fuck with the blinds wide open in an urban environment, is it a private act?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:05 PM on June 12, 2008


But is there really any evidence that all-nude college girls are even capable of suffering? I mean apart from their say-so?
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:05 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's creepiness but no actual evil here.

I think you're basically right.

But.

Intent and effect are totally different things. While the dumbass boys may have had no ill intent, the possible effect that the distribution could have on the girls' future can't be ignored. Batmonkey said it best half a page up:

While this would have been wrong *before* YouTube, etc., the situation is worsened by the existence of ease of distribution and the prevailing policy of many hiring bodies to not hire those with even a whiff of scandal about them. Having a homosexual liaison floating about the 'net when you've got your entire life ahead of you is an unfair burden and is by no means mitigated even by their curtains being open.

And the same is true for the dumbass boys. The possible effect this will have on their future can't be ignored. (Though I have a hard time thinking of them as victims, a la Duke LaCrossers.)

I suppose we could argue about whether it's worse to have your name publicly defiled because you showed up in a sex video, or because you surreptitiously videotaped two people having sex and were maybe going to be charged for it.

Fact is, this is the age we live in. If your name gets on the web for fucking, or for filming fucking, it's going to stick with you for a while. It'll be seen by prospective employers, that girl/boy you asked out on a date, your aunts and uncles, people in your graduating high school class.

Moral of the story is: Don't do stupid things, and don't do them in a manner that could end up public.

And the idiot who said "This all would have never happened if their windows were closed" has it ass-backwards. None of this would have happened if he and his friends hadn't filmed/distributed a private act and then got caught. THAT'S the reason all of their names will be forever preserved by Google. Those girls had no way of predicting that.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:13 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


> So what's the complicated force that makes people do this bizarre "standing in line" thing? ...not all humans (or societies) follow the same "unwritten" rules or mores. Exactly. Have you ever been in a bank in Rome to cash a check? No line. On a subway platform in Tokyo? Mad dash, rush and push.

which is exactly why in my initial post I used the words "in their community".

Just because there is no line at a bank in Rome doesn't mean I don't know how to behave in my local Grocery. And it doesn'tmean someone from Rome wouldn't walk into my local Supermarket, see eople standing in line, and immediately figure out what was what.

I've been to Japan, and subway etiquette aside, they know a thing or two about basic societal decency. As in you can lean your bike against a wall unlocked, go in a store and have a reasonable expectation that it will be where you left it when you come out. As in the burden of not stealing is on the would be thief. Am i saying they live in some perfect crime-free utopia? No. There's another word I used up there..."nuanced"

For every instance of "we do things different" I can think of an instance where we all somehow manage to come to some sort of agreement about our behavior. I realize that in NYC i have to lock up my bike, and it still might be gone when I come out. This does not mean society has decided stealing is ok. I don't care how much crime there is, we still recognize it as crime, and those who feel no guilt or remorse for their crimes is considered a sociopath. Antisocial. Against society.

It's the reason there are sinks in public bathrooms. Does everyone use it? Of course not. But it's not because they don't know why it's there.
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:13 PM on June 12, 2008


in the lower corner of the window, I put a copyright symbol.

I think you're all over-estimating the importance of that little symbol. It, alone, does nothing.
posted by kingbenny at 3:15 PM on June 12, 2008


I don't care how much crime there is, we still recognize it as crime

even "crime" can have different interpretations
I can see someone smoking a joint or just jaywalking,
but I might not consider it a "real crime", even though others do.
And as far as laws, even they can differ by county or area.
It's wrong to solicit a prostitute here, or catch a fish under this size there, but not in other places. It's not as "black and white" as you are making it out to be.
posted by stifford at 3:27 PM on June 12, 2008


Divine_Wino: "All Nude, I invented that, before me everybody was just nude, now it's All Nude."

Not me Im a nevernude.
posted by lilkeith07 at 3:30 PM on June 12, 2008


I don't like the creepiness factor but it's a really interesting case in a sign-of-the-times sort of way. Stuff like this is going to happen more and more frequently. Cameras are everywhere and it's dead easy to upload video to the internet. We are being forced to redefine our expectations of privacy and how much access others should have to our most private moments. It's a bit frightening, frankly. I used to think the biggest threat would be Big Brother but who needs the government to monitor us when we're all on TV 24-7?
posted by lysistrata at 3:35 PM on June 12, 2008


You know, I can almost tell the gender of the responders, regardless of name, by your responses. You can quibble over laws, privacy, exact square footage and amount of curtain that entitles one to not be videotaped, but all I have to say is; douchebags like this are what women put up with all the time.

Up-skirt photographers, subway oglers/gropers/harassers, driveby idiots, they all have one thing in common; they see women as there for their use and disposal. If they thought women were people they might not have gathered in hooting groups to watch, might not have recorded and uploaded. But they don't. We're just meat to men like this. And every time they intrude, invade, denigrate, and humiliate a woman, they're putting her in her place, telling her she doesn't have the rights of real people, i.e. men, to privacy, to respect, to dignity.

And until you've been on the receiving end of that kind of treatment, that kind of denigration and scorn and scrutiny of your every move, every f**ing day, you just don't get it guys.

Think about peeping Tom laws; who are the usual perpetrators? Who the victims? Overwhelmingly, this kind of crime is taken against women by men. Because there is a large sleazy undergroup of them that feels entitled to invade women's privacy, to stalk them, and to make them afraid. And it ain't just the dirty old men in raincoats.

So yeah, close your curtains ladies. And lock your doors. Don't dress provacatively. Don't smile at strangers. Watch for guys who put roofies in your drinks. Because if anything happens to you, it's your own fault.

All part of the same damn thing, from my side of the window.
posted by emjaybee at 3:39 PM on June 12, 2008 [20 favorites]


"No, I think Zack is onto something here. I'm going to get a little copyright tattoo somewhere discreet, like my forehead. Then, if anyone records me without my consent, BAM! 0wnzored by the power of intellectual property law."

Not really, no. Granting the silly-ass premise, he (or you) would only "own the copyright" on the display of that copyright symbol, not on the photograph. There would then be competing copyrights if the photographer chose to sell the image, and unless it was focused primarily on that display of the copyright symbol (which itself is of dubious worth), there'd be no barrier. Really, you'd have to demonstrate that selling that photograph of you (or his window) would infringe upon your right to sell similar photos, and even then you'd be limited in what damages you could recover.

It might be helpful here to remember that you can't copyright or own an idea, only the particular expression and fixing of said idea.
posted by klangklangston at 3:43 PM on June 12, 2008


If inside your bedroom isn't a place and circumstance with a reasonable expectation of privacy, what is?


Inside your bedroom with the curtains/blinds closed.

Seriously, if you think that glass equals privacy then you are overstating privacy. Case in point, I have no curtains or blinds in my kitchen so I know better than to do something that I don't expect people to see. Do I cook nude, absolutely not. If I wanted to try cooking nude, I'd buy curtains (or risk public indecency charges).

The real issue here is over the video and distribution of the video. IANAL but I don't believe putting up a sex video is considered illegal regardless of who is in it. I do think it's sleazy and obnoxious to do it without permission however. Sounds like a civil matter to me and should be treated as such.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 3:43 PM on June 12, 2008


IANAL either. However, from working as a reporter, I know that in order to record a telephone conversation in Mass, you must have the consent of all parties involved in the conversation.

Isn't it reasonable to assume that the same would be true for recording a sex act?

(If it's not, it should be.)
posted by mudpuppie at 3:48 PM on June 12, 2008


Weighing in here late as I find this whole thing disturbing. It seems like just living is a crime sometimes. I remember a case in Minneapolis a few years where a guy was masturbating on his bed with the curtains open. Two teenage girls who were in a third story apartment looked out their window and looked down one story and saw him. He saw them and went right on. The cops were called and arrested him in his own dwelling for indecent behavior. I don't recall what happened in court but from my perspective it makes a chilling statement that the crime always exists solely in the eyes of the ones offended.
posted by Xurando at 3:50 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mudpuppie—That's a state law, and I (speaking as someone who's done a bit of phone recording) generally prefer state laws where only one party has to be informed. I do tell people when I'm taping them, as a courtesy, but there are definitely times when getting the whole story involves manipulating a source into saying something they shouldn't while taping it. (And yes, I know that's kind of sleazy, just like I know that there are all sorts of conversational tricks to get someone to reveal more than they want to that are also sleazy but serve both public interest and the mercenary interest of journalists.)
posted by klangklangston at 3:52 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's wrong to solicit a prostitute here, or catch a fish under this size there, but not in other places. It's not as "black and white" as you are making it out to be.

Funny how you were claiming I wasn't understanding "complicated" human behavior, but you have consistently missed every point I've made. And now this discussion has gone in so many different discussions that to backtrack would be the real crime.

I'll make it real simple for you. Two points.

1)Basic human decency does not need to be codified to be valid.

2)Just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be done.

By the time a child reaches kindergarten, they understand both of these concepts. You may think that your insistence that it's more complicated belittles me, but it's actually illuminating your own lack of understanding here.
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:54 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


So yeah, close your curtains ladies. And lock your doors. Don't dress provacatively. Don't smile at strangers. Watch for guys who put roofies in your drinks. Because if anything happens to you, it's your own fault.

emjaybee, you can rant on about how guys are evil but clearly you are only pulling the meaning you want to see. The responses I read seem to be mostly in agreement that the guys who did this are a**holes. This is not about men versus women. You seem to be making it into something it's not.

A few posters above stated it better than I but it really comes down to the taping and distribution of the video. Change the sex of the participants and it's still about the same thing.

Isn't it reasonable to assume that the same would be true for recording a sex act?

It is reasonable but I've not heard nothing of any law about it, admittedly without looking to find one either. Based on issues in regards to sex tapes, when celebrities get videos put out I've not heard of anyone getting arrested for it although lawsuits shortly follow. One would think that if it was illegal then arrests would be made.

billyfleetwood, I agree with you on that statement.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 4:00 PM on June 12, 2008


emjaybee: I get it, but I think it has grown bigger than that now and includes pretty much everyone. Many people see others as available for 'our use and disposal," and women play their fair share in perpetuating that. I know women who have no problem walking up to you and criticizing your hair, your clothes, or how you talk to your kids; they do this as if your presence is consent enough for them to offer a critique. There's a presumption now that any matter, private or public, that we can so much as catch a glimpse of falls under the purview of the incidental or casual observer, and I think that generally we've enjoyed being observers for so long that it's harder and harder to justify getting upset when we're the observed.
posted by troybob at 4:02 PM on June 12, 2008


JakeEXTREME typed "Based on issues in regards to sex tapes, when celebrities get videos put out I've not heard of anyone getting arrested for it although lawsuits shortly follow. One would think that if it was illegal then arrests would be made."

Aren't those tapes usually leaked by the partner of the celebrity? That's considerably different.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:04 PM on June 12, 2008


"No, I think Zack is onto something here. I'm going to get a little copyright tattoo somewhere discreet, like my forehead. Then, if anyone records me without my consent, BAM! 0wnzored by the power of intellectual property law."

As klang said above, no.

Besides, you don't need a copyright symbol on your face. You already own your face.

It might be helpful here to remember that you can't copyright or own an idea, only the particular expression and fixing of said idea.

Indeed. If I take a picture of you, I own the picture. You retain the rights to your face.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:13 PM on June 12, 2008


TryTheTilapia, I wish I could favourite your comment about 15 times.

And emjaybee:

You know, I can almost tell the gender of the responders, regardless of name, by your responses. You can quibble over laws, privacy, exact square footage and amount of curtain that entitles one to not be videotaped, but all I have to say is; douchebags like this are what women put up with all the time.

No shit. You can absolutely tell you in this thread has never lived with the constant kind of... surveillence and judgement that women are subject to.
posted by jokeefe at 4:20 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Aren't those tapes usually leaked by the partner of the celebrity? That's considerably different.

Yes and no. There is still a tape that is being put out there without a participants consent. In cases where arrests have been made it was for things such as theft and extortion, to my knowledge.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 4:20 PM on June 12, 2008


^^^

"who in this thread"

This is another thread that I've been avoiding because I know I'll get angry somewhere along the line. Oh well.
posted by jokeefe at 4:21 PM on June 12, 2008


Looking at the general responses, Stanley Milgram was right: we really are fucked.

And yet I don't recall this kind of hand-wringing being expressed here when there was a video posted of a couple of homeless crack heads getting their freak on behind a fence -- thereby seeking to avail themselves of what little privacy is available to the homeless -- that was shot from an apartment in a tower block opposite.

Seems to me that Metafilter has got one expectation of privacy for the young bourgeois college lesbians, and another for the poor, the homeless and the drug dependent.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:22 PM on June 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


No shit. You can absolutely tell you in this thread has never lived with the constant kind of... surveillence and judgement that women are subject to.

This is not a gender issue.

Its about privacy, social mores and where a line is crosseed between the merely dickish and the outright illegal.

There isn't even any disagreement as to the dickishness of the guys behaviour so where is the gender grievence coming from?
posted by Reggie Knoble at 4:27 PM on June 12, 2008


I'll make it real simple for you. Two points.

1)Basic human decency does not need to be codified to be valid.

2)Just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be done.

By the time a child reaches kindergarten, they understand both of these concepts. You may think that your insistence that it's more complicated belittles me, but it's actually illuminating your own lack of understanding here.
posted by billyfleetwood



Spaceman, there's this little thing on this planet called abortion.
Personally, I considered it a medical process, that should be the choice of the person that is pregnant. Others consider it a horrific act of murder, that should never be condoned, regardless of the circumstances (as well as others with views between those two points).

Both "sides" could argue that it's a question of "basic human decency".
Who's right? Who's wrong?

See how these things are complicated, and can't necessarily be broken down to two basic points?
posted by stifford at 4:27 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I can almost tell the gender of the responders, regardless of name, by your responses. You can quibble over laws, privacy, exact square footage and amount of curtain that entitles one to not be videotaped, but all I have to say is; douchebags like this are what women put up with all the time.
posted by emjaybee at 3:39 PM on June 12


What if it was a group of lesbians peering in the window, recording and then uploading it to the net? Or just "mean girls" not interested in the sexual aslpect of it all, but just wanted to embarrass the two girls, out of some social clique battle. Is it less of an offense?
posted by stifford at 4:33 PM on June 12, 2008


Mudpuppie—That's a state law...

Exactly, KlangKlangston! It's the law in the state where this went down. It seems to me that if you have to have 100% consent to record a phone conversation, the same rule should be applicable (and more so!) for the recording of people getting it on.

[I was responding to the comment preceding mine, by the way, but forgot to quote the relevant bit of it: IANAL but I don't believe putting up a sex video is considered illegal regardless of who is in it.]

To restate my point, in the context of that quote: It's illegal in Mass to record a phone conversation without mutual consent. I have no clue what the law says about recording a sex act without consent, but I'd hope that it would be at least as stringent.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:40 PM on June 12, 2008


What do you think of this situation (obviously different than the one in the article)?

(not based on a true story)

Host A invites me and Guest B over his house. Many drinks are had over the course of the night. In the night I wake up and walk to the bathroom. The door is closed but not locked.
I enter it, and lets say guest B is masturbating but doesn't realize I'm there (maybe they like to do it with a shirt over their face, whatever...).

I whip out the phonecam, and record a good clip. let's say for whatever reason I do not like Guest B, and would find it enjoyable to embarass them. Let's say Host A is indifferent to the whole incident (for now). If I release this to the internet (not for any profit, just up to youtube), have I committed a criminal act?

Is Guest B right to expect privacy?
Should I not be able to express/expose/discuss this event that happened to me?
Should the Host's opinion on the incident matter?
posted by stifford at 4:45 PM on June 12, 2008


So yeah, close your curtains ladies. And lock your doors. Don't dress provacatively. Don't smile at strangers. Watch for guys who put roofies in your drinks. Because if anything happens to you, it's your own fault.

That's silly, because this isn't a case of anything like peeping. This is a case of people fucking in an open window, a few feet from the open windows that face them across the alley. Which is to say, only slightly less public than if they were on a bus.

Because there is a large sleazy undergroup of them that feels entitled to invade women's privacy

Again, nobody's privacy was invaded. These two were fucking right there in their window in plain sight, big as life and twice as ugly.

I mean, really, this is not rocket science. What do you do with the blinds open if your neighbors live less than a mile away? Things you don't mind being seen. I guess I read about this and think that only passive-aggressive assholes, or the stupendously dumb, would fuck in an open window. It's the same sort of behavior as those godawful jerks that leave the door open while they grunt to expel an especially large turd.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:00 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


See how these things are complicated, and can't necessarily be broken down to two basic points?

you're still missing my point by such a wide margin that I can now only assume that you didn't actually read what I initially wrote, decided I was wrong, and get some sort of secret thrill out of calling me names.

For the third time and then I'm done. And I've really only gone this far out of a perverse sense of curiosity, and because I'm killing time while I wait for someone.

Human decision making should be, and usually is, nuanced enough to come up with a basic idea of "human decency" based on shared experience, and without always needing to rely on written laws. Decency is the goal, not the catalyst.

Any incorrect inferences you choose to make about my point are now entirely only of interest to you. However, should you choose to continue to call me names, feel free. I enjoy being belittled, especially when I'm right.

It keeps me humble.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:01 PM on June 12, 2008


"Exactly, KlangKlangston! It's the law in the state where this went down. It seems to me that if you have to have 100% consent to record a phone conversation, the same rule should be applicable (and more so!) for the recording of people getting it on.

[I was responding to the comment preceding mine, by the way, but forgot to quote the relevant bit of it: IANAL but I don't believe putting up a sex video is considered illegal regardless of who is in it.]

To restate my point, in the context of that quote: It's illegal in Mass to record a phone conversation without mutual consent. I have no clue what the law says about recording a sex act without consent, but I'd hope that it would be at least as stringent.
"

See the comment upthread regarding electronic surveillance. The argument could be made that there wasn't intent to have it be surreptitious, and intent is hard to prove, but it would seem to be illegal. There doesn't even have to be a sex act—partial nudity is enough.

I'd also say that I'm of the philosophy that not everything objectionable needs to be illegal, and (as I said above), I think it was uploading the film that made this wrong, not the taping.
posted by klangklangston at 5:02 PM on June 12, 2008


Is Guest B right to expect privacy?

After you walk in through a closed bathroom door? Absofuckinglutely.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:04 PM on June 12, 2008


Seems to me that Metafilter has got one expectation of privacy for the young bourgeois college lesbians, and another for the poor, the homeless and the drug dependent.

I can't be outraged everywhere at once.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:06 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


To be pedantic, in no state is it illegal to record a phone conversation in which you are taking part; the catch is that in some states the only permitted recording device is your brain, which merely makes it impossible to prove that you are telling the truth if you later repeat the conversation and the other party contradicts you.

One of the reasons I like the principle that "if you're already recording it in your brain, you ought to be allowed to record it with other tools too" is that it applies to these cases specifically - how many crooks over the years have wanted to lie about their own words but couldn't successfully do so because someone made a recording? I thought that the connection between video taping people who are having sex in public view vs. audio taping people who are directly talking to you was too "slippery slope" to bring up, so I'm surprised both that someone else saw the same broad link and that people support the latter kind of "privacy" as well.
posted by roystgnr at 5:16 PM on June 12, 2008


you're still missing my point by such a wide margin that I can now only assume that you didn't actually read what I initially wrote, decided I was wrong, and get some sort of secret thrill out of calling me names.


you like to assume many things, apparently, spaceman. (and for the record, I've only called you one "name").

Human decision making should be, and usually is, nuanced enough to come up with a basic idea of "human decency"

that's an assumption

based on shared experience, and without always needing to rely on written laws. Decency is the goal, not the catalyst.

just because people experience the same thing, does not mean they will react to them the same way. You're also assuming that "decency" (never mind how relative a term that can be) is everyone's "goal".

However, should you choose to continue to call me names, feel free. I enjoy being belittled, especially when I'm right.

you assume I am trying to belittle you. I was merely injecting humor/lightheartedness into the discussion. Is "Spaceman" that harsh of an insult?

also, you are assuming you are "right". I never claimed my opinion to be right or wrong. I was just offering contrary views, of statements made by you and others.

It keeps me humble.
posted by billyfleetwood


Not very....
posted by stifford at 5:19 PM on June 12, 2008


mudpuppie, I agree that both participants should have to consent for distribution. What I am arguing is that it is illegal if there is not consent.

After using my weak Google-fu I could only find one instance where a person was arrested for recording someone without consent (in MA) and it was because the persons being taped were minors. In another article a person was arrested for taping a police officer BUT it wasn't because of the video, it was because the video contained audio which violated MA wire-tap laws.

So as of yet, I find no evidence on a state(MA) or federal level that videotaping someone without consent is illegal.

I doubt there is audio of the two girls so the wire-tapping laws wouldn't apply. Any lawyer worth $3 would be able to get past any peeping tom charges by pointing out that the girls removed any expectation of privacy by leaving the curtains open.

As I stated before, I think it's sleazy but there isn't much ground to stand on in a criminal case.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 5:21 PM on June 12, 2008


Is Guest B right to expect privacy?

After you walk in through a closed bathroom door? Absofuckinglutely.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:04 PM on June 12


perhaps I should have described this in more detail. I was trying to suggest that "I" saw the door closed, but heard no noise/saw no light inside, and the door was unlocked. If you woke up and had to pee in the night, and the bathroom door was closed, but with no sign of activity and the door was unlocked, it would not be unheard of to try and enter (let's say "knocking" wasn't attempted or was not heard by guest B). I was trying to present the situation that "I" had no malicious intent (initially).
posted by stifford at 5:25 PM on June 12, 2008


I mean, really, this is not rocket science. What do you do with the blinds open if your neighbors live less than a mile away? Things you don't mind being seen. I guess I read about this and think that only passive-aggressive assholes, or the stupendously dumb, would fuck in an open window. It's the same sort of behavior as those godawful jerks that leave the door open while they grunt to expel an especially large turd.

So as of yet, I find no evidence on a state(MA) or federal level that videotaping someone without consent is illegal.

It states explicitly in the linked article that it's a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to two and a half years in a correctional facility to videotape a nude person without their consent. These women are protected under the law regardless of whether or not they are stupid for screwing in front of an open window. The issue is the human body and consent. You don't get to take naked pictures of me without my saying it's okay.

Personally, I've never understood likening having sex to defecating, but the point is that if either one fascinates a person so to the point that they take out their video camera and tape it, they are in violation of the law if my nude imagine is now on their film, tape, memory card, etc. without my knowledge.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 5:33 PM on June 12, 2008


To clarify, these points were made by different posters and sub in "image" for "imagine", obviously.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 5:37 PM on June 12, 2008


tilapia, it's easy enough to separate the comments so that it doesn't create the false impression that I said anything about the legality of videotaping and distributing it. Is there some pressing reason for you to conflate a part of my comment with something that some other person said?

Personally, I've never understood likening having sex to defecating

They are similar in that both should be kept to yourself, not shared with the neighbors.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:40 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I am arguing is that it is illegal if there is not consent.

I guess we're in agreement then, JakeEXTREME, because what I'm arguing is that distribution *should* be illegal if there's not consent, but I have no clue about whether it is.

I was trying to suggest that "I" saw the door closed, but heard no noise/saw no light inside, and the door was unlocked.

I think that's just a problematic, labored scenario, stifford, and it's never really going to work. I mean, any time I'm in a house other than my own and the bathroom door is closed, I knock. If I walk in on someone, regardless of what they're doing or how much noise they're making or how much light they're shedding, I feel in the wrong. It's not a scenario that's even remotely similar to the linked story.

I realize that you're trying to add perspective and all that, but bringing abortion and hypothetical bathroom surprises into it -- it just seems like kind of a weird, sideways way to approach the issue.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:45 PM on June 12, 2008


Haven't really read this thread, cause it's too long, but here's my take: it wasn't the voyeurism, or even the videotaping that was the crime ("crime"?). It was uploading it to the interweb that was incredibly stupid.
posted by zardoz at 5:45 PM on June 12, 2008


I can't be outraged everywhere at once.

Never stopped you from trying, though.

bah dum bump, khsss...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:50 PM on June 12, 2008


No shit. You can absolutely tell you in this thread has never lived with the constant kind of... surveillence and judgement that women are subject to.

That jumped out at both of you, too?

Alright everyone, consider this:

1) It's nighttime
2) You're fucking your person if choice in your bedroom
3) It's hot. Window is open, would be unbearably hot if you closed the curtains, and besides, the lights are off anyway.

Someone videotapes you having sex. You are totally okay with this, are you? Not a tiny little bit of discomfort?

I know what you will say your answer is. But I think we all know what the real answer is.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:52 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


tilapia, it's easy enough to separate the comments so that it doesn't create the false impression that I said anything about the legality of videotaping and distributing it. Is there some pressing reason for you to conflate a part of my comment with something that some other person said?

An honest mistake which I addressed in a comment immediately beneath the one you referenced and for which I apologize. I was posting hastily and cooking dinner at the same time. And I do equate the two comments because the issues here are privacy and the illegality of this act because it is an invasion of privacy, though I do stand corrected that you were not addressing the legal aspect of this event. The two separate comments - the first by you, the second by JakeEXTREME - resonated with me for similar reasons.

That notwithstanding, my point still stands. It's against the law whether the women in question were stupid or violating social mores by having sex near an unobstructed window.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 5:57 PM on June 12, 2008


I think that's just a problematic, labored scenario, stifford, and it's never really going to work. I mean, any time I'm in a house other than my own and the bathroom door is closed, I knock. If I walk in on someone, regardless of what they're doing or how much noise they're making or how much light they're shedding, I feel in the wrong. It's not a scenario that's even remotely similar to the linked story.

You don't have to imagine yourself in any of the roles I suggested in that scenario. I was asking how people felt about it. I stated right from the beginning that it's not the same as the case in the article. And you can feel the same way about both situations, that's why I asked what people thought.

I realize that you're trying to add perspective and all that, but bringing abortion and hypothetical bathroom surprises into it -- it just seems like kind of a weird, sideways way to approach the issue.

I only mentioned abortion in a tangent discussion about how "basic human decency" can mean different things to different people. The "hypothetical bathroom surprise*" scenario was not meant to justify a particular side of the discussion from the original article. Since part of what gave people mixed opinions on the matter was relative definitions of what is expected privacy (and where), and what is considered criminal (and where), I was only trying to create another scenario, where "the lines" of the original discussion were altered, and then see if it would change anyone's mind on the matter. I wasn't trying to get peopel to agree with me, I'm not even sure how I feel about the scenario I suggested (or the one in the original article).


(* -- initially, I was going to have guest B "passed out on the kitchen floor, with the cat licking his balls", but thought that would make it seem too silly...as well as make it gender specific).
posted by stifford at 6:01 PM on June 12, 2008


This is a case of people fucking in an open window, a few feet from the open windows that face them across the alley. Which is to say, only slightly less public than if they were on a bus.

Really? You open your blinds and *bam* - your home is now a public space? I think billy fleetwood really nailed it when he talked about levels of privacy... Haven't you ever sat on a bus or a train or in a restaurant and bitched about work or your partner or your mom? Christ, has no one here ever fucked in a car? I don't know why people are pretending that there's no difference between recognizing that one or more strangers might witness this and the entire world can witness this over and over, forever. Maybe you only undress in your underground bunker, but to take the position that making love without checking that the curtains are drawn is tantamount to consenting to becoming an internet porn star - well, that's victim blaming of the highest caliber.

Meanwhile, I am now launching my new site. It's called "All of Your Moms Trying on Girdles At Macy's". There's a sticker on the mirror - they knew they were being monitored. I'm sure no one will object.
posted by moxiedoll at 6:03 PM on June 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Someone videotapes you having sex. You are totally okay with this, are you? Not a tiny little bit of discomfort?

I know what you will say your answer is. But I think we all know what the real answer is.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy


Other than exhibitionists, I don't think anyone would necessarily be "ok" with it, nor do I believe people in the thread were suggesting that. We were discussing whether you/I/we should expect to be able to get someone thrown in jail, and/or sue someone over it.
posted by stifford at 6:06 PM on June 12, 2008


1) It's nighttime
2) You're fucking your person if choice in your bedroom
3) It's hot. Window is open, would be unbearably hot if you closed the curtains, and besides, the lights are off anyway.


A little kid walks by and sees said fucking. You feel any discomfort? Not a tiny little bit of discomfort?

Meanwhile, I am now launching my new site. It's called "All of Your Moms Trying on Girdles At Macy's". There's a sticker on the mirror - they knew they were being monitored. I'm sure no one will object.

It's not unheard of that they do have cameras in those changing rooms.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:08 PM on June 12, 2008


If I may play devil's advocate here.

Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another person who is nude or partially nude, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, when the other person in such place and circumstance would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being so photographed, videotaped or electronically surveilled, and without that person’s knowledge and consent

That's what the MA law states. There are a couple potential loop holes here. First is the reasonable expectation of privacy. They left the curtains open and removed that sense of privacy. Ignorance isn't a defense here, if they cared about privacy they would've checked the curtains. Secondly is that the two guys certainly didn't do it with intent to secretly conduct or hide such an activity since they called additional people to the scene and even posted it on the internet.

Sure they can bring the charges but in a jury trial it probably wouldn't stick. It's not so cut and dry. My point still stands, these guys are dicks.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:10 PM on June 12, 2008


Someone videotapes you having sex. You are totally okay with this, are you? Not a tiny little bit of discomfort?

I know what you will say your answer is. But I think we all know what the real answer is.


A bit of discomfort depending on the circumstances, but also a sense that I should have closed the blinds or that's the risk I accepted if I actively decided to leave them open. (I do this not with sex but with changing - I'd mildly prefer that random people who might be in the right place for line of sight didn't see my junk, but my laziness about closing the blinds trumps that.)

Now, in this case, would you feel justified (assume no risk to you) in stealing sums of money from the videotaper or kidnapping them and forcibly holding them captive for a time? If not, don't think it's cool just because you get the state to do it for you.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:16 PM on June 12, 2008


Thank goodness it doesn't work that way, or else photography in cities would become instantly impossible.

You can be photographed/filmed in public and that photograph/film can be published without your consent. However, if it is explicitly for commercial purposes (i.e. used in selling something; advertising) consent is required.

The Photographer’s Right
"In the United States, anything visible ('in plain view') from a public area can be legally photographed. This includes buildings and facilities, people, signage, notices and images. It is not uncommon for security personnel to use intimidation or other tactics to attempt to stop the photographer from photographing their facilities (trying to prevent, e.g., industrial espionage); however, there is no legal precedent to prevent the photographer so long as the image being photographed is in plain view from a public area.*
posted by ericb at 6:22 PM on June 12, 2008


If they fuck with the blinds wide open in an urban environment, is it a private act?

Yep.
posted by desuetude at 6:23 PM on June 12, 2008




Christ, has no one here ever fucked in a car? I don't know why people are pretending that there's no difference between recognizing that one or more strangers might witness this and the entire world can witness this over and over, forever

that because the difference is shrinking down to nothing, due to personal cameras and the internet. (NOTE: This next statement has nothing to do with the article, just what moxiedoll mentions in her post). If you fuck in public these days, chances are you may get recorded.
You may get drunk at a party, and think it would be cool to flash the crowd, but there's a good chance it will be taped and uploaded. some fifteen year old girl can take sexy snaps and send it via phone to some boy she likes and (stupidly) trusts, and there's a good chance the pix will be all over the school (and then the internet) by the next evening. The world is changing, better learn to adjust to technology. It's not a matter of blaming the victim, it's making people aware of of threats, so they wont be victimized.

If you dont have any close neighbors, take the risk and bang away with the curtains open. If you open your window, and can clearly see into your neighbor's rooms, assume they can do the same with you, and take the precautions you may feel necessary before getting it on, or prepare to deal with the possible consequences.

Meanwhile, I am now launching my new site. It's called "All of Your Moms Trying on Girdles At Macy's". There's a sticker on the mirror - they knew they were being monitored. I'm sure no one will object.
posted by moxiedoll at 6:03 PM on June 12


1) I would be the first person forwarding the link to my other relatives, lol.

2) If Mom got a little "confused" in her old age, and stripped on a corner before anyone stopped her, and it was recorded and sent to the net, I would not be pleased, but I would not try and sue anyone. I would just start upping Mom's meds.
posted by stifford at 6:30 PM on June 12, 2008


Intent and effect are totally different things.

mudpuppie nails it!
posted by ericb at 6:31 PM on June 12, 2008



"In the United States, anything visible ('in plain view') from a public area can be legally photographed. This includes buildings and facilities, people, signage, notices and images. It is not uncommon for security personnel to use intimidation or other tactics to attempt to stop the photographer from photographing their facilities (trying to prevent, e.g., industrial espionage); however, there is no legal precedent to prevent the photographer so long as the image being photographed is in plain view from a public area.

Unless the visible thing is a naked body, according to JakeEXTREME's above quoted statute from Massachusetts law. And is another dorm room a public area? The problem is the women's reasonable expectation of privacy, which is undoubtedly the sticking point from a legal standpoint here, at least as it relates to criminal charges. Still failing to see what statute protects the right of these men to videotape a sex act and upload it onto the university intranet.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 6:36 PM on June 12, 2008


Still failing to see what statute protects the right of these men to videotape a sex act and upload it onto the university intranet.

What also complicates the matter is that the people that record the sex act may be several steps removed from the person that does the leaking to the internet.
posted by stifford at 6:41 PM on June 12, 2008


TryTheTilapia, really I don't see a thing that protects the jerks just nothing that can concretely nail them to a wall for doing it.

The obvious thing would be to make a law that would protect people should this happen in the future. Unfortunately I can see a law being made that will make this type of activity illegal and with all the good intentions but being used to criminalize the wrong people. Though that wouldn't be too much of an issue if the law was very specific (who are we kidding?).
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:46 PM on June 12, 2008


> ...especially when I'm right. It keeps me humble. posted by billyfleetwood

Not very....


Now who doesn't have a sense of humor? Your game is weak, son. Points for persistence, however.

For your own good. I'm telling you, you're wrong. I'm just trying to help you, should you find yourself needing to make this argument somewhere that counts.

If you're basing your argument on "decency is relative" you're missing the point by a wide, wide margin.

Yes, decency is relative. Every single one of us can have a different idea of what's decent.

In the same way that we all wear different clothes, but have a basic idea that we should cover ourselves. The bushman wearing little more than a loincloth and decorative beads is operating on the same basic principle as the Wall Street businessman in a three piece suit.

If you can't handle the nuance of that argument, then we haven't even been having a conversation here.

And your insistence that I'm making assumptions about human behavior is flat out wrong. You could argue my application of that principle to this situation, and then we'd be having a simple difference of opinion. But instead you argued that my basic assertion was merely an assumption. But it isn't. I didn't make up that concept. I merely gave a definition of what a society is.


SOCIETY 1. an enduring and co-operating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another. 2. a community or broad grouping of people having common tradition, institutions and collective activities and interests;

The English word "society" emerged in the 15th century and is derived from the French société. The French word, in turn, had its origin in the Latin societas, a "friendly association with others," from socius meaning "companion, associate, comrade or business partner." The Latin word was derived from the Greek socus locus, meaning locally social, and implied a social contract between members of the community. Implicit in the meaning of society is that its members share some mutual concern or interest, a common objective or common characteristics.


You can argue all day as to what those mutual concerns or interests are, but to say that the concept doesn't exist is flat out bullshit, and it makes you sound ignorant. I enjoy good lighthearted ribbing as much as anyone, but it's hard take it in that way when you're missing the point so broadly. Especially since argued against my basic assertion of the meaning of "society",meanwhile completely ignoring the opinion i was using that basic assertion to uphold. I grew up in a rough neighborhood, where parsing an argument in that fashion is usually considered considered an act of hostility.

Sinc I see you don't mean to be hostile. i guess I can go back to just thinking you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:00 PM on June 12, 2008


1) It's nighttime
2) You're fucking your person if choice in your bedroom


With you so far.

3) It's hot. Window is open, would be unbearably hot if you closed the curtains,

(1) No, it wouldn't, unless the temperature is already at near-heatstroke levels in which case you probably shouldn't be fucking in any case. It would just get slightly warmer.
(2) So? You're fucking, and will be sweaty anyway.
(3) Get some $5 miniblinds that have the amazing property of blocking vision, but not air.

I mean, I really don't want to see you fucking across the alley, even out of the corner of my eye. Do me the simple courtesy of closing the blinds.

and besides, the lights are off anyway.

If the lights were off, the dumbfuck boys wouldn't have seen anything. Unless they were scoping out the building across the alley with an IR camera, which would be pretty fucked-up.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:20 PM on June 12, 2008


"Someone videotapes you having sex. You are totally okay with this, are you? Not a tiny little bit of discomfort?"

My only real discomfort would come from (arguably misplaced) concern about my partner's comfort. I know you already tried the rhetorical question tack, but that's the problem with begging the question.

"That's what the MA law states. There are a couple potential loop holes here. First is the reasonable expectation of privacy. They left the curtains open and removed that sense of privacy. Ignorance isn't a defense here, if they cared about privacy they would've checked the curtains. Secondly is that the two guys certainly didn't do it with intent to secretly conduct or hide such an activity since they called additional people to the scene and even posted it on the internet."

God save us from citizens who don't understand their own laws. Leaving curtains open does not remove a "reasonable" expectation of privacy. For there to be no reasonable expectation of privacy, they have to be visible from a public area. A peeper with a telescope in his room is still a peeper. Second, that they called other people over is immaterial regarding the clear intent of such a clause: to prevent the surreptitious recording of naked people without their consent. You can argue that there was no clear intent to hide from the women, but that one of the participants said he was recalcitrant would belie that—why would he hesitate if what he was doing wasn't wrong or carried no risk?

Finally, I reiterate that where these guys might avoid conviction, this is the sort of thing that tort law is made for—they clearly damaged reputations, distributed content they had insufficient rights to, and invaded privacy.
posted by klangklangston at 8:58 PM on June 12, 2008


If they fuck with the blinds wide open in an urban environment, is it a private act?

Yep.


Justify and expound upon this. I tend to believe in "freedoms to" a lot more than "freedoms from" and while I might accept a "Peeping Tom" consideration that would condemn peeking through slits in closed blinds I am much more loathe to accept a more general condemnation of my freedom to look out the window of my home and see what there is to see.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:09 PM on June 12, 2008


klangklangston, you seem to misplace my motive towards the discussion and in the end state what I've been saying all along. These guys will probably get off without any criminal charges sticking but have to pay up in a civil case which seems to be trend with sex tape cases.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 9:18 PM on June 12, 2008


I am not sure your eyeballs are legally allowed to be peeping into their window while they are undressed.

And yet you think calling the police on a guy who can be seen naked from outside his house is the right thing to do. Shouldn't you be supporting the idea of going after the women for indecent exposure?
posted by rodgerd at 9:21 PM on June 12, 2008


emjaybee writes "Think about peeping Tom laws; who are the usual perpetrators? Who the victims? Overwhelmingly, this kind of crime is taken against women by men. Because there is a large sleazy undergroup of them that feels entitled to invade women's privacy, to stalk them, and to make them afraid. And it ain't just the dirty old men in raincoats."

It's the sexism inherent in the system. Men looking at naked women thru their windows across the street: The men are scummy peeping toms. Women looking at naked men thru their windows across the street: Men are scummy perverts. Compare and contrast the tone of this thread to this AskMe. Obviously the cases are not exactly parallel (the struting around on the porch kicked it up a notch) but it illustrates the point that the gender of the nakedee is very important.

dirtynumbangelboy writes "Alright everyone, consider this:

"1) It's nighttime
"2) You're fucking your person if choice in your bedroom
"3) It's hot. Window is open, would be unbearably hot if you closed the curtains, and besides, the lights are off anyway.
"Someone videotapes you having sex. You are
totally okay with this, are you? Not a tiny little bit of discomfort?
"I know what you will
say your answer is. But I think we all know what the real answer is."

Being sharper than a sack of hammers I accept responsibility for getting naked and sweaty in front of a open window. If I'm really unlucky it's a 12 year old with the camera and maybe I'm going to gaol with a registered sex offender classification to boot. Stupid people must go around feeling uncomfortable all the time. Doesn't seem to bother most of them though.
posted by Mitheral at 9:24 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


For the third time and then I'm done.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:01 PM


For your own good. I'm telling you, you're wrong. I'm just trying to help you, should you find yourself needing to make this argument somewhere that counts...
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:00 PM

I guess earth math is still confusing, spaceman...

I never claimed societies don't exist. You just presented assumptions/generalizations about how societies should feel and behave, and I brought up examples where I didn't feel they rang true. You then became dismissive of me, and proclaimed your correctness (repeatedly). some example of conversation you present...but that's ok spaceman, because I understand the society you were raised in may be different than mine. please don't take this as a "hostile act", as people in your space neighborhood might. feel free to ignore and dismiss contrary thoughts and opinions of others, that may cause cognitive dissonance in your highly advanced hive-mind.

Don't forget your towel.
posted by stifford at 9:27 PM on June 12, 2008


Oh, ffs, stifford, enough with the "spaceman" already. If you can't make an argument on its merits without bizarre personal digs, give it up.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:27 PM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Maybe somebody mentioned this upthread and I missed it, but a few months ago there was an AskMe post by a female college student, asking what she and her female roommates should do about the man who liked to walk around nude in his own house across the street. She apparently thought he enjoyed it.

I can't find the thread, but I am quite certain that many MeFites suggested taking pictures (and possibly posting on the web) to humiliate him.

It is odd how, when the complainants are two women eating each other out in front of an open window (and, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they were enjoying the exposure) and some guys videotape the act which is fully visible from their own home, everyone is up in arms, calling the kids creeps and perverts, etc.

When the naked person was a man on his own property (and he wasn't even having sex) he was the one who was villainized, and people recommended taking photos.
posted by jayder at 10:27 PM on June 12, 2008 [6 favorites]




Oh, ffs, stifford, enough with the "spaceman" already. If you can't make an argument on its merits without bizarre personal digs, give it up.
posted by oneirodynia


wouldn't he have to be from (outer) space, for it to be a personal dig?
and the spaceman bit is in addition to my argument, not in place of it.

Granted, it's only minimally funny...but is "space" humor not PC or something?
Is it that much of an "attack"?
posted by stifford at 10:45 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


In regards to my prev. post and klang's reply to it - yes, it was pretty silly. As I was at work at the time, I was unable to look up various copyright laws, so I went with what very little I know (read: basically nothing) about copywriting concepts as related to art. I'd thought that if you had your room as an artistic concept then you could copyright that, but in retrospect, of course not. This is what comes of reading too many 60's and 70's sci-fi novels of late and riffing off of vague concepts, ie. where do "I" end and where does the "other" (aka media) begin, and (in Canada, at least) having to sign a release form to have your opinions broadcast on a TV station. In an abstract-concept format, nailing yourself to a Volkswagen and having it filmed, even though it's been done before. True, you can't copyright the whole concept, but I'm intrigued as to where a concept begins and ends (to the point of "oh that's been done before / you can't copyright that idea.")

None of the above is meant to diminish/dismiss any anguish on the women's part re: the OP.
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:15 PM on June 12, 2008


Justify and expound upon this. I tend to believe in "freedoms to" a lot more than "freedoms from" and while I might accept a "Peeping Tom" consideration that would condemn peeking through slits in closed blinds I am much more loathe to accept a more general condemnation of my freedom to look out the window of my home and see what there is to see.

Acknowledging that the activities in someone's home are private doesn't impede your freedom to look out your window. Those of us who live in cities witness others' private lives all the time, but if I saw my neighbor on the street, I wouldn't comment on the fact that I know his kid doesn't like to finish his dinner.

Choosing to film what you see, however, moves it into peeping-tom territory. Then widely distributing that film is unconscionable.
posted by desuetude at 6:33 AM on June 13, 2008


Don't let your Terran privilege blind you to the reality of spacism in the contemporary Galaxy, stifford. It's still a huge, huge problem.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 9:14 AM on June 13, 2008


Well, emjay, I'm female. And actually, I've lived in environments that are a lot more repressive than this. The thing is, in this case, I think that this would have been barely a blip on the news feeds if it had been sex between a man and a woman. I don't really think the root here is privacy issues - there's some undercurrent regarding the lesbian/bisexual issue that makes it sensitive and divisive.
posted by Liosliath at 12:38 PM on June 13, 2008


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