As my wife has pointed out on her Twitter, the ‘Have Pride’ piece we posted around got labeled with a “Mature Content” filter today on deviantArt, something that got us a little annoyed for several reasons. Rather than go on one long, multifaceted wall-of-text rant, I’ll break the issues down simply:
- “That’s deviantArt, though, and they’re allowed to enforce their rules.” Yes, yes they are. And neither of us would take issue with that one bit if they applied their rules consistently. For example, if you were to consult their FAQ #554: Is my deviation Mature Content? the rule very clearly states: “If your work contains nudity, displaying a penis, testicle, vagina, breast or nipples you should assign this tag.” Now, when you look at that “nipple” clause, there’s no indication of gender.Anynipslip falls under this rule, yet it isonlyenforced in instances of female nipples. To summarize, our piece:
Mature Content. No one’s doing anything sexual, but it’s not safe for the kiddies.
Whereas this piece shows not only a nipple, but far more risqué material:
No Mature Content filter needed, according to deviantArt’s labeling of the piece.
Could someone better explain this logic to me? All of this has my mind full of fuck (no humor intended there, but feel free to chuckle), which brings me to my most important point…
- Women’s bodies are far more sexualized in the media than men’s. That’s not to say that men aren’t subject to objectification, or that this applies to every media outlet in the world (I’m lookin’ at you, nice areas of Europe and Asia), but the statement stands. We live in a society where a man can all but expose his genitals completely and be considered humorously avante garde, but a woman can’t expose even most of her breast without being perceived as lewd and a sexual object, purely interested in the titillation (get your laughs out) of others. Why is this fair? Why is the female body— the breasts in particular —so taboo to be shown in public? Even when many cities and districts have a “topless is okay” law for women (our own city included!), I can guarantee you the majority of women don’t dare out of fear for their own safety. Take a moment to think about that. Theirsafety.
To wrap up what I had promised wouldn’t be long (but probably is), when my wife and I created the “Have Pride” piece, we meant it as more than a pro-LGBT image. It was also meant to convey pride in one’s body, gender, and race. The requirement for it to have a giant WARNING label before people can see it simply goes completely against the very statement the image is meant to convey. How can you have pride when you’re made to be ashamed of yourself?
(And as an addendum to nip some arguments in the bud, the only filter I agree with is a NSFW filter that’s genuinely meant to protect people browsing at work, not just the innocent minds of youth from boobies. [I think everyone should see boobies, I think young people would be more well-adjusted if they saw boobies and non-sexual nude bodies in general, just think of the improvement to their self-esteems as they grow up.] And yet again, I ask why the line is drawn between male and female nipples, which just recycles into all of my above arguments, but that’s the corporate world for you. That place is fucking crazy as a shithouse rat.)