Via IBTP, buried in a long stoush about bigotry against children and whether under-18s are subhuman:
Marilyn Johnson thought so when she heard a girl’s screams in a Wichita Wal-Mart on Sunday — and she reported it to police.
“This little girl was about 5 years old and was crying her eyes out,” Johnson said. “Her face was beet red, and she was screaming and coughing and saying things like, ‘I don’t want this! It hurts! Please stop!’ She was grabbing her ears so the adults couldn’t touch them.”
Johnson attempted to intervene verbally, and when she was rebuffed, she called 911. She was told by police to butt out, and banned from Wal-Mart. The article continues:
Ear piercing has long been the subject of controversy among parents. For some, piercing an infant or young child’s ears has deep-rooted cultural or religious meaning. Others pierce babies’ ears because of family traditions, or simply because they like the look or want to more easily identify the baby as a girl.
Because the worst possible fate for an infant or child in our society is to have random strangers mistake them for another gender, it is necessary to poke holes in screaming children and adorn them accordingly. Creepy.
Creepy number two comes via the Kate Harding comments section: American Apparel “Intimates” section. I was in two minds about linking this, so be warned – I don’t know whether these photos could trigger someone, but they might.
The American Apparel models, while they may be over 18, look to be in their early to mid teens. About half of them are displaying that awkward trapped deer-in-the-headlights look. The photos remind me of nothing but the iconic “photographer”-pedophile scene in TV dramas, with an aspiring teen model about to burst into tears, and the “photographer” leering and slavering “Come on honey, take it off, all the other girls do underwear shots, come on, just a bit more, oh yes”. Some of the models even have a pubescent body shape – a slight waist pudge, slim hips, very small breasts.
Creepy, creepy, creepy.
Creepy the third: “Hitman” videogame ads. Reminiscent of the “America’s Next Top Model” shoot from a while back, Hitman is using sexxxay murdered women to push their product.
[Image grabbed from Joystiq]
[Image grabbed from Guilded Lilies]
The Joystiq discussion of the”Beautifully Executed” ad is full of sexualised-violence apologists. There is the usual stuff, of course: It’s-just-a-game, why-aren’t-you-fighting-world-hunger, you’re-thinking-too-deeply, you’re-censoring-my-frea-speach. Before any frea-speachers start up here, please note that I’m not constructing a campaign to have these things banned. What I want is the world to change, such that nobody would consider designing this sort of hate crime depiction, let alone putting it on the subway. (How would people react to a subway ad explicitly depicting an all-in-good-fun lynching to sell a videogame?)
A smorgasbord of comments [Joystiqers are in italics, my comments aren’t.]:
“christian”: “without pushing the envelope or being ‘edgy’ we’ll never get anywhere.. . and that’s in games, movies, tv, advertisement, everything.. . someone has to always be the one that pushes things to another level .. .”
“Edgy” is the new “politically incorrect”, isn’t it? A way for swaggering bigots to excuse their hate speech in the name of “art” or “rebellion”.
Are these commenters disingenuous, or just wilfully thick? There are a few plodding joke-explainers like “Satiate”: “Anyone that gets ‘offended’ by this ad is an idiot, all it is, is a play of words. We have ‘Beautifully Executed’ because the game is about a hitman, and if anyone didn’t know, they ‘execute’ people for a living, and in this ad we have a ‘beautiful’ woman (although I agree with some other posters, she looks more like Bowie than a hottie so you get Beautifully (woman/nice job in shooting her) Executed…get it? get it? anyone? Bueller, Bueller?”
There’s a reason “Can’t you take a joke?” is the free square in Anti-feminist Bingo.
Then there are those who wander around oblivious to the world. Perhaps they’ve spent the past fourteen years in a box? FrankieJ humphs: “I still don’t see why a dead girl on a bed is so controversial!”
HotShotX has a lunge at the moral high ground: it’s a cautionary tale. “It’s to teach younger girls that prostitutes are often killed, and that they shouldn’t become one. Maybe it’s just the image, but she doesn’t seem to be wearing any bottoms…the fact that she looks like a total skank probably doesn’t help, and as you can all see from the photo, the Hitman clearly did not pay her. Now there’s just one dead prostitute, and some bald guy who owes a pimp ten dollars.”
Then there are the one-liner Buttheads: a sterling chap who wants to fuck the bullet-hole (“It might be another orfice (talk about good head)”), and this thigh-slapping fratboy comedy gold: “Well let me be first to say, i’d hit it.”
“heretrix” tries to turn the tables, claiming that anyone who reads a lingerie-clad woman draped on satin sheets is the pervert, so ner: “Why in the hell do people automatically have to throw sex in the mix? And where in the hell does anyone get the idea that the chick has been raped? You are a hitman, the lady’s your target. She just happens to be in sexy lingere at the time of the hit.” A few posters pompously point out that the ad can’t possibly be about sexual violence, because the woman still has her underwear on.
In good news, “aj” hits the issue dead on: “As Kate noted, it is a combination of someone in a sexually submissive pose, with the ultimate “power trip” of killing them, that makes this ad disturbing. It doesn’t matter that there is no actual rape here; rape is about power, not sex, and this ad is all about sexualized power.”
Yes, that. Creepy to the power of ten.
Rape-culture denialists? Read this post again, please.