Culture

Bikinis, Lads’ Mags and Troll-Hunting


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This weekend saw a new low in the depths to which some people will go to cause offense, hurt and upset to others via forms of social networking such as Twitter. On Saturday, the UK’s Twitter lead, Tony Wang, publicly apologised over the head of the weekend’s ‘Trolling’ incidents where certain individuals abused women. Wang said,

“I personally apologize to the women who have experienced abuse on Twitter and for what they have gone through.”

The abuse they’ve received is simply not acceptable. It’s not acceptable in the real world, and it’s not acceptable on Twitter.”

In some cases, the grotesque individuals responsible for the abuse of women (Trolls) have been sacked (below) while a one-day boycott of Twitter (#twittersilence) emerged as another attempt to protest against the deplorable acts without naming and shaming them.

While all of this was unfolding, I was involved in a twitter debate regarding the campaign to ban ‘lad’s mag’s’ and to reform the modesty of them given their sexualised genre. As part of the discussion on Twitter (with an individual who was subsequently named and shamed on Sky TV as a Troll) a point was raised that I thought I should blog about.

The point was to do with bikinis and women wearing them to sunbathe cf. the issue of lads’ magazines which also have scantily clad ladies on show. Apparently, it was inconceivable to the person in question that there is a difference between a lady sunbathing in her bikini and the heavily sexualised images that saturate these types of magazines. My simple point is that there is a world of difference between, say, my wife sunbathing in her bikini on a beach and the type of sexually-explicit images that the current campaigns are seeking to reform. I could write a lot on this so I will try and explain in short form, below.

Why my wife sunbathing in a bikini on a beach is vastly different from the sexually explicit images in lads mags:-

  1. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis are not trying to sell anything.
  2. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis are not ‘strutting’ – i.e through facial expressions, make-up, suggestive positions, half nakedness etc
  3. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis are not glamourised to conform to a stereotype
  4. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis are not volunteering themselves to be viewed voyeuristically as sex objects
  5. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis are not being paid to have their nakedness photographed
  6. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis usually show a natural modesty in more public places
  7. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis are not displaying sexually explicit images for anyone and everyone to see
  8. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis can be viewed innocently (including by children) as being beautiful as opposed to lasciviously in lust
  9. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis is an appropriate, Universally-accepted norm (apart form obvious cultural exceptions)
  10. Ladies sunbathing in bikinis are wearing clothing suitable for the environment – i.e. they wouldn’t wear a bikini in WHSmith

On a lighter note, whether you agree or disagree, here is a link to one of my favourite monster movies in recent years,

http://www.tesco.com/direct/troll-hunter-dvd/796-1382.prd

trollhunter

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