Thursday, April 14, 2005


 

Concerned about the state of men in our country

I should note here that I'm posting these comments from a personal standpoint and not as a moderator on TabletPCBuzz.com.

If you are a faithful reader of my blog, you know my personal beliefs.

There was a post on TabletPCBuzz.com that really concerned me (note: link is to a picture that you might not want to view). A forum member drew a picture using his new tablet pc and titled the drawing "naughty schoolgirl". Now, people can draw whatever they want, but once they post it publicly, its' open to praise, scrutiny, etc. The artist is actually pretty good and has a wonderful talent. What concerned me about this picture was the following:

1) The artist was obviously drawing a teenage girl, busting out of her shirt, holding herself. The artist will later claim that she was 18, but its' pretty obvious otherwise (from the title, her clothing, etc). He tells us later that she's a catholic schoolgirl.
2) The fact that all of the other responders to the thread loved the picture and didn't see anything wrong with it.
3) I voiced my concerns about the appropriateness of such a picture ( and got hammered BTW), how I found it degrading and dishonoring to women, and what other women who happened upon the thread would feel.
4) The picture was laid out for everyone to see whether we wanted to view it or not.

The personal attacks didn't bother me. That just showed the immaturity of the posters. However, it saddened me a great deal that everyone who posted saw nothing wrong with the picture and in fact went nuts over it. Whats more, I was the only one who posted with a concern (except for Spencer when he locked the thread due to the personal attacks).

Is that what we, as men, have become? My goodness, she's a teenage girl and they are viewing her as a sex object and loving it! What's worse is how women have become degraded and nobody seems to care. Women are to be honored and lifted up, not beaten down. Teenage girls and their images are to be protected and not open to lustful fantasies. If we as men don't stand up to protect them, who will?

I will say that in my resonse to that thread I should have noted that I was posting from a personal standpoint and not speaking as a moderator. That's my fault for not making that clear.
Comments:
You post your religious stance pretty prominently on TPC Buzz. As you say, "once they post it publicly, it's open to praise, scrutiny, etc."

As much as you view folks criticizing your remarks as "personal attacks," so could the artist (or anyone who looked at the pic and didn't criticize him) view your implications that they are some kind of deviant pervert.

If anything, the drawing is open to interpretation, while your criticisms were a bit more blatant.

You also failed to discuss in your blog the points made in that thread that a REAL Christian singer was dressed more provocatively than the CARTOON girl.

What's even odder is how you've extrapolated this into a larger issue about "the state of men in our country."

What about the "state of men" in the Bible? Abraham marrying his sister? Lot sleeping with his daughters?
 
Just because you find this picture offensive doesn't have to mean that it _IS_ actually offensive.

For example, while someone in an arabic country might find a woman with sleeveless top offensive, we all find it pretty normal " 'round here".

You complain that all the others saw nothing wrong with it, while you did. Maybe your perception of the picture was very different from others, right?

You also note that she has to be under 18 years old. This might be a misconception. You have created a complete history of the girl with no solid basis and without asking the artist. Just because it's like that in the US, doesn't mean it has to be like that around the world. In Canada, High Schools used to have an extra year - so most that graduated were actually are 18/19 years old.

Regarding point 4, you note that people had no choice - I believe this to be incorrect. After all it is YOU who opened the browser, YOU who entered the Buzz Forums, YOU who clicked on the thread. If you found
the name of the thread offensive, you should NOT have clicked in the first place. As I am sure the variable nature of views and comments show that every post does not attract or interest everyone.

You also didn't note that the only comment that could be viewed as sexually tinted (the one from "yulia") is not an US citizen, but rather from someone from Japan. So how can you refer to the "state of men" if the only sexually tinted comment is from a non US citizen? And yes, I don't believe that Chrisss' comment could be viewed as sexually hinted - he merely stated that the girl was cute. Last time I checked, this wasn't deemed offensive.

Summarizing, I want to say that I believe you totally blew this out of proportion. It's a drawing - made up of lines on a tablet pc, nothing more.

And you should realize that, while you may find this offensive, others might find YOUR ideas offensive and regard them as an infringement of womens rights.
 
Keep up the good work, Rob. You stated your position clearly and deserve credit for that. I appreciate your blog and comments. They lead me to think of things I might have missed. As Dore said in Nemo, "Keep on swimming, keep on swimming, ..."
 
Carby's answer is fascinating for not actually answering your concerns so much as pointing at you as the freak, and making liberal use of the word "maybe." I also love how he puts the blame for all this back on you. This is not the cornerstone of an effective argument.

Oh, and this one never gets old:

What about the "state of men" in the Bible? Abraham marrying his sister? Lot sleeping with his daughters?

Yes, good call there. Point to the accepted behavior of human civilizations in the ancient near east circa 3000+ years ago and use that non sequitur as a point of debate regarding today's world. Nope. Never gets old.

Whether or not I agree with you on this (you make points worth considering), it doesn't change the fact that those who are against your viewpoint don't seem to have much of a substantive leg to stand on. Obviously, some people slept through debate class when the points enumerated above were covered....
 
Many years ago, PC Magazine had an ad buried in the back with a buxom woman in a bikini leaning over a monitor. It was the only one I ever recall seeing that obviously used sex to sell. The hue and cry over that ad--mostly from women who felt it was demeaning--was deafening and PC Magazine simply stopped accepting ads that obviously used cleavage or skin to sell hardware or software. The pose in that ad call was less suggestive than that of the girl in the drawing and there was less cleavage. Have things changed so much in 15 years? Like Rob, I think they have and that the change is not for the better.

Whether the "Christian singer" was dressed more provocatively is definitely open to debate as she at least had her breasts fully covered and wasn't exposing and groping her lower abdomen. Zondac says she has "more skin exposed" which may technically be true but the skin she has exposed is not between and including her breasts and below her waist.

Nevertheless, Rob hasn't defended her and I doubt he would. I wouldn't. A lot of self-proclaimed "Christian artists" simply take the Britney Spears style of sexually suggestive displays and put them to "Christian songs". To me, this proves Rob's point about the state of things these days--even in many Christian circles, sad to say.

Carby, how do you determine what is offensive, unless it is that someone finds something offensive? It seems to me that Rob is "around here" and he doesn't find it "pretty normal". He finds it offensive. He's not alone in that.

As for having a choice in the matter, well the topic name is "First Tablet PC Picture". That isn't very indicative of potential items of prurient interest inside, so it would actually be pretty easy to stumble onto inadvertently, especially for those of us who read most postings.

What Chrisss actually said was, "Oh, BTW... she's really cute ROWR!! /waggles eyebrows/" so that is a bit more suggestive than just "she's cute." Toekiller suggested that she was "wearing too much" which also implies sexual overtones in my view.

I think the ones who have blown it out of proportion are the folks who attacked Rob. He was expressing his opinion that it was suggestive and "respectfully ask[ed him] to remove it" even suggesting that putting a link to it would be fine for those who were interested in seeing it. These are fighting words?
 

Oh, and this one never gets old:

What about the "state of men" in the Bible? Abraham marrying his sister? Lot sleeping with his daughters?

Yes, good call there. Point to the accepted behavior of human civilizations in the ancient near east circa 3000+ years ago and use that non sequitur as a point of debate regarding today's world. Nope. Never gets old.


Just like girls in sexy school girl outfits are accepted behavior of human civilization in this day and age. The point is, times change. As I said to Rob in my IM, you can't look at the 1950's and say that it should be more like it was back then. You wanna talk about oppression of women?? Women are more independent now than they ever are. The fact that men have accepted that a woman's sexuality has so much power over us *IS* respect. Women that don't feel sexy won't dress that way and we won't hassle them for it. But those that want to look that way have the right to, and we as men have the right to view them as they are intending to be viewed. That doesn't make them worth any less.

Ladies, I love ya!
 
appreciate all the comments. Yes, its' funny how the tables get turned around so we are now the freaks.

Just because times change doesn't necessarily make it a good thing. We need to reevaluate our society against a standard. If those standards are always changing, our society will crumble.

To me, it is a larger issue about the men in our culture and what we have allowed to happen. It shows up in how we allow our daughters to dress, what we allow our children to be exposed to. Our daughters are learning to derive their value based upon the lustful desires of men. Rather, daughters should now that they are loved for who God created them to be and not the pleasure they bring men.

Men have failed in the leadership realm in our society.
 
Why must women be lead? Why can a woman not have the same rights that men have when it comes to clothing or ‘appealing to lustful desires’. The human form is a beautiful thing and gods work nonetheless. The desire to capture this form as beauty and power is quite the gift if you ask me. And you might want to, considering I’m female.

Change is inevitable in society, we are a constantly changing species – which you may deny as well, but I think our goal should relate to provide moral adaptations and skills to properly deal with this, rather than denying its occurrence. And while the media does include many horrible role models – why not provide your child with a common dialogue rather than eliminating exposure? The fact remains that eventually your child will come across a drawing, photograph or movie such as this, and he will have to make a moral judgment of his own.

Going back to the leadership role, is this not oppression at its purist form? Furthermore, every generation will believe society is crumbling. I know when women received the vote many men were up in arms about that as well. Now that women are become less accepting of playing the roles traditionally assigned men are up in arms again.

Also doesn’t the difference in opinion of the other people who commented say anything? (Other than those people all lack moral value?) Those people all saw the drawing as art. I personally did not consider the fact that she had her hands tugging at her pants as sexual, in the least. Point of this being sexual force and signals are subjective. How is that a problem?

Although this may come as a shock I was much more offended by you feeling the need to protect me (as a female) from art. As a man, you have attempted to exercise your power in what I can or can not see.

What if Christians collectively decided that the female face should also be covered because of its sexual undertones? Would you ensure that your daughter’s face was constantly covered and be alright with that? I realize that you feel you are fighting the good fight but I hope that you could consider my stance as well. I definitely do respect that you have stood up for what you believe in, as I hope you will respect my right to speak my opinion. Also please look at these pieces of historic art, “Lady Liberty” or “the sleeping Venus”.
 
Jenni:

Thanks for posting. Please understand, this has nothing to do with oppression and women's rights.

You seem to be forgetting that the picture was of a teenage girl (schoolgirl) and that grown men were going crazy over it wanting more. If we as men don't stand up to protect that image and holding the purity of our daughters sacred, who will? Obviously, much has changed in our society about the things we hold dear.

I respect the opinions of all who post. You won't get any personal attacks from me.

This is a conversation....
 
What makes her a teenage girl? And if she isn't does that make it okay?
 
Jenni:

What makes her a teenage girl is that the artist says she's a "naughty schoolgirl" and a "catholic schoolgirl". Almost all schoolgirls are 18 and under. When asked her age later, he claims 18/19 (21 if we are in a conservative state), but its' pretty clear what the intent is and that is what is important.

Does it matter if she's not a teenager? My primary concern is the depiction of a teenage girl like that and that it didn't seem to bother any of them. Heck, it could have been a drawing of their daughter for goodness sakes. I think it says alot about our culture when something like that goes unchecked and men are asking for more images of a lusty teenager rather than saying "Hay, there's something wrong here. This is unacceptable.". Somethings terribly wrong. What's the difference in posting that drawing and posting a photograph of 16 / 17 year old in a similar pose? Hmm..don't people go to jail for that?

If he would have called it "Naughty College Girl" and made her older, I would have still have had concerns with it being posted without an outside link and a notice that "hey, this might bother some people, but here's the link". I still have issues with women being depicted that way and despite what you say, I think most women don't like it either; That said, I wouldn't have blogged about it or raised as much of a concern - not that it doesn't bother me, but because our society says that its' ok, people have a right to draw / photograph that stuff, but I don't have to buy it or click on it if I don't want to. Plus, it would have been pointless.

What I take issue with is if our socieity is now saying that our daughters are fair game, too. If they are saying that, I'm saying that the blame lays squarely on the shoulders of the men in our society for letting it happen.
 
What about the "state of men" in the Bible? Abraham marrying his sister? Lot sleeping with his daughters?

Yes, good call there. Point to the accepted behavior of human civilizations in the ancient near east circa 3000+ years ago and use that non sequitur as a point of debate regarding today's world. Nope. Never gets old.


Thanks for proving my point. Christians regularly point to the Bible -- an archaic document written by neoprimitive barbarians -- as the polestar for every modern man's moral compass. You are right. It is a 3000 year old book about people from 3000 years ago.

So Christians need to stop invoking it. They need to especially stop invoking only the parts they like, while ignoring the parts they don't... especially if they are going to claim it's "God's infallible Word."

As for whether this DRAWING is of an 18 year old, it hardly matters. The "18 as age of consent" rule is a product of very modern times, and not even the case in most countries and at least FORTY-THREE US states, where it can range anywhere from 14 to 17.

Once again drawing from that great wellspring of hypocrisy and bedrock of Christian foundation -- the Bible (whether inkable or not) -- the age of consent for girls of that time was after their period, which could be as young as 11 or 12.

So by denouncing sexuality of those younger than 18, Rob Bushway is denouncing the very Bible he holds so dear. He's "attacking" Abraham, the father of the Judeo-Christian religion. He's defaming Mary, the mother of Christ(who was under 18 when she married Joseph.) Why, he's disagreeing with the very Word of God Almighty.

Perhaps this blog post should be titled "The State of Christian Men in Our Country Who Defame the Bible."

By the way, this isn't an ATTACK on Rob. It's a refutation. Learn to know the difference.
 
Wow....

"the men in our culture and what we have allowed to happen. It shows up in how we allow our daughters to dress, what we allow our children to be exposed to.

Men have failed in the leadership realm in our society."

...You need to protect and show women what to wear and act? You have control issues. Women are individuals, they are people. They can make their own decisions, and it's funny that not one woman has had a problem with this drawing. You need to step back from your "I am MAN hear me roar, let me protect you little woman" attitude. I'm glad women in this worls are being allowed more freedom and that, yes, people like you are becoming different from the norm.
 
Rob, if you want more conservative people, consider moving to Asia...or the Middle East.
 
hmm...why can't I be a conservative in my own country and strive to impact the culture; just like you have a right to be a non-conservative in the country and impact the culture with what you believe?

Everyone who has posted here has tried to convince me about their beliefs and tried to point out where I am wrong. Am I not free to do the same thing? Its' funny how tolerance is a one way street.
 
That's because most people who responded are talking about giving more freedom to women to act as THEY want, rather than you saying it's MAN's job to say what women should do, how they should act and what they should wear. Tolerance only goes so far.

And saying this girl is under 18 is bs. Women everywhere are wearing skirts and shirts in the "catholic schoolgirl" style. It's a drawing... it's not real. And there is nothing obvious about her age.
 
its' pretty obvious when the artist calls her a schoolgirl.

Besides, you are missing the whole point. I've never advocated that men should tell women what to do. That's oppression and it has nothing to do with this blog entry. I'm advocating men's leadership and responsibility. To recognize when something is wrong and take responsibility to standup and say something about it. To tell our daughters, "No, you are not going to go out dress like a prostitute. You are more valuable than that. I love you too much."

Sure the drawing is not real, but the men who viewed it wanted more of it and they all knew she was a teenager / school aged girl. There is something wrong with that. Whether a person is a conservative or a liberal, it shouldn't matter. The same men who lust after inappropriate drawings of teenage girls are the same men who will raise boys to do the same. Those boys are going to date your daughters.
 
Sorry, dude. People have been lusting over 17 year olds since... well... eternity. Sorry to tell you that.
 
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