But what’s wrong with nipples?


The title is *totally* misleading. This post isn’t only about nipples *at all*.

Etymologically, the word “pornography” means “one who writes about prostitutes”.  In modern translation, it means Naughty Naughty pictures. People are Very Upset about pornography. I think those people need to really figure out what it is that bothers them, and settle the crap down about everything else.

First, what the hell is wrong with nudity? Either we were created or we evolved to look the way we do, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Everyone…MOST everyone has the same bits, in different permutations. Why are we so scared to *TALK* about our bodies, much less reveal our bodies? Why is that? Is this modesty that’s come from social convention?

Okay, sure, I can see the discussion coming. It’s because of religion. It’s because from the first time the first person told the story the first time about how Adam and Eve “knew their nakedness”, we’ve been ashamed of our bodies. But let’s be realistic.

And what’s wrong with looking at naked bodies?

I want to make a distinction here, and that is that what *I* find disgusting isn’t pictures of nekkit folks, or movies of folks parking the Plymouth, it’s pictures in magazines and on television and in movies of people whose skin is flawless and whose hair is perfect and whose nails are manicured and who can afford the clothes that fit, and who have the ability to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on personal trainers and liposuction and airbrushing and the perfect five-o’clock shadow. THAT’s what I find disgusting, demoralising, and wrong.

I hear people talk about how it’s wrong to objectify a person by turning them from a human being into a sex object. Do you know who does that? The person who internalises that way. And if you internalise that way, there’s something seriously wrong with you that I don’t think nekkit pictures caused.  What *did* cause it? I don’t know. What makes people devalue one another, what makes people see each other as something other than people? Probably fear.

And who is more objectified: the entertainer who himself or herself becomes a commodity, or the person who paints or photographs nudes? Is this an argument of smut v. art? I don’t know.

Where did this come from?

Well, I read this article, which talks about how Steve Jobs apparently decided that the iPad would not be used to view pornography. Who defines pornography here? Apparently, according to the article, it’s Steve Jobs.  And then this has become a discussion about censorship.

I’m all over the map, here, and can’t pinpoint what it is I’m trying to say. What does it matter if you can spy a nipple on a catwalk model? Isn’t it more important that many of these women are malnourished and unhealthy?

It’s one of these things I have trouble reconciling. Sex is a commodity; just like anything else. I don’t know if it’s always been this way; some people say that prostitution is “the oldest profession”. Perhaps it is. Pornography, as we understand it now, is a kind of voyeurism, isn’t it? It permits us glimpses into a fantasy world where the participants are all eager and free of morality and consequence. Is that so bad? What makes “pornography” different from “erotica”? Just the pictures? Although “erotica” is often considered a subset of “pornography”.

Anyway, I don’t really know what I’m trying to say, except that I don’t think pictures of nipples are going to destroy the world.






14 responses to “But what’s wrong with nipples?”

  1. BPM IV Avatar
    BPM IV

    What Jobs forgets is that the internet has a vast store of porn lying around and gosh, golly – you can access the internet with the iPhone / iPad.

    So, how is he keeping porn off them, exactly?

  2. the_iron_troll Avatar

    While the United States may be the porn center of the world, it doesn’t like to think that it is. And Apple is trying to appeal to that strong Protestant/Evangelical/many-other-religions sentiment. I can’t find a hint of surprise in myself.

    I mean, you’re not going to see a stray nipple in a Newspaper! Heaven forbid! So why would you see one on an iPad? Think Of The Children! /endsarcasm

    I’m not sure when we got to the point where the possibility of nipples was offensive. Maybe we’ve always been there.

  3. VeeOh Avatar

    adding to the not-pointness,but offering my opinion nevertheless, i’ve observed that on the right-wing,conservative angle,especilly the religious right,it seems that these are the people that decry it the most,and tend to get themselves in even greater scandals when it’s uncovered that they’re screwing baby goats while in bunny costumes slathered with spray-cheese.Swaggart comes to mind,tho i’m unsure whether he had the goats or the cheese. i suppose it’s a question of repression and human curiosity; they don’t mix,never have,can’t. you can only repress things for so long before they blow (hehheh);i cite ancient to modern Japan as a for example.

    On the OTHER hand,you have the “younger generation”, most left-leaners with perhaps pagan or other matriarical bents… like,i’m trying to say ultra-PC,super liberal feminists,maybe. the new “sex positive feminist womyn”,who represent that sex is fine…as long as it’s entirely on their terms ie;pornography is bad- that the performers choose to be involved and women might choose to consume this media are somehow confused victims of the man-o-centric manocracy.as are,of course,the men who choose to view it,as usual.

    hmm…i think there’s a point in there,i hope you can get the gist.it just seems to me if you’re not pissing someone off,perhaps you’re not doing it right.

  4. Coyote Avatar

    Pornographic sites are actively going to be blocked on the iPad. There will be a team of Mr. Jobs’ employees who will be tasked with the moralization of the iPad.

    This is a Steve Jobs kinda thing folks. He seriously has a problem with thinking that his devices might be used for smut of any kind. Let me explain how far this goes.

    A professor of mine has an iPod touch, and enjoys the various apps he has on it. One of his favorites is a boggle game. Cuz well, English prof, right? So he’s finding words, and he sees the word ‘whore.’ So he touches it and is told it is ‘Not a valid word.’ That’s right. Forgetting seeing a nipple, the word itself is disallowed from the app.

    Beautiful isn’t it?

  5. cenobyte Avatar

    But who decides what pornography is? Steve Jobs? Does he hire Minions to do it?

  6. Coyote Avatar

    Mr. Jobs does. He’s a perfectionist, micro-managing, control freak. And somewhat maniacal about the privacy of what his company develops, and openly an opponent of all things ‘immoral and bad.’ Kinda frightening.

  7. Der Kaptin Avatar
    Der Kaptin

    To answer at least one of your questions, Cenobyte — what turns ME on is erotica, what turns YOU on is pornography. Mr. Jobs may in fact be dealing with a problem that I’ve considered from time to time — the possibility that the christian right could rise up and declare the entire internet the work of the devil and touch off a technical witch hunt that would do the Taliban proud. Can you say bytewitch hunt? So it may be a case of cutting the balls off the iPad to prevent a beheading.
    It is a confusing, conjumbled world of sexuality in this society, no argument there. There’s sacred sexuality and the path to the dyad. Then there’s feminist friends of mine who say that, yes, a woman should be in control of her own body to the point of being able to sell it for sex if they choose. But if a man is going to make a cut of any of the money so generated, then it is uncatagorically WRONG. WTF? It’s a discussion that could take years. But that should take place.
    As far as the nipples issue goes, I think of the movie Exotica by the greatest Canadian film director Atom Egoyan. I was shocked (but not in a bad way) at the beginning when all the women were bare-breasted, but by part-way through the movie, through sheer exposure, it just wasn’t an issue any more. There’s a (deliberate, I’m sure) lesson in there. I totally agree with the comment about curiosity vs repression. Enough.

  8. cenobyte Avatar

    I LOVED Exotica.

    But that still doesn’t answer the question of what’s the difference between erotica and pornography…

  9. Der Kaptin Avatar
    Der Kaptin

    Well YA, I answered it right up front!

  10. Parmeisan Avatar

    Wow. Just… wow.

    I got a call one time from this “survey” guy who told me, “The internet can be used for child pornography!! Would you support an initiative to filter out this content?” After several technical questions that he didn’t fully understand, asking him WHERE precisely this filter would be applied (the ISP, or is this maybe a home-software thing that a person could configure themselves?) I gave him an emphatic “no”. And he *kept pressing me*, trying to convince me that I should say yes. (What kind of a survey is that??) But whether or not I support child pornography is completely beside the point of whether somebody should be censoring the internet.

    What’s really frustrating is that they probably published those horribly, horribly skewed results somewhere later.

  11. Parmeisan Avatar

    PS. According to a friend of mine, “Erotica doesn’t objectify women.”

    Have fun with that one. ;)

  12. cenobyte Avatar

    Erotica objectifies women and men just as much as pornography does. If the only material difference is the illustration…well. Whatever.

    Steve Jobs is insane.

  13. Der Kaptin Avatar
    Der Kaptin

    Think of it this way — erotica is literature, pornography is genre fiction. :->

  14. cenobyte Avatar

    That *does* make more sense. I like both of those!

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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