Friday, February 25, 2005

Lorraine's Body Politic

Yesterday, I posted the following over at DailyKos and incited arguments I wasn't expecting. There were threads about abortion, gun rights, assisted suicide, fascism, and biggest surprise, a huge fight over whether it was appropriate to tell me I had a nice body.

My response to the body question was this. I think bodies are to be celebrated. The compliments that seemed genuine appealed to me. The ones that amounted to "show us your tits" annoyed me. Some other person may have had a different line than I did--perhaps any comment about his or her body would have been offensive. Maybe I shouldn't have posted the picture. Maybe I should have chosen a different one. You can read my justification for why I posted my picture on the Kos post.

Yes. I'm completely conversant in notions of objectivity/subjectivity, the male gaze, female objectification, etc. But I'm asking an honest question to those of you out there who read this. Is it okay to comment on someone else's body if what they've offered is a photograph of themselves?


Sheryl said...

The question is whether you should comment on someone's body if they post a picture of it in public?

As long as you are civilized and respectful. Sure, why not?

I can't imagine someone posting their picture in public and not expecting comments of some sort.

Sheryl said...

PS I also think for the picture in question you are likely to have some very different interpretations about why you posted it.

Matt said...

I didn't read the comments about your body, but I think I've got the gist of what went down. Personally, I think comments about other people's bodies can be a particular insight into the person making the comment. Catcalls and remarks like "show us your tits" obviously say a lot about the speaker, as do polite compliments or the words of some who may be offended.

But to answer your question, should people comment on photographs of other people's body? Why not? It tells everyone else whether they're an asshole or not. Beyond that, I figure that if you want to be a jerk and make derogatory comments, put up a picture of your own and subject yourself to the same scrutiny, or shut the hell up. At least that's how I see it.

Personally, I think it's a wonderful photograph that adds the perfect amount of impact to your words and made it much more personal to the reader. What your body looks like doesn't really matter. I see nothing there to judge.

FunkyB said...

I suppose had you posted the picture and said, "Do you like my body?" then it would be open commentary season on Lorraine. I was struck by the photograph because of the beautiful composition. Even your hands are entwined in the most aesthetically pleasing way. Then I read the commentary over at Kos. That was a powerful statement. If anyone had read that, I cannot imagine their only comments would be "So, show us your tits."
If you post a pic of yourself that enhances your commentary, I think that the appropriate reaction would be further comments in regards to the subject. The subject was not your tits, your spine, your wavy hair... So is it appropriate for people to comment on them?
We are always "putting ourselves out there" when we participate in any public forum. That doesn't mean that idiots SHOULD indulge in idiocy, but they have the right to show their ass, and we can only shrug our shoulders and remember that THIS is what we're fighting against.

dadanation said...


the kentclark diary was over the top and completely unaccepable. for anyone to question the diary because of the foto means they either never read the diary or has some serious women-hating issues. i posted in his crap-hat diary and hope you know that his opinion was just that -- his and his alone, and just an opinion.

lorraine said...

thank you. the response to me was just so vicious that it took my breath away. thanks for intervening.

The Blah Brain said...

Hey, you live in Ithaca? So do I! ha

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