cameras and creepy men

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:18 pm

Do you feel that these comments or this discussion is directed at you or your experiences?
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

cowgirl
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well...

Post by cowgirl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:21 pm

i feel the conversation has turned to the usual... cameras and tits...

trying to convey through my personal experience that there is a lot more going on...

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:34 pm

I don't feel the same way, but frankly I don't see the difference between the actual body parts being objectified or the manner in which they are objectified. What seems important to me is how these patterns of behavior are (re)created and what might be a way out of the cycle.

Unwanted physical contact constitutes assault, and photography without permission runs counter to the agreement made when you tag your camera. Those things are easy to quantify and assess as 'wrong.'

You feeling creeped out by some guy filming your feet is a little more nebulous territory. It's also less common than the 'cameras and boobs' scenario.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

cowgirl
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ahem...

Post by cowgirl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:36 pm

i allowed him to film my feet...

NOT run the camera lens up my body slowly to my face... or grab me.

please re-read my post.

are you female?

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:47 pm

Does my gender matter? Is the perspective of one gender more valid on this issue than the other?

I did re-read your post, and understand your issue with this person quite well. Please re-read mine vis a vis nonconsensual filming and physical contact.

Are you going anywhere with the distinction you are drawing between 'cameras and tits' and 'run the camera lens up my body slowly to my face?' As I said, I don't think the body parts involved or the specifics of how they are sexualized/objectified are really that important to a discussion of the issue.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

cowgirl
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one more time...

Post by cowgirl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:53 pm

this topic happens every year... and gets talked about endlessly and then people's experiences get picked apart and over-analyzed...

you know what... screw it.

i know how i felt and what my gut told me... and posting on the e-playa or venting or sharing or whatever as usual is a waste of time.

i'm not here for this...

again to that fucking bastard with the tagged video camera... i hope you rot.

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Don Muerto
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Re: one more time...

Post by Don Muerto » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:00 pm

cowgirl wrote:this topic happens every year... and gets talked about endlessly and then people's experiences get picked apart and over-analyzed...i'm not here for this...
Your posts seem to indicate an unwillingness to do much else then dwell on the experience and wish ill on the person involved. I am sure he will rot, but there are plenty more where he came from.

Why not move beyond discussion of the particulars of each encounter, and get to the heart of the issue? Or am I mistaking this thread for something larger than a space to vent about creeps?

I see fertile ground for a meaningful discussion of identity, expression, objectification and sexual expression where the possibility of understanding or perhaps even just thwarting unwanted behavior exists.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

cowgirl
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well..

Post by cowgirl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:03 pm

that is promising...
hopefully there are more people out there with the will to change things like you do...


i just see more of the same.

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:26 pm

Most men I know are to some degree both guilty of sexually objectifying women and uncomfortable with the same. I don't see this as a trivial matter either, as transforming beings into objects is the primary route to abuse, rape and murder.

I think our culture perpetuates the objectification of women primarily through the porn, fashion and entertainment industries. Young women are taught that they can go from 'Malibu' to 'Prom Queen' with just a switch of Barbie's clothing, while young men are taught that pliant, scantily-clad women are the proper receptacles of their sexual urge, -however base. Video games and movies almost universally portray women as spoils or booty (pardon the pun) to be fought over by monsters and men, and haute couture relentlessly pumps out an image of a shape women need to achieve in order to acquire value and validity.

Is it any wonder then that some men do not manage to wrap their head around the fact that an attractive woman in scanty garb in a surreal environment may not be the pliant, sexual creature portrayed in thousands of similar images/contexts since their birth?

The question is, how do we address this perceptive disconnect on the playa?

We can't derail the massive momentum of the industries listed above, -not in any meaningful scale of time. So how do we discourage the persistant misconception that BM is a liminal zone where photographic and sexual predation is acceptable?

The camera policy is a good start, but enforcement is uneven at best.

We can't expect the creeps to self-police as by their very nature they would not *be* creeps if they were self-regulating.

That only leaves addressing the victims of the predation, and that is where I see where a difference can be made. How can we empower women to be able to take control of their own image both in how they choose to express themselves in dress & action, as well as how they control the appropriation of thier image by others.

To bring it back to specifics; What could we do to help people like you listen to your gut, and tell people like the one you encountered that it is *not* ok for him to record or sexualize your image?
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

cowgirl
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hmmmm

Post by cowgirl » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:14 am

thank you for your insight.... its late and i'm going to think about this:

but note that almost all of us mentioned that we were in another head space at the time as a result of our surroundings and our normal snappy come-backs and intelligent discourse were on a time delay out there...

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vulgaris
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Post by vulgaris » Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:22 am

I hear a lot of people bitch about having their pictures taken

But did anyone do any camera taking?

If someone was taking pictures of me, honestly I would not care- If someone was taking pictures of me and I was nude, I probably still would not care. But in the off chance that the person hit me as some kind of creep weirdo and yes, some do, and no, I do not discriminate based on age of weirdo or gender or the colour of hoodie they're wearing, I'd have taken the camera and chucked it as far as possible. Or just punched the guy in the face.

If shit was so bad out in the desert, why did I only see three guys with black eyes walking around?

So much bitching. DO something about it.

Fuck a friendly BRC.

pippster
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Stop with the photos! They're just not that great!

Post by pippster » Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:12 am

I think the cameras a gross

Why don't you be here now, in the experience instead of trying to captureit for later.

I've seen hundreds of photos - they do not impress me really.

Put down your cameras and BE HERE NOW


Plus, also - certain guys are coming to burning man just because they have heard about the nakedness -

Or unless we take all the ladies and put them on their own island, they are not going to be safe, the goons with the cameras are not going to get it, and more yahoos are going to show up.

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:20 am

vulgaris,
I don't think vigilantism and violence is a proper or practical approach to dealing with the issue. As a culture we need to move beyond resorting to our fists to express ourselves if we can ever hope to treat the ills that plague us.

pippster,
Photography is an art, and even if it is one that you do not appreciate, I don't think that banning it outright is fair. Besides, the underlying issue is the objectification and sexualization of others, and that can be done without a camera.

cowgirl,
Being impaired is a factor, but one whose influence can be mitigated by certain commonsense precautions such as a 'buddy system' and knowing your own limits. More importantly, I think the goal here would be to provide people with the tools to respond to these situations *before* they happen. This removes the burden of thinking on your feet when faced with the situation, while concomitantly strengthening your self-image in the default world.

If its not to personal, could you talk about the process that led you to allow him to film your feet even knowing he was a creep via your gut feeling? Was it something as simple as the politeness inculcated in you from birth? Was it the compliancy we teach our women is the hallmark of femininity?

Anyone else?
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

Hotspur
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Post by Hotspur » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:44 pm

Don Muerto wrote:Most men I know are to some degree both guilty of sexually objectifying women and uncomfortable with the same. I don't see this as a trivial matter either, as transforming beings into objects is the primary route to abuse, rape and murder.
wow.

Okay. I totally agree with the first sentence you write here. Not so sure about the second.

I'm a guy. I like looking at women. I like looking at scantily-clad, sexually-empowered women. (It's a strange thing that in 2003, the least sexy thing I saw was a strip show at Pinkies. The women were clearly very good strippers, but it was such an unsexy paradigm compared to most of the women in BRC).

Yes, I think, part of what makes me uncomfortable about the creepy camera guys (and a big part of the reason why I leave my camera at home) is that I don't want to be one of them. There are plenty of moments in BRC where I stop to appreciate the beauty of what somebody's doing or wearing (if it's being done in a way that suggests watching is okay) but I generally move on reasonably quickly. I take what people are willing to share and move on.

And it's weird, you know -- on the Esplanade, if you see a huge crowd gathered somewhere where there usually isn't a crowd, it's a safe bet that what's going on involves naked or sexually-provacative women.

So the difference between me and the creepy camera guys is... what? I'm participating on more levels? I'm talking to some of the people I meet? I'm not taking pictures? I feel guilty about watching? The more lecherous the atmosphere becomes, the less possible it is to watch critical tits and NOT be part of the problem.

Eroticism is undeniably part of what many women on the playa are going for, at least some of the time, and it's very hard to expect anyone to "be aroused this way, that's okay, but that way? You creepy perv!" I think that sexual freedom is certainly part of the radical self-expression that both men and women want on the playa.

I wish no-one took cameras to the playa, period, although I wouldn't support forcing people to leave them at home. Beyond that, it's not clear to me how we handle the fact that part of what makes burning man great is that people are free to wear and do as much or as little as they want, while simultaneously acknowledging that observing that freedom brings out some characteristics in ourselves that we don't really like.

(That being said, I don't think that appreciating the beauty of some of the women on the playa inevitably leads in any way towards rape, abuse, or murder. I think it might provide an opportunity for those who are already inclined to such behavior, but the fact that I spend most of BM in a state of mild happy sexual alertness doesn't make me any more likely to abuse, rape, or murder someone.)

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:52 pm

There are light-years between 'appreciating the beauty' of someone and objectifying them. Objectification *is* the problem that underlies abuse, rape and murder, but appreciating the self-expression of others is not the same thing.

Thanks for the post Hotspur.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

Imagigrl
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Post by Imagigrl » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:45 pm

Burner compliance with Burning Man photographic media requirements is as fundamental as not driving motorized scooters on the playa and driving 5 mph or less on the playa in an effort to keep the dust levels down. It's as fundamental as not vending for monetary profit on the playa. It's as fundamental as keeping in mind that Burning Man is about free expression, artistic development, and community awareness within the bounds of mutual respect. Men and women who attend Burning Man with the intent of acquiring pornographic material without the knowledge or consent of the Burning Man authorities is a violation of their rights and priveledges as granted in the use of their ticket. They should've been reported and their cameras should have been confiscated until return at their time of permanent departure through the gate. Furthermore, we should have backed up those fallen victim to these perpetrators just as I shouldn't have let that creepy camera guy enter the cafe with is 'incognito' digital video cam. Just try to think of nudist colonies and how much shit they have to deal with in this respect. The more Burning Man gets publicized as a nudist and drug addict event, the more risk is at stake for Burning Man to obtain even licensing. It's just a caution necessary to be taken because the rest of the world dictates it so. If you want to make real change then start walking around naked in the outside world like that male Berkely student did in the 90s. Then we'll see how much of a threat these creepy camera people will become. Just my last 2 cent noodlin'...

Love to all, Imagigrl

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kikidelosfeliz
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Post by kikidelosfeliz » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:11 pm

For gorgeous photos check out www.playa-dust.com, and http://www.imageevent.com/pmattf/burningman Simply amazing.

For the rest, no way to cut down on the "creep" factor per se, except to emphasize the no-spectators-only-participants aesthetic.

P.S. Someone should tell all those guys in black socks, sandals, and nothing else - that ensemble is not a costume! Except maybe if you herd them all into one camp...theme ideas?

dman
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Post by dman » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:53 pm

OK, I'll relate my creepy camera guy experience.

Tuesday evening, in a sarong, doing some batten-down work on the dome (sometimes using the ladder), a guy comes in and says, "I just love your dome; mind if I take some video?" No problem, except it quickly becomes clear that he has more interest in "up the sarong" and "see-through sarong" shots than the dome itself.

At the time I was oddly flattered, in a Sharon Stone kind of way. Like Tancorix (whose face I will never forget after introducing myself to him as Wrecks Skates), I'm not the most attactive guy.

In retrospect, and going forward, I think we have to call people on that kind of behavior. A nonconsented image is a nonconsented image, regardless of whether it started out as a picture of the dome (or my feet, or whatever); once the creep light goes on it's time to either start asking questions/educating or end the interaction altogether.

He left without comment shortly after I called over to one of my campmates, "Hey, check out this guy trying to shoot my wiener through the sarong!"
"Yes, but is it art?" "No, Art is over there, on the couch."

skypilot
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creepy old dudes

Post by skypilot » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:11 pm

creepy old men? somewhat of a misnomer, yes? obviously some toad with a camera trying to catch a few "money shots" can be annoying, but i admit to looking(not gawking) when i see a beautiful woman stroll by, clothed or unclothed. it is unfortunate that i have not attended a burn in 4 years, but some things have happened that have forced me to focus on the real world and miss the burns. you ladies have my sympathy. something a relative(since deceased)told me as a small boy didn't make sense then, but it does now. He was sent to buchenwald during the war(no, he wasn't jewish, but a political prisoner)and despite the absolute madness, the tortue, the ovens, and all the rest of the garbage associated with a death camp, he(my granduncle)told me that one of the things that kept him going was the fact that there were some women, good looking, at the camps, and to lose any intrest or arousal to the opposite sex is about the same as being dead.......stay strong, ladies. I don't take pictures but will continue to look as long as i'm a man and alive.

bunnyboy
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Re: Stop with the photos! They're just not that great!

Post by bunnyboy » Thu Sep 16, 2004 7:28 pm

pippster wrote:I think the cameras a gross

Why don't you be here now, in the experience instead of trying to captureit for later.

I've seen hundreds of photos - they do not impress me really.
Who the hell cares how impressed you are or aren't by someone's photos?

Who are you to decide how someone expresses him/herself?

To some people, their photos are their art and the least artistic or redeeming photo is no worse than the worst piece of "art" dumped on the playa.

I'm in no way defending the assholes running around peeping at women.

Photographers SHOULD be respectful of the people they photograph and many are. Banning cameras is not the answer.

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cowboyangel
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Post by cowboyangel » Fri Sep 17, 2004 6:19 pm

I laughed alot when I read the topic line of this thread.....it's true too.....now, I for one always ask before shooting.
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

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Markov Chaney
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Post by Markov Chaney » Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:57 pm

kikidelosfeliz wrote:P.S. Someone should tell all those guys in black socks, sandals, and nothing else - that ensemble is not a costume! Except maybe if you herd them all into one camp...theme ideas?
What, is it required to be costumed at Burning Man now? damn, I didn't get that memo. Hey, some of us just enjoy the liberation of being nude and don't want a bad case of Playa foot.

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PetsUntilEaten
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2 sense

Post by PetsUntilEaten » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:45 pm

My two cents about self-expression & photography -

It is one thing for me to look around & decide to expose/share my nakeness/performance/expression with everyone in sight - but as a modern woman it is ENTIRELY another thing to share that with everyone one with a camera and everyone it can be spread to publically & privately throughout the universe for eternity.

I can easy make the first decision using my ever faithful & steadfast instinct - but the second is a gaping open hole I don't wish to fall into.

That is the camera difference.

There are "Fuck Off Ranger" trading cards -
Why no "Fuck off Photog" cards?
Do not pass GO! - Do not take my picture!

Don Muerto - love you - you reseasonable bastard.

spectabillis
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Post by spectabillis » Sat Sep 18, 2004 12:49 am

As much of the controversy around this has made people speak out, so far there were ONLY 15! votes http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=6622

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