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.
Imagigrl
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Post by Imagigrl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:26 am

No shit! I witnessed some pervy young 20 something male asshole trying to film 'incognito' in Center Camp one morning. Yes, he 'slyly' held his digicam at mid-chest level trying to catch as much T n A in his cams' eye field as possible. I knew his intensions when he purposely pointed it in my direction as he entered the camp. Rat bastard's action prompted me to instinctively put my arms across my breasts in a pointless attempt to thwart his endeavors at stealing unauthorized nude images for his online porn foddar. I gave him a wicked glare and tried to get my man to interrogate the nimrod's present use of the cam to see if the jerk at least registered it with BRC officials, but too few people (esp. males, even my man) take it seriously enough and I obviously didn't as I allowed myself to be too intimidated and let the dickwad slither on by with the cam still set to record. Next time, I'm going to raise ruckous. I don't care if it disrupts the Center Camp morning yoga vibe. These pervs are putting an unhealthy light on the nude humanity of Burning Man and a major crack down is in order for next year!

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dana
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creepie peepers

Post by dana » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:38 am

I've been thinking long and hard about this thread because in many ways this year at times felt like it was spinning out of control into something ugly and base. This is just one thing amongst many that seemed glaringly worse. (I also got dosed by some fuckwit. Rollermonkey and others are already making posts about this year's difference.)

Some comments I would make:
1) BM is ours to make of it what we will. Decide and act appropriately, (hopefully with non-violent confrontation.)
2) Simplistic but true - less sex, more love would help. Is this "creepy men" issue not just a symptom of our culture's bias towards greater sexual expression in lieu of expressing love?? Since too many shy away from the latter they go for extremes of the former. (JezebelinHell's post on "Playa love" seem appropos here. Ever notice how cold and emotionally void porno films seem?)

Solutions we might try:
1) You are your brother/sister's keeper.
Playa Faces action is somewhat commendable, though a little dicey in terms of potential escalation and changing creepy to freaky violence.
2) Talk more than yell. Compassion is helpful.
3) You might give a folded, simple, one page pamphlet to an offender you don't want to verbally confront.
4) Consider how much you contribute to this vibe. Decide whether your costume, general shtick could have some other theme than sexual. (I think the best costume I saw was a woman? during the burn with one of those Venice style cloaks and white mask and an incredible projection beyond her costume. She touched my heart in more than one way!)

This year I went for more affection and connection than pure horniness. That choice made a difference. I want to keep coming to BM and I know I will have to be a lot more proactive to make it someplace I keep coming to.

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HughMungus
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Re: cameras and creepy men

Post by HughMungus » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:04 am

Simple solution: ban all photography unless you know the person you're taking a picture of. Sounds harsh, but, I can see no reason for someone to be photographing something or someone they don't already know and the morons who don't "GET IT" have ruined it for everyone. Burning Man is about actual experiences and participation, not observation and documentation.
It's what you make it.

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HughMungus
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Re: cameras and creepy men

Post by HughMungus » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:06 am

Oh yeah, and another thing: More Rangers and more Ranger presence for people to report such violations to. No one wants to be a dick to people with cameras but if the shoe fits...
It's what you make it.

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:10 am

Oh yeah, and another thing: More Rangers and more Ranger presence for people to report such violations to. No one wants to be a dick to people with cameras but if the shoe fits...
Great idea. Ranger training will be starting next year around May/early June. Hope we'll be seeing you there so you can put your ideas into practice.

We'll be looking forward to meeting you.
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kyla
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Post by kyla » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:10 am

I don't think the problem is with cameras being at BM. There are great things to take photos of! Art, friends, people in interesting costumes and the beautiful nature around us. The problem is the inappropriate use of them. On more than one occasion my friends and I witnessed large groups of men crowded around women in various degrees of nudity who were having fun in whatever way they chose to. One of the worst I saw was a guy with a video camera who seemed to be getting off on two girls making out. BM should be a place where we can be free - and that includes freedom from being exploited.

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HughMungus
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Post by HughMungus » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:13 am

Badger wrote:
Oh yeah, and another thing: More Rangers and more Ranger presence for people to report such violations to. No one wants to be a dick to people with cameras but if the shoe fits...
Great idea. Ranger training will be starting next year around May/early June. Hope we'll be seeing you there so you can put your ideas into practice.

We'll be looking forward to meeting you.
Ranger presence is not determined by the number of rangers, but rather how they are deployed and how they make themselves available based on their attitude and presence.

But to address your non-answer, where do I sign up?
It's what you make it.

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HughMungus
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Post by HughMungus » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:15 am

kyla wrote:I don't think the problem is with cameras being at BM. There are great things to take photos of! Art, friends, people in interesting costumes and the beautiful nature around us. The problem is the inappropriate use of them. On more than one occasion my friends and I witnessed large groups of men crowded around women in various degrees of nudity who were having fun in whatever way they chose to. One of the worst I saw was a guy with a video camera who seemed to be getting off on two girls making out. BM should be a place where we can be free - and that includes freedom from being exploited.
I agree. But only a handful of people are breaking the rules and making it harder for people to enjoy themselves so an easy solution is to just not allow photography unless you know who it is you're photographing (and ban video cameras altogether). Most people who go to burning man more than once quickly realize how futile it is to take photos at all since it doesn't even come close to capturing the nature of the event itself.
It's what you make it.

anagantios
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Post by anagantios » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:46 am

I don't think that making more rules ever made the playa a more wonderful place for anyone.
It seems to me that many of the perps here are people taking pics/video on the down low while people are not looking or trying to shield the act with a hand etc. These people clearly seem to realize that what they are doing would not be welcome if the subject knew about it. Rules aren't going to change much there.
Many other are people snapping pics/video while a well meaning person who does have permission is taking their pic. Again, rules probably not going to help so much there either.
For the many people who ARE respectful and do "get it" (whatever that ubiquitous, but intangible it is), and want to take pics of art/nature or people WITH permission, it seems like more blind beauracracy to make more rules. Especially when the people those rules were made for will just break them anyway.
You can't exclude the people you don't like. You have to live with them and learn to work with it. You can't pass out brochures to every FW who comes your way. You can tell people you know what's going on and why it's wrong, and their associated newbies, who will tell the people they know, and maybe, just maybe if they see it happen they will stand up and do something about it. The more people realize it's a problem, the more people are watching out if some kind of altercation does happen. Group sentiment can achieve amazing things at BM. Some useful and good, some plain idiotic, but achievements nonetheless.
And bear in mind, the shutterbugs, no matter how good the material at BM, won't continue to pay $200+ for a ticket plus camping goods, etc. to keep coming back year after year to take more pics of boobs. There may be others to take their place, but maybe it's an annoyance (hopefully not dangerous) that we will have to learn to tolerate to some extent.

iamtonynyc
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Re: creepie peepers

Post by iamtonynyc » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:06 pm

dana wrote:
Solutions we might try:
3) You might give a folded, simple, one page pamphlet to an offender you don't want to verbally confront.

4) Consider how much you contribute to this vibe. Decide whether your costume, general shtick could have some other theme than sexual.
This year I went for more affection and connection than pure horniness. That choice made a difference. I want to keep coming to BM and I know I will have to be a lot more proactive to make it someplace I keep coming to.
some great points dana. it's nice to see someone trying to find or suggesting a solution rather then simply complaining about the issue. my solution is simple and it's the same exact one i'd give to my girl, if you dont like it, put a shirt on.

cowgirl
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didn't read all your posts...

Post by cowgirl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:26 pm

too burned out to but if anyone is interested in my experience read this:

i was heckled every day, every time i went to the porta potties by my neighbors.... at first i mouthed off back to them, but it got worse and more aggressive. i started to feel harassed.

one of them had a TAGGED video camera and insisted on shooting JUST my feet.

'what the heck' i thought, its just my feet and who cares if he is a perv and keep denying being a perv? but then he brought the camera up my body to my face. i regretted saying 'yes'. and then noticed other women refusing him...

later he was being refused by another woman, saw me and asked me over... then tried to get us both in the shot... he TOUCHED me and grabbed my arm to pull me...

then I said, 'you know what, I"M OVER IT!' and walked away.

later he saw me and yelled. 'you blew me off!' and i just stood there and said 'yes'...

then he flicked water ONTO MY DIGITAL CAMERA.

i felt very unsafe around him and walked away...

i was camped near this hostile person who continued to give me dirty looks every time i walked past his camp on the way to the porta potties. i

to the fucking asshole at Vamp Camp who was told by numerous women to 'fuck off and die'... to fuck yourself!

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:28 pm

Not an acceptable solution to everyone, although direct and practical. How to preserve BM as a bubble where you can experiement with other sorts of dress.

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theCryptofishist
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Re: didn't read all your posts...

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:47 pm

cowgirl wrote:
i felt very unsafe around him and walked away...
Listen to your gut girl. This would have been a good time to talk with the other woman, talk to your campmates, talk to his campmates and talk to the rangers.

Sorry you ran into a stinker like that, cowgirl. He was way out of control. You needed back up and to get that behavior documented. Sorry that it's more work for the victem and that's not fair, but it doesn't sound like his prescence was enhancing anyone's experience.

I wish I had more to add than my support.

cowgirl
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thanks...

Post by cowgirl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:00 pm

that was just ONE disgusting piece of shit i had to deal with...

the other was openly harassing me... and also had a video camera.

five years of burning man and this was hard to deal with.

i wish bodily harm were allowed b/c i wouldn've kicked the shit out of both those fuckers!

Larry... the community has a problem... you better listen to this board.

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kyla
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Re: creepie peepers

Post by kyla » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:44 pm

iamtonynyc wrote: my solution is simple and it's the same exact one i'd give to my girl, if you dont like it, put a shirt on.
So what about the girls who are fully clothed and still being shot, like the girls I saw making out in Center Camp? It's not that easy a solution.

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olivia
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Re: creepie peepers

Post by olivia » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:13 pm

iamtonynyc wrote: if you dont like it, put a shirt on.
this sums up the entire problem. women should not have to alter their behaviour in this way in order to avoid being abused. this is the same logic that says the rape victim is at fault because she was wearing a miniskirt. feel free to join the rest of us in this century.

pippster
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Post by pippster » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:18 pm

paillette wrote:
But overall, amazingly, I'd say that Burning Man contains a level of fuckwits that's on par with general society, if not more per capita, because... "Hey, it's Burning Man. I can do whatever I want."
In a nutshell, this was my dominant impression of my first --- likely only --- year at Burning Man. There were moments I loved, people I enjoyed, sights that thrilled... but far from being a progressive social atmosphere, I found BM to be socially retrograde. :( This was particularly the case as concerns issues of gender and sexual politics.

With a "counterculture" like this, who needs republicans?
I rather agree - its retrograde. The women like to be exhibitionists to some extent and they are being agist and sexist because they don't like the old guys oggling them, but its ok for a guy young and cute enough - kinda MTV frat stuff. I've read about women complaining about pot bellied men in their 40's but it seems to be ok for young studs to eye them.

The only solution is to have a women's only Burning Man - then they can freely express without being provocative or provoking the wrong kinds of dudes.

pixiecup
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Post by pixiecup » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:22 pm

I, too, was the victim of a guy with a camera held at waist-level. It was right after a very emotional visit to the Temple, and I saw it happen in slow motion, and realized he was aiming in my direction, and I was topless.

I kicked myself later for not having enough backbone to say something, but at the time, I was feeling very vulnerable and emotional, and I simply gave him a glare and shook my head as I walked away.

There will always be some like this. It's a shame, but rules aren't going to keep them out. I won't let them spoil my experience, though. Most people were so wonderful, respectful, and terrific.

I'm sorry to everyone who was disrespected or accosted. I'm sorry, and I hope it doesn't keep you away next year.

puppy
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Pictures, for everyone

Post by puppy » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:29 pm

I love taking pictures mostly to remember the event. I always asked if I could take a photo (guys and gals), but even more accepting was that I carried around two dry erase boards and a bunch of markers. I would ask people to write anything they wanted to on the boards and then I would take thier picture. It gave people a chance to express themselves and also I got to get an even better memory preserved of who that person was since they also included something personal ie: thier art or words. No one denied me a picture that drew on my boards and I know I have a few hundred.

If cameras were banned, I don't think I would have any problem with that. After all it is an ADULT event and you should be free to express yourself as you wish without the repercussions of what someone may do with your naked photo.

clairedad
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I am a creepy man

Post by clairedad » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:17 pm

I am a creepy man. Yes, you heard me. I am a creepy man. Why? Well, first, because I'm male. See, I told you. Second, because I had a camera. If that doesn't say "creep" then I don't know what does. Therefore, I am a creepy man. Just wanted you all to know that. Whoo, I feel better already. Kinda like a huge weight's been lifted off my chest. Aaahhh. Mmm, you know, I forgot about something. I actually got prettty caught up just riding around and experiencing BM that I forgot to take many pictures. Damn. I wanted to have a photo album full of hot young things to show my friends here at work. (Mental Note: Take more pictures of hot young things next year.) Well, at least I have all those pix I took of the art installations out on the playa. Uh... oh, shit. You know what, I think I accidentally threw my camera into the fire (or some fire-like thing). Aw, crap! Suddenly, I'm not feeling so creepy anymore. Damn!

BTW, plenty of women shootin' away out there--what's the matter, they can't be creeps too? How downright sexist of you!

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vulgaris
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Post by vulgaris » Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:46 pm

i definetly saw a lot more of "plain guy w/ camera on a bike" and "cargo shorts and a backwards baseball cap" type people this year than last. This year was definetly a lot less spiritual than last year, despite the beautiful propsal my boyfriend made to me. having to stare at the ground as you avoid piss spot after another on the way back from the burn will do that to you.

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Tristan
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Post by Tristan » Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:27 pm

not all men with cameras are creepy.

have a look at http://www.playa-dust.com

:)

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:32 pm

""women should not have to alter their behaviour in this way in order to avoid being abused. ""

Aren't we talking about altering the behavior of creepy camera men?

You should feel free to express yourself by removing clothes or dressing/acting in a provocative (or any other) manner. Shouldn't the creeps have the same freedom to express their creepy natures?

Obviously the line is there when it comes to abuse, but is it abusive for some lech to drool over what you are expressing?
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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_tears_
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Post by _tears_ » Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:41 pm

A few girlfriends and I were belly dancing in a drum circle, our outfits at the time were not exactly belly dance friendly so we were slowly taking them off, simply to enjoy our danceing more. Most of us were lost in the music, My eyes were closed and the music has taken over me, when one of my friends taps me and there was a crowed of mostly men around us with cameras.

Rather angerly we dressed and simply walked off, while walking away i simply said they should have asked before taking the pictures. In a rather rude comment i heard a man explaim " but would you have agreed to it, i dont think so " Yes it made me very angry, but I tryed not to let it get to me, we ended up finding a nice little dome with a small circle and danced there for awhile, we felt much safer there.

I also noticed a lot of Men and Cameras, snapping pictures of females. Men of ALL ages young and old....

I am not sure if there was just more of it, or if i just noticed it more this year than last.

*shrugs* . And I too wittnessed something at the GLOM... men with video cams everywhere as two ladies enjoyed it together..*shrugs*
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olivia
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Post by olivia » Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:56 pm

Don Muerto wrote:Shouldn't the creeps have the same freedom to express their creepy natures?
absolutely, as long as it doesn't involve abusing other people's rights. in my experience, there are plenty of places to go on the playa if you wish to do what most people would consider creepy, the difference being that you have sought out the environment where your behaviour is welcome.
Don Muerto wrote:Obviously the line is there when it comes to abuse, but is it abusive for some lech to drool over what you are expressing?
non-contact drooling can be disrespectful and can definitely make someone feel threatened or abused. it is a different issue than being documented against your will on camera. both can be equally upsetting depending on context. personally i find being documented without my authorisation more offensive because i cannot remove my image from the camera without having to physically take the camera away. when someone is letching on you there are a different set of choices.

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Tristan
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Post by Tristan » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:17 pm

In general, I make much better photos when the subjects are not aware that they are being shot or just don't care. When I ask for permission, which I get almost all the times, the behaviour and expression of the subject changes and it becomes difficult to make a good photo. This is true not only at Burning Man but anywhere else I take photos.

I consider that when people are in any public location (e.g. the Playa, Central Cafe', or the Black Rock City streets), they know that they can be seen, photographed and filmed by others. And most people will agree with that. In case you did not notice, there were big poles on the playa with 360 degres cameras filming day and night the playa action, so you were filmed, and no-one asked you for permission there!

But I would not take any photo in a camp without asking, because you can expect some privacy in your camp.

I think it's mostly a question of attitude. If you are not hiding the fact that you have a camera and show the photos that you have taken to the model, even without asking first, and if the photos are good, the model will not disaprove. Naturally I always send the photos by email when people ask me.

I took some photos without asking, some after asking for permission, and never had a negative experience, but then again, i probably don't look creepy, and I am mostly interested by the graphic / visual aspect of the photos, even if there is some nudity in them.

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drowned_saved
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Post by drowned_saved » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:28 pm

there can be no expectation of privacy in a public place. one could object to such a 'legalistic' approach, but i consider it common sense.

the playa is many things to many people, but it never ceases to be a public space. suffice it to say, you may not be able to perform comfortably in public the same acts you enjoy in private. whatever magic you pursue there, it is open for consumption.

besides, nudity is passe. the most radical body parts (heart and brain) are on the inside.

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drowned_saved
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Post by drowned_saved » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:44 pm

drowned_saved wrote:the most radical body parts (heart and brain) are on the inside.
edit to add: until the zombies get you anyway.

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:47 pm

Olivia, for the record, I agree with you regarding unauthorized photo-taking, and do believe this to be a transgression worth discussing and addressing.

I just wanted to raise the issue that 'creepy' is not 'abusive' or 'illegal' per se, yet it is definitely part of the equation when people assess whether to get angry or not at sexualized attention.

I think that women have the right to (un)dress however they feel is appropriate and shouldn't be made to feel unsafe for it. The issue just gets thorny when you try to judge or control what the observer of said women think and feel about their state of dress.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

cowgirl
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hey...

Post by cowgirl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:07 pm

for the record...

each time i was verbally abused, filmed and harassed... I HAD MY TOP ON...

this conversation is getting way to 'breast' oriented.

its not about nudity... its about disrespect in general.... please try to keep it from becoming a titty discussion.

i was never acting in a sexual manner... dancing in a 'come hither' manner.... drunk, fucked up or anything else when these incidents occured.

i was walking to the fucking bathroom in the middle of the day!

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