Monday, June 13, 2005

Hey. Do You Know What You Are?

You're a blogger. And, possibly, if you're like me, you're a young blogger. And if you're not like me, you're a young female blogger.

How much shit does a young female blogger go through, on her daily tromp through the Internet?

I mean, really. I got a friend, who's American. She's a fan of Digimon, loves Japanese miniature dolls, and has a membership with OkCupid. She also gets, you know, the occasional creepy missive from some young buck who wants to have sex with her.

She doesn't blog. She's also a teenager.

And this is just a teenager; we're not talking about some woman who decides to, you know, for personal reasons, expose herself in a public medium [NSFW]. Which she is perfectly entitled to. Hey, it's your body, do what you like with it.

I can't possibly imagine Hani doing it, for example. She's got her mother, whom she lives with, who is conservative in many ways. You tend to restrict yourself in many ways when the lady you might offend controls your purse-strings and your freedoms.

But Hani's been famous for being seen, once, long ago, as one of the tell-lots exposé blogs on the Internet. And there were no pictures in that one of her nude. There were plenty of requests, hey, sure. Young bucks who want a quick lay. Or geeks who wanted to be friends. Some of them made for quite good friendships; safe ones, with no scandalous behaviour in public or private.

That's not what her mother, or the parents of any young lady who blogs, might see when they get a load of this.

Oh, great. And you'd think that blogging would be respectable by now.

The best part was that you know, readers who came in her blog would have immediately, without being warned, seen her naked self on the blog. No NSFW tags. No warnings. Nothing. Just a post, and then TITS! YAY!

If you were a young, hot-blooded guy. It's a different story if you were, say, underaged. Or at work. Or not attracted to women. Or surfing the Internet when your father's walking behind you, looking over your shoulder. Or if you're a blogger, and your father comes to you and says, “Ah Jay, do you do these things on the Internet? Are you mixing with these kinds of people?”. Or if you're a blogger, trying to look respectable in a field that has a reputation of being full of attention-whores.

No, no, no. Nothing rosy, I'm sure. No one was hurt, sure. No tears were shed.

Oh, tough. We live in a conservative society, with moral axioms seemingly cast-iron hard except when expediency and discretion bend the rules. Oh boo hoo hoo, your father doesn't understand you. Oh boo hoo hoo, people are judging you, calling you names. Oh boo hoo hoo, stupidity reigns when you suddenly decided to disregard the society you live in for what might now seem like a case of poor impulse control. Let me play the world's smallest violin.

Times like this, I always bring out a favourite axiom of mine.

“There is a line between being slutty, and being stupid.”

Guess who was stupid.

Edited: I added in a [NSFW] tag on a potentially offensive link. My apologies to everyone who weren't informed prior — the pictures were not visible during the time of posting due to bandwitdh overrun on the site.

Blogger Jolene said...

erm..the media who highlighted the issue? ...:|

10:18 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

So? We know the media is irresponsible.

There's no point in saying, “Hey, Mister Big Bad Media, This Is All Your Fault”.

For one thing, it's old hat — it's like saying, “Hey, the sky is blue”.

Secondly, it's not exactly true, is it?

10:26 PM  
Blogger Jolene said...

Huh??

10:32 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

The issue would be much simpler, if, say, the SPG had posted her picture into a private or somewhat controlled manner. You can do this; there are free services that allow you to restrict the viewing of blog posts to specific people (like, say, people over 18).

This is what you do for material others (including employers) might deem objectionable. I do it all the time — there is a Hokusai piece linked here that is ten times worse than what the SPG could ever hope to do, and I put it under a NSFW label.

Thus, if her nude body got out into the public, we can say, yes, Big Media Has Erred, and this is all Big Media's Fault.

But that's not what happened. Her nude picture, which is something that not only some conservative parties might object to, but also companies who otherwise allow their workers some form of Internet access for recreational and off-duty purposes, was posted in public. Full view.

No warning. Nothing. You went to her blog, you saw it.

Oh, yes. You can argue that readers don't have to continue reading her blog if it was offensive. Which would be true if the offensive material was textual, not graphical or pictorial. Which is was.

Thing with graphical or pictorial representation? Once you see it, damage done.

And of course the Press latched on. It sells. We've had this sort of crap ever since there were blogs. You can blame them, but you can't blame them completely or constructively, because some of the responsibility falls upon the provider of the allegedly offensive content.

And of course this reinforces the view that, oh, I don't know, what does your father think of bloggers now?

10:43 PM  
Blogger HANI said...

Woohoo! I am pleased, young padawan, that you finally lay some blame on the woman.

I shall explain myself to other people who come here: Tariq has a history of never blaming the girl, no matter how stupid or evil the girl. So this little post he has written is leaps and bounds of progress, in my eyes!

Because when a woman is empowered, then she has to take the blame when she abuses her power.

12:37 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

Thy bidding will be done, my Mistress.

12:41 AM  
Blogger saRah said...

couldn't have said it better myself. nice one!

cheers;)
sarah
http://www.tabulas.com/~shireen

ps: dad was the one who told me about it. he's opinion of blogging has changed, that's for sure.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Idlan said...

Akak bukan apa Tariq; akak cuma tak sukalah, dedah sana sini.. nampak tetek semua. Ish..

12:47 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

Omigod Idlan, Hani and I agree — that was the most awesomest comment so far EVAR.

12:49 AM  
Blogger A. Zulkifli said...

I am of the opinion that you have a valid argument, but calling a person dishonest in his blog kinda stung me a little. I guess intelligent and maturity is two different things t-boy. Anyway, yes, your view should be respected, and it's not bad, only I am taking a different issue up, rather than nudity per se.

Disagreeing with a person does not make him dishonest, that is the point I would like to make.

Cheers.

1:01 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

The opinion was dishonest, not you.

You know, maybe ‘dishonest’ wasn't such a good word to use…. Maybe ‘misleading’ would have been better.

1:08 AM  

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