Upskirting and Downblousing: Stay Classy, Guys

I read this feature on upskirting and the legal issues surrounding it on Salon, and felt a chill crawling up my spine the entire time I was reading it.

Walking around in Amman, I stick out like a sore thumb. People notice me, and sometimes they follow me, and sometimes I think I’ve noticed several people trying to photograph me (it happened so quickly, that I wasn’t sure what was going on). I feel especially vulnerable on escalators, even in a fairly conservative below-the-knee skirt.

The situation is even worse in Ukraine, where men just aren’t afraid to get caught doing this sort of thing. The only time I know I don’t have to worry about it, is when I’m walking around with a burly cousin or a male friend – because we all know that a woman only deserves basic respect if she “belongs” to another man. The rest of us? Fair game.

When harassment happens to me, my usual response is to laugh it off. I laughed for about an hour after some guy grabbed my ass on the metro in Kiev this summer, probably due to the fact that I had just been wondering why crude harassment of me had recently stopped.

But there is something particularly creepy about a guy getting so close, and then being able to take away a memento – a flash of panty, a bra strap, that he can then store on his hard-drive, wank off to, send to his friends, whilst bragging about the experience. When I put a picture of myself out on the Internet – I am in control, to a certain extent. Others can still wank off to it, or photoshop it, or whatever – but it’s still my picture, I created it.

“What about paparazzi? Or plain old journalists? Of which you are one?” A friend asked me recently. “Wouldn’t you say that invasion of privacy is already the norm in our society?” Continue reading “Upskirting and Downblousing: Stay Classy, Guys”

Just a quick note: DVD regions are evil

Everywhere you go, there’s all this self-righteous hand-wringing about OMG PIRACY and what a dreadful, dreadful scourge it is (honestly, I see more anti-piracy adverts than “let’s all band together to fight cancer” adverts).

Hey, here’s a suggestion – how about getting rid of this DVD region BS and stop driving consumers into a corner? First they milk people for all they’re worth, then they complain when people take matters into their own hands. Why the HELL should I have to buy the Lord of the Rings box-set twice, especially considering the fact that the first two movies “seem to be sold out in Europe” (or so the store-clerks keep saying… I’d look for it online, but I’m presently having problems having stuff shipped to my new address)? Everyone’s talking about globalization, but what kind of “globalized” world forces you to buy duplicates of your entire movie collection just so you can watch said movies on your laptop?

Globalization my lily-white bum…

That’s all for now.

Kiev is beautiful. There was a man dancing with a football at our stadium tonight. Such unbelievable romance: the stars coming out, the grass stalks on the unkempt field, and someone who might as well be Cristiano Ronaldo silhouetted in the dusk. This is a charmed place, or a charmed moment, at the very least.