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Sep 06 2005

Show Us Yer Tits

True or not, I don’t imagine we’ve seen the last of stories like this. One prefers to imagine that the witness is confused.

23 comments

  1. Ancrene Wiseass

    Oh, holy hell.

  2. Chris Clarke

    I am making the conscious, admittedly potentially unfeminist choice to regard that as an apocryphal story until it is corroborated.

    I do this because I’m feeling the last few days like I’m getting way too close to exercising the Charles Whitman option. Our national anthem is suddenly an old Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five hit, and I’m trying not to lose my head.

  3. Ancrene Wiseass

    I really hope you’re right, Chris. Really. Because I’m right there with you: I don’t know if I can handle any more.

  4. TeenageCatgirl

    This situation is a pile of madness which gets madder and madder.

  5. EVI

    Jesus Christ – tell me that isn’t true or I’ll have lava dripping out of my ears.

  6. ae

    Holy effin everlovin’ mofo’n shit. I’ve got to jump on Chris’s bandwagon, because, honestly, I cannot possibly take another thing. People are starting to look at me funny and whisper. And not for the usual reasons!

    I have felt for a long time (5 yrs) that this madministration’s tactic was sensory/psychic overload. They want us crazy and weary, and I’m sad to report it’s working. What devils. If I woke up tomorrow and knew for a fact that we were guinea pigs in a 50s-era LSD experiment, I would not be the least surprised; in fact, I’d be relieved. That at least would explain the hallucinatory/nightmarish nature of the insanity we witness on an hourly basis.

  7. Sam

    I read at ginmar’s Livejournal that some men had posted on Craig’s List advertising room and board for homeless hotties they can fuck in return.

    Just you wait for the “Hot and Wet In New Orleans” issue of Playboy. Respect and consideration for thousands of people losing everything they had in this world didn’t stop them from producing the Babes of Enron issue.

  8. Lauren

    I was going to say something cogent but this renders me speechless.

    Please let it be a lie. Please let it be a lie.

  9. Hazel

    The BBC are reporting it too. It sounds more like an eye-witness account than the unsubtantiated murders and shooting at helicopters -

    “The handling of the relief operation had been “horrendous”, Mr Scott added.

    “I could not describe how bad the authorities were – taking photographs of us as we are standing on the roof waving for help, for their own personal photo albums, little snapshot photographs.”

    He said at one point a group of girls was standing on the roof of the hotel lobby and called to passing rescuers for help.

    “They [the authorities] said to them ‘well show us what you’ve got’ – doing signs for them to lift their t-shirts up. The girls said no, and they said ‘well fine’, and motored off down the road in their motorboat.

    “That’s the sort of help we had from the authorities,” he said.

    Mr Scott added: “The only information we got from anybody in authority was if a policeman came past and we shouted to them out of the windows.

    “The only information we ever got off them was negative, ‘Do not go here. Do not go there’.

    “There was no, ‘Are you OK? Are you safe? Have you got water?’.

    “Most of the time they would ignore us.”"

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4217022.stm

  10. rhondda

    I am so jaded and cynical right now that I totally believe it. If you can let babies starve, you will get this low. After all, it is the patriarchial way and anything can be rationalized. “What’s in it for me” is the mantra. Thank the goddesses, there are still people with a heart and do what is necessary for all of us. There are men with hearts and there women without them. For a while there Twisty, I thought you had fallen in the pit of despair and would not get out. You’re back! Thank you.

  11. Sam

    I wonder why so many are expressing how unbelievable this is. Because men aren’t known to withhold life necessities from women who don’t cater to their sexual demands?

    UN Peacekeepers in Africa are forcing girls into what’s commonly referred to as “survival sex” and NATO forces in Kosovo are accused by Amnesty International for prostitution increasing to more than 10x its pre-1999 numbers, but the scene described here is thought too awful to readily believe.

    You show me the back pages of “alternative” weeklies in 100 United States cities and I’ll show you traumatised women in desperate situations giving in to men’s sexual demands to try and keep alive. This is the rule in capitalist patriarchy, not the exception.

  12. Hazel

    I’d give more credence to an “unbelievable report” (could men really be THAT crass? yes they could) than the wild rumours that people were quite prepared to swallow which sounded like something out of Fort Apache the Bronx. Stories of sexual assault or predation often have an element of unbelievability or oddness attached to them.

  13. Liz

    If you were looking for the perfect illustration to link pornography with violence, that is the story.

    They take photos of people suffering or dying or dead because they anticipate later pleasure from viewing or showing others the picures (why else would they take photos?) and because they view themselves as vastly superior to their porn objects (their viewing pleasure is more important to them than the humiliation of someone who is already suffering).

    The same impulse led to the (same?) people asking the women to lift their shirts.

    Our fury and despair at both of these is identical.

    Reminds me also of the Abu Grahib prison photos.

    Is there a difference between different sorts of human impulses to see media images of this disaster – including people in the throes of grief which would normally be private – is it always porn, or is it not porn if you feel compassion when you look at the photos?

  14. Summer

    Unbelievably believable. Whatever that means.

    I’m stunned.

  15. Ancrene Wiseass

    I’m not saying it isn’t believable. I’m just saying I don’t know whether I can handle having to believe it on top of everything else I’ve had to believe this week.

  16. jc.

    Gosh, maybe those guys in the boat weren´t “authorities”
    but photographers for the third page of the popular english tabloid the “Sun”, that would actually explain everything, wouldn`t it?
    Or maybe they were suffering from shock and dehydration and thought they were at the Mardi Gras and were merely indulging in one of the quaint customs of that celebration, flashing for beads.
    o.k. maybe they were just criminal assholes.

  17. Josef K

    Liz, you’re right. But, as a (struggling) journalist, I do believe that the public should see what’s going on in New Orleans, and a lot of people have a hard time understanding the extent of a crisis without seeing pictures to go with it. There does come a point where information overload and “compassion fatigue” shade imperceptibly into the pornography of suffering, but I still believe that it’s vital to record what’s happening.

  18. Twisty

    Call me Pollyanna, but before 9/11 I had assumed that, although government was in many ways crappy, it was ultimately doing more good than harm. After 9/11 I wised up. I thought I had done all the wising up I’d need to do.

    Nope!

    One of the nastiest aspects of this whole thing (for those of us who aren’t directly affected) is the creeping realization that the super-crappy response to 9/11 was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the abject moral failure of American leadership.

  19. Chris Clarke

    Call me semi-Anna, but I’d assumed that New Orleans cops would at least rescue the women before embarking on the inevitable program of criminal sexual harrassment.

  20. Sylvanite

    I wonder if these are some of the same NO cops that are currently unaccounted for, possibly deserters?

  21. PrissyNot

    Okay, so wake up. That Bush person is criminally insane, as in he should be institutionalized. Has no one noticed this fact? So, if a mad criminal is HEADING the government, how do we expect the lower echelons to act? The president flew over the whole mess in a helicopter; I wouldn’t be too surprised if HE asked some desperate woman to show him what she’d got. Only, probably, if he said where some of his precious christian rights could hear him do it.

    Why are we surprised that this horror is going on around us? Didn’t we sign up for it AGAIN!?!?!?!?!?

  22. ae

    Liz, viscerally I’m with you, but I do make a distinction between pornography and pornographic. While the pictures that we saw following Katrina may have seemed voyeuristic and even predatory in cases, I wouldn’t classify them as being pornography, per se.

    I’m sure someone could make the argument that there is no distinction, but I say this only to assert (and preserve) the power of our argument that pornography is a systematic degradation of the female (sexual) self — body, mind, soul — via the hateful, reductive (and instructive) depiction of a sexualized power differential. Something pornographic, on the other hand, employs the tricks and conceits of pornography (false authority via collapsed distance, POV, the deeply private moment of which you speak, etc.) to elicit a quick emotional response. I don’t know that I would include a photograph, no matter how “graphic,” that elicits a compassionate response as being pornography, specifically. (I mean, in this case, photographs that are not, above all, sexual in nature, e.g. the violence done to the poor after the hurricane.)

    That said, the specific image of young women baring their breasts for police, were it to exist, is pornography. That said, anyone who gets off on the violence done to people in this sort of circumstance is sociopathic.

    I take your point re: the link between pornography and violence. To me, pornography is violence, done to the object and to the user.

  23. sam

    Today’s New York Times has a prominent story on people staying in New Orleans. It includes two pictures of a woman given this description in the text:

    “Some holdouts seem intent on keeping alive the distinct and wild spirit of this city. In the French Quarter, Addie Hall and Zackery Bowen found a unusual way to make sure that police officers regularly patrolled their house. Ms. Hall, 28, a bartender, flashed her breasts at the police vehicles that passed by, ensuring a regular flow of traffic.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/09/national/nationalspecial/09holdouts.html?hp&ex=1126324800&en=a32134100a277a2f&ei=5094&partner=homepage

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