Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Women showing women

Having a human body is of course basic to being human. While depictions of that body seem to put one into a vast world of restrictions, confusion and control.

For some it's a religious issue. For others it's just something not discussed. For me it is an arena of endless fascination for many reasons. And while an artistic appreciation for the human form inspires my attention, will readily admit a tendency to focus on the female.

When it comes to depictions of women to me the gender differences seem to go in an odd direction, where males seem to behave as if certain female parts must be treated very differently than others, while in contrast women seem to be more accepting of all a woman's parts including a far more accepting view of female sexual equipment.

Which makes sense. Why wouldn't they?

But then again, why would there be a variation here?

Lots and lots of smoothed out art can be very confusing I'm sure, even for women.

With video it intrigues me when there is nudity involved and the camera does a peculiar dance, which makes certain that certain parts of a woman are either completely missed, or given a glancing view, or--a tease. In the opposite direction there can also be an ogling feel, or a shameful signal as the camera betrays what the operator, I think, feels.

It really can disrupt things to me as at best there is an artistic flow, which gets disrupted for me as the camera has to jump around this insistence that the natural is not.

But I've seen none of that happen in other situations where I was able determine was a woman behind the camera.

In those situations women were just matter-of-fact. They wouldn't ogle on certain parts, nor would they run from them, but would simply depict women as they are. And why wouldn't everyone?

What's with men who see female genitalia as nasty or depictions of them as demeaning? How do they get that view?

And as a guy will admit this subject has me more hesitant than normal, but why? And as attitudes shift and the female body is accepted as it is, I feel more of a relief.

It's like a weight has been lifted and for me that was for the most part done by women showing women. While men seemed to push the tease, or the ogle, push the idea of the forbidden, and push the idea that nudity in and of itself could be degrading for women, though not usually, for men.

For me the bodies of women were for the most part hidden.

And something simply being hidden does not necessarily make it nasty. With the modern web where depictions of the human body are not hard to find do not get that sense that there is something repulsive about the human form in and of itself. Which is great! After all, all us humans have one.

So where do some men get that sense of nasty? And why do they become camera operators?

Or do most men? Or do most camera operators who are men, but am I too focused on this one arena? Find my mind running in circles as it chases complexity I think is really not there.

And do women really make better camera operators when it comes to depictions of women? Or is an idea I find satisfies me?

Does remove any remaining guilt!

But that guilt is so silly. I wasn't born with it, but was taught it. Now I'm so glad to unlearn it!!!

Maybe as time goes forward and useless ideas fall to the side, swept away by the sheer level of content, gender of the person behind the camera won't matter. And if what I think I see is there, it will drift away with a new generation, brought up differently than I was.

And it's not a minor issue. Healthy body image depends on seeing the wide range of human variability, and learning to not only accept it, but be thankful for it.

Now that the human form is not in and of itself considered offensive under laws at least in this country, I'm almost wondering, is this issue really political?

And I think it is, as women fully gain their proper place in society as equals, which includes legal and economic issues, it's surprising to note that is still an ongoing process. It should have been finished by now. And part of maintaining older systems, including politically, was in pushing women off into a special status, where options were limited under the guise of protecting a woman's sensibilities and dignity.

Women themselves have been vocal in this area, with movements like Free The Nipple. And in fighting for the rights to breastfeed in public.

In an equal world it does make sense that we'd have equal bodies despite their differences.

And today greater equality is in respecting the inherent dignity of her and her body, and all its parts.

James Harris