Exploitation R Us: Vintage Smut Vs. Modern Camera Nudes

Vintage Smut Vs. Modern Camera Nudes

Death by Party | Restaurants are immoral for exploiting peoples need to eat

So I have a friend, who I dearly love and respect, but who I think is a fucking idiot. She has been less that supportive of my running of Swellco & Swellco’s subversive subliminal test site. Her complaint? Our use of nudity. Only last week we got into it. The argument is an old one. Exploitation. We are exploiting women (and occasionally men?) by showing them in a state of undress. Quite frankly, I am sick of this ongoing argument with her and want to lay it to rest. Exploitation is when you profit from someone’s weakness or when you force them to do something they wouldn’t normally do because they are desperate or are coerced. 30 years ago, if a photographer took pictures of a girl naked, that photographer would physically own those images and sell them for profit. In a sense he would own that girl. The existence of those images  would be a dirty secret or a mark of shame. Now, that same girl would take those photos herself, email them to her friends and post them on on her tumblr page. Modern technology has socialized sexuality the same way it has art. This argument died after the first camera phone was sold. If we were video taping a girl sucking off a room full of guys because she’s strung out on smack and needs to pay off her dealer, we would be exploiting. If we ran a sweat shop full of children, we would be exploiting, if we were smuggling in women from foreign countries and making them pay their way by working in a brothel, we would be exploiting. You apply the term to college co-eds with their Model Mayhem accounts and Suicide Girl profiles and you kinda cheapen the term for people who are really being hurt. Ironically, my friend regularly takes pictures of herself naked with her phone, and is happy to show them. When I pointed this out her response was that it’s different because everyone wants to express their sexuality themselves, but it’s wrong to publicly profit from others expressing theirs. I think that’s like saying restaurants are immoral for exploiting peoples need to eat.

-R.E. Brown 

Photos courtesy of http://superwoobinda.tumblr.com & http://mirrornudes.tumblr.com

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