So someone posted a link to a BBC magazine article about 'sexting' on their facebook. Someone who I have argued with before about victim blaming and the way girls are sexualised in our culture. I posted a response on his page which said
"interesting that there's only one letter to a son which only mentions the need to respect other people right at the end. and.. "I am shocked and saddened by these girls' eagerness to flaunt their adolescent bodies, pouting in front of the camera lens, taunting young boys and even grown men" because men just can't help themselves can they? There's a lot of talk about self-respect and self-esteem going on in these letters but what are these parents actually doing to teach their children what self-esteem is? Writing a letter to them in their teenage years seems a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. A better message might be to tell people not to pass on private pictures to other people because that's just a bit of a shitty thing to do. Plus - why have the BBC used a picture of three teenage girls shot from groin level with their heads cut off? Don't they realize that this reduces the female form to the status of just a 'thing' and that it does nothing to improve this victim blaming piece of 'journalism'. FFS"
He hasn't responded ... yet. I expect he will respond by telling me that it's really important to protect our female offspring because of all the nasty men out there and what is wrong with teaching them to be safe anyway. He won't understand the victim blaming that I see in the article, or the need to teach our male off-spring not to behave in a way that is predatory, controlling and abusive; That it is not just a girl's/woman's responsibility to 'be safe'.
He won't understand what I have written on my own Facebook about this either.
"WOW - look at these shit letters telling young women not to taunt men with their bodies. Nothing in there about telling men not to be shits and have some respect for other people's privacy. And why has the BBC used a picture of three teenage girls shot at crotch level and with their heads cut off like they are some kind of disembodied 'thing'. Ridiculous. I have found this shot on thinkstock and it looks like the BBC edited the picture to intentionally cut the girls heads off! "
I noticed that the picture used by the BBC comes from a company called thinkstock so I did some research.
THIS is the picture the BBC used.
THIS is a picture (Cropped by thinkstock) that they could have used
Possibly they thought the three girls looked too grown up so they just chopped their heads off? However, they have ended up with an up the skirt shot of some headless teenage girls. They could have used alternative cropped picture with the closed legs. Marginally better perhaps but still headless. Still one of those disembodied pictures of the female form that reduces women to just a 'thing'.
Sure ... they wanted to focus on the image of texting, but a quick search of thinkstock shows many more pictures of mobile phones being used (By teenagers) that doesn't involve up-skirt shots of headless women. First they have created a magazine article that puts responsibility on women to text safely and sensibly, rather than encouraging a state of affairs where young men are responsible adults who don't do shitty things like pass around naked pictures of their female friends and girlfriends, then they have illustrated it with a typically sexist and damaging photograph where women are headless and viewed only as a trio of knees and vaginas.
Way to go BBC employee.