Leering at women is fine, says bloke

The SMH has picked up a story from the Tweed Daily News about a local 16-year-old model posing nude for the cover of a surf mag. The picture only shows Ella Rose Corby topless, with writing on her body and her arm covering her breasts, but I don’t know if this is all that’s on the cover or if TDN has cropped out the rest (scroll down in the story for the b&w cover).

It’s actually a surprisingly unsexual shot. There’s no cleavage, no sex face, and she’s staring straight at the camera. I like to think she’s daring you to say something pervy so she can belittle you with an awesome slapdown. Yes, 16 is too young to be nude around an adult male photographer, but that’s an issue for Ella and her parents. I’m surprised they gave her permission to pose nude for a misogynistic surf mag where her image is going to be leered at and jerked off to, rather than for a photographer like Bill Henson, but I don’t have kids and I was a nightmare teenager, so who am I to question their parenting?

Anyway, my real issue is with Stab‘s writer, Mike Jennings, talking about how “a girl that age means danger to the adult male”:

“They’re moving into womanhood and they know it.

“They dress older, sneak into clubs and are easily mistaken as adults.

“And as girls in their early twenties try and hang onto their teenage beauty, lines are blurred and we’re left confused.

“You can leer at the 16-year-old as you would an adult woman, so long as you’re ignorant.

“Once you become aware of their age you must look away.”

How creepy can you get?

4 responses to “Leering at women is fine, says bloke

  1. I added a comment to the SMH website on this. It’s a bit long so I wont re post here.

    • You can read Lexy’s comment here. She makes a great point about it being snobbery to make a distinction between high fashion and mens mags, particularly as you’re more likely to see nipple in Vogue than in FHM. This bit I love:

      What angers me most about this article are those quotes from Mike Jennings. They are REPULSIVE in so many ways. We need to stop blaming women for men’s behaviour and excusing inappropriate male behaviour to leer at women, sexualise them or even abuse them (regardless of age I may add) – it is the very basis of sexism and the ‘she was asking for it’ argument. This is where the real debate in this article should lie.

      Incidentally, there’s more cleavage showing in the formal photo at the bottom of the page, where the online journo has cropped the image to ensure maximum perve-at-a-teen factor.

  2. Mike Jennings’ comments are revolting.

    But I did wonder about the “According to Mrs Elliot, a mother herself, the magazine cover was not in good taste.” comment. What does it matter that she’s a mother?

    Are they implying that peeps without kids can’t tell the difference between right and wrong when it comes to topless teenage girls?

    I’m not actually that offended by the photo. But I do wonder why a surfing mag doesn’t have a picture of a surfer on it. That would seem logical.

    Actually that’s another rant really….why surfing mags and the surfing ‘industry’ don’t take female surfers seriously……

    • Well, a woman’s opinion ain’t worth anything, apparently, but if she doesn’t have kids then it’s worth even less. And I’m not offended by the photo either, but it shits me to tears that news sites are yet again pretending to be morally outraged. It’s all to drive traffic, so in my opinion they are using this girl more than the magazine they claim to be so offended by. They should be more offended by Mike Jennings.

      I’ve also wondered why surf mags are only interested in women as bikini-clad eye candy, rather than as surfers. Surely there’s a shared interest that would lead to some sort of respect?

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