Feminism

The Ethics of DickPix

Fair warning: Images will get more NSFW-looking, though never NSFW, as we go.

The first time it happened, the man in question knew that I was very much underage (all of fourteen years old) and a devout Muslim uninterested in explicit imagery. It wasn’t anonymous, either; he knew me from my posts at Phatooine. “Your first dick” read the caption underneath the blurry, oddly-angled shot. I deleted it the second I realized what it was, but not without noting that, unlike the penises of my youthful fantasies, this one was definitely not ribbed for my pleasure.

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Ten years later, not much has changed. I’ve openly been a lady on the Internet for quite a while now and have, therefore, received plenty of unsolicited images of cis male genitalia. While my disappointment that penises aren’t ridged has dispelled, it’s been replaced by disappointment in many cis men’s apparent inability to understand that their fixation with their penises automatically doesn’t extend to all women. Whether it’s via something as completely incongruous as a Star Wars forum or a dating profile/ad where I specifically state that I am wholly uninterested in penis pics, I, like most women on the internet, have been subjected to this collective straight cis male assumption that I must be just as into their penises as they are.

So, the other day, when the Quickies alerted me to the existence of an art exhibit featuring cis male crotch shots, my initial reaction was “haaaaaaa.” I was nodding along until I came upon this part

Most of the women have gone the straightforward route in collecting dick pics, using versions of their real OKCupid profiles and brief conversations—sometimes just going right for the jugular and straight-up asking for a dick pic, avoiding flirtation and conversation at all costs.

Hold the phones — they asked for the dick pics? So these women are claiming that they’re making a statement about the robbing of female agency that occurs when a woman is inundated with unsolicited dick pics… by posting pictures of their vulvae next to solicited dick shots?

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It gets worse.

One of the artists, however, went a step further by posing as a gay man on Grindr and wound up with 150 photos.

Yeah, no. A gay man sending a picture of his penis (whether solicited or not) to another gay man is its own phenomenon, distinct from that of women being sent unsolicited peen pics.

I wouldn’t call it the straight female version of Creepshots, since the intent is not to titillate, but the analogy holds when considering the underhandedness of both ventures. Pure shadiness aside, equating unsolicited nude images to ones that were specifically requested devalues the role of consent in a way that upholds the slut-shaming, anti-sex, anti-pleasure ideals that so pervade society.

This isn’t a “feminist art project,” it’s a gleefully disingenuous privacy violation.

Heina Dadabhoy

Heina Dadabhoy

Heina Dadabhoy [hee-na dad-uh-boy] spent her childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in her right mind would have believed that she would grow up to be an atheist feminist secular humanist, or, in other words, a Skepchick. She has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007. She is currently writing A Skeptic's Guide to Islam. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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6 Comments

  1. August 22, 2013 at 11:58 am —

    Skepchicks Nix Dick Pics

  2. August 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm —

    Yeah, i had the same reaction when I read about this. It had potential to be great but instead it’s just exploitative and creepy.

    • August 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm —

      The exhibit deconstructs itself. Making art of dick pics sent unsolicited, or just showing unsolicited dick pics to the world on a revenge porn site, is a powerful statement. This exhibit, though, it’s, is there a female version of Reddit out there?

  3. marilove
    August 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm —

    And it’s not as if it’s HARD to get unsolicited dick pics. Just post a dating ad online and say “I don’t want dick pics” and BAM! Dick pics. What a lazy “project”.

    • August 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm —

      Hell, I’m vaguely surprised there are no dick pics in the comments. It’s just a law of the internet that they are more likely than not to be wherever you go as a lady on the internet.

  4. August 22, 2013 at 8:36 pm —

    Err, perhaps just take 10 minutes on chatroullete?

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