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.
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 While my disappointment that penises aren’t ridged has dispelled, it’s been replaced by disappointment in many cis men’s apparent inability to understand that their fixation with their penises automatically doesn’t extend to all women.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.
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?
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.