Quickies

Quickies: Legal upskirts, research must include gender, realistic dolls, and math cookies

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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11 Comments

  1. It’s important for Massachusetts residents to push their lawmakers to introduce and pass a law banning privacy-invading photography like this. While one would assume enough attention has been drawn to the issue by this ruling, constituents really need to push their lawmakers to action.

  2. Regarding Massachusetts law — the judge seems to have made the right legal decision. If that conduct is to be criminally illegal in Massachusetts, then the legislature needs to write a law criminalizing it. I suspect it’s a more difficult thing to write than might meet the eye, from a legislative drafting standpoint.

    A complicating factor is that it is probably perfectly fine for a woman to ride the subway in a pair of shorts that cover no more skin than underwear. It may well be lawful for a woman to walk around wearing her underpants only. It is certainly lawful for people to take pictures of other people while out in public. There is no expectation of privacy in public. If you’re walking around the subway, someone may be filming you.

    I wouldn’t fault the judge here, though. The fault lies in the Massachusetts legislature.

  3. Also, I wonder how such a law would effect the Paparazzi and their search for photos of celebrities exiting cars revealing their underwear (or sometimes not). Does the propriety of taking a photo revealing under a person’s skirt depend in part on the angle of the camera? Or, the length (or lack thereof) of the skirt?

  4. The problem with the Mass case is that the particular law used to prosecute this particular creepy guy does not apply to what he did. I find it hard to believe that Massachusetts, which actually has laws that go back to hundreds of years before it became a state (which were subsumed in the law in the process of statehood) does not have a law that somehow makes this kind of violation illegal. Perhaps the legislature needs to add a new law or amend an existing one, but this is probably a case where different charges could have been applied. In any event, it was a fail.

  5. Under the statute in question, it was unlawful to surreptitiously photograph a nude or partially nude person. The statute defines partially nude as “the exposure of the human genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.”

    The statute then prohibits: “Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another person who is nude or partially nude, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, when the other person in such place and circumstance would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being so photographed, videotaped or electronically surveilled, and without that person’s knowledge and consent, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 21/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

    Based on the conduct involved, and the statute, I think the prosecutor overreached in even bringing charges. Bringing charges under the “spirit” of the law? Bollocks.

    The photographer guy is a creep for sure, and what he did should be illegal, but based on the statute in question, he was clearly within the letter of that law.

    Incidentally, the Massachusetts laws prohibiting Fornication and also Adultery have not been repealed.

    LOL – and Ch. 272 Section 21 makes it illegal to advertise or sell instruments of “self-abuse” — i.e. masturbation.

    Clearly, the Massachusetts law books need a good editing and revision: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter272

    Section 34. Whoever commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years.

    Section 35. Whoever commits any unnatural and lascivious act with another person shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in jail or the house of correction for not more than two and one half years.

    Section 36. Whoever wilfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.

    This one is classic: Section 36A. Whoever, having arrived at the age of sixteen years, directs any profane, obscene or impure language or slanderous statement at a participant or an official in a sporting event, shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars. — I.e., you can be fined $50 bucks for yelling at the batter at a Red Sox game…..lol

  6. Regarding Lammily doll — I think the doll looks just fine and I would buy her for my daughter. It would be great to buy her something that doesn’t come across as a dingbat toy. Barbies never seemed to make it past “ditzy blonde” in my view. A versatile, sporty figure that might not say “math is hard” would be quite welcome in my home.

    That being said, to suggest that Lammily is “average” proportions is ridiculous. She still exhibits a fit and slender physique, albeit at least reasonably possible in the real world for humans to attain. However, in the US about 65 or 67% of all women (and men) are overweight, not like Lammily who seems quite athletic and fit. The US has the highest rate of overweight and obese teenagers in the world (or one of the highest, depending on whose numbers you look at). So, most girls do not look like Lammily at all.

    So, they get a round of applause, but it would be, I think, wrong to say that Lammily is of average proportions. At least not average for Americans….

    1. Lammily’s measurements were based off of the average for 19-year-old American women based on data collected by the CDC. While she may not be average for all American women, it seems they did their homework for their specific goal. Whether you think the average should be based off all ages is another issue.

    2. I looked through about 20 or so articles, all of them concentrated on Barbies proportions (BMI 16.4, unhealthily underweight) and not one of them had Lammilly’s, 5’4″ 165 pounds, BMI 28.3. Almost obese. (found it here: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=28953560&nid=1009)

      I can agree that Barbie presents a bad message. It aspires to an impossible body image that contributes to body dysmorphia and eating disorders. But is the correct replacement an overweight figure? If anything we should create a healthy body shape to aspire to and Lammilly is not that figure.

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