“Upskirt” photography filed under “life & style”?

In the last year or so I’ve read a few articles about men taking photos up women’s skirts or down their shirts in public places, usually without the woman’s knowledge. Last September I wrote about a victory against this crass behavior in NYC when a man there got arrested for taking a photo up a woman’s skirt at a subway station.

Upskirting is gross, a violation of privacy, but not often illegal (laws aren’t keeping pace with technology). A recent article in the Guardian says it’s also a problem in the UK (unsurprising). Go read it if you’re unfamiliar with “upskirting.”

Tonight as I read the article, I particularly was struck by its placement: in the women’s section of “Life & style.” Since when does men taking photos up women’s skirts without their permission or without their knowledge qualify as “stylish” and why should it be something that women have to put up with in their “life”? Other categories under life and style include fashion, food, fitness, crafts, family, and relationships. “Soft” news categories. Why isn’t this considered “hard”  news? Because it’s a “women’s” issue? Guess what, men are the ones doing it so it’s a men’s issue too. Put it in the News section. I bet not many men go to the “women’s” section of the “life & style” section of the news website and they need to read these stories.

Me being upset over this placement may seem silly but it reflects how important the harassment of women in public is to the people in charge of the news – not very. I’ve found articles on other forms of street harassment relegated to these sections too. “Living” and “Style” … Thanks for letting only women know they’re being violated, harassed, and assaulted in the streets (something many already know from personal experience) but also for making sure they realize their problem is only a “soft” news issues of no major concern. So yeah, even though men are perpetrating it, don’t talk to them about it; they must focus on “manly” things instead in the hard news section…

2 Responses to “Upskirt” photography filed under “life & style”?

  1. lindabeth says:

    This is really just one of many out-of-place stories in newspapers. I have long written about stories dealing with women and science, women and technology, or non-fiction books about gender being relegated to the Fashion and Style section of the NY Times. Unfortunately, this practice is “old hat”.

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