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But should it be debasing?
I mean, what's wrong with us as a society that nudity is "debasing" and reduces people "to the level of a prostitute"?

Depends on the purpose. Viggo fighting naked in Eastern Promises was an artistic choice which makes sense as was the naked Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. The former emphasized vulnerability, the latter emphasized invulnerability. It's not mere nudity that is debasing.



If, however, you're getting paid to do sex work, you're a prostitute. Porn actors are prostitutes. The closer your job takes you into a space that is occupied by people in this category, the more you become a prostitute. Getting naked so that you're sex organs can be displayed for sexual gratification of watchers before/during a scene depicting simulated sex for the same purpose, you're doing sex work. When Seth McFarland did that send up at the 2013 Oscars "We saw your boobs" the actresses who were in the audience we're clearly humiliated, because it was a reminder that actresses (who want to work) have to bare their breasts to get work.



If, however, you're getting paid to do sex work, you're a prostitute. Porn actors are prostitutes. The closer your job takes you into a space that is occupied by people in this category, the more you become a prostitute. Getting naked so that you're sex organs can be displayed for sexual gratification of watchers before/during a scene depicting simulated sex for the same purpose, you're doing sex work. When Seth McFarland did that send up at the 2013 Oscars "We saw your boobs" the actresses who were in the audience we're clearly humiliated, because it was a reminder that actresses (who want to work) have to bare their breasts to get work.

It seems you are using the word prostitute as a dirty word, a substitute for a moral failing, and then funnelling the actions of anyone who performs a public act you link to sexuality towards that word. And, ultimately, that moral failing. Which hardly addresess what I think Wooley's point was; that maybe we should stop being so uptight about nudity. And I would argue, maybe stop being so judgemental towards what people do with their own bodies, for whatever purpose they deem acceptable.



This isn't to say there aren't loads of issues that arise through the business end of prostitution. Or that Hollywood isn't traditionally exploitative of women's bodies. Both are undeniably true and there is an overlap here. There are criticisms to be made. But you seem to be adopting the 'tsk tsk, how shameful' tactic of painting the open expression of sexuality with one brush. And this is not a tactic that has generally reaped great advances in reducing sexual exploitation.



Victim of The Night
Depends on the purpose. Viggo fighting naked in Eastern Promises was an artistic choice which makes sense as was the naked Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. The former emphasized vulnerability, the latter emphasized invulnerability. It's not mere nudity that is debasing.



If, however, you're getting paid to do sex work, you're a prostitute. Porn actors are prostitutes. The closer your job takes you into a space that is occupied by people in this category, the more you become a prostitute. Getting naked so that you're sex organs can be displayed for sexual gratification of watchers before/during a scene depicting simulated sex for the same purpose, you're doing sex work. When Seth McFarland did that send up at the 2013 Oscars "We saw your boobs" the actresses who were in the audience we're clearly humiliated, because it was a reminder that actresses (who want to work) have to bare their breasts to get work.
But is that... I dunno man. I think it's a problem with people that they can't see someone naked in the shower in a movie without it being prostitution.

But I also agree with crumbs, there's really nothing wrong with prostitution.



Registered User
It seems you are using the word prostitute as a dirty word,

It is a dirty word.



a substitute for a moral failing,


Substitute?



and then funnelling the actions of anyone who performs a public act you link to sexuality towards that word. And, ultimately, that moral failing. Which hardly addresess what I think Wooley's point was; that maybe we should stop being so uptight about nudity.


We are less uptight with nudity. We have been for decades. There is a whole sea of porn out there for you. Rape porn. Incest post. Scatological porn. Every combination of every demographic. You can see any body made into an object to serve any purpose that allows you to get your rocks off.





Why then do we need even more salacious images in mainstream fare? Did we need to see an actual blow job in Brown Bunny?



Is the great failing really that we don't see erect penises in bedroom scenes? That we haven't gone far enough? I don't need to see my protag taking a dump. I don't need to see the turd splash into the bowl. I don't need to see breasts of the protag merely for the sake of seeing breasts.



And I would argue, maybe stop being so judgemental towards what people do with their own bodies, for whatever purpose they deem acceptable.


You're free to your opinion. I am free to mine.



The only thing we disagree about, or so I assume, is where to draw the line. You would object to showing anal penetration on the Disney Channel or prime time ABC TV shows. If you do object, perhaps maybe you should be less judgmental about what people cram up their backsides on camera on media designated for wide societal viewing? How dare you! It's a purpose! They are people with their own bodies! If you don't, then we don't have any frame of reference for discussion. I object to the idea that we need more exposure of flesh in films made for wide release. We can both accuse the other of being prudish about where to draw the line, but we all draw the line somewhere.



This isn't to say there aren't loads of issues that arise through the business end of prostitution.


Yeah, that's probably because it is a fundamentally exploitative and debasing sort of trade. "This isn't to say that there aren't loads of issues that arise through the business end of kids working in coal mines."



matt72582's Avatar
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I never met a woman who bought a Playgirl magazine, and even straight women seem to prefer the female body more, anyway.


Many years ago, people seemed to see a movie because a busty actress showed her stuff.. I'm not against it, but I think it reels people in, makes a lot of money, and people think "OK, this is the formula"... Even those who thought the rest of the movie stunk won't necessarily have that opinion reflected because of the high box office.


LOL --- I just remembered being a teenager and wanting to see "Young Einstein" simply because someone told me there was female nudity..



"Blue Is The Warmest Colour" to me is an example of nudity for nudity's sake.. Not a bad movie, but anytime someone mentions that movie, all the responses are about the nudity. But, I wouldn't want there to be pressure to stop that... I'm all for artistic license, even if its not "fair". Let the director have their vision without interference.



Speaking as member of the female sex. I have been enjoying this thread. Even if it has gone off the rails.

I think you can look at almost any movie and see it as a social commentary on the lives of women (except Boys in the Band).

Right now I am in the middle of watching a Betsy Drake and Cary Grant joint in which a young woman pursues an accomplished man as people pursue their career goals. There is no one mistaking her for a gold digger. She is in pursuit of what is consider her legitimate career of wife and mother in which she has a college degree no less.



Just looking at the expected place of women in post WWII society is almost commentary enough.



It is a dirty word.

Nope



Substitute?

Ah yes, to you they are one and the same. How foolish of me to think you weren't outright calling women who have shown their breasts on camera (or men who show their penises) prostitutes.




We are less uptight with nudity. We have been for decades.

Yes. It's called progress.



There is a whole sea of porn out there for you. Rape porn. Incest post. Scatological porn. Every combination of every demographic. You can see any body made into an object to serve any purpose that allows you to get your rocks off.

I'm not talking about porn (we can enlist Rock to handle that ). We are talking about the inclusion of sex or nudity in art. Can there be an overlap of these things? Yes. Is everyone's definition of these two terms different. Yes. Am I talking about film that, to me, only exists as wank material. No, I am not. Nor am I shaming anyone who is involved in this business (as much as I am very much on record as not liking 'pornography' pretty much at all, otherwise I'd be taking Rock up on way more of his recommendations)




Why then do we need even more salacious images in mainstream fare? Did we need to see an actual blow job in Brown Bunny?

Yes, for that film, the blow job scene is actually one of the pivotal moments of the whole thing. Let's call it the climax, for lack of a better term. Before this moment, it is a film of complete emotional stasis. So, to then show a supposedly unsimulated sex scene, cuts through this in a way that simply having a traditional curtains blowing in the moonlight scene you might prefer, would not. It's realness is the point. This is the purest of human contact, where before this every character seems to be floating through life completely alone. It is depicted as an act of love and desperation and sadness. And, taken very specifically in the context of the movie, it is an extremely tenderly rendered scene. Some might even call it beautiful. Which is what art does. Giving us a new way to view something others might reflexively pull their hair out over and call 'dirty'. It cuts to the chase and shows us something deeply human, and honestly, not dirty at all from my perspective.



But I will grant you that Brown Bunny is also a good example of the problems of such scenes. To know the history of Vincent Gallo's abusive personality, and to wonder over the ulterior motives we may rightfully suspect he had in shooting such a scene with his ex girlfriend, this does bring your concern of exploitation to the surface. I'll agree there are legitimate layers to this particular onion to peel back before people like me talk about how 'beautiful' and 'human' this moment it is. The good and bad things of such a scene are inter-related, and I would admit it is fair to talk about this maybe being 'too much'. But not on the level of 'how dare they show that in a film'. That it is inherently wrong or dirty to do so. I'm not personally interested in that puritanical reading. Just like I'm not interested in the outrage the sight of a woman's ankles can cause in some parts of the world. It's irrational, dehumanizing nonsense.


Is the great failing really that we don't see erect penises in bedroom scenes? That we haven't gone far enough? I don't need to see my protag taking a dump. I don't need to see the turd splash into the bowl. I don't need to see breasts of the protag merely for the sake of seeing breasts.
I think art fails us when it turns away from what we are. And this includes all of the things you claim not to want to see. Do they need to be in every movie? Obviously not. Should they be represented in some? 100%. Some of us look to art for guidance, for representation, to give us faith, to help us understand who we are. If we took all art that has ever been made, and there wasn't a single erect cock or dump represented, I would say that it has deluded itself.



Maybe you were in the audience during the first showing of Psycho, and were most outraged that Hitchcock dared to show a toilet on screen, but for me this is a fundamentally important thing he did. To break down the barrier between us and what is on screen. That what we see up there isn't being transmitted from a place where people don't need toilets in their washrooms. That it is coming from our own bedrooms. And bathrooms. Art is us, and the more we try and exclusively put a surrogate life on screen for us to consume, the less us it becomes.


You're free to your opinion. I am free to mine.

Um, yeah. I wasn't aware my disagreement with you had the power to strip you of your rights.



The only thing we disagree about, or so I assume, is where to draw the line. You would object to showing anal penetration on the Disney Channel or prime time ABC TV shows. If you do object, perhaps maybe you should be less judgmental about what people cram up their backsides on camera on media designated for wide societal viewing?

Your inclusion of Disney films into this conversation is obviously dumb. I believe parents have every right to shield their children from what they find objectionable. And I believe adults have every right to know what they are getting into when they watch a film, if there are certain things they are uncomfortable with (Hitchcock definitely should have warned his audience about that toilet)


As for me being less judgemental about 'people cramming things up their backsides', I am far from a non-judgemental person. I am riddled with judgement. But I also know it's none of my ****ing business what other people do with their bodies, and if I'm finding myself standing alongside the tsk tskers at times, I have no issue keeping it to myself. To do my best not to shame others. To try and empathize with whatever kind of things I view as completely alien to me. It's not a lot to ask.



We all draw the line somewhere.

I imagine we do. My lines are generally drawn where others are being directly harmed. They aren't based in some kind of pre-ordained outrage over sex stuff. And so in a situation where 'flesh being shown' is harming the person doing the showing (and there is no doubt this happens), we will be allies. But we are going to disagree when you consider showing flesh itself to be the actual line that is offensive to cross. There is nothing inherently bad about nudity. And most of the damage that can come from showing skin, is the irrational shame attached to it. Which is why I'm hesitant to draw my lines around simply showing the human body. A dick to me isn't any more offensive than a hand (though I admit I am only willing to shake one in greeting).



Yeah, that's probably because it is a fundamentally exploitative and debasing sort of trade. "This isn't to say that there aren't loads of issues that arise through the business end of kids working in coal mines."

Some would call sex work liberating. Some would call it enjoyable. To me I know it is something I would want absolutely nothing to do with. But that's just me. In my personal life, yeah, I'm a prude, and others are free to view the trade in as positive light as they like. There is of course lots of exploitation involved in it...but fundamentally debasing? I disagree there. It all depends on how we look at sex. And there are many ways to look at it.


As for coalmining, I'm glad you brought that up yourself and I didn't have to make that connection myself. Because to me most labour is exploitation. But for some reason we don't feel the need to throw blankets over miners when they come up all dirty faced, as if the sight of what they are doing is some kind of moral disgrace. And if someone told me they like working in the mines, I wouldn't demand they accept my interpretation they are being exploited. Their body, their business is a mantra that applies even to coalminers.



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I never met a woman who bought a Playgirl magazine, and even straight women seem to prefer the female body more, anyway.


Many years ago, people seemed to see a movie because a busty actress showed her stuff.. I'm not against it, but I think it reels people in, makes a lot of money, and people think "OK, this is the formula"... Even those who thought the rest of the movie stunk won't necessarily have that opinion reflected because of the high box office.


LOL --- I just remembered being a teenager and wanting to see "Young Einstein" simply because someone told me there was female nudity..



"Blue Is The Warmest Colour" to me is an example of nudity for nudity's sake.. Not a bad movie, but anytime someone mentions that movie, all the responses are about the nudity. But, I wouldn't want there to be pressure to stop that... I'm all for artistic license, even if its not "fair". Let the director have their vision without interference.

Now I can't resist watching that movie!


I don't think there's a "male sexual preference" or "female sexual preference", there's no way of knowing why one person may like something or not get aroused at all. I'm with you in the sense that I love female nudity, and male nudity is beautiful to me even though I don't get very excited about it.



Um, yeah. I wasn't aware my disagreement with you had the power to strip you of your rights.
Yeah! Only MY opinions can strip people of their rights. Just who did they think they were talking to?



The trick is not minding
Getting back on topic, I remembered a film from 2000 called The Contender that would fit. Its seriously a good political drama that focuses on a Female Senator picked as the next Vice President and has to deal with the hypocrisy and double standards that face women in not just politics, but at large, when rumors of her college sex life surfaces and shes forced to defend herself.

Are they true? Are they false? The better question, asked by the film, isdoes it matter?



Getting back on topic, I remembered a film from 2000 called The Contender that would fit. Its seriously a good political drama that focuses on a Female Senator picked as the next Vice President and has to deal with the hypocrisy and double standards that face women in not just politics, but at large, when rumors of her college sex life surfaces and shes forced to defend herself.

Are they true? Are they false? The better question, asked by the film, isdoes it matter?
Its a terrific movie. Seen it twice.
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Better Living Through Movie Quotes
Would "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991) get any votes for a film that effectively addressed female social issues?



Would "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991) get any votes for a film that effectively addressed female social issues?

The only thing worse than a tomato is a green tomato. Just because they fry it is hardly enough to win any votes from me. For all I care, Jessica Tandy can stuff those fleshy monstrosities right up her keister (no judgment)


Disclaimer: I've never seen this movie.



Better Living Through Movie Quotes
So, that is one 'No" vote?



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
I'm literally twitching, trying to avoid replying to some of this. Clearly I've already lost that battle as I am here, posting this, now. This is not the greatest reply in the world. It's only a tribute.
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Registered User
Ah yes, to you they are one and the same. How foolish of me to think you weren't outright calling women who have shown their breasts on camera (or men who show their penises) prostitutes.
I am already on record as supporting on screen nudity that has an artistic purpose and have voiced support for male nudity as well. I say again, that nudity is not necessarily debasing. Again, I think the nudity in Eastern Promises and Watchmen has merit.

However, if you ask me to strip down so that you may take gratification in my nudity, then that is debasing. "Turn around. Bend over. Shake it." If this is why I am nude and if I am being paid to be nude, then that is sex work. It's a mild form of prostitution.

The further we go, however, the less mild it gets. Most films today are pornographic films shot for internet consumption. The only legal difference between "prostitution" and "porn acting" is that in porn a camera is in the room. There is, however, no substantive difference. It's sex work. And the further we push things in mainstream movies the more the line gets blurred.

We've spent so many decades objectifying the female form in film that we take it for granted we will get to ogle boobs and see a hot grinding simulated sex scene with our principal actors. We're numb to it. It's the norm. Even when it serves no purpose save base gratification, we expect that to be on the menu.
Yes. It's called progress.
Progressing towards what? It's certainly change. If you say it is progress, you will have to establish some metric of value.
I'm not talking about porn
Why not? It's all art, right? Isn't this what we're progressing toward? Why do you get prudish about the "progress" of Chloe's blow job in Brown Bunny? These are adults and these are their bodies, so anything goes, right? Apparently not, because you're not talking about porn.

OK, so you're not an absolutist. There are limits. Propriety is a thing. If so, however, you should have a care with libertarian warrants in argument and casual references to "progress" as if "more" is simply "better."

What matters is not where you draw the line, but that you draw a line at all. We only differ in terms of where to draw the line. I, personally, I am tired of seeing young people exploited. A requirement for working as a Hollywood actor should not (de facto) be "willing to show my sex organs on camera" or "willing to convincingly simulate sex acts."
Can there be an overlap of these things? Yes. Is everyone's definition of these two terms different. Yes. Am I talking about film that, to me, only exists as wank material.
And I object to a film that has a scene that only exists as wank material. That part of the film that in old VHS rentals that would get worn out.
No, I am not. Nor am I shaming anyone who is involved in this business (as much as I am very much on record as not liking 'pornography' pretty much at all, otherwise I'd be taking Rock up on way more of his recommendations)
I am. I wouldn't want my son or daughter to grow up to be a porn "actor." I would not be happy to find out my father or mother was involved in such work. It is fundamentally demeaning and degrading.

Likewise, I don't support smoking cigarettes. You have a right to do it, but it's still bad for you. I am glad that my parents effectively normed me against ever picking up the habit of smoking. They made me feel shame at the thought of ever doing so. It worked.
Yes, for that film, the blow job scene is actually one of the pivotal moments of the whole thing.
Sure it is. If I don't see the guy who hired the actress but in her mouth on screen, I just won't get the emotional complexity of it all. The f**k outta here.
This is the purest of human contact,
Rape is also natural. Most sexual contact in the animal kingdom involves one member of a species forcing itself on another member. Arsenic is natural. And what could be more natural and relieving than taking a massive dump on the throne? Why don't we get to see this? Why don't we get to see the departure of turd from anus, a koan to the transitivity of energy as it is consumed and reconfigured, a miniature representation of life itself, and the splash into the bowl. Why be prude? Everyone does it! It is perfectly natural. Everybody poops!

How far shall we roll with the naturalistic fallacy here? That we have biological functions does not mean that it is appropriate for wide release in sectors of "typical viewing" (e.g., the family domain of Netflix and the local theatre, as opposed to quarter-driven peep shows and porn sites).
Which is what art does.
Art does a lot of things, not all of them good. Everything these days is art, so calling something art is saying next to nothing. And if we hold that art does have value and can be noble and have a good purpose, then we must hold that art can also be ignoble and be debasing. Either way, calling it "art" doesn't advance us a step in analysis.
But I will grant you that Brown Bunny is also a good example of the problems of such scenes. To know the history of Vincent Gallo's abusive personality, and to wonder over the ulterior motives we may rightfully suspect he had in shooting such a scene with his ex girlfriend, this does bring your concern of exploitation to the surface.
Again, it's just a question of where we draw then line. I maintain that it should not be a standing (de facto) expectation, that actors must do sex work for the sake of the sexual gratification of the audience.
Just like I'm not interested in the outrage the sight of a woman's ankles can cause in some parts of the world.
We all draw the line in different places, but that does not mean that drawing lines does not matter or that moving lines or blurring lines does not matter.

If the average person would NOT be humiliated in being asked to do it for an office party, then I am fine with it on screen. But if Bill is asked to show his penis, because you know, we wanna see it, then Bill has a sexual harassment suit on his hands. Likewise, if Jill is asked to show her breasts and convincingly simulate sex with Bill, and if she wants to continue working in this field, them's the breaks, then Jill is a sex worker. If it would result in a lawsuit at the office, then it is questionable as to whether it should be a "day at the office" for the actor. This is an imperfect way to draw the line, but it speaks to the concern we should have for people in this industry. We finally turned over the casting couch, now we should consider what they're asked to do on screen.
Maybe you were in the audience during the first showing of Psycho, and were most outraged that Hitchcock dared to show a toilet on screen, but for me this is a fundamentally important thing he did.
At the time, that was a transgressive act. It was an edgy thing to do. It did matter. For us, who are thoroughly debased, we view our numbness as progress, but that is not necessarily the case, for we do NOT need to see everything that happens in the bathroom or the bedroom on screen. Moreover, it should NOT be a standing expectation that there will be a butt scene, or boob scene, or penis scene, or sex scene, or bum docking with toilet dilating to excrete waste scene.

The conversation matters. And moving the line to the left every time is not necessarily progress, let alone the right thing to do. There are moments when we need to move the line back a bit (otherwise we are committed to the absolute - something that you have denied in not wanting to include porn in the discussion).
Um, yeah. I wasn't aware my disagreement with you had the power to strip you of your rights.
I didn't say that it did.

You said, "maybe stop being so judgemental towards what people do with their own bodies, for whatever purpose they deem acceptable." This is a dismissive straw claim - the claims that I am telling people what they should do with their bodies. Full stop. Hey, if you're behind closed doors, have it. If you're making it for a porn site, do your thing. If you are, however, making it for mainstream consumption, issues of propriety enters the picture.

Expressing judgment is a part of "having something to say." And I am trying to challenge you to consider that judgment. So yes, I will be judgmental. And so will you.
Your inclusion of Disney films into this conversation is obviously dumb. I believe parents have every right to shield their children from what they find objectionable.
How can they? Kids are one click away from a sea of porn. If your kid does not have a personal electronic device, everyone at school does. How, pray tell, can parents actually parent when even mainstream film and television is involved in these depictions? You can be Amish or you can pound sand. Parents have been done dirty. Film snobs don't care, because they think that blow jobs in crappy art films have merit and should be there, because, you know, progress and stuff.

And even Disney makes some pretty mature fare now. Disney own everything and Disney products follow industry norms.
As for me being less judgemental about 'people cramming things up their backsides', I am far from a non-judgemental person. I am riddled with judgement. But I also know it's none of my ****ing business what other people do with their bodies,
You're straw-manning again. I am not talking about what you do in the privacy of your own home. I am talking about what we put on screen, and why. I am talking about the standard expectation that an actor will need to be sex worker to get work in Hollywood.

Again, that you draw a line in this area means you don't get to stridently stand on this ground, not when you've already ejected porn from the conversation.
I imagine we do. My lines are generally drawn where others are being directly harmed.
If the default expectation of your industry is that you will do things that would be a sexual harassment lawsuit if the boss at State Farm asked you to do it, then we have to consider the prospect of harm. If you want to do work in Hollywood, especially as a pretty one, you will be expected to do sex work, sex work for the gratification of millions. And that's raises the prospect of harm. Why do you think the casting couch was thing in the first place? Actors are treated like meat on screen, why wouldn't they be treated like meat off-screen?
There is nothing inherently bad about nudity.
I didn't say that there was. How many times must I say it?
though I admit I am only willing to shake one in greeting).
Why not? Here. Shake my penis. Don't shame me by your refusal.
Some would call sex work liberating.
Some people are idiots. Some are debauched. No little kid grows up dreaming servicing truck drivers to afford the next hit of their drug of preference.
As for coalmining, I'm glad you brought that up yourself and I didn't have to make that connection myself. Because to me most labour is exploitation.
People like you are something else. You protest that capitalism is bad to the core because it is fundamentally exploitative, but then argue people being exploited for sex is "free choice" and "art" and "progress." Newsflash, if to get work you have to show your boobs, you're being exploited, and exploited in a way more demeaning than that person who has to fetch coffee.
But for some reason we don't feel the need to throw blankets over miners when they come up all dirty faced, as if the sight of what they are doing is some kind of moral disgrace.
Really, you're just going to shrug at the thought of 12-year-olds working 12-hour shifts in the mines? You don't think that that is a moral disgrace? You don't think that the coal industry isn't putting tons of carbon into the atmosphere?



The trick is not minding
I'm literally twitching, trying to avoid replying to some of this. Clearly I've already lost that battle as I am here, posting this, now. This is not the greatest reply in the world. It's only a tribute.

I am disappointed ☹️