Not long ago, the New Jacobin Club received this message from facebook when the band attempted to boost a post so that more of fans would see it:
“Your Post wasn’t boosted because it violates Facebook’s ad guidelines by including a sexual image that shows excessive amounts of skin or focuses unnecessarily on body parts. The post remains published, but it is not running as an ad.”
(For those of you not familiar with the business end of facebook, “boosting” is when you pay a few bucks to have your page’s post appear in more of your fans’ newsfeed. Some people are crying buckets over this, but it does make sense – how many bands do YOU “like”? Could you imagine getting posts in your newsfeed from EVERY single one EVERY day? Insanity. Just for the record, most band pages with several thousand “likes” still end up having less than 300 of those fans see their posts without the paid “boost.”)
This message smacked of the noble conservatism that has infiltrated the money-holding business class of North America. The New Jacobin Club’s experience with this form of media censorship revealed a ridiculous inconsistency in the system… ridiculous enough to be laughable.
First, to the fine folks at facebook, this lovely photo of Luminous and Candi is apparently “a sexual image that shows excessive amounts of skin or focuses unnecessarily on body parts.”
Seriously? What body parts? Sexy bedroom eyes? Too much attention drawn to their lips? You can’t mean their CHESTS? I’d put the cleavage score of this photo somewhere between elegant and risque, but it certainly does not “focus unnecessarily on body parts.”
Then we came across this piece of garbage online:
Apparently a high school in Utah caused a stir recently when the decision was made to photoshop photos of female students (without their knowledge) to ensure the were more “modest.” Obviously the girl in this photo was on her way to a photoshoot for HUSTLER. One could come to few other conclusions when observing her lack of modesty as displayed by her choice of clothing.
Is THIS the fearful attitude towards women and sexuality that is poisoning our ability to exist as public figures in the arts community? Is THIS a sign that a newer and more cleverly disguised 21st Century Patriarchy is using morality as grounds and just cause for wielding power? Oh Utah…your history does not put you in a favorable position to be harboring such seeds of abomination in your schools.
Let’s observe what DID NOT get censored by our friends at facebook around the same month the New Jacobin Club was slapped on the wrist for the lovely photo of 2 of our band members:
Female zombie creature with top half of the head removed and missing enough muscle tissue that her face appears to be a skull. Bloody dripping eyes and extremely immodest clothing – a mere gauze-like bandage covering her breasts. Chained to a wooden cross with a very obvious symbol of death and decay above her head. Jesus-like wound under her ribcage implying a biblical crucifixion. Where her reproductive organs would have been are a writhing mass of inhuman tentacles bursting forth from her body in a fashion that would suggest a sort of violent and nightmarish childbirth from which this poor “mother” could not have survived. (artwork by inappropriately dressed NJC vocalist/theremin queen Poison Candi)
Yeah, that’s all fine.
And what does this all demonstrate? That the female human form in it’s most glorious and visually enticing state is something that needs to be looked down upon as inappropriate? But a fantastic depiction of a restrained and mutilated female form, though even more inappropriately dressed, is OK?
Yes, we have found a problem.
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