Upskirt – Part 2 (or Maria Miller and unintended consequences)

If a Martian landed on Earth today to study the ways of humans, one aspect which would probably tax him (yes, male Martians make the best space travelers) would be the irrationalities of the male/female relationship.

He would be immediately aware of the current surge of hostility to men who behave in a certain way towards women, by making  advances, comments about appearance, and asking them out on dates, or (worse) attempting or occasioning physical contact, however minor. He might be puzzled because the unfortunate male  cannot know until after any comment or action whether it is welcome or not, because in some cases the women appear to be flattered and respond positively to the approach, especially to drivers of super cars.

He might in fact watch Parliamentary TV and see politician Maria Miller describing taking unwanted photographs of women’s underwear as an being an ‘horrific’ crime and a gross violation of the subject’s privacy. He might conclude from this that women kind regard any public  exposure of their undergarments as  (per Ms. Miller) ‘an act of indecency’.

So far, he’s  clear on the framework. But opening a copy of the Daily Mail (for example), he would be puzzled by multiple photographs of women having their undergarments exposed by means of evidentially  self-engineered ‘wardrobe malfunctions’  freely published in  national newspapers. (see upskirt alert )

However, his puzzlement would be compounded by a visit to a horse race called the Grand National, where a significant proportion of the female attendees (apart from being inebriated)  seem to willingly display an inordinate amount of flesh.  Indeed, as per the photographs in this note from the said Daily Mail, some appear to be only too  happy to pull up their skirts and display their underwear for photographers for general public consumption.

It is the conflation of these behaviours and views that our Martian traveller  might find hard to resolve. He would understand that if such garments are displayed against the wishes of a woman it is such a deeply personal matter that it becomes a horrendous crime.  However, the apparent willingness of many women to freely display their breasts and nether regions in public indicate that the exposure of their underwear is not of itself universally viewed by women as abhorrent. He would therefore have to conclude that the underwear exposure per se is an irrelevance; it is the violation of  a women’s wishes  (whatever they may be) that is the ‘horrific’ crime, whether that be a comment,  a touch, or an unwanted photograph. Maria Miller, therefore, should logically not relate the crime simply to the unwonted photographing of underwear, but to any acts which violate the wishes of a woman, whether  expressed before or after the fact.

More Aintree … is the one on the right an upskirt picture ? If the photographer took this without permission would he be liable under Ms Miller’s planned law... and what is it about Horse Racing that spurs women on to lifting their skirts to show their panties ?