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July 1996, Week 5


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Paul Ryersbach <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 13:43:29 -0400
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> I don't think laws are necessarily indicative of public interest, though.  In
> the U.S., it seems as if the laws on sexual freedom & portrayals are lessening
> but the public is increasing its self-censorship.  In U.S. television, for
> instance, you're technically allowed to show a lot more sex & nudity in
> primetime than most shows actually do (with the notable exception of NYPD
> because that's what they think the public wants for that medium.  It's also
> perfectly legal for women to walk around topless in New York City (thanks to a
> gender-equity ruling a couple of years ago) but you still don't see anyone
> doing that, even at the beach.  And kids are *asking* for dress codes at
> school.  It seems like a de-escalation of open sexuality and expressiveness
> (exactly the opposite of what's happening with violence).
> Molly Olsen
> [log in to unmask]
> (and Norwegian by descent)
I get the feeling that women not taking advantage of the topless law is less
a matter of self censorship than it is a lack of interest in dealing with
the situation of revealing one's breasts in a place like New York City. I
think that people who have been raised to equate nakedness with sex and
vulnerability can not be expected to feel comfortable with public nudity
just because a law nominally allowing it has been passed
        paul ryersbach
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