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July 1996, Week 5


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Molly Olsen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 17:24:59 ES
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paulr @ MAIL.MED.UPENN.EDU (Paul Ryersbach) wrote:
>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
Exactly; my point was that sometimes permissive laws don't reflect the public
interest.  This gets back to a point someone made earlier about violence in
movies -- we do allow a tremendous amount of violence in, say, R-rated movies,
which are actually very targeted to a specific population and not as
mass-market as some claim.  So the permissiveness of the law is useful in that
it allows people who want to see that violence to do so, but many people choose
not to, despite the fact that the law allows it.  Just because such material is
available doesn't mean everyone's going to want to use it.
Molly Olsen
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