I want freedom for the full expression of my personality. Mahatma Gandhi
On, December 28, 2014 (a Sunday), I posted a photograph of a female wearing panties that had printed on them “squeeze me” and there is what appears to be a male had that is actually squeezing the butt of the young girl or at least giving the view the impression that this is what is being done.
This photo has drawn many negative comments and from those comments is the general consensus that it was inappropriate for this type of site.
Below is Linkedin’s User Agreement…
Along with 2 Don’t that I feel might be appropriate here…
LinkedIn User Agreement
Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to allow them to be more productive and successful. Our services are designed to promote economic opportunity for our members by enabling you and millions of other professionals to meet, exchange ideas, learn, and find opportunities or employees, work, and make decisions in a network of trusted relationships.
8.2. Don’ts. You agree that you will not:
- Act dishonestly or unprofessionally, including by posting inappropriate, inaccurate, or objectionable content;
- Act in an unlawful, libelous, abusive, obscene, discriminatory or otherwise objectionable manner;
From section 1.1 Purpose, I draw your attention to: exchange ideas, learn
From section 8.2, I draw your attention to 3 words: inappropriate, objectionable, and obscene what are defined below:
Inappropriate means not suitable or proper in the circumstances.
Objectionable means arousing distaste or opposition; unpleasant or offensive.
Obscene means (of the portrayal or description of sexual matters) offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency.
Granted that this is exactly what those comments referred to regarding my post. However, what about the rest of the viewers, who either liked or disliked but said nothing? Don’t we need to know what they think?
These 3 words have different understandings, interpretations, and acceptance depending upon what part of the world one lives in, and how devout one is to one’s faith.
And, this is the reason why I started with a quote from Voltaire and then Ghandi.
What about my desire to exchange ideas and learn? Surely, we have already learned that many people find this photo unacceptable… and, that idea has been, is being, and will be exchanged by whoever decides to read their comments.
Now let’s look at a Global view of Freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one’s opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment. “Speech” is not limited to public speaking and is generally taken to include other forms of expression. The right is preserved in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is granted formal recognition by the laws of most nations. Nonetheless the degree to which the right is upheld in practice varies greatly from one nation to another. In many nations, particularly those with relatively authoritarian forms of government, overt government censorship is enforced. Censorship has also been claimed to occur in other forms (see propaganda model) and there are different approaches to issues such as hate speech, obscenity, and defamation laws even in countries seen as liberal democracies.
Can we construe from this that to take down a questionable photo, would boarder on censorship?
In America, the First Amendment guarantees all citizens the right to a Freedom of Speech; but, I also understand that this freedom is not guaranteed in all countries of the world. Even in America, those who exercise their Freedom of Speech can find themselves unemployed or ostracized by their families and communities.
LinkedIn is a global social network that has to be mindful and cognizant of all cultures, religions, beliefs, freedoms, and/or lack thereof.
In America, some States have passed laws legalizing same sex marriages and pot which most people, I have heard from other States think is horrific; but, in time I would be willing to bet (and this has nothing to do with what I believe) that I States will have passed laws legalizing both of these.
Why? Our world is changing… along with its values, morals, and beliefs; and, this fact has nothing to do with what I personally believe, it’s just the way it is.
So, what do we do?
We do the same thing that males have been doing for years when they pass a busty female wearing a tight sweater with a heavy chain hanging around her neck: SOME LOOK AND SOME DON’T. But, we all go about our business just the same.
Finally, I have seen photos posted on this site of females with bare breasts and paintings of the same. I have seen photo of braless females on vacation. I have seen photos of police brutality and racism, hunger and poverty. I have seen photos of females wearing tights and nothing else from the back, but without words printed or a hand reaching out (only the imagination).
Are they obscene, inappropriate, or objectionable?
Or, we they considered art?
I am writing this not to defend my actions because in some ways I agree with those comments and almost decided not to post, but my job as a teacher is to teach others so that they will understand what they like and what they do not like. It is their decision, not some one else.
So, what should we do as a global culture?