Double Standard, Honey? | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Double Standard, Honey?


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To the editors:

In the midst of the recent Honey hoo-ha ("Hot Type," November 9 and subsequent letters [November 23 and 30 and December 7]), a neat little bit of waving the double-standard has gone unnoticed.

Reader readers with sufficient memory will recall a picture that ran in "1000 Words" a summer or two ago. The photo featured a small boy who was, I recall, wearing oversized sunglasses, a t-shirt and little else. One of his hands was very close to, if not actually touching, his penis.

Where were the properly outraged letters then? Letter writers have thrown around terms such as "invasion of privacy" and "rape" rather freely when it comes to a photograph of a small girl not wearing underpants, but a photograph of a boy in a similar pose elicited no response that I can recall.

Not to beg the question of a difference in talent between Robert Mapplethorpe and the "1000 Words" contributor, but this whole affair seems to be based on the premise that only girls are capable of being raped and/or sexually exploited. I would not care to argue this notion to those males among us who were sexually abused as children, whether by male or female caregivers, whether by parents or older relatives.

It might do the argument some good to run the two pictures side-by-side: Honey and the photo from "1000 Words." The die-hard doctrinaires on either extreme won't change their views. With any luck, the more rational combatants in this war of self-righteous words will sense how ridiculous the rhetoric has become and move on to something else.

Daniel J. Drazen


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