There’s a video up at Atlanta Bondage under the title Can’t A Girl Pee In Peace? I’m not going to re-publish it here, because it’s not, to my eye, erotic, nor funny either. However, it has some interesting social implications that aren’t likely to get mentioned anywhere else, there not being very many places that combine occasional social analysis with comfort in referencing a video clip featuring bare boobies and mildly kinky porn.
The “girl” in question is pretty clearly, to my eye at least, a model for one of the many porn sites that cater to the public urination fetish (subfetish category: women squatting to pee in the public streets). This model is bare breasted, smiling, and squatted-down right in the middle of some sort of street or public way (perhaps a wharf, or pedestrian mall). Here’s a cropped still from the beginning of the clip, in which I’ve highlighted the villain of the piece, to whom I am semi-arbitrarily assigning a male pronoun:
In the clip, he strides forward and kicks our incontinent heroine solidly in the ass, nearly knocking her over. The remainder of the clip shows her steadying herself with a hand, then turning and standing up to confront her attacker.
So, what’s going on here, and why is it interesting?
As it happens, I just read a piece by Chuck Klosterman in Esquire magazine about declining interest in professional boxing. As Klosterman explains it, people have lost interest in the sport of boxing because they no longer have a visceral relationship with the idea of hitting people or getting hit. A fine theory about which I have little opinion, never having been a fan myself of hitting people or being hit or watching big burly dudes do either one. But I was fascinated by Klosterman’s next line of speculation:
Now, I realize all of this is (obviously) more good than bad. I’m happy that avoiding physical confrontation has become so easy that I don’t even have to think about it. But I wonder: If the decline of boxing is the product of civilization’s detachment from physical fear, what is the accompanying downside? I think one possible answer might be a depressing brand of social overconfidence.
It is impossible to deny that the culture is coarsening. Everyone concedes this — even the people who are happy about it. It is now acceptable to say almost anything, about almost anyone, in a public space, and for no reason whatsoever. There is no line to step over, because such lines no longer exist. And I think those boundaries disappeared the moment people really, truly lost the fear of getting punched in the face. Americans have understood this intellectually for decades, but I don’t think we accepted it in totality until now. Adults are now so insulated by technology (and so protected by modernity) that the possibility of a physical consequence for any action is a psychological nonfactor. We have removed interpersonal fear from day-to-day behavior. Today, boxers are the only people who get hit for fucking up.
So, what does this have to do with our punted piddle-princess? Everything! His foot hitting her ass is a classic example of generation-gapped cultural conflict.
By my own lights, the peeing porn starlet was misbehaving. People who enjoy seeing girls peeing in public have a fetish, a modestly rare one. Most everybody else doesn’t want to see it, and they surely don’t want to step in it, or walk around it. At best, it’s horribly rude and socially transgressive to be doing what she was doing. Responsible pornographers would secure a movie set and provide sufficient extras to achieve the same visual effect without imposing their fetish on unwilling passers-by. And they would hire a dude with a mop, to clean up after.
I think it’s fair to speculate further that she and her photographer knew she was violating the social contract, but were sanguine about getting away with it. They probably worried about police intervention — perhaps they had a spotter watching for cops and ready to call a warning — but I suspect that it never occurred to her that any of the passers-by upon whom she was imposing her bare breasts and pussy and urine stream would take physical action against her to interrupt or to punish the imposition. People of her generation, or mine, just don’t do that sort of thing.
But our man (and I do think it’s a man, but I’m not sure) with the crazed white Einstein hair and the armload of files is not from our generation. He’s from a generation in which people cared a lot more about public propriety, and frequently took it upon themselves to enforce it with direct action. Doubtless he was offended by some half-naked [four letter term of derision] pissing in his path. Doubtless he considered he was doing a public service by applying a swift kick in the ass to both interrupt and punish the breach of the social contract. I have no doubt he felt good about doing it, and the way he stops and squares his stance after the kick suggests that he was ready to do it again if need be, or to stay and defend his actions otherwise. If we had an audio track, we’d be hearing somebody getting a piece of his mind about now.
So, who is really the villain of the piece? The pisser, or the kicker?
I’d like to weasel out with “a pox on both their houses”, but I need to acknowledge that it’s really not quite that simple. The trouble with enforcing social contracts with fists and feet is that social contracts aren’t really contracts, and they tend to get made up on the spot by cultural bigots and then enforced on people who never consented to them. (Don’t believe me? Ask Matthew Shepard.) I don’t really want people in my society feeling free to piss on my toes for profit, but I’m a lot more worried about living in a society where disagreements about appropriate public behavior get “settled” by sudden assault.
So, I guess my bottom line is, ix-nay on the ass-kicking. But I do agree with Klosterman that by creating a world where the ass-kicking is improbable, we’ve also created a world full of people who feel free to (metaphorically, most days) pee on your toes and tell you to go fuck yourself. That’s good more often than it’s bad, but it’s definitely a mixed blessing.
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