Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Defence of and from Xiaxue

Anonymous writes in comment to my previous post:

"When I saw the pic, instantly I was repulsed. A girl who exposing herself in public because she's "bored" clearly has psychological issues. I mean, is this a normal response to boredom?"

To which I responded:

"Nudity is treated differently in different countries, in different contexts. I personally think what SPG has done is artistic, and displays an aesthetic beauty in the female form. The fact that its -her- female form that she posted is something that I respect even more."

Xiaxue writes a passionate article on why her position is the opposite of mine, perhaps directed at this post, perhaps not. However, I have reason to believe she has at least read some of the commentary, because she writes:

"Nude photos can PASSABLY be called art. But flashing... That's where I draw my line. I think it is crude, tasteless, and not to mention a cheap stab at getting attention."

Let me get some facts straight. There are two photos in issue here. One is the original black-and-white photo that caused the whole Straits Times controversy. The other is the photo Kenny Sia put up. I think there's an injustice done to link or compare the two.

The first can tolerably be called art, depending on your opinion - it certainly is in my opinion. The second is more dicey. I have not commented at all about the act SPG's exposure - an issue I wish to address here.

Xiaxue's next comment:

"Nice try, but not bombastic enough: Why not spread your legs, hold them up tightly behind your ears, and let everyone have a clear look at your genitals? If they want, they also can insert foreign objects inside. And feel free to blog about it!"

Xiaxue, the reverse is also true. Would you like to be punished for removing your veil in front of anyone but your husband? That's an unfortunate reality in several fundamentalist Muslim states. If there is a line drawn somewhere, I'd like to know where it is. Certainly, the heart of the controversy here is WHERE the line is drawn, if indeed there is one drawn at all. I think the variance in attitudes towards the whole incident can be demonstrated by the whole spectrum of views available.

What I've written in my article about Kenny applies equally to you, Xiaxue - I don't necessarily like what you write, or the personal attacks you occassionally mount, but I don't condone people trying to jeer you away. -IF- one has something to say about your posts, say it, and say it civilly - or just ignore it. I will not condone the act of hacking into someone's blog. That's an act of cowardice, slightly below the bombing on someone's house.

There is, however, another aspect to this that I did not take into account, and probably should have. For that I apologise.

I think there's a lot -I- can learn about friendship from three bloggers - minishorts, Xiaxue and Kenny. Whatever your argument or methods for or against the whole incident, you probably did so out of friendship to Kenny. That is something I admire greatly.

Moreso, it takes a certain kind of stubborn courage to write what you write and still not be affected by hatemail, and that is the most honest kind of journalistic integrity there is. It's easy to write dispassionately (as I do) - and still continue writing. The pressure to self-censor isn't as great.

I'm not your friend or Kenny Sia's or Claire Wong's friend - I've never had the opportunity to meet you or them. In so far as my post hurt you or your friendship in any way - I apologise unreservedly. Words cannot be unsaid unfortunately.

I do not have to agree with you. You don't have to agree with me. I ask that you try to understand that I wrote what I wrote because I don't think the commentators in Kenny's post should have expressed their disapproval quite so harshly - a sentiment I am fairly sure you can understand. I'm glad the three of you mended your friendship.

There are always circumstances beyond what we know, and a culture of tolerance in the blogosphere is something I've always advocated and strived for.

Or, perhaps I'm losing it, reading too much into a post I should not have. Please feel free to ignore a small readership blog with a bombastic writing style then.


Mythical said...

Oy, who you calling a small reader? *grin*

Anthony said...

The puns haven't stopped I see.