The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

To Prevent Upskirting You Must Hold Down Your Skirt

Posted by Cate on December 12, 2008

My teeth were gnashing reading this article about “upskirting”. A poorly written article of quotes and Googling invites us to search for sites featuring upskirting with the opening:

A warning, ladies: if you don’t fancy the idea of your backside splashed over the internet, grip your hems tightly.

Sooo, someone taking a photo of my knickers is my fault? Upskirting is actually a crime. Laws have been in place since 2007 about capturing images of someone’s genital/anal area without their consent.  In fact:

It is against the law to photograph or use equipment (such as a mirror, drill or ladder) to deliberately observe or capture images of the anal or genital area of someone without their knowledge and in circumstances where it would be reasonable to expect that they would not be photographed in this way

Using a device to the observe genital area is subject to three years jail and taking or distributing photos, three months jail.

Surely that newspaper space would be better served writing about detection and prosecution and encouraging victims to report offences. Would The Age tell a woman to cross her legs to avoid date rape?


9 Responses to “To Prevent Upskirting You Must Hold Down Your Skirt”

  1. lilacsigil said

    This wouldn’t be the newspaper that was outraged by pedophiles taking pictures of schoolboys rowing on the Yarra, is it? I mean, those kids are out there in public! Fair game! Just like sticking a camera down a man’s pants…oh wait.

  2. caitlinate said

    No, they’d tell her to wear pants. Oh wait… only men can do that… Silly me.

  3. crystalsinger said if you want to take them to task

  4. tina_sparkle said

    what next? The Age telling me to leave my boobs at home for fear that they will attract attention which will then be my fault?

    • awareness said

      Yes if you put theme out there on display like most girl do remember before buying shirt ask yourself can someone see a good downblouse were a sports bra be aware.

  5. Steven said

    no, but assuming that there are the sorts of people who _do_ take ‘upskirt’ pictures of unsuspecting bystanders, then beware. I’m guessing it is part sensational opening to an article and part advice of the ‘be careful and protect yourself’ varety – like telling kids not to go off/take candy from strangers; or to only ever accept drinks you _know_ haven’t been spiked; or not to walk through bad areas; or not to leave your purse on the front seat of your parked car while you’re off elsewhere. It isn’t your fault if something bad happens, but just be aware and minimise your risk.

    I think the Flickr stat is probably slightly (if not fairly) over inflated, no doubt many are of the ‘unsuspecting upskirt’ variety, but I’d say a large number are also from people sharing their OWN pictures (i.e. consenting adults with pictures of themselves, or their consenting partners)

  6. larry said

    I too fail to see the part where they are implying it is your fault.

    When they say “grip your hems tightly” the writer is saying “hold on to something because this may shock you [as some people aren’t aware this sort of thing is going on]”.

    C’mon, it wasn’t so badly written that you missed that.

  7. Cynthia said

    Larry hasn’t yet learned the ethos of TDC: the worst interpretation is the correct one.

    Besides, the author of this article is safe from the upskirting epidemic. All of the memory cards in the world will be full before porcine bulimics find themselves falling victim to a digital zoom.

  8. Larry, you’re kidding yourself. It clearly says if you don’t want it to happen, this is what you should do. And the article itself isn’t portraying the practice as something ‘new’ that people aren’t aware is happening. As Cate clearly explains, there are laws in place against it. Which clearly shows it has been an issue long enough for the law to catch up… not exactly breaking news.

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