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What a glorious country where the Court of Appeal considers the matter of whether the filming of a man\’s naked chest is voyerism in the same manner that that of a woman\’s is.

It is perfectly legal to ogle a man\’s chest but not a woman\’s breasts, according to an unusual ruling on what constitutes voyeurism by a panel of leading judges at the Court of Appeal yesterday.

Only women\’s breasts can be regarded as "private parts", whereas the male chest – even if the male in question has man breasts, or "moobs" as they are known – cannot, the judges say.

The mills of the law may grind slowly but most assuredly they grind small.

Two further things occur to me: the first links with a (possibly apocryphal) case in the US where two naked women joggers argued successfully that in jogging naked they were not in fact guitly of (whatever the charge was, flashing? Obscene exposure?) for the details of the charge stated that genitalia must be exposed. Since womens\’ genitalia are internal, they were not exposed and thus no offence committed.

The other is to ask, what exactly are "private parts" for that is what our current UK law states. It\’s not just genitalia, as womens\’ breasts, while they are many delightful things, are not in fact those. What if that definition is in fact secondary sexual characteristics? I think that we\’d all accept that ogling would include staring at a woman\’s bum, the shape of which is indeed such a secondary sexual characteristic (the placement of adipose tissue making it so).

Which would lead to something of an interesting situation: the prime male secondary sexual characteristic is facial hair: so does staring at a man\’s beard now constitute ogling? A second such male characteristic is male alopecia: is staring at baldies now a crime?

Just what is the definition of "private parts" then?

4 thoughts on “Voyerism”

  1. “private parts” have always been whatever a society decides they are. The same goes for the definition of “indecent”.

    The capacity of said parts to titillate or excite the opposite sex is usually involved, hence the ogleatory freedom mens’ chests enjoy and why Victorian women flashed their ankles.

    Unfortunately this also means it’s legal to expose moobs, which should be banned on aesthetic grounds, and that women have to wear bikini tops, which is unfair.

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