Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another Reason to Mask

I've obviously been interested in the implications of covering your face in public. I did some research and just came across this by Christopher Slobogin, the Stephen C. O'Connell Professor of Law, University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law.

In London, police say that every worker or shopper is caught on
at least 300 cameras every day.


[In the United States] the security
industry estimates that more than 2 million surveillance
cameras are in use across the country. In Manhattan in 1998,
volunteers counted 2,400 electronic eyes in public places used to
catch everything from red-light runners at traffic intersections,
shoplifters outside grocery and department stores, and drug
sellers loitering near lampposts.

©2002

and the correlated quote:
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being
watched at any given moment. GEORGE ORWELL, 1984.3

His full paper can be found at: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/law_school/ruleoflaw/pdf/LJournal02Slobog.pdf

One can imagine that out of a desire to protect our privacy, more and more people choose to hide their faces in public whether by vailes, hoods, or masks of some variety. While it is illegal in some countries, it may become popular enough that laws are forced to change.

So maybe we rubberists that enjoy masks and hoods are the vanguard in a new privacy movement...wouldn't that be an intersting turn of the screw?

Regards

Lady

7 comments:

Dark said...

I suspect the authorities will win this one and seem to be pushing for less privacy than more privacy.

The issue is not to obscure your identity, but to have it and not have others assemble dossiers about you.

I can't imagine how revolting the world would be with everyone concealing their identity under a burqa or some other hood.

Personally, I love to look at the character displayed in the faces of people; young, old, men and women...and of course the whole make up and cosmetic surgery industry would not favor removing the beautiful face and the toned and shaped body as something to display and desire.

The reasons to conceal one's identity fall into a few areas:

1. You are up to no good and do not want to be recognized... criminal, rapist, terrorist.

2. You are part of a religious "cult" which forbids women from having rights and identity in public... and even in private.

3. Your face is horribly disfigured and would freak out people and prevent you from being in public

4. You are playing some kinky sex role trying to get some sort of "attention" or reaction from "innocent" bystanders... a type of exhibitionism.

5. You are an odd person who likes to hide their face for some unknown, unstated psychological reason

We need to work to preserve our privacy rights, but advocating that people cover their faces is not the way.

Masks and hoods can be fun as part of kinky or escapist play... but this type of activity should not be made the norm or encouraged for anyone at anytime. Accept the consequences of this type of play.

Dark said...

I suspect the authorities will win this one and seem to be pushing for less privacy than more privacy.

The issue is not to obscure your identity, but to have it and not have others assemble dossiers about you.

I can't imagine how revolting the world would be with everyone concealing their identity under a burqa or some other hood.

Personally, I love to look at the character displayed in the faces of people; young, old, men and women...and of course the whole make up and cosmetic surgery industry would not favor removing the beautiful face and the toned and shaped body as something to display and desire.

The reasons to conceal one's identity fall into a few areas:

1. You are up to no good and do not want to be recognized... criminal, rapist, terrorist.

2. You are part of a religious "cult" which forbids women from having rights and identity in public... and even in private.

3. Your face is horribly disfigured and would freak out people and prevent you from being in public

4. You are playing some kinky sex role trying to get some sort of "attention" or reaction from "innocent" bystanders... a type of exhibitionism.

5. You are an odd person who likes to hide their face for some unknown, unstated psychological reason

We need to work to preserve our privacy rights, but advocating that people cover their faces is not the way.

Masks and hoods can be fun as part of kinky or escapist play... but this type of activity should not be made the norm or encouraged for anyone at anytime. Accept the consequences of this type of play.

Latex Lady said...

I agree that authorities are pushing for less not more privacy, but I am interested in how society will respond to these pressures. Like the internet, society treats censorship of any form as an error and routes around it. That is, social norms and behaviour modulate to counteract overly intrusive authoritarian measures.

I too enjoy looking at handsome and pretty faces and I was not advocationg for total obsuring of facial features. What i was saying was that people may adopt styles and fashions of both dress and manner to help them avoid constant surveillance if that surveillance becomes too intrusive.

For example, some people already use mailinator to avoid revealing email addresses. One can imagine the return of hats with veils and the re-emergence of people wearing gloves as a social reaction to the fact that we all leave trails of ourselves everywhere.

It may not even be concious...ladies didn't wear gloves in the fifties because they were afraid of leaving fingerprints, it just was a style...but styles emerge as a reaction to social realities.

I was just speculating, not advocating, specifically. Th eimportant thing is that we should have the CHOICE to obscure our identities from authoritarian surveillance if we wish.

Also, I would assume that very specifically, people would REVEAL their obscured features to entice and please and flirt with others as they chose.

A few years ago, the idea of a woman revealing her legs in a miniskirt was enough to cause arrest. Now, it is more than just the norm.

A few years ago, leather clothing connoted a very rebellious and threatening image...now it is normal.

Societies change and fashions change with it. I was just speculating that, if the trend of surveillance continues, a generation may grow up looking for ways to thwart that surveillance and one way they may choose to do that may be to obscure their faces.

Steffy mentioned that people find her masks disconcerting because of the lack of motion and emotion. But imagine a mask made of a material that was also a display...it would display a 'false face' but on ehtat moved and changed as your 'real' face did underneath. If you chose to present to the world in that manner you could literally have a different public and private face.

I understand Dark's issues with the idea I floated. But I am prepared to believe that later generations (my grandchildren) may respond to things like intense surveillance in new and different ways.

regards
Lady

JudiBootie said...

It's funny; it was only in London when I noticed the numerous CCTV cameras literally everywhere. At first I was a bit uncomfortable, knowing that my every move was being monitored.

I got used to it quite quickly though. I wonder if it's just something we're going to *have* to accept as society changes and grows a bit "scarier" (for lack of a better word at the moment) in the light of all of this terrorism and threat of terrorism.

I'm one of those people who prefers my privacy, and am apt to give Big Brother the finger, so to speak. I might not burqa and/or mask myself, but is there much difference between that and really big sunglasses and a hat to hide one's identity?

Trussir said...

I just recently found this blog..it is truly fascinating!
I'm hoping that eventually, society will have to accept facial coverings, not only because they drive me erotically crazy, but also for practical reasons.
The US has not agreed to the Kyoto agreement restricting the emissions of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. We have to face the fact that excessive UV radiation will be something we have to live with in the future! what better way for a woman to protect her beauty than being veiled or masked when exposed in public?

Latex Lady said...

Trussir,

Thank you for your kind words. You raise yet another interesting point about why poeple and women in particular might want to veil their faces in public in the future.

Regards
Lady

trussir said...

Further on the issue of fashionably masked ladies in public. There was a 1952 sci-fi story by Fritz Lieber called "coming attraction" which postulated a society where women cover their faces in public after a nuke war. Radiation clothing becomes a fashion item. That story was my first realization that someone else in the world likes the idea....